Israel-Hezbollah War

A view of the July-August 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war from an Israeli living in Haifa (under Katyusha rocket attack)- send personal comments to david2@lisbona.com

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The 21st day

Today is the 21st day of fighting in the current Israel-Hezbollah war.

At Condoleesa Rice's suggestion (insistence?) , Israel agreed to desist for 48 hours (34 of them are up already) from aerial attacks in Lebanon on fixed targets , like the house in which 54 civilians were killed in Kfar Kana. This has been interpreted by some as a climb-down by Israel, or as a victory for the Hezbollah. But, as they say, it ain't over till it's over, and it ain't over yet.

Israel does not agree to a cease fire without a deal (including a multinational force) that will significantly diminish the threat to Israel from the Hezbollah, while the Hezbollah wants an unconditional ceasefire and won't talk about a deal. Yesterday was a welcome break for Israel's home front, only 4 Katyusha rockets were fired, compared to the previous day's 140 and the daily average 0f 100. It's not quite clear why it was so quiet yesterday (My Dad said "I was getting used to the sirens already") - is this the way the Hezbollah is trying to promote an cunconditional ceasefire or do they want to lull us into a sense of security before they start firing again.

Haifa in fact has had several quiet days now from rocket attacks although until Monday there were repeated false alarms - presumably of the rockets that landed in the historic town of Akko (Acre) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acre%2C_Israel which is on the flight path from Lebanon to Haifa. Yesterday was, however, completely quiet and evidently many people thought that there was a complete bilateral cease-fire. So we heard that people in Haifa were out more yesterday, the cafes opened, people went back to work.

The war, however is definitely not over, with the Israeli goverment (backed by Jewish public opinion) determined to destroy (as much as possible) the Hezbollah military infrastructure in southern Lebanon in preparation for a multinational force. It is absolutely unclear whether Haifa is due for more rocket attacks - the Israeli Air Force may have succeeded in diminishing Hezbollah capabilities - but it's almost certain that the northern towns will still suffer a lot. The town of Kiryat Shmona, close to the Lebanese border was hit by 80! rockets in one day just a few days ago. I hope the Israeli forces will act effectively and that that there will be as few casualties as possible on both sides.

- David

6 Comments:

Blogger Biju Kumar said...

dear david
can you please make this point highlighted amongst the NEWS group or to your Lebanon or Arabic readers as highlighted in blog site
http:\\support-a-cause- world.blogspot.com
for a genuine reply
regards
biu kumar

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Yael said...

Sorry, I didn't understand Biju, make what point clear? It seemed a descriptive piece,

Yael

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Yael said...

I meant to say this in the previous comment, it is in relation to the other options available in the current situation that seem to have fallen out of discussion now that bombs-on both sides- have fallen.

There were many diplomatic options they were crushed. For example the one launched by an Israelis Menachem Froman and Yitzhak Frankenthal, the former a rabbi the second having had his own son killed by Hamas in 1994.

“The day before the tanks rolled into Gaza, Froman had been due to launch an extraordinary peace initiative at a news conference in Jerusalem with Muhamed Abu Tir, the Hamas MP, Khaled Abu Arafa, the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem, and three Israeli rabbis”
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/D6B63C28-F631-4DA5-A76F-9014523ABCD6.htm
That meeting was stopped, members were 'detained' or told to stay away.

I am on the outside, so of course I don't feel your pain, but I grew up in a country torn apart by bombs, and after it all ended I was shocked at how close, on how many occasions, peace was.

If not for the Lebanese, if not for the Palestinians, you should ask why peaceful alternatives are, time and again, thrown away by your military.

For yourselves you should be screaming for answers, if for no-one else.

Yael, Ireland

3:56 PM  
Blogger Biju Kumar said...

ATTN YAEL
the point in the blog
http:\\support-a-casue-world.blogspot.com
IS SOMEWHERE THE LEBANON GOVERNMENT IS TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ONGOING WAR ?
can you read that blog and reply there ,with your own views
thanks YAEL
biju kumar

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Yael said...

Hi Biju,

I don't know if you know some of the recent history of Ireland but it is, in a way, very like the history of Lebanon. Possibility with more alcohol involved.

There are two governments on the island, the one up north is depend on, but independent of the UK. For example the UK give them taxes, they decide how to spend it.
In the republic, where I am from, there is a completely independent parliament.

In both of these parliaments there are what can only be described as terrorists, ie parties like Hezbollah that have their own independent armed forces. The Minister of Education in the Northern parliament for example is the –whisper it- head of the IRA, one of the largest republican groups, there are other examples too numerous to count.

The parallels with the Lebanon are obvious given that roughly 18% of the seats are taken with Hezbollah members.

In the 80’s and 90’s the militia –similar again to Hezbollah- targeted civilian and some army targets. A lot of people agreed with their thinking-again like in Lebanon, the government in the republic was either helpless, or supportive, again like Lebanon.

The difference at home is that England did not invade. At one point our own Prime Minister-called a ‘Taoiseach’ was nearly jailed for gun-running. But England did not invade.

They called their bluff. You so bloody fabulous you rule the country try to get and keep votes, try to mend roads and deal with hospital waiting lists and we’ll see how far stirring speeches of a golden past get you.

And it worked. They were disarmed, not by force, not by armies or policemen but because ordinary people will always choose a peaceful way if the door is left open.

Thousands of people died, on both sides, all sides had to settle for far less than their dreams, ‘my’ side had a referendum, we voted that from now on the people still partially ruled by London could decide their own future, England voted the same. That was horrific, given our history to let go of so much while the deaths were still going on, but it worked.

Bomber planes and armies will never get rid of rockets, or suicide bombers.

You cannot bomb a dream. You can only coax it slowly by giving up your own.

Yael

3:47 PM  
Anonymous chipps said...

Yael:
You are misinformed. The IRA are not disarmed. There was no referendum in "England".
In 1997 England was twice brought to a standstill by the threat of an IRA bomb. It had come to such a pass that just a "warning" was sufficient to close down airports, railway stations and motorways. (Did you miss the Grand National being postponed??)
The IRA forced the British Govt. to an accord.
Today there is only a low level of democracy in N.Ireland and no regional government. N.Ireland is governed directly from Westminster.
There is no "Northern parliament" at present.

11:34 AM  

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