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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 12:42 PM
Original message
Why Israel's Reaction is Right
SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 24, 2006, 03:18 PM

URL: http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,42...

Opinion

Why Israel's Reaction is Right

By Matthias Kntzel

(snip)

In reality, German and European public opinion does take sides -- and it tends to side with the apparent underdog and against Israel. It has almost become a reflex on the Continent. In 2003, 59 percent of all Europeans pointed to Israel as the country presenting the greatest risk to world peace. On the third day of the current crisis, fully three quarters of all Germans polled were convinced that Israel was overreacting and using too much force in its response to Hezbollah. And since then, the images coming from the war zone have set the tenor: A cease-fire, most believe, should begin as soon as possible.

I disagree -- and have four reasons for doing so.

First, Israel is fighting a just war. Germany and the European Union should unequivocally back Israel . Islamism has attacked Israel from both the south and the north and Israel has no choice but to react. But there is more to it than that. Israel's military operation is important for the entire Western world. Until 2005, Islamism was able to successfully mislead the West into thinking that the "occupation" of Gaza and southern Lebanon was the cause of the terror attacks carried out against Israel. Now we know better: Islamism isn't out to change Israeli policy in the region, Islamism is out to completely eradicate the country of Israel. The same strategy is being used on a larger scale: The Middle East conflict is not the cause of Tehran's conflict with Western secularism. It is merely a convenient alibi. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself has pointed to Islam's larger conflict with the Western world. When, in October of 2005, he called for the elimination of Israel, he added: "We are in the middle of a historical war that has been going on for hundreds of years."

(snip)

Second, Israel wants peace.

So far, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government has succeeded in coupling its military operation with transparent political goals. Every step can be justified. On the one hand, Israel recognizes Lebanon as a sovereign state, thus making it responsible for the Hezbollah attack on July 12 in which the group abducted two Israeli soldiers. On the other hand, Israel's war aims have been clearly stated. In a speech to the country's parliament, the Knesset, on July 17, Olmert said Israel is practicing "basic self defense." "We have the right to our freedom," he said. "When we have to, we know how to fight for and defend that freedom." .. Hezbollah, on the other hand, is marching to a different drummer. Their motto is: "You love life, we love death." There is nothing, gushes Hezbollah's patron Ahmadinejad, "more beautiful, holier or more eternal than the death of a martyr." Thus, Hezbollah is not only happy to kill as many Jews as possible, it is not bothered by the deaths of Shiite Muslims as well and has thus strategically based many of their rockets directly in the middle of Shiite residential districts.

(snip)

Third, there is no alternative to Israel 's current military operation.

The Jihad against Israel is the foundation of the militant group's very existence. For Hezbollah members, the destruction of Israel is not only non-negotiable, it is a religious duty. Hezbollah only understands the language of violence and Israel's military is the only force that is in a position to effectively confront Hezbollah.
Never before have the conditions been better for Israel to complete the mission of weakening Hezbollah. The longer the Israeli military can focus on the job at hand, the better the chances are that Lebanon can be freed from the influence of Hezbollah and that the conditions for a lasting peace in the region can be created.

(snip)

Fourth, Israel 's military operation has already resulted in positive effects.

One can already see some positive results from the Israeli operation -- the strength of which clearly took Hezbollah and its supporters by surprise. Whereas the process of "critical dialogue" -- supported especially by Germany -- with the Mullah dictatorship in Iran and with anti-Semitic terror groups tended to strengthen those groups, the Israeli offensive seems to have started a paradigm shift in the Middle East: For the first time in the history of the Middle East conflict, an overwhelming majority of the Arab League distanced itself from Hezbollah's "dangerous adventurism." Never before have Hezbollah and Iran -- and indirectly Hamas -- been disavowed so directly. The reaction from the "Arab Street" has likewise thus far indicated that Israel has chosen the right time and the correct method. Whereas some 2 million people between Rabat and Bahrain took to the streets in the spring of 2002 to demonstrate solidarity with Hamas during the peak of the Second Intifada, things have been relatively quiet this time around -- and this despite the largest Israeli military operation in 24 years... Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has likewise seen fit to distance himself from Hezbollah and the terrorism the group represents -- clearly the result of the weakening of an organization that has until now been able to keep the Lebanese government in line.

(snip)




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BillZBubb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Keep Catapulting that Propaganda, Question Nothing!
The article is bullshit propaganda.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Yes It Is (nt)
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
26. so it begins to sink in!
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earthside Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Israel is Wrong.
To know that, all you have to do is look at this.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. disgusting (nt)
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mazzarro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Propaganda and crappolla once again - n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. "Islamism"?
More tortured English. Does he mean "Islam" but not want to say that or what?
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. 
http://www.answers.com/topic/islamism

1.An Islamic revivalist movement, often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life.
2.The religious faith, principles, or cause of Islam.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Thank you. That was very interesting, I bookmarked it. nt
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. The Muslim equivalent of
Dominionism, but with a military force behind it, and the belief that good believers only comprise the best of nations if they command what is good and prohibit what is wrong. With a few other quirks in addition, not shared by Dominionism.

The anemic forms of Islamism strike a pose similar to that of Dominionism in its strong form.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. A very common reaction to rapid social change. nt
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savemefromdumbya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. Cheney and Israel
from what I hear Cheeny is at the back of this?
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. Jingoism and Propaganda :( eom
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RSMS9999 Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. intelligent
nothing to say but "propaganda"

Do you disagree with any of the facts mentioned?

Do you offer any alternative for Israel to do?

Did anyone actually read it?
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. mature
Ok, Israel is fighting a war of aggression. History in Europe does NOT mean squat to the present. If Israel keeps killing scores of civilians (One third of which are CHILDREN under the age of twelve), the world community will correctly NOT think well of Israel's behavior.

No, killing innocents on both sides is NOT Just.

Israel has the Mighty Killing machine and is crassly continuing the carnage because the firepower and numbers are on their side.

If they don't agree to a Cease Fire, Israel does not deserve ANY support.

The USA and Israel are the Biggest Terrorists in the World. Our mighty armies have MURDERED more innocents than Hezbollah since its inception.

And finally, when your arguments are weak, you attack the individual.

It's sad that you are seemingly just as deluded as the leaders of Israel and the USA.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. sounds like the freeper song "BUSH WAS RIGHT!" nt
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. sounds like common sense
"While Hezbollah, with their inaccurate missiles, tries to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible, Israel -- even if not always successful -- tries to limit the number of Lebanese civilian casualties.

Third, there is no alternative to Israel's current military operation.

Will Hezbollah ever willingly give up their weapons? Not a chance!"

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. I don't see how it's
possible to believe that israel is trying to limit civilian deaths. While I don't adhere to the belief that israel is deliberately targeting civilians, the callous indifference they're exhibiting toward civilians is undeniable. There is nothing justifiable about the Israeli bombing of Lebanon.
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Baselinereality Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
17. Here's a Brief, Incomplete, Rapid Rejection Of Your Argument
The article stated that:

1. Israel is fighting a just war. My response? NO IT ISN'T. (Granted, it's not a very long-winded response, but this is my first post so it will take a while for me to get a good head of steam going.) Israel didn't wake up two weeks ago to suddenly find itself surrounded by militant Arabic factions; they've been duking it out with people for 60 years in order to maintain their little corner of the desert. The only way to classify what Israel has been doing to the innocent people of Lebanon for the past two weeks is to call it a disproportionate response. Israel seems very intent upon destroying Hezbollah once and for all, and they may have a plethora of strategic reasons for wanting to do so. But, that doesn't make those decisions rational and sound, and it certainly doesn't make the decision to launch this war against Lebanon as "just."

2. Israel wants peace. My response? If it wanted peace, it wouldn't be launching a "just" ground war against their neighbors to the north. Although I'm quite sure I heard Orwell snickering from beyond the grave when I read your second point. "I couldn't have said it better myself," he chortled.

3. There is presently no alternative to the current military operation. My response? What can my response be to that classic "What's a brother to do?" argument? "We're hopelessly trapped in this military operation! We don't want to be in this war, but Hezbollah made us!" I don't know, here's a thought--how 'bout STOP BOMBING THE BEJEZUS OUT OF LEBANON? That's a mighty persuasive alternative. However, it's obvious that we've got a terrible case of two pit bulls locked on each other's throats here, with Hezbollah not backing down and Israel not backing down because Hezbollah's not backing down and on and on into infinity, which is exactly why a powerful third nation needs to come between them and broker some semblance of a ceasefire. It would be nice if the United States would fill those shoes on behalf of the world, but President Bush has decided that he's going to wield our strength as the world's sole remaining superpower (for now) in a less diplomatic way. Peace isn't really the answer according to this group.

And then, finally, as I sit here and paraphrase, the fourth and finally piece of your argument stated that:

4. Well, even though we didn't WANT to be in this war, now that we are, the military action conducted by Israel has already resulted in positive effects. My response? That is exactly the type of irrational, short-sighted, debilitating type of thinking that is only making this situation worse. This incursion of Israel's into Lebanon, performed with the absolute blessing of the Bush Administration, is doing horrific damage to our future. People throughout the Middle East who didn't like Hezbollah are now siding with them. People who were looking for a good reason, a really good reason, to start perpetuating age-old hatreds about Israel now have a really juicy, well-videotaped reason in this invasion of Lebanon to go recruit some more soldiers. I don't know quite how to phrase it without sounding over the top, but the only way there are any long-term "positive" results from this is if the secret goal is to actually launch a full-scale regional war in the area.

I don't want to stand alone with Israel against the world. I want to stand with the world. And the world is telling Israel to stop.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-25-06 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
19.  Get real!
SO do you expect Israel to ask Hez to stop firing rockets at them and of course Hez will say, sure, we'll stop?
Apparently the only way you stop Hez from firing rockets at you is to blow up their rockets
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Baselinereality Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. "Apparently?"
Actually, it doesn't seem at all "apparent" to me that the "only way" to get Hezbollah to stop firing their rockets is to blow up their rockets.

In fact, that doesn't seem to have any effect whatsoever.

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pberq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. See this article
Also discussed at:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0725-35.htm

Published on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
Five Myths That Sanction Israel's War Crimes
by Jonathan Cook

. . .Horowitz is keen to bang the square peg of the Lebanon story into the round hole of his claims that the Jews are facing an imminent genocide in the Middle East. And to help him, he and the massed ranks of US apologists for Israel -- regulars, I suspect, of shows like Lauras -- are promoting at least four myths regarding Hezbollahs current rockets strikes on Israel. Unless they are challenged at every turn, the danger is that they will win the ground war against common sense in the US

The first myth is that Israel was forced to pound Lebanon with its military hardware because Hezbollah began raining down rockets on the Galilee. Anyone with a short memory can probably recall that was not the first justification we were offered: that had to do with the two soldiers captured by Hezbollah on a border post on July 12.

But presumably Horowitz and his friends realized that 400 Lebanese dead and counting in little more than a week was hard to sell as a proportionate response. In any case Hezbollah kept telling the world how keen it was to return the soldiers in a prisoner swap.

Hundreds of dead in Lebanon, at least 1,000 severely injured and more than half a million refugees -- all because Israel is not ready to sit down at the negotiating table. Even Horowitz could not advocate for Israel on that one. . . . (more)
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Baselinereality Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Thank You For the Link
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. Well put ... thoughtful logic eom
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
24. WHY is Israel ALWAYS RIGHT?! It's an IMPOSSIBILITY
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