What’s been most striking about the media coverage of the war between Israel and Hizbullah is the sheer familiarity of it all. It took many of the usual suspects about a week or so to get their preset narrative – both sides are blameworthy, Israel’s response is disproportional, an immediate cease-fire is the only answer, and can’t we all just get along? – up and running, but that’s exactly what happened as soon as Lebanese civilian casualties began to mount and inconveniences like background and context could be shunted off beyond camera range.
Humanitarian international law continues to correctly require that every use of force by an army or insurgent force meet the test of "proportionality." Going back to the basic legal principle that "the means that can be used to injure an enemy are not unlimited," proportionality stipulates (among other things) that every exercise of armed force be limited to the minimum application needed for operational success. More specifically, this ancient principle of customary international law applies to all judgments of military advantage and to all planned reprisals.
The world is full of Israel-haters. I don't know why. It probably has something to do with anti-Semitism - and even more to do with lack of knowledge and understanding about the Middle East.
A democratically elected government's ultimate responsibility is the safety and security of its citizens. Accordingly, achieving that goal is the task facing the Israeli government in its dual war against Hizbullah terrorists on its northern front and Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the prime minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.
International law is not a suicide pact. Israel's distinctly measured use of force against terrorist bases in Lebanon is entirely consistent with international law. Although some would mistakenly contend that Israel's essential actions express "aggression," the incontestable right of individual self-defense is plainly codified in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Indeed, by persistently allowing its territory to be used as a base of terrorist operations against Israel, it is Lebanon that is in flagrant violation of the charter.
"Just like Hitler fought the Jews, we are a great Islamic nation of jihad, and we too should fight the Jews and burn them." - Hisham Shamas, political science student, at a symposium hosted by Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV at Lebanon's largest and only government-run university, Université Libanaise, November 29, 2005.
I hate making this call about my Orthodox Jewish brother Joe Lieberman, but he almost certainly will lose next week's Connecticut Democratic Senate primary. He will be defeated, as predicted by the polls and pundits, primarily because of his support for the Iraq war and his refusal to join in the demonization of George W. Bush.