Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel's Actions

Imshin quotes an Israeli expert named Ehud Ya'ari as saying that most civilian casualties in southern Lebanon were families of Hizbullah members who stored rockets in their homes. This strikes me as believable, as it would be consistent with both Israel's military practice as demonstrated in Gaza and the long-standing practice of militant groups in the Middle East working from densely populated areas, effectively using locals as human shields.

However, I'm still having trouble buying the offered reasons for Israel's assault. On CNN earlier today, an IDF spokesman was claiming it as a response to rocket fire against northern Israel. The latest round of rocket fire, however, came only after Israel began its assault. I attributed Operation Summer Rain to the gradual escalation of violence and the Qassam fire as much as Gilad Shalit, but I'm starting to suspect the key to both operations is really IDF force protection. In the same post, Imshin links to a source suggesting that Iran might be hoping to use its alliance with Hizbullah as a means of responding to a military strike on its own nuclear facilities. That danger may account for President Bush's approach to the problem.

Imshin also links to a post arguing that socialists should be supporting Israel. I have trouble with the idea that the attacks were "unprovoked," as I don't think you can carve out the Palestinian territories and say that just because Israel has withdrawn from some of them, Palestinians living in those territories should stop caring about those still under occupation. However, this is worth considering:
"The real question for socialists when a war like this breaks out is to look at what will happen if either side wins. Let us imagine that Israel wins -- meaning that the captured soldiers are returned and the rocket attacks from Gaza and Lebanon end. The result will not only be good for Israel, but good for the Palestinians and Lebanese as well. The Islamo-fascists will be weakened. Democratic and secular forces will be strengthened. Socialists should cheer this on.

"Now image what happens if Hamas and Hizbollah win. They over-run the Jewish state, slaughtering and expelling its several million Jewish inhabitants. They create a reactionary theocratic dictatorship along the lines of their benefactor, Iran. No one benefits -- not the Jews, not the Arabs. This a result that only fascists could applaud."


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