Lebanon Under Attack - JULY 2006

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Lebanon Under Attack - JULY 2006

Postby zeez » Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:15 pm

What I am watching in Lebanon each day is an outrage
By Robert Fisk in Mdeirej, Central Lebanon
Published: 15 July 2006


The beautiful viaduct that soars over the mountainside here has become a " terrorist" target. The Israelis attacked the international highway from Beirut to Damascus just after dawn yesterday and dropped a bomb clean through the central span of the Italian-built bridge - a symbol of Lebanon's co-operation with the European Union - sending concrete crashing hundreds of feet down into the valley beneath. It was the pride of the murdered ex-prime minister Rafik Hariri, the face of a new, emergent Lebanon. And now it is a " terrorist" target.

So I drove gingerly along the old mountain road towards the Bekaa yesterday - the Israeli jets were hissing through the sky above me - turned the corner once I rejoined the highway, and found a 50ft crater with an old woman climbing wearily down the side on her hands and knees, trying to reach her home in the valley that glimmered to the east. This too had become a " terrorist" target.

It is now the same all over Lebanon. In the southern suburbs - where the Hizbollah, captors of the two missing Israeli soldiers, have their headquarters - a massive bomb had blasted off the sides of apartment blocks next to a church, splintering windows and crashing balconies down on to parked cars. This too had become a "terrorist" target.

One man was brought out shrieking with pain, covered in blood. Another " terrorist" target. All the way to the airport were broken bridges, holed roads. All these were "terrorist" targets. At the airport, tongues of fire blossomed into the sky from aircraft fuel storage tanks, darkening west Beirut. These too were now "terrorist" targets.
At Jiyeh, the Israelis attacked the power station. This too was a "terrorist" target.

Yet when I drove to the actual headquarters of the Hizbollah, a tall building in Haret Hreik, it was totally undamaged. Only last night did the Israelis manage to hit it.

So can the Lebanese be forgiven - can anyone here be forgiven - for believing that the Israelis have a greater interest in destroying Lebanon than they do in their two soldiers?

No wonder Middle East Airlines, the national Lebanese airline, put crews into its four stranded Airbuses at Beirut airport early yesterday and sneaked them out of the country for Amman before the Israelis realised they were under power and leaving.

European politicians have talked about Israel's "disproportionate" response to Wednesday's capture of its soldiers. They are wrong. What I am now watching in Lebanon each day is an outrage. How can there be any excuse - any - for the 73 dead Lebanese civilians blown apart these past three days?

The same applies, of course, to the four Israeli civilians killed by Hizbollah rockets. But - please note - the exchange rate of Israeli civilian lives to Lebanese civilian lives now stands at one to more than 15. This does not include two children atomised in their home in Dweir on Thursday whose bodies cannot be found. Their six brothers and sisters were buried yesterday, with their mother and father. Another "terrorist" target. So was a neighbouring family with five children who were also buried yesterday. Another "terrorist" target.

Terrorist, terrorist, terrorist. There is something perverse about all this, the slaughter and the massive destruction and the self-righteous, constant, cancerous use of the word "terrorist". No, let us not forget that the Hizbollah broke international law, crossed the Israeli border, killed three Israeli soldiers, captured two others and dragged them back through the border fence. It was an act of calculated ruthlessness that should never allow Hizbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to grin so broadly at his press conference. It has brought unparalleled tragedy to countless innocents in Lebanon. And of course, it has led Hizbollah to fire at least 170 Katyusha rockets into Israel.

But what would happen if the powerless Lebanese government had unleashed air attacks across Israel the last time Israel's troops crossed into Lebanon? What if the Lebanese air force then killed 73 Israeli civilians in bombing raids in Ashkelon, Tel Aviv and Israeli West Jerusalem? What if a Lebanese fighter aircraft bombed Ben Gurion airport? What if a Lebanese plane destroyed 26 road bridges across Israel? Would it not be called " terrorism"? I rather think it would.
But if Israel was the victim, it would probably also be World War Three.

Of course, Lebanon cannot attack Tel Aviv. Its air force comprises three ancient Hawker Hunters and an equally ancient fleet of Vietnam-era Huey helicopters. Syria, however, has missiles that can reach Tel Aviv. So Syria - which Israel rightly believes to be behind Wednesday's Hizbollah attack - is not going to be bombed. It is Lebanon which must be punished.

The Israeli leadership intends to "break" the Hizbollah and destroy its "terrorist cancer". Really? Do the Israelis really believe they can "break" one of the toughest guerrilla armies in the world? And how?

There are real issues here. Under UN Security Council Resolution 1559 - the same resolution that got the Syrian army out of Lebanon - the Shia Muslim Hizbollah should have been disarmed. They were not because, if the Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, had tried to do so, the Lebanese army would have had to fight them and the army would almost certainly have broken apart because most Lebanese soldiers are Shia Muslims. We could see the restarting of the civil war in Lebanon - a fact which Nasrallah is cynically aware of - but attempts by Siniora and his cabinet colleagues to find a new role for Hizbollah, which has a minister in the government (he is Minister of Labour) foundered. And the greatest danger now is that the Lebanese government will collapse and be replaced by a pro-Syrian government which could reinvite the Syrians back into the country.

So there's a real conundrum to be solved. But it's not going to succeed with the mass bombing of the country by Israel. Nor the obsession with terrorists, terrorists, terrorists.
Last edited by zeez on Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Independant - London - July 21, 2006

Postby zeez » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:18 pm

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It's not land Israel wants - it's WATER

Postby Black Mamba » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:11 pm

It's not land Israel wants - it's WATER

It all makes sense now. Land, Water, Energy - Israelis want TOTAL control over all the Middle East's resources and they'll stop at nothing to get it.
[Extracted from a paper prepared [in] October 1997.]

* * *

Some experts have suggested that rumours of Jordanian and Syrian plans to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River were the principal cause of the 1967 war between Israel and the Arab states. Others believe that Israel's systematic exploitation of the water resources of the West Bank has been the main reason for its reluctance to consider a peace agreement based on the exchange of land for peace, and that the control of the flow of the Litani River is the real reason for Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon.

The Litani, located entirely within Lebanon, derives its hydro-political importance from the fact that it runs within easy tunneling distance to the present Israeli-Lebanese border. It runs actually less than 10 kilometers from the Israeli controlled upper reaches of the Jordan. Israel had hoped to connect the Litani with the Jordan, thus enabling it to pump those waters into Israel proper.

The plan to seize the Litani has a long history. It had been articulated for the first time in the 1920s by one of the Zionist organisations but the objective became more serious following the 1967 war, as Israel wanted more water than had been garnered from the war. The timing for the capture of the Litani in 1978 was logical: if South Lebanon were secured at the time, the waters of the Litani would be available for Israeli use by some point in the mid-1980s, when Israel anticipated that the waters captured in the 1967 war would be fully used up and more water needed. However, as things stand now, the coveted waters of the Litani remain undeveloped for Lebanon and in limbo for Israel.

On the whole, the 1967 war secured the capture of about 900 mcm/y of water for the Israelis, or nearly half of their water use. These waters are now so many arguments against any kind of settlement with the Palestinians which would involve restitution of that water. . .

* * *

Israel 'aiming for Litani river'
01/08/2006 - 07:04:01
[source: breakingnews.ie]

The Israeli army will move deeper into southern Lebanon and hold on to that territory for several weeks, until a multinational force can deploy there, senior Israeli officials said today.

Israel Radio, Israel Army Radio and a senior Israeli government official said ground forces would reach the Litani river, about 30km north of the Israeli-Lebanese border. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to discuss decisions of closed-door government meetings with reporters.

Ephraim Sneh, a senior Labour Party lawmaker, indirectly confirmed the planned push until the Litani. Asked by Israel Radio how long troops would hold on to that territory, up to the Litani, Sneh said: “We are not talking about days we are talking about longer, but not about months.”

However, two other government officials said Israel’s security cabinet, which met late yesterday, only approved taking a smaller area of land, a strip of about seven kilometres (four miles) from the border.

Sneh, a former deputy defence minister, spoke hours after top cabinet ministers approved a broader ground offensive into southern Lebanon.

“The goal is not to occupy Lebanon,” Sneh said, adding that the goal is to hold onto the territory until a multinational force can be deployed to the Israel-Lebanon border.


"The goal" is merely to control and consume all its resources.

Israel won't stop until they've consumed it all.
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Hizbullah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions in Lebanon

Postby zeez » Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:25 am

I don't think it is serious to assume that Israel is a SELFISH and HUNGRY MACHINE who wants to eat ALL of the Middle-East. This is a typical anti-jewish attitude that pretends the jews want to control the World... I think this is the case with ARABISM and now ISLAMISM... But not Zionism... which has much more modest goals...!

Israel is small, and they are a minority... Minorities must be protected against majorities... Israel evolved into a violent paranoiac machine because it had to face and fight FROM ALL SIDES... a terrible ideology: Arabisme first, and now Islamism... It is a story of terror against terror, and in my humble opinion the Palestinian are as guilty as Israel...

Hizbullah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon
By Anders Strindberg
Thursday, 08/03/06
Christan Science Monitor

NEW YORK – 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.

Since its withdrawal of occupation forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored "blue line" on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports. Hizbullah's military doctrine, articulated in the early 1990s, states that it will fire Katyusha rockets into Israel only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians or Hizbullah's leadership; this indeed has been the pattern.

In the process of its violations, Israel has terrorized the general population, destroyed private property, and killed numerous civilians. This past February, for instance, 15-year-old shepherd Yusuf Rahil was killed by unprovoked Israeli cross-border fire as he tended his flock in southern Lebanon. Israel has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanese cities and continues to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area, while refusing to hand over the maps of mine fields that continue to kill and cripple civilians in southern Lebanon more than six years after the war supposedly ended. What peace did Hizbullah shatter?

Hizbullah's capture of the soldiers took place in the context of this ongoing conflict, which in turn is fundamentally shaped by realities in the Palestinian territories. To the vexation of Israel and its allies, Hizbullah - easily the most popular political movement in the Middle East - unflinchingly stands with the Palestinians.

Since June 25, when Palestinian fighters captured one Israeli soldier and demanded a prisoner exchange, Israel has killed more than 140 Palestinians. Like the Lebanese situation, that flare-up was detached from its wider context and was said to be "manufactured" by the enemies of Israel; more nonsense proffered in order to distract from the apparently unthinkable reality that it is the manner in which Israel was created, and the ideological premises that have sustained it for almost 60 years, that are the core of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.

Once the Arabs had rejected the UN's right to give away their land and to force them to pay the price for European pogroms and the Holocaust, the creation of Israel in 1948 was made possible only by ethnic cleansing and annexation. This is historical fact and has been documented by Israeli historians, such as Benny Morris. Yet Israel continues to contend that it had nothing to do with the Palestinian exodus, and consequently has no moral duty to offer redress.

For six decades the Palestinian refugees have been refused their right to return home because they are of the wrong race. "Israel must remain a Jewish state," is an almost sacral mantra across the Western political spectrum. It means, in practice, that Israel is accorded the right to be an ethnocracy at the expense of the refugees and their descendants, now close to 5 million.

Is it not understandable that Israel's ethnic preoccupation profoundly offends not only Palestinians, but many of their Arab brethren? Yet rather than demanding that Israel acknowledge its foundational wrongs as a first step toward equality and coexistence, the Western world blithely insists that each and all must recognize Israel's right to exist at the Palestinians' expense.

Western discourse seems unable to accommodate a serious, as opposed to cosmetic concern for Palestinians' rights and liberties: The Palestinians are the Indians who refuse to live on the reservation; the Negroes who refuse to sit in the back of the bus.

By what moral right does anyone tell them to be realistic and get over themselves? That it is too much of a hassle to right the wrongs committed against them? That the front of the bus must remain ethnically pure? When they refuse to recognize their occupier and embrace their racial inferiority, when desperation and frustration causes them to turn to violence, and when neighbors and allies come to their aid - some for reasons of power politics, others out of idealism - we are astonished that they are all such fanatics and extremists.

The fundamental obstacle to understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict is that we have given up on asking what is right and wrong, instead asking what is "practical" and "realistic." Yet reality is that Israel is a profoundly racist state, the existence of which is buttressed by a seemingly endless succession of punitive measures, assassinations, and wars against its victims and their allies.

A realistic understanding of the conflict, therefore, is one that recognizes that the crux is not in this or that incident or policy, but in Israel's foundational and per- sistent refusal to recognize the humanity of its Palestinian victims. Neither Hizbullah nor Hamas are driven by a desire to "wipe out Jews," as is so often claimed, but by a fundamental sense of injustice that they will not allow to be forgotten.

These groups will continue to enjoy popular legitimacy because they fulfill the need for someone - anyone - to stand up for Arab rights. Israel cannot destroy this need by bombing power grids or rocket ramps. If Israel, like its former political ally South Africa, has the capacity to come to terms with principles of democracy and human rights and accept egalitarian multiracial coexistence within a single state for Jews and Arabs, then the foundation for resentment and resistance will have been removed. If Israel cannot bring itself to do so, then it will continue to be the vortex of regional violence.
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