Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Proxy War: The Israeli-anti-Israeli Debacle

Lebanon has become a battlefield.

The past few days have witnessed continued bombings and tit-for-tat between the IDF Hezbollah’s militants in Beirut.

My friend Lebanon Profile is currently in Beirut and has been writing extensively on the day to day events. Hezbollah unleashed its biggest and deadliest missile in to Israel today killing eight people in the major port city of Haifa. The Israeli cabinet decided to immediately step up their military campaign in order to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon.

Israeli defense minister Amir Peretz stated that, “for those who live in the Hezbollah neighborhood in Beirut and feel protected – the situation has changed.” The crisis has showed no signs of abatement or de-escalation – it has been progressively exacerbating.

Amr Moussa, the current Secretary-General of the League of Arab States stated that the Middle East process is ‘dead.’ The situation is a complete catastrophe for the region.

The IDF has claimed that rockets fired in to Israel have been built by the Syrians and the Iranians (the recent missile fired on Haifa was allegedly a Syrian-produced model of a Iranian Fajr-3). If credible evidence ascertains such claims this would open a new chapter in the history of the region. Syria has been suspected in former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s death in 2005 and Iran has been unsuccessfully pressured by the international community to halt its uranium enrichment program.

If Syria and Iran are implicated, this would be a great opportunity for the US to intervene. Despite the shortcomings in Iraq, the US still has its eyes set on Iran and Syria. Both countries have caused trouble for Israel and they’ve maintained a hard-line attitude towards the West and Ahmadinejad of Iran has been notorious for using ranting rhetoric.

The situation in Lebanon has been disheartening and has cast a dark shadow over the future of security in the Middle East as well as any chance of establishing a Palestinian state. As the situation continues to exacerbate, more refined observations began to surface:

1. The rhetoric exchanged between Israel and Hezbollah has proven that a ceasefire can only take place if a mutual agreement is to be arranged (i.e. exchange the soldiers for prisoners)
2. Sectarianism has become more prominent among Lebanese political factions with a formidable size of the population supporting Hezbollah’s retaliatory attacks against Israel
3. As per Moussa’s statement during the recent Arab League meeting, any chances of peace in the Middle East have been curtailed and possibly rendered merely a fantasy
4. Arabs across the Middle East are frustrated of their respective government’s apathy and nonchalance towards Israeli aggression. Regardless of the peace treaties, Egyptian and Jordanian citizens (for example) express agony and anger towards the Israelis yet their governments cannot take hard-lined decisions towards the situation (vis-à-vis Iran which saw Ayatollah Khomeini praise Hezbollah’s resistance).
5. Pan-Arabism has failed in 1960s and the current situation has revealed its absolute fantasy – it will never work.

What should an Egyptian/Palestinian/Jordanian think of this situation? These are some of the sentiments:

1. Anger towards Israeli aggression
2. Anger towards Hezbollah’s hastiness and irresponsibility
3. Anger towards the destruction of Lebanon
4. Anger towards Arab reaction
5. Disappointment of Arab response
6. Anger towards historical negligence of the Palestinians by the Arabs
7. Anger towards viewing the Palestinians as a liability among certain Arab governments
8. Anger towards Islamic extremism, fanaticism and fascism
9. Approval of general European government opinion (i.e. France, Russia and EU) towards Israeli aggression
10. Disgust towards the US’ laissez-faire attitude with a disregard to Lebanon’s destruction
11. Approval of the G8’s stance on the situation

A ceasefire HAS to take in to effect to give both sides ample time to think and resort to the negotiating table. Prisoners must be returned from both sides and Israel needs to halt its aggressive and unilateral approach to the problem as it has so far achieved absolutely nothing.


Blogger M. Simon said...

An Arafat henchman said in 2000 when asked why, when the Palestinian economy was integrating with Israel and Palestinian fortunes were looking up (unemployment had declined from about 35% to about 15%) did the Palestinians want to start another war with Israel?

His answer was someting like: prosperous people do not want to be martyrs.

In other words the Arabs are being used by their leaders. The Arab life means nothing to the Arab ruler. You are cattle and cannon fodder for them.

The War On the Palestinian People.

Your leaders are using the Israelis to administer beatings to you. And you keep asking for more. I’d say the Arab world is getting what it wants. A beating.

This is so stupid some days I want to scream.

Let me put my cards on the table. I’m an American Jew who thought, before the start of the Stupidfada in 2000 that the Palestinians were getting a raw deal. I’ve changed my mind.

In 2000 the peace camp in Israel was ascendant. No more.

Why do your rulers keep doing this to you? Because, prosperous people do not make good cannon fodder.

10:46 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

From the Hamas Charter:

“The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: `Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him’; but the tree Gharkad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985).

Muslim desire for self destruction

Now explain to me how peace with the Israelis is possible? Hamas/Hizbollah et. al. follow a religion dedicated to the annihilation of Jews. Unfortunately the Jews are not going to take this crap lying down.

The biggest danger to Muslims is Islam.

10:53 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Hizbollah needs to halt its aggressive and unilateral approach to the problem as it has so far achieved absolutely nothing.

Well, not nothing exactly. It has gotten Israel to destroy significant bits of Lebanon.

BTW I'm a UC alum and my #2 son is 3rd year.

The Palistinians need to halt their aggressive and unilateral approach to the problem as it has so far achieved absolutely nothing.

Except that the territory Israel is willing to offer in exchange for peace gets smaller after each war. The brilliance of the Palestinian strategy is breathtaking. The Israelis were on the verge of returning some of the West Bank to the Palestinians. It will be a decade at least before that can happen. Brilliant.

The Israelis are really lucky in their choice of enemies. LOL

11:43 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Looks like I'm talking to myself here. Since I'm such a good conversationalist I will reply.

Arabs side with Israel.

Rarely have I seen such an uprising, indeed an intifada, against those little turbaned, bearded men across the Muslim landscape as the one that took place last week. The leader of Hezbollah, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, received a resounding "no" to pulling 350 million Arabs into a war with Israel on his clerical coattails.

The collective "nyet" was spoken by presidents, emirs, and kings at the highest level of government in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, and at the Arab League's meeting of 22 foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday. But it was even louder from pundits and ordinary people.

Perhaps the most remarkable and unexpected reaction came from Saudi Arabia, whose foreign minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, said bluntly and publicly that Hezbollah's decision to cross the Lebanese border, attack Israel, and kidnap its soldiers has left the Shiite group on its own to face Israel. The unspoken message here was, "We hope they blow you away."

11:41 PM  
Blogger The Egyptian Observer said...

@m.simon. Thank you for all your comments, I will respond to them all shortly.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Ron Larson said...

Thanks for your posts. I'm really trying to understand all sides of this situation. I don't trust the main-stream media and am thankful I live in a time of blogs where I can read from people who are there, or are much more connected to the events than I am.

Your list of Egyptian/Palestinian/Jordanian sentiments is, well to put it bluntly, baffleing.

I can't grasp the idea that Egyptian/Palestinian/Jordanian are angry/disgusted/dismayed with other Arab nations, Muslim nations, Europe, the US, and the rest of the world. They seem to be amazed that the rest of the planet doesn't drop everything and come get involved.

After all this time, haven't they figured out the world doesn't revolve around them? Don't they understand that they aren't the only war on going on right now? Don't they know that there are other people who are going through a lot worse things right now (Darfar?). Don't that know that the rest of the world doesn't really give a rat's ass about "Sheeba Farms" and other relativly small real-estate battles?

I am so glad to see that Egypt has solved all their problems. They must not have any crime, unemployment, or pollution problems. They have all the education, money, security, food, and industry they need. After all, they can spend all their time obessing about something that has nothing do to with them.

When the rest of the Arab world starts seriously solving problems instead of creating them, then I will listen to their advise. In the mean time, get your own house in order before trying to preach to the rest of us on what we should and should not be doing.

1:20 AM  

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