This post will not be fair and balanced. I believe that Israel’s present actions are contributing to the instability of the region and are further endangering her own citizens. That is not to say that I believe that Hezbollah are innocent victims. But I don’t see how anyone can look at the history of that part of the world since the ending of the British mandate in 1948 and not see that it is Israeli aggression which lies at the core of the continuing violence in ‘the Holy Land’. The fact that the wherewithal to pursue that aggression is supplied entirely by the US tax-payer merely adds to the anger I feel at the media reports coming out of southern Lebanon just now.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t a question of whether the Israeli response to Hezbollah is ‘proportionate’. (This far I agree with Dominic Lawson in today’s Independent - the whole notion of proportionality in warfare is preposterous. He is utterly wrong, though, that opposition to Israel implies anti-semitism.) The question is not whether Israel’s response to the kidnapping of its soldiers by Hezbollah is proportionate but whether it is right. In the moral sense, the answer to that must surely be negative. You have to use a very strange moral calculus to justify destroying the infrastructure of a country and displacing thousands of people as a result of the actions of a terrorist group. Neither do I see that there is any pragmatic reason to believe that Israel is doing the right thing. If anything, these actions are likely to increase support for Hezbollah and similar groups. Already there is evidence that Israel is succeeding in building a bridge over the intense division that exists between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims.
What Israel is doing serves to stoke the fires of Middle Eastern hatred of the West and provides plenty of propaganda for those who recruit young men to commit acts of suicidal violence. It is time to stop it, and it can be stopped. One word from George Bush could l could bring Israel to heel, because Israel is utterly dependent on the billions of dollars in receives in US military aid to maintain her armed forces. If Tony Blair has any influence at all in the White House (which I’m inclined to doubt), now is the time to prove it.
That’s why, for what little it is worth, I’m supporting those urging Tony Blair to call for an immediate ceasefire.
UK readers can support this campaign by texting CEASEFIRE to 87099.
Other bloggers say:
PamBG is lost for words (via 42)
Turbulent Cleric finds hope from the young, rails that the Brish government has lost its moral authority and reminds us that Israel was born in terrorism.
Street Prophets tell us that UCC leaders are calling for a ceasefire and the National Council of Churches has launched a season of prayer for the Middle East.
[tags]Lebanon, Israel, ceasefire[/tags]