A Levantine Solution

"The Lebanese government ordered the army to "insure respect" for the Blue Line, the U.N.-demarcated border between Lebanon and Israel, and "apply the existing laws with regard to any weapons outside the authority of the Lebanese state."

That provision does not require Hezbollah to give up its arms, but rather directs them to keep them off the streets.

The Cabinet session to implement the cease-fire was twice delayed because two Hezbollah members of the government objected to enforcement of the key U.N. demand that the guerrilla force be disarmed.

Hezbollah’s top official in south Lebanon issued the strongest indication yet that the guerrillas would not disarm in the region or withdraw, but rather melt into the local population and hide their weapons. "  Yahoo


How Lebanese!  Mabrouk!

Lebanon is a country which remains more of a geographical expression than anything else.  Created as a kind of "reservation" for the Maronite Christians by the French, it has never really come together as a nation-state, although the Israelis are making more progress in uniting the citizens of Lebanon than has been seen before.

This will be the solution:  The Lebanese Army, 167351_1 the French led UNIFIL+, and the Hizbullah army will co-exist in an unhappy but more or less amicable co-dominium for the foreseeable future.  Resolution 1701 will be satisfied and from the point of view of the Lebanese, honor will be satisfied.

(This is General Pellegrini the commander of UNIFIL+)

Only the United States and Israel will be left to contemplate the frustrations of their hopes and plans in baffled anger.

Will the armed conflict be renewed at some future date?  Of course it will.  More importantly the strategic deterrent of both Israel and the United States has been badly damaged and from that much evil will come.

How could Israel have been so foolish as to believe what it evidently did believe?  After all these years of study of the Arabs and Lebanon…

Pat Lang


This entry was posted in Current Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to A Levantine Solution

  1. Frank Durkee says:

    Col. Was this an intelligence failure or a policy failure on Israel’s part; and how did the US come to buy into it?
    Frank Durkee

  2. Matthew says:

    Col. Lang: Was it “foolishness” or was it meant to send a message? The whole thing has the General Hood and the Battle of Franklin feel about it, i.e., disciplining people through battle. The USA and Israel want to “manage” the Arabs, not engage with them. Hence, these seemingly stupid actions. Until we ask the people of the ME what they want, I don’t see how this will ever change.

  3. Mo says:

    “After all these years of study of the Arabs and Lebanon”
    Is there any evidence that they have studied the Arabs and Lebanon? Haven’t all their actions so far smacked of complacency and arrogance?
    Will the armed conflict be renewed at some future date?
    Most probably, but how and when all depends on so many factors. Bush will have wanted a victory to stay the hand of Hizbollah during an attack on Iran. If an attack on Iran is to happen it would have to be within the next year or so before Bush enters the last year of his presidency when, one presumes, he would not scupper the hopes of a Republican candidate with a potential disaster. However, in order to repeat this attack without even louder international condemnation, and maybe even, heaven forbid, some international action, the Israelis will have to wait quite a while, unless that is Hizbollah execute another attack that embarrases the Israeli govt. to the level that the capture of the 2 soldiers did.
    From the speeches being made by the Hariri/Jumblatt camp currently in Lebanon, it seems the strategy is to try and win the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people by appealing to their nationalism and patriotism. As mentioned above though, Lebanon is not and never has been a country in the strict sense of the word. Even as far back as Phoenician times it was a loose confederacy of nation states.
    Unfortunately while the US-alligned bloc talks, Hizbollah is already on the ground clearing away unexploded bombs, rubble and even collecting the rubbish.

  4. john in the Boro says:

    How much effect/affect did Olmert’s Convergence Plan have on his decision to engage Hezbollah? Or, was it purely a demonstration project for Iran?

  5. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Irony. Very few Israelis know anything about the Arabs. pl

  6. Mo says:

    Apologies, should have seen the irony a mile away really.
    I blame it on the late nights watching the war via news networks.
    The reason I think the people are ME are not asked what they want is that the US and Israel already know the answer and aren’t willing to hear it or accept it.
    john in the Boro,
    I doubt the plan and the attack had much to do with each other. The effect all depends if the Israelis actually believe their own hype that it was disengagement that led to continued attacks and not theior policies of abusing their neighbours.

  7. jonst says:

    Pl wrote >>>very few Israelis know anything about the Arabs<<<< Well, I have hunch on one thing they now know....they better learn a lot more tout friggin suite

  8. mike says:

    So when the IDF returns to Lebanon in the future, what lessons will they have learned, what counter-tactics will they use, and how will they change the organizational structure of their forces?
    With all due respect to the light infantry supporters in previous posts, I strongly disagree. Heavy infantry with lots of sapper (or combat engineer) support is a key against fortified tunnels and bunkers. Light infantry has its place on the battlefield, but not on this one.

  9. pbrownlee says:

    We are, perhaps, dealing with the legacy of the Sharon and the Dayan myths rather than, say, the reasoning of Abba Eban (of whose like there are always far too few — and not just in Israel):
    “The rhetoric of 1973 is almost inconceivable, with Ariel Sharon saying that we could capture everything from Tunis [to] Iran [and] between Turkey and the Sudan; Dayan saying that, for the next ten years, the issue was not peace, but to draw a new map, because, in the next ten years, there would be neither peace nor war; Itzhak Rabin’s statement in 1973 that Golda had better boundaries than King David and King Solomon had had and that they did not require any mobilization of reserves. So that it is really how opinion passed from sobriety to self-confidence, and from self-confidence to fantasy, reaching a somewhat absurd level in 1973, when you should compare the enormous rhetorical self-confidence with the lack of military preparation…
    “For Mrs. Meir, there was something called ‘the Arabs’ — the adversary, the foe, the architect of our destruction. I felt the position was much more variegated; that there were currents in the Arab world; that, together with those who still hoped to change the Middle Eastern map, there was developing a mood of reluctant fatalism. I wouldn’t call it moderation. I met Arabs who felt that, although Israel was an unfortunate historical reality, it was a historic reality nonetheless; it was not going to be changed. Some elements of this attitude could be found here and there in the press and in writing. Some elements came out even in official statements, such as those of Nasser, who postponed the destruction of Israel to some eschatological date in the future [and talked?] about the Crusades. Whenever an Arab mentioned the Crusades, I took heart. It meant that, for the next hundred years, they thought that we would have to exist, and I thought that, by then, we could let the future look after itself. Once they transferred the image of destroying Israel from the realm of political reality to the realm of messianic hope, I thought there was a way open for accommodation.”
    Israel Studies, 8:1, Spring 2003 INTERVIEW WITH ABBA EBAN
    Shows you what intelligence (in the various meanings of that word), “managed calm” and a good Cambridge degree in Oriental Studies can do.

  10. Montag says:

    PL-Yeah, Thomas Friedman once quoted an Israeli man-on-the-street as saying, “Israel needs to take a big stick and beat the Arabs, beat them, beat them–until they stop hating us!” Ironically, DM Peretz (his name is probably Putz now with the Israeli public) campaigned for Palestinian-Israeli votes as a Sephardic Arab-Jew. Once in office he had to make his bones by becoming the Hammer of the Arabs. Thanks, suckers!
    On pre-war intelligence, comedian A. Whitney Brown did a hilarious monologue on “Saturday Night Live” many years ago about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which was a disaster by that time. Brown said something like, “Can you imagine the planning session in the Kremlin? One guy probably said, ‘Sure, lets go in–whoever heard of Afghans bearing a grudge?'”

  11. Roberta Taussig says:

    A generic comment. I can’t remember who pointed me to your blog, but it has become a daily read. I have never had exposure to serious discussion of military strategy and tactics, and the education is exhilarating.

  12. zanzibar says:

    “Hizbollah is already on the ground clearing away unexploded bombs, rubble and even collecting the rubbish.” – Mo
    As stunned Lebanese returned Tuesday over broken roads to shattered apartments in the south, it increasingly seemed that the beneficiary of the destruction was most likely to be Hezbollah.
    A major reason — in addition to its hard-won reputation as the only Arab force that fought Israel to a standstill — is that it is already dominating the efforts to rebuild with a torrent of money from oil-rich Iran.
    Nehme Y. Tohme, a member of Parliament from the anti-Syrian reform bloc and the country’s minister for the displaced, said he had been told by Hezbollah officials that when the shooting stopped, Iran would provide Hezbollah with an “unlimited budget” for reconstruction.
    In his victory speech on Monday night, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, offered money for “decent and suitable furniture” and a year’s rent on a house to any Lebanese who lost his home in the month-long war.
    “Completing the victory,” he said, “can come with reconstruction.”

    Will there be a competition between Iran and the Saudis to see who can provide more reconstruction funds and gain the “allegiance” of the Lebanese? How will the Hariri/Jumblatt camp respond to the aftermath politically?

  13. H.G. says:

    Does there really have to be more violence if they take a cue from the Rolling Stones and give up getting what they want for getting what they need?
    Now that Israel has basically lost in achieving their goal of total victory (what they want), can’t they figure out what they NEED in their relationship to their neighbors to the north (and northeast and southeast and internal)? Maybe I’m just naive, but it seems to me that what Hizzbollah NEEDS rather than WANTS is something that Israel could live with and something that can be negotiated.
    I think it was Moshe Dayan who said if you don’t negotiate with your enemies, who are you going to negotiate with?
    As far as the Lebanese governments wants/ needs, unfortunately they appear to be the infant in the child seat in the back of the car. They’ll have to settle for what’s given to them.
    Come to think of it, so will the rest of us….

  14. Rejecting calls–for now–from extremists inside and outside Israel to turn Lebanon into a parking lot, Israel will attempt to create grounds for another invasion, as well as come up with a strategy to further wire the news stream in their favor.
    Israel will attempt to goad Hizbullah into action by continuing its provocative intrusions into Lebanese airspace. I also believe that it will attempt to decapitate Hizbullah by either assassinating Nasrallah right away or at least attriting through assassination the Hizbullah command structure. These are actions that they have done in the past and they will probably continue into the future.
    Israel will exhibit what I will characterize as the “battering husband” syndrome by attacking Hamas and Palestinian civilians. Although I characterize it this way, and the reason for doing it may correlate with Israel’s desire to take out on someone defenseless its anger and frustration for losing round 1 of its war with Hizbullah, attacking Hamas serves other ends as well:
    First, Hamas was on the verge of compromise with Abbas, going so far as declaring that it was ready to recognize the right of Israel to exist.
    The invasion of Lebanon coincided with Israeli military action in Gaza, where over a hundred civilians were killed. This put a stop to Hamas’ efforts toward compromise; but now that the Lebanese invasion has fizzled, Hamas is again on the verge of a compromise.
    Israel wants nothing to do with a “democratic” Palestinian government. This would delegitimize its entire argument for refusing to recognize Palestine and would reignite calls for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders.
    Second, attacking Gaza provokes Hizbullah at a time that it’s being perceived as the great Arab warrior. That is, Israel is trying to see how far Hizbullah’s professed victory can go.
    Like rubbing a sore, Israel can point to the limited effects of Hizbullah’s victory. This plays on two aspects of Hizbullah’s professed political goals: a) Is it just a Lebanese political party, or 2) is it a pan-Arab political party?
    I believe that Israel is counting on Nasrallah to opt for b). If so, then the many reasons that Israel has given for why Hizbullah should be eliminated will be vindicated and Israel can argue once again that Hizbullah is either a proxy for Iran or Syria.
    If Nasrallah simply opts for a), then Israel still wins because it can show that the jubilation around the Arab world over Hizbullah’s victory is just a local affair and really represents no grounds for hopes that the Palestinians will gain justice soon.
    At the same time, however, if Hizbullah goes the way of integrating with the political structure of Lebanon, it will then effectively remove the danger that Israel so much fears: a forward front that it must contend with should the US and Israel attack Iran.

  15. linda says:

    do you have any opinion about the comments in the nyt article that the current support of hizbollah by the lebanese will be tempered once the shock wears away and the full impact of the destruction hits them. the opinion (in the daily star) was that hizbollah has a year to get the reconstruction going, and that the destruction was so massive, that it’s unlikely there will be any fighting with israel, at least for a few years.
    would be interested in your take on that particular view.

  16. W. Patrick Lang says:

    We are serious. That is true. The level of real military knowledge apparent in the comments on this blog impresses me. pl

  17. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I think the time is underestimating the level of hostility to Israel in the country. People are writing me from Beirut expressing deep unhappiness with the Maronite right for their behavior during this crisis. Some of the Maronites were drinking toasts to the IDF in night clubs. This will not be forgotten easily. pl

  18. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I suspect that this was basically a policy failure with the usual Quislings in the military and intelligence being only too eager to suck up to the boss’s opinions however mindless. pl

  19. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Most Israelis do not want to know anything about the Arabs, do not want to think about them and live lives utterly separated from them.
    There are a small number of specialists in Israeli academia, the military and Mossad who are the repositories for whatever the Israelis know about the Arabs.
    Those specialists are usually very good. That’s for you, Gadi. pl

  20. Mo says:

    you’re right, the competition is already fierce for the hearts and minds of the Lebanese. The Saudis are off course supporting the son of their favourite son and trying to buy their way out of the criticism they aired of Hizbollah at the start of the war.I would also expect the US to weigh in with help for the Hariri Bloc (which is never good news for its Arab allies).
    Hizbollah is expected for its part to be spending between $150-$250 million on its part.
    Im not sure who will win politically, but I guess this is one proxy war the Lebanese can look forward to!
    While what both sides WANT is the elimination of the other, what both sides NEED is stop being bothered by the other. Shebaa farms and the prisoners will remove all but one of Hizbollahs reasons to remain armed. The one reason remaining is something the US has blocked on behalf of Israel which is a heavy investment in the Lebanese military so that it can actually stand up for itself against the next Israeli invasion (which lets face it is now due for sometime between 2012 and 2016). They are still trying after all these years to implement Moshe Dayans annexation of the land south of the Litani.
    Cynic librarian,
    I think thats what Israel may do, but I also think Nasrallah may surprise you with an option c. He could after all come on tv and say to the Arab world this is what your leaders are allowing to happen to the Palestinians, we cannot allow Lebanon to be destroyed again so I urge you to rise up, remove your leaders and protect the Palestinians. If he were to say that on Al Jazeera, all bets are off in the Arab world and some US friendly regimes may be toppled.

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    Not entirely accurate: Israelis claim that all the swear words in their version of Hebrew comes from Arabic.

  22. Mo says:

    re. Israeli knowledge of Arabs, one novelty of this war has been the internet. As an Arab, this it the first time I have been able to access Israeli thought and opinion thanks to the internet, especially their media sites. Now the one thing the Israelis have always done fantastically and the Arab world dosn’t have the first clue about is PR. But before this war I had always assumed this PR to be outward, but reading opinions and comments on Israeli sites, ive realised that the PR is also inward. Many Israelis Im amazed to find really do believe the myths put out by the Israeli propaganda machine. They really believe that Hizbollah was rocketing Israeli civilians on a regular basis (UNIFIL reports ive read between 2000 and 2006 mention 4 rocket attacks, 2 of which HA took responsibility for), they really believe HA intends to invade and they really believe that the Arab world opposes them because they are Jewish. I find it remarkable that they are sitting right in the middle of all this and yet are so ignorant of it.

  23. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I concede the point althought I don’t speak Hebrew.
    Incidentally the usual Israeli division of their Jewish population into Ashkenazim and Sephardim is inaccurate. Sephardim are/were Ladino speaking Jews of Andalusian descent while all the Jews who came from the East abd were not Sephardim are properly Oriental Jews.
    Nowadays, of course, this distinction is much blurred by intermariage. As is the tr-partite Jordanian division of their Arab population into Beduin, East Bankers and Palestinians.
    Are you familiar with the art of the famous Israeli singer Rita (woman) who is of Persian birth? pl

  24. Duncan Kinder says:

    Question: are Israelis – as are most Christians – generally unaware that, in Islam, Mohammed is by no means the only prophet;. Indeed, Islam also recognizes Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah, Daniel, and virtually all other Old Testament prophets. It seems to me that if the two faiths wanted to get a mutually productive dialogue going, the role of these prophets would form a basis for mutually profitable discussions.

  25. Give the Christians/and belly dancing Arabs their Monte Carlo in Buerut, let the other provinces of Lebanon decide who they want to be part of.

  26. Duncan Kinder says:

    Another point:
    One of the cliché’s about the MidEast is that “these people have been killing one another for hundreds of years…”
    Well, any student of European history knows that the French and the Germans had been killing one another for hundreds of years.
    Following WWII, the French and the German steel industries were deliberately integrated. Essentially, it would have been impossible for either to mobilize itself against the other without rupturing itself.
    Since then, all talk of the eternal Franco-German strife has disappeared; and the two countries now stand as fast allies.
    This suggests that if the Israeli and the Arab economies could likewise be integrated – so that neither could attack the other without thereby damaging itself, then this strife likewise could be laid to rest.

  27. Ash says:

    In terms of Israel understanding ‘Arabia’ a relevent Haaretz article today:
    I believe that since establishment in 1948 there has never been a sincere desire to assimilate into the region, rather they have brought a bizarre combination of (imagined) historical associations and Western mindsets into the situation, determined that their perspective will prevail.
    Typical racists/colonialist mentality from a century or so ago frozen in time by the ethnocentric make-up of the ideo-social undertaking.

  28. confusedponderer says:

    I got a feeling … I see your point.
    I contradicted myself in earlier posts. I stressed Israels succeess of combined arms tactics against anti-tank missiles in defense of the tank. In another post I found them lacking light infantry for use in Lebanon.
    I attribute Israel’s lack of success to poor coordination of their ground forces. I agree that against a heavily dug in enemy like Hezbollah tanks, mechanised infantry, integral mortar and sapper support are indispensable.
    What I still think is that Lebanon’s terrain, judging from maps, prevents the use of armor to its full potential. Light infantry is neccessary to complement mechanised forces in terrain inaccessible to them. I do not think that that the paratroopers and that lone battalion of Alpinistim (partly reservists iirc) are enough for that role.
    I admit that in a fight of light infantry vs ligh infantry Hezbollah would be probably a match for everything Israeli throws at them. Going for light infantry would mean to risk and take higher losses, and to forfeit the primary advantage Israel has as a modern military: Heavy equipment.
    On the other hand – Israel wants to go and get them. When Hezbollah goes where tanks and airpower can’t get them they have two choices: Cities, or mountains.
    While Hezbollah seems to prefer cities, in the case of mountains, and Lebanon has a good deal of those, light infantry would be quite useful. Mechanised infantry is trained to cooperate with mechanised support. They would have to leave behind these niceties when going there … and likely get creamed. Light infantry would be used to and trained in this sort of fight. That’s an advantage.
    The high intensity of urban combat, however, would instead suggest to take advantage of the protection heavy equipment offers. So yes, I see your point.

  29. Walrus says:

    I guess in a way we are in uncharted territory.
    On the good side, I could imagine the war could become a powerful force for Lebanese national unity and in effect become a seminal “nation building” event (Read Francis Fukuyama’s “Trust the economic value of trust and collaboration). This will require, Hezbollah and the Lebanese army to condense over time, telling the Syrians to butt out, and avoiding provoking Israel.
    On the bad side, I could imagine the Lebanese army, Hezbollah and UNIFIL friction and deliberate provocation of the Israelis into another attack. Lebanon does not need this, but I suspect Israel might.
    The reason for this last comment is demographics. I’m not sure that Israel is a viable state demographically, in terms of long term population and economic growth. It can survive while its neighbours are weak and disorganised, but I’m not sure that it’s economy could survive if it was surrounded by economically vibrant states without making peace with the Palestinians and it’s neighbours.
    P.S. Mike, I agree with you about using “heavy infantry”, however I don’t think Israelis have the stomach for it, given the casualties and time such battles would require. Also, as Manpads and anti tank missiles get better, aircraft and tanks start looking more like liabilities.
    The tankers main fear these days is not other tanks, its missiles carted around in the back of fast moving and unbiquitous white Toyota utility trucks.
    There are also some pretty fast 4WD “dune buggies” toting missiles around that scare the crap out of MBT commanders. I turned down a “test drive” once.

  30. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I see that Arriving Lebanese Army columns are being greeted in the south by women throwing rice and HA guerillas holding banners that read “Welcome to our army.” pl

  31. parvati_roma says:

    Re the UNIFIL mission, I sense some Deep-&-Dark-Mystery-Squabbles going on strictly behind closed doors around its “Rules of Engagement”.
    This kind of coverage is not exactly what one might call ultra-transparent eh?
    “Europe steps up for Lebanon, with conditions” – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060817.wmideforce0817/BNStory/International/home
    Curiosity over what’s being left out of the “official story” is half-killing me.. making me wish I was literally a fly on the wall!
    Re Italy’s participation: “Italy Tells UN Its Demands for Specific Rules of Engagement in Lebanon”
    an’ blahblahblah blahblahblah etcetcetc … same waffle.
    Just for the record, back here in Italy – as headlined by Italian press but “strangely enough” not being picked up either by MSM or anything else outside this country, our govt. is repeating on TV about six times a day that we are willing to supply anywhere up to 3500 men as second-in-command to France in the mission starting “as soon as the rules of engagement are clarified” – and the Italian forces officially-lined-up as just rarin’ to go include our “relatively” crack SEALS-type combat troops such as the Folgore and San Marco battalions. But at the same time there’s a fierce domestic political row ongoing in which the leftish zone of the political spectrum – weirdly enough including our “officially-pacificist” far-far-lefties – are positively clapping for us to send in the troops without even a parliamentary vote (!!!) while the Berlusconi-right that was so rahrah over our previous engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan (Iraq mission now in the final stages of withdrawal, Afghani one just been “refunded” against strong far-left opposition) are now bitching loudly about “ohhhhh we can’t afford the expense” etc etc and the far-right racist Northern League (the guys who flashed those anti-Muslim cartoon teeshirts) have declared they’ll vote against Italy’s participation in the UNIFIL Mission.
    Italian NeoCon right (part of Berlusconi’s lot + Northern League) in general is now attacking our foreign affairs minister D’Alema as “pro-Hizbollah” because a) he said the war had been a “grave political error” on Israel’s side and an “over-reaction” etc etc against civilian targets, which has infuriated our Jewish community – and both he and Prodi have stated that b) our troops will NOT be disarming Hizbollah which “we consider a Lebanese-internal matter to be resolved through a political process”.. he is also accused of having openly referred to Hizb., while in Lebanon, as “a patriotic force” and being photographed arm in arm not only with Siniora etc. but with a Hizb minister… to the imaginable fury of our many and various NeoCon/Likud Connections.
    Muslim countries raring-to-go include Malaysia and Indonesia.
    “Malaysia defies Israel over U.N. force in Lebanon
    Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:49 PM IST
    PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysia said on Thursday it wanted to send peacekeepers to Lebanon despite Israel saying it might oppose the inclusion of nations that do not have diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
    Malaysia and Indonesia have each offered to send 1,000 troops as part of a planned U.N. force for southern Lebanon. The two Muslim states have no diplomatic relations with Israel and strongly back the Palestinian cause.
    “There is no reason whatsoever to stop us from serving in southern Lebanon,” Malaysian Defence Minister Najib Razak said. “We will definitely send our force pending a decision by the U.N.
    “I do not see why they are using such a technical aspect to stop us from sending our men there,” he told reporters.
    Objections from Israel could complicate efforts by the United Nations to quickly assemble a force for southern Lebanon to enforce a ceasefire between Israel and Hizbollah that took effect on Monday.
    A U.N. Security Council resolution calls for deploying up to 15,000 troops. But a senior U.N. official said he doubted enough countries would come forward to reach that goal any time soon.
    “Israel has informed the U.N. in no uncertain terms that it will not accept any countries in the force that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel,” a senior Israeli official told Reuters in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
    He was speaking on condition of anonymity.
    Indonesian officials announced earlier on Wednesday that Jakarta was prepared to send 1,000 troops, including 150 engineers to help rebuild shattered infrastructure.
    Malaysia last week urged countries to cut diplomatic ties with Israel to protest against the war in Lebanon.
    The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, over the weekend listed Malaysia and Indonesia among the non-EU countries prepared to join the international force, that France is expected to lead.
    Interesting situation. Wish I knew what the heck’s going on in the other European Med. countries that had previously declared themselves to be potential troop-suppliers (Spain, Greece…)? The German issue re UNIFIL seems to be all about “wouldn’t it be just-frightful if with our dark past we found ourselves having to fire against Jewish soldiers”.. yeah right but their problem not ours.
    UK has declared itself “out” and is staying out – with zero tears on my part.
    Re the crucial French contingent etc., theFrench press – as per what I’ve been able to find online so far – being very buttoned-up save for official “posture” change-move signals around every 5 minutes, probably for UNIFIL arm-wrestling reasons – wonder what about, exactly? Any posters have insider info and/or educated guesses?????

  32. Ash says:

    Could some of you savvy military types please provide down ‘n dirty definition of light infantry and heavy infantry? Are not ground troups supported by tanks and air-power ‘heavy’?
    Also, the modern ‘battlefield’, thanks to airpower, communications, satellites, tanks, trucks etc. no longer seems to be a ‘field’ upon which two military units engage in ‘battle’, but rather regions, what we used to call ‘theatres’ in which ‘battles’ occurred. In this new context, specific military units or other operations (such as bombing runs, special ops etc.) seem to be more like punches in the bout (battle) rather than agents of the overall ‘battle’ itself as in times of yore.

  33. Matthew says:

    Isn’t that just another reason for the Israelis to hate Nasralleh: You can’t say the guy doesn’t have a sense of humor.

  34. ikonoklast says:

    Mike and Confused –
    The Afghans/Pathans have been quite successful against all comers for years without much equipment, although I don’t know if you could really categorize them as infantry per se.
    On the Lebanese reconstruction – Hizbollah’s social programs are reminiscent of Mao’s Red Army “Eight Points for Attention,” on a more contemporary scale. A hearts and minds program with a track record.
    This should be interesting, now that they’re on a roll and apparently intent on capitalizing on their gains. The US talking about aid in conjunction with sealing Lebanese ports and borders will makes it a tough sell if Washington is seriously trying to be the “oppostion benefactor.”

  35. Mo says:

    “I see that Arriving Lebanese Army columns are being greeted in the south by women throwing rice and HA guerillas holding banners that read “Welcome to our army.”
    Perhaps HA are better at PR than I gave them credit for…..

  36. McGee says:

    Duncan Kinder wrote:
    “Following WWII, the French and the German steel industries were deliberately integrated. Essentially, it would have been impossible for either to mobilize itself against the other without rupturing itself.
    Since then, all talk of the eternal Franco-German strife has disappeared; and the two countries now stand as fast allies.
    This suggests that if the Israeli and the Arab economies could likewise be integrated – so that neither could attack the other without thereby damaging itself, then this strife likewise could be laid to rest.”
    As pie-in-the-sky as this might sound at first glance, The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty of 1951 (which is what Duncan is referring to here) was the first baby step towards today’s European Union, and did pretty much guarantee an end to Franco-German hostilities, at least on the military battlefield.
    Now there’s something the Saudis and the Emirates could do with their wealth that would not require US help at all….they’d just need to find a context in which they could talk to and partner up with the Israeli’s. But how could you make that polically viable for both sides in today’s ME?
    As someone mentioned above where’s an Abba Eban and aa Anwar Sadat when you need them? Or a Robert Schumer, to put it back into a Franco-German context?
    Thoughts, anyone….
    P.S. Colonel – like everyone else has mentioned lately, thank you ever so much for this forum! I’ve probably learned more in the past few weeks about military tactics and order-of-battle that was ever drummed into my somewhat resistant head in various Army training programs way-back-when….

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    i was not aware of either Rita nor of her origin.
    The President of Israel and the former Defense Minister were both of Iranian origin. (I think they were in their early teens when hey moved to Israel.)
    According to Iranian law, they still can claim Iranian citizensip both for themselves and for their children.

  38. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Israelis are not completely wrong: Arabs are against them because they are Jews.
    Note the expulsion of Jews from Egypt, Libya, Moroco, Yemen, Iraq.

  39. Wombat says:

    Hizbullah is extremely good at public relations, as the Israelis have discovered to their sorrow.
    Col. Lang referrd to Hizbullah forces as the equivalent of “light infantry,” rather than a rag-tag militia. In this context, light infantry would be trained and organized forces with little in the way of ancillary equipment (artillery, APCs, tanks, etc.).

  40. Byron Raum says:

    Shebaa farms or not, I can’t see Hizbollah ever voluntarily disarming, no matter what. It’s going to be impossible to peacefully disarm the Ghost Army anyway. We’re now reading about Lebanese army generals being amazed at the sophistication of Hizbollah’s weaponry. How would any outside party ever even verify disarmament? And what motivation could they ever have to give up their weapons voluntarily? I just don’t see it happening.

  41. Got A Watch says:

    Some interesting analysis:
    The analyst there comes to pretty much the same conclusions I had reached, sadly.
    And for more light reading, add North Korea and Iran and nukes into the mix:
    that one really has some bad points to ponder.
    I have been guilty of too much verbiage in a single post, so I will try to keep them short.

  42. Got A Watch says:

    “Was this an intelligence failure or a policy failure on Israel’s part; and how did the US come to buy into it?”
    Well, where to start….how about:
    -they were following the “Cheney Doctrine” of “We’ll bomb them into democracy!!! And after, they’ll love us!!!”
    -the neocons bought into it whole-heartedly, it fits with their agenda perfectly
    -Hizbullah seemed weak, and a bully always like to beat up on the weak, and so is shocked when the “weak” fight back
    -a perfect dry run for the upcoming Mission: Iran
    -their “worst-case” scenario’s probably had Israel winning in at most 3 weeks
    -Israel was feeling insecure, and thought whacking Hizbullah would send the right sort of message to anybody else, like the Palestinians
    There are many more reasons why nations stumble into wars, these are a few that I perceive.

  43. Got A Watch says:

    Some of my own conclusions about Lebanon and the current state of affairs:
    -Israel has hardly dented the military capability of Hizbullah, they fired probably 1/3 to 1/2 of their short range missiles and small arms (easily replaced locally) and their long range-missile capability will most likely not have been affected much, as few were deployed, even fewer fired, and most still remain hidden (guess)
    -Hizbullah is saving their heavy weapons, like the long range missiles with the big warheads, and the reputed sleeper cells in 65 countries, and the anti-ship missiles etc. for the Big Show…when/if the USA/Israel attack Iran, they will fire everything they have
    -Amal/Hizbullah will make gains in the next Lebanese elections, and will have only increased power in the government
    -Hizbullah will not be disarmed, but their weapons will be hidden (for now)
    -Hizbullah will (probably) be merged into the Lebanese Army, command structure and wepons intact…they already have regiments from various communities, units are not integrated as far as I know, i.e. Christian, Druze, Shiite regiments already exist, it would be very easy to add Hizbullah. In one stroke, their weapons and fighters would become Lebanese. What terrorists? (wink,wink), I see only proud defenders of the Lebanese nation here!
    Last post of the day, I promise.

  44. Mo says:

    It is far too simplistic to simply say that Jews were expelled from those countries. Of the list of countries, only in Egypt could one really say they were actively encouraged to leave. In Iraq and Yemen there is countless reports, some from Israels own archives, that there was heavy Mossad involvement in getting the Jewish population to emigrate. The Morrocans even tried to legislate against the emmigration of Jews. And even today, there are still Jewish communities in the Arab world including Tunisia and Lebanon.
    However, using post-48 actions is besides the point. You cannot ignore 2000 years of Arab Muslims, Christians and Jews living quite happily together and say in 1948 the Arabs woke up feeling like they hate Jews. And more pertinently, if you are suggesting that the Arabs oppose Israel because it is a Jewish state and not a colonial one that forcibly removed its Arab population, then are you suggesting that had the colonists been Protestant, Buddihsts or Aethists, the Arabs would have been ok with it?
    in terms of the world media i think their pr is non-existent. They may be good at getting the reputation of good fighters and being the under-dog but their reasoning and point of view hardly gets a look in.
    Contrary to popular view, Hizbollah does not exist merely to fight Israel. It was born in occupation and has become powerful enough to demand that it not be expected to disarm until it feels the nation no longer needs it, which it has said. They have also stated exactly what it means by that with points I stated above.
    If all those points were fulfilled it would be in a quandry if it didn’t want to disarm. One of the main reasons for its popularity is that unlike every other Arab leader Nasrallah is famed for doing exactly as he says. If all the points were fulfilled and they didn’t disarm he would risk being labelled a fraud, and would lose popular support very quickly. Therefore, most ironically, the likelyhood of Hizbollah disarming is being blocked by US opposition to a strong Lebanese army.
    Got A Watch,
    One more point to add that I have recently realised: Olmert needed a victory over Hizbollah for political capital for his disengagement plan. A kind of dont worry, this is what I’ll do to them if they attack us after we leave.

  45. jang says:

    Well, I just asked my Dad, who is 90,Canadian, and a WWII vet, what is a Quisling. He explained immediately. I have recommended your site to him. Many thanks.

  46. zanzibar says:

    There seem to be several ideas around the Israeli response to the HA attack and capture of IDF soldiers.
    One is the SF Chronicle report.
    “Of all of Israel’s wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared,” said Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University. “In a sense, the preparation began in May 2000, immediately after the Israeli withdrawal, when it became clear the international community was not going to prevent Hezbollah from stockpiling missiles and attacking Israel. By 2004, the military campaign scheduled to last about three weeks that we’re seeing now had already been blocked out and, in the last year or two, it’s been simulated and rehearsed across the board.”
    The other is the Sy Hersh story about a Cheney inspired Iran dry run campaign.
    President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.
    But my cynical mind wonders if Israeli domestic politics played a bigger role than we think.
    Haim Ramon, the justice minister was very hawkish calling for an extensive ground operation. Did this story have anything to do with his aggressive posture?
    Justice Minister Haim Ramon will be charged with indecent assault, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided Thursday.
    And did Olmert want to divert attention from this story.
    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his wife, Aliza, will soon be summoned for questioning by the State Comptroller’s Office on suspicion of receiving benefits worth some half a million dollars.
    State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is looking into suspicions that the Olmerts were given an exorbitant discount on the purchase price of a garden apartment on Jerusalem’s Cremieux Street. According to these suspicions, Olmert’s associates worked to help the contracting company that renovated the house to obtain unusual permits from the Jerusalem municipality. These permits significantly increased the profitability of the project.

    The Olmert affair seems to have shades of our very own Duke Cunningham’s real estate transactions.
    Would “life and death” decisions be made for very cynical reasons? Inquiring minds want to know.

  47. mike says:

    confused: By ‘heavy’, I had no intention of implying ‘mechanized’, as they could possibly be just as vulnerable as the Merkavas unless they dismounted prior to contact. Although I note Wikipedia agrees with you in that they say heavy infantry travels in style on tracs or wheels. So maybe I am the confused one. Or perhaps my age is showing as meaning change over the years. Perhaps I should have left off the light or heavy modifiers and said: infantry that has been heavily reinforced down to the platoon level with combat engineers and heavy weapons sections including mortars, various direct fire weapons, flame throwers (are these still legal on the battlefield?), etc.
    Ikonoclast: Above was my understanding of ‘heavy infantry’, but I am sure that it does not coincide with Rumsfeld’s or Pace’s definition.

  48. still working it out says:

    “The tankers main fear these days is not other tanks, its missiles carted around in the back of fast moving and unbiquitous white Toyota utility trucks.
    There are also some pretty fast 4WD “dune buggies” toting missiles around that scare the crap out of MBT commanders. I turned down a “test drive” once.”

    Could not agree more. All that armour plating starts to look pretty pointless if you can be shot up by two guys in a $20,000 4WD with a $5000 missile mounted on the back. I read somewhere that in the Iraq war more Iraqi tanks were taken out by TOW missiles fired from Bradley Fighting Vehicles than shells fired by Abrahm’s.

  49. Montag says:

    One good thing about Lebanon is that it’s put paid to Olmert’s “convergence plan,” where he pretends to be shocked, shocked, that Israel doesn’t have a partner for peace and walls off the Palestinians in small, disconnected enclaves and unilaterally declares the Occupation over. Then a compliant UN was supposed to give Israel title to the stolen land and tell the Palestinians to like it or lump it while they starved.
    In fact, the Israeli public are quite angry that they magnanimously left other people’s land and didn’t get any credit for it. The withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza were supposed to end the fighting, not precipitate another round. And the wall has become just another Phaoronic Project that gave more prestige by its size than by its effectiveness at providing security to the Israeli Public. As Homer Simpson would say, “D’OH!”

  50. GSD says:

    In other words, if the shit goes down again, Hizbollah will be equipped as well as the Lebanese army.
    Israeli/Bush Mission Accomplished Checklist:
    *2 abducted still missing-check
    *Hezbollah not destroyed-check
    *Nasrallah now lionized as the new Nasser-check
    *Israels image in the Arab/Muslim world shabbier than a month ago-check
    *Iran defiant-check
    *Syria defiant-check
    *Hizbollahs ability to fire rockets still in place-check
    *More of the Lebanese citizens supporting Hizbollah-check
    Heckuva job Ehud.

  51. b says:

    Haartez’s Schiff about the military problem:
    “Four Israeli tanks hit large landmines. Three of the tanks, which lacked underbelly protective armor, lost all 12 crew members. The fourth had underbelly protective armor; of its six crew members, only one died.
    Anti-tank missiles hit 46 tanks and 14 other armored vehicles. In all these attacks, the tanks sustained only 15 armor penetrations while the other armored vehicles sustained five, with 20 soldiers killed, 15 of them tank crew members. Another two Armored Corps soldiers, whose bodies were exposed, were killed. In another location, Wadi Salouki, Hezbollah carried out a successful anti-tank ambush, hitting 11 tanks. Missiles penetrated the armor of three tanks; in two of them, seven Armored Corps soldiers were killed. Two of the other tanks were immobilized.”
    Summing it up, those are 75 armoured vehicles having been hit. Upps …

  52. b says:

    From another Haartez piece:
    A classic Panzersack
    “The most bitter and costliest battle of all was waged in the central sector, at Wadi Salouki. There, the tanks encountered Hezbollah squads that waited for them in ambush, above the wadi, with heavy anti-tank fire. The area in question is a particularly steep slope where there is only one route of passage, and IDF forces were thus hit hard. Tanks were struck by anti-tank missiles and 12 soldiers were killed, among them two company commanders. ”

  53. Grimgrin says:

    I’d suggest complete integration of water infrastructure as a means to a lasting peace in the middle east.
    An interesting article found via John Robbs weblog about how water supply plays into Israel’s conflict in the middle east.
    Hell, if the U.S. was serious about ending the interminable conflict that could be how to do it. America proposes to fund the creation of a new hydraulic infrastucture for the region, combining solar desalinization, high efficiency irrigation, treatment, the works, on the condition that the system is adminstered jointly by Israel and her neigbours. Releive pressure on the water supply, and ensure that any major war would cut the throats of everyone in the region. That’s the carrot. The stick would be threatening Israel with suspension of all hardware, technology and monetary transfers, everyone else with increasing the same transfers to Israel.
    As long as I’m dreaming, I’d also like a pony.

  54. bt says:

    Next obvious Israeli move,
    Try to drive a wedge between maronite and Hezbollah. The basic thinking would be, let the Maronite kill the Hezbollah. (ie, it’s rehash of Sharon first Lebanon war gambit)
    If Israel execute this plan, Lebanon will chatter and Al Qaeda will enter Lebanon. Another country crumble.

  55. Got A Watch says:

    Is anyone else surprised by the seeming effectiveness of Hizbullah’s “obsolete” weapons? The Katyusha is a senior citizen now, first used in 1942/43 as a truck mount. The “Sagger” was considered obsolete quite a long time ago yet I read one journalist who examined the spent guidance wires in Lebanon and found a 1957 (?!?!) date of manufacture on them. I think we have to give Hizbullah credit for making weapon systems work that most other armies would only have in their museums. And what does that say about Western armies, with their view that if a system doesn’t cost multi-billions it can’t possibly work in the field? There is a lesson to be drawn some where. As a taxpayer I have to ask, is it possible our military obsession with new and better equipment is not returning value for the dollar? (sarcasm)

  56. H.G. says:

    Thanks for all your comments, you’ve elaborated very well what I was thinking: if Israeli leaders had the political courage to completely disengage from southern Lebanon, including all the things you say, such as returning prisoners (and let’s face it, what can those guys do that HA hasn’t done to them already?), then haven’t all of HA’s greivances been addressed and they presumably won’t have a further reason to be armed? I just don’t understand Israel’s motivation here to NOT settle this politically. In case they hadn’t noticed, they just had their ass handed to them, so that devastating destruction tactic probably isn’t going to work again. Maybe try something different this time (only don’t ask Bush’s advice, that probably wouldn’t help not too much).
    I’ve got a really big hornets nest in my backyard (literally!), I don’t like it very much but if I don’t bother them, they don’t sting me.
    Pat, also thank you so much for this blog and for moderating the comments, I’m sure that it is a lot of work but it is so very rewarding to all of us who are reading.

  57. Mo says:

    Yes an obvious move, so obvious that HA already precluded it by making alliances with the Maronite community via Aoun and the President. Besides, who in their right mind would try and take HA on militarily right now?
    Middle Eastern political and military ideology is based a lot on perception, both by your supporters and your enemies. For Israel, the gains of a disarmed HA versus the perception to having given in to their demands would have been a noose around any Israeli PM’s neck. However, saying that, I don’t think the farms and the prisoners are a patch on the problem of Lebanons defensive capabilities. I am more and more convinced that Israel will at some point make a grab for the Litani (that is if it wasnt part of its plan this time). If the Lebanese Army isn’t allowed to be able to defend itself HA will not give up its arms, especially since it is mostly their constituency that would find themselves under Israeli rule. Of course the problem and the fear for the US and Israel is that a Lebanese Army armed well enough to defend itself from Israeli attack is also an army potentialy able to attack Israel. So you got a catch 22 and a forever armed HA.

  58. Wombat says:

    Where it matters–in the Middle East and the Moslem world–Hizbullah’s PR has been brilliant. They are now setting themselves up as the only functioning relief agency in Southern Lebanon.
    Anthony Cordesman analyzes the IDF-Hizbullah fighting. He is trenchant and unsparing.

  59. Marcello says:

    “Is anyone else surprised by the seeming effectiveness of Hizbullah’s “obsolete” weapons? The Katyusha is a senior citizen now, first used in 1942/43 as a truck mount.”
    The term is now used as a generic for artillery rockets.They certainly are not using WW2 vintage BM-8
    and BM-13 for which the label was coined.Rather
    BM-21 derivatives,a 60’s design, with the rockets themselves being of much more recent manufacture.
    In addition to that various others more recent designs.
    “The “Sagger” was considered obsolete quite a long time ago yet I read one journalist who examined the spent guidance wires in Lebanon and found a 1957 (?!?!) date of manufacture on them.”
    I doubt that 1957 is the manufacturing date for not other reason that reportedly at the time it was not even on the drawing
    “I think we have to give Hizbullah credit for making weapon systems work that most other armies would only have in their museums.”
    They had some Sagger (which was produced in more powerful versions anyway), which reportedly may have been reserved, at least partly, to antipersonnel role.
    But in addition to that they had some top line weapons, such as RPG-29s (to my admittedly biased opinion the best antitank grenade launcher in the world) and Kornet ATGM.
    In addition to that they had also sizable quantities of decent stuff, such as Saghegh RPGs with tandem warheads or Sprandel ATGMs.

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not know the extend of the involvement of the Government of Israel and her agencies in encouraging the Jewish citizens of the Arab states to leave their countries. However, the fact remains that they were expelled; i.e. their citizenships revoked and their property confiscated. A final settlement should indemify the Arab Jews, in my opinion.
    As far as the peace and tranquility among various sects in the Levant is concerned, it was always achieved under a strong centralized Muslim state.
    Please note that whenever the state became weak, the sects where at one another’s throats: in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iran, and now in Iraq.
    I cannot comment on a hypothetical situation whereby there is a Buddhist state in lieu of Israel.
    I believe religion has a lot to do with what has been going on in the Levant. Jews and Muslims are the primary antagonists with a sprinkling of Arab Christians.
    In my opinion, as long as the religious character of this confrontation persists the War will continue.
    And I do not see any end it sight. Perhaps with a lot of work the parameters of the conflict can be brought back into something humanly manageable such as land and territory.

  61. Montag says:

    In Afghanistan the Taliban used so many 4×4 pickup trucks–which were more useful than the rusting remains of Soviet armored vehicles littering the landscape–that they were called “Afghan Panzers.”

  62. FB says:

    In the commentary on gainers and losers in the recent conflict, one angle is missing. It is generally accepted that Hizbullah was armed and trained by Iran, probably their Revolutionary Guard. Their weapons and tactics proved very successful, and this was a very valuable experience for them.
    There is a conspiracy theory floating around that Israel and the US launched the operation to test strategy and tactics for an upcoming attack on Iran. Another possibility is that, realizing the attack was coming soon, the RG wanted to test their weapons and tactics, and initiated the whole thing through HA!

  63. zanzibar says:

    “the fact remains that they were expelled; i.e. their citizenships revoked and their property confiscated” – Babak
    Wow! I did not know this. Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Iraq. When did this happen? Religious cleansing!
    I knew an Iranian jew. His family left Iran after the Shah was overthrown. They clearly feared persecution under Khomeini.

  64. Mo says:

    Babak, I agree that anyone expelled from anywhere and had properety confiscated is entitled full reparations.
    Jews have been part of Arab communities long before Islam. But if like you say, the sects were at each others throats in a weak state, that simply proves that the Jews were not singled out.
    We will I suppose have to disagree on the opposition to Israel. Israels raison d’etre is based on religion or the Zionist perception of the religion and thus this conflict wil always have a religious aspect. Arab opposition to it has, I can assure you, nothing to do with religion. The land was taken via the ethnic cleansing of the indigeneous population and that is what Arabs oppose. We couldn’t give a rats hind quarters what the religion of the person doing it is.
    Which is why it is all about land and territory, so, dont worry, there is hope.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iran has been a different case. The Jews left, together with other religious minorities-including secular Muslims- to seek greener pastures.
    Their property & citizenship was not taken by the state. They can go back any time they want.

  66. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You’re being disinheneous; the Jews of Iraq, Libya, and Egypt were expelled when the state was strong.
    I disagree that there is no religious aspect to this; if that were indeed the case Jews would not have been expelled.
    In fact, Arabs use the word “Jew” interchangably with “Israeli”.

  67. zanzibar says:

    In fact, Arabs use the word “Jew” interchangably with “Israeli”. – Babak
    Isn’t “jew” the epithet for US soldiers in Iraq, just as “Hajji” seems to be what US troops call Iraqis?
    No doubt there’s a religious dimension to the conflict with Israel and clearly zionism has such an element too. And what about Ahmadenijad’s view that if the holocaust was perpetrated in Europe by Europeans and they have a guilt conscience then why not the Israeli state there? No turning the clock back but each side plays to their gallery.

  68. Mo says:

    the disingenuity is not mine. I accepted that there was persecution of Jews in Egypt, but we must also consider the active Israeli activities in Egypt against Egyptian Jews, including the 1954 Lavon Affair.
    In Libya, most of the Jewish population left after independence and the confiscation of property occurred after Gaddafi came to power, hardly a religious man.
    As for Iraq, I know of no example of Iraqi Jews being expelled. The majority of Iraqi Jews left the country out of fear from a campaign of anti-Jewish bombings. However, these bombings are today believed to be the work of the underground Zionist movement in Iraq.
    Therefore actual official expulsion can only be attributed to Egypt.
    Yet, you do not answer my question. If the Arab world is anti-Israel because it is anti-Jewish, is it mere coincidence that the Jewish populations of the Arab world should start leaving these countries and/or suffer persecution after 1948 after 2000 years of peace? Is the colonial manner of Israel’s birth not reason enough for Arab opposition?
    As for the word “Jew” being interchangeable with “Israeli” yes that is true. But if you were Arabic you would know that context is very important in the language and the listner knows when a person who is talking is refering to all Jews or Israelis when they use the term “Jew”.

  69. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not find what you write credible in regards to the Arab Jews. Your argument is that either they left by themselves (without their property, it seems) or left because they were induced to go through zionist machinations!
    But you’re entitled.
    I cannot answer your other question since I do not wish to speculate on hypothetical situations.

  70. Mo says:

    Well Babak,
    We will have to agree to disagree.
    For the record your original statement was “Note the expulsion of Jews from Egypt, Libya, Moroco, Yemen, Iraq”. Your statement implies that all the Arab Jews who left their Arab countries did so by force. The fact that some chose to go, some were incited into doing so and some were stopped from doing so by legislation strongly implies that assumption to be false.
    I repeat, I am not denying that there were expulsions, but you are arguing that there was nothing but.
    The question is only hypothetical from your point of view, and if you do not wish to answer it because it challenges your assumptions, that is of course your perogative

Comments are closed.