July 12, 2006
Now that Hezbollah has "abducted" two Israeli
soldiers in Lebanon, we can expect a "wider Mideast military
confrontation," according to Bloomberg.
Ehud Olmert holds "Lebanon responsible for the fate of the missing
soldiers," who were captured near Aita al-Shaab on the Lebanese side of
the border, that is to say the soldiers violated the sovereignty of
Lebanon, a common occurrence.
"Israeli ground forces also crossed into Lebanon to hunt for the missing soldiers, Israeli Army Radio said," reports Reuters,
and then offers an excuse, per usual: "Israeli troops have not struck
deep into Lebanon since they withdrew from a southern border strip in
2000 after Hizbollah’s Shi’ite fighters waged an 18-year war of
attrition against them," in other words they resisted the illegal
occupation of the southern part of their country, as they now resist
the illegal occupation of the Shebaa Farms area and continual Israeli
border provocations (and violations of Lebanese airspace by Israeli
fighter jets). No mention of this by Reuters or Bloomberg.
Like the civilians of Gaza, the civilians of Lebanon will be required to pay for Hezbollah capturing prisoners of war.
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz warned the Lebanese government that
the Israeli military will target infrastructure and 'turn back the
clock in Lebanon by 20 years,’ if the soldiers were not returned,
Israeli TV reported," notes the Associated Press.
Only a little bit of translation is required, as Israel does not
usually mince words. Israel will destroy civilian infrastructure in
Lebanon, as it did in Gaza, a violation of international humanitarian
law. But then Israel in Palestine and Lebanon, as the United States in
Iraq and Afghanistan, does not do international law.
Of course, the New York Times
chimed in. "The fighting erupted when Hezbollah attacked northern
Israel with rocket fire this morning, injuring several Israeli
civilians in the northwestern town of Shlomi, the Israeli military
said. Israel responded with artillery fire and air strikes that
targeted Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon. Later, Israeli
troops moved into southern Lebanon in the first such incursion since
Israel pulled its troops back into Israel in 2000." Reading the New
York Times, or any other corporate media newspaper for that matter, you
get the impression Hezbollah simply fires Katyusha rockets into
northern Israel out of vindictiveness. Israel’s border provocations and
targeting of Lebanese civilians is rarely mentioned.
predictable fashion, Israel is now attacking Lebanese civilians in
response to the "abduction" (capture) of its soldiers. "In southern
Lebanon, Israeli fighter jets bombed five bridges in quick succession,
effectively cutting off that region from the rest of the country. At
least two Lebanese civilians were killed in one of the bridge strikes,
civil defense officials said, and a power plant was badly damaged.
Airstrikes hit the cities of Marjuyun and Kfar Shouba, and warships
shelled roads connecting cities to each other."
the Times chalks all of this up to an attempt to stop the movement of
the "kidnappers," or resistance forces in engaged in a long
tradition—taking prisoners during wartime. "Troops entered Lebanon soon
after the 9 a.m. abduction, striking 30 military and infrastructure
targets in an effort to slow the movements of the gunmen holding the
kidnapped soldiers." Of course, destroying "infrastructure targets"
will not stop Hezbollah, although it will create a refugee problem and
make life a living hell for Lebanese civilians. "Scores of suddenly
stranded Lebanese wandered back roads looking for a way home—their
faces grim and worried, their belongings stuffed into plastic bags.
Sirens wailed in the background."
Since the 2000 "pullback"
(i.e., the Hezbollah resistance defeated Israel), the Israeli military
has consistently attacked civilian infrastructure in Lebanon. In 2000,
for instance, Israel targeted three key electric plants "that limited
power supplies to a few hours a day for Beirut and other parts of
Lebanon," as the Los Angeles Times noted at the time. As Israeli diplomat Abba Eban
explained in 1981, attacking and slaughtering civilians is a "rational
prospect." Hizbollah understands this policy all to well, as do the
civilians of al-Mansouri, Majdal Zoune, Zibqin, Kafra, Yater, Eita
al-Jabal, al-Ezizeh, and other Lebanese cities indiscriminately shelled
by Israeli artillery over the years. A prime example of this brutality
can be seen in the Israeli shelling of Qana, a village located
southeast of Tyre, resulting in the killing of 106 civilians.
should be obvious what is going on here—Olmert and the Likudites are
escalating hostilities in the region in an effort to draw the United
States in even more, the situation in Iraq not withstanding.
the Likudites, and their neocon collaborators understand well the
military prowess and red ink checkbook of the United States will be
required to take on the Lebanese, Syrians, Iranians, and the
Palestinians, long designated mortal enemies of the Israeli state. For
as Israeli foreign policy expert Yehoshafat Harkabi noted in 1988,
"Israeli intentions to impose a Pax Israelica on the Middle East, to
dominate the Arab countries and treat them harshly," cannot be
accomplished, considering current realities. "Writing from a realist
perspective, Harkabi concluded that Israel did not have the power to
achieve that goal, given the strength of the Arab states, the large
Palestinian population involved, and the vehement opposition of world
opinion. He hoped that 'the failed Israeli attempt to impose a new
order in the weakest Arab state—Lebanon—will disabuse people of similar
ambitions in other territories.’ Left unconsidered by Harkabi was the
possibility that the United States would act as Israel’s proxy to
achieve the overall goal," writes Stephen J. Sniegoski.
fact, it appears this is precisely what Israel is attempting to do now.
Soon enough, Israel will paint itself into a corner, unable to stem the
growing tide of resentment and violent reaction, and will call on the
United States to attack its enemies. Or, more to the point, Israel’s
vocal choir in the United States will demand a response, beginning with
Syria and eventually Iran, two targets already highlighted on the
neocon hit list, the "evil empire" roster.
writing for Reuters, muses: "The violence has knocked the hopes of many
Israelis that it might one day be possible to break from conflict with
various foes through a mixture of withdrawing from some occupied land
and protecting boundaries with overwhelming force."
need to realize their government never had any intention of ending the
"conflict with various foes" who had and continue to have their land
systematically stolen, their communities destroyed, their civilian
infrastructure targeted. Israelis need to go back to the United Nations
Partition Plan (resolution 181) conceived in 1947 (see this map). Instead, the Palestinians live on a fraction of land as original proposed (see this page).
Israelis need to realize they support apartheid, a refashioned and
high-tech Warsaw ghetto wall, and also understand their society is
riddled with anti-Arab racism and hatred.
Israelis need to consider the following quotes issued from their founders and leaders:
is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and
threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist." — Golda Meir
Statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.
"How can we
return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to." —
Golda Meir (quoted in Chapter 13 of The Zionist Connection II: What
Price Peace by Alfred Lilienthal )
"We shall try to spirit the
penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it
in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own
country …. expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried
out discreetly and circumspectly." — Theodore Herzl (from Rafael Patai,
Ed. The Complete Diaries of Theodore Herzl, Vol I)
"… it is
the duty of the [Israeli] leadership to explain to the public a number
of truths. One truth is that there is no Zionism, no settlement, and no
Jewish state without evacuating Arabs, and without expropriating lands
and their fencing off." — Yesha’ayahu Ben-Porat, (Yedi’ot Aharonot
07/14/1972) responding to public controversy regarding the Israeli
evictions of Palestinians in Rafah, Gaza, in 1972. (Cited in Nur
Masalha’s "A Land Without A People" 1997, p.98)
point of Labor’s Zionist program is to have as much land as possible
and as few Arabs as possible!" –Yitzhak Navon ("moderate" ex-Israeli
president and a leading labor party politician.) Cited on p.179 of Nur
Masalha’s A Land without a People who cites Bernard Avishai’s The
Tragedy of Zionism 1985 p.340
"One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail."
–Rabbi Ya’acov Perin in his eulogy at the funeral of mass murderer Dr. Baruch Goldstein.
"In working for Palestine, I would even ally myself with the devil"
– Vladimir Jabotinsky founder of Revisionist Zionism (Likud party roots)
responding to condemnation for his alliance with Ukrainian pogromist Petlyura.
strategic terms, the settlements (in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza) are of
no importance." What makes them important, he added, was that "they
constitute an obstacle, an unsurmountable obstacle to the establishment
of an independent Arab State west of the river Jordan."
–Binyamin Begin, (son of the late Menahem Begin and a prominent voice
in the Likud party writing in 1991, Quoted on page 159 of Findley’s
fathers had reached the frontiers recognized in the partition plan; the
Six-Day War generation has managed to reach Suez, Jordan, and the Golan
Heights. This is not the end. After the present cease-fire lines, there
will be new ones. They will extend beyond Jordan … to Lebanon and … to
central Syria as well."
– Moshe Dayan to Zionist youth at a meeting in the Golan Heights July, 1968
[Israel] have typically concealed the continually expansionist nature
of their project from their western sponsors and pursued a "step by
step" process toward these goals. While pointing to militant Arab
rhetoric to frighten Jews and convince them that the Arab world is
genocidal against Jews and that no peace is possible with them, Israeli
leaders have been quite aware of the actual inability of the Arab world
to deliver on this militant rhetoric. "
–Rosemary and Herman Ruether in "The Wrath of Jonah" (1989)
main difference between Bosnia and Palestine is that ethnic cleansing
in the former took place in the form of dramatic massacres and
slaughters which caught the world’s attention, whereas in Palestine
what is taking place is a drop-by-drop tactic in which one or two
houses are demolished daily, a few acres are taken here and there every
day, a few people are forced to leave"
–Edward Said (Washington Report 09/1998)
demolition and sealing of houses are among the most severe methods of
punishment used by the authorities against Palestinians in the Occupied
Territories. To our knowledge, this harsh form of punishment is unique
to Israel and is not employed by any other nation. Demolition and
sealing of houses in the territories contravene international law that
prohibits collective punishment and arbitrary injury to property."
– B’Tselem, an Israeli Human Rights Organization.
is an open secret that Israeli policy makers hoped for a massive
emigration of Palestinians as a result of economic and demographic
pressure. Therefore, they also developed a clever system which caused
numerous Palestinians born here to lose their residency rights when
they went to work or study abroad."
– Amira Hass in 08/26/1998 Ha’aretz Op’Ed titled The Settlers are Not to Blame.
campaigning for the prime ministership, Binyamin Netanyahu Criticized
his Labor party opponents for missing an opportunity during the
Tiannamen Square massacre. "Had he been prime minister, he said, he
would have seized the chance then, while the world was watching China,
to carry out the transfer of the Palestinians."
– p. 137 Washington Report 09/1998
will] create in the course of the next 10 or 20 years conditions which
would attract natural and voluntary migration of the refugees from the
Gaza Strip and the west Bank to Jordan. To achieve this we have to come
to agreement with King Hussein and not with Yasser Arafat."
– Yitzhak Rabin (a "Prince of Peace" by Clinton’s standards),
explaining his method of ethnically cleansing the occupied land without
stirring a world outcry. (Quoted in David Shipler in the New York
Times, 04/04/1983 citing Meir Cohen’s remarks to the Kenesset’s foreign
affairs and defense committee on March 16.)
solidify their gains after the 1967 war, according to UN figures, the
Israelis destroyed during the period between June 11, 1967 and November
15, 1969 some 7,554 Palestinian Arab homes in the territories seized
during that war; this figure excluded thirty-five villages in the
occupied Golan Heights that were razed to the ground. In the two years
between September 1969 and 1971 the figure was estimated to have
reached 16,312 homes."
–from The Zionist Connection II, by Alfred Lilienthal, p.160. 1978
came and took, by means of uprooting and expulsion, a land that was
Arab. We wanted to be a colonialist occupier, and yet to come across as
moral at the same time… The Arab armies — chiefly from Egypt, Syria,
Iraq and Transjordan, now Jordan — totaled just over 20,000 men. The
core of the Arab nations’ fighting forces remained behind, in part to
ensure the internal stability of their own fledgling regimes….
Crucially, Israel had a quiet agreement with Transjordan that its Arab
Legion, the strongest of the invading armies, would take over only the
West Bank, which the U.N. partition plan had intended as the center of
a Palestinian Arab State."
– Ilan Pappe’, Israeli Historian at Haifa University.
then everyone in Israel spoke about Arabs who had just run away in
1948, but there existed no real historical research on it. There were
two conflicting propaganda versions, one Arab and another Jewish. As
one who received his education in Israel, I thought I knew that the
Arabs had 'run away.’ But I knew nothing else. The Jewish generations
of 1948, however, knew the truth and deliberately misrepresented it.
They knew there were plenty of mass deportations, massacres and rapes .
. . . The soldiers and the officials knew, but they suppressed what
they knew and were deliberately disseminating lies."
– Israeli Historian Benny Morris in an interview with Rami Tal published in Israeli Daily Yediot Ahronot December 1994.
conquests included not only such major cities as Jaffa, Lydda and Acre,
but also 418 Palestinian villages that were destroyed and another 100
villages that were occupied by Jews. In all Israelis took over more
than 50,000 homes, 10,000 shops and 1,000 warehouses. It was estimated
that about a quarter of the buildings in the new state were originally
the property of the Palestinians."
– p. 72 of Fallen Pillars by Donald Neff
plundering of Palestinian property by Jews [in 1948] was so common that
it caused Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to confide to his diary that
he was 'bitterly surprised’ by the 'mass robbery’ in which all parts of
the population participated. […] Tom Segev reported: 'In Haifa, Jaffa
and Jerusalem there were many civilians among the looters.’ Another
Israeli writer, Moshe Smilanky, reported: 'Individuals, groups and
communities, men, women and children, all fell on the spoils. Doors,
windows, lintels, brinks, roof-tiles, floor-tiles, junk and machine
parts …’ Segev commented that Smilansky 'could have also added to the
list toilet bowls, sinks, faucets and light bulbs.’"
– p.68 of Fallen Pillars by Donald Neff
(Classic Quotes on Zionism, from the Jerusalemites website.)