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Lebanon One Year Later

“No one feels safe in their home anymore,” is how my husband’s cousin Nina explained the impact of last summer’s Lebanon War. She lives near Tel Aviv. Last summer she hosted her mother, her husband’s mother, his brother’s family, and several others as almost a dozen people camped out in her modest apartment all summer to escape the rockets raining down on their homes in Israel’s northern cities. The news reports Hezbollah is rearming with even longer range rockets. She worries how her daughter, who has twins and lives on the fifth floor in a Tel Aviv suburb, will get down to the bomb shelter if an attack comes and her husband is not home to help.
Nina did not need the Winograd Report to tell her the war in Lebanon was mishandled and left Israelis feeling much less secure than before the war. Among the lessons that stuck home was the need for more flexibility and the need to train its soldiers to fight a different kind of war now.
I recently returned from visiting Israel and all over the state I saw maneuvers taking place so that the IDF would be better prepared next time. One year later, there is a sense of inevitability that “next time” could occur any time, on any number of fronts.
All this said, claims that Israel lost the war in Lebanon are inaccurate. Here are some of the positive results from last summer’s war:


*Up until last summer Hezbollah operated with impunity right up to the border. Now an expanded UN presence and more active Lebanese Army have created a defacto no-man’s-land, which limits Hezbollah’s ability to reach all but Israel’s most northern communities with its rockets. This summer was largely quiet because Hezbollah had been defanged.
*The Lebanese government, finally realizing the danger Hezbollah poses to its own viability, is fighting extremist elements in the refugee camps.
*Iran’s role in fermenting conflict has become more transparent, which is leading such nations as Russia, China, and France to become less obstructionist or more vigorous in international efforts to curb Iran.


These are some of the reasons Times of London commentator Tim Hames suggests that Israel is safer now than at any time in the last 25 years. (He also credits the often maligned security barrier that has successfully barred suicide terrorists from entering Israel.)
There is another reason Israel won the war last summer. Hezbollah, and all the other terrorists, think that terror undermines people’s will. Just the opposite is true for Israelis. This summer I met kibbutzniks making an arid landscape bloom with just trickles of water, engineers whose ingenuity is sprouting skyscrapers that sport the names of every major IT company, average Israelis making the most of every minute of life at the beach with their families, and neighbors volunteering their time to make life better for others.
There is something to be said for compartmentalization. The result is an optimistic, creative, and dynamic Israeli society that is willing to share its gifts to its neighbors. All Israel wants in exchange is for its neighbors to accept its right to exist. Most Israelis have been willing to trade land for peace for some time now. Despite Lebanon War and current Palestinian strife, most Israelis still want peace and are willing to accept a Palestinian State.
The final lesson from last summer’s war is this: Israel is not going away, no matter how unsafe they feel in their homes, no matter what Israel’s enemies will do. The question is: will the forces that realize this in the Arab camp also realize it is in their best interest to finally recognize Israel’s existence and make a peace that can be mutually productive?

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laura t mushkat

posted August 8, 2007 at 12:32 pm

It is a shame that Israel is having such problems. Possibly memories of the past glories in war has made themover confident and that caused the problems when Lebonon surfaced last year.
At anyrate if they are truly being more careful this time I hope it proves helpful to them.
They should never feel safe for a few generations after peace comes to them. The Arab world’s terrorists may appear to be asleep but all they need are new people who hate and are willing to die and have their own people become matyrs irregardless of their own people’s desires. Hopefully our country understands that as well.
The Arabs do not realize that the Jewish low birth rate is in their favor if they would just have patience. It is very unfortunate but that alone could be a big problem for Israel’s future.

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posted August 9, 2007 at 12:15 am

why Israel attack Lebanon a year ago? Is it because of two soldiers that were captured. To kill thousands for two? Is it the right approach and attitude…
Ego is the problem… and you reading your posts it sound that you can’t see even a small imperfection in yourself……

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laura t mushkat

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Any country worth its salt will try to get back those that were kidnapped without “giving in-the USA does this all the time, You do not negotiate with them. Therefore when they refuse you do what you have to.
Valentine-ego has nothing to do with it-1 or 2 or 1000 all are important.

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Charles Fust

posted August 10, 2007 at 12:39 pm

It is difficult for me to understand why people around the world cannot see the Middle Eastern conflict for what it really is. I am not Jewish, however, I hold great faith in the Jewish religion and its roots to my own beliefs. To the best of my knowledge, Israel has provoked no country. While it is true, those who have made war with Israel have lost some of their own borders, history teaches us that when a country chooses to inflict war and conflict upon another country,a war in which they eventually loose on the battle field,they must then accept the consequences. Recent history of wars against Israel reflects battle lines being drawn, Israel being provoked, the opposing forces suffering defeat, at which point, the conflict is then carried forth in public opinion polls conducted by bias reporting, resulting in Israel being condemmed. As if to further confuse the issue, the hate mongering forces who seek to destroy western civilization as we know it, get good press and fair well in public opinion, even as they decapate innocent civilans, set bombs in public places intentionally aimed at killing women and children,and wreaking havoc against their own people in the name of minor regilious differences. What then is Israel spposed to do? Sit idly by each time their own borders are violated or suicide bombs are detonated in their public gathering places, watch as their enemys take hostages at will and simply let the killing of thier citizens lend itself to a denfense mechanism whereas Israel is to defend itself while inflicing no punishment? Western civilization should come to realize what role Israel and their brave people play in the stabalization of the Middle East. Before casting any stones one should ask themself, What would that region of the world be like if there was no Israel???

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laura t mushkat

posted August 11, 2007 at 12:30 pm

I agree with Charles-the only reason I believe that Israel is suffering is because they are considered Europeans/Westerners and not of the Arab lineage. Arabs have had the Middle East to themselves primarily for centuries. It was not till oil became valuable that Western nations, I believe the British were first, interferred.
After WW2 the Jewish people wanted to return to the land they felt they belonged to, that G-d had given them. Strangely the primary pushers of this idea to the UN were secular Jews. At anyrate, when the UN voted to make then Palestine, the Jewish homeland officially for whatever resons, depending on who you talk to, most Arabs left. They are the Palestinians, and obviously THEY want their land back!
Most Arab countries do not get along except about oil and Israel. They are using their Arab Palestlinan brothers to help get rid of the Jews, Still smarting from the Crusades they do not want Christian arround either. They took poor care of the religous sites of everyone when they were in charge. The Jews take good care of them.
It is basically a family argument-since we are all related thru Abraham, that will I fear never be resolved.
That Charles, is why they fight!

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posted August 14, 2007 at 12:53 pm

“Arabs have had the Middle East to themselves primarily for centuries. It was not till oil became valuable that Western nations, I believe the British were first, interferred.”
Laura, the truth is that Western civilization has interfered with the Middle East for millenia, not just during the oil discovery.
The Crusades interfered drastically hundreds of years before oil was discovered. In those days, it was religion, not oil, that they fought over.
As usual, the Jews were the primary victims of these two superpower “peaceful” religions trying to kill each other and take over the “Holy Land”…Yossel

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posted August 16, 2007 at 11:09 am

I am not a Jew, I am a Christian. And though I don’t like war, it is a necessary part of life. As a christian, I feel it is my duty to help protect the Jew(God’s Chosen People), to support them, and love them. I am not about to apologize for what happened centuries ago or what my ancestors have done, I can only make a difference now. If Israel wants to go to war for one, I’d proudly join their team! I am doing research now to try and figure out why this hatred for the Jewish people has been so strong for so long, and the ONLY answers I can find are rooted in the Bible.

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