Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Getting serious in Israel

Ze'ev Schiff from Ha'aretz on why Lebanon attacking Israel is actually kind of a big deal.

Recap for those not in the know.

Needless to say, this is not the time to be fucking with Israel.

The biggest problem with this, though, is that Israel is basically lashing out blindly, as it so often has a tendency to do. Bombing random spots in Lebanon only gives Hezbollah more popularity among the people. Blaming the Lebanese government for not stopping them is equally absurd, not unlike bombing Arafat's office for not stopping Hamas. The Lebanese can't control Hezbollah any more than Abu Mazen can control the Palestinian militias.

That said, I agree that some response is needed, because Hezbollah is obviously exploiting the situation for its own purposes. The Israelis probably figure that if they don't start hitting back hard, this will become a total free-for-all. However, blanket bombings of the Beirut airport and invasions of Lebanon are not the way to go, particularly when there's no exit strategy. Of course the real backers of Hezbollah (and Hamas, if we're going to be sticklers for details) are Iran and Syria, but a four-front war with no clear-cut goals or exit strategy probably doesn't sound all that appealing to Olmert at the moment.

For those keeping score: since Shalit's kidnapping, 64 Palestinians and 1 Israeli dead in Gaza, 22 dead in Lebanon, and 29 Israelis injured from rocket attacks.

On the plus side: How good it is when brothers sit together.
Following the meeting, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened a further session to discuss Israel's response, summoning Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai, and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz. The group as comprised is authorized to make operational decisions.

Knesset opposition chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) was en route Wednesday night to a meeting with Olmert.

The National Union-National Religious Party announced Wednesday it would join a national emergency government with no preconditions and without receiving cabinet portfolios.

The leaders of the two parties said that as long as the security situation continues, they would support the government from outside. MK Avigdor Lieberman said: "In times like these there is no opposition and no coalition, we are one people, committed to restoring security for
Israel's citizens."

Nice words. But the follow-up is all-too predictable.
MK Effi Eitam (NU-NRP) called on Peretz to resign.
Oh, Effi. You so craz-ee.

And, in a slightly lighter vein, Psycho LeDouchebag finally gets what's coming to him in France.


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