Israel Had No Choice but to Go to War with Hezbollah

The Israeli government’s decision to attack Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon was the correct move. In fact, Israel had little choice in the matter. The government in Jerusalem was blatantly attacked within Israeli territory by the a militant group bent on Israel’s destruction. In order to protect its citizens, Israel had to go to war.

The bottom line is that Islamic militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. The question is not one of giving back territory captured in Israel’s overwhelming victory in the Six Day War in 1967. To Hezbollah and Hamas, Tel Aviv is “occupied territory” just as much as the Nablus or Sheba Farms.

Need proof? Look at Israel’s withdrawal from it’s the security zone in southern Lebanon six years ago. Hezbollah has claimed that Sheba Farms is still “occupied” in order to justify its continued attacks on Israel. The United Nations says the disputed territory is not part of Lebanon but Hezbollah attacks against Israel continued.

Fighting had been limited to rockets fired at Israelis in Sheba Farms and a tacit, unspoken agreement came into being to maintain the status quo. However, the recent abduction of Israeli soldiers that instigated the recent conflict was done within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. It is clear that Hezbollah, like its patron, Iran, wants Israel wiped off the map.

Hamas in the Gaza Strip showed similar intent. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza last summer under the guidance of Ariel Sharon. Jewish communities were uprooted and handed over to the Palestinians. Instead of emphasizing the building of a new state, the Palestinians used the Gaza Strip to launch rockets into southern Israeli towns and cities. The attacks were directed at civilians within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. They were continuous almost from the day the pullback was completed.

The timing of the recent attacks by Hezbollah is easy to understand. The international community has been placing pressure on Iran, Hezbollah’s main supplier or money and weapons, over its nuclear program. By attacking and starting a new conflict, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad takes the focus of the international community off Iran’s nuclear ambitions and onto the fighting in Lebanon.

Syria also gives significant aid to Hezbollah and Hamas. Like Iran, the government in Damascus has been isolated because of its support for terrorist groups. Syria and Iran recently signed an alliance because the two countries have few other allies to turn to in the international community because of their support of terrorism.

Remember that Syria had occupied Lebanon for almost three decades before being forced to leave by the international community last year after the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri. Why was Hariri killed? He began to speak out against the continued Syrian occupation. The United Nations investigation concluded that Syrian intelligence agents were involved in the murder of Hariri. By supporting Hezbollah, Syria has a chance to extend its influence over a country it practically controlled as a colony for nearly 30 years.

It seems both Syria and Iran are willing to fight to the last Lebanese citizen. Civilian deaths mean little to them except that they are an excuse to complain to the world about increasing Israeli “barbarity.” Through Hezbollah and Hamas, they can fight a proxy war against Israel and the United States without having attacks on their own territory.

The United Nations had already called on Hezbollah to be removed as a military force in southern Lebanon. Resolution 1599 calls on the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah and unify the country with one army. Unfortunately, the Lebanese government lacks the strength to carry out the resolution. Fearing a renewed civil war, the government has also not stopped the passage of weapons and supplies to Hezbollah through the Syrian border.

Hezbollah and Hamas have demonstrated that they are not looking for peace with Israel or a separate Palestinian state alongside Israel, they are looking to destroy the Jewish state. As such, Israel’s response is necessary to ensure its survival. No country can sit back and allow its citizens to be attacked nor can it allow the constant threat of attack by terrorists without taking action to keep its people safe.

Thus far, Israel has limited its targets to Hezbollah strongholds and infrastructure used by the terrorists to receive rockets and other weapons. There has been an unfortunate loss of civilian life but it is not the intention of the attacks which are aimed at Hamas leaders and weapons.

The intention of the rockets launched at Haifa and other Israeli cities by Hezbollah and Hamas is to injure and kill Israeli civilians. It seems no matter how much territory Israel cedes, militant Islamic groups like Hezbollah and Hamas will not be satisfied. Until they are confronted and disarmed, Israel will not be safe.

The bottom line in the Middle East is this: Until the Palestinians and other Arab states accept Israel’s right to exist, there will never be peace in the region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five × = 25