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Friday, July 14, 2006

What they said

Selections from other bloggers' posts on Israel-Gaza-Lebanon:

Chris Floyd:
Israel's two-front war of collective punishment will only increase the amount of sectarian extremism in the powder-keg region. It will only split Lebanon into warring factions again – or else unite them in anti-Israeli fury. It will without doubt only increase the support for violent resistance and religious extremism in Palestine, which will of course result in many more Israeli civilian deaths, though always on a level far below the slaughter of Palestinian civilians. And it will only further degrade Israel's standing in the world, leaving it more isolated and threatened than before.

All this is just on the local level; but if we may once more evoke the Bronze Age deity who has spawned the three primitive sects at the center of this relentless maelstrom of blood and suffering, God only knows how the Israeli incursions will reverberate in the wider world. But fresh hell is coming – that's guaranteed.
If I had to pin it down, I would say the big difference between this crisis and similar past episodes is how completely off balance the Israelis seem to be – lurching from reaction to reaction without any clear plan or strategy. The Gaza incursion was thrown together, more or less on the fly, which led to some embarrassing public squabbling within the Israeli cabinet. The attempt to decapitate Hamas’s civilian leadership by arresting the entire Palestinian cabinet smacked of improvisation, and largely failed. Hezbollah’s intervention clearly took Jerusalem by surprise, which is probably why the response has been so disproportionate: the Israelis are rather desperately trying to regain the initiative.
Many more insights at both of those links.