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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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Will he or won't he?

Ine one of his first TV interviews during the current war, Hassan Nasrallah, secretery-general of Hezbollah promised/threatened to fire rockets "..ba'ad Haifa wa ba'ad ba'ad Haifa..." - further than Haifa and further than further than Haifa - presumably against Tel Aviv, Israel's main metropolitan region in the centre of Israel and on the Mediterranean coast.

More recently Nasrallah has threatened that, if the Israeli Air Force bombs central Beirut, he will shell Tel Aviv. Yesterday evening a missile was fired on Hadera, a town half way between Haifa and Tel Aviv and a lot of people are wondering whether Nasrallah will bomb Tel Aviv or not. Informed opinion in Israel (and I'm not sure I trust that much anymore) says that Hasrallah has to ask Iran's permission before launching the long range Zilzal missiles that could hit Tel Aviv. To judge by the ongoing encouragement Iran's president Ahmedinajad gives to the idea of eliminating Israel, it doesn't seem that he'd be particularly averse. However the nodding heads say that Iran won't want to fire a rocket against a Western city just when its nuclear program is drawing a lot of adverse attention.

On the other hand many commentators have predicted that it would be absolutely in character for Nasrallah to fire a rocket at Tel Aviv just before (or just after) a cease-fire to show a symbolic victory - that Israel in 3 weeks of air strikes has not succeeded in destroying the Hezbollah's offensive capability. Israel has stationed Patriot anti-missile defences near Netanya which are supposed to prevent long-range missiles getting to Tel Aviv.

There's no doubt that Israel would want to react very strongly if Tel Aviv were to be attacked. Rationally we know that Nasrallah can't have many such missiles and the damage and injury would be limited. But psychologically (and Nasrallah knows this) the impact would be enormous. More than the citizens of any other city in Israel. the Tel Avivians live and love the good life and will be totally shocked that their lives can be theatenened too. Amongst all Israelis even one missile on Tel Aviv would bring home the terrible realisation that we are really living on the sword, and that war demands sacrifices. Israel war born in war and, until 1967, felt existentially threatened. Ever since the Six Day War Israel has been convincing itself that the existential threat has passed and that we can get on with improving our quality of life and living the normal life of a Western country. It seems it is not so and that depresses some of us enormously.

On the other hand (Jews like these mental exercises) one should remember that the Jews are survivors. For 2000 years so many people have wanted to be rid of us (and made creditable attempts) but have not succeeded. Survival of the fittest has distilled the Jewish people so that Israel has many excellent survivors who can certainly overcome the current troubles. It's way to early yet for Nasrallah and Ahmedinajad to be taking out the champagne.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the party of God," is actually "the party of the devil," said Sheik Safar al-Hawali.
This is the essential true.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

...the Tel Avivians live and love the good life and will be totally shocked that their lives can be theatenened too."

I thought Tel Aviv was systematically targetted by suicide bombers during the Intifada? Some practical experience of trauma if true.

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time the IDF claims they have destroyed a portion of Hezbollah's launching pads, Hezbollah launches more rockets into northern Israel. He is proving to be a tough enemy. I think it is probable that he may hit Tel Aviv if the IDF intensify their invasion.

I pray that this war will end soon because the innocent are suffering.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous chipps said...

"...to early yet for Nasrallah and Ahmedinajad to be taking out the champagne."
I detect a cultural gap here.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hezbollah rockets cry out for a system of counterbattery radar and thermal detection from satellites. With the coordinates, it should be possible to target and hit the origin of a fired rocket within seconds. Only prompt counterbattery fire can discourage the rocket strategy, one would think.

9:48 PM  

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