The Neigbourhood Bully
Gideon Levy i Ha'aretz:
Every neighborhood has one, a loudmouth bully who shouldn't be provoked into anger. He's insulted? He'll pull out a knife. Spat in the face? He'll draw a gun. Hit? He'll pull out a machine gun. Not that the bully's not right - someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction! It's not that he's not feared, but nobody really appreciates him. The real appreciation is for the strong who don't immediately use their strength. Regrettably, the Israel Defense Forces once again looks like the neighborhood bully. A soldier was abducted in Gaza? All of Gaza will pay. Eight soldiers are killed and two abducted to Lebanon? All of Lebanon will pay. One and only one language is spoken by Israel, the language of force.Og strategien er, som vi før har været inde på, klart nok kontraproduktiv. Hvad hjælper det at ødelægge lufthavnen i Beirut, eller at bombe det nordlige Libanon, hvor der ikke er nogen Hizbollah-sympatisører, eller at dræbe tilfældige civile? Hvad skader det Hizbollah?
The war that the IDF has now declared on Lebanon and before it on Gaza, will never be considered another "war of no choice." Let's save that debate from the historians. This is unequivocally a war of choice. The IDF absorbed two painful blows, which were particularly humiliating, and in their wake went into a war that is all about restoring its lost dignity, which on our side is called "restoring deterrent capabilities." Neither in Lebanon nor certainly in Gaza, can anyone formulate the real goals of the war, so nobody knows for sure what will be considered victory or an achievement. Are we at war in Lebanon? With Hezbollah? Nobody knows for sure. If the goal is to remove Hezbollah from the border, did we try hard enough over the last two years through diplomatic channels? And what's the connection between destroying half of Lebanon and that goal? Everyone agrees that "something must be done." Everyone agrees that a sovereign state cannot remain silent when it is attacked within its own borders, though in Israel's eyes Lebanese sovereignty was always subject to trampling, but why should that non-silence be expressed solely by an immediate and all-out blow?
In Gaza, a soldier is abducted from the army of a state that frequently abducts civilians from their homes and locks them up for years with or without a trial - but only we're allowed to do that. And only we're allowed to bomb civilian population centers.
Det hjælper naturligvis intet som helst - men på længere gør det folk også i det nordlige Libanon til Israels fjender. Overreaktionen gavner sandsynligvis Hizbollah.
Så hvorfor gør Israel det så på denne måde i stedet for at give en respons som står i rimeligt forhold til den trussel, de står overfor?
Den israelske forsker Ilan Pappe mener, at det skyldes, at det israelske militær ganske enkelt ikke er gearet til at tænke småt, og kun kan finde ud af at løse små konflikter ved at eskalere dem:
Imagine a group of high ranking generals who simulated for years Third World War scenarios in which they can move huge armies around, employ the most sophisticated weapons in their disposal and enjoy the immunity of a computerized headquarters from which they can direct their war games. Now imagine that they are informed that in fact there is no Third World War and their expertise is needed to calm down some of the nearby slums or deal with soaring crime in deprived townships and impoverished neighborhoods. And then imagine - in the final episode in my chimerical crisis - what happens when they find out how irrelevant have their plans been and how useless are their weapons in the struggle against the street violence produced by social inequality, poverty and years of discrimination in their society. They can either admit failure or decide none the less to use the massive and destructive arsenal at their disposal. We are witnessing today the havoc wreaked by Israeli generals who opted for latter course of action.Bistroisten er inde på lignende tanker og citerer en tidligere kommentar af Gideon Levy, denne gang om Israels reaktion i Gaza:
After the outbreak of the second Intifada in October 2000, some of the frustration was allowed to evaporate with the use of 1,000 kilo bombs on a Gaza house or during operation Defense Shield in 2002 when the army bulldozered the refugee camp in Jenin. But this too was a far cry from what the strongest army in the Middle East could do. And despite the demonization of the mode of resistance chosen by the Palestinians in the second Intifada – the suicide bomb – you needed only two or three F-16 and a small number of tanks to punish collectively the Palestinians by totally destroying their human, economic and social infrastructure.
I know these generals as well as one could know them. In the last week, they have had a field day.
What would have happened if the Palestinians had not fired Qassams? Would Israel have lifted the economic siege that it imposed on Gaza? Would it open the border to Palestinian laborers? Free prisoners? Meet with the elected leadership and conduct negotiations? Encourage investment in Gaza? Nonsense. If the Gazans were sitting quietly, as Israel expects them to do, their case would disappear from the agenda - here and around the world. Israel would continue with the convergence, which is solely meant to serve its goals, ignoring their needs. Nobody would have given any thought to the fate of the people of Gaza if they did not behave violently. That is a very bitter truth, but the first 20 years of the occupation passed quietly and we did not lift a finger to end it.
Gaza is in serious trouble, ruled by death, horror and daily difficulties, far from the eyes and hearts of Israelis. We are only shown the Qassams. We only see the Qassams. The West Bank is still under the boot of occupation, the settlements are flourishing, and every limply extended hand for an agreement, including that of Ismail Haniyeh, is immediately rejected. And after all this, if someone still has second thoughts, the winning answer is promptly delivered: "They started." They started and justice is on our side, while the fact is that they did not start and justice is not with us.