Thursday, July 13, 2006

More collective punishment

Last night, Hizbollah raided an Israeli military outpost and captured two Israeli soldiers. In response, Israel invaded Lebanon. Now, they're entitled to attempt to recover their missing men, but rather than taking limited action with special forces etc, they're indiscriminately bombing bridges and roads, and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert has promised "very painful and far-reaching" against Lebanon unless the captives are freed. The "strategy" then seems to be exactly the same as it is in Gaza: bomb infrastructure, destroy civilian targets, and generally smash things up in an attempt to make life miserable not for the guerillas, but for the broader Lebanese populace (who are innocent bystanders in the whole thing). When non-state actors do this, we call it "terrorism" - and that is exactly what we should call it when Israel does it as well.


I really do despair :-(

Posted by Span : 7/13/2006 12:23:00 PM

Terrorism is evil and the Left should always oppose it because inevitably the most vulnerable and innocent suffer the most from terrorism.

In the case of Hizbuallah and Hamas, they have both committed acts of terror against civilians every bit as evil as the terror being committed against innocent civilians now by the Olmert-Labor Government in Israel.

And like the Israeli government, both Hamas and Hizbuallah's main functions are the provision of services - health, education and infrastructure services.

And like Mr Olmert and Israeli Labor Party, both Hamas and Hizbuallah, have mandates from their constituencies.

Hamas won most electorates hands-down against Fatah and other smaller parties in Palestinian elections. In the second, party vote Hamas didn't get a majority but got around 40% of the party vote (they don't have clean MMP in Palestine, only half the seats are proportionally allocated by party vote - the other half of parliament is the first past the post constituency system).

In the case of Hizbullah, they are the 4th largest party in Lebanese parliament and the 2nd largest Shiia party;

Given latest developments, Hizbullah's and Hammas' poll ratings just went up.

The reality is that under international law Israeli Army's occupation of Palestine West Bank and Lebanese Sheeba Farms are being illegally transformed, those territories populations displaced with new settlers from the Occupying Power.

Under international law, the occupied people have a right to resistance - everyone in Europe in WWII had a right to violently resist Nazis and everyone in Eastern Europe had a right to resist Soviet Union Stalinist occupation too.

Taking Israeli soldiers hostage by Hamas and Hizbuallah requires under international law that they be treated humanely in line with Geneva Conventions - but it isn't terrorism.

After all, the Arab League offered Israel and the U.S. a full total peace deal in 2000 - trade, diplomatic and cultural relations between Israel and the 22 Arab States, but the response of the U.S. was to continue to fund Israeli settlement in occupied Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese lands.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/13/2006 06:58:00 PM

I have a question: If it is terrorism that Hizbollah has taken two Israeli soldiers hostage - is it terrorism that Israeli Defence Force has been holding hundreds of Lebanese prisoner since 2000 - when the IDF withdrew from its 1978 invasion of Lebanese territory it took with its hundreds of Lebanese prisoners?

And if so, should the National Party here be demanding that Israel be put on our terrorist list as well as the others?

Posted by Anonymous : 7/13/2006 08:06:00 PM

the problem is how they view morality.
Israel believes the other side are wrong and must be punished. At least we want them to instead view it pragmatically and ask "what am i trying to achieve here?"

Posted by Genius : 7/14/2006 05:25:00 PM