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Israel’s ‘war between wars’ backfires

A self-fulfilling prophecy is playing out in the north.

After nearly eight years of quiet, Israel’s northern border got stormy over the past week. The culmination of the tit-for-tat violence was a bomb placed on the border with Syria that wounded four Israeli soldiers, one seriously, which was followed by an Israeli air strike on a Syrian military base that killed a soldier and wounded others. Amos Harel, Haaretz’s military affairs correspondent, wrote the following:

There has been no such series of events in the north since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The pace is starting to resemble the days when the IDF maintained the security zone in southern Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s. If the current escalation continues, Israel is liable to be drawn into a more forceful response.

The fear is that the escalation will continue, whether by design or miscalculation, and Israel will end up with soldiers fighting in Lebanon and Syria while rockets are falling on its civilians.

And what set off this first serious, sustained clash between Israel and its enemies to the north in nearly eight years? Everyone agrees: Israel’s lethal February 25 attack on a convoy carrying advanced weapons from Syria to Hezbollah. Not only the relatively dovish Harel, but Yedioth Ahronoth’s hawkish military affairs commentator Alex Fishman acknowledges that:

The change in behavior by Syria and Hezbollah along the border began after the attack on the weapons convoy in the Lebanon Valley on February 25.

That Israeli air strike followed at least six others last year, some of them fatal, on sophisticated weapons in Syria that were evidently meant for Hezbollah. There were no retaliations after any of those attacks, so Israel kept going until Syria and Hezbollah finally hit back this past week, and now everyone’s worried.

But nobody here is suggesting that Israel shouldn’t have attacked those weapons sites and killed those Syrians and Hezbollah members in the first place. Nobody here is saying Israel brought this on itself, that it provoked the new fighting by dropping bombs on other people’s countries and killing other people’s soldiers when those countries weren’t attacking Israel. And nobody here is saying, God forbid, that the blood of those four wounded Israeli soldiers is ultimately on Israel’s hands.

People in this country don’t say that sort of thing anymore. They did once, during the Lebanon War in the early 80s, and during the First Intifada in the late 80s, but no more. Now Israelis think it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do, the Arabs are always going to try to kill us, so let’s just bash them up as much as we can to weaken them for the next round, which is inevitable. If they don’t hit us back, good for us; if they do, it was going to happen sooner or later anyway. So we have no choice but to go on bashing.

To the outside world, this may look like Israeli aggression. To Israelis, though, it’s pure self-defense.

The army has a semi-official name for these continual attacks – the literal translation is “the military campaign between military campaigns,” but a simpler one is “the war between wars.”

The next war is inevitable, Israelis believe, because our enemies hate us, they’re fanatics, they don’t care about dying, they like to die, etc.

What’s fascinating, though, is how people here completely overlook these last eight years of peace and quiet on the northern border, which the air force did everything in its power to disrupt until finally, this week, it succeeded. How can anyone say the next war is inevitable, that we’re fighting “the war between wars,” after nearly eight years of tranquility on the border with Hezbollah and Syria?

How? Because the great majority of people in this country don’t notice it when the Arabs aren’t killing us, only when they are. They have this idée fixe that the Arabs have one purpose in life, to kill Jews, and when they’re not doing it, they’re preparing to do it. So no matter how long the Arabs take a break from killing us, it doesn’t change the general Israeli view of them, nor does it change their view of how Israel should deal with them.

And it’s not just on the northern border with Syria and Hezbollah; very few Israelis have any idea that the Palestinian Authority has been working with the Israeli army and Shin Bet for 10 solid years to shut down violence in the West Bank. If you mention that to them, many if not most Israelis will get irritated. They don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear that the Arabs are afraid of us and our army, and that if we leave them alone they’ll leave us alone – even after eight years (Hezbollah), 10 years (Palestinian Authority), 30 years (Syria), 40 years (Egypt) or nearly 50 years (Jordan) of Arabs doing just that.

We’re addicted to war – because with the enemy glaring at us all the time, the kind of stillness we had in the north makes us very nervous. We can’t stand being so fearful and do nothing about it, so we do something. And now they’re doing it back to us up there, so we do it back to them, and whatever will be, will be. Do we have a choice?

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    COMMENTS

    1. Philos

      The other element, in addition to the fear, is the superiority complex. We do this because we can. We do this because nobody is going to stop us. These two justifications have led to the final: we do this because we are righteous.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Bar

      That’s right. Hizbullah should be permitted to gather even more advanced rockets to add to their tens of thousands. Why should Israel be able to deter them in the next war? It wasn’t enough that all of Northern Israel was paralyzed last time and 40 Israelis were killed, things should be permitted to become more and more dangerous.

      Then again, if I really thought this through, I would consider the possibility that if Israel restricts Hizbullah from getting some of the more advanced weapons, then Hizbullah, knowing they are more likely to lose the next war without being able to inflict as much pain on Israel might actually reconsider launching such a war.

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        Bar, I had a deja vu, your post is a perfect illustration of the points Larry made.

        Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        I see: Israel can stockpile as much advanced weaponary as it want to – including all manner of WMD and nuclear warheads – but Hezbollah doesn’t have that God-given right, not even getting its hands on some defensive weapons like anti-aircraft missiles.

        I suspect Hezbollah might take issue with your line of thinking.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Um, yes, Hizbullah isn’t Lebanon. It’s a militia and proxy for Iran, with considerable influence in Lebanon due to its ability to intimidate and assassinate Lebanese leaders. Why should such an organization have a right to acquire weapons?

          Oh, right, they shouldn’t.

          This constant seeking to find equivalence between a democracy seeking to defend itself from countries that aren’t democratic is laughable. Assad, prior to his current murderous rampage, had a terrorizing secret service and at one point his father murdered tens of thousands of people at Hama because they pissed him off. According to Derfner and you, he should be permitted by Israel to develop a nuclear plant and acquire the SA 300 missiles (or whatever they’re called) from Russia.

          Are you people insane?

          Reply to Comment
          • Israel ran 700,000 people out of their homes and didn’t let them return, then imposed a half-century-long military dictatorship over them and stole their land, and along the way invaded Lebanon and killed about 20,000 people. Nobody’s perfect.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            – Arabs kicked out nearly a million Jews from their homes.

            – Russians murdered 20, 30 million in the Gulags

            – Germans mass exterminated Jews, Gypsies Homosexuals.

            – Mother England fire bombed Dresden, murdered an entire city and more

            – America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima Nagasaki.

            One could go on about slavery colonisation, inquisition, crusades, pogroms and endless wars but I am sure you get my drift Larry.

            So by the above standards, Israel is only an apprentice oppressor. We are only wannabes who will never catch up to the rest of humanity, including our Arab friends.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Well, you missed some history there, didn’t you? I mean, there were some Arabs in the mix, if I recall, not just Israelis. You know, the ones who launched pogroms and wars like in 1920, 1921, 1926, 1929, 1936-39, 1947, 1948, 1950-1956, 1967, 1967-1970, 1970 and continuous terror attacks beginning in the ’70s by Palestinians including those that emanated from Lebanon and were used as Israel’s excuse for 1982 (a war I don’t support).

            And surely you recall the eviction and murder of every last Jew in Arab conquered areas in 1948? Sure you do. Just like you recall the many Jews who left Arab and Muslim lands to move to Israel because their circumstances became extremely challenging to untenable.

            And the dictatorship? For the past 20 years, it is a Palestinian one over their own people. Let’s not belittle their governments and their power. Also, let’s not forget the two Israeli PMs who made peace offers that envisioned Palestinian states with Palestinian rule.

            As for the 20,000 figure. It’s mistaken. The range is between 2300 to 10,000 depending on who you’re asking and how they’re counting (there’s a propensity to inflate victim figures when it comes to Israeli attacks – see Jenin, 2002). Prior to Israel’s entry into Lebanon there was already a civil war raging that cost at least 75,000 lives. But you know, everybody ignores those figures because it’s easy to beat up on Israel while ignoring the lunatics next door. The lunatics to whom you’d permit the acquisition of significant weaponry.

            Reply to Comment
          • If you want to argue that Israel is so good and its enemies so bad that it has the right to bomb whatever enemy weapons it doesn’t like, go ahead. But when you say Israel killed only 2,300 to 10,000 people in the first Lebanon war, whether you peg the end of it at 1985 or 2000, that’s a gross distortion of fact. My 20,000 figure was very, very conservative.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            You are kidding, right?

            Between 1920 and 2009, in all the Arab Israeli wars put together against various Arab factions/nations, the TOTAL Arab deaths add up to just under 91,000.

            Compare this to the number of deaths in the Lebanese civil war. Or the number of deaths in Syria in the last 3 years alone and weep.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Larry, I am arguing that Israel is good and its enemies are bad. I think that sometimes the writers on this site and their compatriots work themselves into such a lather about Israel’s misdeeds, mistakes and, yes, misbehavior, that they lose the forest for the trees.

            When rockets are fired from Gaza, they are fired indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas. When they were fired by Hizbullah, they were fired indiscriminately but with much better targeting at Israeli (including Arab Israeli) civilian areas. Of course the rockets needs to be stopped, and better to stop them before they get into the enemy’s hands. And please, don’t forget, that even when the rocket is a military to military device, the recipient on our side might be your next door neighbor’s son.

            As for the 20,000 figure. I refer you to the Sabra and Shatila massacre. You will find many people who claim 3500 Palestinians were killed. If you look at the Kahan Commission report, you’ll find differing numbers but Israeli Intelligence estimating 700-800. We both know those numbers are probably accurate and if you have doubts, look at what happened with Cast Lead where the IDF claimed 1250 Palestinian dead including 700 combatants and after the whole world kept yelling about 1200 Palestinian civilians and 1400 total dead, al Zahar, head of Hamas military acknowledged 700 dead Hamas fighter. Likewise with Lebanon dead. We simply can’t be sure. If I had gone with IDF figures, they actually believe they’ve caused less than 5000 dead there overall. Instead I relied on other sources. At the same time, it’s not as if I’m going to rely on people like Fisk who are propagandists first and journalists second. We will never know how many died. We can agree that every death is foolish and terrible and that Israel should have ZERO blood on its hands. If only the world was a friendlier place…

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Thanks Larry for this article and all the others you write.
            Your figure of 20,000 killed in Lebanon after the 1982 invasion and subsequent occupation is right on the mark. That number includes the many hundreds murdered in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Israel’s murderous allies, the fascist Falange, who were let into the camps by Israeli troops who conveniently let their spotlights illuminate the camp at night so that the slaughter could continue.

            Among the houses, apartment houses, hospitals and mosques targeted by the Israeli Air Force were Beirut’s orphanages. The Aug. 4, 1982 Christian Science Monitor reported that in spite of the Red Cross being notified, in spite of a large Red Cross being painted on the roof, the IAF did not spare the orphanages.
            From the CSM article which I have in my files,comes this chilling account of what the IAF did.
            “Mohammed Barakat, director of the Islamic Home for Orphans told CSM that only one orphanage was functioning and that eight other institutions had been destroyed by Israeli bombs.
            Barakat said ”Our orphanages in Aramoun (10 miles south of Beirut) and Ouzai (a southern suburb of Beirut) were bombed by the Israelis,” he adds. In the orphanage’s entrance hall is the casing from an American-made cluster bomb which he says plowed into the Aramoun home of 650 children.

            On July 31, Mr. Barakat received assurances from the International Red Cross that this last refuge – clearly marked by a red cross on the roof – would be spared. The next day the six-building complex took three direct hits, the orphanage director says. One rocket, packed with phosphorous, which spreads out to start fires on impact, jetted in through a window, smashing into a classroom.”

            The most moral army? What a sad, sick joke.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Jan, the same CSM article has the IDF denying the charge.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            The IDF has been known to deny many charges. However, if you have that article you would have read these words:

            “The Israeli Army says there are two reasons why the orphanage might have been hit. Either the PLO had a firing position near the building or the PLO shelled it. However, the shell is said to have come from the direction of Israeli artillery and the PLO has no phosphorous shells.”

            That does not sound like a denial to me, more like a lie.

            Perhaps Bar you neglected to read in my previous posting that one of the orphanages had been hit by an American made cluster bomb. Guess who had American made cluster bombs? It wasn’t the PLO. It wasn’t the Lebanese. It wasn’t Hezbollah because Hezbollah did not exist at the time. It was Israel that had the cluster bombs and Israel that used cluster bombs against an orphanage clearly marked with red cross on the roof.

            I find it interesting that you say you have that article. If you do and I would like to believe you, please tell me the name of the reporter.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Are you joking? Here is the article:

            http://www.csmonitor.com/1982/0804/080446.html

            I know that you believe everything you read if it makes Israel look bad, but perhaps you should consider that this reporter wouldn’t know a cluster bomb from a hole in the ground and almost certainly didn’t see the cluster bomb and its effects but heard about it. There was a war in Gaza a few years ago and quite a bit of information was made up out of thin air in real time. The notion that Israel targeted orphanages is a sad joke.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I have the article in front of me. Nowhere do I see any denial from the IDF only words saying that either the PLO had a firing position by the orphanage or that the PLO shelled. Considering that the PLO had no phosphorus weapons as did Israel that would have been an impossibility.

            Israel has often denied something which later is found to be true.

            The IDF also had no problem with shelling the UN compound in Gaza even as people were trying to take refuge there. They have bombed or shelled schools, mosques, private homes and apartments. Nothing seems to be out of bounds to the IDF. Nothing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Maybe the reporter didn’t know about the cluster bombs but more likely she did.

            However, the Reagan administration did know about them since the US supplied Israel with cluster bombs. The use of these bombs on civilian areas so enraged the Reagan administration that he ordered a cutoff of cluster bomb shipments to Israel. You can find that on the internet.

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Brrr,

            Funny you listed 1956 in your list of “pogroms and wars” by Arabs on Jews.

            Wasn’t that when Israel “liberated” the Suez canal for France/US and GB,just after Nasser nationalized it?

            Wasn’t that the moment when Israel showed the Middle East what her purpose really is?

            Wasn’t that a clear example of Israel showing she’s no part of the Middle East,but just a Fremdkörper doing the dirty work for the London Bankers?

            Reply to Comment
          • Honesttruth

            Gee! You must be bored! Expelled from virtually everywhere else as a bigot troll, now you show up here!

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Love your name.

            Reply to Comment
          • sh

            But Hezbollah is Lebanon. At least since the end of summer 2006, it is. Not all Shi’ites (close to 50% of Lebanon’s indigenous population) are Hezbollah but quite a few of Lebanon’s Christians and Sunnis can easily be Hezbollah supporters too.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Bar

      Perhaps you need to open your mind and re-read?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Bar asks: could Hezbollah ever have so many weapons that it would occur to it to strike Israel (dare I say it?) first?

      Good question. Better question is this: could Hezbollah ever have so many and such high quality weapons that it would dare to shoot down israeli planes and defend itself against Israeli attack?

      My opinion is NO to both questions, but I think Hezbollah (with help from Iran) could raise the price to Israel of attacking lebanon to the point that there’d be peace on that border. Which they have a right to obtain, if not yet the means.

      Being attacked in perpetuity is no darn fun. Perhaps israelis could agree to that.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Danny

      Your last paragraph is very true: Israelis are a people addicted to war and aggression. It has always been this way, since the very beginning.

      Just this week, Israel buried one of its old warriors – a cold-blooded mass murderer by any standard – and the praise that was heaped upon him was nothing short of nauseating.

      To Israel, the only way of talking to Arabs is through the barrel of a gun, no other language. This is why our leaders cringe at the very thought of talks or negotiations with the Palestinians, or even the Iranians.

      Israel’s mantra has always been: A good Arab is a dead Arab.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        You are a moron Danny.

        You take reality and you turn it upside down. Surely you are describing Arab and the Ayatolah’s philosophies against us?

        You have no shame. Or are you just here to deliberately provoke hateful discussion? You seem to be in good company here.

        Reply to Comment
    6. While the IDF acts basically as a single actor on this front, there is no single “Arab” actor/enemy/opponent. A roadside bomb need not be the work of a ubiquitous enemy mind. Rather, the reverse: a few individuals, calling themselves a “splinter group,” maybe even being one, decide to attack what they see as the true enemy because, well, to their minds it is the right thing to do, and it might egg an Israeli response which will “wake up” other Arab groups. And the one thing we know for sure, there are many Arab groups in Lebanon and Syria right now, making their own rouge.

      Syria is being told, by the attack on this base, that it is responsible for this incursion. Stop them. But I truly doubt there is a single “Syria” even in the Assad camp, let alone some umbrella including Iran and Hezbollah. If “Syria” had not command and control on this road side bomb planting, attacking “Syria” may induce several responses on the sideline–such as a rouge “yes, we are the true splinter” deciding to do it again so Israel will do it again.

      Mass war fictionalizes a single command and control even where there is not one. A lieutenant may raze a village while a general somewhere else wishes that hadn’t happened. Victory makes the loser into one single thing and absolves the victorious soldier from many if not all “unfortunate” acts. At present, however, even the mass mobilization of standard warfare fails, so the fiction of mass war is even more fictional than usual. What, then, does an advance military, meant to live that first fiction, do?

      Saying “Arabs will always hate us” says “all Arabs are identical,” and that is no more true of Arabs as it is of Jews. “All Jews are xx” lead to great millenial horror. But we are clearly predisposed to make such generalizations.

      I continue to see merit in taking out advanced missiles known or likely to be in transport to Lebanon, partly because Hezbollah is not the Lebanese government, and I do not think two entities in a single State should have such weapons, allowing one of these entities to force a decision by the other through a later unilateral act. I do not like violence at all, and would never be in the decision to take such action, but I cannot condemn it unilaterally. Israel’s “retaliatory” action to this road side bombing rests on the rather weak premise that “Syria” is responsible and can do something about future efforts. That premise is more for the internal satisfaction of Israeli command, both military and civilian, than solid inference.

      Israel may be playing into the hands of those placing the bomb by so retaliating. It’s impossible to say. That’s what happens when war isn’t available to crush everything into a win. Knowing this, I would require greater causal reasoning to target and attack.

      Reply to Comment
    7. shachalnur

      Hezbollah has full control over the (Southern) Lebanon-Syria border.

      They can move any amount of (advanced) weapons they want,even missile by missile,no need to do it by massive transport and invite a strike.

      Since Hezbollah has fought Israel to a standstill in 2006,Syria and Iran have been supplying Hezbollah with whatever they needed.

      Why is everybody acting like Hezbollah has no weapons and needs to ship arms to Lebanon in the middle of a war in Syria?

      There will be no war between Israel and Hezbollah,Iran or Syria.

      All events on the northern borders are Al-Qaida related and everybody on the ground knows that,therefore no confrontation with Israel and no civil war in Lebanon,

      The US has only one card left to play ,and that’s attacking Syria(by proxy).

      The situation in the Ukraine and Syria are connected,all other conflicts in the Middle East are under control of the regional players and Russia/China(BRICS).

      BRICS vs. the Bankers.

      The real war is invisible,the visible war is an illusion.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Tzutzik

      “The real war is invisible,the visible war is an illusion.”

      Only one man sees it clearly. Little old YOU Shachalnur. Twenty twenty vision you have.

      Delusions of grandeur anyone? 🙂

      Reply to Comment
      • shachalnur

        BRICS vs. The Bankers is known by millions,if not more, as being the real war.

        It’s just where your head is stuck your view is blurred, myopic and smelly.

        Vicky Nudelman(where is she?),Robert Kagan’s wife,puts the Yats(Jewish Bankerslave)in power in Ukraine after Banker-run Fascist Neo-Nazi coup d’etat.

        search video “All wars are Banker wars”.

        Made by a former Jewish Hollywood producer,who woke up,and is very angry.

        Basic historylessons for twits like you.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          You forgot to take your medications again Shachalnur.

          Oh and I’d lay off reading Grimm’s fairy tales for a while. Doctor’s orders you know …

          Reply to Comment
    9. Vadim

      Larry, I can’t follow your logical acrobatics.

      Hizbullah is a Terror organization, recognized as such by everyone including the UN. Even you acknowledge the fact that in any confrontation with Israel – they will launch rockets at civilian targets.

      The advanced ammunition is meant to be launched at civilian population. That’s its only purpose. They will launch it to try to deter Israel from doing stuff they don’t like. But they may just as well get an instruction from Iran. Or decide it suits their goals.

      Now, knowing you have a terrorist organization arming itself so it could hurt civilians later on – what should you do? Nothing? Hope for the best?

      Though the inevitability of war is seen as a fact by many Israelis, I can honestly say we’re not addicted to war. We’re tired of it. And if you, living in Israel, can’t see that – then there’s something clouding your sight.

      Reply to Comment
      • BaladiAkka 1948

        “Hizbullah is a Terror organization, recognized as such by everyone including the UN”
        Nope, not ‘everyone’ consider Hizbullah a terrorist organization, and if you have a serious source confirming that the UN do so, please post it.
        By the way, does that mean you consider the UN a legitimate organization ? Does that include the numerous resolutions concerning the State of Israel ?

        Israel was born out of terror, so if its opponents use terror to defeat this colonial state, where’s the problem ?

        Reply to Comment
        • Vadim

          I meant the EU, sorry about the mistake. Here’s one link http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/world/middleeast/european-union-adds-hezbollah-wing-to-terror-list.html?_r=0

          Regarding the UN, I don’t think the term legitimate is relevant here. I consider the UN to be an impotent organization, a mere shadow of what it should have been, a corrupt body cynically used by the worst of this planet’s states.

          Israel was not born out of terror, that would be giving Etzel, Lehi and various Arab gangs too much historical credit. The creation of Israel is basically the combination of the Holocaust, the decline of the British empire, the Zionist movement being prepared for a right opportunity and its desire to actually build a state.

          Reply to Comment
      • shachalnur

        1.Hezbollah was born as a resistence group in Lebanon during the Israeli invasion,occupation and mass murder(Sabra and Shatilla)in Lebanon in the 1980’s.

        2. Hezbollah took out an Israeli navy vessel with Chinese Silkworm technology ,and landed a rocket next to Nethanya in 2006.
        After that the IDF stopt shooting.

        3. In case Israel turns to mass murder in Lebanon again Hezbollah has the weapons to blow up the Ammoniac silo in front of the coast of Haifa and blow up the Dimona reactor,amongst other industrial targets.
        No need to bomb the population,like Israel does.

        4.As long as Israel stays out of Lebanon ,Israel and Hezbollah have no issues.
        Hezbollah are Shia and not natural partners for the Palestinians.
        In case Israel interferes in Syria or Iran ,then Hezbollah will become a problem for Israel.

        Reply to Comment
        • Vadim

          1. It’s lovely how the best example of Israeli mass murder you can find was carried out by Arabs.

          2. “After that the IDF stopt shooting.” Were you following events?

          3. Right.

          4. Without “resisting” Israel, Hezbollah has not real reason to exist. There will always be an issue. Currently Sheba Farms provide the reason. Without them it’ll be something else, like an Iranian instruction.

          Now, this may be hard. But could you both (you and BaladiAkka) actually address what I written and stop this nitpicking?

          Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Vadim,

            1. Genrikh Yagoda much?

            2. I was in Mikhmoret.

            4. Without Israel invading,occupying,murdering and enabling genocidal mass-murder(Sabra and Shatilla) in Lebanon in the 80’s,there would be no Hezbollah.

            Does that adress your Hasbarist drivel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “4. Without Israel invading,occupying,murdering and enabling genocidal mass-murder(Sabra and Shatilla) in Lebanon in the 80′s,there would be no Hezbollah.”

            The Sabra and Shatilla murders were carried out by Lebanese Christian Phalangists in revenge for mass murder of Christian Lebanese civilians by Palestinian militia in the Shuq mountains.

            Was it justified? NO!

            Should Israel have prevented the massacre? YES!

            Did Israel carry out the massacre? NO!

            Without Israel invading Lebanon there would be no Hezbollah.

            Maybe maybe not. But there would be murderous cross border attacks by Palestinian terrorists against Northern Israeli civilians. That’s why Israel invaded Lebanon, to stop that. Are you nostalgic Shachalnur? Do you miss those murderous indiscriminate attacks against innocent Israeli civilians?

            Reply to Comment
          • Vadim

            “Does that adress your Hasbarist drivel.”

            It does not, I don’t drivel, you’re a hateful rude prick.

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Why always the ad hominem when you run out of arguments?

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Why always the ad hominem when you run out of arguments?”

            LOL, the pot calling the kettle black. What was that you said about Hasbarah drivel? Just dismissing someone’s point of view as drivel without offering any logical reasons for dismissing it is acceptable? To call such tactics rude assertions is not unreasonable.

            So Shachalnur, don’t complain.

            Reply to Comment
          • Vadim

            I did not run out of arguments. Just recalled the phrase “Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience”.

            There are many people here that I completely disagree with, but I listen and I debate because I feel their intentions are good. They aim to improve the situation. You don’t aim to improve anything. You just hate, people like you don’t make the world better. I can’t have a meaningful debate with you, so there’s no reason for us to speak.

            In addition, you’re a rude prick.

            Reply to Comment
          • shachalnur

            Agent Vadim;

            “This is my world! My world!”

            “The best thing about being me…. there are so many “me”s”.

            “Oh,no no no no…no,it’s not fair!”

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Well said Vadim, this Shachalnur guy is just a troll. He is not worth arguing with.

            Personally, though I like to dish him out his own medicine. And he does not seem to like it. Go figure …

            Reply to Comment
    10. eduardo

      Who said that Israel bombed weapons to Hezb?It’s hasbara argument.
      Hezb has already been a long time with all the weapons they need to resist to any war with Israel and the military knows that.
      Syria has been bombed after each victory on the ground so Israel shows power and says to ISIL,Al qaeda and all types of terrorist in Syria that they are not alone,they are backed by the master.Simple like that.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Tomer

      Who will start the next war?

      Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon and Egypt are too busy killing themselves. The PLO terrorists & Hamas fanatics are stuck behind the security fence. Iron Dome will stop their rockets.

      No, Israeli’s economy will grow over the next decade under Bibi’s leadership. Privatization and deregulation is the key.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Richard Witty

      Lebanon is not asking to reconcile. Hamas in Jenin, nor in Gaza, are asking to reconcile. Syria is not asking to reconcile.

      And, Israel is not asking to reconcile with Hezbollah, Hamas, Assad, Iran. (Maybe Peres’ overtures will touch someone.)

      NOONE knows if in Jenin or elsewhere, the attacks were on actual perpetrators of terror or not.

      Neither Larry nor anyone else here knows one way or another.

      Which leads all argument to the level of prejudice, sadly.

      What is needed are paths, not condemnations.

      There have been de facto non-articulated agreements relative to all the parties, UNTIL something changes, and something material always changes.

      There is always some internal struggle in all of the parties, in which the argument for who is the better “defended” of their people includes the extent they can stick to the other side, without getting caught.

      No competition for who can be the first to lead the most comprehensive reconciliation, but always who can stick it, as if the ability to defend/offend is the measure of manliness, of backbone.

      Reply to Comment
      • rick chertoff

        My challenge to the “Israel can do no wrong” crowd is this: do you stand for the equality of all people or do you consider yourselves better than other people? Your comments indicate the latter. Like all colonial settler states (Rhodesia, White S.Africa, et al) your real choice is change or perish. As the people of the U.S. catch on to your dedication to injustice, your support will decline. That’s why BDS is on your mind. A clenched fist is impossible to maintain indefinitely. When will you learn to think critically about the values you’ve been brought up in; militarism and racist hatred of the “Other”, as opposed the to best advice of our Jewish tradition.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Blah, blah, blah. Not even worth a rebuttal.

          Reply to Comment
          • rick chertoff

            How convenient.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            I can’t help it that your comment is ridiculous.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Bar, I noted that you did not respond to my comments regarding the Reagan administration cutting off shipments of cluster bombs to Israel as they were known to be using these bombs against civilians. Also you did not respond when I pointed out that the IDF did not deny that they shelled orphanages.

            Perhaps you need to open your mind and re-read?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            I didn’t respond because the IDF did deny, according to your report. If you give credence to the rest of the report, as you did, then why do you pick and choose what to believe from the reporter?

            As for the Reagan administration’s termination of cluster bomb sales, they never explained why they did it and for all you know it might have been their “punishment” for Sharon taking Israel longer and deeper into Lebanon that was first indicated.

            Anything else on your mind?

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            The IDF did not deny targeting the orphanage. Maybe you need once again to read these words from the article.

            “The Israeli Army says there are two reasons why the orphanage might have been hit. Either the PLO had a firing position near the building or the PLO shelled it. However, the shell is said to have come from the direction of Israeli artillery and the PLO has no phosphorous shells.”

            The IDF spokesperson did not say that they didn’t do it. They knew they would be lying but, of course lying comes easy to the IDF. It wouldn’t have been the first time and it certainly wasn’t the last.

            It sounds like the IDF was trying to weasel out of what they did. I guess they said the same thing when they were rightly accused of shelling hospitals.

            Come on Bar your Israeli army, just as many other armies, does terrible things.

            Do you remember during Cast Lead when a doctor’s home in Gaza was shelled killing his daughters and niece? This doctor, Izzeldin Abuelaish, who worked in a hospital in Israel called his friend who was broadcasting on an Israeli TV channel and in tears described how his daughters and niece had been torn apart by Israeli missiles. Once again the IDF lied by saying that shots were coming from the doctor’s house. Your wonderful IDF also killed a group of Gaza civilians, which included 5 women and 4 children, who were unarmed as they walked with a white flags made of sheets. Human Rights Watch reported this atrocity and asked for an interveiw with the IDF. Of course the IDF refused because they knew that one or more of their soldiers had committed a war crime, one of many that they committed in Gaza.
            As for the doctor he left Gaza and his job in Israel and is now living in Canada. He is the author of an amazing book entitled I Shall Not Hate. Not too many who have lost their family as he did could say that. He is a better person than I because I would carry that hatred with me forever.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            ” I would carry that hatred with me forever.”

            You would? C’mon Jan. Admit it, you already do. You hate us with a passion. Every damn letter in every post that you write oozes hatred towards us.

            You strike me as an individual who lovingly collects every act of stupidity, mistake and yes sometimes bad things that some of us do in the heat of war. You “lovingly” cherish it, exaggerate it and proudly bandy it about. And you act as if we are the devil incarnate and worse than anyone else you know who is in war. I can imagine you being part of a mob baying for our blood during the middle ages after hearing one of the many blood libels that people used to spread about us then too.

            Of course at the same time you overlook or excuse every atrocity that our enemies perpetrate against us. Yes, they indiscriminately target our civilians. They butcher sleeping families. They lynch Israelis whom they capture and proudly display their hands dripping of blood, they blow up buses full of civilians, including children and more. Unlike you, I don’t cherish bringing it up because it fosters more hatred but people like you set me off. We too have plenty of horror stories to tell if you want to make this a competition of horror stories instead of looking for ways to find solutions.

            But not you Jan because you are full of hatred, Jan. One has to wonder what makes people like you be such one eyed haters. Why would you rather not look for solutions instead? I can only think that you absorbed such malice against us because your parents instilled it in you while you were growing up. Well then, stuff you too.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            Here Jan

            Seeing that you so much love to talk about horror stories and atrocities, here is one for you that your Palestinian Arab friends perpetrated in 1974 after they infiltrated into Northern Israel from Lebanon …

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma'alot_massacre

            ” It began when three armed members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)[2] entered Israel from Lebanon. Soon afterwards they attacked a van, killing two Israeli Arab women while injuring a third and entered an apartment building in the town of Ma’alot, where they killed a couple and their four-year-old son.[3] From there, they headed for the Netiv Meir Elementary School, where they took more than 115 people (including 105 children) hostage on 15 May 1974, in Ma’alot. Most of the hostages were teenagers from a high school …

            During the takeover, the hostage-takers killed the children with grenades and automatic weapons. Ultimately, 25 hostages, including 22 children, were killed and 68 more were injured.”

            Why don’t you bring up these types of atrocities occasionally Jan?

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I condemn every act of terrorism no matter who commits the terrorism. Terrorism can come from a suicide belt, a machine gun or from an F16 firing a missile into an apartment house.
            Terrorism has been part of the conflict in Palestine/Israel for years. Jews have been victims as have Arabs.
            Jews founded the terrorist groups, Irgun and Lehi committing atrocities including the slaughter at Deir Yassin. Arabs killed many Jews in Hebron in 1929. In the 1930s Jews put bombs in Arab markets and Arab theaters.
            Cluster bombs whether used by Israel or the US or anyone else are weapons of terror that leave their sick and deadly legacy in the form of unexploded bomblets waiting for an innocent person, sometimes a child, to either step on the bomblet or to pick it up.
            I have condemned Arab terrorism. When will you condemn Jewish terrorism?

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “I have condemned Arab terrorism. When will you condemn Jewish terrorism?”

            No you have not condemned Arab terrorism. You were forced into a corner and you now grudgingly admit that Arabs commit atrocities but you still try to pretend that Arab terrorism was a RESPONSE to Jewish terrorism. That is a bare faced lie!

            The fact is that Arabs were the first to start murdering Jews because they wanted to stop Jewish immigration to Palestine. Jews then responded to murderous Arab attacks and at times Jews too then were guilty of terrorism and atrocities which I do condemn.

            But you know what, Jan? Like I said, the point is not to have a competition of what happened in the past, which is what you have been doing and which is what I objected to. The point is to talk about practical ways of ending this 100 year old war.

            HINT: You won’t achieve that by sowing more hate and talking hatefully about the past as you did (HINT: the 1982 Lebanese war was in the past and things happened before that too which caused that war).

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            I don’t hate you. What I hate is what Israel does to a people who they dispossessed. I hate that Israel is moving farther and farther to the right. I hate the fact that while I can “return” my Palestinian friend who was born in Jerusalem in 1947 cannot return to the land of her birth.
            There are many Israelis who I embrace. I embrace those who are working for justice. I embrace those who want to bring an end to the home demolitions, to the settlements, to the serious human rights violations committed by the IDF and the Border Police. I hate the sense of entitlement that some in Israel have.
            Saying that, I hate the same thing about my own country. I hate it when Obama says that the US is “exceptional” and when people cry out that the US is #1 when we are only #1 in two areas, the amount we spend on our military and the number of people who are incarcerated. In only those two areas are we #1. I hate the growing inequality in America between the uber wealthy and the rest of us. I hate that 45 million in America do not have decent health coverage and that Obamacare benefits the insurance companies far more than it benefits the people.

            If I could turn the clock back, way back I would have advocated for bi-national state, a state in which no group is superior. There were some Jews in Palestine at the time that advocated for a bi-national state. Two of those Jews came to my father who was a Hollywood screen writer and producer and asked him to raise money for a new state and to get the British out. He was told that the new state would be a bi-national one. Had they not promised him that he never would have produced a major event at the Hollywood Bowl that brought in thousands of dollars. A few years later those same men, now Israelis, came to visit my dad and told him that they were leaving as they found far too much racism in Israel.
            My connection to Israel came through my former husband’s family who went to Palestine in 1947. My brother in law joined the Haganah and took part in the ethnic cleansing of 1948. I was bothered about this at the time but was also happy about the fact that Jews had a state. It was not until 1982 and the Lebanon war that I began rethinking my affection for the state that says it is my homeland.
            There is no doubt but that the Israel/Palestine conflict is a terrible one and is long overdue for resolution. That said, I do not hate Israel any more than I hate my own country which I do not. I can hate policies and wish for a change.
            Tell me Tzutzik, don’t you hate the Palestinians just a little bit?

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Tell me Tzutzik, don’t you hate the Palestinians just a little bit?”

            You want the truth? And nothing but the truth, Jan?

            The answer is a qualified YES! I hate those Palestinians who hate me and us. The rest I don’t hate.

            And you know why I am like that Jan? Because I am not a pretentious human being. I am part of my people and I care about what happens to me and my people. By the same token, I don’t condemn Palestinian Arabs who think exactly like the mirror image of me, who care about their people.

            The point is that we need not have become enemies. There was room in Palestine for two states and two peoples. There still is. And we could have even worked together to make this region a success for both states and both peoples. Would it have been easy? No! There would have been lots of bumps on the road, but I think it could have worked. The problem is that the Palestinian Arabs did not want us to return to our ancestral homeland and build our state on part of the land alongside THEIR state. That is the root cause of the problem, their decision to play a zero sum game. All the rest of the mess stems from that. Because simply put, after 2000 years of virtual continuous suppression and persecution, we the Jewish people came to a cross road in the late 19th century. We had to either rebuild our own state or we would perish. That realisation NEARLY came to fruition in the 1940s in Europe. And especially after that, if we would not have ended up with our own state, sooner or later we would come to a sticky end. Even this way, our future is not guaranteed. But at least, if we end up getting snuffed this way too, we will extract a heavy price for it and perhaps that realisation will be enough to stop our many haters from trying it again.

            PS
            I don’t agree about your harsh comments about America either. Sure, it isn’t perfect. Sure there is a lot of injustice to overcome. Unfortunately no matter how much we will improve, there will always be plenty of room for more improvement but America is one of the best places on this earth for most it’s citizens. It certainly is better than most Arab countries and even many European countries. The trouble with you Jan is that unless you see utopia in front of you, you pronounce the place HELL. With such an attitude, you have no chance of being happy with ANY country. Nor do you give yourself a chance of improving anything because you are too busy destroying the imperfect things around you instead of trying to progressively improve as many things as possible. Go learn about the word “PRAGMATISM”!

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Actually Jan, here is an anti-cluster-bomb group and they’re very clear that Israel only used cluster bombs against military targets: http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/the-problem/history-harm/

            “1982 Lebanon: Israel uses cluster munitions against Syrian forces and NSAG in Lebanon.”

            (NSAG is non-state armed group, i.e., Fatah).

            As for the denial/non-denial claim. I realize you’re desperate to parse this, but the spokesperson the reporter asked did not accept the possibility that Israel was responsible for bombing these sites. You don’t want to call that denial? Well, denial ain’t a river in Egypt.

            Regarding you other compendium of “the IDF does bad things,” indeed it does because war is ugly and it’s very hard to avoid having people die. For example, a few Israeli soldiers died in Cast Lead by friendly fire. Was that also a conspiracy? Armies don’t make mistakes? Israel, in Cast Lead and the more recent 2012 incursion killed primarily Palestinian combatants. Its ratio of combatant to civilians killed is by far the best in the world and that isn’t an accident. It is a deliberate strategy to minimize enemy civilian losses.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Bar if you had checked further you would have found that US Congressional investigations found that indeed Israel used cluster bombs against civilians.

            A congressional investigation found Israel improperly used U.S.-made cluster bombs during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The Reagan administration then imposed a six-year ban on further sales of the weapons to Israel.
            http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-08-25-clusterbombs_x.htm

            A Congressional investigation after Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon found that Israel had used the weapons against civilian areas in violation of the agreements. In response, the Reagan administration imposed a six-year ban on further sales of cluster weapons to Israel.

            http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40713FE3B5A0C768EDDA10894DE404482

            Then there was the 2006 invasion of Lebanon where Israel left some one million unexploded bomblets littering farmlands and villages.

            From Israel’s Haaretz is this article headlined “IDF commander: We fired more than a million cluster bombs in Lebanon
            Phosphorous and cluster bombs heavily used; unexploded munitions litter wide area of Lebanon.”

            http://www.haaretz.com/news/idf-commander-we-fired-more-than-a-million-cluster-bombs-in-lebanon-1.197099

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Bar you cannot win this one. You say that New York TImes reporters don’t get everything right but they were not the only newspaper to report on the hearings. USA Today, Reuters and other reported as well. Maybe you think that these hearings never happened. I can’t find those hearings but I will guarantee you that every Congressional hearing held in 1982 is not on the web. It might be there if I had an advanced search engine but since I rely on Google I can’t find any hearings on any subject from 1982. I am certain that you won’t bother to look.

            What you sent me was not a denial of Israel’s use of cluster bombs against civilians. All that article said was that the subject was not brought up when Shamir was visiting Washington.

            You didn’t seem to want to believe what the NYT or other reporters wrote but now you want to believe what the AP reporter wrote. Maybe she just missed a few words that were sent Shamir’s way possibly by Sen. Percy, a senator marked for defeat by AIPAC because he was not considered to be deferential enough to Israel.

            Earlier you entered part of a report from a group opposing cluster bombs. Well, Bar you missed this one.

            http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/cluster-munitions-in-lebanon-lma.pdf

            In this report that deals solely with Lebanon comes this:

            “Cluster munitions have affected Lebanese civilians at the time of their use and for over 25 years since. People were killed, injured or lost family and friends during Israeli cluster munition attacks in 1978 and 1982. Through to the present, people continue to be killed and injured by the unexploded munitions left over from those attacks.
            The findings of this short report are consistent with the recognised pattern of humanitarian impact from cluster munitions. Civilians were killed at the time of use – usually falling victim because the area affected by the cluster munition strike was not restricted to the military target. Civilians have then continued to be killed and injured subsequently because of the large number of unexploded munitions left contaminating the affected areas.”

            There is more and I suggest that you read it. Too bad Bar that you continue to wear blinders and refuse to believe that Israel could do something as heinous as dropping cluster bombs on civilians. They did.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            Bar that article you posted tells exactly what happened. All that it said was that the subject was not brought up a year later when Shamir came to Washington.

            Please read this report specifically on Lebanon by stopclusterbombs.org

            http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/cluster-munitions-in-lebanon-lma.pdf

            Here is just an excerpt from the report. You might like to read the rest.

            “Cluster munitions have affected Lebanese civilians at the time of their use and for over 25 years since. People were killed, injured or lost family and friends during Israeli cluster munition attacks in 1978 and 1982. Through to the present, people continue to be killed and injured by the unexploded munitions left over from those attacks.
            The findings of this short report are consistent with the recognised pattern of humanitarian impact from cluster munitions. Civilians were killed at the time of use – usually falling victim because the area affected by the cluster munition strike was not restricted to the military target. Civilians have then continued to be killed and injured subsequently because of the large number of unexploded munitions left contaminating the affected areas.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            The article I posted suggests that the committee which investigated the use of the bombs was willing to talk to the Israeli PM warmly the following year.

            As for the use of cluster bombs, I didn’t say that it didn’t happen. My point was that it was used against military targets as per international law. Did civilian suffer? Likely, yes. Is that terrible? Yes. But that is a far cry from saying that Israel targeted the civilians or orphanages.

            When you attack Israel and the IDF, it serves your cause to be accurate and fair. No army is without fault, but unfairly demonizing makes everything else you write seem suspect.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jan

            When you defend what is not defensible you should be accurate. Every report says that civilians cluster bombs were used in areas where there were civilians. The Reagan administration said they were used were there were civilians.
            BTW, the Lebanese had every right to attack those who were invading their country with tanks, missiles, bombs etc.

            What you may not know is that Sharon had been itching for this war. Israel and the PLO had called a truce which held for 9 months. During that period there were no attacks on the northern border. My sister in law living in a kibbutz on the border with Lebanon said that all had been calm since the truce was declared but Sharon was moving men and materiel up to the border hoping for a reason to attack. He got that reason when a faction other than the PLO attempted to assassinate Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambassador to Britain.

            Sharon’s warplanes devastated Beirut, killing and maiming thousands. Many young Israeli troops also died to satisfy Sharon’s blood lust.

            Had Israel not invaded Lebanon and spent 20 years in a brutal occupation there would not today be a Hezbollah. Nor would there be a Hamas had Israel not occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Both groups began as resistance groups and while one may not like their tactics that is what resistance groups do. Remember the Irgun and the Stern Gang? They began as resistance groups to British occupation and to the Arab presence in Palestine. They were terror groups and through their acts of terror they helped to found the state of Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Bar, I noted that you did not respond to my comments regarding blah blah blah …”

            No, Bar did not respond because most sane people don’t respond to a bunch of haters who habitually ask those whom they hate the clichéd rhetorical question:

            “When are you going to stop beating your wife?”

            Ask some serious questions, look at context and look at the warts of both sides not just the side that you CHOOSE to hate because your mother and father hates them too or because you suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, and us adults will choose to take you seriously.

            Reply to Comment
        • shachalnur

          Good point,Rick.

          Reply to Comment
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