"Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said the offensive in Lebanon has far-reaching objectives, including pushing Hezbollah militants away from the Israeli border and eventually sidelining the group altogether.
"We must neutralize the hostile terrorist infrastructure that exists in Lebanon," he said.
Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz also demanded that Lebanese army forces be deployed along the border, saying Israel would not allow Hezbollah guerrillas to reoccupy its positions there. Lebanon has long refused to do this, saying that it is not in business of protecting Israel’s northern border.
The Lebanese government said Wednesday that it had not known of the Hezbollah operation, did not condone it and bore no responsibility for it. The Lebanese Cabinet, which includes two Hezbollah ministers, urged the U.N. Security Council to intervene.
"We hold the government of Lebanon responsible for attacks carried out from its sovereign territory," said Israeli Army spokesman Jacob Dallal." cbsnews
With its foreseeable offensive in Gaza and its vigorous efforts in the Lebanon the Olmert government in Israel demonstrates the indifference to the possibility of a peace with its Muslim neighbors that has characterized its short history.
In general, there is a certain disingenuous quality to the statements made by many Israelis to "outsiders" concerning their real attitudes toward the Arabs. Having been on the scene by chance a few times while the IDF "shot up" rock throwers with steel cored riot ammunition and then "ball" ammunition I can only say that indifference to maiming and severe injuries inflicted on the "natives" seems to be a "motif" of Israeli exercise of power in the "territories." On one occasion I heard an IDF officer in command of troops in the field tell a foreigner who had given first aid to a dying teen aged rioter, "you are lucky, we usually shoot people giving them first aid." He was an honest man. On the other side of the scales, I would have to say that I rarely meet Muslims who are in any real way resigned to the long term existence of Israel. They, also, are relentless in their refusal to accept the legitimacy of any sort of "rights" on the part of the "other."
There are now three Israeli soldiers in the hands of Hamas and Hizballah. This has been declared by PM Olmert to be an "act of war" for which the Palestinian and Lebanese governments will pay, and pay, and pay. In the case of the Palestinians, this will inevitably lead to the destruction of the Hamas government. This has been an Olmert goal from the time the Hamasniks were elected. The principle is clear. The Arabs are free to elect governments, but only those which are compliant with the goals of the Israeli state. In the case of the Palestinians, the election of a government which is inherently hostile to Israel triggered an automatic response leading to the present situation. The Bush Administration follows the Israeli "line" in this and so the outcome is and was inevitable. Hey, folks, this ain’t rocket science.
For the Olmertniks, the Lebanese situation is closely analogous. The "terorrists" are in charge. Listen to the Israeli spokespersons. They are all saying the same thing which is — The feckless collection of pseudo-democrats who make up the Siniora cabinet and the parliament are RESPONSIBLE!!! Well, they are, but the truth is that the great majority of Lebanese politicians are gutless schemers who talk a great fight about almost anything but commerce.
Nevertheless, President Bush speaking in Germany today held this government up for public admiration as a "bridgehead of democracy in the region" Translation – Israel! Do not tear down this government that we think may "save our (policy) bacon" in the region by its very existence.
Stay tuned for a major conflict between GWB and Olmert over the fate of the Siniora government.