Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Israel - Left or Right, Israelis Are Pro-War

The Left in America could learn a lot from the Israelis. That includes the left wing New York Times. Look how the reporter frames the debate:

JERUSALEM, Aug. 8 — As Israel’s war with Hezbollah finishes a fourth difficult week, domestic criticism of its prosecution is growing. Yet there is a paradoxical effect as well: the harder the war has been, the more the public wants it to proceed.

"Israel's war"??? As if Israel started the current war. Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, attacked a democratic state, Israel.

Notice also the statement that "the public wants it to proceed". "It" being, as the New York Times puts it, "Israels war". In other words, Israel started this war and the Israelis want it to continue.

But at least they report the reality of what's going on.

The criticism is not that the war is going on, but that it is going poorly. The public wants the army to hit Hezbollah harder, so it will not threaten Israel again.

And while Israelis are upset with how Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has run the war, they seem to agree with what he told aides this week — that given the weaponry and competence of Hezbollah and the damage already done to Israel, “I thank God the confrontation came now, because with every year their arsenal would have grown.”

Abroad, Israel is criticized for having overreacted and for causing disproportionate damage to Lebanon and its civilian population and even for indiscriminate bombing. But within Israel, the sense is nearly universal that unlike its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, this war is a matter of survival, not choice, and its legitimacy is unquestioned.

No one seems to want to question why Hezbollah was allowed to mass men and rockets so close to Israel. Or, to blame Hezbollah for starting this war by attacking Israel. At least the Left in Israel have awoken to the danger now.

Even the bulk of the Israeli left feels that way. There is no real peace camp in Israel right now, says Yariv Oppenheimer, the secretary general of Peace Now, which has pressed hard for a deal with the Palestinians and on June 22, before this Lebanon war, called for a halt to air raids over the Gaza Strip. “We’re a left-wing Zionist movement, and we believe that Israel has the legitimate right to defend itself,” Mr. Oppenheimer said. “We’re not pacifists. Unlike in Gaza or the West Bank, Israel isn’t occupying Lebanese territory or trying to control the lives of Lebanese. The only occupier there is Hezbollah, and Israel is trying to defend itself.”

This agrees with a email from a friend in Israel.

The American Left could learn a lot from these people.

Hezbollah has stated publicly that their ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel.

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