Israel and Lebanon

All my commentary on the issue is over at Nation-Building blog, so come on over.

However, I think the overwhelming tragedy of the situation is reflected painfully in the personal commentary of Jonathan Edelstein:

It should be obvious to readers of this journal that I have a strong identification with Israel. What may be less obvious is that I have a similar affinity for Lebanon. Early last year, in an attempt to understand what was happening in the wake of Rafik Hariri's assassination, I undertook extensive research into Lebanese politics. That inevitably led to study of Lebanon's ten thousand years of history, the cultures of its amazingly diverse ethnic groups, the achievements of its worldwide diaspora and its construction of a modern and thriving society from the ashes of civil war. To know these things is to admire them, and Lebanon, like Israel, has long since become a country I'd be proud to call my own.

It's no different at the level of personal connections. I have family in Israel - in the north, as it happens, in harm's way. There are Lebanese people who I consider the next thing to family. There are others, Lebanese and Israelis, who I've come to know as friends and with whom I've shared long conversations that have shaped my views of the world. We all see with the eyes we've been given by others, and the eyes I see with are, among many other things, part Israeli and part Lebanese.

Jonathan, add the prayers of this believer to yours.

in comments to his post, he observes:

I think the Israeli response is exactly what it appears to be: an inexperienced government acting out it's people's fears. Not that this justifies the response or makes the situation any better, of course, but it means that there can be an end to both.

... it's generally considered a bad idea to punish people for things they're incapable of doing, and that applies equally to nations. Hizbullah is autonomous and is beyond the control of Lebanon's government, and bombing Lebanese targets won't change that. And besides, hitting the wrong target only makes Israel look weak - if it bombs Lebanese targets but doesn't beat HA, then it will be the country that has overwhelming force but can only use it to destroy things rather than to defeat its enemies. Even aside from the moral considerations, how will that help Israel achieve safety?

all I have to add is, I miss Ariel Sharon.

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