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Context of Israeli Wars in Lebanon, Palestine: Back to Roots

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The ongoing Israeli wars on Arabs in Palestine and Lebanon are just the latest rounds of the cycle of violence that has raged in and around Palestine since 1917, and are vivid and bloody evidence that imposition of political realities by military means won't last and that "Whoever takes by the sword, by the sword will be taken."

In November 2000, Ariel Sharon told some 100,000 Israelis in Jerusalem that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) had not exercised its full potential in confronting the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) and promised to end the "policy of military restraint" if they elected him prime minister, which they did a few months later.

More force, Sharon pledged to Israelis, will succeed where mere force failed.

Six years later his successor Ehud Olmert is still trying to sell the same idea that there is a measure of force that has not yet been used but which, when unleashed, will deal what Olmert called the "winning blow."

Unfortunately Olmert's memory failed him to remember even yesterday's history: Were not the 1967 and 1982 blitzes into Gaza Strip and Lebanon an exercise of the Israeli "winning blow" theory? Were not Israel's twin unilateral military redeployments from both Arab territories as well as his plan to unilaterally redeploy in the West Bank a concrete evidence of its failure?

Or Olmert was blinded by the fact that both redeployments from Lebanon and Gaza have backfired in a way that threatened Israel's major and long-planned redeployment in the West Bank, and led the military-based Jewish state back to its roots: force, war and living by the sword as the only guarantee of being, existence and survival?

By the sword Israel came to being. In less than a century it devastated its environ with six major wars.

The aim was to impose by the sword a political realty and to clinch by sword the victims' recognition of its legitimacy. But since its founding in 1948, Israel has never been able to achieve this overarching goal - despite important advances, such as the peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994 and the Oslo accords with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since 1993.

The war of terrorism that Zionism led since the Balfour Declaration in 1917, backed by the British empire, implanted the Zionist paramilitary gangs as "settlers" in the midst of the Palestinian Arab peasantry.

The war of expulsion and expansion in 1947-48 uprooted, displaced and forced less than a million Palestinians out of their ancestral homeland, disrupting more than five thousand years of uninterrupted existence.

The 1956 pre-emptive war against Egypt tried but failed to nub in the bud the emergence of an independent Arab force.

The expansionist war of 1967 led to the military occupation of vast areas of Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian lands, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai and the Golan Heights.

The Zionist-led Jewish state fought the 1973 war, preceded by a three-year war of attrition with Egypt, to defend its 1967 conquests in Egypt and Syria.

The 1982 invasion of Lebanon led to occupation in the south that was unilaterally and unconditionally withdrawn under the pressure of the Lebanese resistance in 2000.

In intervals dozens of military operations were launched by Israel against its neighbors.

In all its conquests Israel secured an overwhelming superiority in quality and quantity of men and arms in each and every one of its wars.

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*Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Ramallah, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
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