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by Steven Plaut


February 5, 2004: Before the withdrawal from Lebanon, the Intelligence Directorate also threatened us with Katyushas reaching Hadera and we see what actually happened. I estimate, and my estimate is just as valid as those that threaten us with horrors, that after we leave the Gaza Strip, terrorism will decrease, not increase. (Former Mossad Head, Labor MK Dani Yatom)

June 20, 2006: When asked about the nonstop barrage of Kassam rockets hitting Sderot every day, turning Sderot into the Negev's Stalingrad, emptying it of its low-income population who flee as refugees, Shimon Peres replied: "Kassams? Shmassams!!" (Maariv headline)

July 12, 2006: Today's murders and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers are a direct result of Ehud Barak's cowardly abandonment of Israeli positions in southern Lebanon. But, even more so, they are the direct result of arguably the stupidest state decision Israel ever made, the decision two and a half years ago to release hundreds of terrorists and murderers in exchange for a single common criminal and bodies of three murdered soldiers, while never avenging the murders of those three soldiers (one of them a Bedouin by the way). (Steven Plaut)

July 13, 2006: That boom you just heard was a katyusha rocket hitting Haifa a couple of miles from my house. (Steven Plaut)

July 13, 2006: Meretz faction chairman Yossi Beilin backed the military operation but asked Peretz to keep the operation's end objective in mind. "An attack on Hizbullah is justified, but in the end we will have to come to an understanding, including one with Syria," he said. "Release of prisoners also needs to be one of the outcomes of these understandings," he added. [Translation: stop the rockets by turning the Golan Heights over to Syria] (, July 13, 2006)

July 16, 2006: Haifa Lefties believed they were protected due to their progressive image, their obsession with recreational compassion and environmentalism, and their Leftist solidarity with Arabs. They were sure that the wave of Arab atrocities in which Israel is being bathed would pass over them, like a Palestinian angel of death in a parody of the story of the Exodus. (Steven Plaut)

August 9, 2006: For the past 14 years, Israel has invested all of its energy in pursuit of make-pretend peace. Now the Olmert government has at last changed direction. The Olmert government is, instead, conducting a make-pretend war. (Steven Plaut)

August 17, 2006: Defense Minister Peretz Claims the Army did Not warn Him there were Missiles and Rockets in Lebanon! (Haaretz banner)

History of Lebanese Aggression

People have very short memories. Most Israelis do not recall the events that have led up to the rain of Katyushas and other missiles upon Israeli civilians these past few weeks.

Civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975, with Palestinian Arabs and pro-Palestinian Lebanese militias fighting Lebanon's Christian militias. The war continued for many years, ending officially in 1990.

In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon after a long wave of terror attacks on Israel. By then, Yasser Arafat, the leader of the PLO, had been in Beirut for over a decade. (At one point, Israeli snipers had Arafat in their sites. Ariel Sharon ordered the snipers to let him go unharmed.) Their original aim was to wipe out Palestinian guerrilla bases near Israel's northern border. The announced Israeli goal was to advance 40 kilometers inside Lebanon and so drive all the rocket shooters from range of Israel. At first the operation, called "Peace for Galilee," enjoyed over 90% support from the Israeli public, including Israeli Arabs.

The army actually advanced more than 40 kilometers. It eventually took most of Beirut and Israel attempted to install a friendly government in Lebanon, composed mainly of Lebanese Christians. Following the assassination of the head of the main Christian militia, the Falange, Christian militia members, infiltrated two Palestinian camps in the suburbs of Beirut, Sabra and Shatilla, and murdered about 400 civilians in retaliation. The Bash-Israel forces blamed Israel for that, for a massacre perpetrated by Christian Lebanese Arabs against Palestinian Arabs. Under American pressure, in the summer of 1983, Israel agreed to a ceasefire and then to let Arafat and his terrorists be "evacuated" on American ships to Tunisia. There they languished until Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres invited them to "return" to the West Bank and resume terror activities there, after 1993.

The initial nucleus of the Lebanese Hezballah -- the "Party of God" -- was a several hundred-man group made up of military men and religious teachers sent by Ayatollah Khomeini to the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon in 1982. They were members of his Revolutionary Guard and imbued with his vision of expanding the revolution. Their real purpose was to take over southern Lebanon. Their excuse was that they had come to aid the Lebanese Shi'ite poor. Under cover of providing charity, they built an increasingly large semi-secret army. Ayatollah Khomeini was then ruler of Iran, and taught that the West is the Great Satan and Israel the Little Satan. Hezbollah expanded and developed a strong organization with financial and weapons support from Iran and Syria. Its popularity increased following a string of suicide bombings it launched from Spring 1983 to Summer 1985, when Hezbollah officially announced itself in a letter to a Lebanese paper.

In October 1983, while US forces were on the ground in Beirut, the Hezbollah bombed a US army barracks and murdered over 200 GIs. US battleships then bombed Hezbollah villages from the sea in retaliation. Yes, ships of the same US that always wants Israel to exercise restraint and avoid bombing areas that contain civilians.

Meanwhile, Israeli casualties mounted in Lebanon. Because of the unexpectedly large number even in the initial fighting, greater than the number in the Six Day War, public opinion began to turn against the government. Support dropped as further deaths of troops were caused by terrorist attrition.

The Israeli Left underwent a process of radicalization that has been compared by many to that of the American Left during the Vietnam war. Leftists, led by the Meretz chiefs Shulamit Aloni and Yossi Sarid, led protests denouncing the Begin-Sharon government of being war criminals and fascists. These were the same people who later would demand that Right-wing Jews be indicted for "incitement" for using harsh rhetoric. A large demonstration against the war was held in Tel Aviv, and the media fabricated an imaginary number of 400,000 participants, a number that has assumed mystical power and has been sanctified by Israel's leftist media.

What had began as mere disagreement by the Israeli Left over tactical decisions in what had been regarded as an essentially just war quickly morphed into an outburst of openly anti-Israel extremism in the Left. The Labor Party joined in, seeing this as a way of overturning the Israeli election and knocking the Likud government out of power. Meanwhile, an official state commission of inquiry was set up and later found that, while Israel had nothing to do with the Sabra and Shatilla massacres, Ariel Sharon was still indirectly to blame for not having had the prescience to see what the Falangists would do after their leader was assassinated by Palestinians. None of the judges on that commission and none of the leftist journalists trying to demonize Sharon had had the prescience to see what the Falange would do either, and none of THEM had issued any warnings before the massacres.

Meanwhile, Israel eventually moved its forces back from Beirut and set up a "Southern Lebanese Army," allied to Israel and financed by Israel, manned by Christians and moderate Shi'ites in southern Lebanon. As the Hezbollah and some other forces grew stronger inside Lebanon, with Syrian and Iranian support, Israeli troops came increasingly under attack by bombers and snipers. Israel instituted a series of "controlled carnage" agreements with the terrorists, under which Israel agreed that as long as the attacks on Israel were "within reason", Israel would turn the other cheek. The attacks did not remain within reason, and the terrorists frequently bombed the northern Galilee. Israel occasionally responded with brief retaliatory raids, but basically pursued cheek-turning as its defense policy. Public frustration grew with the toll of soldiers.

While Israel probably could have stopped the attrition attacks against its troops in southern Lebanon by exercising serious military initiative against the terrorists and their base villages, it did not. The casualty toll continued to rise. Israeli public opinion, most as shortsighted as the politicians, began demanding a unilateral withdrawal to stop the killings of soldiers. A "peace" movement calling itself Four Mothers led the pressures for capitulation. One of the Four Mothers was in fact a leftist pro-Saddam Jewish father, who ran a pro-Saddam anti-America organization in Israel. They succeeded. Israel's government made a choice. Instead of Israeli soldiers inside fortresses in Lebanon being targeted by terrorists, Israeli children in Nahariya and Safed would be the targets for rockets filled with thousands of lead pellets to maximize civilian carnage.

Ehud Barak implemented a cowardly unilateral withdrawal of all Israeli troops in Lebanon in the summer of 2000. As part of that, he abandoned the militia men from the Southern Lebanese Army and their families to the mercies of the Hezbollah and many were murdered. Some were granted asylum inside Israel, although Israeli leftists demanded that these "collaborators" be treated as criminals, because they had been "traitors to their own people". When they were integrated into Israeli Arab towns, the Israeli Arabs beat and terrorized them, to the cheers of Israeli Jewish leftists. Israel's entire intelligence and informant network inside Lebanon was lost as a result of the withdrawal and the betrayal of the SLA.

Barak's withdrawal took place under fire, with the Hezbollah and others shooting at the retreating Israeli troops to demonstrate their contempt, and to show the world that the Jews were successfully being driven out by terrorism. Barak had no problem with that show or weakness. The withdrawal was so panicked that Israeli computers with sensitive information were left behind, as were crates of Bibles.

Ehud Barak's capitulation in Lebanon in 2000 was a parody of Dunkirk. Israel had agreed to a capitulation in exchange for nothing. The Hezbollah continued to shell northern Israel after the withdrawal and sometimes sent in infiltrators who murdered and kidnapped. Overall, however, the death toll was below what it had been when Israeli troops were inside Lebanon. The Israeli chattering classes saw that as a great victory and as a precedent for solving the problems of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. All Israel needed to do was have a unilateral withdrawal and build a nice fence.

The supposed success of the Lebanese capitulation was also the official theology behind Israel's security fence in the West Bank. The security fence along the Lebanese border was thought to have demonstrated that all Israel now needed to do with Gaza and the West bank was get itself out and build similar fences, replete with all manner of electronic gizmos, just as it had done along the Lebanese border. After all, the politicians kept chanting, once there were no Israeli troops in "Arab lands," the Arab side would have no reason to engage in terror and military aggression against Israel.

This writer, like many others, predicted for years that northern Israel would be attacked by masses of missiles and that Israel would be forced to invade and re-conquer south Lebanon, at a large cost in Israeli lives, to drive out the terrorists Barak had installed there.

I also warned that when that happened, no southern Lebanese Christian or Muslim, remembering how Israel had betrayed the SLA, would believe any promises made by Israeli leaders. As a result, Israel would have trouble finding local allies and informants.

Because of 9-11, the showdown was delayed. The US was on the war path and Syria wanted to keep a low profile. After the liberation of Iraq, Syria, while controlling the Hezbollah, was trembling in fear, with NATO troops on its northern and eastern borders, and with pro-US regimes to its south. Syria was suddenly surrounded. It kept the Hezbollah heeled, for the moment.

Meanwhile, Syria was partly forced out of Lebanon by US pressure, and the Hezbollah replaced it with Iran as its arms supplier and patron. When the Hezbollah infiltrated Israel and murdered three IDF troops, Israel did nothing. It turned the other cheek. Just a bit more "controlled carnage." In fact, Israel "bought" the bodies of the three back, plus an abducted Israeli criminal being held in Lebanon, in exchange for releasing 450 murderers. It never avenged their murders.

And that was all it took. The Hezbollah had its proof. The Jews had lost their stomach for fighting, were on the run, were pursuing peace through appeasement and surrender. There was no reason to put off the showdown any longer.

As a direct result of the cowardice and shortsightedness of Ehud Barak and the Israeli chattering classes in 2000 who cheered and supported him, hundreds of rockets and missiles have bathed northern Israel in the past few days. Haifa has been turned into the Sderot of the North. Nahariya has become the new Stalingrad.

Continuing Stupidity: The UN-solution by the Unintelligent

Remember UNIFIL? On 15 March 1978, the Lebanese Government submitted a "protest" to the Security Council against an Israeli incursion, stating that it had no connection with Palestinian terrorist operations. On 19 March, the Council adopted resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), in which it called upon Israel immediately to cease its military action and withdraw its forces from all Lebanese territory. It also decided on the immediate establishment of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The first UNIFIL troops arrived in the area on 23 March 1978. Incompetents from the Third World mostly, they have been there ever since. They have done absolutely nothing to stop any terror attacks on Israel nor to prevent all of south Lebanon being converted into the Hezbollah's launch pad.

To sum up: UN already is there, has oodles of troops there, and they have yet to stop a single rock being thrown at Israel, let alone a katyusha missile! Actually, more often that not they collaborate with the terrorists!

The pusillanimous "solution" for Lebanon has been adopted. It turns southern Lebanon over to the UN, which will patrol it and keep the terrorists at bay. Sure they will. Especially when Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese Government and their army.

Fool us once, shame on you; fool us again, shame on us for not jailing the idiot politicians who would agree to such a "deal"!

50 lessons from the Katyusha war on the Jews

It occurs to me that now would be as good a time as any to sum up everything that has been learned in the past few weeks about the Middle East conflict -- that is, everything the Israeli government and chattering classes refused to learn during the past two decades.

  1. Nice fences do not stop missiles, rockets, and mortars.

  2. Complete removal of Israeli forces and Jewish settlers from an area merely signals Israeli weakness and invites escalated Arab terror and aggression.

  3. Hizbullah and Hamas cannot be defeated with air strikes. There is no effective alternative to ground invasion and ongoing Israeli military control of the ground.

  4. Unless the Israeli military controls the ground on the other side of fences, those fences achieve nothing.

  5. Goodwill gestures by Israel increase terror.

  6. Goodwill gestures by Israel never produce moderation of Arab goals and demands, but rather the opposite.

  7. Terror is not caused by settlements but by the removal of settlements.

  8. Terror is not caused by Israeli military occupation but by the removal of Israeli military occupation.

  9. It is impossible for two sovereign entities to exist between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

  10. No matter how many concessions Israel makes the world will always justify Arab terrorism because there will always be still one more capitulation Israel fails to make. (e.g., giving up the "Shebaa Farm" on the Golan Heights)

  11. No matter how nice Israel is to its Arab citizens and no matter how many affirmative action programs it implements, Israel will always be accused of being an "apartheid regime."

  12. The Israeli far left is an openly anti-Semitic movement that seeks Israel's destruction and automatically endorses the enemies of Israel in nearly all things.

  13. The Israeli Labor Party and its Kadima cousin may be more effective at fighting terror, once they decide to do so, than Likud. If it were a Likud government fighting Hizbullah, the Israeli Left would take to the streets in mass demonstrations against Israeli "imperialism and war crimes" and the Israeli media would declare that half a million protesters had turned out.

  14. The real enemy of Israel is not Arab fascism but Jewish leftism.

  15. Much of the world has no qualms seeing Jewish civilians murdered by terrorists and will applaud and justify all such murders as comeuppance for the Jews for being so insensitive.

  16. The Israeli Left will oppose every conceivable act of Israeli self-defense.

  17. Israeli niceness and flexibility fan anti-Semitism.

  18. Arab terrorists do not morph into statesmen.

  19. There are no Palestinian moderates.

  20. Israel bashers do not care about dead Arab civilians, other than as a useful tool with which to bludgeon Israel.

  21. Israel-bashing is nothing more than anti-Semitism and Israel-bashers are increasingly open about their delight at seeing Jewish civilians murdered.

  22. Many on the worldwide Left would not raise an eyebrow if Israeli Jews were shipped off to concentration camps in cattle cars -- except perhaps to demand improved rail service.

  23. There are hundreds of Jewish professors in Israel who serve as an academic Fifth Column and who collaborate with the enemies of their country.

  24. Israeli pursuit of the "peace process" has triggered a world-wide storm of anti-Semitism.

  25. The vast majority of Israeli Arabs and nearly all Israeli Arab politicians support terrorism and wish to see Israel destroyed.

  26. "Palestinians" are not a nation in any true sense of the term and never were. They are simply Arabs who happened to migrate to Western Palestine. They have no "right" to statehood.

  27. Israel has no obligation to share its water resources with the "Palestinians" or anyone else.

  28. The Arabs will not accept an independent Israel within ANY set of borders, no matter how small. Hence reducing Israel's territory does nothing but signal weakness and destructibility.

  29. The only country on earth expected to respond to the mass murder of its civilians by turning of the other cheek is Israel. The only country on earth that has spent years trying to defeat aggression and terrorism by turning the other cheek is Israel.

  30. No matter how Israel responds to aggression and terrorism, it will always be seen in many quarters as a "disproportionate" response. The only "proportionate" response is complete capitulation.

  31. Much of the Western media believes that there are no problems on earth that could not be greatly improved by destroying Israel.

  32. Most of the governments of Europe do not believe Jews should be treated with respect, and certainly do not think Jews should ever be allowed to defend themselves.

  33. Those who claim that anti-Zionism is different and distinct from anti-Semitism tend, on close inspection, to be anti-Semites themselves.

  34. The only people on earth whom the Left believes should be denied the right to self-determination and self-defense are the Jews.

  35. The Golan Heights are not "Syrian" and never were.

  36. Noam Chomsky is an anti-Semite and Norman Finkelstein is a neo-nazi. People who endorse them are anti-Semites, even if they happen to be Israeli Jews.

  37. Israeli politicians are among the stupidest on earth.

  38. Israeli leftists, rather than learn from the failures of their policies and "ideas," complain that their policies are not applied thoroughly enough.

  39. The moral and legal responsibility for every single Arab civilian killed or injured in the Middle East conflict rests squarely on the shoulders of the Arab terrorists.

  40. There is no moral or legal reason for Israel to refrain from attacking terrorists and murderers when they hide among civilians.

  41. Too many of the "anarchists" and others who protest against Israel's security wall want the wall removed because they want terrorists to murder Jewish civilians.

  42. Palestinians are the Sudeten Germans of the Middle East.

  43. There are no non-military solutions to the problem of terrorism.

  44. One can only make war with one's enemies. One can only make peace with one's defeated enemies.

  45. There are no significant differences between the agenda of the PLO and the agenda of Hamas and Hizbullah.

  46. The Middle East conflict is not a marital spat. Going through the pretense of holding hands and holding talks does not calm tensions and achieves nothing.

  47. One cannot make peace by pretending that war does not exist.

  48. One cannot buy off anti-Semites and Islamofascists with trade concessions and subsidies.

  49. The only way to stop terrorism is to kill terrorists.

  50. No terrorist has ever murdered anyone after he was executed.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments - both seriously and satirically - on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is Contact him at

This article was compiled from several of Dr. Plaut's columns.


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