Thursday, July 27, 2006

What can Israel do?

TPM commenter LS posits Israel is doing the only thing it can to stop Hezbollah:


Here's the thing, though. I have yet to see anywhere on line an honest attempt to wrestle with the conundrum Israel faces. Hizbollah operates within civilian neighborhoods, and does things like house its weapons in apartment buildings (where people actually live). What are the military options for dealing with an enemy that positions itself in this way?


The option, sir/ma'am, would have been for Israel to abandon the 'Israel uber Alles' position they've had since '73. The option would have been for Israel not to treat the Palestinians and Lebanese like insects and vermin, annoyances to be shooed away or exterminated. The option would have been a humanitarian one as opposed to always calling in the tanks.

People don't blow themselves up in buses because they hate Israel. They do it because Israel's policies toward their people have robbed them, and their children, of hope for the future.

We also have ourselves to blame for years of 'wink and nod diplomacy' when dealing with Israel's conflicts with its neighbors. Where we give them a pat on the head and an admonition, 'just don't break too much before you're done'.

As I've said in the past, there are no saints in this struggle, but many of Israel's problems are the result of their own policies toward their neighbors. A little more 'velvet glove' as opposed to 'iron fist' over the past thirty years might have saved a lot of pain and heartache. Israel probably has no other military option at this point, for no leadership has come from Washington, and real diplomacy is a lost art at Foggy Bottom*.

*[Link added after the fact.]

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