A disproportionate response

July 16th, 2006 – 2:31 pm
Tagged as: Foreign affairs

Over the past few days, as Israeli bombs drop on Lebanon and Hezbollah rockets fall on northern Israel, I’ve had the beginning of a post running through my head. Today though, I saw this editorial from The Nation, which began with a paragraph that pretty much summed up my feelings on the matter:

With the spreading violence in Lebanon and Gaza, the Israeli doctrine of absolute security and massive retaliation–the notion that any attack or threat of attack on Israel will be met with –is again proving counterproductive to Israel’s own security as well as to the larger stability of the region. It makes no sense for Israel to destroy the civil infrastructure of the Palestinians and of Lebanon in response to the kidnapping of its soldiers, or to further weaken the capacity of the governments of Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority while at the same trying to hold them accountable for the actions of groups and militias they cannot reasonably control. This collective punishment of the Palestinian and Lebanese people is not only inhumane and should be condemned but also leads to more radicalization and to more chaos.

Responding to the killing and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers on the northern border by bombing the civilian infrastructure of Beruit is simply madness. All it has managed to do is help unite the factions of the Lebanese government against Israel, which means that, with the Syrians having been sidelined in last year’s Cedar Revolution, there is now no one to rein in Hezbollah.

I recommend reading the entire editorial, and then keeping up with the crisis by reading Juan Cole’s excellent Informed Comment.

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