Conflict: Israel and Lebanon part 5

Starting a new thread as the old one keeps timing out.

Amid the continued pointless carnage over the weekend, Israeli author, David Grossman’s son, Uri, was killed. David Grossman had earlier appeared in public with other reknowned Israeli authors, A.B. Yehoshua and Amos Oz, to urge the Israeli government to accept the ceasefire plan as a basis for talks.

[quote]Author David Grossman’s son killed
The three authors initially expressed unequivocal support for a military act of self-defense at the outbreak of the war, but later changed their position in the face of the cabinet’s decision to expand operations in Lebanon. Grossman himself argued that Israel already exhausted its self-defense right.

“The argument that an Israeli presence on the Litani (River) would prevent the firing of missiles on Israel is an illusion. Even the argument that we mustn’t give Hizbullah a sense of security has been irrelevant for a long time. Hizbullah wishes to see us sink deeper into the Lebanese swamp,” Grossman said.

He also joined, along with Meretz and Peace Now, left-wing protesters who demonstrated against the war and called on the defense minister and government to halt military operations.

“Now we must look three steps ahead and not to the regular direction, not to the familiar, instinctive reaction of the Israeli way of fighting – that is, what doesn’t work with force will work with much more force,” Grossman said. “Force, in this case, will fan the flames of hatred to Israel in the region and the entire world, and may even, heaven forbid, create the situation that will bring upon us the next war and push the Middle east to an all-out, regional war.”

Turning his attention to a cease-fire deal, Grossman said: “Had they proposed to us (Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad) Siniora’s agreement a month ago, wouldn’t we have received it gladly and with cries of joy? We won’t receive a better offer than this, even after we pulverize the rest of Lebanon and ourselves.”[/quote]

[quote]Son of anti-war author Grossman dies in battle
On Sunday, the war brought disaster home to Grossman when his son Uri, a 20-year-old staff-sergeant, was killed by an anti-tank missile that hit his tank. The younger Grossman was taking part in a major military offensive in the southern Lebanon village of Hirbat Kasif, aimed at sweeping the area clear of Hizbullah fighters ahead of Monday’s expected cease-fire. Two other soldiers and an officer were killed in the same incident.

Uri Grossman, who was two weeks shy of his 21st birthday, served as a tank commander, and was due to complete his military service in November. He had planned to travel abroad after his army service, and then to study theater.

In his last conversation with his parents, Uri expressed his happiness over the cease-fire and said that he would have Friday night dinner at home. [/quote]

What a horrible waste.



[quote]Senior sources in the Israel Defense Forces General Staff and field officers who took part in the war in Lebanon said on Tuesday that Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, who went to his bank branch and sold an NIS 120,000 investment portfolio only three hours after two soldiers were abducted by Hezbollah on the northern border, cannot escape resignation.

The sources say there is a clear ethical flaw in the chief of staff’s behavior during the hours when soldiers were killed in Lebanon and others were attempting to rescue wounded. Halutz should resign the moment the military completes its pullout from south Lebanon, they said.

At this stage, it does not appear that Halutz intends to resign of his own accord.

Several hours after the July 12 abduction, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared war on Hezbollah and Israeli warplanes began bombing targets deep inside Lebanon.

But as the country’s political and military echelons met urgently to discuss the possible declaration of war, Halutz went at 12:00 P.M. to sell an investment portfolio, the Ma’ariv newspaper reported on Tuesday.[/quote]

So who won the war?

Well, Olmert’s under fire for the handling of this mini-war, and suddenly, explosively, popular Hezbollah may or may not (uhm, who’s for not?) disarm or withdraw.

More than a thousand dead, a month of destruction, and close to ten years’ progress lost.

Score one for the bad guys.

(And another for idiocy.)

[quote=“Jaboney”]Well, Olmert’s under fire for the handling of this mini-war, and suddenly, explosively, popular Hezbollah may for may not (uhm, who’s for not?) disarm or withdraw.

More than a thousand dead, a month of destruction, and close to ten years’ progress lost.

Score one for the bad guys.

(And another for idiocy.)

right on.

[quote]When Israel answered the Hezbollah raid that captured two soldiers with air strikes on Lebanon’s airport, runways, gas stations, lighthouses, bridges, buses, apartment houses, and power plants, we who questioned the wisdom and morality of what Israel was doing were denounced as anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.

Turns out we were right. In private, even Israeli army generals were raging that Israel was fighting a stupid, losing war.

Ehud Olmert, who gave Chief of Staff Dan Halutz the green light to launch the shock-and-awe air campaign, cannot survive the moral, political, and strategic disaster his country has suffered. [/quote]

Of course Halutz is in a state of shock…his Air Force background will be a greater point of contention now…although the IDF has proved to the world that it can easily destroy the civilian infrastructure of a neighbouring country…and fail to retrieve the bodies of killed comrades a few miles from the Israeli border…

[quote]The losers?

Lebanon, which suffered 800 dead, thousands injured, and 1 million made refugees, saw its infrastructure destroyed and nation set back 20 years. If the government falls or Lebanon becomes a failed state, it will be an even greater calamity for the Lebanese, and for Israel and the Middle East. For the mightiest political and military force in Lebanon, and likely heir apparent to power slipping away from Prime Minister Siniora, is now Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah.

Says Walid Jumblatt, savage critic of Hezbollah and its Syrian alliance, “Hassan Nasrallah has won militarily and politically, and has become a new leader like Nasser.” [/quote]

thats a no-brainer…and now that Hezbollah is giving monetary assistance to the displaced Lebanese they look a damned bit better than what the “Cedar Revolution” offered.

Another loser is Israel, and Olmert, who seized on the border skirmish to launch his Lebanon war. Writes Ari Shavit of Ha’aretz:

“Chutzpah has its limits. You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeats, and remain in power. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power, bring the next war very close, and then say, oops, I made a mistake.”

Olmert and Halutz are history. The Kadima Party regime will fall. Left and Right are already tearing at its flanks.

What does this mean? The Sharon-Olmert policy of unilateral withdrawal from the territories is dead. The Hamas-led Palestinian authority, the creation of the freest and fairest elections ever held in Palestine, is on a death watch, after Israel’s starvation blockade and ravaging of the Gaza Strip, which has left 150 Palestinians dead.

A new Israeli regime will not withdraw from any more land, nor shut down any more settlements, nor vacate any part of Jerusalem, nor negotiate with a Palestinian Authority led by Hamas, or by a PLO that is unable to disarm Hamas. We are at a dead end, as George W. Bush will not push the Israelis to do anything, nor will Congress. [/quote]

plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose

America is another loser.

The United States knew in advance Israel planned to attack and, if possible, destroy Hezbollah. And America approved.

But when Olmert launched an air war on Lebanon, instead, Bush cheered him on, refused to rein in attacks on civilian targets, sent smart bombs and used U.S. influence at the United Nations to block an early cease-fire. Bush-Cheney are thus morally and politically culpable for what was done to Lebanon and the democratic government there that was born of a “Cedar Revolution” George Bush himself had championed.

Congress poodled along with Bush, so Bush will not be called to account, as he would be were any other nation but Israel involved. From Morocco to the Gulf, there is probably not a country today that would welcome Bush, or where he would be safe on a state visit. [/quote]


Bush is on notice from the neocons and War Party that have all but destroyed his presidency: Either you take down Iran, Mr. Bush, or you are a failed president.

If the president is still listening to these people, Lord help the Republic. [/quote]

An alcoholic with learning disabilities who deserted his unit during a time of war who is taking orders from a treacherous criminal named Cheney!
:notworthy: :noway: :loco:

wave the flag! :America:

*article quoted above from:

So when are the boys in the [color=cyan]Powder Blue Helmets[/color] coming to keep the peace?

After they finish warming up with Canadian Club!

What a complete fuck up. It really is time to start thinking outside the usual boxes.

From Stratfor (subscription only):


[quote]Cease-Fire: Shaking Core Beliefs in the Middle East
By George Friedman

An extraordinary thing happened in the Middle East this month. An Israeli army faced an Arab army and did not defeat it – did not render it incapable of continued resistance. That was the outcome in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982. But it did not happen in 2006. Should this outcome stand, it will represent a geopolitical earthquake in the region – one that fundamentally shifts expectations and behaviors on all sides.

It is not that Hezbollah defeated the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It did not. By most measures, it got the worst of the battle. Nevertheless, it has been left standing at the end of the battle. Its forces in the Bekaa Valley and in the Beirut area have been battered, though how severely is not yet clear. Its forces south of the Litani River were badly hurt by the Israeli attack. Nevertheless, the correlation of forces was such that the Israelis should have dealt Hezbollah, at least in southern Lebanon, a devastating blow, such that resistance would have crumbled. IDF did not strike such a blow – so as the cease-fire took effect, Hezbollah continued to resist, continued to inflict casualties on Israeli troops and continued to fire rockets at Israel. Hezbollah has not been rendered incapable of continued resistance, and that is unprecedented.

In the regional equation, there has been an immutable belief: that, at the end of the day, IDF was capable of imposing a unilateral military solution on any Arab force. Israel might have failed to achieve its political goals in its various wars, but it never failed to impose its will on an enemy force. As a result, all neighboring nations and entities understood there were boundaries that could be crossed only if a country was willing to accept a crushing Israeli response. All neighboring countries – Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, prior to the collapses of central authority – understood this and shaped their behavior in view of it. Even when Egypt and Syria initiated war in 1973, it was with an understanding that their war aims had to be limited, that they had to accept the probability of defeat and had to focus on postwar political maneuvers rather than on expectations of victory.

The Egyptians withdrew from conflict and accepted the Sinai as a buffer zone, largely because 1973 convinced them that continued conflict was futile. Jordan, since 1970, has been effectively under the protection of Israel against threats from Syria and internal dangers as well. Syria has not directly challenged the Israelis since 1973, preferring indirect challenges and, not infrequently, accommodation with Israel. The idea of Israel as a regional superpower has been the defining principle.

In this conflict, what Hezbollah has achieved is not so much a defeat of Israel as a demonstration that destruction in detail is not an inevitable outcome of challenging Israel. Hezbollah has showed that it is possible to fight to a point that Israel prefers a cease-fire and political settlement to a military victory followed by political accommodation. Israel might not have lost any particular battle, and a careful analysis of the outcome could prove its course to be reasonable. But the loss of the sense – and historical reality – of the inevitability of Israeli military victory is a far more profound defeat for Israel, as this clears the way for other regional powers to recalculate risks.

Hezbollah’s Preparations

Hezbollah meticulously prepared for the war by analyzing Israeli strengths and weaknesses. Israel is casualty-averse by dint of demographics. It therefore resorts to force multipliers such as air power and armor, combined with excellent reconnaissance and tactical intelligence. Israel uses mobility to cut lines of supply and air power to shatter centralized command-and-control, leaving enemy forces disorganized, unbalanced and unsupplied.

Hezbollah sought to deny Israel its major advantages. The group created a network of fortifications in southern Lebanon that did not require its fighters to maneuver and expose themselves to Israeli air power. Hezbollah stocked those bunkers so fighters could conduct extended combat without the need for resupply. It devolved command to the unit level, making it impossible for a decapitation strike by Israel to affect the battlefield. It worked in such a way that, while the general idea of the defense architecture was understood by Israeli military intelligence, the kind of detailed intelligence used – for example, in 1967 – was denied the Israelis. Hezbollah acquired anti-tank weapons from Syria and Iran that prevented Israeli armor from operating without prior infantry clearing of anti-tank teams. And by doing that, the group forced the Israelis to accept casualties in excess of what could, apparently, be tolerated. In short, it forced the Israelis to fight Hezbollah’s type of war, rather than the other way around.

Hezbollah then initiated war at the time and place of its choosing. There has been speculation that Israel planned for such a war. That might be the case, but it is self-evident that, if the Israelis wanted this war, they were not expecting it when it happened. The opening of the war was not marked by the capture of two Israeli soldiers. Rather, it was the persistent and intense bombardment of Israel with missiles – including attacks against Israel’s third-largest city, Haifa – that compelled the Israelis to fight at a moment when they obviously were unprepared for war, and could not clearly decide either their war aims or strategy. In short, Hezbollah applied a model that was supposed to be Israel’s forte: The group prepared meticulously for a war and launched it when the enemy was unprepared for it.

Hezbollah went on the strategic offensive and tactical defensive. It created a situation in which Israeli forces had to move to the operational and tactical offensive at the moment of Hezbollah’s highest level of preparedness. Israel could not decline combat, because of the rocket attacks against Haifa, nor was it really ready for war – particularly psychologically. The Israelis fought when Hezbollah chose and where Hezbollah chose. Their goals were complex, where Hezbollah’s were simple. Israel wanted to stop the rockets, break Hezbollah, suffer minimal casualties and maintain its image as an irresistible military force. Hezbollah merely wanted to survive the Israeli attack. The very complexity of Israel’s war aims, hastily crafted as they were, represented a failure point.

The Foundations of Israeli Strategy

It is important to think through the reasoning that led to Israeli operations. Israel’s actions were based on a principle promulgated by Ariel Sharon at the time of his leadership. Sharon argued that Israel must erect a wall between Israelis and Arabs. His reasoning stemmed from circumstances he faced during Israel’s occupation of Lebanon: Counterinsurgency operations impose an unnecessary and unbearable cost in the long run, particularly when designed to protect peripheral interests. The losses may be small in number but, over the long term, they pose severe operational and morale challenges to the occupying force. Therefore, for Sharon, the withdrawal from Lebanon in the 1980s created a paradigm. Israel needed a national security policy that avoided the burden of counterinsurgency operations without first requiring a political settlement. In other words, Israel needed to end counterinsurgency operations by unilaterally ending the occupation and erecting a barrier between Israel and hostile populations.

The important concept in Sharon’s thinking was not the notion of impenetrable borders. Rather, the important concept was the idea that Israel could not tolerate counterinsurgency operations because it could not tolerate casualties. Sharon certainly did not mean or think that Israel could not tolerate casualties in the event of a total conventional war, as in 1967 or 1973. There, extreme casualties were both tolerable and required. What he meant was that Israel could tolerate any level of casualties in a war of national survival but, paradoxically, could not tolerate low-level casualties in extended wars that did not directly involve Israel’s survival.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was Sharon’s protege. Olmert was struggling with the process of disengagement in Gaza and looking toward the same in the West Bank. Lebanon, where Israel learned the costs of long-term occupation, was the last place he wanted to return to in July 2006. In his view, any operation in Lebanon would be tantamount to a return to counterinsurgency warfare and occupation. He did not recognize early on that Hezbollah was not fighting an insurgency, but rather a conventional war of fixed fortifications.

Olmert did a rational cost-benefit analysis. First, if the principle of the Gaza withdrawal was to be followed, the last place the Israelis wanted to be was in Lebanon. Second, though he recognized that the rocket attacks were intolerable in principle, he also knew that, in point of fact, they were relatively ineffective. The number of casualties they were causing, or were likely to cause, would be much lower than those that would be incurred with an invasion and occupation of Lebanon. Olmert, therefore, sought a low-cost solution to the problem of Hezbollah.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz offered an attractive alternative. Advocating what air force officers have advocated since the 1930s, Halutz launched an air campaign designed to destroy Hezbollah. It certainly hurt Hezbollah badly, particularly outside of southern Lebanon, where longer-range rocket launchers were located. However, in the immediate battlefield, limited tactical intelligence and the construction of the bunkers appear to have blunted the air attack. As Israeli troops moved forward across the border, they encountered a well-prepared enemy that undoubtedly was weakened but was not destroyed by the air campaign.

At this point, Olmert had a strategic choice to make. He could mount a multi-divisional invasion of Lebanon, absorb large numbers of casualties and risk being entangled in a new counterinsurgency operation, or he could seek a political settlement. He chose a compromise. After appearing to hesitate, he launched an invasion that seemed to bypass critical Hezbollah positions (isolating them), destroying other positions and then opting for a cease-fire that would transfer responsibility for security to the Lebanese army and a foreign peacekeeping force.

Viewed strictly from the standpoint of cost-benefit analysis, Olmert was probably right. Except that Hezbollah’s threat to Israel proper had to be eliminated, Israel had no interests in Lebanon. The cost of destroying Hezbollah’s military capability would have been extremely high, since it involved moving into the Bekaa Valley and toward Beirut – let alone close-quarters infantry combat in the south. And even then, over time, Hezbollah would recover. Since the threat could be eliminated only at a high cost and only for a certain period of time, the casualties required made no sense.

This analysis, however, excluded the political and psychological consequences of leaving an enemy army undefeated on the battlefield. Again, do not overrate what Hezbollah did: The group did not conduct offensive operations; it was not able to conduct maneuver combat; it did not challenge the Israeli air force in the air. All it did was survive and, at the end of the war, retain its ability to threaten Israel with such casualties that Israel declined extended combat. Hezbollah did not defeat Israel on the battlefield. The group merely prevented Israel from defeating it. And that outcome marks a political and psychological triumph for Hezbollah and a massive defeat for Israel.

Implications for the Region

Hezbollah has demonstrated that total Arab defeat is not inevitable – and with this demonstration, Israel has lost its tremendous psychological advantage. If an operational and tactical defensive need not end in defeat, then there is no reason to assume that, at some point, an Arab offensive operation need not end in defeat. And if the outcome can be a stalemate, there is no reason to assume that it cannot be a victory. If all things are possible, then taking risks against Israel becomes rational.

The outcome of this war creates two political crises.

In Israel, Olmert’s decisions will come under serious attack. However correct his cost-benefit analysis might have been, he will be attacked over the political and psychological outcome. The entire legacy of Ariel Sharon – the doctrine of disengagement – will now come under attack. If Israel is thrown into political turmoil and indecision, the outcome on the battlefield will have been compounded politically.

There is now also a crisis in Lebanon and in the Muslim world. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has emerged as a massive political force. Even in the multi-confessional society, Hezbollah will be a decisive factor. Syria, marginalized in the region for quite a while, becomes more viable as Hezbollah’s patron. Meanwhile, countries like Jordan and Egypt must reexamine their own assumptions about Israel. And in the larger Muslim world, Hezbollah’s victory represents a victory for Iran and the Shia. Hezbollah, a Shiite force, has done what others could not do. This will profoundly effect the Shiite position in Iraq – where the Shia, having first experienced the limits of American power, are now seeing the expanding boundaries of Iranian power.

We would expect Hezbollah, Syria and Iran to move rapidly to exploit what advantage this has given them, before it dissipates. This will increase pressures not only for Israel, but also for the United States, which is engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in a vague confrontation with Iran. For the Israelis and the Americans, restabilizing their interests will be difficult.

Now, some would argue that Israel’s possession of weapons of mass destruction negates the consequences of regional perception of weakness. That might be the case, but the fact is that Israel’s possession of such weapons did not prevent attacks in 1973, nor were those weapons usable in this case. Consider the distances involved: Israeli forces have been fighting 10 miles from the border. And if Damascus were to be struck with the wind blowing the wrong way, northern Israel would be fried as well. Israel could undertake a nuclear strike against Iran, but the threat posed by Iran is indirect – since it is far away – and would not determine the outcome of any regional encounter. Certainly, the possession of nuclear weapons provides Israel a final line from which to threaten enemies – but by the time that became necessary, the issue already would have shifted massively against Israel. Nuclear weapons have not been used since World War II – in spite of many apparent opportunities to do so – because, as a weapon, the utility is more apparent than real. Possession of nuclear weapons can help guarantee regime survival, but not, by itself, military success.

As it stands, logic holds that, given the tenuous nature of the cease-fire, casus belli on Israel’s part can be found and the war reinitiated. Given the mood in Israel, logic would dictate the fall of Olmert, his replacement by a war coalition and an attempt to change the outcome. But logic has not applied to Israeli thinking during this war. We have been consistently surprised by the choices Israel has made, and it is not clear whether this is simply Olmert’s problem or one that has become embedded in Israel.

What is clear is that, if the current outcome stands, it will mean there has been a tremendous earthquake in the Middle East. It is cheap and easy to talk about historic events. But when a reality that has dominated a region for 58 years is shattered, it is historic. Perhaps this paves the way to new wars. Perhaps Olmert’s restraint opens the door for some sort of stable peace. But from where we sit, he was sufficiently aggressive to increase hostility toward Israel without being sufficiently decisive to achieve a desired military outcome.

Hezbollah and Iran hoped for this outcome, though they did not really expect it. They got it. The question on the table now is what they will do with it.[/quote]


This war really brings new meaning to a “win-win” situation.

No shit!

I’m just glad the shooting has stopped.

So what do the pro war crowd think of this cease fire?

Depends on what Hezbollah does next, doesn’t it? If it continues to go after Israel then I guess it will not be much of a ceasefire. Given that the group has no intention of disarming, I guess we will have to see what kind of military actions it continues to engage in. This is why I was so disappointed that we did not take out Syria before. Had we done so, Lebanon would not be in as much trouble as it is today. I am not optimistic. Even worse, I have a feeling that we will be getting a very dramatic announcement from Iran in a week or so about its now-armed and ready nuclear capabilities.

Syria? I thought Iran was the main culprit the neo-cons wanted to invade.

Syria’s the low-hanging fruit

This about sums it up:

[quote]Since the United Nations resolution calling for a halt to hostilities, Prime Minister Olmert, President Bush, Secretary-General Nasrallah, President al-Asad and President Ahmadinejad have all been procliaming the war a personal victory.

I don’t know why they would want to claim it.

It was such a stupid war. It was thick-as-two-blocks-of-wood strategy on all sides. It was moronic for the Israelis to plan it out last year. It was idiotic for Hizbullah to cross over into Israel, kill soldiers, and take two captive. It was brain dead for the Israeli officer corps and politicians to think they could get anything positive out of bombing Lebanon back to the stone age and making a million people homeless. It was dim-witted for Hasan Nasrallah to threaten Israelis with releasing poison gases from Haifa chemical plants on them. It was obtuse for the Israelis to confront a dug-in guerrilla movement with green conventional troops marching in straight lines. It was dull of Hizbullah to fire thousands of katyushas into open fields where they mainly damaged wild grass. The few times when the rockets managed to kill someone, it was often an Arab Israeli civilian. Stupid.[/quote]

Well all sides may be claiming victory, but . . .

First Halutz must go
By Haaretz Editorial

And elsewhere . . .

[quote]Israelis call for army chief’s head
Jonathan Pearlman in Jerusalem and agencies
August 17, 2006
IN THESE first days of a fragile truce, as the soldiers return from the northern front, there is growing unease about the new crop of leaders who took the country into a war that most Israelis believe they did not win.

While the Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has promised to take personal responsibility for the shortcomings of the military campaign, the public’s attention has turned to the conduct of the army’s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, after reports he sold shares on July 12 en route to a meeting to advise the Government to go to war.

General Halutz has so far resisted widespread calls to resign and claimed the sale had no connection to the impending war.

But commentators have been less concerned with the potential insider trading than the revelation that the head of the nation’s army stopped at a bank to sell shares worth 120,000 shekels ($36,000) before attending a meeting to discuss a morning raid in which Hezbollah had just kidnapped two soldiers on the northern border. (more . . . )[/quote]

You don’t suppose the good General Halutz sold his shares to buy gold, do you? I hope so. I mean, at least that way he may have at least scored a personal victory.


Syria’s the low-hanging fruit[/quote]

Didn’t the Art of War suggest fighting only battles you KNOW you can win?

Sounds reasonable then to go after “low hanging fruit.” Maybe smaller wars postpone or help sometimes to avoid larger wars.



Wow! Syria is big.

"Wow! Brazil is big.”
– President Bush, 11/6/05

[quote]The Jihadi Civilians
by Alamgir Hussain, 16 August, 2006

The 12th July misadventure of the Lebanese Islamist Hezbollah militants to attack a military outpost inside Israeli territory killing three soldiers and kidnapping two of them resulted in Israel’s massive military operation, mainly bombings, in Lebanon. During this military conflict, the major news headline and commentary appeared in the media worldwide centered on Israel’s indiscriminate and deliberate targeting of the civilians. Even the UN secretary general Koffi Annan suggested that certain Israeli bombings were deliberate targeting of nonmilitary entities.

As per report by Associated Press on 9th of August, 689 people died on the Lebanese side, the majority being the civilians as claimed by the Lebanese government. On the other hand, the Israeli side has claimed that they killed about 530 Hezbollah guerrillas, although the militant groups conceded the loss of only a handful of its members. Given the way Hezbollah operates hiding amongst the civilians and using them as shields; it is very difficult to determine who is militant and who is not, amongst those who died. Thus, the correct ratio of the civilian to militant death would be difficult to establish.

Even if we agree that there were a high proportion of civilian deaths as compared to the militants, the nature of these alleged civilians requires a careful analysis. The civilians in South Lebanon and those in West Bank and Gaza cannot be equated with the civilians in the traditional sense of it. In other words, the nature and attitude of civilians on the Israeli side and those on the Lebanese side differed significantly.

The military outposts on the Israeli side are situated far off from the civilian population and an opponent can destroy the entire Israeli military without harming civilians. On the Lebanese side, the militants have created their networks and guerrilla outposts scattered amongst the civilians and the civilians are in general quite supportive of such an arrangement. Therefore, there is no way to destroy the Hezbollah militia without causing casualties to the civilians.

Next, when the Israeli authority asked their civilian in Northern Israel to hide in bunkers or evacuate to safer places, they quickly obliged in order to avoid being the target of the Hezbollah rockets and missiles. But the Lebanese civilians not only willingly harbor the militants, many of them also would not move out from the area when the Israel military was repeatedly asking them to evacuate. Their unwillingness to evacuate stems from the conviction to support their Jihadi militant brothers at this point of crisis. They know their deaths at the Israeli attacks would bring them the certification of martyrdom and a ticket for straight landing in heaven. They further know that their death of martyrdom would create worldwide media outcry and condemnation of Israel in the name of civilian murder which would help the fight of the Hezbollah Jihadists. This is their strategy of civilian Jihad.

Regarding the so-called civilians of the Shiite-dominated South Lebanon and those of the West Bank and Gaza, another salient point requires a special mention. When the UN conducted the first truly democratic free-and-fair elections in Lebanon and Palestine, these alleged civilians overwhelming voted the Hamas and Hezbollah militants, who have pledged to destroy the Israeli state, as their representatives. They chose these militants groups because the latter can fulfill their own aspiration to destroy the Israeli state, which remains an overwhelming desire amongst the entire Muslims community of the world. A Bangladeshi author in a well-read Bangla community web-portal wrote [Israel and Middle East]: “As per the holly Quran Israel can never own a land for its own and exactly they don’t have any land of their own. It would be absolutely unjust if any Muslim thinks that Israel has its own land. Because, this view is in conflict with our holy Quran”. Thus, the choosing of the Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist groups by the so-called civilians also display another dimension of their Jihadi conviction against the Jewish state. We frequently hear news-stories of how the so-called civilian mothers in West Bank and Gaza are eager to breed more children in order to contribute them in the Jihadi groups’ suicide-bombing campaign against Israel.

Thus, the so-called civilian in South Lebanon and West Bank and Gaza are not the typical civilians like those on the Israeli side or elsewhere. The can described either as the Jihadi civilians, terrorist civilians or terrorism-supporting civilians. Their Jihad, against the Jewish state of Israel, works at multiple steps. Firstly they will elect these Jihadist militias in democratic elections so that the latter groups can work on fulfilling their desire for the destruction of Israel. Secondly, they will support and harbor these terrorists and let them execute the terrorist activities against the Jewish state sitting or hiding amongst them. Thirdly, they will support the terrorist groups at the time of military conflicts by not leaving the war zones, thereby, forming a civilian human shields hoping that a few casualties of their own would create international outcry over civilian deaths. This will give strategic edge in favor their Jihadi groups whilst they themselves would instantly land in heaven with the ticket of martyrdom.

Israel must take notice of these issues whilst battling the militant groups in Palestine and Lebanon. Treating the unarmed people there, as conventional civilians, would lead to Israel’s sure defeat at the hands of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and other Islamic terrorist groups. These so-called civilians are the part and parcel of the Jihadi campaigns of these terrorist groups. These civilians are the bloodline and important strategic component of these Jihadi groups. Call them Jihadi civilians, if not the terrorist civilians.

The International community must understand these intricate issues, if they truly want to see a peaceful settlement of the perennial conflict in the Middle East with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side as friendly states. The civilians in Lebanon and West Bank and Gaza, too, can make their own choice for peace by supporting political groups interested in making peace with Israel. They need to throw these Jihadist groups, which seek to destroy the Jewish state, out of their office through ballots when opportunities are presented to them. If not, more blood of the Jihadi civilians is sure to flow with all the familiar outcry and condemnation of Israel’s ruthless killing of the civilians. Israel has little choice, howsoever severe the condemnations be! … ilians.htm[/quote]