Why, why, why?

Questions that have been on my mind this weekend:
  • Why does Israel (for all intents and purposes, a sovereign country) get to shell Lebanon (another sovereign country, last I checked) when its quarrel is with the Hezbollah (not a sovereign country, though it has camps and munitions in Lebanon, but it's not a state-led or -funded apparatus, right?)?
  • Why is it that no one else in the international media seems to be asking this question?
  • As Maia writes, why is all the attention on the people from Western countries who are trying to get out of Lebanon, rather than on the Lebanese people who are stuck there and/or frantically fleeing their preciously rebuilt homeland?
Suggestions and enlightenment welcome.


At 7/23/2006 3:58 am , Blogger sternstadt said...

To answer the first, Hezbollah currently holds 23 seats in the 128-member Lebanese government after elections last year. It also has two ministers in the government and endorses a third.

Various sources can be found via google but the one I'm quoting is here.

Not that I'm saying what Israel's doing is okay, but that's their justification.

First answer also answers second question (also, not that most people are saying it's okay or anything, but that's the understanding as to why Israel is doing it).

Third question... well, a lot of "international" media, is really western media. And readers/editors tend to be interested in their own. At any rate, NYT has a good story on young Lebanese and their feelings towards what is happening and towards Hezbollah here.

At 7/23/2006 5:49 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ask me, it all boils down to this thing called 'guilt'.

Decades of it.

At 7/23/2006 6:58 am , Blogger beeker said...

also, the israelis say that while their beef is with hezbollah, they are also pissed off with lebanon's failure to do anything with hezbollah's launching of missles off lebanese soil.

i think the main questions should start involving syria.

At 7/23/2006 7:56 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be honest, I farking hate the Jews. To quote my father: 'No wonder Hitler wanted to exterminate them.'

At 7/23/2006 8:02 am , Blogger Tym said...

dio > Thanks!

So now I've moved on to dwell on the veracity of what a British foreign office minister said, "You know, if they're chasing Hezbollah, then go for Hezbollah. You don't go for the entire Lebanese nation." (Quoted on Aljazeera.net.

Anonymous > Racist statements are never justified and not welcome here, asshat.

At 7/23/2006 11:11 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As dio said, Hezbollah's political wing is a part of the mainstream Lebanon government. But it's way more than that. Hezbollah is part of Lebanon, patrols the the Israeli-Lebanon border, yet is militia independent of the Lebanese state that can do whatever it wants. Lebanon could have avoided the whole situation by implementing UN resolution 1559 which calls for dismantling Hezbollah, but the Lebanese government is too weak to actually do this.

Israel has been targeting Hezbollah positions by air as well as targets that some argue will allow Iran and Syria to resupply Hezbollah. Unfortunately Hezbollah has integrated itself in to Lebanon, in both remote and populated areas, which makes it nearly impossible to identify Hezbollah from anyone else. And it's not like Hezbollah is wearning big "H" shirts to identify themselves.

However, in addition to the gigantic humanitarian crisis that they've created, if Israel pushes this too much farther, they will destroy the Lebanese state altogether. And we all know how that turns out (witness Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc).

I would love to see the "international community" come up with a negotiated solution to have Lebanon take over security on the border with Israel, perhaps with support from other countries. That would be the only way out of this mess for the long term.

As to your media question, someone I met in Costa Rica had a friend who worked for CNN. His take on American reporting was that it takes 1000 non-American deaths to equal 1 American death as far as American media coverage goes.

I've been following a thread where one poster is living in Israel on the border with Lebanon, and another is living in Beirut. It's been fascinating to read.

At 7/24/2006 3:05 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a chat with one of my pals the other day, and we both agreed that Israelis themselves are much more critical of the situation than Jews living abroad. Unfortunately, the media only likes to show the militarised and extremists because it's newsworthy.

IMO, the US media is less critical of Israel than most other countries due to its considerable and vocal Jewish population (especially in media and finance). Bush's standpoint on Israel is yet again largely politically biased for financial reasons.

But, dio and Chris have given you the correct reason why Hezbollah and Lebanon are linked in this conflict.

Your anonymous poster saddens me immensely. To think that someone is still believes this kind of shit is beyond belief.

At 7/31/2006 5:46 am , Blogger Ed said...

I am an Arab myself albeit 100% Sporean. Born n bred here still serving my reservist. I share your doubts and I feel the pain of the Lebanese. As much as the Lebanese are guilty of harbouring the Hezbollah, I believe that Israel should also take part of the blame in their typical bully tactics.
I don't wanna simply jump into the bandwagon but having US as your closest strongest ally certainly warrant you to adopt the Big Bully attitude as US did. Some may beg to differ but IMHO what US or ISRAEL wants they'll get. Civilians or not. Dead or alive.


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