Israel sows seeds of hatred

Par Rana El-Khatib

Géopolitique du Proche-Orient


U.S. President George Bush has repeatedly claimed that Israel has a "right" to defend itself.
And Israel has repeatedly claimed that Iran is an accomplice in this war against it.
Both claims, from those of us living the Israeli "defence" in Lebanon, are left to wonder where the moral compass of the world has gone and whether justice will ever prevail.
What is the definition of defence and what are its acceptable limits?
Hezbollah seized two Israeli soldiers along the border with Lebanon to force an exchange for Lebanese prisoners that Israel has held without due process. One of them, Samir Quntar, has been held for 27 years.
Hezbollah's attack may not have been justified, but it has learned through past experience that Israel pays no heed to United Nations resolutions and international law and only responds to force. For this, Israel is pounding all of Lebanon to a pulp.
Its U.S.-made F-16s and bombs crash down on the fragile cities below, demolishing homes, lives, a country that has tried to get back onto its unstable feet after an uncivil civil war that had turned a little paradise into a little forgotten hell.
Israel claims that Iranian hands are all over the bombs and training of Hezbollah and its arms.
The hypocrisy is not lost on any Arab, because we all know, especially those of us at the receiving end, that U.S. hands are all over Israeli bombs and ammunitions and war machines.
The argument is the same. The only difference appears to be who makes the accusations and which accusations "count" in this lopsided war.
Israel cannot win over an entire population of people by pulverizing them. America needs to also understand that what goes around comes around. There is a point where even the meek will fight back.
America's blind support of Israel even as it tramples international law, brazenly inflicting war crimes on innocent people promises less-than-pleasant consequences.
The ripple effects of resentment can no longer be contained.
America and Israel thoughtlessly dish out accusations at Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah in an area where the people have been suffering the consequences of a world asleep at the wheel of justice.
Israel uses Lebanon as a testing ground for its weapons and a place to flex its massive technological muscles at the expense of more Arab lives and humiliation.
This promises nothing but a tornado that will span the globe, sucking us all in.
Israel has bombed every single bridge in and out of South Lebanon. It has bombed bridges in and around Beirut's Shiite neighbourhoods.
It has shelled all the ports up and down Lebanon's coastline, by gunship and airplanes, incapacitating them all and rocking the city of Beirut in the process.
It has taken out all the main arteries in and out of Lebanon.
Beirut's lighthouse was also hit. Its primary wheat silo was bombed.
Wherever there have been fuel reservoirs of significance, they, too, have been shelled. And every time one of those is hit, it invariably explodes with a vengeance - the fuel and the blast creating a black, thick, burning plume of smoke that engulfs large swathes of land. With little people power or enough water to put out the infernos, they keep going, roaring for hours on end.
Israel has bombed the key runways of Beirut's newly built International Airport - on several occasions.
It has wiped certain Shiite villages almost clear off the map. It has targeted innocent civilians fleeing the villages they were told to flee by the Israeli army.
More than 200 people have died in a span of a few days and countless others are wounded and dying in hospital beds throughout the south and southern suburbs of Beirut.
What is Israel accomplishing by crippling Lebanon; all of it and everyone?
Does Israel really hope to free its soldiers by doing this?
If Israel had sown the seeds of resentment in the past with its oppression of Palestinians, it has now not only watered them but fertilized the soils of detestation toward it.
It is an unwise place to be, no matter how "strong" Israel is. Arabs are no longer willing to serve as the game board of the world to play out their subjugation games on our soil.
And when everything here is lost, what is to stop the anger from reaching the "disseminators" of the devastation who sit, mindlessly manipulating the world from behind stately desks?

Rana El-Khatib is a Palestinian writer and author born in Haifa and living in Beirut.


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