The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why Israel is 100% Justified in its Attack on Lebanon

The Israel-bashers have been crawling out of the woodwork this past week to soundly condemn the "overreaction" to the recent attack by Hezbollah. Such criticism is not only misguided and hypocritical, it also shows a clear lack of understanding of the complex relationship between the current Lebanese crisis and the longer-term balance of power in the region.

To begin with, it's important to note that Israel is not merely fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. These terrorist organizations are being armed, trained and funded by the Islamic fascist Iranian government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which seeks to destroy Israel, dominate the Middle East and spread its brand of extremist Muslim fundamentalism. And make no mistake, a Middle East dominated by Iran is a very scary proposition not just to Israel, but to its Arab neighbors and to the United States (remember "Axis of Evil?") Which is precisely why we've seen the Saudis, Jordanians and Egyptians in a rare, public condemnation of Hezbollah for starting the current spate of violence. The last thing these three Arab nations, as well as others, want to see is Iran become the dominant political and military force in the region, ultimately possessing nuclear weapons and constantly threatening to use them against the free world. That is the ultimate enemy Israel is currently battling in Lebanon. It's a critical balance of power issue.

The blame placed on Hezbollah by Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt is highly justified, as the terror group crossed into Israel, killed soldiers and kidnapped others. This was an unprovoked act of war. An action which would not have happened had the Lebanese government carried out its obligations under 2004's U.N. Resolution 1559 to take control of the Southern border region and disarm, disband and expel Hezbollah in order to assure Israel's security in exchange for ending its 22-year occupation there. Ever since Israel's withdrawal in 2000, its Northern border towns have been repeatedly struck by Hezbollah rocket attacks.

In the wake of Israel's aggressive response to the Hezbollah attack, its been vilified by many who call its military bombardment an "overreaction" and "disproportionate." But these harsh criticisms are borne out of a general ignorance of the facts and an unwillingness to accept the violent existence Israel's endured at the hands of terrorists for decades. By comparison, look what America's response was to the 9/11 attack. A single attack resulted in war. We invaded Afghanistan, dismantled its terror infrastructure, and helped install the Democratic government of Hamid Karzai. One attack. One can only imagine what the U.S.'s response would be had we been consistently attacked for 5, 10, 20, 50+ years. It's appalling and highly hypocritical to see Americans sternly criticize Israel when these same blood-thirsty Americans were rabidly calling for Osama bin Laden's and al Qaeda's heads after 9/11. The crippling fear that Americans experienced that day, and to some extent still feel, is what Israelis live with every day from birth. The double-standard that Israel is expected to abide by is deplorable.

The biggest issue facing Israel today is that both Hamas and Hezbollah are no longer mere terror organizations. They are now terrorist organizations that have become part of the political fabric of Lebanon and Palestine. These brutal killers have been given political legitimacy by a desperate populace that has entrusted its fate to them but, like Yassir Arafat before them, they've not lived up to the greater responsibility that comes with elected office. Rather, they've used these positions of power to further spread their hateful propaganda and wage even greater jihad against Israel. This is not en enemy that's interested in peaceful co-existence and a two-state solution.

The evil that Israel is battling in its two-front war is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. What then should Israel's "proper reaction", or "proportionate response" be? What's the "acceptable" course of action with an enemy that has invaded your country, killed your soldiers, and taken them hostage? An enemy that seeks to wipe you off the face of the Earth? The future of the Middle East is at stake here. And as the Middle East goes, so goes the United States. A Middle East controlled by Islamic fascists in Iran with nuclear capabilities, arming and training terror organizations, cutting off our oil supplies and committed to Israel's and America's destruction, is a very chilling thought. Perhaps the "overreactionists" throughout the free world ought to consider the longer-term consequences here before its levels more criticism of Israel.

94 Comments:

  • At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes..Israel has the right to defend itself, and always has...and always "disproportionately". None-the-less it seems that the jihadis never get the idea that if they attack Israel, there will be a huge and painful retaliation. And...it never seems to stop future assaults..even more horrific. They after all think dying is fun..if it is for their unrecognizable religious credo.In fact, the Hezballah planners might DESIRE this kind of response since it inevitably causes catastrophic casualties and economic ruin...this time in a recovering Lebanon.Will it work this time????As Abba Eban said.."the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity". There could have been peace and a Palestinian state 6 years ago without bloodshed if Arafat accepted what Barak and Clinton offered.The Oslo accords...remember those hopeful dreamy days. Let us hope the Israelis stop the assault in time to salvage a chance for peace now that they have shown by their "disproportionate " response how terribly painful it becomes when you attack Israel.

     
  • At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hmmm. your analysis is quite one-sided and simple-minded, i think. perhaps try to listen to or read some of rabbi Michael Lerner. he's making the rounds now as everyone, including Hilary Clinton, seems to be jumping on the pro-Israel bandwagon. how about pro-peace? this rhetoric about how they all want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is so ridiculous. what percentage of Arabs do you REALLY think believe that? come on..... you know..... NOT VERY HIGH. thanks for the answer. can we stop the hyperbole now? lots of people are dying and to be so one-sided is just simple-minded and stoopid. just one liberal opinion, though. we all have one.

     
  • At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is this a joke? Andy, I expected more from you. I am deeply disappointed in your analysis. Your opinions are no different from shallow right wingers.

     
  • At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Israel Takes a Stupid Pill
    By Larry C. Johnson, formerly with the CIA

    A brief quote from the article:

    "While most folks in the United States buy into the Hollywood storyline of poor little Israel fighting for its survival against big, bad Muslims, the reality unfolding on our TV screens shows something else... Hamas and Hezbollah attacked military targets; kidnapping soldiers on military patrols may be an act of war and a provocation, but it is not terrorism... Israel is not attacking the individuals who hit their soldiers. Israel is engaged in mass punishment.

    "How did Israel respond? They bombed civilian targets and civilian infrastructure and have killed many civilians. Let's see if I have this right. The Arab 'terrorists' attack military units, destroy at least one tank, and are therefore terrorists. Israel retaliates by launching aerial, naval, and artillery bombardments of civilian areas and they are engaging in self-defense. If we are unable to recognize the hypocrisy of this construct then we ourselves are so enveloped by propaganda and emotion that, like the Israelis, Hezbollah, and Hamas, we can't think rationally."
    http://www.alternet.org/story/39081/

     
  • At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As an overreactionist, I am considering the longer-term consequences Andy. How Arabs seeing images such as this:

    http://www.ogrish.com/archives/casualties_of_war_lebanon_Jul_19_2006.html

    will prevent future heartached is beyond my astute comprehension. I can now count you as one of the many people I respect who apparently have lost their minds over this conflict. The perspective that says "Israel's reaction is justified" is like Bush saying "I will leave the Iraq fiasco for future presidents to clean up" Why can't we be the ones to say "enough!"

    (no worries, I will still keep your sight bookmarked, but we will have to agree to disagree on this one...for now)

     
  • At 3:17 AM, Anonymous frank mills said…

    This is so disappointing to see from you. I've always enjoyed (and typically 100% agreed with) your postings, but on this one, I'm afraid you haven't clearly thought through the issues. I agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, but killing hundreds of innocent civilians (who are not interested in the destruction of Israel) is counterproductive, not to mention unjust.

    In response to your question: "What's the "acceptable" course of action with an enemy that has invaded your country, killed your soldiers, and taken them hostage?" My answer is "Finding those responsible and bringing them to justice, preferably through judical processes, but if that is impossible, then targeted violent response may be limitedly justifiable." This is not what Israel is doing. Israel is indiscriminately killing civilians, attacking public utilities, and plunging a whole nation into chaos -- just as we have done throughout the globe in our "War on Terror." As you have pointed out repeatedly in your blog, we are in the wrong, and so are they.

    Please, please step back and think more closely about this issue. Do you really believe that the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians is just? And, even if it were, don't you see that Israel is simply creating terrorists out of those who were only bystanders? Such violence feeds violence.

     
  • At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, you’ve provoked me into typing up my second ever blog comment within twelve hours. I thought that a seasoned blogger such as yourself would prove to be far more thoughtful in his comments & certainly offer a more even-handed & reasoned response, instead of attacking those of who might disagree with you with derogatory snarks, appealing to Bush refrains & using alarmist Limbaugh logic. Good gad, man, did you really refer to that “Axis of Evil” phrase of the right-wing spin machine you claim to be against? Did you really type that? I could swear your site has been jacked by a Neocon. I thought your “liberal” use of the “anti-Semite” label in your previous post was poor form, but to follow that up with “Axis of Evil” & talk of the “Israel’s and America’s destruction”. Holy crap, is this a conservative media site now? Hey Bill O’, what have you done with Andy?

    As dumb-founded as I am at your biased opinion & right-wingy attack strategy, I take heart in the fact that there is an infestation of us “crawling out of the woodwork”, as you so immaturely try to discredit us. Assuming that this is genuinely you typing this nonsense, Andy, I guess that you must feel a desperate need to defend the indefensible strategy of the Israeli Defense Force. Let me try to pry those blinkers away from your eyes: the IDF & those who excuse their strategy of wanton & random attacks on otherwise innocent & uninvolved civilians of Lebanon are using exactly the same strategy & excuse as al-Qaeda uses for its terror attacks on innocent civilians. In other words, the IDF is committing acts of terror against Lebanon! Do you really not get that? Must all Lebanon die in the name of Israel “defending” itself?

    For all those who want a more reflective & less reflexive response to these ghastly events, I suggest you to read all the articles, of all opinions on the NPR site:
    http://www.npr.org/worldopinion/20060719_israel.html
    Read them all. Make up your minds. Don’t let Andy do it for you, as it seems his opinion is tainted, at least until he exorcises that Bill O’Reilly demon.

    Also, I again have to refer people to Juan Cole’s site again. He has some really remarkable letters posted on there & explains some of the reasons why some Arab countries are being strangely silent about the IDF’s disgusting abuse of power. His article at http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/07/19/maximal/
    is also very informative & addresses some of Andy’s justifications far more fluently than I can do.

    Democracy Now! & ThruthDig are also a good alternate sources of coverage.

    Perhaps, you might want to check out those sources yourself, Andy.

    I am 100% appalled at your opinion, the justifications for those opinions & your low-brow delivery. I fear we may have lost you to the dark side.

     
  • At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So.. for those critical of Israel's response to an attack across it's border and the capture of 2 of its soldiers, followed by rocket attacks on the entire northern part of their country...what would be an effective proportionate response???How do you fight against a substantial number of dedicated fighters, not the national army, who will not or cannot control them? These thousands possess hundreds if not thousands of missiles and are using them. Where did they get them from?? They didn't make them themselves, but they were transported to them from Syria or from Iran.Is any of this false data so far??So....if these enemies hide in populous areas, and thus involve many civilians who might be innocent except in their religious support of Hezballah, how do you detractors postulate a way for Israel to defend itself...without the possible accidental killing of innocents??? And since we have no impartial evidence about who the killed peple of Lebanon are, how do we know that they have not been Hezballah fighters, or a proportion of the deaths have been of the combatants that some of you want Israel to target to the exclusion of uninvolved Lebanese.Is this possible????And for the comment that not "all" of these people want to destroy Israel, I think those of Hezballah in their hundreds of thousands DO indeed want the destruction of Israel..and they proclaim this daily...and they proclaim that they want to kill all the Jews.(Nasrallah speech) Yes they have antisemitic strongly held beliefs which I doubt are in sync with many here who loathe Bush and desry our invasion and destruction of Iraq.
    If you were in control of Israel policy, TELL US WHAT YOU WOULD TELL THE ISRAELIS TO DO AFTER the attack on them last week.

     
  • At 7:31 AM, Blogger The Ostroy Report said…

    I have one simple reply to those who question my hard-line position which unfortunately has involved the deaths of many Lebanese civilians: tell the cowards who lead Hezbollah to remove their haedquarters, military stations, training grounds, missile silos and protective bunkers out of heavily populated civilian areas. Fighting their underground war in residential neighborhoods, hiding like scared little rats amongst the populace and using them as human shields, is the worst act of cowardice known to man. But then again, terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas have never be known for their courage and valor. Rather, they're quite good at hiding in the dark and attacking from the unknown. I'm sure Israel, in its justified defense of its people, would much prefer to fight a legit enemy with a legit, uniformed army on a standard war front. But unfortunately, Israel didn't draw up the game plan. It's just been responding to it the only way it can. The only way Hezbollah has allowed it to.
    Andy

     
  • At 7:52 AM, Blogger The Ostroy Report said…

    Another point I'd like to make is this: I often criticize Republicans for putting party before policy. Party before country. For operating in a sweeping vacuum of partisan hysteria regardless of the merits of an issue. While this may disappoint some readers, I am not like that. The issues, and the subsequent consequences of them, are what matters most to me. I am an American first and then a Democrat. And I'm proud to say that I happen to ascribe to liberal thinking almost 100% of the time. But not every issue must be a partisan one. And yes, while war is ugly and never preferred, it is sometimes necessary in defense of one's nation and its people. Unlike our war in Iraq, the Israelis were directly targeted, their civilians killed, and their soldiers killed and kidnapped. If that isn't justifcation for war, then what is?

    Not every Democrat must always think the exact same thoughts and agree on every issue. That's what Republicans do, and we attack them for this blind, partisan myopia every day. The ability to reason, the ability to have independent thought, the acceptance of diverse opinion, is the hallmark of our party.

    Andy

     
  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmmm...I usually have no trouble agreeing with most of what you say. However, I feel that Israel's response is totally over the top. I also think that the neocons are delighted at this turn of events. It takes attention away from all their other problems, makes it possible for Iraq to completely implode while no one is paying attention, and gives our so-called administration a chance to continue on their merry apocalyptic path. Perhaps another point of view would temper your opinion.

    "...A hundred years ago President Teddy Roosevelt famously told Americans to "talk softly and carry a big stick." Today the spiritual, if not political, heirs to Generalissimo Franco are riding high in Tel Aviv and Washington D.C., and they've gone one better than Roosevelt.

    Today, they don't talk at all."

    check out the full article here:

    Published on Monday, July 17, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
    The Distance from Guernica to Lebanon

     
  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Cathy said…

    Americans today do not have the history of what happened after WWII regarding how Israel came about. History is not what most Americans pay attention to and it will be our downfall. Talking to young people about past events and they always say "I wasn't born then" like what happened before will not impact them or the world.

    Iran is next and gee, maybe it's time to draft right wingers' kids.


    Cathy
    From the once great State of Michigan that was hurt big time by the stem cell veto (research wise/U of M)

     
  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous johnny said…

    Wish I could agree with you on this one Andy but I’m afraid I have to go with the others. The ONLY reason this administration is NOT getting involved is because THEY want this to build to a point that Syria and Iran get the blame. Then and ONLY then will invading these counties happen, something Bush has wanted from the get-go.

    This administration is hell bent on going to war, they lied about Iraq and now have their sights set on Syria and Iran. Seeing this all unfold is like 2002 all over again just a different tactic by these asses in Washington and we can not fall into that trap AGAIN!

     
  • At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Cathy said…

    The Repubs are going to run on 9/11, fear, fear, fear, bomb, bomb, bomb and Bush, Bush, Bush.

    How much you want to bet that uninformed Americans will be scared again and vote for these idiots again? Not to mention the Repubs who want to make this once great country a Christian theocracy! We are doomed if things don't change in November.

    Cathy
    Michigan

     
  • At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes...loathe the RNC and Bush/Cheney for the immoral disaster of Iraq. I do and work every day for a change in government. But...,the Israelis are a nation recognized by the UN, with peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. They have a rigyht and an obligation to defend themselves. This is not Iraq and naked aggression to seize the oil fields. It is not brutal imperialism.. it is brutal self-defense. Bill Clinton or any Democratic official would also support Israel when it is attacked. Don't confuse the issues even if it does assist the neocons this time.

     
  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger The Ostroy Report said…

    Ok, one last comment from me before I retreat to the safety of my blog! Johnny, you're missing the main point. This is not a partisan issue, and it's got nothing to do with the U.S. What Israel is doing right now in Lebanon is the result of decades of brutal attacks across its border, and as a result of the failure of the Lebanese government, other Arab states, and the United Nations to help secure its borders and protect its citizens. I've said it before and I'll say it again, just look what America did in/to Afghanistan in response to just one attack on its soil. How dare we as Americans even begin to tell the Israelis that they're "overreacting" to yet another in a never-ending, decades-long series of terrorist attacks...especially after diplomacy (U.N. Resolution 1559 in 2004) and pull-outs (Lebanon, Gaza, West bank) has failed yet again?

     
  • At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Larry said…

    Ostroy,
    Congratulations on the rational thought. I'm glad to see you put America before your party and you've earned some respect points in my eyes. Here's a virtual high-five from this blogs favorite conservative! ;-)


    Larry
    From the once great State of Michigan that has become a state full of whining union-backing lemings who want more handouts from the imperial federal government and can't understand why their government-sponsored indoctrination of their youth has resulted in a lack of jobs and large masses of unskilled labor.

     
  • At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm a extreme liberal and never thought I'd agree with Pat Buchanan. This apparently isn't a partisan matter. Last night on Hard Ball Buchanan said: Israel was STUPID to bomb and destroy Lebanon." He didn't even get into the inhumanity of the move, but the stupidity of the move. Who can dispute that?

    Aside from everything else, Israel cannot win alone. And, I'd like to point out that Israel would never make such a stupid move if they hadn't been emboldened by the power and support of the USA states. Withhout us, they would not be so "brave." They would try the intelligent path of negotiation. In fact, I suspect this was a pre-arranged move Israel made with the Bush administration.

    As for rights -- The Central Park Jogger proclaimed her "right" to run in the Park but as she found out, it was not a smart move.

     
  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said…

    Andy has it right. A stated goal of both hamas and Hezbollah (not to mention their patron Iran) is the destruction of the state of Israel. When they speak of the "occupation" they mean the entire state of Israel not just Gaza and the west bank. Proof of this was the response (continued missle attacks) by both Islamist groups after Israel's withdrawls. In the face of the Islamists avowed destruction of Israel, her response is proportionate, reasonable and justified.

     
  • At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    couldn't agree more with Ostroy on this one.

     
  • At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Steve said…

    Yasher Koyach, as we say in Yiddish. Good job. 'bout time someone mentioned that Hamas and Hezbollah want to clear out the Jews from between the Jordan and the Sea. "this rhetoric about how they all want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is so ridiculous. what percentage of Arabs do you REALLY think believe that?" My guess would be about 30 to 40%.

     
  • At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Cathy said…

    Larry,

    I am digusted that you come from my great state. We have lost a geat economic chance thanks to Bush's stem cell veto.

    Cathy (Sorry folks. I didn't know Larry came from Michigan)

     
  • At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Larry said…

    Cathy,
    You still have that 'great economic chance'. There is nothing stopping private organizations from researching stem cells. If it is such a great opportunity, private companies need to lay down some money and take a risk. No need to use federal tax payer resources to benefit the big pharmecutical profit margins.
    Don't you believe the cure to cancer or diabetes is worth something to the pharmecutical companies? I'm not against the research, just against the federal funding of the research.
    I'm sure you are just upset that your silly state can't get some more pork spending projects. It is possible that if the automobile unions didn't make auto manufacturing so unprofitable by forcing Detroit to pay workers more than they are worth, you'd have some jobs in Michigan.

    Larry
    From the Great seat of a Toyota

     
  • At 10:27 AM, Anonymous johnny said…

    Okay, one ?uestion here. What “value add” do we get back from Israel for all the money we have given them? We’ve been supporting them since Jesus was a baby and get NOTHING back in return. Maybe Joe LIEberman could mumble his way through telling us what we get.

     
  • At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What "value add" did we get for giving money to all the sunami victims?

    what "value add" did we get for giving money to Iran following the earthquakes?

    what "value add" do we get for stationing thousands of troops in Germany?

     
  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Larry's back and Ostroy's got him. Can you believe that it's come to Larry being in tune with Andy. ( I wonder what Larry's boss thinks about his using company time to spread his bile on this blog? Talk about undesirable workers.) And, I see other Repubs are stepping up to agree with the Ostroy Report.

    I agree with Johnny's comments above. (Johnny - The people "getting" something for supporting Israel are the politicans who collect from the Israeli Lobby.)This is not our fight. Israel is not fighting "our" war. Israel is just inviting more terrorists attacks on the USA and roping the US into fighting "their" war. When Falwell's for it you know it's wrong.

     
  • At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    anonymous,
    It's quite possible that Larry's employer feels the same way your employer feels about you blogging on company time.

     
  • At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Andy, we did not bomb Afghanistan after just one attack. Please don't forget that in 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed (on our soil) six were killed over 1000 injured. This attack was blamed on Osama & al queda. Let's also not forget the 1995 bombing in Saudia Arabia that killed 5 U.S. military personnel and injured tens of others; let's also not forget the 1996 bombing Saudi Arabia that killed 19 and injured over 200 U.S. military; let's also not forget the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Africa that killed 257 people and injured many others.

    This doesn't seem like were responding after just "one" attack. President Clinton showed much restraint before he ordered the bombing in Afghanistan because he was interested in capturing or killing Osama. Clinton chose to gather intelligence and try to find Osama and target him than to just indiscriminately destroy the Afghanis. He tried for a calculated attack to minimize civilian casualities.

    To contrast the Israeli response to the kidnapping of a solider to the targeting of civilians by terrorists is not only wrong but disingenuous. Let's make sure opinions are based on sound facts.

     
  • At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    " Let's make sure opinions are based on sound facts. "

    Since we are basing opinions on sound facts, let it be known that it is a FACT that Clinton's bombing of Afghanistan was within 72 hours of admitting that he committed perjury. It is a valid argument that Clinton's bombing campaign was a 'wag the dog' attempt to distract Americans from his own crimes.

    Your claim that Clinton "was interested in capturing or killing Osama" directly conflicts with the FACT that Sandy Berger and the Clinton administration blocked at least 4 attempts to kill or capture OBL. This is confirmed in the 9/11 commission report.

    It is also a FACT that Sandy Berger abused his Security Clearence and pleaded guilty to the crime of stealing and destroying top secret documents from the National Archives.

    Clinton's 'restraint' as you call it, was exactly what one would expect from a spineless united nations worshipping liberal coward.

     
  • At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "This doesn't seem like were responding after just "one" attack."

    Ok anonymous, even if we agree with you, which we don't, the score would still be:

    attacks on Israel: a bazillion, attacks on U.S: five

    As for Clinton, he did not invade Afghanistan. The Bush administration is what we're talking about here. Just one attack
    on Bush's watch and look what he's done. And you say Israel overreacted? Ha!
    Bob

     
  • At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Roflmaoooooooooo. This piece is funnier than bush's sexual assault on Germany's minister

     
  • At 3:31 PM, Blogger Scott said…

    Here is a different view from...Israel.

    Israelis See Their Own Nation As "Neighborhood Bully"
    by Ira Chernus


    You can see Lebanon from my sister’s backyard. She and her family and thousands of others in northern Israel live with a constant roar of gunfire -- mostly from Israeli cannons aiming to kill Lebanese, occasionally from a Hezbollah shell that might land on them.

    But the real threat to Israel doesn’t come from Lebanese rockets. The real threat comes from the Israelis themselves -- and the rest of the world -- forgetting how and why this war started.

    Israel does not go to war just to retrieve kidnapped soldiers. In the past, it has been ready to ransom them by returning Palestinian and Lebanese captives that it holds, just as the kidnappers ask. So why war now? For answers I’ve turned to Jewish writers in Israel’s top newspaper, Ha’aretz.

    Last month the two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, agreed to form a united government and offer Israel a plan for permanent peace. A Ha’aretz columnist observed at the time that the peace offer “should have sparked a wave of positive reactions from Jerusalem … But Jerusalem's ear as usual is blocked to any sound that might advance the peace process.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert still insists on his unilateral “convergence” plan, which is merely “a plan to perpetuate the occupation, only under conditions more convenient for Israel. Moreover, at the end of the plan, if it is ever executed, even more settlers will live in the occupied territories than live there now.”

    For the Israeli government, another Ha’aretz columnist wrote, “it is best that the Palestinians remain extremists because then no one will ask the government of Israel to negotiate with them. How do we ensure that the Palestinians remain radical? We simply strike at them, over and over.” So Israel responded to the Palestinian offer of negotiated peace with an allout assault on Gaza. That’s how and why it all began.

    Now words from Jewish writers in Ha’aretz in the past week:

    “The Israel Defense Forces once again looks like the neighborhood bully. … One and only one language is spoken by Israel, the language of force. The IDF absorbed two painful blows, which were particularly humiliating, and in their wake went into a war that is all about restoring its lost dignity.”

    “The camouflage concealing the war's real goals was ripped off by this defense minister [Peretz], who says what he means: ‘[Hezbollah leader] Nasrallah is going to get it so bad that he will never forget the name Amir Peretz,’ he bragged, like a typical bully.”

    “[Prime Minister] Olmert's cocktail of remarks has included threats (‘We'll grit our teeth and knock them silly,’ and ‘We'll have these Hamas leaders weeping and wailing. No one who messes with us is going to get off scot free.’")

    “Lior Horev, Olmert's strategic adviser, says: ‘Such fundamental issues as self-image and standing in the international arena are critically challenged.’”

    “Releasing prisoners will make us look like suckers.”

    “Another generation of impassioned youngsters is growing up around us and screaming over the Internet: ‘Stick it to them.’ … On television there still will be the same generals, with the same conception, with the same short and limited range of strategic understanding, and they will win the same enthusiasm from the public that just wants to ‘stick it to them.’ This trigger finger thought in terms of ‘who will stick more to whom.’"

    “While we're in no hurry to get to the negotiating table, we're eager to get to the battlefield and the killing without delay, without taking any time to think. That deepens suspicions that we need a war every few years, with terrifying repetition, even if afterward we end up back in exactly the same position.”

    Why need a war every few years? Turn for a moment from Ha’aretz, often called the Hebrew equivalent of the New York Times, to the real New York Times, where Israeli novelist Etgar Keret pulled back the curtain. Among Israeli Jews, Keret wrote, after the attack on Lebanon began, “there was a small gleam in almost everyone’s eyes, a kind of unconscious breath of relief. … We long for a real war to take the place of all those exhausting years of intifada when there was no black or white, only gray … Once again, we’re a small country surrounded by enemies, fighting for our lives, not a strong, occupying country forced to fight daily against a civilian population. So is it any wonder that we’re all secretly just a tiny bit relieved?”

    The idea of Israel as a tiny victim fighting for its life may be comforting for Israelis, but it is an illusion. My sister and her family are obviously scared, with good reason. Some Israelis have died, and every life is precious. But she goes to work every day as usual. It sounds like her biggest immediate problem is her dog, who trembles and whimpers at the continual sound of Israeli gunfire. “Massive wave of Katyushas strikes northern Israel; No injuries reported,” she reads in the latest Ha’aretz headline.

    On the other side of the border, my brother-in-law writes, “most of the Shi'ite villages and towns that have been pounded are destroyed. … The Israelis have continually pounded the Shi'ite Dahia neighborhood [of Beirut], a Hezbollah stronghold, into rubble. The entire population, numbering perhaps up to two hundred thousand people were compelled to abandon their homes.” Well over 200 civilians have already died, and the Israeli Air Force talks about weeks more of the same.

    The best writers in Ha’aretz know that some day Israel must give up its bullying, and that means giving up its illusions: the fiction that Israel is an innocent victim, merely responding to unprovoked aggression, and the vain hope that brutal force can restore an insecure bully’s wounded pride. As long as that lethal brew of illusion dominates Israel’s public mind and mood, Israeli bombs will keep on killing in Lebanon and Gaza, and the victims will fight back, endangering Israeli lives too.

    Ha’aretz readers have been told the bottom line truth. The cause of this war -- and all of Israel’s problems -- is its refusal to negotiate an end to the occupation of Palestine. “On the southern [Gaza] front we have continued waging a dubious war with no clear objective, wrapped up with intercessions and excuses that do not manage to hide our refusal to speak with the Palestinians.” “There is no basic justice in adhering to occupied territory.” “The siege on the Hamas government is not weakening it. On the contrary, it is boosting support for it.”

    “Israel has no option in the long run other than withdrawing from the territories and from the occupation. … Israel's interest is for the Palestinians to live a life of plenty and well-being.” But if this Israeli government “sinks into the destructive, meaningless routines that characterized its predecessors, the rest of the decade will turn into a disaster zone.”

     
  • At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I watched 9/11 with my own eyes from downtown NYC and NEVER ONCE wanted to see us go to war as a result. Israel has no business attacking civilians and that is what they've done. There wasn't even lip service paid to attempts at precision bombing, and no effort to spare those poor people the agony of trying to rebuild their lives ONCE AGAIN, after their sandcastle of a country was flattened ONCE AGAIN-- assuming they survive this attack.

    My heart is with the Lebanese people, period. Hizbollah and Israel are BOTH guilty of war crimes! And they are acting like irresponsible children who don't know how to behave.

     
  • At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    this rhetoric about how they all want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is so ridiculous. what percentage of Arabs do you REALLY think believe that? come on..... you know..... NOT VERY HIGH. thanks for the answer.

    Really, Anonymous? Why don't you spend some time there and find out for yourself. I did. NOT VERY HIGH? How the hell do you know that?

     
  • At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To ANON 11:12 AM.

    I AM THE BOSS. IT'S MY TIME.

    You must learn not to jump to conclusions and get facts instead. Larry has bragged about his being a worker - not a no-good-welfare-person so we know he's at work. Of course, he could be lying so my evidence is not conclusive.

     
  • At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    On CNN a Lebonese reporter quoted someone on the Israel side of this conflict as saying that casualties resulting from terrorist attacks deserved more remorse/regret/concern (or some equivalent word) than those caused by a country's defending itself. The reporter called that "racist" I call it insane.

     
  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger John said…

    When you want to change behavior and you nominally have the upper hand, you use both a carrot and a stick. While i grew up respecting Israel, they seem far more inclined to use a stick and grind dirt in any carrots they might make a show of offering. It doesn't have to be land. Some degree of economic and technical assistance over the years could have gone a long way to smoothing over the situation. As it is, the Israelis make little effort to conceal a general contempt of all Arabs and Muslims.
    The real existential threat to Israel would be an Islamist coup in Pakistan and the way the world is heading, this wouldn't seem that surprising.
    Personally, I think Monotheism is a philosophy that's run its course, anyway. The absolute is basis, not an apex, so the spiritual absolute would be the essential presence of being that we rise out of and fall back into, not some all-knowing being we fell from and seek to return to. Intelligence is an emergent property of this elemental awareness, rather then the other way around.

     
  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger Cranky Daze said…

    Thank you, Andy Ostroy!

    As a lifelong peace-at-any-price pacifist, I hate to see war come to any country, but even I recognize that there are limits. Israel has suffered through attacks for years and, indeed, they have a history of immediate, strong responses. One would think the terrorist organizations would figure it out sooner or later, but obviously one would be wrong.

    If Israel is to survive, at some point they have to do what they can to pull the teeth of the animal that is gnawing on their ankles before it chews it's way up to their throat.

     
  • At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love seeing all the smug, elist, jew-hating snobs on this message board who sit back on the fat asses and there beach chairs by the pool, sipping margeritas, watching golf on TV and telling Israel to accept the constant barrage of missiles across its borders and years of terrorist attacks. Youre pathetic.

     
  • At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I AM THE BOSS. IT'S MY TIME."

    Do you support Bush's tax cuts?

    Are you one of those evil 'rich' who kept Bush's tax cut or did you give it all away to the poor?

     
  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger Xero said…

    How said I was too see this post. I've been directed here from other blogs and found the articles interesting, but I guess you never know what lies beneath. Although you support the Democrats you are a racist bigot. This issue will tear the party apart; with on the one side those who value all human life equally, while on the other are those who believe that some humans just aren't worth letting live. How many Arab lives are worth just one Israeli life? The answer varies from bigot to bigot... what is your equation? Or am I making the mistake that an Arab life has any meaning at all according to your twisted morality?

     
  • At 8:55 PM, Anonymous CaptainVideo said…

    This is supposed to be an answer to the powerful Right Wing spin machine?

    Give me a break. It sounds like it was written by the Israel lobby or the Neocons.

     
  • At 8:58 PM, Anonymous CaptainVideo said…

    "We have to destroy Lebanon in order to save it from Hezbullah."

     
  • At 9:03 PM, Anonymous CaptainVideo said…

    "We take on Bush, the Republican Party and the conservative media."

    But not the Israel lobby.

     
  • At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CaptainVideo said...
    This is supposed to be an answer to the powerful Right Wing spin machine? Give me a break. It sounds like it was written by the Israel lobby or the Neocons.

    Ya have to love this bunk. Repupublicans think religion is only for Republicans, and progressive fools like you think war and national defense is only for Neocons. That's great, play right into the hands of Karl Rove who says liberals never have the stomach for q string defense.

    "We have to destroy Lebanon in order to save it from Hezbullah."

    That's right, cappy. Just like the US did/is doing in Japan (WWII), Afghanistan (Taliban) and Iraq (Saddam).

     
  • At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To ANONYMOUS 9:03

    Yeah -- we did that and you see where destroying Iraq has gotten us. Afghanistan wasn't a sterling success either. Some people (progressive fools) have the stomach to go through a challenging, agonizing, intellectual, and, morally demanding defense through negotiating rather than blowing the brains out of thousands of other human beings. "Manhood" has another dimension besides shooting off.

     
  • At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It seems rather dumb to blow up Lebanon, a democracy and friend to get the enemy. Why not use more effective methods in a war that can't be won by traditional warfare tactics. Israel is outraged that those bad guys choose to hide among civilians making the job of killing them harder. They don't play fair. Well, Israel, that's what terrorist do. They are not your average soldier. They need to be fought by other means. Why not use police tactics used against gangs like the Mafia and use other agencies that work covert operations. Infiltrate and destroy from within instead of bombing a mosque to kill one man. An attempt that failed. And why destroy every bridge in the area to keep Iran from delivering bombs when these bridges will eventually be restored and it will all start again far sooner that Lebanon will be rebuilt. Someone, an analyst on TV, months, if not years ago, said the "war" on terrorism is a police-type operation and can only be won by that kind of offensive.

    Remember the British and their red coats?They eventually realized the benefit of khaki and cunning.

     
  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger Barnacle Bill said…

    Thanks for your blog Andy that I usually find refreshing and heartening. I particularly applaud your early recognition of Al Gore as a great potential candidate for the 2008 presidential election.

    Today though, I couldn't disagree with you more. It is also disappointing to see the oh-so predictable charges of anti-Semitism being leveled at those who disagree with you or who dare to criticize Israel (e.g. the 6:19 PM Anonymous who so eloquently wrote "I love seeing all the smug, elist[sic], jew-hating snobs on this message board "). Mearsheimer and Walt wrote about the use of anti-semitic smears...

    As viscerally satisfying as it must be for the Israeli hawks (and vicariously thrilling for Bill Kristol and the neocons) to see the IDF strike back at Hezbollah, the military response has been wildly disproportionate and clearly works against Israel’s long-term prospects for stability in the region. Collective punishment of hundreds of thousands of innocent Lebanese and destruction of a sovereign nation’s infrastructure in an effort to eradicate a small number of militants is morally wrong and unfair in the eyes of all objective onlookers. The failure to distinguish between innocent Lebanese Shiites and Hezbollah terrorists with Israel’s mass punishment approach gives credence and power to the extremes and undermines those in the middle. How is creating a failed state next door to Israel and radicalizing thousands upon thousands of previously neutral Lebanese civilians in Israel’s long-term interest?

    Imagine how Israelis would feel if they suddenly were attacked from land, air and sea with the creation of a quarter million internal refugees!

    Hezbollah arose in response to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and previous Israeli governments nurtured Hamas in an effort to undermine the authority of the PLO. The heart of the problem is this: it is the moral responsibility of Israel to make an equitable arrangement for the Palestinians they displaced with the creation of Israel in 1948. Nearly sixty years later and the world is still waiting.

    It is not in the interest of the United States to allow Israel to de-stabilize Lebanon in its violent but misguided attempts to root out Hezbollah by force. The United States’ interest is to defeat Osama bin Laden ideologically. The actions of Israel in Lebanon only enhance the credibility and widen the support of bin Laden and his ilk. The United States must rein in Israel for the self-interest of both nations!

     
  • At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Ostroy Is Larry said…

    To ANONYMOUS 10:10 PM

    If you think you "have the stomach to go through a challenging, agonizing, intellectual, and, morally demanding defense through negotiating rather than blowing the brains out of thousands of other human beings", then why don't you go sit at the table with Hezbollah and convince them to release the 2 soldiers? Better yet, volunteer to be a human shield for Nassrallah.

    I suggest taking ANONYMOUS 5:08 PM, he's a 'boss' and can tell you what to do in case you get bored.

     
  • At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Larry is Ostroy said…

    ATTENTION LIBERALS:
    "Someone, an analyst on TV, months, if not years ago, said the "war" on terrorism is a police-type operation and can only be won by that kind of offensive."

    ANONYMOUS 10:43 PM is a perfect example of why you keep losing elections. Please do not trust "someone, an analyst on tv, months, if not years ago..." as a reliable source of information or philosophy. Next you'll be trying to claim that the anonymously financed and directed group of political cronies running Buzzflash represent an honest source of information and news.

    21st century democrats are not part of the great 20th century Democratic party, they are spineless jellyfish.

     
  • At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Let see , what might Isreal do? Stop kidnapping civilians in Gaza, Lebanon,etc.? Stop assassinating people because they can. Stop treating the Palistinians like the Nazi's treated the Jews? Possibly release some of the thousands of political prisoners they hold. Maybe they could stop stealing land and water in the Middle East. I am sure I could think of a few other positive actions that Isreal could take to get along with her neighbors.

     
  • At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why, if Israelis are in such danger from jihadis, are the Lebanese dying in such a disproportionately higher numbers?

    Israel is the real threat to peace in the Middle East.

     
  • At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No one has really answered Johnny's question on what we get back for the 2.5 billion a year we give to Israel. That's a lot of tax payers money we're handing out to a country that doesn't appriciate it.

     
  • At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Israel appreciates our money more than the sunami victims we gave money too.

    Israel appreciates our money more than the Iranian earthquake victims we gave money too.

    Israel appreciates America more than the Germans do. We still haven't redeployed out of Germany from WWII and the Germans are as thankless as the American left.

     
  • At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Allen Abrahams said…

    Andy,
    I have pointed out in previous posts you have made about Israel that you are blindly following.

    I will defer to what Scott @ 3:31PM so elloquently stated with supporting quotes from Israeli papers:
    "The best writers in Ha’aretz know that some day Israel must give up its bullying, and that means giving up its illusions: the fiction that Israel is an innocent victim, merely responding to unprovoked aggression, and the vain hope that brutal force can restore an insecure bully’s wounded pride. As long as that lethal brew of illusion dominates Israel’s public mind and mood, Israeli bombs will keep on killing in Lebanon and Gaza, and the victims will fight back, endangering Israeli lives too."

    The disparity between the effect of the attacks on each side is remarkably expressed also:
    "The idea of Israel as a tiny victim fighting for its life may be comforting for Israelis, but it is an illusion. My sister and her family are obviously scared, with good reason. Some Israelis have died, and every life is precious. But she goes to work every day as usual. It sounds like her biggest immediate problem is her dog, who trembles and whimpers at the continual sound of Israeli gunfire. “Massive wave of Katyushas strikes northern Israel; No injuries reported,” she reads in the latest Ha’aretz headline.

    On the other side of the border, my brother-in-law writes, “most of the Shi'ite villages and towns that have been pounded are destroyed. … The Israelis have continually pounded the Shi'ite Dahia neighborhood [of Beirut], a Hezbollah stronghold, into rubble. The entire population, numbering perhaps up to two hundred thousand people were compelled to abandon their homes.” Well over 200 civilians have already died, and the Israeli Air Force talks about weeks more of the same."

    This to me, tells the real story.

    BTW Andy, I have noticed a disconcerting element of the "bully" in your writing as well as a need for revenge. While I look forward to the day the neocon agenda is totally exposed and fails, you will not find me gloating or seeking revenge. We do have to live with them; they are our neighbors.

     
  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No,Larry, I did not give my tax break from Bush to the poor. I am going to use it to help them another way. With my tax break I plan to to start nationwide classes in remedial thinking for all the dumb Republicans who hate the poor and who obviously "were left behind."

    Proof of that is the numbskull who said believing anonymous experts was stupid. (No expert on TV or in print is ever "anonymous" . The blogger probably meant he didn't remember names.) What's stupid is not seeing the wisdom of an idea no matter who said it. It's the message stupid, not the messenger.

     
  • At 2:24 PM, Anonymous funknjunk said…

    sorry, but i think it's hilarity when, in response to amny folks disagreeing with his position, this particular blogger comes back with: "but country "x" did this because of this", or "what are they SUPPOSED to do in response", or "if you don't agree with me, you hate Jews" (basically....). ok, so country "x" does something disgusting, ridiculous and completely out of the realm of humanity, and we are to use that as a precedent for another debacle. check. number two, we're supposed to give you one of any number of solutions besides the one that has been decided upon and is... see above (disgusting, ridiculous, etc. etc.....). check. and apparently, i hate Jews 'cause i disagree. hmmm. didn't know i hated Jews. never thought i was a Jew hater. but we do live in Bushevik times where dissent brings sweet ridicule down upon your head. interesting....

    um, let me continue the rant. from what i am reading, you would think that this Israeli action was in response to some kind of completely unprovoked attack on its nation. as if Mexico suddenly and without warning dropped a bomb on the US. that's how this is being characterized, and it's disgusting. people can't even agree with the facts on the ground. if you read Michael Lerner and others, you will find quite a different story. perhaps one of constant provocation by Israel, constant terror, constant humiliation of the people in Gaza. apparently, Israel has been pounding the Gaza strip for months. hmmm, let me see, what would i do if i had weapons and the wherewithal to take action as my countrymen are being killed, humiliated in their own homes/land, taken into custody by the hundreds, including womoen and children, and labelled "enemy combatants" while not being given fair process (sound familiar? eh? eh?)? hmmm. maybe i would.... kill as many of them as possible! or maybe CAPTURE (not kidnap, by the way) an enemy soldier so as to trade them for some of my own people being held. sound reasonable in war?

    please stop this insanity implying that this situation occurred in a vacuum. it did not. and further, can that BS about how those dirty Arabs are cowards, evil, and despicable for working within civilian populations. in war, real war, you do what you can if you feel your cause is just. you do whatever you can to win. now you can discuss all you want who did what to whom in the past, but until everyone agrees to stop the bloody violence and death spiral, don't be calling the opposition forces cowards and despicable for not waging the war in the manner YOU think is acceptable.

    i think this is a matter of the capacity for empathy, and you sir show none. you can't see the other side, though they are being slaughtered and demeaned just as "your" side has been. you just can't walk in any one else's shoes, huh. well, such is the profound sadness of this world. we will learn this skill or we will all die. ---out---

     
  • At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Frankly all, the fish rots from the head. If the U.S. can bomb and kill indiscriminately, then so can the Israelis. They have the right to defend themselves. They even have the right to do exactly what they're doing. But the fact is that they're living in Bush World, as are we all. In Bush World, the terrorists (Hamas and Hizbollah) have been elevated to power. Diplomacy is for sissies. And endless war is de rigeur. Critics of Israel insist they stand down and negotiate peacefully. But with whom? Under what international auspices? The Bush Administration has not only dropped the ball, they've completely undermined any framework for peace. Because in Bush World, war is peace.

    I teach martial arts. In knife defense, in particular, we teach that if you can't run away, you must attack aggressively. But don't attack the knife itself. Attack the body. Realize that you WILL get cut BUT you'll at least have a chance to stop the attacker before you bleed to death. (In contrast, if you "attack" the knife, you will be sliced to ribbons before inflicting any damage on your assailant.)

    Israel is the knife. The Bush Administration is the assailant.

     
  • At 3:02 PM, Anonymous chris said…

    i cannot believe that andy ostroy is coming out with this shit! and a very large number of the rest of you are supporting Israel murdering innocent lebanese civilans. Hezballah is not part of the lebanese goverment, but yet Israel sees fit to ruin the whole country because of the acts of the minority. I am from Ireland and public support for the IRA up to the 1970's would be the same as public support in lebanon for hezbollah currently, can you imagine if England bombed the crap out of dublin and waged war on the Irish people because of the actions of the IRA(the IRA were much more deadly to the british then hezbollaj to Israel) that would never have happened, it would have been ridiclous. Andy says the Lebanese goverment is responsible because thaey did not disband hezbollah(easier said than done and you all know that) Lebanon was a progressive up and coming economy, which with wealth would have forgotten all about the time wasting fools that hezblooah are, just like Ireland told the IRA to piss off when we developed a healthy economy.

     
  • At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Funknjunk writes, "from what i am reading, you would think that this Israeli action was in response to some kind of completely unprovoked attack on its nation."

    U.N.'s Kofi Annan yesterday: said the cause of the crisis "was Hezbollah’s provocative attack on July 12."

    hey jew-hater, I suppose you think the Holocaust never happened either???

    More from Annon: "Whatever other agendas they may serve, Hezbollah’s actions, which it portrays as defending Palestinian and Lebanese interests, in fact do neither. On the contrary, they hold an entire nation hostage — set back prospects for negotiation of a comprehensive Middle East peace."

    now there's a guy with a brain in his head

     
  • At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    THANK YOU.

    Funny how I NEVER read my fellow Lefties' (and I assure all, I am one) condemnations of Muslim/Palestinian atrocities around the globe.

     
  • At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Someone mentioned all the "possibly thousands" of missiles in the hands of Hizbollah. Fine, yes, they have missiles, but let's ask ourselves which country is the best-armed in the entire region, bristling with the latest weaponry and even including nuclear weapons? Where did they get all those arms--oh, yeah, a lot of it was paid for with your and my tax dollars. So, if we are so gung-ho to arm Israel, why is that okay but it is so reprehensible for other countries to arm Israel's enemies? Which country has been responsible for the greatest number of deaths--including of civilians--in the last ten years? Which country has ghettoized an already impoverished population? Which country could find no guilt for their military--a force one would expect to be trained, well-disciplined, and above targeting civilians, especially children--when those brave soldiers shot a 13-year-old girl in the back because they feared her? And, yes, I know that "terrorists" have been known to use the abhorrent practice of sending children out as suicide bombers, but these were well-armed soldiers who were more than happy to continue firing into the girl's body and whose leader said he would have no hesitation in killing a 2-year-old. There are plenty of atrocities to go around, but Israel certainly gets a pass in the United States for those that it has indisputably carried out. Unfortunately, the infection of self-righteously confusing self-defense with mass punishment of a civilian population has now spread here. What Israel has been doing is both grotesque and, if peace truly is its goal, self-defeating. Unless Israel is willing to carry out genocide and wipe out the entire Middle Eastern population beyond itself it is highly unlikely that it can ever prevail through the use of force. And when it comes to genocide, you would think that a population largely descended from past victims of such bigoted, racist thinking on the part of others would not be so willing to visit the sins committed against it upon others.

     
  • At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What about the FACT that the Isralis were on the Lebanese side of the border when this atrocity began? Or the perpetual raids on Palestinian civilians and indiscriminate attacks on elected officials? Sorry dude, Israel is wrong and you are a dupe to belive that a false flag op is Israel "defending" itself. Sick.

     
  • At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    spineless jellies are on the prowl.
    One question, do liberals prefer killing babies or condeming Israel?

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Anonymous granmastace said…

    Israel's reaction seems to emphasize the belief of many that the life of an Arab is nothing compared to that of a Jew...do the math...there is less than ten percent of the number of Jews dead as there are Arabs...no, Israel should not just take whatever comes along, but what they have done since the end of the 6 day war, now almost 40 years ago, is far too similar to what the nazi's did to the Jews in the thirties and forties...just because you don't herd Arabs into cattle cars and kill them wholesale, killing them a bit at a time, while robbing them of a future is still the same kind of evil. Anyone who doesn't understand this, has not truly been paying attention...if nothing else, try to remember what you would tell your children...in any conflict it is NEVER only one side's fault.

     
  • At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Homer said…

    "Heh, heh. Lisa, palestinians are make-believe, just like elves, gremlins, and eskimos."

     
  • At 4:45 PM, Anonymous granmastace said…

    Reading through the comments, I see a lot of searching and sharing of truth and facts, and it does this liberal's heart good...Israel has been the best armed in the Middle East for a very long time...and feels very comfortable telling the rest of the world just what weapons they have is nobody's business and the have long looked for an excuse to wipe out numerous countries in the region...even attacking one of our ships (I cannot think of the name, but will find it and come back) while trying to make it look like another country, so we would then invade. This situation holds the fate of our world, and as long as the groupthink in this country is "Jew good, Arab bad", it's only going to get worse.

     
  • At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Israel, of all countries, knows what a war crime is. But like the USA, it is no longer interested in the Geneva convention because it is a major power, and wants instead the right to commit war crimes against weaker neighbours. Here's a snip from Matthew Rothschild's recent piece on commondreams.org...

    The Times loudly condemned Hamas and Hezbollah—which deservedly earns more condemnation every day, most recently for the disgusting bombing of the Haifa train station on Sunday—but the Times only softly cautioned Israel.

    “Israel needs to be careful that its far-reaching military responses, however legally and morally justifiable, do not end up advancing the political agenda that Hamas and Hezbollah hard-liners had in mind,” the Times said.

    Check out that clause once more: “however legally and morally justifiable.”

    Let’s look at legally first.

    Amnesty International, which knows a thing or two about the law, calls Israel’s actions “a war crime.”

    It says Israel has been guilty of imposing collective punishment both in Gaza and in Lebanon by destroying civilian infrastructure.

    And it cites chapter and verse.

    To wit:

    The Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 33, prohibits “collective penalties.”

    Article 147 of the Convention prohibits “extensive destruction . . . not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

    Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Conventions, Article 48, states: “In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operation only against military objectives.”

    Finally, Amnesty notes, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court says that “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects” is a war crime.

     
  • At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    THe question posed by 356 is best answered by saying this Liberal prefers to condemn Isralis for killing babies, and women, and old men and innocent citizens, and teenage girls, and youmg boys and every form of life there is. How can you "Duh" people think that the only life of value is an embryo? Is it because you start hating human life after it's born and makes demands and has opinions other than yours? Are you all control freaks?

     
  • At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Sally said…

    Thank you so much for your editorial. It's a sad commentary when Israel seems to be the only country that is attacked by the world for fighting back. Had Lebanon did what it was supposed to do and curb Hezbollah, it wouldn't have come to this. I get so tired of the constant criticism of this small country when so much of it is just based on old fashioned anti-semitism. You can't cede land and abide by cease fires unilaterally when the other side continues to conduct business as usual. Israel has been attacked for 58 years - the Palestinians can't seem to realize that when they stop the violence, they will get their state. As a democrat, I'm disgusted with the far left and their twisted view of reality.

     
  • At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The world has attacked the USA for invading Iraq in a preemptive strike. I guess it's just that old anti-americanism. Surely we did nothing wrong

     
  • At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous said...
    The world has attacked the USA for invading Iraq in a preemptive strike. I guess it's just that old anti-americanism. Surely we did nothing wrong

    See? This is the problem when ignorant people try to pass themselves off as smart. They try to equate the U.S's completely unprovoked invasion of Iraq with Israel's retaliation for Hezbollah crossing onto the soil of a sovereign nation, killing its soldiers and taking others hostage. Yup, sure seems like the same thing to me.

     
  • At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As per the above comment from Anon 11:57: You're probably right -- it's not smart to equate merciless, wanton killing of innoncents (innocents: people who have nothing to do with the conflict) and destruction of their country no matter the provacation or lack thereof. Only the smart know that murder in one instance can be "who cares" in another. It takes a highly developed intellect to rationalize.

     
  • At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Listen, what you are therefore saying is that the enemy can attack you and get away with it if they're HQ'd in civilian areas and use these civilians as human shields. The terrorist hezbollah cowards are the ones responsible for the civilian deaths, not Israel. Israel has no choice but to go after its enemy where it's chosen to hide out and base its operations. To blame Israel for that is tantamount to telling them they cannot go after their enemy who attacked them, simply because their enemy is hiding out amongst the civilian population. BIt's despicable that so many civilians have to die. But be outraged at Hezbollah for this, not Israel. Hiding out amongst civilians does not give you a free pass to attack Israel with impunity.
    Bob

     
  • At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    More wisdom from the intellectuals at ANON 9:23. Of course, it's only common sense that if a child is being held in a shed by kidnappers, it's only wise for the police to bomb the shed to teach all the kidnappers in the world not to kidnap. The intellectuals know that no sensible solution like, diplomatic negotiations backed by world support; or, as someone mentioned, covert or police-like demolition of terrorists who so inconveniently protect themselves by living among civilians. How truly barbaric of them and so unfair. Those terrorists just don't care whom they hurt. The smart people know the only way to stop the attacks is to destroy the population of the country, the area, the world, if that's what it takes. "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

     
  • At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, Bob,

    We all know "the Devil" made the Israeli's do it. Those God-fearing people are innocent.

     
  • At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Or, what if a terrorist or group of them were hiding in a school? Nothing to do but bomb the school. Can't have those terrorists win by being cowards.

     
  • At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    anon, are you really this foolish and ignorant? A child being kidnapped and held for renasom by random crimnals is not the same as a terrorist organization (that controls 20% of the Lebanese Parliamnet's seats) crossing the border into a soveregin nation and killing/kinapping soldiers in a clear act of war.How does one even begin to debate issues with people like you if you make these ridiculously irrelevent comparisons? I ask again, Hezebollah is allowed to attack inside Israel with impunity just as long as they retreat back into their civilian areas and hide amongst the people? You're very good at telling Israel how NOT to go after Hezbollah. How about trying to suggest just how Israel is supposed to defend herself under these circumstances?
    Bob

     
  • At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bob,

    1. Israel is and always has defended itself by making packs with the USA based on the implicit agreement that the USA will always protect Israel; and, by having a powerful lobby that greases the way for Israel to do anything it wants. So don't worry - right or wrong Israel can't lose so further discussion among the smart or the dumb is a waste of time.

    2, Analogies many times aren't perfect but the child/shed had enough similarity to be credible and the school analogy even better. But like I said, these little discussions are not to be taken seriously. They are exercises in futility; our fate is sealed by those who wield power.

    Have a nice day.

     
  • At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bob,
    Liberals ALWAYS make ridiculously irrelevant comparisons to prove their points. This is why Americans KNOW democrats can't be trusted during times of war.

     
  • At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Ostroy is Larry said…

    If a 'civilian' harbors missiles for Hezbollah, they are no longer civilians. It is their choice to harbor missiles, and they deserve to be bombed.

    Unfortunately, some real innocent civilians are dying on both sides.

     
  • At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bob,

    Liberals are Americans. But don't worry. I'm sure you must excel at something.

     
  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger Indy6 said…

    Funny. These days, if one criticizes Israel for anything, they are anti-semitic, as if Israel has the backing of every Jewish person on earth. Well, it doesn't.

    Let us not forget that Israel would not exist were it not for anti-semetism, and I am not talking about Hitler, though his horrendous actions certainly helped in the creation of the state of Israel.

    The Brits and the Yanks helped create the state of Israel out of guilt and anti-semitism; guilt for not having done something sooner, even though our government had a very good idea what was happening in Europe, to the Jews, and millions of others, and because, neither country wanted to try to absorb all the Jews of Europe and the Soviet Union.

    Prior to WWII, the United States was rife with anti-semitism.

    Since 9/11 I have wanted to understand what the hell the problem is over there. I have always been a supporter of Israel. I have come to hve some questions about it, though

    Here is one thing I can't quite figure out. Why on this God's green earth, would anyone want to live where they are despised and under-attack all the time, on land that was not theirs, but was given to them by an occupying power, the Brits?

    This is the 21st century. If anyone says that the people of Israel actually believe that God gave them that land for all eternity, I think I will scream.

    We simply cannot go on, spending tax dollars because people insist on believing myth as literal reality, I don't care what religion they espouse.

    It's just crazy!

    I have come to believe that the re-establishment of a Jewish state in the middle east, populated with Jews who came from Europe, was a mistake. It is a mistake that we are all going to have to fess up to before we can ever hope to find a peaceful resolution.

     
  • At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Schoenman: The Genocidal Invasion of Palestine (and Lebanon)

    MP3 file.
    http://radio4houston.org/takingaim/takingaim060704.mp3

     
  • At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Does Israel have the right to defend itself from missile attacks and kidnapping???If yes, then the issue is solely whether the anti Israelis posting here have another credible solution.But it is up to Israel to decide what precisely their response will be, and they will ALWAYS hit back hard....always have...and the result is ALWAYS more Arabs killed then Israelis.Sooo would it be acceptable if the Hezballah tomorrow succeed in killing 800 Israelis??? Then the battle is somehow just and fair, because the casualty rates are more equal numerically. This is bizarre logic. If the rockets cease firing, the destruction of Lebanon will stop also.

     
  • At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous said:
    " and the result is ALWAYS more Arabs killed than Israelis."

    So to him "Arab" is the key word in his reasoning - not innocent children, women, men, boys, girls. The key is to KILL -- not to kill the enemy or soliders. Just kill anybody in sight or in his home or in his school. How enlightened.

    Tonight's news said Israel has killed about 36 Hezbollah "soldiers" and the rest of the victims were not involved in the "war" on Israel. It seems it's not so much anti-semitism" as it is"anti-arab."

     
  • At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The 10:55 post conveniently overlooked the hundreds of innocent Israeli men,women and children killed by targeting by suicide bombers....no chance accidental hit...a determined planned hit on innocents.And when Hezbollah sends a Katyusha into Israel, I guess they are only aiming at soldiers. What a bigotted assessment. Israel=killers of children. Hezballah and the other suicide bombers= fighters for freedom. I reject such hypocracy.I want ALL killing to stop, but there is a difference between hostile aggresion and defensive retaliation. Can you not comprehend that????And I don't say or suggest or believe that "Arab" is the key word. That is your warped reasoning, not mine.

     
  • At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I fully agree with Andy. Its the Iranians who are manipulating the whole issue using the emotional but less smart Hizbollah and Hamas as pawns to attack Israel and in turn provoke it to act the way they have acted for their own ulterior benefit of diverting the raging nuclear issue .
    Todays Iran was once called Persia known for its thirst for blood and power, their reputation for high culture not withstanding. They were not unlike Romans cultured but savages in a way. India was a victim of these viscious people when they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Indians and looted the country umpteen times. The peacock throne in their possession now is the living eveidence of their unholy past
    The Lebanon can be likened to a bed infested with bed bugs. And what do you do to rid them off? Hit it hard to the floor to expel the bed bugs. And the innocent bed gets the beatings, but then it allowed the bed bugs to infest.Well it has to pay for it. Thats what the Lebanese are paying for their sin of complicity.

     
  • At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Indian said…

    I fully agree with Andy. Its the Iranians who are manipulating the whole issue using the emotional but less smart Hizbollah and Hamas as pawns to attack Israel and in turn provoke it to act the way they have acted for their own ulterior benefit of diverting the raging nuclear issue .
    Todays Iran was once called Persia known for its thirst for blood and power, their reputation for high culture not withstanding. They were not unlike Romans cultured but savages in a way. India was a victim of these viscious people when they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Indians and looted the country umpteen times. The peacock throne in their possession now is the living eveidence of their unholy past
    The Lebanon can be likened to a bed infested with bed bugs. And what do you do to rid them off? Hit it hard to the floor to expel the bed bugs. And the innocent bed gets the beatings, but then it allowed the bed bugs to infest.Well it has to pay for it. Thats what the Lebanese are paying for their sin of complicity.

     
  • At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Andy Ostroy said…

    Indian-anonymous,
    enough of the bed bug comments. what do you think Bill Clinton reads this website?

     
  • At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My first time here. Impression?

    You are an idiot. No logical progression of causal factors. And what about the (illegal) Palestinian occupation? I guess that has nothing to do with it.

    Resistance (in the eyes of the oppressed) is NOT terrorism (in the eyes of the oppressor). This pattern is recognizable throughout history. I suggest you read some history.

    My last time here. Definitely.

    From,

    A Liberal or Conservative (I bet you don't know what these labels really mean either). Just not as dumb.

     
  • At 4:31 PM, Anonymous First Timer said…

    OSTROY,
    YOU SUCK!!

     
  • At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lordy... the abysmal idiocy of these ranters. Can't you trolls at least TRY to make a legitamate argument.
    Marty

     
  • At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As pundits and policymakers scramble to explain events in Lebanon, their conclusions are virtually unanimous: Hizbullah created this crisis. Israel is defending itself. The underlying problem is Arab extremism.
    Sadly, this is pure analytical nonsense. Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 was a direct result of Israel's silent but unrelenting aggression against Lebanon, which in turn is part of a six-decades long Arab-Israeli conflict.
    Read on this Christian Science Monitor article http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0801/p09s02-coop.html

     

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