In this article in "Welt" of August 2, 2006, Jeffrey Gedmin points to the obvious: the terrorist nature of Hezbollah and the lackluster support of the West for Israel. We are grateful for the permission to reprint the article in the original English version.
Human Shields for Holy Warriors
By Jeffrey Gedmin
Nabih Berri, speaker of the Lebanon’s parliament, says that „the Zionist Dracula’s thirst has yet to be quenched.” He said this in reference to Israel’s air strike at Qana, where some 60 innocent civilians, many of them children, were killed. There is brutal irony in Berri’s comment. In the first Lebanon war Israelis found hospitals where Hezbollah fighters had actually drained the blood of patients to supply their holy warriors. Hezbollah’s barbarism is legendary. Gen. Effe Eytam, an Israeli veteran of that first Lebanon war, tells of how--after Israel had helped bring "Doctors without Borders" into a village in the 1980s to treat children--local villagers lined up 50 kids the next day to show Eytam the price they pay for cooperating with the West. Each of the children had had their pinky finger cut off.
I hope Israel wipes Hezbollah off the face of the earth. My fear is that the Israelis will fall short. By now everyone knows that Hezbollah is an Islamo-fascist military force, created and financed by Iran, aided by Syria and based in southern Lebanon.
The UN insisted a couple years ago that Hezbollah disarm. Hezbollah did nothing of the sort. Instead, it armed itself to the teeth, amassing, among other things, 13,000 Katyuscha rockets along Israel’s northern border. The poor Lebanese army was too weak to make Hezbollah bow to the will of
(Source: Cox & Forkum) (cartoon is not part of Jeffrey Gedmin's article)
the international community. The so-called international community did not lift a finger. Now it is up to Israel to do the dirty work.
I think Joschka Fischer has it exactly right. Fischer wrote in the Israeli paper Haaretz last week that Hamas and Hezbollah, together with their patrons Iran and Syria, started the current mess. Syria and Hezbollah, says the former foreign minister, wanted to undermine democratization in Lebanon. Iran wanted to draw attention away from its campaign to get nuclear weapons. Hamas wanted to resist growing pressure to recognize the Jewish state. They all reject peace with Israel. Together they make a formidable unified front. I wish the West could muster a fraction of the same.
Demands for a cease-fire increase, especially in Europe. A chorus is growing that Israel has used too much force. I say just the opposite. Like everyone, I deeply regret the loss of civilian life on both sides. What happened in Qanan is a horror. What I am still missing, though, is a little more outrage over how Hezbollah uses its own people as human shields. Hezbollah fires rockets from private homes. Hezbollah stations rocket launchers in the top floor of apartment buildings, using retractable roofs when they are ready to shoot. Hezbollah parks rocket launchers next to mosques and schools. Maj. Gen. Lewis Mackenzie told the Canadian Broadcast Corporation last week that a Canadian soldier killed at a UN post had been complaining in emails that Hezbollah fighters were “all over his post … using the UN as a shield.”
This was the incident in which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan immediately blamed Israel. The difference between how Israel and Hezbollah deal with human life is remarkable. The Israelis drop leaflets warning of their attacks. Hezbollah’s men hide in tunnels and bunkers, leaving women and children above ground to perish--and their deaths to prompt more world condemnation of Israel.
Rather than pressuring Israel to end its operations, the West should be helping Israel destroy Hezbollah. Its leader Sheik Nazrallah has urged the Palestinians “to take suicide bombings world-wide.” Nazrallah says Israel is a prelude; the United States is “the principal enemy.” Lest any feel off the hook, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah blew up cafes and hijacked panes in Europe in the 1980s. It attacked Jews in Argentina in the 1990s. Today it exports drugs--mostly heroin and hashish from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley--to Europe and the United States in the amount of $1 billion each year. It would be folly to believe that Hezbollah is simply Israel’s problem. How sad that Israel has been left to fight this fight by itself.