I’ve been, in turns, both snowed under at work and off on holiday. I’m off again this evening. Therefore, I apologise prospectively and retrospectively for not having been around here that much.
Before I go, however, I would recommend that you read one of the best blog articles I’ve seen for some time. It is this piece, by Shuggy, on the DSTFW:
Despite the ferocious bombardment of Lebanon, Hizbollah retains the capacity to launch rockets into Israel’s territory. This is a function of bad intelligence but more importantly of the fact that the industrial capacity behind Hizbollah’s armoury lies outwith Lebanon’s borders. This is why I think the Israeli destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure is unjustified. The harm goes beyond the immediacy of the civilian casualties; the ruination of Lebanon’s fragile economy that this implies is likely to spread suffering far wider and seriously undermine the capacity of democratic forces within Lebanon to make their voices heard. It isn’t only Hizbollah that avail themselves of luxuries such as roads, bridges, airports and milk factories.
This is why I decline Eric Lee’s invitation to ‘cheer this on’. He invites us to imagine two alternative futures – one where Israel defeats Hizbollah and by extension secularism triumphs over clerical fascism, and one where Israel is overrun by her enemies. But a future I think it’s worth imagining is one where neither side wins and the problem is merely reconstituted in a different form. That, after all, is surely the most likely outcome of this? Which leaves the question: what did all these civilians in Beruit and Haifa have to die for?
But this is about as far as I am willing to travel with those currently denouncing the Israeli response in Lebanon as disproportionate because for so many this argument has nothing to do with ‘proportion’ at all. David Clark wrote that, “No one quibbles with Israel’s right to defend itself…” I find it difficult to believe that when he typed these words he didn’t know within himself that this is patently untrue. Is he really unaware that there are not a few that deny Israel’s right to defend herself on the grounds that they believe she has no right to exist? To them questions of proportion are irrelevant: any response would be ‘disproportionate’ simply because it exists at all. And any attack would be justified because of the original offence. No, no – not the Israeli occupation of Lebanon; the foundation of the state of Israel itself.
Do you doubt this?