Secretary of State spokesperson Jen Psaki issued a statement on behalf of the United States late Wednesday night (Israel time) strongly condemning Hezbollah’s attack from Lebanon on “IDF forces.”
Israel’s “greatest friend and ally” correctly the attack was a violation of the ceasefire agreement that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War but failed to say that in fact the attack was not directed solely at Israel’s army but rather at Israeli civilians as well. It was directed at all Israelis.
Six deadly missiles were fired into northern Israeli territory from a distance of approximately three kilometers deep into southern Lebanon, reaching at least two kilometers into northern Israel. They struck a convoy in which civilian vehicles were traveling as well as two completely unprotected IDF jeeps that were clearly not armored and not intended for military conflict.
Two IDF soldiers were killed, two IDF vehicles were incinerated, and seven other soldiers were wounded. Civilians in the cars that followed were severely traumatized and a few were injured. A civilian home in a Druze village, Ghajar, also was struck by a missile, caught fire and was destroyed. That civilian family is now homeless and other civilians in that village and others were also severely traumatized by the attack and the battle that followed, which also cost a UNIFIL peacekeeper from Spain his life.
This was not a military operation aimed at military engagement. This was a terrorist attack on a random target traveling on a civilian road and a random civilian home in a civilian village. Hezbollah was aiming at civilians, in fact.
The United States has deliberately chosen to ignore these inconvenient and uncomfortable facts in its statement of condemnation. Also missing from the statement is the word “terror.”
That’s odd, since Hezbollah appears on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations but then again, the Obama administration has from the start refused to use the term “Islamist” when discussing terror. Instead it refers to “radical extremism” or “extremist attacks.”
The terms make no sense since extremism cannot be anything other than radical and none of the attacks that have taken place in the past six years of the Obama administration have been associated with anything else other than radical Islamist terror groups. The policy is disingenuous at best.
Perhaps the real issue is connected to Iran and its current round of talks with world powers over “limiting” its nuclear development activities. As if Tehnran actually intends to honestly comply with such an agreement, even if one is reached.
Here’s the statement issued by the State Department. At least it actually condemns the correct side; that’s something anyway.
“The United States strongly condemns Hezbollah’s attack today from Lebanon on Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in blatant violation of the cease fire between Lebanon and Israel and UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks. We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and continue to urge all parties to respect the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. We urge all parties to refrain from any action that could escalate the situation.
“We are deeply concerned by reports of injuries and casualties on both sides of the Blue Line, including the reported deaths of IDF soldiers and the death of a Spanish UN peacekeeper from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). We extend our sincere condolences to the victims’ families. We also stand with UNIFIL as it fulfills its important mandate to maintain peace and security along the Blue Line.
“Hezbollah continues to incite violence and instability inside Lebanon by attacking Israel and by its presence and fighting inside Syria, which violates Lebanese leaders’ agreed policy of dissociating Lebanon from foreign conflicts.”Rachel Levy