See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .One of the characteristics that most poignantly defines humanity is the capacity of this animal kingdom species to avoid facts or issues that get in the way of its irrational notions. To that extent, the ostrich-sticking-head-in-the-sand fable, used so stereotypically for purposes of analogy, is wrongfully applied. If you threaten an ostrich, usually it will try to get away from you unless it is protecting its young or food or territory. Otherwise, if you threaten an ostrich you had better have a quick escape route, or be wearing a suit of armor, or have some weapon that you are willing to use to disable it. No, my friends (or enemies), it is not the ostrich that sticks its head in the sand as a method of avoiding reality. It is the human animal which does that.
Take the Lebanon situation, for example. (With apologies to Henny Youngman - please, take it.) The Lebanese being killed and injured and displaced as the result of bombings by the Israelis, the 25,000 Americans who were in Lebanon, and the United Nations (UN) observers killed in one tragic incident, are depicted as "innocent victims" of the callous, vicious, inhumane attacks by the brutal Israelis. Of course the Israel-bashers are equating Israelis with Jews even though somewhere between one-fifth and one-sixth of the population of that nation consists of Arab Muslims who, if you asked them why they do not abandon these terrible Jews and emigrate to an Arab country, would consider you a refugee from a lunatic asylum and respond "you must be nuts - we never had it so good." Nevertheless, as might be expected from bigots, there are even attempts to equate Israelis - i.e., Jews - with Nazis.
You call these Lebanese "innocent"?
The term "innocent" as applied to the Lebanese is used across-the-board: residents of south and north Lebanon, fanatical Jew-haters bent on the destruction of Israel, and women and children in all parts of the country. "Innocent?" Let us take a close, hard, factual look at how "innocent" these Lebanese are - other than the children being killed and wounded, of course.
To begin with, as you may have learned by now, the opulent segment of the Lebanese population ghettoized the impoverished part of the country. The poor, along with the vast majority of Shiites, were confined to southern Lebanon. They suffered poverty and discrimination while the opulent Lebanese were dining in expensive restaurants, spending loads of money on fine clothing and jewelry, drinking and dancing in costly nightclubs, crowding the streets with bumper-to-bumper lines of expensive automobiles, and otherwise leading lives of luxury. The poor and the majority of Shiites were kept out of sight of the opulent and were left to Hezbollah for supply of food, clothing, and medical care.
Do you think that the Israelis have not been aware of this menace to them from genocidal maniacs bent upon their destruction? Are you aware that even before the eruption of the present conflict Hezbollah was firing some of its rockets into Israel? Are you now aware that Israel, at least as early as a year or two ago, was preparing for an all-out war with Hezbollah? Are you so ignorant that you do not know that the government of Lebanon, and the Americans in Lebanon, and the UN observers there, saw all of this and did nothing about it? Are you so ignorant that you do not know that the governments of the U.S. and Britain and other nations saw the coming war and did nothing?
Now, consider yourself an Israeli. You know that Hezbollah has announced, over and over again, that the very purpose of its existence is to destroy Israel or, as its members have often put it, to "drive the Jews into the sea." You know that this growing army of genocidal maniacs is building up a massive arsenal which, you have to assume unless you are the living image of the ostrich with head in the sand fable, is going to be used to attack you. Always in your mind is what happened in the 1930's when Hitler made it clear that he intended to occupy other nations of Europe and to resolve the "Jewish question" by the "final solution," and the U.S. and Britain and other nations did nothing to stop him and his party of genocidal thugs. Day by day, you are growing more nervous than a pregnant fox in a forest fire. As a government or military officer, you are asking yourself and your colleagues: How long can we allow this to go on? Are we going to wait until Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles of such power and long range that the destruction of Israel can be accomplished? Are we going to wait until Hezbollah has the capability of hitting us with nuclear or biochemical weapons? Are we justified in taking preemptive action? If we do, will the world community come down on us for violating international law?
And then, as fanatics are so often wont to do, Hezbollah provided the provocation that rendered it no longer necessary to ask such questions. They invaded Israel territory to kill and kidnap Israeli army personnel. That was a violation of the Geneva Convention or international law. Not that this act of provocation was necessary for there to have been such a violation. Firing rockets into Israel already was such a violation. Threatening Israel with destruction was such a violation. The only wonder in this epic is that Israel waited as long as it did before attacking. Israel would have been justified long ago in attacking Hezbollah and, since the cowardly Hezbollah maniacs hide their rocket launchers amid the civilian population and even in mosques and hospitals, in doing what we Americans have done. Or have you forgotten that when faced with genocidal maniacs who would not abandon their madcap schemes, we created our own holocausts - a hundred thousand men, women, and children destroyed by a bomb-created, city-wide fire, in Dresden; hundreds of thousands killed and millions crippled for life by nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our justification? No reasoning, no peace, is possible when the other side consists of fanatics determined to die rather than abandon their fanatic devotion to their insane beliefs. If we did not slaughter without mercy, there would be a much longer war with our own losses and, as worried our government and militia while we peasants were kept ignorant of the situation, the Germans and Japanese might have time to turn it all around by their development of nuclear weapons.
Here is something you may not know, though you could see it pictured on television programs. There was a UN observation tower in southern Lebanon, perched on a hill a short distance above the Israel-Lebanon border. UN observers watched as armed members of Hezbollah marched across the border. The observers had equipment for direct, instant communication with the Israeli and Lebanese governments. They did nothing to stop it, just as the UN has done nothing to prevent what is happening now.
"Innocent" UN observers. "Innocent" Lebanese. "Innocent" Americans - all 25,000 of them - living in Lebanon in luxury, enjoying themselves, not a bit worried about what was happening. Ah, yes. "Innocents." Sure. We are all "innocent" - except "Jews." They are the "Christ" killers, responsible for all evil in the world. Sure. The Jews and the twiddlywink players. Unfortunately, the blind bigots blaming the Jews for all that has been and is happening in the Near East (not the Mideast) have neglected to add the twiddlywink players as being co-responsible for it all.
The Remarkable Restraint of Israel
All of this time, Israel has enjoyed the capacity to wipe Hezbollah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihadists of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, off the face of the earth. Would they have been justified in doing so at any time? Why not? Those genocidal maniacs have stated openly their intention of doing that to Israel and/or "the Jews." Why not?
Instead, Israel has maintained a restraint unique in the annals of human history.
The Israelis have endured, with incredible restraint, lunatics making bombs of themselves - bombs laced with shrapnel so as to spread as much maiming and crippling as possible - resulting in the deaths of and horrible injuries to hundreds of Israeli men, women, and children who include Arab Muslims. The Israelis have endured, with incredible restraint, rockets launched on them from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon.
What do you do with genocidal maniacs? Make peace with them, when their announced intention is to destroy you? Sit still while they build up sufficient weaponry to do the job? What do you do when Syria and Iran are arming these genocidal maniacs with more and more devastating weapons, when the Lebanese government and its opulent people in the north are allowing it to go on, when the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon see what is coming and do not report a word of it to the American public, when the UN observers see what is happening and say nothing and do nothing? What do you do?
All of the writers and commentators bashing Israel are following a 2,000-year-old practice of scapegoating Jews, blaming Jews for everything that goes wrong. Jews, the "Christ killers." Jews, the subhumans who caused Germany to lose World War I. The international Jew bankers (2 percent of the bankers) who deliberately wrecked Germany's economy, thereby justifying slaughter of six million Jews. Certainly. Did not the "greatest German of all time," Adolf Hitler, say so himself?