Israeli public insists on finishing the job

By

It looks like overwhelming public pressure in Israel is now forcing the Olmert government to pursue the war in Lebanon far more vigorously. The polled majorities are on the order of 80 to 90 percent for finishing off Hezbollah, even at the cost of more Israeli lives and international pressure. Newspapers of the Left (which is most of them) and Right (just a few) are unanimous on this point: it is time for a decisive battle. In a country that thrives on heated debate, this kind of unanimity is rare indeed, and formidable.

It looks like the Olmert government is now running fast to stay in front of the parade. War is the most serious business in which any nation ever engages, but if there were ever a well—informed people that has thought about all the pros and cons, it is the Israelis.

There is always the possibility of Syria and Iran entering the war. It is impossible to believe that the average Israeli does not know this. They have simply decided that if war must come, let it come sooner rather than later, when Iran and Syria will have nukes and bigger missiles. There are five or six million Israelis, most of whom have served as soldiers themselves, and they have had enough.

There will no doubt be hysteria at the UN and in Europe. The United States should stand aside and support Israel in word and deed. They people of Israel have taken their own fate into their hands. That's where it belongs.

From a Jerusalem Post editorial Monday:

"...last week's decision to reject a more accelerated reserve call—up, coupled with yesterday's partial suspension of air operations, have led many Israelis to worry that Israel is not prosecuting this war vigorously enough. On Friday, soon after the IDF suffered casualties in the battle at Bint Jbail, a poll published in Yediot Aharonot found that 95 percent of Jewish Israelis approved of Israel responding as it did to Hizbullah's initial attack, and 82% thought Israel should continue more forcefully. Previous polls indicated even stronger support for the operation among Israelis who are still under bombardment in the North.

... The same public widely supported Israel's unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza a year ago, and elected Olmert on a platform of further withdrawals. But the public feels, as Olmert aptly expressed in his Knesset speech on July 17,

"There are moments in the life of a nation, when it is compelled to look directly into the face of reality and say: no more! ... Israel will not be held hostage — not by terror gangs or by a terrorist authority or by any sovereign state."

... If Israel does not eliminate Hizbullah's terrorist militia within Lebanon, not even the most "robust" international force will be able to do it.

 The near—unanimous uprising by the people of Israel against more of the same misery of constant Hezbollah and Hamas attacks, brings to mind these famous words:

A Dream (of Peace) Deferred

 

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

 

Or fester like a sore——

And then run?

 

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over——

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

 

... Or does it explode?


——— Langston Hughes

James Lewis    8 01 06

It looks like overwhelming public pressure in Israel is now forcing the Olmert government to pursue the war in Lebanon far more vigorously. The polled majorities are on the order of 80 to 90 percent for finishing off Hezbollah, even at the cost of more Israeli lives and international pressure. Newspapers of the Left (which is most of them) and Right (just a few) are unanimous on this point: it is time for a decisive battle. In a country that thrives on heated debate, this kind of unanimity is rare indeed, and formidable.

It looks like the Olmert government is now running fast to stay in front of the parade. War is the most serious business in which any nation ever engages, but if there were ever a well—informed people that has thought about all the pros and cons, it is the Israelis.

There is always the possibility of Syria and Iran entering the war. It is impossible to believe that the average Israeli does not know this. They have simply decided that if war must come, let it come sooner rather than later, when Iran and Syria will have nukes and bigger missiles. There are five or six million Israelis, most of whom have served as soldiers themselves, and they have had enough.

There will no doubt be hysteria at the UN and in Europe. The United States should stand aside and support Israel in word and deed. They people of Israel have taken their own fate into their hands. That's where it belongs.

From a Jerusalem Post editorial Monday:

"...last week's decision to reject a more accelerated reserve call—up, coupled with yesterday's partial suspension of air operations, have led many Israelis to worry that Israel is not prosecuting this war vigorously enough. On Friday, soon after the IDF suffered casualties in the battle at Bint Jbail, a poll published in Yediot Aharonot found that 95 percent of Jewish Israelis approved of Israel responding as it did to Hizbullah's initial attack, and 82% thought Israel should continue more forcefully. Previous polls indicated even stronger support for the operation among Israelis who are still under bombardment in the North.

... The same public widely supported Israel's unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza a year ago, and elected Olmert on a platform of further withdrawals. But the public feels, as Olmert aptly expressed in his Knesset speech on July 17,

"There are moments in the life of a nation, when it is compelled to look directly into the face of reality and say: no more! ... Israel will not be held hostage — not by terror gangs or by a terrorist authority or by any sovereign state."

... If Israel does not eliminate Hizbullah's terrorist militia within Lebanon, not even the most "robust" international force will be able to do it.

 The near—unanimous uprising by the people of Israel against more of the same misery of constant Hezbollah and Hamas attacks, brings to mind these famous words:

A Dream (of Peace) Deferred

 

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

 

Or fester like a sore——

And then run?

 

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over——

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

 

... Or does it explode?


——— Langston Hughes

James Lewis    8 01 06