Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ok, That's It 

That's it, war has been chosen. Not like it wasn't enough yesterday, or the day before, but when Hizbullah brags of having 10,000 missiles on the border, and a Hizbullah missile kills a woman in Nahariya we can no longer hide from the truth, or relabel it as tension or border conflict so we can pretend it away:

One woman was killed in and 11 others wounded when four Hizbullah-fired Katyusha rockets landed in central Nahariya on Thursday morning.

The attack was one of the deepest launched by Hizbullah into Israeli territory.
Over the years Israel has tried the restrained and diplomatic response. Israel has tried the measured and calculated response. It has tried the gradually escalating response. But we are no long dealing with merely an "act of war." This is  war.

Israel pulled out of Lebanon already. We have pulled out of Gaza, only to have rockets launched at us from the evacuated territory. And Olmert was ready to pull out of much of the West Bank too -- all this after Barak had already offered almost everything that the Palestinians demanded in 2000, only to be rejected. This is not to mention evacuation of the Sinai, and peace deals with Egypt and Jordan.

Israel clearly wants nothing but to live in peace in its own country. If Israel were looking for a fight, looking in any way to impose an imperialistic Israeli state on the region, then Damascus would already have fallen. Do not tell me Israel looks for war after all the failed risks we have already taken for peace -- many Israelis are still ready even today to compromise for peace if there were only a compromise the other side would accept.

But there will be no peace, apparently, until Hizbullah and Hamas and Syria and Iran learn to fear war with Israel rather than provoke and invite it -- until they decide that even one more bullet aimed at Israel is just too costly. They haven't understood that cost yet, unfortunately, and it will not be an easy lesson. I have no doubt the world will complain and chastise Israel for every decision it takes in its own defense.

I fully expect the trolls to hop on my comment section now and say "you Israelis get so upset about one Israeli civilian, but where is your condemnation of all the civilians killed on the other side?" Read a few of my posts over the last month and you'll see that I do mourn the other side's civilian deaths. And I condemn those responsible for their deaths. But the party responsible, the side violating the Geneva Conventions for the protection of civilians in wartime, is not Israel.

Those who fight camoflauged as civilians and who fire their missiles at our civilians from their own civilian backyards, shooting at soldiers from the middle of crowds of their own children, and then complain when their target fires back, those are the ones responsible. Those who do not police their own sovereign territory, instead allowing an independent militia (that also happens to sit in the government) to install thousands of rockets and fire them off at neighbors also bear responsibility.

Anyone who cares about the well-being of civilians needs to condemn the terrorists and "militants" who endanger their own people in the hopes of scoring a little PR victory by drawing Israel either into protecting itself and harming civilians, or not fighting back and allowing itself to be overrun. And the rest of you, the ones who will blame Israel regardless of the facts, I presently do not have time for.

A time comes when a nation must decide whether it wishes to continue to exist as a meaningful entity. Israel will not accept the suicide so many want to talk her into. And Israel is not the only country that should recognize it faces such a choice.

UPDATE (links):

For more real news on what is going on today check: At Level Ground.

Also read some good commentary at This Ongoing War.

Daled Amos has some fine analysis of what might lie ahead.

Meryl Yourish reports that Hizbullah missiles have hit Haifa, one of Israel's major cities -- make sure to check out Meryl's front page because she has a whole series of great posts.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: