Sunday, August 06, 2006
Israel / Lebanon Crisis, 1982
History is telltale, to a certain point. Upon examining the crisis in
the middle east, we see that there has always been tension building
between between Israel and Lebanon. This tension is not necessarily
between the citizens of these countries. Most of the tensions are due to
posturing between the governments and military forces. Please examine
the following frequently asked questions and their respective answers
which lit the fuse leading to the middle eastern fire bomb we are now
Washington Report, May 3, 1982
Lebanon: The Invasion Riddle
A "non-expert" walked into our office the other day and began asking some
questions, which we did our best to answer:
Q I'm rather confused about this Lebanon thing
A Join the club.
Q I mean, are the Israelis really going to invade South Lebanon, as
everyone has been saying?
A Yes. An Israeli invasion seems inevitable, sooner or later.
Q Why do you say that?
A For two reasons: the PLO has military forces in South Lebanon, which it
will never withdraw voluntarily; and the Israelis, on the other hand,
have stated unequivocally that they regard these forces as a threat to
Q But isn't a cease-fire between these two sides now in force?
A Yes, a "cessation of hostilities," arranged by the U.S., has been in
effect since last July. But neither the PLO nor Israel looked upon it as
any more than a temporary arrangement with tactical value. For the
Israelis, it was useful to have a cooling-off period for some of the
tempers that flared up�in the West and in Israel itself�after he Israelis
first bombed a nuclear reactor in Baghdad and then followed this with a
raid on Beirut which killed more than 300 civilians. For le PLO, the
cease-fire was an opportunity to itch its breath after a long series of
Israeli raids, rid build up some international prestige by showing it was
capable of restraint.
Q What makes the situation any different now?
A One thing that's different is that nine months have gone by. The PLO
has nothing to gain by an indefinite cease-fire. You can't lose sight of
the fact that the PLO's whole reason for existence is to try to get
Palestinian land back. Even if it hopes to do it by diplomatic means,
this will never work if Israel is not kept under some kind of military
pressure that will make it more ready to deal. If the PLO does nothing,
forever, the Israelis can stay on Palestinian land, forever.
Q Couldn't the PLO keep the cease-fire going for a lot longer though?
A It might�although there's a lot of resistance within the organization
to the idea of armed men remaining passive while Palestinian teenagers
are getting killed on the West Bank for throwing stones. In any case, the
Israelis are likely to take the decision out of the PLO's hands.
Q Why is that?
A For sometime, a very strong feeling has been building up within the
Israeli government that it should "finish off" the PLO once and for all.
In the West Bank, it's now official Israeli policy to root out all
support for the PLO, which it regards as the cause of all the trouble
there. It's an easy step, from there, for them to argue that their West
Bank policy cannot be successful unless the PLO is uprooted from Lebanon
as well. In fact, on a couple of occasions during recent weeks the
Israelis had actually planned an invasion, which was called off only
because of U.S. urgings.
Q But could they justify an attack if the PLO didn't break the
A The Israelis have never shown themselves to be overly concerned by what
they are accused of doing, if they can argue that it's for their
"national survival." But in any event, by their own lights, they already
have all the excuse they need. By their broad, unilateral interpretation
of what constitutes a cease-fire violation, they have been able to charge
the PLO with having broken the ceasefire numerous times. For example, the
assassination of an Israeli diplomat far away in Paris was regarded as a
violation of the Lebanon ceasefire-even though the PLO denied it had
anything to do with it, and the Israelis did not put forward any evidence
that it had.
Q Is that the reason the Israelis bombed all those Palestinian camps in
Lebanon near the end of April?
A Israeli officials said the retaliation was for a whole string of PLO
"cease-fire violations," including a grenade attack on a soldier in Gaza.
But the immediate reason for the decision to retaliate, they said, was
that an Israeli soldier was killed by a mine while he was travelling
along a road in South Lebanon.
Q What was an Israeli soldier doing in South?
A A good question. Very few people ask it. The answer is that the Israeli
army has been occupying a 140 square mile enclave in South Lebanon for
more than four years.
Q Why haven't I heard about that?
A Also a good question. You probably have heard about the "independent"
enclave in South Lebanon that was set up by Major Saad Haddad, a drop-out
from the Lebanese army. Well, it is Major Haddad's enclave that has been
used by the Israeli army for the past four years as though it were part
of Israeli territory. The troops move in and out with their weapons and
armed vehicles, carry out maneuvers in the area, man observation posts,
and subsidize Major Haddad and his militia with money and supplies.
Q How did that happen?
A The seeds of it go back to March 11, 1978, when a number of Israelis
were killed as the result of a raid on an Israeli civilian bus by
Palestinians who had infiltrated from Lebanon. Three days later, Israel
answered with a massive invasion of Lebanon, sending troops right up to
the Litani River�an operation in which hundreds of of Lebanese, mostly
civilians, were killed. A U.S.-sponsored United Nations resolution called
on Israel to withdraw, and established a force of U.N. peacekeeping
troops to replace the Israelis within a zone fronting Lebanon's border
Q What happened then?
A The Israelis stalled for about two months, until finally setting June
13 as the date on which they would withdraw their troops and allow the
U.N. troops to take over the border zone. Two days prior to their
withdrawal, however, the Israelis handed over all their positions in the
border zone�a strip running four to eight miles in depth to the militias
operating under the command of Major Haddad, who had been an Israeli
protege for some time. When June 13 arrived Major Haddad's militia
blocked the U.N. forces from deploying in the area. With more than a
little help from their Israeli friends, they have managed to keep the
U.N. peacekeeping troops from entering the zone ever since.
Q So the Israelis, in effect, conned the United Nations into thinking
that they had really agreed to withdraw�and then didn't do it?
A That's what it has always looked like.
Q Did the Carter Administration do anything about it?
A Not so as to make any difference on the ground.
Q Is there any chance that the Reagan Administration will be any tougher
if the Israelis try to hold on to more of Lebanon the next time they go
A What makes you think the Israelis would want to do that?
Q I remember reading in a history course that when the borders of the
proposed mandate for Palestine were being discussed by the allies after
World War I, the Zionist delegations were proposing that Palestine's
northern border be along the Litani River.
A If you're that smart, go ahead and make your own guesses.
As you see, there have always been tensions between Lebanon and Israel.
Hezbollah grew as the monstrous military faction in response to Israel's
rather monstrous invasion in 1982; these actions grew out of accusations
of murder and retaliations for more murder, etcetera, etcetera. There is
obviously a lot more history to this tension before 1982. And what is to
stop Israel from fooling the United Nations again into thinking that they
will allow UN Soldiers into the "Buffer Zone?" What is different this
What if the tensions between these two countries were not all caused
between themselves? I mean: who has benefitted the most from this
Israeli-Hezbollah conflict? Not only financially, but empire-wise.
Which empire is gaining more?
From King David to his Court:
"But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because
thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood." [1 Chronicles 28:3]
Even when taken out of context, this passage from Ecclesiastes indicates
that there is a need for balance for all things included in the world:
"..A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of
What are the true intentions of those who cause war in this world? Think
of the type of person from Psalm 73 when you ponder this:
"There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit;
neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in
that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it."
Peace be with You, Yehovah Shalom,