Monday, July 17, 2006


As we expected when Israel sets out to defeat the enemy which is attacking its soil the world decides to ask Israel NOT to defeat the enemy.

Even though that enemy, Hamas and Hisbollah, Iran and Syria, are the enemy of the world as well.

And this is what has happened at the G-8 Summit especially on the part of France and Russia.

Here I look at the position of the EU, especially countries like France.

"Europe’s Disproportionate Criticism
By GERALD M. STEINBERG, The Wall Street Journal,July 17, 2006

"JERUSALEM — In early 2000, the European Union was an enthusiastic supporter of unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the security zone in southern Lebanon. Paris was about to take over the EU presidency in July and played a dominant role in the discussions.

The French foreign and defense ministers pressed Israel to return its military forces to the international border. In detailed talks that took place at the French ambassador’s residence in Jaffa, in which I participated as an academic consultant, the Europeans assured us that once Israel retreated, Hezbollah would lose its raison d’ĂȘtre as a “militia” and transform itself into a political party. France and its partners would send peacekeepers to prevent terror and missile attacks against Israel, help the Lebanese army take control of the border, and disarm Hezbollah.
In May that year, the Israeli military left Lebanon.

The United Nations certified that the withdrawal was complete. But Europe did nothing.

Hezbollah’s leaders celebrated a great “military victory,” and Iranian “advisers” provided intelligence, training and thousands more of missiles, some with ranges of 75 kilometers and more that could penetrate deep into Israeli territory and for the first time hit Haifa, Israel’s third biggest city.

Instead of the promised transformation, Hezbollah took positions right across Israel’s border and prepared for the next round of the war. Fearing international and particularly European condemnation, Israel did nothing to prevent this dangerous buildup. Emboldened by Israeli restraint, Hezbollah staged the first cross-border attack and kidnapping only five months after Israel’s withdrawal, in October 2000.

Europe’s reaction back then was limited to repeating the usual mantras, calling on Israel to “act with restraint” and to “give diplomacy a chance.”

Now, after steady escalation and attrition to which Israel is particularly vulnerable, Hezbollah triggered a full-scale confrontation by firing another round of missiles at Israeli cities and staging a kidnapping attack, in which eight Israeli soldiers were killed. In tandem with Palestinian assaults from Hamas-controlled Gaza, which also featured missiles and kidnapped soldiers to be traded for terrorists, this opened a two-front war.

This time, though, Israel moved quickly to finally dismantle the strategic threat in Lebanon. No state can simply stand by while its citizens are being killed and abducted, its cities routinely shelled, and part of its population forced to live in fear and sleep in bomb shelters. Hezbollah erroneously thought its missiles and the support from Iran and Syria would allow it to continue attacking Israel with impunity.

Europe’s role, once again, is limited to repeating the same old tired phrases. The EU called Israel’s response and attacks on Beirut and in Gaza “disproportionate” and violations of international law. France in particular was outraged. “For several hours, there has been a bombardment of an airport of an entirely sovereign country, a friend of France… this is a disproportionate act of war,” French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said.

It may have escaped the minister that the initial act of war originated from Lebanon and that the target of this unprovoked aggression is supposedly also a “sovereign country” and “friend of France.”

I feel strongly this is the correct approach. These issues have got to be taken historically. What happened, exactly what happened 6 years ago, all those promises by the EU etc, and this man was present listening, are so valuable.

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