FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s New Plan to Attack Lebanon

Last Friday I asked a top-level Israeli, a former IDF (Israel Defense Forces) elite unit man and prime-ministerial confidante, whether the assassination of Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh could have been done by a Lebanese group.

He snorted at the preposterous notion. This was “way too sophisticated,” he said. “This [the car bombing] was a precisely orchestrated international operation,” and this was the “third or fourth or fifth time in a year that Israel has carried out a military operation in Syria.”

When I asked him to repeat that last part he added the word “allegedly.”

But the message, or at least the boast, was clear. So why is Israel doing this?

The man said of his colleagues: “There are a lot of [Israeli] military and cabinet people just dying for a second round with Lebanon. If given the opportunity they’ll take it,” i.e. attack Lebanon again, not in spite of “but because of” the perception that their ’06 attack failed.

Though the IDF leveled blocks and villages, dropped 4 million cluster bomblets (some of which are still exploding), and killed some 200 Hezbollah combatants and 1,000 Lebanese civilians (roughly 40 Israeli civilians were killed by Hezbollah), they apparently departed Lebanon feeling politically inadequate.

The official feeling was that they either did not destroy enough, or destroy enough of the right people and items, to avoid the embarrassing perception that they lost to Hezbollah.

So to have the option of solving this problem they’ve apparently staged a provocative assassination in hopes of goading Hezbollah into retaliating and providing a pretext for new — better — destruction that this time around will “succeed,” i.e. soothe hurt Israeli feelings.

There’ve been attempts to put this in strategic terms, as educated killers (and those who study them) prefer. ‘Israel must prove its strategic value to the United States’ (What? Washington is going to dump Israel? Hezbollah’s “victory” strengthened the Palestinians, or Lebanon, or put Israel’s existence in danger?). Or, alternatively: ‘Hezbollah must be eradicated’ (which everyone knows is impossible).

In fact, the closer you look the more it looks like leaders’ blood psychotherapy.
And the same thing goes for the publics that follow them. Olmert is in political trouble. If he doesn’t kill some Arabs soon (who or where is secondary), his governing coalition may well dissolve. The public has to feel good, too.

The problem — for the to-be-killed, and for the notion of murder law, not to mention (and few do) decency — is that the Israeli body politic is now set this way: demanding — with a few, brave, exceptions — not just daily, routine, killings of Palestinians, but periodic dramatic strikes that thrill and let them strut like hero/ victims.

It’s as if the inhabitants of a US Fox News studio had multiplied and become a nation.

It, of course, doesn’t have to be that way, but it is obviously that way now. All you have to do to see it is pick up the papers or talk to a few Israelis. (For representative quotations see Gideon Levy, “Little Ahmadinejads, Haaretz,” 10/06/2007).

Its one thing for a state to be murdering and/or oppressing others when their local public doesn’t know about it (as was largely the case when Washington was decimating Central America in the 1980s), but it’s another when the public knows about it and supports the injustices and crimes (as was the case with US whites and slavery, and in the first stages of US/Iraq, where public support seemed to turn — as it may still — on the question of whether the US was “winning”).

In the first situation, the killing policy is vulnerable. If word gets out, the public might be angry. But in the second it is more stable, and deadly, since the public knows, and asks for more.

But people and states don’t get to entirely write their own histories.

They usually interact with others.

In the case of Israel, the key interaction is with the US, their military guarantor/ mass subsidizer, and with American Jews, where, among the young, opinion appears to be slowly turning (see postings of December 7, 2007, “Imposed Hunger in Gaza. The Army in Indonesia. Questions of Logic and Activism,” and February 13, 2008, “Big Killer Takes Out Smaller One. ‘Wipe Out a Neighborhood.’ Life by Mafia Rules in the Israeli – US Domain,” particularly the plaint of Malcom Hoenlein.).

Alternatively, Palestinians and groups like Hezbollah and Hamas could join the US as important determinants, but only if they too reset their outlooks (and their willingness to kill or murder) — as some Palestinians and other Arabs at the grassroots level are now urging, cautiously — and switched to active, but non-violent, or minimally violent resistance (like the first intifada, or the Gaza wall-breaking) and stopped letting themselves be used as a “provocation-response” button that Israel can press when it wants a thrill.

ALLAN NAIRN can be reached through his blog.

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

ALLAN NAIRN writes the blog News and Comment at www.newsc.blogspot.com.

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail