Thursday, July 13, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

I continue to wonder as to the precise goals of the Israeli government in it current actions in Gaza and especially Lebanon. I would think that 1) the likelihood of retrieving the kidnapped soldiers alive are quite small, meaning the stated goal of the attacks cannot be met, and 2) if the idea is to take out members of Hamas and Hezbollah then while clearly many members and leaders of those groups will die, one has to wonder as to how many new recruits this action is creating.

Certainly the actions in Lebanon are perplexing, even given the Hezbollah connections to the government. Given that the best hope for long-term peace with Lebanon was the continued democratization of that state, it would seem to me that the actions of the IDF in Lebanon are simply going to create substantial destabilization of that state, and potentially empowering Hezbollah and the general radicalization of Lebanese politics.

The economic damage that is being unleashed is hardly going to make Israel any friends in Lebanon, even those who aren’t fans of Hezbollah. For example, see CNN: Rockets hit Israel after airport attack.

Given that it wasn’t that long ago that there was much optimism regarding Lebanese political progress (and democratization), this isn’t good news.

Back in Gaza, I fear that the attacks will lead to more terror, not less, given the likely of reaction of many Palestinian.

Along those lines (via the NYT, IsraeliJets Strike Airport in Beirut

The Israeli Air Force also dropped a bomb on a home in Gaza City at around 3 a.m., saying its targets were Hamas leaders. But the blast killed nine members of the Salmiyeh family, according to Dr. Jumaa al-Saqqa, the spokesman for Al Shifa Hospital, where the bodies were taken. There were visiting Hamas leaders in the house at the time of the bombing, but they escaped with only minor injuries, Palestinians said.

The owner of the house, Nabil Abu Salmiyeh, who was reported to be a Hamas member, was killed along with his wife, Salwa, and seven of their children, ages 7 to 18, Dr. Saqqa said. The Israeli military said the main target was Muhammad Deif, the head of Hamas’s armed wing. Israel says Mr. Deif is behind scores of attacks against Israeli civilians. The military, which has tried to kill Mr. Deif at least four times in recent years, said he was wounded. But Hamas officials refused to say whether Mr. Deif was at the house at the time of the bombing, and insisted he was safe.

Now, such a strike is simply going to reinforce Palestinian views that they are the victims of Israeli aggression. It will aid in the recruiting of new militants and will underscore that the only way to strike at Israel is through terrorism, given the military asymmetry between the two actors. Indeed, one guesses that many Palestinians (not to mention Arabs and others) will equate this attack to attacks on Israeli buses and pizzerias.

The potential for further radicalization of Palestinian population is quite high at this point, one would think.

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3 Responses to “On the Current Israeli Actions”

  1. Erin Says:

    AND, your point is, they will not get their soldiers back alive, SOOO!! unbelivable just sit back and take it I’m sure that’s the answer because this has surely not been coming for over 40 years, well the time is here and whatever reason the Isreali’s use or don’t use should be theirs to go with. Stop the head in the sand mentality. This has been coming and should be dealt with PERIOD!

  2. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    My point is that it is wholly unclear what the current actions will produce in terms of results.

    BTW, to act as if this is the first time Israel has demonstrated its military might is to not understand history. Indeed, this is part of my point: previous massive military actions by Israel hasn’t produced the desired results in the past, and it won’t this time.

  3. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » A Question Says:

    [...] ument can be made, but as I have argued from the beginning from this campaign (for example here), it seems to me that what is going to result from this fight is that there will be more persons willing [...]

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