Life and Death Lessons from Lebanon
Israelâ€™s uneasy relationship with its neighbor, Lebanon, spans decades and is marked by violence, subterfuge and a bloody battle against Arab terrorism. Like the ongoing Palestinian war forced upon Israel, the Lebanese conflict drones on and on, fueled by Islamic terrorism, as well as by the pan-Arab desire to mass-murder all Israelis living in the Jewish homeland.
The central figures in the conflict include the worldâ€™s most malicious terror-sponsoring states of Iran and Syria. The Lebanese-based Islamic murder organization Hizbullah is described by U.S. defense officials as being on par with al Qaeda on the â€˜Aâ€™ List of global terrorism, armed and trained by Iran and Syria. In addition to continuously firing missiles into Israeli civilian population centers, Hizbullah has massacred dozens of American soldiers and civilians, and is regarded as a future target of the U.S. war on terrorism. And awkwardly sitting on the sidelines is the Lebanese government -- a powerless puppet of Syria, which controls Lebanon with an iron fist. Rounding out the picture is Israel in the dual role of both victim and culprit, according to many observers.
Israel in the role of victim is plain to see: While Syria, Iran and Hizbullah openly call for the genocide of Israeli civilians, the Arabsâ€™ missiles rain down regularly on Israeli towns, creating a situation that is clearly intolerable. One can imagine, for example, what the reaction of the U.S. or Britain would be if Iran shot missiles into downtown Chicago, or into Londonâ€¦
But Israel in the role of culprit is a more complicated matter. While Ariel Sharon was forced to create a security zone in Lebanon in the 80s, Barakâ€™s shameful midnight retreat opened the door to a new understanding among Israelâ€™s Arab enemies. Indeed, the Arabs and Iranians came to view Israel as a weak, fractured society capable of being driven to defeat by Islamic terrorism.
Similarly, Israelâ€™s military restraint and reluctance to achieve a decisive victory against Hizbullah and Lebanonâ€™s collectively guilty Shiâ€™ite population caused the Arabs to view Israelâ€™s hands as being bound by the shackles of Europeâ€™s Arab allies. So much so, in fact, that Israelâ€™s perceived weakness was exploited by the Palestinians who began their second intifada (terrorism campaign) against Israel immediately after Barakâ€™s Lebanese rout.
But among the lessons that Israel needs to internalize in the event of another Lebanese war, is that the true centers of terrorism must be attacked, in addition to Hizbullah. From the civilian and military infrastructures of Lebanon, Damascus and Teheran, Israel must wreak havoc in accordance with the successful American devastation of the Taliban regime.
And while the current water crisis looms as a â€œcasus belliâ€ (provocation for war) over the Mideast, this latest Arab assault on Israeli civilian infrastructure, is merely a continuation of its decades-old racist vendetta against the Jewish people of Israel.
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