Israel to Hizbullah: Next Time We Fight to Win (FrontPageMagazine.com) by P. David Hornik 05/18/12)
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This week AFP published an important report that shouldn’t slip under
It quotes a “senior military official in Israel’s northern command”
saying that, while Hizbullah may not want another war with Israel,
Iran would order it to attack Israel in case of an Israeli strike on
Iran. In that case, says the official, the Israel-Hizbullah clash
would go “much faster” than the 2006Second Lebanon War.
That conflict, which lasted 34 days, ended with Hizbullah somewhat
shaken by the prowess shown by Israel’s air force, mainly in the
war’s opening days when it took out Hizbullah’s long-range rocket
launchers in Beirut.
But it also ended with Hizbullah still essentially in control of
southern Lebanon. Since then—despite halfhearted efforts by a beefed-
up UNIFIL—Hizbullah has only tightened its grip not only over the
south but over Lebanon as a whole.
And most problematically, it has kept importing Iranian rockets,
missiles, and other weaponry via Syria, and now—UNIFIL or no UNIFIL—
has over 50,000 rockets and missiles that, as Hizbullah leader Hassan
Nasrallah boasts, can hit any part of Israel.
Those considerations—the inconclusive results of the 2006 war and the
power Hizbullah has amassed since that time—are undoubtedly what
leads the senior military official to tell AFP that another conflict
would be “much shorter, much faster…. The most important mission
today is to win decisively in any kind of war in Lebanon. If you win,
you win—everybody sees it.”
The official then cites what he says will be Israel’s “biggest
Hezbollah’s positioning of weapons in the heart of civilian areas in
around 100 Lebanese towns and villages along the border.
“In the villages there are three-story houses: on one floor there are
rockets, then there is a family on the next floor, then a (military)
headquarters then another family. The people that live there are
“Every Shiite village has become such a compound. The great challenge
will be to deal with all these compounds.”
Indeed, last year Israel released declassified maps to the Washington
Post showing part of Hizbullah’s network of military facilities in
southernLebanon. It was a way of signaling that Israel knows where
these are and is capable of hitting them if necessary.
But apart from the operational aspect, what Hizbullah means to
confront Israel with—by ensconcing itself in the homes of families,
thereby dissolving any distinction between fighters and civilians,
gun-toting warriors and mothers and babies—is a “moral” challenge.
Seemingly, an organization so depraved that it turns ordinary houses
into military bases on the one hand, and—should such a war break out—
a hail of lethal projectiles on all parts of Israel’s civilian
population on the other, would conduce to the conclusion that
Israel’s only moral responsibility at that point would be to salvage
its own people, not those whom its enemy, Hizbullah, has reduced to
fodder in a manner that is in no way Israel’s fault.
But the problem is that Hizbullah knows all too well what it is
doing, and that when it comes to the blame game, all the precedent
will be on its side.
Thus, in the winter 2008-2009 Gaza War, Hamas—while it did not use
the human-shield strategy with the utter, systematic depravity now
demonstrated by Hizbullah—greatly bolstered its own fortunes by
ensconcing its fighters in mosques, schools, and hospitals.
The inevitable result was civilian casualties—and the Western chorus
demanding that Israel end the war became monolithic, culminating in
the infamous Goldstone Report (later essentially retracted by its
Bowing to the pressure, Israel—while having dealt a significant blow
to Hamas—ended the war without defeating the terror group. By now, of
course, Hamas too has rebuilt and rearmed, making an eventual further
round of war inevitable. But aside from Goldstone himself, there is
no sign that thisoutcome has prompted any reconsideration of knee-
jerk condemnation of Israel in such situations and the harm it
As in the case of AFP’s military official, Israel has been conveying
the message (here, for instance) that in the event of a further
confrontation with Hizbullah—whether or not in the context of a wider
war involving Iran—its goal will be to win as quickly and decisively
as possible, not to protect a civilian population—even at the expense
of its own population—that has been deliberately endangered by the
enemy it is fighting.
If so, the condemnations will come rolling in anyway, particularly
from Western countries that cannot even imagine what it means to be
under rocket attack by terror organizations on their borders. It’s to
be hoped that this time Israel will stay the course. Survival has to
come first. (Copyright © 2012 FrontPageMagazine.com 05/18/12)
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