Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Shalom from Jerusalem (a reserve IDF officer's POV RE: the Lebanon crisis)

The following is an e-mail a few pastors received from a reserve IDF officer
in Israel giving a vastly different spin on the ongoing crisis with the
Hizb'Allah practitioners of the religion of peace and Israel... thought it was
very well worth passing on...

Shalom from Jerusalem.

Thank you all for your concern and e-mails of support.

These are hard times in Israel. It is not the first time and unfortunately might not be the last time. While the majority of the people carry on with their daily lives, a million people on the northern part of the country, Galilee, Haifa and the Golan heights are spending most of their time in bomb shelters.

Some short history to explain how we got to the present situation. In May 24, 2000, the Israeli forces that were deployed in Southern Lebanon had pulled back to Israel. That was to comply with a Security Council resolution calling on all foreign forces to evacuate Lebanese territory. The Syrian army and its thousands of soldiers did not remove its forces from Lebanon and the country was held captive by the Syrian dictatorship. Lebanon was only independent by name. The decisions for Lebanon's future were taken in Damascus. When the withdrawal was completed, the U.N. with Israel's approval had sent over a party to make sure that Israel had pulled back to the international border and that there are no territorial issues between the two countries. Israel's hope that the Lebanese army will deploy its forces along the border as the resolution dictated, were in vain. The Lebanese army never stood to the mission because Syria would not allow that. Instead, the Hezbollah, with Lebanese consent and over a $100 million annual support from Iran started to build a terror infrastructure. More than 12 thousand rockets were hidden in bonkers all over south Lebanon. In the same time the Iranian government was building Hezbollah a fortified quarter in the southern part of Beirut.

That's where the headquarters and the logistical center were. Israel was watching frustrated how the world was ignoring what was going on and doing nothing to stop Iran and its armed militia Hezbollah. Only when the American French pressure on Syria increased, the Syrian army had left Lebanon leaving behind thousands of intelligence officers still holding Lebanon by its throat.

Resolution 1559 from 2004, had called specifically on the disarrangement of Hezbollah and the Lebanese army's deployment in south Lebanon. That resolution was totally ignored. With Iran behind the scene and the massive support it was giving Hezbollah, the provocations from their side were growing. In October 2000, three Israeli soldiers were killed and their bodies kidnapped into Lebanon. The Israeli retaliation was minor and Hezbollah's confidence as a result, sky high. From time to time, the terrorists would open fire on Israeli army posts along the border. Several attempts that were made by them to take more hostages, soldiers and civilians, had failed. As a result of the threat of abducting Israelis, farmers by the Lebanese border were ordered by the army not to farm their land too close to the border. In a well anticipated routine, before the tourist season, before the Jewish high holydays when hundreds of thousands were suppose to stay in hotels and B&B all over the area, Hezbollah would fire a few rockets and the tourist season was ruined. Ever since 2000, Israel had not initiated a single assault or attack on Hezbollah. That had two main reasons:

  1. Israel was occupied with the Palestinians.

  2. The world was asking to give diplomacy a chance.

Well, as always in the Middle East, diplomacy had failed. Accustomed to the mailed Israeli retaliation, in July 12, Hezbollah tried again. This time two soldiers were abducted and 8 others killed in an attack in Israel's territory while hundreds of rockets were launched at Israeli towns along the border. That was the trigger or the excuse we needed to take severe measures to remove Hezbollah from our borders. It is the same old story. In 1982 we occupied south Lebanon because of the P.L.O. and now, 24 years later because of Hezbollah. The only difference is the name of the enemy. When this is all over, who will guarantee it will not happen again? Who will monitor the border crossings into Lebanon from Syria and Turkey?

Who will check the cargo brought in by air or by sea?

And the main thing and the most frustrating one is that as these words are written, weapons of many kinds are flowing un noticed into Gaza for the Hamas also supplied by Iran. In a few years, there will be another Israeli attack this time into Gaza to remove the threat. However by then, Iran will probably have an Atomic bomb.

No comments: