It’s wonderful to see the liveliness of the Israeli press. They actually use the media to discuss ideas important to the community, an amazing concept to those of us brought up in the US media environment.
And they are not afraid to criticize government policies, even during out-and-out war.
What is irritating in this context is that if we could have been capable of reaching a settlement with the Palestinians in recent years, these horrors might have been avoided. Six years ago we were “within touching distance” (as Gilad Sher wrote about Camp David 2000) from such a settlement, and there was the Geneva Initiative that won Palestinian support and could have been the basis for a settlement.
In the end, the primary wound is the conflict with the Palestinians. Lebanon is its metastasis. Without the Palestinian cause, Iran and the Hezbollah would not have had anything to hang on to.
This miserable war in Lebanon, which is just getting more and more complicated for no reason at all, was born in Israel’s greed for land. Not that Israel is fighting this time to conquer more land, not at all, but ending the occupation could have prevented this unnecessary war. If Israel had returned the Golan Heights and signed a peace treaty with Syria in a timely fashion, presumably this war would not have broken out.
Peace with Syria would have guaranteed peace with Lebanon and peace with both would have prevented Hezbollah from fortifying on Israel’s northern border. Peace with Syria would have also isolated Iran, Israel’s true, dangerous enemy, and cut off Hezbollah from one of the two sources of its weapons and funding. It’s so simple, and so removed from conventional Israeli thinking, which is subject to brainwashing.
For years, Israel has waged war against the Palestinians with the main motive of insistence on keeping the occupied territories. If not for the settlement enterprise, Israel would have long since retreated from the occupied territories and the struggle’s engine would have been significant neutralized. Not that a non-occupying Israel would have turned into the darling of the Arab world, but the destructive fire aimed at Israel would have significantly lessened, and those who continued to fight Israel would have found themselves isolated.
The war against the Palestinians is therefore unequivocally a territorial war, a war for the settlements. In other words, in the West Bank and Gaza, people were killed and are getting killed because of our greed for land. From Golda Meir to Ehud Olmert, the lie has held that the war with the Palestinians is an existential one for survival imposed on Israel when it is actually a war for real estate, one dunam after another, that does not belong to us.
I don’t remember reading such criticism of the US war policies in the Post or the Times, but perhaps I missed it…