What Happens When Israel Runs Out of Infrastructure to Destroy?

Assuming Israel’s motivation in the current conflict really was the release of its captured soldiers, its actions can only be described as delusional. The militants are having a grand old time; they’ll never release the captives without concessions on Israel’s part. The more death and destruction wreaked upon Gaza and Lebanon by Israel, the happier they will be.

The mouse has wounded the tiger and caused it to flail about wildly in pursuit of revenge. However, this has also spurred the mouse to retaliate. Even with its meager resources, the end result has been the loss of two dozen Israeli lives, both military and civilian, not to mention the total disruption of life in Northern Israel.  

Ehud Olmert has stated that the life of one Israeli soldier is worth more than a lot of innocent Arab lives. (There’s only one unnecessary-to-iterate word that properly describes that type of superior race – ubermenschen – mentality.) The current tally of Gazan and Lebanese civilians killed is about 250 or ten for each Israeli death. That’s only 10 to 1, hardly in the category of ‘a lot’. Anyway, there’s plenty of time for Israel to improve the kill ratio.

Olmert has put Israel in an impossible and unwinnable position. First, a little background. It’s important to note that more than a dozen innocent Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire just in the few days prior to the capture of the Israeli soldier. Gaza, of course, is populated largely by people made refugees as a byproduct of the creation of the state of Israel.

Hezbollah had its genesis in Palestinian refugees who were driven out of Jordan decades ago. Moreover, anyone with a modicum of understanding of the political situation in, and history of Lebanon will tell you that its government is fragile and weak and that it essentially has no control over the actions of Hezbollah. Therefore no amount of destruction of Lebanese infrastructure or terrorizing of its population can possibly secure the release of the Israeli soldiers.

Let’s be real, these Hezbollah militants are not nice, sensitive guys. They are not going to be swayed by Israel’s killing of large numbers of civilians to regret their actions and give up their captives without enemy concessions. It is ludicrous and moronic to suggest or imagine otherwise.

There is an astounding combination of chutzpah and hypocrisy in Israel’s call on Lebanon to abide by UN resolutions and disarm Hezbollah, when it regularly flouts the UN, not to mention all international norms and conventions. The occupation of Palestine is illegal. The colonizing of conquered land is doubly illegal, if there was such a thing. Its disinterest in the plight of the refugees it created is a crime against humanity.

It’s been three weeks since Israel started attacking Gaza. They’ve now bombed the Interior Ministry building in Gaza for the second time, when it was largely destroyed the first time. What will they target, how will they respond in three more weeks when they still have not retrieved their soldier? Will they reoccupy Gaza with the deaths of additional Israeli soldiers a certain result? Half the children in the occupied territories already suffer from malnutrition. Will they take it a step further and try to starve the population into submission? Could they be insane enough to imagine that that might sway the militants?

Will they reoccupy southern Lebanon after they’ve totally destroyed Lebanon’s infrastructure and economy in a few weeks and still not rescued their soldiers? Their 18 year occupation of that area was a counterproductive disaster. The mouse has the tiger on the run. It cannot win this battle. It can kill at will but shedding of innocent blood will never achieve its stated objectives. Now Olmert says Israel will not stop until it has destroyed Hezbollah, but it wasn’t able to accomplish that in 18 years of occupation, how can it possibly do it now?

Most importantly, it can never have peace until it decides to treat the Palestinians fairly and respectfully. It can never pretend to offer a fair deal as long as it insists on keeping conquered Palestinian land. No amount of punishment, collective or otherwise, will ever encourage the occupied peoples to give up their struggle.

The peace process used to be called ‘land for peace’, whereas it should’ve more properly been termed ‘Jews for land’. As long as Israel controls Palestinian land it will regularly sacrifice some of its citizens. No amount of suffering inflicted upon the Palestinian people will stop militants from their resistance to occupation.

However, the worst part for Israel in the continuing punishment and death it is meting out to innocent people is the tarnishing of its soul and humanity.