MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
As Qassam rockets come crashing in on Israel from the south, and Zilzal, Raad and Fajr rockets (all misnamed "Katyusha") come crashing in from the north, a chorus of right wing Israeli mother-in-laws is steadily chanting "we told you so" and "the end of Beilinism." They insist that all the violence is the fault of the "leftists" (Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon). They claim things would have been much better if Ehud Barak had not withdrawn from Lebanon and if Israel had not withdrawn from Gaza.
Playing "what if" with history is a tricky game, but we can more or less understand what would have happened if Israel had not withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza. In Gaza it is simple and obvious. There were Qassam rockets before the withdrawal and they killed about a dozen people. As their accuracy improved, they would have killed a lot more people in the settlements. Hamas came to power because Arafat died, leaving a power vacuum. Everyone predicted that the PLO would fall apart without Arafat, but most of us did not draw the inevitable conclusions. Instead of fighting Hamas across the Green Line, with the tacit assent of most of the world, Israel would have been fighting Hamas inside Gaza, defending Israeli citizens inside Gaza, while the world condemned Zionist imperialist colonialist aggression and the Israeli occupation. Hundreds of settlers would have died and thousands of Palestinians. Eventually, the UN would have forced us out of Gaza. The Hamas, instead of being a rogue group subject to sanctions by the donor countries, would have been recognized as the legitimate government of the Palestinians.
In Lebanon too, we can imagine what would have happened if the IDF had stayed. There would have been no UN Security Council Resolution 1559 and no Cedar Revolution, such as it was. Lebanon would have remained even more a puppet of Syria and Iran than it is today. As the pressure on Syria and Iran mounted, they would have used Hezbollah to punish Israel. This would have included more raids on Israeli troops inside Lebanon, as well as launching of long range rockets, which can reach well beyond the narrow security zone. Israel would have been unable to respond, because the US and EU would have urged restraint and mediation, and Israel would have been forced to evacuate Lebanon.
As for "we told you so," let's remember who told whom what and when they told it. In the summer of 1967, Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz predicted that the occupation would spawn resistance, that the resistance would spawn terror, and that Israeli cities would no longer be safe. His predictions were sadly accurate. My personal acquaintance with Katyusha rockets did not come in this war. In the 1970s, I was a student living in Jerusalem. One morning a Katyusha rocket struck on Kaf-Tet beNovember street, a block from where I lived.
In Lebanon there is no Israeli occupation, but the Hezbollah was born during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and now it is part of the apparatus that Iran and Syria use to sabotage the peace process. Israel withdrew from Gaza and dismantled the settlements there, but Gaza remains under seige essentially. The seige cannot be lifted, because the Hamas and other groups would then import massive shipments of arms. Hamas too is part of the Iranian troublemaking apparatus. Like Hezbollah, it has signaled in every way possible that it will not end the "resistance" until it has ended the "occupation" of Haifa and and Tel Aviv. Once the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank let the toothpaste of Islamist radicalism out of the tube, it is very hard to put it back.
It is clearly not possible to make peace with Hamas or Hezbollah. It is equally clear that we must have peace, and we cannot have peace unless Israel is willing to end the occupation of the West Bank. Some say that Israel cannot end the occupation until Hamas and other extremists are beaten. Maybe it is equally true that Israel cannot beat Hamas and the other extremists until the occupation is ended.
"We told you so."
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Replies: 17 comments
Maybe the US should stop giving monetary aid to Israel and start using the money to send Hamas and Hezbollah on a cruise around the world. If they could for one day experience the rest of the world instead of looking through their very constricted tribal view, they may wake up to the fact that the world is bigger than a few thousand square kilometers that they fight tooth and nail to obtain. It is obvious they really have nothing better to do than fight amongst themselves and blame every self inflicted problem on Israel. I read an article that was published just after Gaza was turned over about an American-Jewish organization that purchased a large greenhouse complex from Israel on behalf of the Palestinian people. When the greenhouse was turned over to the Palestinians, they quickly dismantled it for purposes that are beyond me. Maybe they were using the panes to do some dune sledding? Anyhow, I just don't understand their thinking, and I'm not quite sure they do either.
Posted by James Sutter @ 07/19/2006 06:54 PM CST
Yeah, I agree. The US and other major world power should definately stop sending money to Israel. Maybe then they'll reconsider doing what ever the hell they want all the time and stop giving terrorist groups a reason to attack them.
While the AMERICAN-Jewish organization was kind enough to provide some Palestinians with a greenhouse, onced it's turned over, they can do what they want with it. So what if they're dune sledding? It'll give them something to do before Israel decides to reinvade their home land again.
Posted by Dolomite @ 07/19/2006 11:35 PM CST
I think that the Islamic states in the mid-east have one singular goal. The destruction of western civilization and the complete and total inialation of the Jews. The process in which this is done, the cost in human life is not important in the eyes of the Islamic terrorist. The end result is all that matters. I personally am happy to have an ally in the region. Hiding behind ones religion to pursue a hate filled agenda is ridicules. If some one breaks into your home to rob and attack you, do you not have the right to defend yourself? What if they are unarmed and you kill them? Should you be punished? The land we are talking about has changed hands many times, so many, that no one group can legitimately lay claim over another. The only solution is to share the land. That being said, how can anyone expect the Israelis to share what the now occupy with a sworn enemy?
Posted by Phil @ 07/20/2006 05:45 PM CST
This whole situatiion with Islam is beyond ridiculous. EVeryone, including the damn europeans want to blame everything on Israel. Israel is the front line, and we as Americans shoudl give Israel a HUGE THANK YOU for their stance against terrorism.
People in Israel cannot get on a bus without fear of being blown up. Lets see what happens when the first suicide bomber in our country strikes!! How do you think our response would fare? Look at what we did in Iraq and we had NO EVIDENCE of a legit threat to our country.
Israelis live with REAL threat everyday! I say go get em Israel! Lets keep money flowing to THEM! Lets not forgot the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars that we sent to the PAlestinians that is now sitting in Yasir Arifat's wifes bank! We gave those people moneyt to help their people, and they never used it for that purpose. Our morons in Congress have been funding much of the terrorism and suicide attacks in the palestinian territories for year.
Lets also not forget that the Palestinians ELECTED HAMAS. LEts not forget the Lebonese people have ELECTED the Hezballah into their govt. Lebanon has been harboring them for years, and now we are supposed to pity the poor Lebonese people? You reap what you sew.
What would we have done if we were supposed to give the German citizens pity when we bombed the crap out of their cities fighting Hitler? Ohh pity the poor germans? No! They supported the monster, and they reaped from what they sewed.
I feel terrible about palestinian and lebonese children being killed, hurt or kept from their homes. Lets not forget war is never pretty and that there are plenty of Israeli people that have died under bus bombs and cafe/nightclub/restaurant bombs in the past several years.
ISLAM IS THE PROBLEM. Despite our differences, we dont see other religiuons trying to blow up people becuase they are infidels!
**** EM. THEY REAP WHAT THEY SEW AND OUR COUNTRY BETTER START TO WAKE UP TO THE FACT THAT ISLAM AND MUSLIMS ARE GOING TO BE THE BIG REAL THREAT OF THE NEXT CENTURY.
Ask the French. ASk the Spanish. Ask the Brits. They are all having problems within their own country becuase they let muslims build up strong holds in their communities. Even in thailand in the south the crazy muslims are killing peaceful buddist people who will not conform to Islam.
I am quite positive that this latest war in Lebanon is just the beginning.
So I hope some Americans realize this is not a Jewish/Arab problem. After the jews, who will the arabs come after next? They are fundamentalists, driven by their indoctrination of hatred against us all from the time they learn how to read. They will never stop ,and we should not give them room to gain momentum.
Dumbest thing Israel ever did was to give them back land. look at the big thank you they received for the gesture. I hope they rtake it back and move these people back to Saudi Arabia, and let them occupy Mecca instead. It is their REAL holy land anyway. I dont even understand why they care so damn much about a land they should have their back to as they face Mecca!
Posted by Dan @ 07/21/2006 06:24 AM CST
The problem with the middle east is an underlying reason. The problem is IGNORANCE AND DISHONESTY. Let me start with the Jews, God does not give land to anyone period. God does not favor anyone period. The Jews are still waiting for there Messiah for 6000 years. Keep waiting. The moslims claim the middle east is their land because a military commander named Mohammed said that he had communication with God through angel Gabriel in a cave. Lie, Lie, Lie. If you as a human do not have common sense and logic then you are not even close to communicating with God, if he does exist. God created the human brain to THINK,and not to just accept things blindly. For both moslims and jews in the world, make sure God is REALLY SPEAKING TO YOU BEFORE YOU ACT because once you die and meet God, you will realize that you never talked to Him or recieved messages from him. God does not play favors, I don't need God to tell me that. It is common sense. If God favors anyone over someone else, then he is not a good God. Jews believe it that God loves the leader of Hizbullah as much as your president. God loves a prostitute and a serial killer as much as anyone else. So think really deeply before you act because even if Isreal or the Muslims win the war and take over the Middle East, you will ALL DIE, and then you will be naked with no land, money, military in face of God. You want to lie to yourself and just pretent that you are having faith in the Torah, Koran or the Bible, keep it up. Faith is not just ACCEPTING BLINDLY. Use your damn brains. Every single true prophet in history claimed direct communication with God, through miracles. And if they were lying, then there is no God, period. Next time you pray, sit there and ask yourself if the invisible air around you is really talking back. When you pray and say something to God, pause and wait for him to REALLY SPEAK BACK TO YOU. Physical communication, not some bullcrap communication through feelings, emotions, or the heart. Wait for REAL communication, just as he did with the prophets. So before you say to yourself that you are free of sin, and that God favors you, make sure that you are really communicating with God, and not just filling your head with lies. Question EVERYTHING. Question, the bible, the koran, evolution, torah. EVERYTHING. Do not just accept something blindly, that is not faith, it is STUPIDITY.
Posted by JOHN @ 07/21/2006 05:10 PM CST
The real cause is the same thing we all experience everyday. We hate because others are different. We experience it in the US when we see someone else get a job that we wanted. Our first thoughts will wonder what the potential emplyer used to discriminate against you, or you may feel anger because maybe the person who got the job had a better up-bringing. Maybe that person was of a different race. Though these thoughts are small we all have them. We hate and are jealous of others. We will first discriminate to explain to ourselves why we feel loss. This is the same cause in the Middle East, just on a much grander scale. The Israelis have much to be jealous of. They have the favor of wealthy and powerfull nations. They have a great infrastructure already in place. They are militarily superior, etc ,etc. And from an Arabs perspective, the Israelis are different in so many ways, thus plenty to discriminate about, leading to much hatred. They are (for the most part) a different race than the Arabs. They have a different faith in general. They were given property that didn't belong to them, and have committed terrorist acts to obtain property (refering to the early years). But none of these things really have any basis today, nor are they valid reasons to hate. The world must treat both Israel and the arab nations as equals if we expect them to get along. My children fight all the time for my attention, it is natural. Only when I make it clear that I love them both the same do they find the conflict meaningless and stop.
Posted by James Sutter @ 07/21/2006 07:26 PM CST
Any group who can get on a bus loaded with women and children and say they are pulling the pin for a religous cause, should be persoucued. As far as the "german people" comment, there people were in economic hard ship, hum kind of like the middle east is today. The voted a smooth talker into power and once in power, he was able to make policy, hum kind of like the middle east today. If you are going to declare war.... declare war and stop hidding, put on a uniform so at least I now who you are. Do these people even know what they are fighting for anyway. If its for SAND, I'll be more than happy to send them 50lbs of it for free. If its for religion, I think it is.... No one is going to win a religious war. So in closing, Take the mask off, put on a uniform.
Posted by Pete @ 07/23/2006 06:36 PM CST
I can not longer look at this Middle East fightings, staring via Iraq, going via Gazza to Lebanon, via Lebanon to Syria (Rice said so today in TV )via Syria afer what ? Iran?
Posted by heinz @ 07/26/2006 04:14 PM CST
The U.S. would veto anything the U.N. tried to do anyway...and guess who is behind these invasions anyway! I agree, "where is the international community?" Why are they allowing this avoidable humanitarian disaster to continue? It is all part of the Bush administrations regional strategy of 'Offensive Political Realism.'
Posted by rose @ 07/26/2006 09:32 PM CST
Both the Torah and the Bible make it quite clear what will bring peace to Israel. (Not the Koran- it doesn't have any prophecies because it is not the Word of God). Read Isaiah, Jeremiah, Revelations.
Posted by Bruce @ 07/28/2006 11:40 PM CST
OBJECTIVE??? If you own your own home and refused to move because of the deep history and memories your home had; then someone came, took you out of your own home and moved in someone else in there because apparently their ancestors used to live there?? Is this fair. How can you remain OBJECTIVE when we are faced with this underlying problem. The root cause for the palestinian/Israeli conflict. The UK set up the state Israel and now sits back and watches as conflict has pursued ever since.. OBJECTIVE?? Its not about being Muslim or Jew its about knowing when something is wrong and challenging it!! We shouldn't support the people because you are a Jew and they are Jew's or you are a Muslim and they are Muslim's. You should support what is morally right and challenge what is morally wrong. The way Israel was created was wrong. But we are here now and this cannot be changed. The killing of innocent people in Lebonan is wrong and Israel do themselves no favours as the world sees their killings in the media. The solution needs to be fair and needs to understand why palestian's are angry. They are being asked to accept two small pieces of the home which was once ALL theirs.. Is that fair.. can you remain OBJECTIVE???
Posted by abbi @ 07/30/2006 07:06 PM CST
abbi, you talk about "We" when you talk about the underlying problem, "We shouldn't support" and they you talk about the killing of people in Lebonan. You should again put "We". If you are going to part of the issue, you have to be all in. As far a the UK setting up the state of Israel, it was more than just the UK it was the UN. Stop stepping on the UK or US flag and start stepping on the UN flag. If Israel wants a 1.5 mile buffer zone. I say make it 3 miles 1.5 in Lebonan and 1.5 in Israel. If the people of Lebonan would just put pressure on their government to tell these "TERRORIST / HEZBOLLAH" to get out and stop causing problems, this war would go away. What is it with these radical idiots, take the mask off and come out in public.
Posted by Pete @ 07/31/2006 12:22 AM CST
your quote first:
You want an answer to that. Ok, lets say that every Hizbollah fighter comes out in complete open fields and take of their "masks" as you wish of them Pete. Let's see here, Hizbollah with their Katusha rockets and little crapy fire arms in an open field, AGAINST, the best and most powefull military equipment money can buy. YOU WOULD HAVE BETTER ODDS OF BETTING ON BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING 4 TIMES IN A ROW, THEN BETTING ON HIZBOLLAH WINING. So you see Pete, the real idiot is Pete. Hizbollah, while I do think are stupid, are more intellectual than you are Pete. So just crawl back into your hole of ignorance and shut up. Hizbollah and Hamaz and other haters of Isreal, are not just acting like this because they have nothing else better to do. If I raped your mom and stole your home, and then you found out that I was the President of the United States, what would you do Pete???? Run out in the open fields with you little fire arm and try to shoot me with you all the secret service men protecting me. NO. YOU WOULD TAKE OTHER MEASURES. THEY BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CHOICE ON HOW THEY FIGHT. BOTH SIDES CAN CHOOSE TO STOP FIGHTING IF THEY WANTED TO, BUT IF THEY DO FIGHT, THEN HIZBOLLAH AND HAMAS HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO FIGHT THE GUERILLA WARFARE. THE UNITED STATES HAD TO USE THESE TACTICS TO DEFEAT BRITIAN FOR SELFINDEPENDENCE.
Posted by JOHN @ 07/31/2006 04:19 PM CST
This is to slick JOHN.
Hizbollah and Hamas are TERRORIST. The have to hide behind their mask and BLOW UP women and children, because the have NO BALLS. Yes the Americans did fight with gorilla tacktics but WE WEREN'T BLOWING UP WOMEN AND CHILDREN ON A BUS OR IN A MARKET. Grow up and have a set. You don't even know what you're fighting over anymore. I feel sorry for the people of Lebonan. Why doesn't the Lebonan Government tell Hizbollah to get out.
Posted by Pete @ 08/03/2006 09:52 PM CST
Land for peace.What Land for peace?
Posted by tony @ 08/11/2006 06:47 AM CST
TO DUMBASS PETE,
Pete, you mention BALLS, your right it doesn't take much balls to kill
Posted by john @ 09/11/2006 06:26 PM CST
John, I would first like to THANK YOU for the clarification, "These terrorists do not only KILL WOMEN AND CHILDREN they kill men too." I realy don't think it takes much brains or skill or balls to kill your self. Maybe we should open one of those terrorist training camps and give them all LIVE bomb and then on the count of 3, pull the pin. 1... 2.. 3. John you still there or did you go BOMB. John, Hatred and Murder are to easy and doesn't take any imagination or intelligence.
Posted by Pete @ 09/17/2006 12:38 AM CST
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