IN THE MEDIA

No mercy in this religious war

Jul 11, 2007 | Bren Carlill

Bren Carlill  

Herald Sun, July 11, 2007
 

IT is a year since Hezbollah fired rockets at Israel from Lebanon and crossed the international border before ambushing Israeli troops.  

It killed eight and abducted two. They have not been seen since.  

Despite its efforts in the ensuing war, Israel was not able to recover its soldiers although a prisoner trade may still happen.  

In 2000, Hezbollah fighters crossed the international border to capture three Israeli soldiers, one of whom was Muslim. All of them died either during the fighting or shortly thereafter.

Four years later, Israel traded 425 terrorist prisoners for the three bodies and an Israeli civilian kidnapped by Hezbollah abroad four years earlier.  

Israel has spared no effort to protect its citizens, or recover the bodies of those who have given their lives. Hezbollah realised that if it kidnapped Israelis, Jerusalem would pay almost any price.  

It has thus interspersed its rocket and gun attacks on Israel with occasional cross-border raids aimed at killing or capturing Israelis.  

Since 2000, some 35 Israelis have died in such attacks.  

Israel might have failed to recover its soldiers but it succeeded in destroying much of Hezbollah’s infrastructure.  

This offered Lebanon and the UN a great opportunity to take back control of southern Lebanon.  

The UN presence was strengthened and Lebanese troops deployed to the border for the first time in decades.  

Unfortunately, today’s anniversary sees Hezbollah much stronger than it was at the end of the war.  

Hezbollah is rebuilding in southern Lebanon, not only refusing to disarm, but it is openly restocking its weapons caches with Syrian and Iranian help.  

The Lebanese Government has failed to stop them and UN troops in Lebanon won’t lift a finger.  

Meanwhile, Hamas has copied Hezbollah’s methods.  

On June 25 last year, Hamas entered Israeli territory, killed two Israeli soldiers and captured a third, Gilad Shalit.  

The year since has seen numerous attempts to capture further soldiers, one as recently as last month.  

In early July, it freed BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was captured by the so-called Army of Islam.  

Johnston was released to convince the world of the ability of Hamas to create law and order in Gaza.  

Maybe it was also hoping we would forget the hundreds of Israelis murdered by Hamas bombs over the years.  

Neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are fighting a territorial conflict.  

Both think and admit as much in official statements that they are fighting a religious war.  

Territorial conflicts can be resolved with compromises, but in religious wars, compromise is considered weakness.  

That’s why every time Israel has compromised in its search for peace Hamas and Hezbollah violence has increased.  

There can be no peace in the Middle East until groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas are disarmed or abandon their Islamist nature.  

BREN CARLILL is policy analyst at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Jun 22, 2022 | Featured, In the media
Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Jun 17, 2022 | Featured, In the media
1 2

The Far-Right foreign fighter threat that wasn’t

Jun 16, 2022 | Featured, In the media
Image: AAP Image/Pool, Jason Edwards

Making sense of the new political landscape

May 27, 2022 | Featured, In the media
Image: Wikimedia Commons

University of Melbourne exposes BDS’s lies and extremism

May 18, 2022 | Featured, In the media
The Climate 200-funded candidates (clockwise from top left) Zoe Daniel, Andrew Wilkie, Kylea Tink and Allegra Spender

Climate of concern over independent candidates

May 12, 2022 | Featured, In the media

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

SORT BY TOPICS