The main reason that the Israelis have such an abiding interest in including southern Lebanon as a part of a Greater Israel is now becoming very apparent to the wider world as the drought takes hold in Israel and the region surrounding it.
Water has always been a highly valued commodity throughout the region and, as this year’s drought begins to bite, the importance of Israel having possession of south Lebanon up to the Litani River as part of its long-term future becomes increasingly obvious.
The Litani passes closest to Israel at Nabatiya in south Lebanon which is only some four kilometres from the Israeli border and for many years it has been the dream of the Zionists to have control of the Litani’s waters for use in Israel. The last attempt Israel made at taking the Litani River, as we know, ended in disaster for them when they were defeated by Hezbollah in 2006 despite heavy Lebanese civilian losses.
The 2006 failure of Israel to secure the Litani River for themselves was not the first time Israel had been defeated while trying to get at the Litani’s waters. When they invaded Lebanon in 1978 in an operation they actually called Operation Litani, the Israelis were forced to withdraw without removing the PLO bases that they said they were after in what turned out to be a major embarrassment to the then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. It wasn’t until the 1982 invasion that Israel found success in occupying south Lebanon and even then they were eventually forced to withdraw in 2000 when it became obvious that they were unable to defeat Hezbollah but not before having supervised the massacres in the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian refugee camps in September 1982.
Now in 2008 the Israelis are itching to have another go at taking south Lebanon and defeating Hezbollah but this time they realise that they can’t do this without eliminating Iran and Syria from the equation; which, of course, brings us to the stand-off that Israel, the US and Iran find themselves at today.
Not only are the Israelis getting increasingly desperate about hitting Iran before Bush leaves office but there is now the added urgency securing a permanent water source as the drought takes hold in the region. As Israel runs out of water one wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the first people to suffer, of course, are the Palestinians who for nearly a month now have had their water diverted from their taps to Israeli taps.
The Israelis are getting desperate; not just because time is running out but it looks like the water is running out as well – and they can’t get to one without the other!