Our Man Young Keeps On Half Rockin in the Half Free World

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From Beirut, Michael Young chats with Washington Posties about what it's like to be under siege.

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  1. Young keeps saying throughout that Israel doesn’t want to be involved in a wider war, but that seems to be precisely what her enemies are doing their darnedest to draw her into.

    Mind you, I don’t feel like there are any Good Guys in this story, but Hamas and Hezbollah are indubitably Bad Guys.

  2. World war three is breaking out and just now Reason Hit and Run decides to comment on it…by linking to a Post article.

    Good work guys. 😛

  3. joshua,

    Hey man, screw World War III. There’s important psilocybin news to talk about!

  4. Would it be more proper to call Hezbollah ‘semi-state actors’? They run media, have 14 seats in parliment (and would probably have a lot more if not for ethnic/religious affirmative action currently in effect), run schools, run an army, hospitals, social services, etc. — while they aren’t state actors, the phrase ‘non-state actor’ seems wrong as well. Anyone have a better phrase?

    Also lets put this in perspective, the Israeli’s have killed over 100 civilians, including 30 children, Hamas and Hezbollah have killed a couple civilians and a couple solidiers — big whoop.

    How Israel benefits from destroying Lebanese infrastructure and severely hurting their economy is beyond me…

    Also, doesn’t Israel hold several thousand POW’s and engage in torture, etc.? Why the big deal over three schmucks not smart enough to avoid the draft?

  5. Would it be more proper to call Hezbollah ‘semi-state actors’? They run media, have 14 seats in parliment (and would probably have a lot more if not for ethnic/religious affirmative action currently in effect), run schools, run an army, hospitals, social services, etc. — while they aren’t state actors, the phrase ‘non-state actor’ seems wrong as well. Anyone have a better phrase?

    I think Israel’s understanding that Hizbollah is a semi-state actor solves all your other mysteries, including why Israel would attack infrastructure and hurt the economy, why it would hold and torture POWs (if it is still doing that; I don’t know), and so on. Israel, rightly or wrongly, views this as a state-to-state conflict-the kind of conflict it is, not surprisingly, best equipped to fight.

  6. Anyone have a better phrase?

    If there can be paramilitaries, can’t there be paragovernments?

    Actually, I don’t think that Israel engages in torture. At least not physical torture a la waterboarding and releasing the hounds. Most of their interogations seem to be based on the rapport with maybe just time-sense deprivation type of psychological manipulation. But they do have some POWs, so yeah, they’re not so lily-white in this.

  7. Anyone have a better phrase?

    Quiescently frozen confection.

  8. Actually, it appears that Israel isn’t attacking the state as such; it is cutting off transport routes to prevent prisoners to be rendered to Iran and to inhibit Hizbollah movements. If they wanted to bring down Lebanon, the target choice would be quite different.

    I’ll eat crow tomorrow if whatever buildings the Lebanese use for their congress and the Prime Minister’s residence are levelled.

  9. Actually, it appears that Israel isn’t attacking the state as such; it is cutting off transport routes to prevent prisoners to be rendered to Iran and to inhibit Hizbollah movements.

    This is fanciful. Even on the very off chance you’re right that this is really the strategy, it’s fanciful.

  10. Get back to me tomorrow if the Prime Minister’s residence is in smoking ruins and I’ll tattoo your name on my butt. If Israel wanted to destroy Lebanon (or kill all the Palestinians or any of the other conspiratorial accusations one sees thrown around), they would do so- it is within their power. They haven’t, so clearly that’s not what they want to do.

  11. remind me, but didn’t Israel take like a couple dozen of the Palestinian parliment democratically elected prisoner a couple weeks ago? Where is the western anger at that?

    And Iran would be really stoopid to take the IDF folks into their posession as M. Young has stated.

  12. Ooooh, democratically elected. That means that if they declare war on you, you can’t touch them.

    Puh-leez.

  13. Godwin violation to follow

    Thanks, SY, for saying what I was thinking. Never forget the Reichstag was democratically elected as well (hee hee; Hitler mileage never ends, does it?)

    What’s really tiresome is that Israel has pretty much put up it’s hands and said “enough” twice; once at Camp David and when Olmert virtually left Gaza to the “Palestinians”…I suppose they think Hamas is just joking about pushing the Jews to the sea.

    At first, I said to myself “not again”, but when I learned not only have Kassam rockets been coming across since the wall was built but that the friggin’ thing was tunneled under, well, I am buying my Israeli flag online tonight.

  14. What are you going to do with the flag?

  15. I’ve come to the opinion that this conflict is utterly hopeless. The Jordan River valley has too little arable land, way to little water, and overwhelmingly, vastly, gigantically too many people. The too many people might not be so bad, if they weren’t so fond of slaughtering each other. The best the West can hope for is to delay the inevitable failed state situation a little longer, and convince the Israelis not to use their nukes on Tehran. (I have no confidence in either proposition, but much less in the second.)

  16. Hang it up.

    I also wanted to mention, why is it Israel isn’t “lily-white” because they have POWs again? Is it some kind of crime or moral abrogation to hold POWs?
    (gratuitous libertarian decoder ring turn-in comment here; everybody drink)

  17. But Isreal is the only nation in the region that might actually make something of itself in the long run, by current appearances. All other things aside, I might not try to restrain them too terribly much just for that reason.

    The ME situation is hopeless, but at this stage of the game I contend it’s the UN, and western sensibilities, that make it so more than anything else.

    The ME won’t settle down until somebody is big enough to knock everybody’s heads together, and make the children act nice out on the playground. They’re like a bunch of spoiled brats who aren’t used to having to mind the rules.

    If anybody rises to the occassion and starts doing the head knocking, the UN will jump in and the West will scream bloody murder. And there will be bloody murder….

    The stupidity of the West is that it believes the ME can be resolved by sitting everybody down at the table for some nice talks. The reality is that it won’t be resolved until after the bloody murders happen.

  18. Any chance we could buy Baja California from Mexico and move Israel there? Don’t think God is all that concerned about what patch of dirt you occupy.

  19. The stupidity of the West is that it believes the ME can be resolved by sitting everybody down at the table for some nice talks.

    Bingo.

    Suppose Israel decided enough was enough and moved out; that is bought the Baja Pennensula from Mexico or some such, put everyone on ships, turned out the lights, and left the key under the mat. All the Palestinians would run out and fire their AK-47s in the air. And they’d be at war with other Arabs or themselves before all the bullets hit the ground.

  20. I think we should have all listened to what Stalin had to say about where Israel should have been put:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Autonomous_Oblast

    Everyone would have been a winner!

  21. That’s what I’ve been thinking about for months, too. Not specifically Baja, but somewhere in the US.

    America has a better relationship with Jews than any other nation has ever had on the face of the earth. Jews are not just tolerated here. Across the board in the US, Jews are lauded for their values and works. People seem to be happy that Jews are here. This is the only nation I can think of that actually sympathizes with Israel.

    So, only slightly satirically, I would like to declare the US to be the true Jewish homeland, and to open it to immigration from Israel. I think Americans would support it, because they would believe that it would be to America’s benefit.

    Obviously there are some problems with my proposal. Allowing only Jews to immigrate is a racist policy. And we’d need to find money to buy land to give it to the immigrants. And probably there are a lot of Jews in Israel (probably almost all of them) who would prefer to stay in Israel.

    But in my fantasy world, we smooth over these issues and everything works out just great. My co-religionists are removed from danger and become my fellow citizens. I no longer have to wrangle with my guilt and mixed feelings over the Middle East. And there are like a million new eligible Jewish chicks in the dating pool!

  22. Herrick got in before me – what I was referring to in the first paragraph was before he posted.

  23. I had the idea a year or so ago to move everyone out of the Holy Land and make it a religious theme park with all of the profits going to the former residents. No one gets any special treatment when they are moved out. They all have to fend for themselves to find new homes. As profitable as the theme park would be, I don’t think any of them would have any trouble buying themselves citizenship somewhere.
    A letter writer to the editor in The Economist a couple of months ago had a very similar idea. He suggested time shares for the Israeli & Palestinians.
    If anyone here knows the right people, could you suggest this to them?
    Thank you.

  24. Spur,

    Hezbollah is a state within a state. Such creations are as old as the hills and need not be formal in design.

  25. In keeping with what Karen said, this whole conflict would grind to a halt if some sort of incredibly scientific breakthrough enabled really cheap desalination.

    (Yes, yes, I know, desalination has been expensive thus far, and I have no doubt that the people claim to have a cheap desalination method are all full of crap. Hence I said “incredible scientific breakthrough“.)

    Oh, some may say that this isn’t about water. No, it’s about (choose one: religion, human rights, ethnic hatred, historical grudges, pride, prejudice). And no doubt there are many people over there who feel that way. But I’m willing to bet that if there were more fresh water, and hence more liveable land, a lot of tensions would be defused. Some would be angry regardless, but they’d probably have a harder time finding people to purchase bullets and bombs for them.

    Sadly, I don’t see any great prospects for a miracle technology that will ease the scarcity of water and liveable land. So the world is stuck with this mess.

    I need to come up with a scientific breakthrough to change all this. I’ll put that on the list, right alongside a cure for diabetes.

  26. Get back to me tomorrow if the Prime Minister’s residence is in smoking ruins and I’ll tattoo your name on my butt.

    Can’t speak for you, but I wouldn’t want either of those things to happen. My opinion, which like yours is worth nothing and thus freely given, is that Israel is trying to create some kind of domestic pressure on Hizbollah. That is, there are more options in the world than attacking Hizbollah directly or turning the whole country into a stinking ruin, and Israel doesn’t seem to be doing either of those things. This was shaping up as the best tourism summer in ten years for Lebanon, and that seaon is clearly over now. Everybody who might have flown on airplane, sailed in a boat, or driven on a major road is suffering. I presume Israel hopes that suffering will lead to some kind of popular pressure on Hizbollah. I don’t think that’s a very good idea either, but it makes more sense to me than some scenario where they’re making sure nobody gets in or out of the country, especially since its unlikely Syria would want the prisoners move into Syria in the first place.

  27. Hmm, religious theme park. I like it.

    Maybe we could relocate the Israelis to a beautiful Caribbean island, relocate the Palestinians to a beautiful Pacific island, and use the profits from the religious theme park to keep anybody from returning permanently.

    Of course, imagine the uproar if Disney ran the theme park and held a gay-themed event…

  28. By the way, I’m not attributing this kind of strategizing to Israel alone. I think Hizbollah resented the tourism boom too. That’s the way warriors think. That’s why warriors are such a bore.

  29. From lewrockwell.com: A proposal to relocate Israel (and then phase out foreign aid to Old Israel).

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/kinsella5.html

  30. Serious question: can anyone envision a plausible scenario where this actually turns out well?

  31. Yeah, if Israel seriously depleted Hizbollah militarily, to the point that it was no longer a threat to the rest of the country. Highly improbable, but it would be good news if it happened.

  32. Tim, what concerns me–and I’m not saying this is my firm opinion, because I don’t know enough about this yet to have one–is that attacking Lebanon to get to Hezbollah will be the Israeli equivalent of attacking Iraq to get to Bin Laden.

  33. Maybe a better analogy: like Colombia, if they had the ability, attacking our country because we haven’t done enough to quell internal demand for the cocaine they produce.

  34. it’s just part of the proxy war between the US and iran

  35. Well, there is one important difference: Nasrallah and Hizbollah are present in Lebanon.

  36. Yes, that’s why I made the second post about Colombia and cocaine. I’m wondering if Israel isn’t doing this on the assumption that Lebanon has a lot more control over Hizbollah than it actually does.

  37. It is fun to watch people look at the foreign policy of other nations through their own blinkered vision of domestic politics.

  38. To explain further: The idea would be for Israel to reenter southern Lebanon and remove Hizbollah from all its strong points, then not leave until Hizbollah is disarmed and Lebanese army units, or even the UN, come in to occupy those strong points. After that, Hizbollah can continue to participate in Lebanese politics, but the same way Amal does, and Jumblatt’s party and the Maronite parties and all the rest.

    This would be almost impossibly risky, and would require Israel to cut off as much of Hizbollah as possible somewhere south of Beirut: It’s more likely Hizbollah would find a way to withdraw north and Israel would have to keep moving up the country, in which case Isreal doesn’t win. It would also require Israel to brave a shitstorm of world opinion in pursuit of a strategy it has already tried once without success. On the plus side, the manner of the engagement would be different this time than it was in the 1990s, and the goal would be limited. Israel can move pretty quickly, and there are a handful of cases, like MacArthur’s attack on Inchon in the Korean War (another very highly improbable move that paid off), where something like this has worked. This wouldn’t solve the problem, but it would dilute it.

    This also depends on Israel’s conviction of its own interest in a stable Lebanon, and its willingness to fight Hizbollah for real. It also depends on the rest of Lebanon staying out of the fight. For all those reasons, I’d have to agree with the point that I think was motivating your rhetorical question: It is close to impossible to imagine a scenario where this this ends well.

  39. Tim, please don’t diss my butt.

  40. Israel’s risky strategy

    It is just conceivable that Israel’s present course of action in laying siege to the Gaza Strip could be tactically rational. It may, for instance, be aimed at turning the Palestinian people against Hamas, the Islamist movement they elected in January. What is certain, however, is that it is dangerously disproportionate.

    No two conflicts are alike, in cause or in contour, but it is legitimate to compare standards of behaviour. Consider, for a moment, what would have happened if, in reaction to the IRA seizing a soldier, the British government had: invaded Northern Ireland; punished its people by destroying its electricity supply, transport links and government offices; shelled Belfast and Derry from land, sea and air; cratered the Falls Road; used the Royal Air Force to buzz the offices of the Taoiseach in Dublin; and arrested every Republican it could lay its hands on…

    A new Middle East disaster in the making

    It is hard to underestimate the dangers of the present escalation in hostilities in the Middle East. Palestinian militants to Israel’s south in Gaza, and Hizbollah guerrillas from across Israel’s northern frontier with Lebanon, have conducted cross-border raids and seized one and two Israeli soldiers respectively, bringing down a hail of rockets and shells on their populations.

    This has, of course, happened before. But the regional context has never been worse. The invasion of Iraq broke the Iraqi state, fragmented the country, triggered sectarian war and pro­liferated jihadi extremism. Iran fears it will be attacked and keeps its proxies – among them Hizbollah – on a war footing. The international community, led by a US that has forfeited nearlyall legitimacy in the Arab and Muslim world, has allowed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to slide towards a fait accompli in Israel’s favour – a land-grab that will guarantee bloodshed for generations to come…

  41. It is fun to watch people look at the foreign policy of other nations through their own blinkered vision of domestic politics.

    You got any better suggestions?

  42. So you’re gonna hang that Israeli flag up, Randy Aynian?

    Well, that should help.

  43. Tim Cavanaugh,

    See it through the eyes (as much as that is possible) of the actual participants. I realize that is probably beyond most of us (in the case of the Levant that is certainly true of me) but opting for what I have criticized doesn’t seem to be the most useful fallback approach to me. Maybe I’m wrong Tim. It wouldn’t be the first time.

  44. I am a participant. Michael Young is even more directly a participant, and he gets nothing but bile directed at him in these threads.

  45. Tim Cavanaugh,

    I see. Well, my comment wasn’t directed at either you or Young.

  46. Tim Cavanaugh,

    Indeed, I am sure that Young is doing a bang-up job reporting on the events in the Levant.

  47. Ah, so the cocaine analogy doesn’t work either, since there are no discrete areas where in theory the majority of demand could be cut.

    Israel didn’t really have any good choices in responding to its soldiers being taken, but attacking Lebanon could destroy a lot more potential good than potential evil.

    I’m also concerned about how far this might escalate, and how many others will get involved.

  48. Anyway, the problem with the disarm-Hizbollah hope is that they keep attacking non-Hizbollah targets. At some point people have to say, “well, it wasn’t Hizbollah’s planes that bombed my house.” They already hated Hizbollah, so the piss-everybody-off -until-they-rid-us-of-these-meddlesome-imams strategy is a) not going to get the rest of Lebanon to do something they were unable to do through a long civil war and the recent peace process and b) not the strategy of a power that plans to take care of business themselves. They seem to be wanting others to do it for them.

  49. As I’ve said before, the best place for Israel v. 2.0 is central Florida. Plenty of Jews already there, the muslims who went to flight school there are gone, and the Mossad can practice on Cuba if they get bored. It is also similarly lacking in oil, but it has actual rainfall with which to grow crops.

    I’d also like to exile Pat Robertson to Cuba, while I’m at it. And a pony.

  50. Sandy,

    That prompts an observation that a lot of people make: that the exclusive exercise of air power to bomb an enemy into submission has few successes. In part this is due to the general rise on spirit often observed amongst a civilian population being bombed (obviously this isn’t always the case). So the question is, will Israel’s actions eventually drive otherwise disparate parties together, much as Japan’s attack on China drove the Nationalists and Communists together during the 1930s and 1940s.

  51. Sandy,

    As I recall, during the 19th century one of Britain’s colonies in West Africa was suggested as a location for “Israel.” That path was closed off by WWI and the middle eastern settlement it created.

  52. Sandy,

    Why do you hate Cuba? 🙂

  53. To be fair, Israel is far from exclusively relying on air power. However said air power seems to be more strategic, and employing a questionable strategy at that.

    Fidel shot my pony. As President, I will hunt down al Qaeda in Cuba as long as it takes.

  54. Sandy,

    To be fair, Israel is far from exclusively relying on air power. However said air power seems to be more strategic, and employing a questionable strategy at that.

    Well, they have sent ground forces into Gaza. Anyway, I had in my mind the situation in Lebanon, where I don’t think that Israeli ground forces are operating (though lord knows what Israeli SF might be doing there).

    I’d say that blowing up oil depots in Beirut is disproportionate.

    Fidel shot my pony. As President, I will hunt down al Qaeda in Cuba as long as it takes.

    Heh. 🙂

  55. Isn’t one of the problems here that Israel, Syria and Iran can fight a war against each other on Lebanese soil with little cost accruing to them as far as lives lost, destruction of property, etc.? I know a few Israelis have died and there has been some damage to property in Israel, but the geographic nature of this conflict seems to encourage all the parties which are squeezing Lebanon to continue their practices.

  56. Phileleutherus Lipsiensis wrote: “As I recall, during the 19th century one of Britain’s colonies in West Africa was suggested as a location for ‘Israel.'”

    Wrong part of the continent. Uganda was the proposed Jewish homeland: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/Uganda.html

  57. Jack,

    Thanks for the correction.

  58. Well, don’t I feel wonderful about going to the UAE this weekend (maybe).

    Stay safe, Mr. Young. I’ll be thinking about you as I fly past.

  59. Serious question: can anyone envision a plausible scenario where this actually turns out well?

    nuke the whole middle east into a parking lot.

    oh sorry you said serious, my bad.

  60. Phileleutherus Lipsiensis wrote: “Thanks for the correction.”

    All part of the service.

  61. josua corning,

    Who would want to park in a radioactive hell?

    Jack,

    How much am I paying you a month again? Well, it doesn’t matter, it’s too much. 🙂

  62. Has attacking a country every gotten people upset at the internal group of militants. I can’t think of examples where the ruling party was weakened due to an attack that “got them into this mess.” Even the backlash from the Spanish bombing was due more to the coverup than fear from the bombing itself.

    PhiL,
    Part of the reason they never chose Uganda was that it was known some people would insist on returning to Israel. However, they knew if they went to Israel, there would be bloody conflict.

  63. Mo,

    I believe that a number of the pre-WWI Zionists thought that they would bring civilization to the area.

  64. SY If Israel wanted to destroy Lebanon (or kill all the Palestinians or any of the other conspiratorial accusations one sees thrown around), they would do so- it is within their power.

    Only if they wanted to bring all the other Arab countries into the conflict along with NATO and the UN. For the state of Israel to gain territory it has to act more slowly. If you want to know why this conflict has reignited, you just have to ask who benefits and who loses.

    Winners: Hamas and Hizbollah – Conflict radicalises young Muslims and makes them easier to recruit to the cause, it also brings in funds from donations from overseas.

    The Israeli government – a people at war are less likely to question their government on domestic or other issues, or to insist that the government takes action against it’s criminal friends which brings us to:

    The settlers – As well as being contrary to several UN resolutions, settling occupied territory is a violation of the Geneva convention, but while the conflict continues, the settlements continue and they continue to deprive the local villages of water and instigate violence with the local Palestinian population. If you thought Kelo v NL was an abuse of eminent domain…

    Losers: Just about every civilian, Israeli, Lebanese or Palestinian that just wants to get on with their lives.

    In my opinion the biggest mistake people make in viewing this conflict is to believe that who is right and wrong is primarily a matter of which country is right, or which religion or which race, rather than which individual is right or wrong. Which is why you so often see statements like “Israel took action in retaliation for Palestinian….” ultimately the state of Israel is built along ethnic and religious lines as are Hamas and Hizbollah, so they’re happy for the conflict to be viewed in that manner. Anyone posting statements like “Israel has the right to…” is only buying into the same mentality which is underpinning the violence.

    Hizbollah and the Israeli government might well be enemies, but in practice they rarely harm each other and often harm large numbers of civilians, while both feed off and benefit fom the conflict.

    George W Bush said:
    “There are a group of terrorists who want to stop the advance of peace. And those of us who are peace-loving must work together to help the agents of peace”

    He’s right, I just hope he sees that sometimes the terrorists wear IDF uniforms.

  65. For the state of Israel to gain territory it has to act more slowly.

    That’s the point at which you go wrong.

  66. He’s right, I just hope he sees that sometimes the terrorists wear IDF uniforms

    That sound you hear is the hyperbole police.

    Who let the Rockwellians in? Dammit, people, I said to close the pest door.

    they continue to deprive the local villages of water and instigate violence with the local Palestinian population

    You know, Reason allows one link per post; perhaps you should use it prove your so-called facts instead of making what some could construe as perhaps, oh “fabrications”.

  67. Ayn Randian,

    I know you were being facetious, but your question deserves a straight answer because there is an important distinction to be learned in answering it: BarryJV is “let in” for the same reason everyone else is let in – H&R allows a free-flowing, etc. discussion in most circumstances. I really can’t say the same thing for Rand related IRC channels, blogs, etc.

  68. Ayn Randian,

    At least the ones I have any experience with.

  69. PL—that’s an entirely fair assessment of most Rand-related discussion boards; bannings, moderation and the like are the rule rather than the exception. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is an entirely separate discussion entirely, but I think you have an accurate understanding of how Objectivst boards work.

  70. * – ignore one of those entirely’s, please. It’s still too early.

  71. However, they knew if they went to Israel, there would be bloody conflict.

    You’d think someone would have noticed that this would conflict with the whole purpose of Zionism: to give Jews a place where they could be secure.

    Can anyone deny that the Jews in Israel today would be better off if they or their ancestors had come to the United States instead of the Middle East? For that matter, can anyone deny that they’d be better off even if they or their ancestors had stayed in Poland, Germany, or the Ukraine?

  72. Ayn Rand,

    I’d say that in general it is a bad thing, especially when you given the boot by someone calling you an “evil libertarian” or “self-dishonest.”

  73. And there are like a million new eligible Jewish chicks in the dating pool!

    In my typically unconstructive fashion, I’d like to point out that a lot of the girls in Israel are really good-looking.

    I’m on board for this idea. I’ll clean out my extra room.

  74. I just figure if La Raza was a state within a state in northern mexico and kidnapped our border patrol agents and fired rockets over the border, and Mexico did nothing and could not control the problem, I have no problem in the US stomping the bejeebers out of northern Mexico.

    Frankly, Syria and Iran need to be stomped. I liked the post article.

    Additionally, initially before arriving on extermination, the nazis were considering sending the jews to madagascar. This is in reference to the jewish oblust post.

  75. For that matter, can anyone deny that they’d be better off even if they or their ancestors had stayed in Poland, Germany, or the Ukraine?

    Didn’t the ancestors who stayed in Poland and Germany experience a sharp population decline in the 1940s?

  76. Can anyone deny that the Jews in Israel today would be better off if they or their ancestors had come to the United States instead of the Middle East?

    There is some evidence that at least some Russian and Eastern European Jews have moved to Israel in the hope that it might be a first step to moving to the US. Many have certainly stated that given a choice they would have come to the US.

    I’m not the only person to have observed that a not insignificant number of pro-Israel Americans and Europeans are that way because they don’t want “those people” coming “here”.

  77. A ‘breaking news alert’ on CNN says that Israeli military sources believe the rockets fired on Haifa were made in Iran. Things may soon escalate.

  78. Way to see CNN keeping up.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/738403.html

    “Israel believes Hezbollah has missiles that can hist most of Israel, and which could even strike Be’er Sheva under optimum conditions.

    Iran supplied Hezbollah with solid-fuel, Zelzal-2 missiles with a 200-km range, but these are not very accurate, since they do not have a self-guidance system.

    The Zelzal-2 missiles, intended to strike broad targets such as communities and cities, are equipped with explosive warheads weighing up to 600 kilograms.

    The missiles are a later version of the Zelzal-1 missiles, which Iran first displayed in September, 2005 at a military parade in Tehran, together with six Shihab-3 missiles.

    Hezbollah’s original Katyusha rockets had a range of 12-to-22 kms. At a later stage, it obtained Iranian Fajar-3 and Fajar-5 rockets, with a range of 45 and 75 km, respectively. Hezbollah did not use these rockets until the current conflict.

    The organization also has Syrian-made 22-mm. rockets with a range of several dozen kilometers.

    The rockets that hit Haifa yesterday did not come as a complete surprise: the Israel Defense Forces knew Hezbollah had rockets with that range, but were surprised that the organization opted to use them.

    Israel first learned that Hezbollah had rockets capable of reaching Haifa’s outskirts three months before the IDF’s pullout from Lebanon in May, 2000.

    The head of Military Intelligence reported two years ago that Hezbollah has 13,000 rockets, most with a 25-km range, about 500 with a range of 45-to-75 km., and a few dozen with a 115-km range. The rockets were stored in several strategic places in the Beka’a Valley, and some were deployed along the Israeli border. ”

    (emphasis added)

  79. I’m surprised no one’s mentioned that old SNL skit about Israel and Georgia (the US southern state) trading places. From always shaky memory:

    Press Conference with the Prime Minister of Israel and the Governor of Georgia:

    PM: I’m very happy about this agreement. We’ll be able to get away from terrorists and the Palestinians and finally get to live in peace.

    Gov: And I’m happy that we’ll finally have heat without humidity!!

  80. SY That’s the point at which you go wrong.

    Either you’re unaware of the fact that Israeli borders have crept forward constantly since the formation of the state and the methods that they have used to do so, maybe you’ve never heard terms like the green line applied to this situation. If you haven’t, you should read up a little before commenting, it would help you a lot. If you are aware of that situation it would be useful for you to state exactly how you think I’ve got things wrong.

    Isaac Bartram I’m not the only person to have observed that a not insignificant number of pro-Israel Americans and Europeans are that way because they don’t want “those people” coming “here”.

    I’ve never noticed that, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find such people. The notion of a “Jewish” state (as opposed to a state that just happens to have a large number of Jewish people living in it) is consistent with expelling Jews from other countries and there must have been people since Avraham Stern who have realised this.

  81. Look up “Sinai” in the dictionary.

  82. “For that matter, can anyone deny that they’d be better off even if they or their ancestors had stayed in Poland, Germany, or the Ukraine?”

    Didn’t the ancestors who stayed in Poland and Germany experience a sharp population decline in the 1940s?

    When I made my original post, I thought of going back and making it clear that I was speaking of those who emigrated from Poland, Germany, and the Ukraine at the time Israel was being established–you know, after the war–but decided against it because I didn’t think anyone would misunderstand me.

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