The Israeli government is behaving like an abused child who grows up to
be a mass-murdering psychopath. There is one difference though. Whereas the
courts would put the psychopath behind bars, Israel's starry stripy uncle pats
it on the back and hands it satellite guided missiles with which to kill more
women, children, UN peacekeepers and fruit pickers.
This is madness!
Yet what does the international community do? The answer is nothing at
all, except procrastinate for weeks before coming up with a draft UN resolution
heavily biased in Israel's favour.
This was deemed "unacceptable" by the Lebanese government
because it allowed Israeli troops to remain on Lebanese soil.
Worse, provisions concerning foreign troops mandated to assist the
Lebanese army in disarming Hezbollah are nothing short of a recipe for civil
The root of all this suffering is the Bush administration, which has crudely
and disingenuously labelled Israel's conflict with Hezbollah as one element of
its "war on terror." It has single handedly transformed a local
conflict into a regional war as a milestone on its birthing a new Middle East.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, has sunk his
teeth firmly into this label and refers to Hezbollah as a terrorist jihadist
In reality, Hezbollah is a grassroots organisation supported by 87
percent of all Lebanese, according to two recent Lebanese polls.
As CNN's Jim Clancy pointed out from Beirut, the Lebanese people are
shocked at the destruction of their cities and angry not only at the Israelis
but also at the US and Britain for allowing this misery to continue.
This war could have ended weeks ago if the tin-pot emperor of "the
free world" had lifted his little finger. Instead, like the man who used a
mallet to kill a fly on his friend's head, Bush gave free rein to Israel to
quash Hezbollah, no matter how many Lebanese civilians are destroyed in the
Bush may have got away with sending Afghanistan back to the Stone Age
and turning Iraq into a living hell, but this time he has seriously
The destruction of Lebanon has elicited worldwide outrage and exposed
American pro-Israel bias as never before.
There has been a backlash against Israel with calls to boycott Israeli
products. There have been swastikas daubed on Jewish-owned shops in Rome, while
Turkish legislators have pulled out from a Turkish-Israeli friendship association.
Ireland has asked an Israeli movie-maker to refrain from attending a
showing of his film. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has compared the Israeli
campaign to Hitler's. An American Muslim angry over Lebanon walked into an
American Jewish centre and began indiscriminately shooting people.
Perhaps more worryingly for Israel, its almost mythical deterrent power
has been eradicated. Israel's enemies have witnessed its vulnerability. They
are no doubt saying to themselves, "If a small militia can inflict this
amount of damage on the regional superpower, then we no longer have to be
Israeli military and intelligence has also become a laughing stock after
launching what Israel calls "a daring raid" on a deserted hospital,
its elite commandos returning with a middle-aged vegetable seller whose only
claim to fame was sharing a name with Hassan Nasrallah.
What on earth has Israel gained apart from global disgust?
Hezbollah, conversely, has garnered support not only domestically among Shiites,
Sunnis and Christians but also worldwide.
Last weekend, up to 100,000 protestors walked through the streets of
central London many carrying images of the Hezbollah leader. Demonstrators on
the streets of Arab capitals are hailing Nasrallah as the new Jamal Abdul
The Lebanese prime minister who swept to power on the back of the
pro-American Cedar Revolution has snubbed US Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice and thanked Hezbollah for defending his country.
The vicious attack on Lebanon has infuriated the Arab League, including
those members who initially pointed fingers at Hezbollah.
Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa flew into Beirut as
Israeli bombs were falling on its suburbs and complained about US double
standards that "are killing the people of this region and agitating
Moussa has hit the nail on the head. If the US administration behaved
like an honest broker, Israel might even be driven to take up the offer of
peace fielded by the Saudis in 2004.
When will Israelis realise that the only way they can achieve security
is to work hard to achieve a Palestinian state and make peace with their
The Bush brigade is no friend to Tel Aviv. Its suited members sit in
their air-conditioned offices, directing Israel in its proxy war from afar.
It would be a different story if Americans were dying instead of
Israelis. There would be a few holidays in The Hamptons cancelled then.
There may be something more sinister involved.
There have been leaks to the effect Israel planned this war on
Hezbollah, an ally of Iran and Syria, and was waiting for a pretext.
Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh and others believe the US has plans
to attack Iran.
Last year, the US president hinted Israel might bomb Iran to take out its
Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair recently warned Syria and Iran of
the risk of confrontation.
I'll leave it to you to join the dots.
Linda S. Heard is a British specialist writer on
Middle East affairs. She welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.