Four articles

July 18, 2006 at 6:38 am (International community, Iran, Islamism, Israel, Middle East, Military, News, Palestinian Territories, The United States)

According to “The Lebanese army and the Hizbullah question” (July 17, 2006) by Paula Margulies of The Jerusalem Post, Lebanon is politically unwilling to oppose Hezbollah and, on top of that, unable to do so militarily. I think this is a consequence of Syrian occupation and the fact that Lebanon has not been able to build up a suitable military yet (despite The United States’ help). Other important points by Margulies were that Lebanon is still divided among competing groups; that the Lebanese military is also divided; that the Lebanese military has been assisting Hezbollah. These do not point a very positive picture of Lebanon.

“Sneh calls for negotiated withdrawal” (July 18, 2006) by Sheera Claire Frenkel of The Jerusalem Post, Brigadier-General (reserve) Ephraim Sneh, who led Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, advocated negotiated withdrawal and is even more convinced of the need for negotiated withdrawals. He does have a point: Israel withdrew from Lebanon, and now is militarily engaged with Lebanon again; Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, and now is militarily engaged with the Gaza Strip again. Negotiated withdrawals seem to be what is needed. But regarding this, Israel is in a major dilemma: it needs to withdraw and it should negotiate but the people with whom Israel needs to negotiate do not want to negotiate or, if they do, will not honor any agreements made. Israel cannot afford to stay in places which it needs to leave, and so resorts to unilateral withdrawals out of frustration and annoyance with hostile parties unwilling to cooperate. (It’s almost ironic: the Arabs complain of Israel’s occupation but the Arabs themselves are hindering Israel’s withdrawal.)

According to “New York Jews rally in support of Israel” (July 18, 2006) by Gal Beckerman of The Jerusalem Post, thousands of people rallied in New York in support of Israel. Attending the rally were dignitaries. Two of them were Senator Clinton and Dan Gillerman, Israel’s ambassador to The United Nations. Beckerman points out that there was no discussion or even mention of diplomacy, international intervention, or other options in solving the wars. As one woman interviewed in the article, the rally brought together people from the entire spectrum of political ideology. Leftists marched with rightists. Jews were united. This is a good sign. That Senator Clinton would speak and not bring up diplomatic solutions to the issue is also a good sign. This endorsement of Israel’s current tactics is what is needed and what, I would argue, The Government is doing in its own way. There was an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian protest, but it was dwarfed by the pro-Israel rally.

According to “Israel: Long-Range Missile Destroyed” on, “An Israeli airstrike in Lebanon on Monday destroyed at least one long-range Iranian missile capable of hitting Tel Aviv, military officials said.” (Emphasis added.) There should be no illusion that Iran is uninvolved. This is clearly a proxy war by Iran against Israel – and perhaps more than simply a proxy war. The support given to Hezbollah, and certainly the clout Iran has over Hezbollah, would imply that Hezbollah is more a group linked to Iran: Hezbollah may in fact be an extension of Iran’s military forces.

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