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Original post made by Jag Singh, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Aug 23, 2006

Dear Friends:
A courageous voice of reason and sanity from Israel! There are many such voices as well in the Middle East, but how many such voices are there in the USA? Perhaps many but they aren't being heard! The world needs many more such voices to be heard from all sides.

Last update - 10:44 25/07/2006
Morality is not on our side

By Ze'ev Maoz

There's practically a holy consensus right now that the war in the
North is a just war and that morality is on our side. The bitter truth must be said: this holy consensus is based on short-range selective memory, an introverted worldview, and double standards.

This war is not a just war. Israel is using excessive force without
distinguishing between civilian population and enemy, whose sole
purpose is extortion. That is not to say that morality and justice are on Hezbollah's side. Most certainly not. But the fact that Hezbollah "started it" when it kidnapped soldiers from across an international border does not even begin to tilt the scales of justice toward our side.

Let's start with a few facts. We invaded a sovereign state, and
occupied its capital in 1982. In the process of this occupation, we
dropped several tons of bombs from the air, ground and sea, while
wounding and killing thousands of civilians. Approximately 14,000
civilians were killed between June and September of 1982, according to a conservative estimate. The majority of these civilians had nothing to do with the PLO, which provided the official pretext for the war.

In Operations Accountability and Grapes of Wrath, we caused the mass
flight of about 500,000 refugees from southern Lebanon on each
occasion. There are no exact data on the number of casualties in these operations, but one can recall that in Operation Grapes of Wrath, we bombed a shelter in the village of Kafr Kana which killed 103 civilians. The bombing may have been accidental, but that did not make the operation any more moral.

On July 28, 1989, we kidnapped Sheikh Obeid, and on May 12, 1994, we
kidnapped Mustafa Dirani, who had captured Ron Arad. Israel held these two people and another 20-odd Lebanese detainees without trial, as "negotiating chips." That which is permissible to us is, of course, forbidden to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah crossed a border that is recognized by the international
community. That is true. What we are forgetting is that ever since our withdrawal from Lebanon, the Israel Air Force has conducted
photo-surveillance sorties on a daily basis in Lebanese airspace.
While these flights caused no casualties, border violations are border violations. Here too, morality is not on our side.

So much for the history of morality. Now, let's consider current
affairs. What exactly is the difference between launching Katyushas
into civilian population centers in Israel and the Israel Air Force
bombing population centers in south Beirut, Tyre, Sidon and Tripoli?
The IDF has fired thousands of shells into south Lebanon villages,
alleging that Hezbollah men are concealed among the civilian
population. Approximately 25 Israeli civilians have been killed as a
result of Katyusha missiles to date. The number of dead in Lebanon,
the vast majority comprised of civilians who have nothing to do with
Hezbollah, is more than 300. Worse yet, bombing infrastructure targets such as power stations, bridges and other civil facilities turns the entire Lebanese civilian population into a victim and hostage, even if we are not physically harming civilians. The use of bombings to achieve a diplomatic goal - namely, coercing the Lebanese government into implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1559 - is an attempt at political blackmail, and no less than the kidnapping of IDF soldiers by Hezbollah is the aim of bringing about a prisoner exchange.

There is a propaganda aspect to this war, and it involves a
competition as to who is more miserable. Each side tries to persuade
the world that it is more miserable. As in every propaganda campaign,
the use of information is selective, distorted and self-righteous. If
we want to base our information (or shall we call it propaganda?)
policy on the assumption that the international environment is going
to buy the dubious merchandise that we are selling, be it out of
ignorance or hypocrisy, then fine. But in terms of our own national
soul searching, we owe ourselves to confront the bitter truth - maybe
we will win this conflict on the military field, maybe we will make
some diplomatic gains, but on the moral plane, we have no advantage,
and we have no special status.

The writer is a professor of political science at Tel Aviv university.

Comments (6)

Posted by David
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 23, 2006 at 1:41 pm

If you really want to call attention to an Op-Ed published in Haaretz Web Link you should post a link instead of cut-and-pasting the whole thing. That way, you're not violating the author's copyright.

Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 24, 2006 at 9:23 am

Ze'ev Moaz speaks for himself and not the vast majority of Israeli people. He is entitle to his opinion however wrong it is.
The real question is, will ever hear such "courageous" voices from the Arab side.
the bottom line, is despite Moaz's rantings, Hezbollah is detremined to destroy Israel--ergo Israel's actions were justified and correct.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 24, 2006 at 4:17 pm

If all the Jews left Israel tomorrow, within a year the productivity of the land would collapse and the Palestinians would become permanent charity cases. This because they were nursed on bile and hate. Look at Gaza if you don't believe me.

Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 25, 2006 at 9:56 am

You hit the nail right on the head, Walter. The arab nations in the Middle East are consumed with hatred of Israel rather than trying to improve the lives of their people.
Groups like A Jewish Voice for Peace, Peninsula Peace and Justice and people like Rachelle Marshall (the noted letter writer who considers Hezbollah to be a resistance movement) arealso filled with bile and hate when it comes to Israel--that is the only explanation for their constant support of terrorism and the blinders they wear regarding the real facts concerning the ultimate goal of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah

Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 25, 2006 at 8:01 pm

Boaz already pointed out that one need not be very courageous to write such an article in Israel. In fact, Jag can read many such voices published every week in Israel; as well as many other voices. But we are still waiting for similar voices in Arabic... for the last 80 years or so. To quote someone who put it in a nutshell:

- If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence
- If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel

Do Jag Singh or Rachelle Marshall disagree with that? It would be nice to hear them.

Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 27, 2006 at 1:31 pm

I know what we will hear from Jag and Rachelle--blame only for Israel. If one is familiar with their writings, one knows that they have been constant Israel-bashers, while being an apologist for Palestinian and Hezbollah led terrorism--they call them freedom fighters and claim that the "occupation" of the West Bank is to blame or the fact that Israel refuses to release a terrorist who killed an Israeli girl by smashing her head on a rock and then shot her father in the head as the reasons ofr justifying the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah.
The fact that Hamas and Hezbollah refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist and talk about removing the "zionist" element from the Middle East is ignored by these two and otherd of the so-called enlightened pro-peace movement.

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