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Sunday, August 10, 2003

START OF ANOTHER LEBANON WAR? First reports have been coming in that Ariel Sharon is to meet with high-ranking security officials. This comes after the Hizb’allah fired shells at an Israeli village, killing one civilian, from its positions in southern Lebanon and Israeli armed forces retaliated by attacking terrorist positions there. It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that this is happening. After then-Premier Barak ordered the Israeli army out of the security puffer zone as a good-will gesture to help the peace process along in early 2000, the Hizb’allah has repaid this with a large-scale build up of its forces along the border to Israel. At one point it was reported that up to 10000 rocket launchers were in place to bombard the Galilee. Despite getting peacefully involved in Lebanese domestic politics and receiving support from the EU for its hospitals and schools, the Hizb’allah remains opposed to the existence of a Jewish presence in the Middle East. Hence it remains committed towards the goal of destroying the state of Israel. Additionally it has been voicing off how it will destroy all of Western civilization and claimed to have fighters in Iraq who are attacking coalition troops there. It has also been fomenting terror, organised crime and instability on a global scale, from places as far apart as Colombia and Sierra Leone. If the Israeli government now decides to move against them, it would surely be a good thing. There should be no calls on Israel to refrain from retaliation -as there normally is after Palestinian terrorist attacks- because there can be no compromise between the workings of the Hizb’allah and peace in the Middle East. It would surely be more desirable if the Lebanese and Syrian governments dismantled this terrorist network. However they have so far shown neither the will nor the means to do so. Therefore it is the next best option that Israel does this instead. That will probably mean more violence and blood shed in the short-run but it will improve the longer-term prospects for peace if groups that are implacably opposed to peace are removed from the equation. I’ll post some more on this later as soon as I’ve got some more background and sources on the events.

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