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Friday, August 01, 2008


A report in Ha’aretz today highlighted the now famous Israeli Chutzpah method of dealing with its enemies.

Just the headline alone demonstrates the extent of this particular piece of Chutzpah; “Hezbollah threatens ‘practical measures’ against Israeli overflights”. The report goes on to say that such threats are “…in line with Israeli intelligence assessments that predicted that following the completion of the Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap, Hezbollah would seek excuses to resume its struggle against Israel in order to justify its refusal to disarm. Hezbollah has cultivated an image as Lebanon's ‘protector’ against what it describes as Israeli aggression.”

The report makes it seem almost as though, somehow, Israel has special rights to violate Lebanese sovereign airspace with Israeli military jet strike aircraft. The fact that these military ‘overflights’ are taking place at all doesn’t get questioned; it’s just taken for granted that that is what the Israelis are entitled to do given President Bush’s, together with other Western leaders, statements that Israel is entitled to take what ever measures it deems necessary to ‘defend’ itself. One wonders how indignant the Syrians would be if they were to send their military jets on ‘overfly’ missions over Israel and then the Israelis threatened ‘practical measures’ against them. For the Israelis such an action by the Syrians would be seen as an act of war.

But what makes this particular piece of Chutzpah double-edged and even more interesting is the way that Israel accuses Hezbollah of refusing to disarm and that Hezbollah is ‘cultivating an image as Lebanon’s protector against what it describes as Israeli aggression’.

Never mind that two years ago Israel deliberately and murderously bombed Lebanon, a campaign that killed well over a thousand innocent civilians, and then invaded the country. It was only Hezbollah’s tenacity in fighting back and Israel’s inability to halt Hezbollah rocket launches onto Israel that pushed Israel to abandon its attempt at conquering south Lebanon and provoking Iran into war, and sue for peace via the UN. Hezbollah are, indeed, the protectors of Lebanon against Israeli aggression. Whatever made the Israelis, in the light of their defeat two years ago, think otherwise?

If Israel has the right to defend itself against aggression then so does the people of Lebanon. Overflying a sovereign nation with military jets is an act of aggression that the people of Lebanon have the right to defend themselves against. Most peoples of the world can see right through this Chutzpah.

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