No10: Defining ‘victory’ amidst ruins

Some more thought in to yesterday’s small rant.

I believe there’s something which needs clarification, and it’s that I don’t want anyone to believe I believe in the myth that the destruction & deaths in Lebanon were caused / should be blamed on Hizbullah’s actions against Israel.

One thing we have to really pay attention to is that there are thousands of prisoners who have been held for years; both Lebanese & Palestinian. No one knows whether they are dead or alive, no one has a clue as to their whereabouts. A part of Hizbullah’s attempt in so far as kidnapping the two soldiers was a means to have some of these individuals returned.

If you can justify that Israel is allowed to do what it did for TWO soldiers, then I need you to momentarily switch shoes and imagine Israel’s reaction to thousands of Israelis kidnapped (which is how Hizbullah perceives this; thousands of Lebanese/Palestinians kidnapped)…and within that perspective, it becomes a lot easier to see how the kidnapping of two soldiers was mild in comparison to what Israel may have done, were they in Hizbullah’s shoes.

The response of Israel to the kidnapping of these two soldiers can not be justified on absolutely any level. It can be understood, based on their history, but never justified.

Before I write this out, please understand that although there were casualties on the Israeli side, economic damage, and infrastructural damage to parts of Israel as well, I can not attempt to equate those with what Israel unleashed on Lebanon. To do so would be to negate from the consequences for both Lebanon and Israel, and also to deter from the Jewish history which provides acceptance within – and without – Israel that this type of response may be justified at any level.

I won’t even dive into the theory that this action was already pre-planned by the State of Israel, and that ultimately, Israel would have manufactured a pretext to do what it has done. I will leave that to the academics who don’t only have a lunch hour to type out their small thoughts on the subject matter…

I think what we have to focus on here is the realization – and this may in fact be the ‘divine victory’ for which Hizbullah is being held in high regard – by many that Israel’s war machine is not sufficient to impose certain norms in the Middle East. Perhaps historians will one day describe this as a “win”, but that will only be recognized and understood in the years to come, and depending on the circumstances and environment which is born from the last 5 plus weeks.

I think that, in the face of one of the world’s strongest military that is indeed supported by the world’s foremost superpower, it would be wise for us to think twice before dismissing the spirit of resistance exercised by Hizbullah. What will happen in the future will be judged based on its own merits.

It’s also important to note that within Israel proper there was much dissent, and much anger against the actions of the Israeli government. These are fearless Jewish voices which are (although attempted to be…) quieted and quelled, but they exist and when they speak, they are loud and as admirable a form of resistance as any, if not more so…

The recent commando activity which Israel undertook, post ceasefire, was a clear breech of the ceasefire agreement. That Hizbullah showed restraint is almost unbelievable. The sense around here is that should Israel act in breech of the ceasefire one more time, Hizbullah will be forced to react to the Israeli offensive.

Here I have to really think about and flesh out what I mentioned earlier, which is this idea that Israel feels the need to behave in this fashion, because of their history (the idea of ‘never again’)…and that may take me a little longer. There’s only so much psychology I can throw into the mix and sort of attempt to understand if I’ve not been raised in that environment. But I’m going to try and understand it and I’ll let you know what I think, if anything coherent comes out. I’ll do that because I would like for someone who sits on the opposite political spectrum to me, to attempt to understand me as well.

On a personal note, and with complete sincerity, I would really like to understand how Israel would define this as a victory for themselves…because Hizbullah defining it as a “divine victory” seems utter rubbish to this girl.