Friday, July 14, 2006

Some points on the recent Israeli-Lebanese conflict:

1. The attacks on Israeli territories can only be interpreted as acts of war. The Lebanese government lets Hezbollah control its souther border and use it as a base for attacks against Israel; at the same time, they don't want to be held responsible for Hezbollah's action. This position is contradictory, to say the least.

2. It is thus perfectly legitimate to hold the government of Lebanon responsible for its actions.

3. Attacks are justified if they have military value. Hezbollah's attacks on the civilian population cannot be justified; on the other hand, the Israeli attacks on the Beirut airport, the Israeli naval blockade, and the Israeli bombing of the roads leading from Syria to Lebanon are all aimed at cutting of the arms flow to Hezbollah. They are, therefore, justified under the laws of war.

4. Some have called for Israeli restraint in this crisis. I think that, on the contrary, Israel must do whatever it takes (within the laws of war of course) to undermine the ability of Hezbollah and Hamas to attack Israeli territory. Moreover, I hope the Israeli attacks make the Lebanese face up to the consequences of their position with respect to the Hezbollah. I hope that the Lebanese reconsider whether they want to give Hezbollah the power to drag their nation into war.


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