Julie with a B

Friday, July 21, 2006
Israel, back in Gaza, and back in Lebanon
from USA Today by Dennis Ross:
In one of those paradoxes that so often seem to characterize the Middle East, Hamas and Hezbollah have acted to provoke an Israeli reoccupation of Gaza and extensive military operations in Lebanon. Israel might not want to be in either place, but with cross-border attacks and kidnapped Israeli soldiers, Israelis feel the need to impose a price and show such attacks come with consequences.
The problem, of course, is that for Israel it is much easier to get into Gaza and Lebanon than to get out. And that does not seem to bother either Hamas or Hezbollah. Though both claim to oppose Israeli occupation, Israeli withdrawal denies them their basis for resistance. Now with Israel back in Gaza and acting militarily in Lebanon, they have something to fight. For these Islamists, it is the cause, not humanity, that matters. And while they have always been sensitive to the public mood and support, the impact of Palestinian and Lebanese public opinion will play less of a role in ending these crises because of the pervading influence of Iran and Syria.

As the primary financier and supplier of Hezbollah and a patron of Hamas, Iran enjoys demonstrating to the Europeans and others the costs to regional stability if it faces continued pressure on nuclear issues, and it will try to manipulate these crises for its benefit.
Despite Iran's role, it is Syria that will determine how long these crises continue. In the case of Hamas, its external leadership operate and enjoy sanctuary in Damascus; should Syrian President Bashar Assad threaten to expel Hamas from Damascus if it does not release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and stop the rocket fire out of Gaza, the crisis would end quickly.

Read the whole article. Excellent with suggestions at the end.

Why would Iran use Hezbullah to incite Israel now?
Israel has warned repeatedly about Iran's intents and their nuclear ability. The U.S. heard them, but is not in a place to move beyond threats. The Europeans were only starting to listen to them. By blatantly calling Israel out, the world is distracted from Iran and what Israel was trying to say. Israel is back in Europe's bad graces. Any thoughts Europe had of pressuring Iran are completely gone from their heads.

Quote from Hezbullah
"We will win because the Jews love life and we love the after-life!"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Lets begin with this thought - quote from Newsweek - "Hizbullah guerrillas crossed into Israel to snatch two soldiers, killing eight."

What do you suppose the reaction would be if the line read "Hizbullah guerrillas crossed into the United States to snatch two soldiers, killing eight."

Now talk about whether there is over-reaction.

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