Friday, July 21, 2006

Letter from Jerusalem

My Aunt Sarah, an Orthodox Jew living in Jerusalem, writes eloquently in an e-mail about a side of the Mideast crisis that few commentators outside the Holy Land seem to understand:

I have been "disproportionately" disturbed by charge after charge from the "third-world" nations and certain European, East-European, and South-American nations, that Israel's actions in Lebanon are "disproportionate" to their provocation. Here they are attacking all Lebanon when it's only Hizbullah that attacked Israel, and they, the latter, only killed a few soldiers and kidnapped a few, and they only send an occasional rocket over the border. And here is red-eyed, red-necked, "insane" Israel over-reacting by hurting the Lebanese people and striking at their infrastructure.

What infuriates me is that Lebanon is seen as an innocent bystander in this conflict. Israel is only entitled to take Hezbollah to task, and any damage that poor Lebanon has to suffer is due to Israel's lack of restraint. It is reacting "disproportionately" to a limited provocation by an irresponsible group of fanatics. I have actually seen the comment that 2 kidnapped soldiers are not worth all the death and destruction that poor innocent Lebanon has been forced to bear.

Moreover, even our supporters are putting the blame on Syria and Iran, and reserving all their sympathy and concern for the Lebanese government. Yet Lebanon is entirely responsible for the whole thing. It is so obvious that I don't understand why it should be politically incorrect to say so. If you have seen the missiles that Hezbollah is expending wholesale upon Israel, missiles that they have obtained in the high thousands, and which by the way are stationed all over Lebanon, you will have noticed immediately that they are enormous (besides being very many). In some cases they can only be transported by flatbed truck, one or two at a time. They are entirely obvious. How can they be bussed along Lebanon's roads without the Lebanese government's sufferance? And without the people's knowledge? And both the government and the people knowing all along exactly what they were intended for, to attack a neighbor who is not their enemy, with whom they are not in a belligerent state. Moreover, the missiles were driven over the border from Syria and also were flown in through the Beirut airport. Obviously the border and customs authorities actively collaborated in supplying the Hezbollah with an awesome and exotic arsenal.

Yes, poor Lebanon explains that it can't control Hezbollah's militia in the South. But it is the government's function to control its imports and its commercial traffic, especially elsewhere in the country. And obviously they do. Except that they closed their eyes or blinked at the steady traffic in enormous and exotic high-tech war materiel heading toward the wholesale slaughter of the Jews. And the world did, too.

Yes, poor Lebanon is afraid of a civil war. Yes, poor Lebanon explains that the Hezbollah is a "state within a state". Yes, the Moslems are in the majority, and yes, the Shi'ites are the majority of those, and yes, they hold government positions and yes, they have a coercive power which the so-called Lebanese government won't stand up to. And so what it amounts to is that Lebanon, like Vichy France, is a willing and co-operative prop for fanatical, murderous, genocide-bent enemies and haters of the Jews. Is there any American who does not retch at the vile performance of the French (Vichy or not) in the Nazi era? Would anyone in the whole world, repelled or not, claim that the Vichy government did not represent nor reflect the French population which it governed? Why is Lebanon seen as an innocent bystander when it has been an indispensable accessory to Hezbollah's hate-crimes all these years? How come everyone is feeling sorry for them and no-one realizes that none of this could have happened without their cooperation?