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Tikkun: War and Peace in the Mideast
by Tikkun (reposted)
Sunday Jul 16th, 2006 7:30 PM
Haaretz' Gideon Levy argues that Israel's war in Gaza and Lebanon is about the IDF's ego. Uri Avnery says its about changing the Lebanese government. And Gila Svirsky reminds us of the moral meaning of Israeli policy.
The Occupation? Fuggedaboutit!
By Gila Svirsky

What a stroke of luck - 10 days before a war breaks out in Lebanon, we buy an apartment in Nahariya.

We had been looking for a place for about a year. We went to Cyprus to check out the beautiful new communities on the northern shore - it's quite a bargain, if you don't mind settling in occupied territory. We thought about Mauritius, but the savings on real estate would be offset by the costs of flights there. So finally we settled on an apartment under construction in Israel's sweetest little town on the Mediterranean coast - just 5 miles south of the border with Lebanon.

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The Real Aim
By Uri Avnery

THE REAL aim is to change the regime in Lebanon and to install a puppet government.

That was the aim of Ariel Sharon's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It failed. But Sharon and his pupils in the military and political leadership have never really given up on it.

As in 1982, the present operation, too, was planned and is being carried out in full coordination with the US.

As then, there is no doubt that it is coordinated with a part of the Lebanese elite.

That's the main thing. Everything else is noise and propaganda.

ON THE eve of the 1982 invasion, Secretary of State Alexander Haig told Ariel Sharon that, before starting it, it was necessary to have a "clear provocation", which would be accepted by the world.

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Operation Peace for the IDF
By Gideon Levy
Reprinted Courtesy of Haaretz
July 16th, 2006

Every neighborhood has one, a loudmouth bully who shouldn't be provoked into anger. He's insulted? He'll pull out a knife. Spat in the face? He'll draw a gun. Hit? He'll pull out a machine gun. Not that the bully's not right - someone did harm him. But the reaction, what a reaction! It's not that he's not feared, but nobody really appreciates him. The real appreciation is for the strong who don't immediately use their strength. Regrettably, the Israel Defense Forces once again looks like the neighborhood bully. A soldier was abducted in Gaza? All of Gaza will pay. Eight soldiers are killed and two abducted to Lebanon? All of Lebanon will pay. One and only one language is spoken by Israel, the language of force.

The war that the IDF has now declared on Lebanon and before it on Gaza, will never be considered another "war of no choice." Let's save that debate from the historians. This is unequivocally a war of choice. The IDF absorbed two painful blows, which were particularly humiliating, and in their wake went into a war that is all about restoring its lost dignity, which on our side is called "restoring deterrent capabilities." Neither in Lebanon nor certainly in Gaza, can anyone formulate the real goals of the war, so nobody knows for sure what will be considered victory or an achievement. Are we at war in Lebanon? With Hezbollah? Nobody knows for sure. If the goal is to remove Hezbollah from the border, did we try hard enough over the last two years through diplomatic channels? And what's the connection between destroying half of Lebanon and that goal? Everyone agrees that "something must be done." Everyone agrees that a sovereign state cannot remain silent when it is attacked within its own borders, though in Israel's eyes Lebanese sovereignty was always subject to trampling, but why should that non-silence be expressed solely by an immediate and all-out blow?

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http://www.tikkun.org/rabbi_lerner/news_item.2006-07-16.3522046449
by Tikkun (reposted)
Sunday Jul 16th, 2006 7:32 PM
We present a view on how to end these crises, along with analyses by Tanya Reinhart, Yitzhak Frankenthal, Michael Rubin, David Horowitz, Arik Diamont (of Courage to Refuse,) Robert Fisk, and others.

...
Ending the crisis without killing anyone
Gershon Baskin, Hanna Siniora, Khaled Duzdar, Yossi Ben Ari

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The most desired end of the current crisis would be a return of the Israeli kidnapped soldiers from Lebanon and Gaza, the release of prisoners in Israeli jails, an end to cross border attacks, including rockets ñ in both directions ñ on the Israeli-Gaza border and the Israeli-Lebanese border, and the strengthening of moderates and the weakening of extremists.

The current strategy to end the crisis employs extreme long-term violence and escalating threats against civilians that may or may not end with the release of the kidnapped soldiers and prisoners in Israeli jails. It may or may not end the cross border attacks; it will most likely strengthen extremists and weaken moderates and will cause vast damage and human suffering.

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WHAT ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR
Tanya Reinhart

A shorter version of this article was scheduled to appear Thursday, July 13 in Yediot Aharonot, but postponed to next week because of the developments in Southern Lebanon. (*)


Whatever may be the fate of the captive soldier Gilad Shalit, the Israeli army’s war in Gaza is not about him. As senior security analyst Alex Fishman widely reported, the army was preparing for an attack months earlier and was constantly pushing for it, with the goal of destroying the Hamas infrastructure and its government. The army initiated an escalation on 8 June when it assassinated Abu Samhadana, a senior appointee of the Hamas government, and intensified its shelling of civilians in the Gaza Strip. Governmental authorization for action on a larger scale was already given by 12 June, but it was postponed in the wake of the global reverberation caused by the killing of civilians in the air force bombing the next day. The abduction of the soldier released the safety-catch, and the operation began on 28 June with the destruction of infrastructure in Gaza and the mass detention of the Hamas leadership in the West Bank, which was also planned weeks in advance. (1)

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Yitzhak Frankenthal
The Arik Institute For Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace,In Memory of Arieh Zvi Frankenthal. (הי"ד)

Seeking peace; forced to fight.


Lebanon, by abducting two Israeli soldiers, firing at Israel and killing eight Israeli soldiers, has this morning declared war. Such attacks, when carried-out from within Lebanese sovereignty, can be seen as nothing but a declaration of war.

A distinction must be made here, between Lebanon and other sovereign states, and the Palestinians. The Palestinians are fighting occupation, the worst form of terror, and the occupier. If I was a Palestinian I would undoubtedly be struggling for my independence and vigorously opposing the occupation. To do so is the natural duty of every Palestinian. Opposing the occupation and struggling for independence can be done in numerous different ways, however. Personally, I would have chosen to oppose it by massive demonstration (hundreds-of-thousands' of Palestinians), without letting up until Israel ceased its occupation of my lands and my people. I would not use force of arms or suicide bombers for a number of reasons, not the least of which being:

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Hundreds of Palestinian 'suspects' have been kidnapped from their homes
and will never stand trial
Arik Diamant
http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3271505,00.html


It's the wee hours of the morning, still dark outside. A guerilla force
comes out of nowhere to kidnap a soldier. After hours of careful
movement, the force reaches its target, and the ambush is on! In
seconds, the soldier finds himself looking down the barrel of a rifle.

A smash in the face with the butt of the gun and the soldier falls to
the ground, bleeding. The kidnappers pick him up, quickly tie his hands
and blindfold him, and disappear into the night.

This might be the end of the kidnapping, but the nightmare has just
begun. The soldier's mother collapses, his father prays. His commanding
officers promise to do everything they can to get him back, his comrades
swear revenge. An entire nation is up-in-arms, writing in pain and worry.

Nobody knows how the soldier is: Is he hurt? Do his captors give him
even a minimum of human decency, or are they torturing him to death by
trampling his honor? The worst sort of suffering is not knowing. Will he
come home? And if so, when? And in what condition? Can anyone remain
apathetic in the light of such drama?

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Robert Fisk: Beirut waits as Syrian masters send Hezbollah allies into
battle
Published: 13 July 2006

It's about Syria. That was the frightening message delivered by Damascus
yesterday when it allowed its Hizbollah allies to cross the UN Blue Line
in southern Lebanon, kill three Israeli soldiers, capture two others and
demand the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails.

Within hours, a country that had begun to believe in peace - without a
single Syrian soldier left on its soil - found itself once more at war.

Israel held the powerless Lebanese government responsible - as if the
sectarian and divided cabinet in Beirut can control Hizbollah. That is
Syria's message. Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's affable Prime Minister, may
have thought he was running the country but it is President Bashar Assad
in Damascus who can still bring life or death to a land that lost
150,000 lives in 15 years of civil conflict.

And there is one certain bet that Syria will rely on; that despite all
Israel's threats of inflicting "pain" on Lebanon, this war will run out
of control until - as has so often happened in the past - Israel itself
calls for a ceasefire and releases prisoners. Then the international
big-hitters will arrive and make their way to the real Lebanese capital
- Damascus, not Beirut - and appeal for help.

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