Escalation Towards War?

Thursday 20th July § Leave a comment

Recently I’ve been questioning my impartiality over the Israel, Palestine and now Lebanon conflict. I suppose I always have a tendency to support the underdogs (It’s part of the Welsh psyche, like automatically supporting anyone who plays against England). I’ll try and be as impartial as I can.

I’d be the first to admit that my knowledge of history is patchy and what I’ve written here is just my opinion and any facts here may not be actual facts at all. When I talk about Israel or Israelis I’m referring to the political and military establishments rather than the Israeli people.

First a bit of background to make sense of the current situation. This latest escalation was incited by the kidnap of three Israeli soldiers. About three weeks ago Corporal Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants who’d tunnelled under the Israeli-Palestinian border. Which would seem to set the blame directly at the feet of Hamas and Hezbollah and indirectly Syria and Iran. Of course it’s more complicated than that.

What really worries me is that I’m not sure either side really want to find a peaceful solution.

In a twisted way Hezbollah benefit directly from Israel’s bombing, which brings them greater support and in a horrible way, legitimacy: ‘you see how evil the Israelis are, they just want an excuse to bomb us, we must fight back just as hard’.

On the Israeli side I fear that the well oiled military machine already has its orders to use this as an opportunity to crush Hezbollah, despite how obvious it should be that Hezbollah can never be eradicated by brute firepower. Their first action of the hostilities shows their intent with their bombing of Beirut airport. This action doesn’t punish Hezbollah or provide any defensive role to Israel. Instead this crippling of infrastructure is aimed directly at the Lebanese government. What we are witnessing is the collective punishment of the whole country which goes far beyond the confines of measured retaliation.

Neither position is morally tenable. Both are equally wrong. How’s that for balance. The real losers are the innocent civilians on both sides. (Although its not a matter of bias to expect the Lebanese civilians to suffer imensly more). I only hope that the UN can find agreement to deploy a peacekeeping force. As it stands I can see no other possibility for a de-escelation.

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