Mister Pterodactyl
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Believe it or not, I've been thinking about Israel a little bit lately. Maybe it's all the stuff over at Instapundit, while his guestbloggers are at play.
There's a great deal of disagreement over who's winning and who's losing. See here, here, and here for the Israel-is-winning commentary; Hezbollah-on-top can be found here, here, and here (there's plenty more, but you get the point). That's a lot of reading.
I am neither wise enough nor knowledgeable enough to judge the merits of these arguments, so I'll just let history roll it out and see what happens. Suffice to say they all seem plausible and well reasoned to me.

One thing, though, that I'd like to point out about the latter group. Overall I'm seeing the following:
First, Israel cannot destroy Hezbollah, because Hez fighters can simply melt into the crowd and fight another day;
Second, Israel is actually helping Hez in the long run by alienating the Lebanese people and thus raising support for Hez;
Third, that effect will increase Hez's political influence in the Lebanese government, thus pushing Lebanon into the Syria/Iran fold (insofar as such a thing exists).

As I said, plausible, well reasoned (and far from a comprehensive summary, by the way). But I have a problem here.

Tangent. A lot of the anti-Israel animus flying around out there actually has its roots in Israel's formation; put another way, in Israel's existence. In 1948, there were Jews and Arabs all living amongst one another in the region. [In what proportions I don't know.] Israel's original borders were drawn to minimize displacement; that is, most of the Jews on this side, most of the Arabs on the other. Nevertheless some people had to move. [Again, I don't know how many.] More Arabs were displaced when Israel expanded its territory after being attacked by, well, everybody that shared a border, and then some.
This is the origin of that 'right to return' the Palestinians are always bitching about. Israel sits, partially, on land that used to be theirs.

A just, albeit moot, debate could be had about that (providing enough level headed, non-spittle-spewing debaters could be found) but my point is this: whether you think Israel has a right to exist or not, it does exist, and it's going to fight for its own survival. Who wouldn't?

Thus the problem I cited above. You may believe that Israel is screwing things up, that these events bode poorly, that they should have done it differently. You may believe that they shouldn't have done anything at all, or that they should have negotiated, agreed to the prisoner exchange, even that they shouldn't be there in the first place (no Israel, no problem). But my question is: what did you expect? Hamas now runs the Palestinian government and has refused to abandon its goal to eradicate Israel. Hezbollah has failed to disarm itself (UNSC 1559) and is a major player in Lebanese politics. And Israel is really getting no help from the international community. Did you think they'd just sit back and take it? Tolerate the suicide bombers and rockets and incursions, the unceasing hostility of their neighbors? Forever? As the price of their existence?

This is the chickens coming home to roost. This was inevitable. Took us all by surprise, sure, but looking back, it was bound to happen sooner or later. So let's get it over with.

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