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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 02, 2003

Just in case someone is confused:

In Tal's discussion section an attempt is being made to compare the situation in South Lebanon, per Hezbullah activity there, with that in the "territories". Some seem to think the fact that Hezbullah does not use suicide bombers to attack Israeli civilians, and only targets Israeli soldiers (inside Lebanon before the Barak withdrawal, as well as in Northern Israel after that), is an indication of their long-term goals being different from those of the Palestinian terror organizations.

This could not be farther from the truth. The reason that IDF was in Lebanon all this years to begin with, were the almost daily attacks on the civilian population in Northern Israel (by Fatah at that time), before Israel finally invaded Lebanon. The long-term goal is the same: to drive Jews out of Israel. The tactics are different, as to be expected, since the situation in these three areas are different. Accordingly, the tactics the IDF uses in all those areas are different as well.

Some seem to think that because of these differences, these are two separate wars, and have to be considered separately. It may be so from a purely military point of view. But all military actions have always to be motivated by political considerations. This, I think, was the mistake made by Barak when he pulled out of Lebanon. He was thinking like a general, not a politician and a head of state. This move, if considered in purely military terms. may have made a lot of sense. Of course, it was also motivated by short-term politics, i.e. the Israeli public that was not willing to take any more losses in Lebanon. But I, and many others, have no doubt that we are witnessing the long- term effects of that move now in WB and Gaza, as well as throughout the Arab world.

What we have is two, or maybe three fronts (if WB an Gaza are viewed separately) of the same war. And that war, in turn, is part of a larger war that has been going on maybe since the the attack on the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut in 1983, and that hopefully will take a major turn in a month or so.