The death of an Israeli teenager
1. "Israel: Won't Escalate Lebanon Tensions" (August 11, 2003, AP)
2. "Israel Threatens Syria Over Hizbollah Shelling" (Reuters, August 11, 2003)
3. "Israeli warplanes attack Hezbollah positions in Lebanon after attack kills teenager" (Associated Press, August 10, 2003)
4. "Israel Retaliates for Hezbollah Attack," (By Gavin Rabinowitz, Associated Press Writer)
5. "Israel-Lebanese front flares up with more shellings," (Aug, 11, 2003)
6. "Hizballah's Trouble-Making" by Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz, August 11, 2003)
7. "Editorial: Who killed Haviv Dadon?" (The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 11, 2003)
8. "Syria renews support for Hezbollah" (Sunday, August 10, 2003)
Even though many media are finally noting the age of victims when Israeli children are murdered, others like the BBC, and the French news agency, Agence France Presse, continue to scrupulously avoid mentioning the age of dead Israelis. This is in marked contrast to when young Palestinians have died (usually accidentally). In those cases, their age is sometimes stressed as many as half a dozen times in the story, headline, picture caption, and pull quote, together with photos of the funeral, grieving relatives and so on.
The BBC report on the murder by Hizbollah yesterday of 16-year-old Haviv Dadon and the injuring of five other Israeli civilians, including a mother and her 9-month-old baby, makes no mention of the fact the victim was young, or a teenager, or a boy - let alone that Haviv had been renovating a nursery school next to where the shells landed.
This omission by the BBC is all the more remarkable since both Reuters and AP - on whom the BBC rely for much of their news - make mention in their openings (although not in their headlines) that the dead Israeli was a teenager. Agence France-Presse, by contrast, manages to avoid making any reference to the Israeli victims' ages despite running a 22 paragraph report on the incident. Their reports are attached below.
Sunday's shelling was the fourth Hizbollah shooting attack across the border since Friday. Meanwhile two other Israeli teenagers - Dana Bennet and Eliezer Klockhoft - remaining missing in northern Israel, feared kidnapped. Since the "hudna" was declared, Palestinian terrorists recently kidnapped two other Israelis. One was murdered, the other rescued from a pit in Ramallah by Israeli commandos.
I attach eight stories relating to the killing of Haviv Dadon, with summaries first:
1. "Israel: Won't Escalate Lebanon Tensions" (August 11, 2003, AP). This story by the AP contains all kinds of details omitted by the BBC. ". The Israeli boy, 16-year-old Haviv Dadon, was killed Sunday as he walked home from a summer job in the border town of Shlomi. He was the first Israeli civilian to be killed by Hezbollah shelling since 1999. Five others were hurt, including a mother and her 9-month-old baby. After the teenager's funeral Sunday, the streets of Shlomi, a working-class town of 6,000 people, were deserted, with residents staying in their homes or in bomb shelters. 'We are very afraid,' said resident Lara Elhai, 50. 'Any moment, they (Hezbollah) could shoot at us.'"
2. "Israel Threatens Syria Over Hizbollah Shelling" (Reuters, August 11, 2003). Reuters too mention that an Israeli teen died in their first sentnce, though not in their headline. "Israel threatened Syria on Monday after Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon fired anti-aircraft shells that killed an Israeli teen-ager on Israel's northern border, but said it hoped to defuse tension through diplomacy. Residents in Lebanon said the Israeli warplanes struck the outskirts of Tair Harfa village and the nearby Tellat al-Kharba area. They said troops also fired five shells near Kfar Shouba town. There were no reports of casualties in Lebanon."
3. "Israeli warplanes attack Hezbollah positions in Lebanon after attack kills teenager" (By Peter Enav, Associated Press Writer, Sunday, August 10, 2003). In this separate story by AP, the death of the victim is mentioned in the headline. It is perhaps odd, however, that both AP and Reuters deem Israel's retaliation as the lead in their headlines, even though the retaliation was minimal, aimed at empty weapons' installations, and no one was injured.
4. "Israel Retaliates for Hezbollah Attack," By Gavin Rabinowitz, Associated Press Writer. In this third AP story, both the teenager and infant are mentioned in the opening line: "Israeli warplanes attacked suspected Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon on Sunday, hours after the group shelled northern Israel, killing a 16-year-old and wounding five others, including an infant... One shell exploded near a preschool and another hit near a shopping center. Video footage showed patches of blood left on a concrete staircase. The streets of the town were deserted by nightfall, with residents staying in their homes or in bomb shelters."
5. "Israel-Lebanese front flares up with more shellings," Aug, 11, 2003, Agence France-Presse. This 22 paragraph report by Agence France-Presse manages to avoid making any reference to the Israeli victims' ages. (www.etaiwannews.com/World/2003/08/11/1060566076.htm)
6. "Hizballah's Trouble-Making" by Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz, August 11, 2003). [In summary only] Schiff, the doyen of Israeli defence correspondents, writes:
• Hizballah must be broadly perceived as a terrorist organization supported by two terror-supporting states, Syria and Iran, and both of them have an interest in ending the cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
• The Israeli reaction yesterday was minimalist and focused on hitting one Hizballah anti-aircraft cannon in the western sector of south Lebanon, the 57-millimeter cannon that fired at Shlomi and killed a teenager.
• Hizballah also set the shells fired from the cannon to detonate relatively low and thus increase the chances of casualties and damage. The anti-aircraft fire is not at all aimed at Israeli planes. If they fly over Lebanese territory, they do so at such speeds and high alt! itude that it's doubtful they can be seen from the ground.
• Despite Washington's repeated warnings to Damascus about Syria's negative activity in Iraq and its direct support of terror groups, Syria apparently regards the American warnings as nothing more than words.
• The Iranians' top priority might be to hit the American forces in Iraq but their secondary effort is aimed against Israel. Tehran operates in the territories through the Hizballah or directly.
7. "Editorial: Who killed Haviv Dadon?" (The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 11, 2003). "Yesterday's murder of 16-year-old Haviv Dadon was an attack with a clear origin that demands a blunt response... yesterday's attack was waged not by hardware, but by people. And those people, in their turn, who are to be sought south Lebanon, Beirut, Damascus, and Teheran, are also the ones who ought to be called to account and made to pay for Haviv Dadon's life. Throughout its protracted guerrilla war against the IDF in south Lebanon, Hizbullah's line was twofold: that its casus belli was Israel's presence on Lebanese soil, and that its tactics would be limited to targeting soldiers, not civilians. Since then, however, Israel has returned its soldiers home..."
8. "Syria renews support for Hezbollah" (Sunday, August 10, 2003, 20:36, Jihad OnLine
www.jihadonline.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=76) "Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass renewed Saturday his country's support for Hezbollah despite a US demand that Damascus rein in the radical Lebanese movement after it attacked zionist army positions. "Resistance is a legitimate right," Tlass told the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat. "We see the Lebanese national resistance, the Hezbollah and the uprising in Palestine in this perspective." He accused "the zionists, the United States and internal agents" he did not name of exerting pressure on Syria to force it to accept "a settlement dictated by the zionist enemy which harms our legitimate rights."
ISRAEL: WON'T ESCALATE LEBANON TENSIONS
Israel: Won't Escalate Lebanon Tensions
August 11, 2003
SHLOMI, Israel (AP) -- Israel destroyed a Hezbollah cannon with an air strike in southern Lebanon, but indicated Monday that there would be no large-scale response to the killing of an Israeli teen by guerrilla shelling.
Israeli officials said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would largely use diplomacy to try to halt cross-border rocketing by the Lebanese guerrilla group.
Israel blames Syria, the main power in Lebanon, for the weekend flareup, and signaled that it wants Washington to enforce a U.S. demand that Syria rein in Hezbollah, which also has Iranian backing.
The Egyptian, Saudi and Syrian foreign ministers hastily scheduled a meeting in Cairo Monday that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said would focus on Israel and Iraq. Egypt, whose 1979 peace treaty with Israel was the first in the Arab world, has long been seen as a moderate mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
There is concern that an escalation on the Israeli-Lebanese border might re-ignite Israeli-Palestinian fighting, in a lull since Palestinian militant groups declared a cease-fire six weeks ago, and jeopardize further the U.S.-backed ``road map'' peace plan. Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian areas have ties to Hezbollah.
The Israeli boy, 16-year-old Haviv Dadon, was killed Sunday as he walked home from a summer job in the border town of Shlomi. He was the first Israeli civilian to be killed by Hezbollah shelling since 1999. Five others were hurt, including a mother and her 9-month-old baby.
After the teenager's funeral Sunday, the streets of Shlomi, a working-class town of 6,000 people, were deserted, with residents staying in their homes or in bomb shelters. ``We are very afraid,'' said resident Lara Elhai, 50. ``Any moment, they (Hezbollah) could shoot at us.''
Israeli attack helicopters destroyed the cannon that launched the shells, the Israeli military said. Early Monday, an Israeli warplane broke the sound barrier over Beirut, setting off a sonic boom that woke residents, a frequent Israeli tactic when tension rises.
However, Israeli defense officials suggested Monday that there would be no further response. ``There is a combined military and diplomatic reaction here. It's important to remember the diplomatic aspect here,'' Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim told Israel Army Radio.
Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official, said he expected Hezbollah to pull back. ``It appears Hezbollah is not interested in a deterioration (of the situation) because it is fully aware of the might of the Israeli Defense Forces,'' Gilad told Israel Radio.
Both officials held Syria responsible, saying that without support from Damascus, the Lebanese guerrillas would be unable to get more supplies, including rockets.
ISRAEL THREATENS SYRIA OVER HIZBOLLAH SHELLING
Israel Threatens Syria Over Hizbollah Shelling
August 11, 2003
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel threatened Syria on Monday after Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon fired anti-aircraft shells that killed an Israeli teen-ager on Israel's northern border, but said it hoped to defuse tension through diplomacy.
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim said Israel held Syria, the main powerbroker in Lebanon, responsible for Hizbollah's actions.
``Syria is definitely the umbilical cord from which Hizbollah feeds,'' he told Army Radio. ``If there is escalation from their side, there will be definitely be a clear military response from Israel that could inevitably be against Syrian targets.'' The death of the 16-year-old in the Israeli border town of Shlomi Sunday was the first fatality from Hizbollah shelling since Israel withdrew its forces from south Lebanon in May 2000 after a 22-year occupation, amid daily attacks by the group.
Israeli warplanes bombed an anti-aircraft battery on the edge of a south Lebanon village Sunday in retaliation for the Shlomi shelling. Israeli warplanes later flew over Beirut, breaking the sound barrier.
Israel called the air raids a ``warning signal'' and Boim appeared to signal in his comments that Israel did not for now plan further military action. He said diplomatic pressure ``could be an effective tool as well.''
In the Lebanese capital, Hizbollah threatened renewed anti-aircraft fire if Israeli aircraft entered Lebanese airspace again. Boim said Israeli flights, which he called reconnaissance missions, would continue.
Tension has risen along the border since Hizbollah, which is also sponsored by Iran and controls southern Lebanon, fired salvos of rockets and mortar bombs at an Israeli military post in a disputed border area Friday.
Hizbollah regards the area, known as Shebaa Farms and retained by the Israeli army after its withdrawal from the rest of southern Lebanon, as Lebanese territory. The United Nations says it belongs to Syria.
Israeli military officials said that in Sunday's incident, Hizbollah had not aimed its shells at aircraft but had deliberately fired them at Shlomi.
Residents in Lebanon said the Israeli warplanes struck the outskirts of Tair Harfa village and the nearby Tellat al-Kharba area. They said troops also fired five shells near Kfar Shouba town. There were no reports of casualties in Lebanon.
The recent flare-up along the border, which had been quiet since January, followed a vow by Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to retaliate for the killing of a Hizbollah operative in a car bomb attack in Beirut which he blamed on Israel.
ISRAEL WARPLANES ATTACK HEZBOLLAH POSITIONS IN LEBANON AFTER ATTACK KILLS TEENAGER
Israeli warplanes attack Hezbollah positions in Lebanon after attack kills teenager
By Peter Enav Associated Press Writer
August 10, 2003
Israeli warplanes bombed suspected Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon on Sunday, Lebanese security officials said, hours after the militant group shelled northern Israel, killing a teenage boy.
The attacks came amid a surge of border violence following months of calm. Earlier Sunday, Israel's foreign minister demanded that Syria and Lebanon restrain Hezbollah, or "we will have no choice but to defend ourselves."
The Lebanese officials said warplanes fired at least one missile on an area near the village of Teir Harfa, about three miles from the Lebanese-Israeli border.
There was no immediate word on casualties, said the officials, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
The Israeli military did not immediately confirm the attack.
Earlier Sunday, a senior Israeli security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hezbollah fired three anti-tank shells at the town of Shlomi, near the Israeli-Lebanese border.
A 16-year-old boy was killed and four adults were lightly wounded by shrapnel, a spokesman for the hospital in nearby Nahariya said.
The Lebanese militant group, backed by Iran and Syria, said it had fired anti-aircraft shells at Israeli fighter jets flying over southern Lebanon, but Israeli security officials denied its aircraft were in the area at the time.
Dore Gold, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said the shelling constituted "unbridled escalatory attacks, ... an intolerable state of affairs."
Hezbollah routinely responds to Israeli air force flights over Lebanon with anti-aircraft fire, but tensions have worsened in recent days.
ISRAEL RETALIATES FOR HEZBOLLAH ATTACK
Israel Retaliates for Hezbollah Attack
By Gavin Rabinowitz Associated Press Writer
SHLOMI, Israel - Israeli warplanes attacked suspected Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon on Sunday, hours after the group shelled northern Israel, killing a 16-year-old and wounding five others, including an infant.
The boy was the first civilian killed in an attack by the guerrilla group in the area since Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon in May 2000, officials said.
The attacks came amid an increase in border violence following months of calm, raising fears of wider conflict with Syria and Lebanon. Earlier Sunday, Israel's foreign minister warned those countries to restrain Hezbollah, or "we will have no choice but to defend ourselves."
Aides to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel said, however, that Israel is trying to avoid an escalation and would try to resolve the situation through diplomatic channels.
Also Sunday, Sharon told his Cabinet that the U.S.-backed plan for Palestinian statehood would not move ahead until the Palestinians carry out their pledge to dismantle militant groups. The military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, said later that Palestinian security forces weren't doing enough to stop attacks.
Early Monday, an Israeli warplane broke the sound barrier over Beirut, triggering a sonic boom that woke sleeping people, police and residents said, a frequent Israeli tactic when tension rises.
Palestinian legislator Saeb Erekat said it was Israel, rather than the Palestinians, which was failing to live up to its commitments.
The cross-border fighting began this month. On Friday, Hezbollah, a militant Lebanese group backed by Syria and Iran, fired artillery toward Israeli border posts, drawing return fire. It was the first such exchange in eight months.
The military said the Israeli aircraft hit Hezbollah artillery positions from which the tank shells had been fired at Shlomi, a working-class town of about 6,000 people close to the border.
Hezbollah said the shelling was in retaliation for the Aug. 2 killing of Hezbollah security official Ali Hussein Saleh by a bomb in his car south of Beirut. Israel refused to comment on the claim that it was behind the killing.
The guerrilla group also fired anti-aircraft shells Saturday on Kiryat Shemona, but no injuries were reported.
On Sunday, 16-year-old Haviv Dadon was walking home from a summer job when he was hit by the anti-tank shell fired on the northern town of Shlomi. Five bystanders, including a woman and her 9-month-old son, were lightly injured, hospital officials said. At the teen's funeral, mourners said they felt abandoned by the government.
One shell exploded near a preschool and another hit near a shopping center, said the mayor, Gavriel Naaman. Video footage showed patches of blood left on a concrete staircase.
The streets of the town were deserted by nightfall, with residents staying in their homes or in bomb shelters. "We are very afraid," said resident Lara Elhai, 50. "Any moment, they could shoot at us. It's the summer holidays, and we can't even send our children to the pool."
The last civilian death in such an attack along the northern Israeli border happened June 24, 1999, when a Hezbollah rocket struck the city hall of Kiryat Shemona, killing two men.
In response to the latest death, Israeli warplanes fired at least one missile near the village of Teir Harfa, about two miles from the Lebanese-Israeli border. No casualties were reported.
A senior Israeli security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the warplanes hit the Hezbollah artillery positions that fired at Shlomi.
Hezbollah said it had fired anti-aircraft shells at Israeli fighter jets flying over southern Lebanon, but Israeli security officials denied aircraft were in the area at the time.
A senior military source said Israel's inner security Cabinet would meet to discuss a further military response and that more strikes could be expected. However, Raanan Gissin, a Sharon aide, said that while Israel would not tolerate Hezbollah attacks, it has "no intention of escalation."
Hezbollah, which is on the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations, led a guerrilla war against Israel's 18-year occupation of a border zone in southern Lebanon that ended in May 2000.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom held Lebanon and Syria - which dominates Lebanese policy-making - responsible for Hezbollah's actions.
"We say to Syria and Lebanon as responsible parties ... that if Hezbollah activities continue and constitute an undermining of security of the citizens of Israel, we will have no choice but to defend ourselves," Shalom said Sunday.
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan holding the Syrian and Lebanese governments responsible for Hezbollah's "acts of terror," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yonatan Peled said.
Annan issued a statement condemning the shelling and urging "all governments that have influence on Hezbollah" to deter it from further actions that could increase tension. He also urged Israel to exercise "utmost restraint."
American diplomats also told Lebanon and Syria that the administration was concerned about the "calculated and provocative escalation" by Hezbollah, State Department deputy spokesman Philip T. Reeker said.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheik Naim Kassem said Sunday that Hezbollah "is fully prepared and ready to respond in the proper manner to any Israel aggression or threat."
"This anti-aircraft fire is fired as a reaction to warplanes that regularly violate Lebanese airspace," he said in an interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite station.
Syria's state-run Tishrin newspaper charged in an editorial that Israel was trying "to expand the circle of its aggression and deliberately provoke and threaten more than one Arab country," in hopes of slowing progress on the "road map" peace plan with the Palestinians.
ISRAEL-LEBANESE FRONT FLARES UP WITH MORE SHELLINGS
Israel-Lebanese front flares up with more shellings
Aug, 11, 2003
One Israeli was killed and five wounded yesterday in what Israel said was the second border attack in three days by Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia after a seven-month lull, fueling fears in the Jewish state of the reopening of a northern front.
The radical Shiite group said it only fired anti-aircraft guns at Israeli planes overflying Lebanon, but Israeli military sources said Hezbollah had fired shells across the border in a deliberate attack and warned it would not sit idly by.
The incident came as Israel was already stepping up pressure on Syria and Lebanon to end their support for the Hezbollah, and was considering seeking a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the situation.
According to Israeli medical sources, one of the five Israelis wounded in the north-western Israeli town of Shlomi was in serious condition.
Two Israelis had been wounded by falling anti-aircraft fire in July, but military sources stressed that Hezbollah had fired 57mm artillery rounds yesterday in a deliberate attack on Israeli territory.
"This is a clear provocation by Hezbollah and Israel will not sit idly by," Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner told AFP.
"We consider Hezbollah and those who support it as entirely responsible for the situation," he added, in a reference to Syria and Iran.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom had warned before the attack yesterday that any casualties in one of Hezbollah's border attacks would trigger a tough response.
"If our citizens are hit we will have to defend them, and Syria and Lebanon would be well advised not to put us to the challenge," he told public radio.
The first deadly border incident in almost a year came against the tense backdrop created by Hezbollah's first rocket attack in seven months on Friday.
The fundamentalist group, which controls southern Lebanon, fired rockets and mortar bombs on the disputed border area of the Shebaa Farms on Friday, causing no casualties but prompting a swift military response by Israel.
Israel also upped the diplomatic ante following Friday's attack, lodging a complaint Saturday with the U.N. against Syria's support for Hezbollah.
Because Damascus holds the rotating chairmanship of the Security Council, Syrian ambassador Mikhail Wehbe is not allowed to answer the protest.
The United Nations has not been Israel's favourite turf to challenge its enemies but following U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's unequivocal condemnation of Friday's attack, the foreign ministry was mulling demanding an emergency meeting of the Security Council be convened.
"We are considering filing a request for an emergency meeting of the Security Council," said David Granit, an Israeli foreign ministry official in charge of relations with the U.N.
"For the first time, Annan has mentioned a provocation against Israel emanating from an Arab country, and we are assessing the impact of this new stance on U.N. member countries," Granit told AFP.
The official was referring to a statement Friday in which Annan said he was "very concerned at the exchanges of fire across the Blue Line in Southern Lebanon, initiated from Lebanese territory."
Speaking on Israeli public radio Sunday, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Gillerman, said "Syria should understand it cannot chair the meetings of the security council whilst at the same time be supporting terrorism."
Israel feels discriminated within the U.N., where scores of resolutions condemning its policies are passed thanks to the number of votes gathered by Arab countries.
The new crisis on Israel's northern front came as the calm which has prevailed on the Palestinian front since militant groups proclaimed a truce looked as fragile as ever.
Four Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed during an army raid into a Nablus refugee camp in the northern West Bank on Friday, in the deadliest incident yet to have rocked the truce.
Israeli security services were on high alert along the Green Line separating Israel from the West Bank Sunday after the hardline Hamas group vowed to avenge the deaths.
EDITORIAL: WHO KILLED HAVIV DADON?
Editorial: Who killed Haviv Dadon?
Aug. 11, 2003
Yesterday's murder of 16-year-old Haviv Dadon was an attack with a clear origin that demands a blunt response.
What emerged as unclear in the immediate aftermath of this brazen attack on innocent passersby in the Galilean town of Shlomi, which also wounded three pedestrians, including a mother and her eight-year-old child, was just who should be held accountable for waging it, and how.
Israel's initial response, a pinpoint air attack on the cannon that had fired that lethal salvo, was technologically impressive, but strategically insufficient.
It is good to know that Israel has got the equipment with which to detect the weaponry that is used to harass its citizens, and that it has the aircraft, avionics, and pilots with whom to so quickly and accurately decommission such hardware.
But yesterday's attack was waged not by hardware, but by people. And those people, in their turn, who are to be sought south Lebanon, Beirut, Damascus, and Teheran, are also the ones who ought to be called to account and made to pay for Haviv Dadon's life.
Throughout its protracted guerrilla war against the IDF in south Lebanon, Hizbullah's line was twofold: that its casus belli was Israel's presence on Lebanese soil, and that its tactics would be limited to targeting soldiers, not civilians.
Since then, however, Israel has returned its soldiers home, and for the subsequent three years the jury was out on whether Hizbullah would realize the forecasts of some pundits and transform into a political group whose main aims are social and whose tools are political.
In all fairness to Hizbullah's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, his unambiguous reply to these pundits had already been made long before he caused yesterday's fatality, the first of its kind since the June 2000 IDF pullout. By having his troops habitually shoot anti-aircraft shells into Israeli towns since shortly after the withdrawal, and by assuming the cause of the Shaba farms, which is disputed not between Israel and Lebanon, but between Israel and Syria, Nasrallah has made it plain that his goals exceed the narrow Lebanese context and that his compunctions are about as limited as those of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or al-Qaida.
Still, Hizbullah cannot alone be held responsible for Haviv Dadon's death.
In line with the post-9/11 Bush Doctrine, the war on terror must mean be waged against the governments that allow it to flourish.
The government of post-civil war Lebanon, whose 13-year-old effort to portray theirs as a peace-seeking country has long been forgotten, as Beirut emerged, yet again, as a Syrian pawn and a geopolitical farce. Lebanon should not be allowed to treat Hizbullah as an honored members of society and stay off the State Department's terrorist list.
Syria, considering its military presence in Lebanon and political grip on Beirut, bears even greater culpability for this murder. So long as it occupies Lebanon, Syria must be held responsible for Hizbullah's actions much the way it should be held responsible for Beirut's inactions.
Finally, there is Iran, Hizbullah's main financial, logistical, and ideological sponsor.
Coupled with its record of killing hundreds of innocent civilians in two terror attacks last decade in Argentina, and its rapid progress on a nuclear program that by now even its original sponsor, Moscow, realizes is a menace to peace, Iran's current regime must be perceived as a an enemy of the entire free world and a major cause of the global disease called terror. It must be treated accordingly.
Destroying the cannon that killed Haviv Dadon was an effective display of military capabilities. But our objective should not be to surgically deliver a proportionate response. A proportionate response in this case is effectively an admission by Israel that attacks are acceptable and will be tolerated, particularly if they happen not to cause casualties. Only a disproportionate response that imposes costs on one or more of Hizbullah's three state sponsors will signal that attacks of any kind are unacceptable.
SYRIA RENEWS SUPPORT FOR HEZBOLLAH
Syria renews support for Hezbollah
August 10, 2003
Syrian Defense Minister accuses US, the zionists, internal agents of exerting pressure on Syria to accept zionist settlement.
CAIRO - Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass renewed Saturday his country's support for Hezbollah despite a US demand that Damascus rein in the radical Lebanese movement after it attacked zionist army positions.
"Resistance is a legitimate right," Tlass told the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat. "We see the Lebanese national resistance, the Hezbollah and the uprising in Palestine in this perspective."
He accused "the zionists, the United States and internal agents" he did not name of exerting pressure on Syria to force it to accept "a settlement dictated by the zionist enemy which harms our legitimate rights."
Tlass did not comment on Hezbollah's shelling Friday of zionist positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms area, but his remarks came after the US administration put both Beirut and Syria on notice to prevent further attacks.
"The time has come for them to end support for Hezbollah," deputy State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said Friday.
The Hezbollah said it had carried out the offensive, the first in seven months, in retaliation for the death of one of its member in a Beirut car bomb last week that it blamed on zionist agents.
The Shebaa Farms region was formerly part of Syria. It was occupied by the zionists in 1967 and is claimed by Beirut with Damascus's accord.
The zionists lodged a complaint against Lebanon and Syria with the UN Security Council, zionist public radio reported Saturday, warning the two countries it would take action if they failed to hold back Hezbollah.
Tlass also blasted the US occupation of Iraq. "US forces are foreign forces that are threatening not only Iraq but neighbouring countries," he said.