Northern Fights


Like Ron, I'm skeptical of the idea that the key to peace along Israel's northern border is to turn the other cheek when Hezbollah crosses the border to attack Israeli soldiers or lobs missiles at Haifa. At the same time, I'm not sure what Israel can reasonably hope to accomplish beyond making Hezbollah think twice next time around. If the Lebanese government were capable of asserting its authority in southern Lebanon, wouldn't it have done so by now? And if Israel could not eliminate the threat posed by hostile groups to the north during its two-decade occupation of southern Lebanon, an occupation that in fact set the stage for the current threat, how can it do so with attacks that fall short of occupation, especially if it strives to minimize the deaths of noncombatants? Terrorists who make their homes among civilians always have an advantage in a conflict like this one, when the military response to their attacks tends to produce lopsided casualty figures that make the defender look like the aggressor.