Israel’s next war has begun, the one with Iran

July 19, 2006

Among today’s breaking news so far from Israel:

* Israeli security forces catch Palestinian suicide bomber in Hod Hasharon, near Tel Aviv
* Two children killed in Hizbullah strike on Nazareth
* Massive wave of rockets strikes Haifa, Galilee, Carmiel, Tiberias, Safed, and elsewhere
* Two Israeli soldiers killed in fighting with Hizbullah
* 37 year old killed in Nahariya, northern Israel

 

CONTENTS

1. Today, it is the mainstream western media that is silencing Arab moderates
2. “It is not only Israel who is fed up with this situation”
3. “Israel against genocidal Islamism”
4. Most Arabs fear Iran, not Israel
5. “This chorus of condemnation actually encourages the terrorists”
6. “Israel’s next war has begun” (By Yossi Klein Halevi, New Republic, July 12, 2006)
7. Iran against the Arabs (By Michael Rubin, Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2006)
8. “No to Syria, Iran agents” (By Ahmed Al-Jarallah, The Arab Times, July 15, 2006)
9. “Thank you, Israel” (Lebanese Foundation for Peace, July 16, 2006)
10. “Arithmetic of pain” (By Alan Dershowitz, Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2006)



[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach a number of articles relating to the current situation, with some notes and extracts first.

TODAY, IT IS THE MAINSTREAM WESTERN MEDIA THAT IS SILENCING ARAB MODERATES

On Monday, on “Larry King Live” on CNN, Larry King interviewed Ibrahim Mousawi, the chief foreign news editor of Al Manar TV (Hizbullah’s own television channel). Al-Manar TV is known for its genocidal incitement against Jews, Americans and others. Al-Manar was recently banned in France for its incendiary broadcasts, such as the dramatic adaptation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which the French authorities finally admitted had helped stir up anti-Semitic violence in France. (See www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/000184.html.)

While it is perhaps appropriate to interview Ibrahim Mousawi, we must also ask why mainstream media such as CNN are not inviting journalists from the Arab world who are critical of Hizbullah, Syria and Iran? (In much the same way Yossi Beilin, a left-wing Israeli MK, regularly appears on the BBC in order to denounce Israeli policy.)

One such candidate might be Ahmed Al-Jarallah. In the article I attach below, al-Jarallah, the editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti-based Arab Times, argues that the “People of Arab countries, especially the Lebanese and Palestinians, have been held hostage [by militant groups] for a long time in the name of ‘resisting Israel.’ Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of ‘these irregular phenomena’ is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.”

In the past, before the Bush administration instituted a policy of encouraging democratization in the Arab world, opinions such as those voiced by Ahmed Al-Jarallah would be muffled by Arab governments. Today, it is the mainstream western media that is silencing them.

“IT IS NOT ONLY ISRAEL WHO IS FED UP WITH THIS SITUATION”

As was noted in the dispatch, Israel, Lebanon, Hizbullah: 14 more observations on the situation (July 17, 2006), many Lebanese voices in support of Israeli actions against Hizbullah have not been heard in the mainstream media. The fourth article attached below, titled “Thank you, Israel,” reports on the support offered to Israel by The Lebanese Foundation for Peace, an international group representing thousands of Lebanese Christians.

The writer, Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian, says: “It is not [only] Israel who is fed up with this situation, but the majority of the silent Lebanese in Lebanon who are fed up with Hizbullah and are powerless to do anything out of fear of terror retaliation.”

“No matter how much the west avoids facing the reality of Islamic extremism of the Middle East, the west cannot hide from the fact that the same Hamas and Hizbullah that Israel is fighting over there, are of the same radical Islamic ideology that has fomented carnage and death through terrorism that America and the world are fighting.”

“ISRAEL AGAINST GENOCIDAL ISLAMISM”

“The next Middle East war Israel against genocidal Islamism has begun,” says Yossi Klein Halevi, writing in The New Republic. “Israel cannot coexist with Iranian proxies pressing in on its borders. In particular, allowing Hamas to remain in power and to run the Palestinian educational system will mean the end of hopes for Arab-Israeli reconciliation not only in this generation but in the next one too.”

“The ultimate threat, though, isn’t Hizbullah or Hamas but Iran. And as Iran draws closer to nuclear capability which the Israeli intelligence community believes could happen this year an Israeli-Iranian showdown becomes increasingly likely. Israel is still hoping that an international effort will stop a nuclear Iran; if that fails, then Israel is hoping for an American attack. But if the Bush administration is too weakened to take on Iran, then, as a last resort, Israel will have to act unilaterally.”

MOST ARABS FEAR IRAN, NOT ISRAEL

Michael Rubin, who works at the American Enterprise Institute, and is also editor of the Middle East Quarterly, writes in an article (attached below) titled “Iran against the Arabs” that: “Most Arabs perceive Israel as small. Egypt home to one of every three Arabs has enjoyed a cold peace with Israel for more than a quarter-century. Gulf states, on the whole, would rather make money than directly fight Israel. While they do not like Israel’s existence, Jerusalem presents no threat. Not so Tehran. A giant with 70 million people, Iran is no status quo power. Its ideological commitment to export revolution is real. Across Lebanon and the region, Arab leaders see Hizbullah for what it is: An arm of Iranian influence waging a sectarian battle in the heart of the Middle East.”

“An old Arab proverb goes, ‘Me against my brother; me and my brother against our cousin; and me, my brother and my cousin against the stranger.’ Forced to make a choice, Sunni Arabs are deciding: The Jews are cousins; the Shiites, strangers. U.S. diplomats may applaud the new pragmatism, but the reason behind it is nothing to celebrate.”

“THIS CHORUS OF CONDEMNATION ACTUALLY ENCOURAGES THE TERRORISTS”

Alan Dershowitz, a professor of law at Harvard, writing in The Wall Street Journal, criticizes the international community for its disapproval of Israel’s recent actions. He argues that the “chorus of condemnation (against Israel) actually encourages the terrorists to operate from civilian areas.”

Dershowitz sums up the problem: “It is possible for an enemy to attack Israeli military targets without inflicting ‘collateral damage’ on its civilian population. Hizbullah and Hamas, by contrast, deliberately operate military wings out of densely populated areas. They launch antipersonnel missiles with ball-bearing shrapnel, designed by Syria and Iran to maximize civilian casualties, and then hide from retaliation by living among civilians. If Israel decides not to go after them for fear of harming civilians, the terrorists win by continuing to have free rein in attacking civilians with rockets. If Israel does attack, and causes civilian casualties, the terrorists win a propaganda victory: The international community pounces on Israel for its ‘disproportionate’ response.”

I attach five articles below.

Alan Dershowitz and Michael Rubin are both subscribers to this email list.

-- Tom Gross



FULL ARTICLES

“ISRAEL CANNOT COEXIST WITH IRANIAN PROXIES PRESSING ON ITS BORDERS”

Israel’s next war has begun
Battle plans
By Yossi Klein Halevi
The New Republic
July 12, 2006

www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w060710&s=halevi071206

The next Middle East war Israel against genocidal Islamism has begun. The first stage of the war started two weeks ago, with the Israeli incursion into Gaza in response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and the ongoing shelling of Israeli towns and kibbutzim; now, with Hezbollah’s latest attack, the war has spread to southern Lebanon. Ultimately, though, Israel’s antagonists won’t be Hamas and Hezbollah but their patrons, Iran and Syria. The war will go on for months, perhaps several years. There may be lulls in the fighting, perhaps even temporary agreements and prisoner exchanges. But those periods of calm will be mere respites.

The goals of the war should be the destruction of the Hamas regime and the dismantling of the Hezbollah infrastructure in southern Lebanon. Israel cannot coexist with Iranian proxies pressing in on its borders. In particular, allowing Hamas to remain in power and to run the Palestinian educational system will mean the end of hopes for Arab-Israeli reconciliation not only in this generation but in the next one too.

For the Israeli right, this is the moment of “We told you so.” The fact that the kidnappings and missile attacks have come from southern Lebanon and Gaza precisely the areas from which Israel has unilaterally withdrawn is proof, for right-wingers, of the bankruptcy of unilateralism. Yet the right has always misunderstood the meaning of unilateral withdrawal. Those of us who have supported unilateralism didn’t expect a quiet border in return for our withdrawal but simply the creation of a border from which we could more vigorously defend ourselves, with greater domestic consensus and international understanding. The anticipated outcome, then, wasn’t an illusory peace but a more effective way to fight the war. The question wasn’t whether Hamas or Hezbollah would forswear aggression but whether Israel would act with appropriate vigor to their continued aggression.

So it wasn’t the rocket attacks that were a blow to the unilateralist camp, but rather Israel’s tepid responses to those attacks. If unilateralists made a mistake, it was in believing our political leaders including Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert when they promised a policy of zero tolerance against any attacks emanating from Gaza after Israel’s withdrawal. That policy was not implemented until two weeks ago. Now, belatedly, the Olmert government is trying to regain something of its lost credibility, and that is the real meaning of this initial phase of the war, both in Gaza and in Lebanon.

Still, many in Israel believe that, even now, the government is acting with excessive restraint. One centrist friend of mine, an Olmert voter, said to me, “If we had assassinated [Hamas leader] Haniyeh after the first kidnapping, [Hezbollah leader] Nasrallah would have thought twice about ordering another kidnapping.” Israel, then, isn’t paying for the failure of unilateral withdrawal, but for the failure to fulfill its promise to seriously respond to provocations after withdrawal.

Absurdly, despite Israel’s withdrawal to the international borders with Lebanon and Gaza, much of the international community still sees the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers as a legitimate act of war: Just as Israel holds Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, so Hamas and Hezbollah now hold Israeli prisoners. One difference, though, is that inmates in Israeli jails receive visits from family and Red Cross representatives, while Israeli prisoners in Gaza and Lebanon disappear into oblivion. Like Israeli pilot Ron Arad, who was captured by Hezbollah 20 years ago, then sold to Iran, and whose fate has never been determined. That is one reason why Israelis are so maddened by the kidnapping of their soldiers.

Another reason is the nature of the crimes committed by the prisoners whose release is being demanded by Hezbollah and Hamas. One of them is Samir Kuntar, a PLO terrorist who in 1979 broke into an apartment in the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, took a father and child hostage, and smashed the child’s head against a rock. In the Palestinian Authority, Kuntar is considered a hero, a role model for Palestinian children.

The ultimate threat, though, isn’t Hezbollah or Hamas but Iran. And as Iran draws closer to nuclear capability which the Israeli intelligence community believes could happen this year an Israeli-Iranian showdown becomes increasingly likely. According to a very senior military source with whom I’ve spoken, Israel is still hoping that an international effort will stop a nuclear Iran; if that fails, then Israel is hoping for an American attack. But if the Bush administration is too weakened to take on Iran, then, as a last resort, Israel will have to act unilaterally. And, added the source, Israel has the operational capability to do so.

For Israelis, that is the worst scenario of all. Except, of course, the scenario of nuclear weapons in the hands of the patron state of Hezbollah and Hamas.

 

“HOW LONG WILL THE ARABS CONTINUE TO FIGHT ON BEHALF OF IRAN?”

Iran against the Arabs
By Michael Rubin
The Wall Street Journal
July 19, 2006

After Hamas kidnapped 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit on June 25, Israeli forces launched an assault on Gaza to win his release. Arab condemnation was swift. Saudi Arabia’s pro-government al-Jazira daily called Israel “a society of terrorists.” Egypt’s state-controlled al-Gumhuriyah condemned Israel’s “heinous crimes” in Gaza. Following a July 8 meeting in Tehran, foreign ministers from countries neighboring Iraq denounced the “brutal Israeli attacks.”

The crisis escalated four days later when Hezbollah terrorists infiltrated Israel’s northern border and kidnapped two soldiers. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the raid “an act of war,” and directed the military to launch an all-out assault on Hezbollah and targets throughout Lebanon. Neither Lebanese nor regional reaction to the opening of a second front was what Hezbollah expected. On July 14, Hezbollah’s al-Manar called upon “all Lebanese people to rally behind the Islamic resistance” and to fight Israel’s “flagrant aggression.”

They didn’t. No longer subject to Syrian occupation, Lebanese officials spoke freely. The Middle East Media Research Institute translated many reactions. “Lebanon... is not willing to be the spearhead of the Arab-Israeli conflict,” former President Amin Gemayel said. “Hezbollah will have to explain itself to the Lebanese,” Druze leader Walid Jumblatt told Le Figaro. The independent Beirut daily Al-Mustaqbal quoted Lebanese Communications Minister Marwan Hamada saying, “Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara gives the commands, Hezbollah carries them out, and Lebanon is the hostage.”

Nor did the wider Arab world rally in unanimity toward Hezbollah. “A distinction must be made between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures undertaken by elements [without]... consulting and coordinating with Arab nations,” the official Saudi Press Agency opined. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit included Hezbollah rocket attacks in his condemnation of terrorism. Even the Arab League, which seldom misses an opportunity to denounce Israel, offered only muted criticism. True, League Secretary General Amr Moussa condemned Israel’s “disproportionate attack,” after the July 15 meeting, but rather than just slam the Jewish state, Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, chided Hezbollah’s “unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts.” Delegates from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the UAE backed Mr. al-Faisal. Ahmed al-Jarallah, editor of Kuwait’s Arab Times, condemned both Hezbollah and Hamas in an editorial that same day, writing, “Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of ‘these irregular phenomena’ is what Israel is doing.”

It may be tempting to think that acceptance of Israel is in the air. But such optimism is unfounded. There is no change of heart in Riyadh, Cairo or Kuwait. Saudi princes still finance Palestinian terror. Rather, the recent Arab tolerance toward Israel’s predicament and condemnation of Hezbollah signal recognition of a greater threat on the horizon. Wadi Batti Hanna, a columnist in Iraq’s Arab nationalist al-Ittijah al-Akhar daily, put it bluntly when, on July 15, he asked, “How long will the Arabs continue to fight on behalf of Iran?”

The Iranian menace is rising. Condoleezza Rice’s May 31 announcement that the Bush administration would engage Iran signaled U.S. weakness across the Middle East. “Why don’t you admit that you are weak and your razor is blunt?” Iranian Supreme Leader asked rhetorically four days later, as assembled crowds in Tehran called for America’s death. An Iranian Revolutionary Guards boat recently unveiled a banner reading, “U.S. cannot do a damn thing,” as it sailed past a U.S. navy ship in the Persian Gulf. Tehran’s confidence is high.

Even as Arab states routinely condemn U.S. foreign policy, they embrace the American umbrella. John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt, respectively of the University of Chicago and Harvard, may argue that “the Israel Lobby” perverts U.S. interests; but Arab leaders understand that the only countries the U.S. military has fought to protect in the Middle East were Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The tiny Gulf emirates are defenseless without U.S. protection. There is hardly a state on the Arabian Peninsula that does not train with the U.S. military or welcome a small U.S. presence. But with U.S. congressmen proclaiming the defeat and vulnerability of U.S. troops in Iraq, and the Islamic Republic drawing closer to its nuclear goals, Tehran’s stock is rising at U.S. expense.

The signs of Arab unease have been growing over the last 18 months. Jordan’s King Abdullah II first raised alarm. In a Dec. 12, 2004 interview with Chris Matthews, he warned that the rise of Iranian-backed Shiite parties in Iraq could give rise to a Shiite “crescent” stretching from Iran to Lebanon. Abdulaziz Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, called Abdullah’s comments “ridiculous,” but the remarks resonated in Arab countries. True, the Shiites might account for only 10% of the world’s Muslims, but in the volatile region stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to Iran, the Sunnis and Shiites are near parity. That Shiites predominate in the oil-producing regions not only of Iran and Iraq but also in Saudi Arabia accelerates the fears. Satellite stations throw fuel on the fire. A July 12 political cartoon in the Iraqi daily al-Mutamar depicted a man pouring gasoline labeled sectarianism into a satellite dish.

The power of satellite stations to inflame sectarian passion is extraordinary. I was in Sweileh, Jordan, as news broke last November that Iraqi Shiite militias had tortured Sunni prisoners in detention. Al-Jazeera replayed the footage in gory detail. Cafes hushed and men shouted abuse at the TV screens. More recently, al-Jazeera amplified Osama bin Laden’s July 1 Internet message blaming “the people of the [Shiite] south” for violating Sunni cities like Ramadi, Fallujah and Mosul. The situation worsened when Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen rampaged through the mixed Hay al-Jihad neighborhood on July 9, demanding identity cards and killing anyone with a Sunni name.

Most Arabs perceive Israel as small. Egypt home to one of every three Arabs has enjoyed a cold peace with Israel for more than a quarter-century. Gulf states, on the whole, would rather make money than directly fight Israel. While they do not like Israel’s existence, Jerusalem presents no threat. Not so Tehran. A giant with 70 million people, Iran is no status quo power. Its ideological commitment to export revolution is real. Across Lebanon and the region, Arab leaders see Hezbollah for what it is: An arm of Iranian influence waging a sectarian battle in the heart of the Middle East.

An old Arab proverb goes, “Me against my brother; me and my brother against our cousin; and me, my brother and my cousin against the stranger.” Forced to make a choice, Sunni Arabs are deciding: The Jews are cousins; the Shiites, strangers. U.S. diplomats may applaud the new pragmatism, but the reason behind it is nothing to celebrate.

 

“THE OPERATIONS OF ISRAEL IN GAZA AND LEBANON ARE IN THE INTEREST OF PEOPLE OF ARAB COUNTRIES AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY”

No to Syria, Iran agents
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
The Arab Times
July 15, 2006

www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/opinion/view.asp?msgID=1242

People of Arab countries, especially the Lebanese and Palestinians, have been held hostage for a long time in the name of “resisting Israel.” Arab governments have been caught between political obligations and public opinion leading to more corruption in politics and economics. Forgetting the interests of their own countries the Hamas Movement and Hezbollah have gone to the extent of representing the interests of Iran and Syrian in their countries. These organizations have become the representatives of Syria and Iran without worrying about the consequences of their action.

Recently Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier and bombed Israeli settlements with locally manufactured missiles. Soon Hezbollah followed suit, kidnapping two Israeli soldiers. Both these organizations claimed they had kidnapped Israeli soldiers to exchange them for Arab prisoners who are being held in Israeli jails. The fact that Hamas and Hezbollah gave the same reason for kidnapping Israeli soldiers gives us a glimpse their agenda, which is similar to the one followed by Syria and Iran in their conflict with the United States.

While the people of Palestine and Lebanon are paying the price of this bloody conflict, the main players, who caused this conflict, are living in peace and asking for more oil from Arab countries to support the facade of resisting Israel. With the Palestinian Authority close to collapse and the Lebanese government beginning to give up responsibility for what is happening in its territory, Saudi Arabia has been forced to come out of its diplomatic routine and indirectly hold Hezbollah responsible for what is happening Lebanon.

Without mentioning Hezbollah by name Saudi Arabia blamed certain “elements” inside Lebanon for the violence with Israel and said “it is necessary to make a distinction between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures adopted by certain elements within Lebanon without the knowledge of legal Lebanese authorities.” While reiterating its support for Palestinian and Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation, Saudi Arabia has clearly said it is against irresponsible adventures undertaken by certain elements in the region without consulting the legal authorities putting all Arab nations at risk. The Kingdom has also said “these elements must take responsibility for their irresponsible actions and they alone should end the crisis created by them.” This angry response from Saudi Arabia has politically isolated Hezbollah and Hamas besides holding them responsible for their actions.

This attitude of Saudi Arabia, which has been doing all it can to protect the Arab world from Israeli aggression, is enough to unmask the adventurers, who have violated the rights of their own countries and tried put their people under the guardianship of foreign countries like Iran and Syria. A battle between supporters and opponents of these adventurers has begun, starting from Palestine to Tehran passing through Syria and Lebanon. This war was inevitable as the Lebanese government couldn’t bring Hezbollah within its authority and make it work for the interests of Lebanon. Similarly leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been unable to rein in the Hamas Movement.

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of “these irregular phenomena” is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.

 

“THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TURN A BLIND EYE TO EVIL FOR DECADES, HOPING IT WILL GO AWAY”

Thank you, Israel
By Brigitte Gabriel
The Lebanese Foundation for Peace
July 16, 2006

www.free-lebanon.com/LFPNews/2006/July/July16/July16a/july16a.html

For the millions of Christian Lebanese driven out of our homeland, “Thank you, Israel,” is the sentiment echoing from around the world. The Lebanese Foundation for Peace, an international group of Lebanese Christians, made the following statement in a press release to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert concerning the latest Israeli attacks against Hezbollah:

“We urge you to hit them hard and destroy their terror infrastructure. It is not [only] Israel who is fed up with this situation, but the majority of the silent Lebanese in Lebanon who are fed up with Hezbollah and are powerless to do anything out of fear of terror retaliation.”

Their statement continues, “On behalf of thousands of Lebanese, we ask you to open the doors of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to thousands of volunteers in the Diaspora willing to bear arms and liberate their homeland from [Islamic] fundamentalism.

We ask you for support, facilitation and logistics in order to win this struggle and achieve together the same objectives: Peace and Security for Lebanon and Israel and our future generations to come.”

The once dominate Lebanese Christians responsible for giving the world “the Paris of the Middle East” as Lebanon used to be known, have been killed, massacred, driven out of their homes and scattered around the world as radical Islam declared its holy war in the 70s and took hold of the country.

They voice an opinion that they and Israel have learned from personal experience, which is now belatedly being discovered by the rest of the world.

While the world protected the PLO withdrawing from Lebanon in 1983 with Israel hot on their heals, another more volatile and religiously idealistic organization was being born: Hezbollah, “the Party of God,” founded by Ayatollah Khomeini and financed by Iran. It was Hezbollah who blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in October,1983 killing 241 Americans and 67 French paratroopers that same day. President Reagan ordered U.S. Multilateral Force units to withdraw and closed the books on the marine massacre and US involvement in Lebanon February 1984.

The civilized world, which erroneously vilified the Christians and Israel back then and continues to vilify Israel now, was not paying attention. While America and the rest of the world were concerned about the Israeli / PLO problem, terrorist regimes in Syria and Iran fanned Islamic radicalism in Lebanon and around the world.

Hezbollah’s Shiite extremists began multiplying like proverbial rabbits out-producing moderate Sunnis and Christians. Twenty-five years later they have produced enough people to vote themselves into 24 seats in the Lebanese parliament. Since the Israeli pull out in 2000, Lebanon has become a terrorist base completely run and controlled by Syria with its puppet Lebanese President Lahood and the Hezbollah “state within a state.”

The Lebanese army has less than 10,000 military troops. Hezbollah has over 4,000 trained militia forces and there are approximately 700 Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. So why can’t the army do the job? Because the majority of Lebanese Muslims making up the army will split and unite along religious lines with the Islamic forces just like what happened in 1976 at the start of the Lebanese civil war.

It all boils down to a war of Islamic Jihad ideology vs. Judeo Christian Westernism. Muslims who are now the majority of Lebanon’s population, support Hezbollah because they are part of the Islamic Ummah-the nation. This is the taboo subject everyone is trying to avoid.

The latest attacks on Israel have been orchestrated by Iran and Syria driven by two different interests. Syria considers Lebanon a part of “greater” Syria. Young Syrian President Assad and his Ba’athist military intelligence henchmen in Damascus are using this latest eruption of violence to prove to the Lebanese that they need the Syrian presence to protect them from the Israeli aggression and to stabilize the country. Iran is conveniently using its Lebanese puppet army Hezbollah, to distract the attention of world leaders meeting at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, from its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Apocalyptic Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the ruling Mullah clerics in Tehran want to assert hegemony in the Islamic world under the banner of Shia Mahdist madness. Ahmadinejad wants to seal his place as top Jihadist for Allah by make good his promise to “wipe Israel off the map.

No matter how much the west avoids facing the reality of Islamic extremism of the Middle East, the west cannot hide from the fact that the same Hamas and Hezbollah that Israel is fighting over there, are of the same radical Islamic ideology that has fomented carnage and death through terrorism that America and the world are fighting. This is the same Hezbollah that Iran is threatening to unleash in America with suicide bomb attacks if America tries to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapon. They have cells in over 10 cities in the United States. Hamas, has the largest terrorist infrastructure on American soil. This is what happens when you turn a blind eye to evil for decades, hoping it will go away.

Sheik Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, is an Iranian agent. He is not a free actor in this play. He has been involved in terrorism for over 25 years. Iran with its Islamic vision for a Shia Middle East now has its agents, troops and money in Gaza in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Behind this is this vision that drives the Iranian President Ahmadinejad who believes he is Allah’s “tool and facilitator” bringing the end of the world as we know it and the ushering in of the era of the Mahdi. He has a blind messianic belief in the Shiite tradition of the 12th or “hidden” Islamic savior who will emerge from a well in the holy city of Qum in Iran after global chaos, catastrophes and mass deaths and establish the era of Islamic Justice and everlasting peace.

President Ahmadinejad has refused so far to respond to proposals from the U.S., EU, Russia and China on the UN Security Council to cease Iran’s relentless quest for nuclear enrichment and weapons development program until August 22nd. Why August 22nd? Because August 22nd, coincides with the Islamic date of Rajab 28, the day the great Salah El-Din conquered Jerusalem.

Ahmadinejad’s extremists ideology in triggering Armageddon gives great concerns to the intelligence community.

At this point the civilized world must unite in fighting the same enemies plaguing Israel and the world with terrorism. We need to stop analyzing the enemies’ differences as Sunni-Hamas or Shiite-Hezbollah, and start understanding that their common bond in their fight against us is radical Islam.

 

ARITHMETIC OF PAIN

Arithmetic of pain
By Alan M. Dershowitz
The Wall Street Journal
July 19, 2006

There is no democracy in the world that should tolerate missiles being fired at its cities without taking every reasonable step to stop the attacks. The big question raised by Israel’s military actions in Lebanon is what is “reasonable.” The answer, according to the laws of war, is that it is reasonable to attack military targets, so long as every effort is made to reduce civilian casualties. If the objectives cannot be achieved without some civilian casualties, these must be “proportional” to the civilian casualties that would be prevented by the military action.

This is all well and good for democratic nations that deliberately locate their military bases away from civilian population centers. Israel has its air force, nuclear facilities and large army bases in locations as remote as anything can be in that country. It is possible for an enemy to attack Israeli military targets without inflicting “collateral damage” on its civilian population. Hezbollah and Hamas, by contrast, deliberately operate military wings out of densely populated areas. They launch antipersonnel missiles with ball-bearing shrapnel, designed by Syria and Iran to maximize civilian casualties, and then hide from retaliation by living among civilians. If Israel decides not to go after them for fear of harming civilians, the terrorists win by continuing to have free rein in attacking civilians with rockets. If Israel does attack, and causes civilian casualties, the terrorists win a propaganda victory: The international community pounces on Israel for its “disproportionate” response. This chorus of condemnation actually encourages the terrorists to operate from civilian areas.

While Israel does everything reasonable to minimize civilian casualties not always with success Hezbollah and Hamas want to maximize civilian casualties on both sides. Islamic terrorists, a diplomat commented years ago, “have mastered the harsh arithmetic of pain.... Palestinian casualties play in their favor and Israeli casualties play in their favor.” These are groups that send children to die as suicide bombers, sometimes without the child knowing that he is being sacrificed. Two years ago, an 11-year-old was paid to take a parcel through Israeli security. Unbeknownst to him, it contained a bomb that was to be detonated remotely. (Fortunately the plot was foiled.)

This misuse of civilians as shields and swords requires a reassessment of the laws of war. The distinction between combatants and civilians easy when combatants were uniformed members of armies that fought on battlefields distant from civilian centers is more difficult in the present context. Now, there is a continuum of “civilianality”: Near the most civilian end of this continuum are the pure innocents babies, hostages and others completely uninvolved; at the more combatant end are civilians who willingly harbor terrorists, provide material resources and serve as human shields; in the middle are those who support the terrorists politically, or spiritually.

The laws of war and the rules of morality must adapt to these realities. An analogy to domestic criminal law is instructive: A bank robber who takes a teller hostage and fires at police from behind his human shield is guilty of murder if they, in an effort to stop the robber from shooting, accidentally kill the hostage. The same should be true of terrorists who use civilians as shields from behind whom they fire their rockets. The terrorists must be held legally and morally responsible for the deaths of the civilians, even if the direct physical cause was an Israeli rocket aimed at those targeting Israeli citizens.

Israel must be allowed to finish the fight that Hamas and Hezbollah started, even if that means civilian casualties in Gaza and Lebanon. A democracy is entitled to prefer the lives of its own innocents over the lives of the civilians of an aggressor, especially if the latter group contains many who are complicit in terrorism. Israel will and should take every precaution to minimize civilian casualties on the other side. On July 16, Hasan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, announced there will be new “surprises,” and the Aska Martyrs Brigade said that it had developed chemical and biological weapons that could be added to its rockets. Should Israel not be allowed to pre-empt their use?

Israel left Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. These are not “occupied” territories. Yet they serve as launching pads for attacks on Israeli civilians. Occupation does not cause terrorism, then, but terrorism seems to cause occupation. If Israel is not to reoccupy to prevent terrorism, the Lebanese government and the Palestinian Authority must ensure that these regions cease to be terrorist safe havens.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.