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Monday, July 17, 2006

Lies, Lies and More Lies

The saying goes: when the cannons speak, the muse falls silent. Listening to the various official statements in the media, it seems that not only the muse but all common sense falls silent. Let's examine some of the "truths" we are being told:

We are fighting to get the kidnapped soldiers back. Nothing could be further from the truth. If getting the soldiers back was genuinely the top-most item on the government's agenda, Israel would be negotiating with Hezbollah for their release. Just as it did to release the shady Tenenbaum and three corpses only a couple of years ago.

Our aim is to crush Hezbollah. Right, just like we crashed the PLO in Lebanon in the 1980s. The sad truth is that the current military campaign will succeed only in bringing about another lull in the war between Israel and those bent on destroying it. Until the next time. The objective is making this interim period of relative peace as long as possible, no more.

The air campaign is effective. The truth is that no military campaign can be won from the air and both the IDF and the government know this. Israel is afraid to send troops into Lebanon because Israeli public opinion will not tolerate the mounting toll of casualties, especially as time will go by with no definitive "crushing" of Hezbollah.

The people are behind us. This is true, but only partly and only for a short time. Olmert and his colleagues know that if missiles keep falling on Israeli cities for much longer, popular support will erode and people will demand either firmer action (which is not possible) or a settlement.

The world is behind us. This is not even partly true. Yes, the US agreed to supply us with that most precious resource, jet fuel, but if fighting prolongs then not only the world but also the US will start pressuring Israel to settle. Suddenly, supplies of jet fuel will become harder to get by.

We will establish a security zone in Lebanon without IDF's presence. This is the latest gem from Peretz. Perhaps someone should hand him a book about the history of the Israeli-Lebanses border and the outstanding role of UNIFIL there over the decades.

And the list goes on, but I think the point is clear. The thrill of the first days of war is blocking all common sense and clear vision. No worries, things will become familiarly and bitterly clearer quite soon. Israelis, as I wrote earlier, have very short memories. This has always been perplexing to me, especially as Jews carry thousands of years of history on their backs. But this is a subject for a different post.


Anonymous said...

Sorry my friend, you just don't get it. I wont even bother will full comment.

Anonymous said...

I am use to not agreeing with your thoughts and feelings, and usually i just stay quiet. however, today i feel that you are being very unfair.i have to ask you though, under these circumstances, how would you have liked the goverment to react? what do you feel should have been done?

Sharvul said...


Actually, I think our goverment is doing more or less the right things, give the circustances. If anything, I would have advocated a more radical approach, going after the source of the problem (Syria, Iran) and not the symptom (Hezbollah). This can be done only with world backing (or at least US backing) and only at the beginning, not now.

What I cannot stand, and this is what my post is about, is the "double talk" that goes on and the worthless promises made to the Israeli public. As if an air campaign can solve the Hezbollah problem, or as if a buffer zone with no IDF presence will be in any shape or form effective. If you decide to go for a limited solution, at least be fair enough to admit it and set expectations accordingly.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by "going after the source of the problem (Syria, Iran) " ? Airforce strikes? What kind of "world backing" - don't we always ask for support from the world- but don't get it promptly, if at all? Under the circumstances, aren't we just doing the best we can?
As for the "double talk" official statements, what do you expect? In times of war the leadership has to inspire some kind of hope. We naturally rally round and unite. We want to hear our PM saying he is fighting to get the soldiers back - even though in our hearts we fear they are gonners under the circumstances. We want to hear that our air campaign is effective and that there is at least a hope of crushing the hezbollah.
I just re-read your post and realize that I don't actually disagree with most off it. I just see things from a more "social science " perspective. You mention being perplexed by the short menory of Israelis but I think that we just react in a natural way to a virtually hopeless situation.
I am very concerned about the effects our our air campaign on the Lebanese people and world support.The hezbollah are going to rocket us and threat to blot us out whatever- which brings me back to your comment about targeting the source- Syria , Iran. How do we get to them?

Anonymous said...

dont you sort of feel that this war is really between Iran and Uncle Sam???

Sharvul said...

Sandra - I accept your sociological explanation but I guess I'm too cynical (comes with old age I guess) to find comfort in lies, even when these lies give a warm a fuzzy feeling. And I agree we're doing the best we can at the moment but I still think that we will need to deal with Iran at some point, and it better be sooner rather than later.

Anonymous - I hope you're right, but I'm afraid you're not. This war by proxy is not enough, in its current format, to deal with the Iranian problem.

Anonymous said...

In present situation I think that the only way in order to end this horror war was stop it immediatley. And after do the best through ONU for finding a solution. If all can´t do that we continue assisting by tv reporters the horribles deaths on both sides. And adding all efforts in order the ONU let us down with its ambiguities.
Ending I hope that only the PEACE could save all.

Sharvul said...

Anonymous - I couldn't disagree more. God help us if we put our fate in the hands of the UN.

in8paradox said...

"We are fighting to get the kidnapped soldiers back."
there were many instances in the past were Isreal refused to negotiate, they are now realizing that if they do (its about 4000 for 2)anytime they want anything they will kidnap some Isreali's, so that is not an option. Thus, your claim that they are not fighting for the abducted soldiers (bec. if they wanted them back, they would negotiate) is not correct. Admittedly, once they did start fighting it may be for other reasons too, bit the main cause remains the abducted soldiers, well and now the missles too.

Anonymous said...

Well, where are the naysayers now? I haven't read the comment right when they were written, but here we all knew that. It was clear to us here, yet this author put it so eloquently, so straightforward, so simple and so clear that no one was justified not to understand him. Unfortunately we are now witnessing zionism's self-destruction that was predicted by the anti-zionist rabbis from the beginning of the century until the '50es.
The Israelis refuse to defend themselves, and will continue doing so as long as they deny or distory their Jewish identity. Jewish culture and Jewish religion are inseparable. And as long as their grip of the country is rooted in something they don't practice, and many outright deride, they will fail to protect it - for how can you protect something if you reject the document that grants you its ownership?