14 July 2006

Morning Updates on the Israel and American Fronts

In Israel

Carl in Jerusalem reports that the Lebanese government has "laid the groundwork" to "reassert control over Southern Lebanon." He also has an entry containing links to Lebanese bloggers and their somewhat surprising reactions to Hizbollah. He also includes a letter from the Lebanese Foundation for Peace written to Olmert, encouraging him in his fight against Hizbollah. Read it here.

Life of Rubin shares links to posts and podcasts from the land, along with the call to say Tehilim issued by the Rabbis.

Joe Settler has some wise words for "Defense Minister" Peretz. (You know, that crazy Morrocan who's only good for organizing labor strikes that hold up the country's economy.) Joe also notes the celebrations being held by the Arabs occupying our territory in light of the Hizbollah attacks.

News will be limited for the next 24 or so hours due to Shabbat.

The American Front

Via IMRA:

Rally for Israel across from UN - NYC - Monday, July 17th, 2006 12:00 noon
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL.
Speak out now in support of Israel's right to self-defense and to assure the
security of its citizens.

Israel was attacked across an international border in an ongoing series of
barbaric terrorist attacks. Two more
of its soldiers were seized.

More than 1,000 rockets, missiles and other attacks recently have been
launched against Israeli cities from Gaza and Lebanon.

Monday, July 17th, 2006

Across from the United Nations
First Avenue at 42nd Street
12:00 noon - Rain or Shine
Subways 4,5,6,7 to Grand Central Station

Sponsord by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations
and Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
in cooperation with UJA-Federation of New York

For more information contact the Conference of Presidents at 212-318-6111 or
info AT conferenceofpresidents DOT org
There will also be a Rally in front of Syrian UN Mission - NYC - Sunday, July 16, 2006, 11:00 am. The AP Reports:
President Bush told Lebanon's leader on Friday that he would urge Israel to limit civilian casualties as it steps up attacks on its neighbor, a promise that fell short of Beirut's calls for a cease-fire.

"President Bush affirmed his readiness to put pressure on Israel to limit the damage to Lebanon as a result of the current military action, and to spare civilians and innocent people from harm," said a statement from Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's office.

The White House confirmed that Bush called the Lebanese leader, but would provide no details of the discussion.
CNN Reports:
Siniora said Bush promised to press Israel to halt its attacks on Lebanon, according to The Associated Press. There was no U.S. confirmation of the promise.


CNN television News reported this morning that American Embassy workers in Lebanon have been told to pack their bags, but they haven't left yet. They also reported that America was working on a plan to get approximately 25,000 American citizens out of Lebanon, either via a military airlift or by sea. I can't find confirmation of this story online, but I have found several articles posted on the travel warnings issued for the region.

Okay, right, I can understand that America wants to protect their citizens. But here are my ideological complaints:

One, what message does this send to the world, but "we're getting our citizens the hell out of the way of the Israeli military!!!" That's crap. If you cared about your citizens, you would've issued travel warnings in the first place that said something to the effect of, "Don't go into a terrorist-controlled, Syrian puppet state."

Two, the majority of these "American citizens" are most likely of Lebanese or Arabic descent. Now, I love Tony Shaloub as much as anyone, but quite frankly, I don't want anyone of Lebanese or Arabic descent getting a free ride out of Lebanon right now. Why? Because it makes it too easy for the real terrorists to sneak out of the country, which is what Israel is struggling to avoid. Of course, if we did that thing called profiling we'd be able to prevent that. But we can't. The closest thing to profiling that will happen on this "rescue mission" will be a quick glance at a passport as these people get shuffled onto helicopters.

Three, the possible evacuations combined with Bush's placations to the Lebanese PM smack of anti-Israelism. Screw politics. Screw diplomacy. This is war, and America has a responsibility to support Israel, especially in light of the fact that Israel is doing all of America's dirty work while the American government orders its soldiers to putz around Iraq and hopefully not get shot or killed. (That is, when they aren't prosecuting their soldiers for "war crimes.") If anything, those 25,000 Americans in Lebanon ought to be grabbing guns and helping out the Zahal as a way of saying, "Thank You for being our only ally and our buffer in the region since 1948." (You know I would.)

Of course, with Iran and Syria coming into play, Israel's going to be taking care of more American business than ever before. Duh. Like we didn't know Israel was going to have to take the lead in this battle. The disturbing thing is, if you look at the chain of events leading up to this day, I can't help but wonder if America hasn't played a part in sticking Israel at the forefront of the fight and leaving her there to defend herself.

Okay, I said that way too gingerly. What I meant was, the United States government is no ally of Israel, therefore I don't trust them one bit when it comes to the lip service they pay Israel. You can't tell Israel that they have a right to defend themselves on one hand, and then tell Lebanon that you'll help negotiate a cease fire on the other. To borrow an old American Indian phrase, George W. Bush (and the State Department spin doctors behind him, no doubt) speak with Forked Tongue.

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