The Lebanese, and with them the French government, are engaged in the delicate art of blame shifting. The Israelis, they are claiming, should not be punishing the poor Lebanese, who are really helpless to do anything about the Hizbullah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Meanwhile, Katyousha rockets rain down on Israeli cities and the European and Arab press report about Israeli "excesses." The Lebanese are quite indignant that Israel bombed Beirut Airport and other targets.
The title of today's editorial in the Daily Star is Lebanese brace for Israel's signature strategy: collective punishment
. The editors of the Daily Star make believe that they are unaware of the obligations of the Lebanese government under UN Security Council Resolutions 425, 1559, 1680, to disarm the Hizbullah and take control of southern Lebanon, which is supposed to be Lebanese sovereign territory. The editors of the Daily Star also make believe that nobody knows that the representatives of the Hizbulla sit in the Lebanese government, and that the Lebanese government provides a safe haven for Hassan Nasrallah and his gangsters.
The editors wrote:
Most Lebanese view Hizbullah's latest operation as a dangerous gamble. Although they do not have much sympathy for the Israelis, who destroyed their country during a brutal invasion and occupation, they do fear Israel's signature brand of retaliation - collective punishment - at a time when their country is already passing through a period of instability. They are dangerously exposed because their leaders have failed to forge a sense of cohesion and unity during the national dialogue.
Lebanese civilians, who have absolutely no control over the events that are unfolding, and who once again find themselves in the eye of the storm, are now bracing for the very worst. Their darkest fear is that as they helplessly repeat the act of watching history unfold on their land, this time the promise of Lebanon's resurrection will itself become history.
Mendacious and self-righteous drivel. Numerous Daily Star editorials have supported the Hizbullah and urged unity with the Hizbullah. Lebanese civilians voted for the Lebanese government, which is deadlocked by the large Shi'ite faction and which refuses to live up to its responsibilities under international law. Therefore, Lebanese citizens are directly responsible, both for their own fate and for the rockets that are falling on northern Israel. Lebanese citizens chose Hizbulla, and now they will inevitably suffer the consequences of Hizbulla. "Collective punishment" can apply to a town in an occupied area. It cannot apply to a supposedly sovereign and democratic nation, whose citizens are supposedly responsible for the conduct of their country. Inevitably, the citizens of a country that is responsible for an aggressive war will suffer the consequences of that war, whether they are directly responsible or not.
Daily Star also has "advice" for Israel:
During a news conference on Wednesday, Nasrallah made another vow: that "no military operation will return" the two soldiers, and that only another prisoner swap will secure their freedom. Only a fool would doubt that Nasrallah now means what he says. The Israelis must therefore carefully weigh two difficult questions. Is it really worth it for them to continue keeping three Lebanese prisoners in jail? And is the mere chance of saving two soldiers really worth spilling more Israeli blood in another deadly military adventure in Lebanon?
If Israelis thought like the editors of the Daily Star, then there is no doubt the Israeli government would take that advice, and give in to the government supported terror of the Hizbullah. However, if Israelis thought like the editors of the Daily Star, we would lose our freedom as the Lebanese have lost theirs.
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