Jerusalem Magazine
                JERUSALEM MAGAZINE Vol 1. No. 1
August 7, 2006 Day 27, War in Israel
Israel’s Defense Minister Amir Peretz has done what military leaders are supposed to do: he’s threatened Lebanon that if no diplomatic solution is found, the Israeli army will strike all over Lebanon with all its force to take out the Hezbollah threat.
In a speech to Arab Leaders Lebanon’s Prime Minister broke into tears, begging the Arab leaders to help him. “Israel is destroying us. We don’t have a bridge left.”
I hate to see grown men cry. Mr. Siniora probably doesn’t deserve the punishment he’s undergoing. But Hezbollah, which is using Lebanon as a launching pad against Israel, has hijacked his country. What does he expect? Hezbollah moves freely around Lebanon. In order to stop the trucks with the missile launcher from going place to place, the bridges are destroyed, the roads torn up. Sorry. That’s what happens when you allow one of your democratically elected parties that sit in your government to send 3,000 missiles onto a neighboring country, killing nearly 100 people, injuring over a thousand, sending hundreds of thousands fleeing from their homes. What did he expect? A morning after bouquet of flowers?
We all know about the mistakes newspapers make, and then print a retraction on page 99 in a one-inch paragraph that is buried among the want ads. Did anyone come out and say, “A mistake was made at Kafr Kana. Seventy people weren’t killed, only 28. And Hezbollah indeed uses Kana as a launching pad.  Yesterday it was bombed again; this time Israel had video of missiles launched at Israel.” You’ll never see that retraction, anywhere. But it should be there.
Civilians are dying in Lebanon. A terrible shame. Really. 28 instead of 60 is still 28 too many. Who wants innocent men, women and children to die? After the Nazi murderers slaughtered six million Jews, another five million Gypsies, intellectuals, gays, and others, not to mention the tens of millions of soldiers who died, who can justify innocent lives lost? And why did the tragedy happen in Germany? Because a maniac was running the war. Certifiable. Should have been in an insane asylum, but instead he was running what was once one of the world’s most respected countries that produced hordes of cultural icons, scientific accomplishments, great thinkers, artists and intellectuals. To this day it is a mystery to some, like me, how he came to power.
Sure, the economy was in shambles. Unemployment was rampant. Hitler was a charismatic speaker who blamed the Jews for all the world’s problems. Not the first time in history, either. But believe it or not there were men in Hitler’s government who saw that the path the Nazis were taking was a dead end. An underground formed among some in the German military as early as 1937. (Admiral William Canaris, who ran the Abwer, German Military Intelligence, saved over 500 Jews, including the 6th Lubavitch Rebbe) Mostly these were aristocrats who looked upon the Austrian corporal as so far beneath their station as to be insignificant. I doubt if any of the Von whoevers would have invited Hitler to dinner, even when he was Chancellor of Germany.
I’d like to believe that Prime Minister Siniora is like these anti-Hitler patriots. I’d like to think that his country will be saved by Lebanese patriots who will rise up and say, “Hezbollah has kidnapped our country. We have to stop them.”
It didn’t work in Germany. I’m afraid it won’t work in Lebanon. Most commentators now say that Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah will come out of this war the leader of Lebanon. Much to the chagrin of many Lebanese patriots. Like Hezbollah’s leaders, Hitler wasn’t working in a vacuum. He had supporters. He had partners. He had other countries that backed him. The minor difference here is that as of now Nasrallah is unequal to his backers in Iran or Syria. Israel’s analysts think that Nasrallah has ambitions not only to rise above the stature of Iran’s Prime Minister Achmanidajahad, but even above the founder of the modern Islamic Fundamentalism, Khomeini. A frightening thought..
 When the Israeli TV and Radio commentators ask the analysts why the loyal Lebanese don’t rise up, speak out, they are reminded of the late Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri, a powerful wealthy man, who was murdered by a roadside bomb that killed him, his bodyguards, innocent bystanders, and left a crater in the street the neighborhood kids could fill with water and use as a swimming pool.
Brave men like Hariri are hard to find. In Lebanon they don’t last long. Syria is suspected of engineering Hariri’s assassination. The UN got as far as interviewing high-ranking Syrians, but of course, the investigation petered out. Syria didn’t want Hezbollah gone. Hezbollah is one of Syria’s weapons against the Israelis. So the other Lebanese who want change, who want their country back from Hezbollah, have a problem. They want to stay alive. That’s probably why Siniora is crying.
Stalin, the infamous ruler of the Soviet Union, thought he could outfox Hitler. But Stalin realized Hitler was more ambitious and dangerous than he could imagine. Stalin was double-crossed by Hitler. It was Hitler’s great mistake, because Russia, who lost 20 million men in WWII, was a prime cause of Hitler’s defeat. I don’t think that Syria’s young ruler Bashir Assad realizes he’s got a tiger by the tail. One day Nasrallah will turn on Assad and eat him alive.
Nasrallah wants nothing less than to turn Lebanon into a fundamentalist Islamic country. The plan would be to then turn the entire region into a similar entity. Syria, as of now a non-religious country, would get swallowed up whole. Hard to believe Bashir Assad, an educated man who studied in London, doesn’t understand that.  But then Assad has reportedly opened up his weapons arsenal to Hezbollah, something his father, Hafiz Assad, the ruler of Syria for decades, never did, even though he was an arch-enemy of Israel. Even though he turned down a peace agreement with Israel, who was willing to give back all of the Golan Heights except a strip 500 yards wide along the Sea of Galilee. Assad the elder tried to keep Hezbollah a respectful distance. The son, supported by other men blinded by hatred, ambition and probably greed, encouraged him.
Some in Israel say that it is in Syria’s interest to now take advantage of a diplomatic initiative, talk with Israel, so that Hezbollah can be reigned in. Other analysts say that seems doubtful. This current conflict, according to some experts, has been a windfall for Syria. Up until now the UN, had chased Bashir Assad out of Lebanon with implied threats of war, since Syria is one of the “Axis of Evil”  and quite obviously is an active supporter of  “Terrorism.”  Now Syria is back. The US is on the ropes. Their ‘boy’ Israel is getting his butt kicked. In the Arab world perception is everything. (For those who aren’t impressed by a Mercedes, a Rolex, or their own Lear Jet, perception is unimportant. But those people are usually monks in an ashram in India. Even then, once they leave the Ashram they buy a Rolls on the profits of their speeches about ‘enlightenment.’)
The rise of Hezbollah may be the fall of the West. Nasrallah is now perceived as an icon of Arab success against Israel. Against the West. He is energizing Islamic fundamentalists around the world. He has driven the Palestinians, in Israel, in Gaza, in Detroit, to a fever pitch. Israel can be stopped! America can be stopped. Islam is on a roll.
You can well imagine that Iran is jubilant.  Their proxie is doing well. They have distracted the world from their nuclear ambitions and are carrying on, building weapons of mass destruction. They may not be happy until they’ve managed to give one to Hezbollah, shipped carefully over the border to Syria, and then on to Lebanon. Or perhaps down to Gaza. The nuclear fallout wouldn’t bother the Iranians. They’re upwind. We won’t talk about what they has planned for the USA.
Science fiction? I don’t think so. Hundreds of rockets fall on Israel every day. The area around Kryiat Shmona is thick with smoke from forest fires. The hundreds of thousands stuck in the North who hear the sirens, the shriek of the incoming rockets, wouldn’t think it was so far fetched. Several times an hour the talk shows are interrupted by the official announcement, in case they don’t hear or don’t have sirens,  reading a list of towns, villages, cities, whose residents are to immediately take cover because of incoming rockets. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week. Now will it become month after month?
Will a multi-national force with teeth and muscle come in to take over? Which nutsy country would send their men into this conflagration? First Israel has to quell the four thousand hard-core SS type fighters, make it safe for the UNIFIL forces. Then maybe the UNFIL forces will come in. Then maybe they’ll be peace. But by all accounts, all diplomacy would accomplish now is to postpone the next round in the war of the civilizations. Hitler didn’t go away until he had nothing to live for. Until his crazy dreams had been dashed. These maniacs aren’t going away either, not without help.
August 7, 2006 War in Israel Day 27