No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
The core principle of Negotiations 101 is never give up something for nothing. Yet that is exactly what Israel did … twice. They left the safety buffer zone in Southern Lebanon for nothing. They left Gaza, uprooting large numbers of Israeli settlers in the process for nothing. Actually, Israel probably felt it achieved good will from the world community for these selfless acts in the hopes of heralding new initiatives for peace. The good will of the world community, excluding the United States and Canada, was of course worthless.
Hamas precipitated an act of war by excavating a secret tunnel and on June 25 kidnapping an Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalif and reigning Katyusha rockets into Israeli territory incessantly. Hezbollah precipitated an act of war on July 12 by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers, killing eight others and unleashing over 100 missiles into Safed, Naharia and Haifa.
For years many critics of soft Israeli policies emboldened these enemies of the Jewish State to the point where they feared no real retaliation nor real consequences for their actions. That is now all changed. Israel is dealing with these warmongers the way all such vermin should be treated. Israel’s armed forces commander Brig. Gen. Dan Halutz said that all of Lebanon could be a target if hostilities continue. Every option is a viable option until the soldiers are safely returned and the rocket firings are ended.
The wrath of the Israeli army was fast, brutal and calculated. They destroyed ten bridges, knocked out two power stations, fired rockets at Beirut Airport, the Hezbollah TV station, military bases, villages in Southern Lebanon and imposed an air and sea blockade. They also bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Gaza City. This is the kind of immediate and harsh response that makes it clear to the terrorists and the locals that either support or fear them that no act will occur without retribution. It is the proper response.
As far as world opinion goes here is what Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyid Nasrallah said. His group would not bow to pressure from the world community or Lebanon’s government. “What do they want us to do? Hand over the soldiers and apologize? What kind of world are they living in?” Should Israel be the only party to worry about world opinion? Well, the UN Security Council offered a resolution condemning Israel for its response to the Gaza situation [without condemning the kidnapping and rocket attacks by Hamas … of course] and it only failed due to a US veto. That tells us all we need to know about the bias of world opinion – as if that is a surprise.
Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Daniel Ayalon, blamed Iran and Syria for masterminding the Hezbollah attack and kidnapping raid. The missile fired at Haifa was said to come from Iran. In fact the arsenal of missiles under Hezbollah’s control is said to have increased from 7000 to 11000 due to a pipeline from Iran through Syria.
These are the forces that are intent on creating havoc in the region and dashing hopes for Israelis and Arabs to live side by side in a restrained atmosphere of mutual respect. These are similar to the forces bringing death and destruction to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Even India, who no one thought of as an Al Qaeda/extremist Islamist target, was not safe as we learned this week. It seems that only a strong response geared to killing these terrorists and destroying their operations can have a chance to help make our world relatively safe.
Certainly no reasonable person or country wants matters to careen out of control. I suggest that pressure be brought to bear on Syria, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah to achieve this. Israel has already, time and again, proven it will be a willing partner.