Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More B.S. From Israel

I've remained largely silent on the whole Israeli invasion of Lebanon, because quite frankly what can be said about the situation that won't be taken by some readers (falsely) as anti-Semitism? And what could be said that really hasn't been said already a million times before?

But a news article from Reuters today had me thinking that letting this go without comment would be against my personal sense of decency.

Okay, so Israel is demanding it will halt its pull-out from Lebanon unless the Lebanese military steps in to bolster the cease-fire. Except, and as Israel's government well knows, Lebanon's military has been pretty badly pounded and is unable to deploy. So what we have here is a demand by Israel's government that it knows cannot be met, just so it has an excuse to keep its forces in Lebanon.

Jews suffered a great deal in the last century, but they're not the only ones to have someone try to wipe them off the face of the planet as the ongoing genocide in Darfur and the Congo and other parts of Africa can attest. And frankly, sooner or later the Holocaust stops being a valid excuse for unprovoked aggression against neighbors in the region, and enforcing a system of apartheid against the Palestinians.

Don't get me wrong; it's one thing to defend yourself from people trying to kill you. But you don't accomplish that by killing innocent women and children. Hezbollah may have kidnapped a couple of soldiers, hoping they could manage a prisoner swap. But that does not excuse waging war on the whole of Lebanon, reducing its neighborhoods to rubble and murdering women and children while preventing any and every means of escape or aid from happening.

Now before anyone starts thinking about calling me a Jew-hater, I want you to think about the dangers of nationalist thinking, the kind that sees any and all dissent as unpatriotic, treasonous, or an attack on the entire people or nation. Germany went through that phase in its history, and look what happened. Israelis need to realize that their government and the minority of extremists to which it caters have turned into the very thing that tried to wipe out all Jews more than sixty years ago. Nationalist thinking prevents critical self-analysis, and forces rational minds out of the discussion--indeed, it ends all discussion.

The fact of the matter is the only way to get at Hezbollah and organizations like it is to get at the causes that allow terrorism to flourish. Go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the illegal settlements in the occupied territories, make peace with the neighbors. Israel might be surprised at how the terrorist groups attacking its civilians lose influence and power.

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