Friday, July 14, 2006

Israel/Lebanon: It's time to call it "aggression"

The Pithlord, like most denizens of the Internets, has observed the "Yglesias rule" -- that any post about Israel is bound to generate an awful comment thread. Distinctions that would easily be made when discussing a war between Ethiopia and Eritrea or ethnic conflict on Fiji are completely lost. Fortunately, the Pithlord is, as yet, not exactly besieged with comments. And it has gotten to the point where it is difficult not to comment.

My strategy will be not to attack the extremist lunatics on each side of the issue, but to attack the reasonable, humane, moderate people instead. Not that they aren't right that Israel and the Palestinians need to come to a two-state deal based on the 1967 borders sooner or later, and better sooner than later. Nor are they wrong that the extremists on each side are objectively allied in ensuring that this never happens. Nor is anyone wrong that prospects for a reasonable solution look about as bleak right now as any time in the Pithlord's lifetime.

The trouble is with the argument that bombing the Beirut airport, Lebanese highways, residential areas and a power plant "is not in Israel's strategic long-term interests." That may be so, although it is questionable that moderate, reasonable Western pundits have some particular insight into these interests denied the Israeli government and the main opposition party. But it is irrelevant. If Ethiopia were to launch an equally disproportionate strike against Eritrea, we wouldn't talk about Ethiopian interests. We would say that such an attack -- dubious even in a just war -- is aggression against a sovereign nation with which Israel has no cause to be at war. Invading Afghanistan in 1979 wasn't in the Soviet Union's interest, but that's not what we talked about.

1 comment:

MSS said...

The 1967 borders. Hmmm, and on which side of those was the old city of Jerusalem located?

Something tells me that this oft-stated goal is out of the question.

So, then what?

I wish I knew...