Israel is hastening its own destruction by its disproportionate reaction to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers by Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has kidnapped Israeli soldiers before to exchange them for prisoners kept by Israel, and Israel has duly made such exchanges. Why is this time any different? Because Israel has been looking for an excuse to attack Hezbollah ever since Israel left Lebanon years ago.
Except Israel is not attacking Hezbollah – it’s attacking Lebanon. The San Francsico Chronicle has revealed that this plan has been on the cards for quite a while. “More than a year ago, a senior Israeli army officer began giving Power-point presentations, on an off-the-record basis, to US and other diplomats, journalists and think-tanks, setting out the plan for the current operation in revealing detail.”
Israel is sowing the seeds of violence against it, and it could reap the whirlwind. Imagine what could happen when Iran gets nukes.
Only one thing protects Israel from a Second Holocaust — the backing of America, to the tune of $3 billion a year, including a steady supply of arms (now sped up to supply for the war in Lebanon).
The removal of that aid is not inconceivable — for these reasons:
1. America may soon not be able to afford it. Our country is on the brink of bankruptcy, in hock to China, Japan, and other Asian nations.
2. Israel has lost its victim status, and is now regarded as a rogue state by every other state in the world except America. At some point America may wake up and realize that its attachment to Israel is against its own national interest, and that by serving Israel, it is weakening its own position in the world.
3. America has already weakened its own position in the world and exposed the limitations of its superpower status by the fiasco of its imperial adventure in Iraq. It is not inconceivable that, after Bush, America may enter an isolationist era. Instead of intervening in the affairs of the rest of the world, it may retract in on itself, and leave the world to its own devices (maybe a very wise course, given its propensity to make a mess of its interventions).
Israel has a right to defend itself — but it does not have the right to destroy the infrastructure of Lebanon, or the right to treat Palestine like an apartheid Bantustan of slave labor, or the right to kill Arabs indiscriminately.
Sooner or later the Arabs may gang up on Israel again, like they’ve done before, and next time Israel may be fought to a standstill, like has happened before, or maybe even lose. This hasn’t happened before, but it could. Iran is getting stronger every day; it will go nuclear one day. Also, the dictatorships of Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, and Jordan will eventually be taken over by Islamist factions who may not restrain themselves in the face of Israeli violence.
Currently Israel is still the strongest power in the Middle East. Because it is the strongest, and Palestine is the weakest, the responsibility of making peace starts with Israel, not with the Palestinians. The weak cannot make peace; the strong must initiate it and execute it.
When Israel is rivaled by Iran, and can be matched by the Arab states who hate it, it will lose its position of strength, and not be able to make peace. At that point, Israel will lose its only window of opportunity to survive by making peace. Instead, it will be destroyed — and have only itself to blame for a Second Holocaust.