War extra: ‘A National Consensus’ By Robert Rosenberg (in Tel Aviv)

War extra: ‘A National Consensus’ By Robert Rosenberg (in Tel Aviv)

Eric Lee pioneered the political use of the internet for the Zionist Left, with his “Bibi Watch,” an e-newsletter during the prime ministership of Bibi Netanayahu. Robert Rosenberg is another such pioneer (with Ami Isseroff being a third). Rosenberg is astonishing for his ability to blog five days a week with a rundown on the daily news events in Israel.

Some Israeli analysts are calling the G-8 statement … “an enormous political achievement” for Israel because of G-8 support for Israel’s basic position – that Hezbollah and Hamas stop launching attacks on Israel and return the abducted soldiers and that the Lebanese government implemented UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for Beirut to disarm the Hezbollah….

The country is in a state of semi-paralysis. Tel Aviv is under “alert,” which means keeping aware of the news, say Home Front officers, while basically everyone living north of the Haifa to Afula line are staying home or close to it, and only going to work if absolutely necessary. That’s about 20 percent of the Israeli population. True, the casualty figures on Israel’s side are about a tenth of those on the Lebanese side, but while the Israelis attack very specific Hezbollah-related sites, there is something very random about the Hezbollah rocket fire. South Beirut’s Dahiye neighborhood, where Hezbollah maintained its headquarters – and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were positioned – has been leveled, but a kilometer away, in the same city, people can go to work normally. In Haifa, on the other hand, the rockets that struck yesterday, including one that killed eight workers in a railroad depot, have effectively shut down the city.

There is a general and genuine national consensus in Israel in favor of delivering a crushing blow to the Hezbollah, a consensus that runs much deeper than the one the government claims to exist for the attempts to crush Hamas. For one thing, many Israelis understand that while Israel left Gaza, it has not relinquished control over the Strip and in effect imprisoned the Gazans. But Israel really did quit Lebanon, down to the last centimeter, in May 2000, and Hezbollah’s attacks – and its stockpiling of rockets as a ‘deterrent’ threat against Israel – is intolerable for Israelis….

So, the rocket fire into Israel continues, though Israeli experts say it’s diminishing as Israeli planes attack Hezbollah’s strategic positions as well as rocket launchers. Nazareth and Afula were hit this morning. There are no plans for a ground invasion of Lebanon, and the current assessments are that the Israeli campaign could be over by the end of the week. But Israel will not let up its pressure on the Lebanese government until it sees Lebanese troops replacing Hezbollah militiamen in southern Lebanon. Lebanese Army troops in south Lebanon would mean that Israel could hold the Beirut government responsible for any cross-border attacks, so presumably, the Lebanese Army would make sure not to allow any.

However, while it seems logical – to Israelis, at least – that Lebanon’s sovereign government take control over the southern part of the country, it might not be possible without help from an international force. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan apparently agree on the need for just such an international force. The G-8 statement, which is being recommended to the UN Security Council, could be turned into a UN Security Council resolution that might include a UN force, something Israel would oppose because in Israel’s experience, UN forces are powerless, able only to defend themselves…. At the very least, Israel would insist on a “multinational” force….

Read the entire posting at ariga.com

By | 2006-07-17T19:10:00-04:00 July 17th, 2006|Blog|0 Comments

Leave A Comment