News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Israel: "Batterring Husband"?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Israel: "Batterring Husband"?

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.

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[Xposted at Sic Semper Tyrannis

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