Monday, July 17, 2006

The Economist Echoes My Point on the Israeli Attacks

From today's (italics and bolding of texts are mine)

Some European countries have condemned Israel’s response as “disproportionate”, though the United States has largely stuck by it. One question is whether Israel will achieve its goals. In Gaza, where Palestinian militants are holding a soldier they captured late last month, Israel has been adopting a similar strategy: simultaneously trying to secure his release and stamp out the firing of Qassam rockets into Israel. It has attacked militant leaders, shelling the areas where rockets are launched, while also bombing public infrastructure and government buildings in an attempt to put pressure on the Palestinians’ Hamas-run government. So far it is showing little result: more Qassams are falling, the soldier remains in captivity, public support for Hamas is steady if not growing, and the government (or what is left of it after a wave of arrests in the West Bank) remains defiant.

The Lebanese, unlike the Palestinians, can at least clearly blame Hizbullah for lighting the fuse after several years of relative calm. But Israel is treading a fine line between alienating them from Hizbullah and uniting them against their outside aggressor. And if Israel cannot achieve a decisive victory against Hizbullah with air power, and has to add ground forces, it risks getting bogged down in southern Lebanon once again.

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