ISRAEL @ WAR: The Return of the Israeli Left
For nearly a week, the handful of Israeli Jews who chose to voice their dissent towards Israel's military action in Lebanon and Gaza (including the 1st case of a soldier refusing orders - whom Ha'aretz refers to as a "conscientious objector") were branded as being members of the "radical left" by Israel's mainstream media (the term "radical" is used almost exclusively in reference to religious or nationalist Jews on the policial right).
Well, slowly but surely, the Israeli left is beginning to rear its head once again.
So much for national unity.
Here are a few of the choice examples.
1) Sneh calls for negotiated withdrawal
(Labor MK and Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ephraim) Sneh, who was part of the government that oversaw the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, said he had always opposed unilateral withdrawals. Now more than ever, he said, Israel had to understand that only negotiated territorial withdrawals could lead to secure borders.
1st, I don't recall Sneh, who has "always been opposed to unilateral withdrawals", opposing the unilateral expulsion ("Disengagement") of 10,000+ Jews from their homes in Gaza and the northern Shomron.
2nd, as for negotiated territorial withdrawals being the only option, that's exactly what the Oslo Peace Process was (a process that Sneh likely supported, as Oslo was the baby of his Labor party), and there too, we can plainly see how that has (not) worked out...
2) Perception and deception
The author of this article, Gershon Baskin, the Co-CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, has the following to say:
I believe that, in the end, the only way to bring Shalit, Elad Regev and Ohad Goldwasser home alive to their families will be some kind of negotiations that will include the release of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners...
The government has declared that there will be no negotiations with the terrorists. If this is the case, the government is going to have to explain to all the mothers and fathers who send their children to the front that if they are captured by the enemy they are as good as dead.
If I was a member of the government, I would explain to every soldier serving in the IDF; their parents; every citizen of the Jewish State - including Mr. Baskin - that the IDF does not and will not capitulate to the demands of our enemies. We will fight our enemies; fight them until they are no longer able to threaten the Jewish People and State; fight them with so much force and determination that our enemies will have absolutely no doubt that should they ever dare kidnap an IDF soldier, or threaten the Jewish State in any way, that they themselves, along with their loved ones are as good as dead - and this will be backed up with action, not empty words.
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe that most of those living in the Jewish State and fighting in the IDF would prefer my answer, to that of Mr. Baskin's, which calls for capitulating to the demands of our enemies and brings our destruction that much closer.
3) Start over - Ari Shavit - Ha'aretz
Israel is currently waging the most just war in its history. Not a war of occupation, but rather a war of defense. Not a settlements war, but rather a Green Line war. A war over the validity of an international border that was drawn, defined and recognized by the United Nations.
* Was Israel's War of Independence, fought in 1948 an unjust war - a war that stared as a result of 7 Arab countries rejecting the UN Partition Plan that called for the creation a Palestinian State, instead, choosing to try and wipe out the newly re-established Jewish State?
* Was Israel's Sinai Campaign in 1956 an unjust war - a war that sought to rectify that illegal nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt and the closure of the Straits of Tiran; two moves that had the power to cripple the then newly (re)established Jewish State's fledgling economy?
* Was the Six Day War or the Yom Kippur War unjust - two wars of self-defense, fought against enemies who sought to have the streets of Tel Aviv run red with Jewish blood?
* Perhaps Israel's war in Lebanon in 1982 (Operation Peace for the Galil) was the unjust war - a war in which the Jewish State sought to root out of southern Lebanon the PLO terrorists that were murdering innocent (Jewish) Israelis in the north of Israel?
If in the eyes of Shavit and Ha'aretz, the involvement of the Jewish State in the above wars was unjust, then not only is the current war equally unjust, but there is no justification (moral, legal, historical or otherwise) for the existence of the Jewish State in the first place...
Which might be the very point that Shavit and Ha'aretz were trying to get across?