According to Hizbullah officials, no senior organization leaders were killed in the massive IAF air strike on a southern Beirut target Wednesday night, which IDF officials said was aimed at Hizbullah’s top brass.Hizbullah claims no members killed in mass IAF strike
In a message broadcast by the organization on its al-Manar television station, Hizbullah said: “The enemy is trying to cover its military and security failures by lies and inventing accomplishments. The building that was hit was a mosque that was under construction." (Roee Nahmias and AP)
Instead of the hoped-for oasis of peace tied to the Jewish state by a wealth of common interest, Lebanon has proven in recent decades to be a deadly arena of bloodshed and war. First it was the Palestinians who used the country as a launching pad for terrorist actions against Israel; then it was the Shi’ite Hezbollah. In both cases, outside powers used the militias as proxies against Israel; and, in both cases, cross-border violence eventually led to war.Israel’s current fighting in Lebanon only latest problems with its neighbor
Fifty years ago, things looked more promising. In the mid-1950s, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben- Gurion, had visions of peace with an independent Christian country in Lebanon. In February 1954, he wrote to Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, urging him to take diplomatic initiatives toward the establishment of a Christian enclave. Ben-Gurion hoped to create a coalition of like-minded religious minorities in the predominantly Sunni Muslim Middle East. But nothing came of the idea.
"I don't think these people should be here because they are illegal, they are breaking the law," Jeff Hillman said as he picked up a day laborer to dig a hole for $12 an hour, almost twice California's minimum wage.I thought Mr Jimenez had a bad attitude. Far from being grateful for being offered a job, he implied that employers who prefer legal workers are racist.
The chosen laborer, Marcos Jimenez from Mexico, heard Hillman's opinion and jumped out of his truck with a slam of the door.
"If he doesn't want to give work to an illegal immigrant, why doesn't he go hire a white guy, an American citizen, someone who speaks English better?" Jimenez said in Spanish.
Hillman, who does construction in Laguna Beach, admitted to the contradiction, but said: "The competition is doing it and I need to stay competitive. They do it, so I do it once in a while too."
No other laborer at the center agreed to work for him that day.
Next June will mark the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. For four decades we have been told that the cause of the anger, violence and terror against Israel is its occupation of the territories seized in that war. End the occupation and the "cycle of violence'' ceases.
The problem with this claim was that before Israel came into possession of the West Bank and Gaza in the Six Day War, every Arab state had rejected Israel's right to exist and declared Israel's pre-1967 borders -- now deemed sacred -- to be nothing more than the armistice lines suspending, and not ending, the 1948-49 war to exterminate Israel.
But you don't have to be a historian to understand the intention of Israel's enemies. You only have to read today's newspapers.
In 2003 alone, the General Assembly issued 18 resolutions condemning Israel for rights violations, compared to four resolutions for other countries.
At the height of a Palestinian uprising, Israel accused the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees of helping militants and employing Hamas Islamic militants.
Relations between Israel and the United Nations plummeted after information emerged that U.N. peacekeepers on the Lebanon border suppressed video tapes of three soldiers being abducted by Hizbollah guerrillas in 2000.
UNIFIL denied the charge, but the U.N. later admitted unintentionally concealing evidence from Israel.
"We know that they had line of sight and could see the actual kidnapping. They could have put roadblocks up to prevent Hizbollah from escaping. But they didn't lift a finger," said Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the U.N.
It is unclear whether the three soldiers were killed at the time of the raid and their bodies taken away or whether they were captured and killed later. Israel initially assumed the three soldiers survived the attack and were seized by Hizbollah.
"There was an international force in place in 2006 and it didn't prevent the current crisis from erupting," Gold said. "What that means is that providing security for southern Lebanon requires more than a knee jerk proposal to put international forces on the ground."
Israel has shown a tendency to abuse its military might, subjecting civilians to collective punishments time and again. Countries that fail to exercise appropriate self-restraint should be restrained by the world community. [countries like Iran, Syria, the Palestinians, and Pakistan? -ev]Doesn't he sound exactly like a Democrat? "For the money we've spent in Iraq, we could build 900,000 schools and give 200 million undocumented immigrants free health care!".
Israel's right to defend itself does not give it the right to launch terror attacks against major civilian centers - not with our tax money. [CAIR is tax-exempt.-ev]
Since its formation in 1949, the state of Israel has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $130 billion. What merits this exorbitant spending on a foreign country that has one of the world's highest per capital [sic-ev] incomes?
The often-parroted argument is that that Israel is a crucial ally in the war on terror.
The truth is that for all the billions Israel has sapped from American taxpayers, it has given us nothing back but the resentment the victims of Israel's military transgressions feel toward those who bankroll their oppressor.
Israel is a strategic liability in the war on terror. Extremists use our uncritical financial and political support for Israel's brutal policies as an excuse to attack us.
Surely, there are better ways to spend our hard-earned money.
We are losing the domestic wars on drugs and poverty. Our inner-cities are awash with crime and gang rivalries. Our public schools are embarrassingly substandard when compared to those of other developed nations. Our social security system threatens to fail future generations of retirees as the number of senior citizens is expected to increase by 110 percent in the next 50 years.
We fail to move forward on these crucial fronts citing lack of sufficient funds. Would it not be better if we invested our tax dollars in our own communities instead of funding Israel's counterproductive military escapades?
Ahmed M. Rehab is executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group