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Why is Israel "Attacking Christian Neighborhoods"?:

Many bloggers [just do a Technorati search for "Christian areas" and "Lebanon" if you're doubtful] have criticized Israel for allegedly attacking Christian villages in Lebanon. Many argue that they would support Israel if the attacks were limited to Hezbollah strongholds, but that attacking Christian villages seems not just wrong, but counter-productive. My own assessment was that the IAF is a very disciplined organization, and doesn't attack targets for no reason, but I refrained from comment (unlike the bloggers in question) until I actually had some information.

Some of the attacks are on Lebanese ports. That's easy enough to explain, given that Israel is blockading Hezbollah from receving new weapons, and from shipping its weapons abroad for safekeeping. Two reports from Israel today explain the other attacks. First, Debka reports that Hezbollah and its Palestinian allies are using Christian villages as launching sites for missles aimed at Israel, and Israel is trying to limit the damage while still protecting itself: "One difficulty in halting Hizballah's rocket barrage in the east has been Israel's reluctance to attack Christian targets, except for pinpointing launch teams. Israeli negotiators are in contact with the village heads on terms for their evacuation so that Hizballah sites can be smashed. Hizballah is using Lebanese Christians as human shields for its attacks and their towns and villages as supply centers to pump ordnance to the launch teams in forward positions."

Meanwhile, Ynetnews reports that Israel has been bombing structures in which Hizbullah stores its money, including in mixed cities such as Baalbeck and Tyre (which have Christian minorities) and today, central Beirut.

I'm sure some will react to these reports by statin that this is just Israeli government propaganda, and of course I can't independently confirm these reports. But they make a lot more sense than the bloggers who jumped to the conclusion that Israel was risking its pilots' lives, the wrath of world opinion, and potential future relations with Lebanese Christians by bombing Christian areas for no particular reason.

UPDATE: Of course, news reports indicat that the vast majority of the bombing IS taking place in Hezbollah strongholds.

dw (mail):
I have no doubt that the Israeli targeting is as selective and accurate as the Hezbollah targeting is vicious and dangerously inaccurate. Nevertheless, the US has an immediate obligation to call for a cease-fire.

The US has an immediate interest in protecting the ca. 25000 US citizens living in Lebanon, and in particular, enabling them to leave Lebanon if they choose. Not demanding a cease-fire for the purpose of allowing US citizens to leave is a neglect of a responsibility which must take priority over other policy concerns.

And please, let's not get into a discussion over whether or not these US citizens in Lebanon are "really Americans"; as long as they have US passports, they are our equals. As an American lving abroad, I have learned that our embassies provide only a minimum of services for citizens abroad, but should difficulties arise, it is reasonable to expect an embassy, at the very least, to make a similar call for a cease-fire in order to evacuate US citizens, in any country in an emergency, be it Indonesia, Israel, or Iceland. Please note that I do not call for the US to evacuate these citizens, only to help make it possible, should they choose to leave at their own expense.
7.19.2006 5:35pm
jimbino (mail):
Haven't the Christianists been a major cause of misery in the world, and not just for Jews or Israelis? My experience with Amerikan embassies abroad is that they serve only the interests of the business community, not those of the common Amerikan--same as in the USSA.
7.19.2006 6:08pm
Pitman (mail) (www):
From the Israeli media I recall reading that what looked like a missile launcher was destroyed in East Beirut and it turned out to be a water drilling machine. Also there are some reports, as yet unsubstantiated, that Hezbollah are killing Lebanese civilians who are trying to leave villages in South Lebanon.
7.19.2006 6:34pm
PierreM (mail):
It's far fetched, but in 2005 Michel Aoun made a tactical political alliance with Hezbollah, so it's possible that Aoun's faction is allowing (or turning a blind eye towards) Hezbollah's use of some Christian areas.

Some Christian communities may simply also be coerced into cooperation with Hezbollah.
7.19.2006 6:45pm
Just:
Your soldiers are humans. They are not flawless, and now they are not flawless with weapons and tons of ammo in their hands.

Yesterday, they mistook a well-digging bit on the back of a truck for a missle launcher. So they bombed a Christian neighborhood, and destroyed property and disrupted homes.

Admit your fuck-ups. Apologize and compensate for all fuck ups that destroy innocent people or property. It will make Israel more accurate in the future
7.20.2006 8:22am
Just:
If you want to listen to a non-Jew:

The only way to defeat guerrilla terrorists is to win the support of the "regular people." They are closer to the action and can help route out terrorist criminals. Without their buy in, you can bomb but you will never stop all the guerrilla fighters.

Invest in shelters, food, and economic investment zones. Build up, as Lebanon has been doing for decades before this attack. This wins over the people -- whom Israel does need; she cannot survive alone -- whose lives also are being destroyed by the guerillas. (see Hamas whose electoral victory the US and Israel were surprised by, and Hezbollah, winning more recruits and support daily)

What Israel is doing under Olmert and with support from Eitam and now even the sensible majority, only will prolong the fight and postpone more destruction and killing. Without actual support (and not the bought support of US politicians) of people close to the actions, the guerillas can still implement pain, even to a larger more well financed military. It's the nature of the fight, which is why all the Japan/WW II comparasons fall well short.

Finally, lose all the Jewish (biased) commentators in the American newsmedia. I understand their bias, I would want my homeland to succeed too, but they are not providing accurate opinions. Same as the fact that DB has been influenced by emotional ties to his wife and family. Not the most logical mind to decide whether military strategy is "working" or not. (It's not, and it will not. No bias, but look to the past evidence. If you truly want a secure stable region, the strategy outlined above has proven much more efficient in past guerrilla conflicts than killing and terrorizing civilian populations with bombs and military shows of strength, hoping to "turn them" against the terrorists and win support for the "terrorist-fighter's" (here Israel) cause. Just don't happen that way.

Israel has some work to do, and this macho military campaigning is keeping the work from even beginning. Don't listen to the commenters -- they are not losing family lives and are in denial of lack of progress.
7.20.2006 8:35am
Frank Drackman (mail):
You know if the Israelis all packed up and moved to Europe as Ahminajhad suggested it wouldn't be 2 weeks and the A-rabs would be trying to infiltrate whatever ghetto the jews ended up in.
7.20.2006 10:48am
Just:

Is there a history of Arab interference in European countries, Frank D. ?
7.20.2006 7:43pm
Meryl Yourish (www):
No, just a history of Muslim anti-Semitism.
7.20.2006 8:13pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
What people do you imagine were 'won over,' Just?

Not the Muslims, who are univerally Hezbollah. Not the Christians, who are either too weak or too complicit to oppose Hezbollah.

Perhaps you are counting on the Druze?
7.22.2006 12:02am