Friday, July 20, 2012
Don't ask why Hezbollah attacked. They're Hezbollah.
20 July '12..
Wednesday’s suicide bombing in Bulgaria may have been a startling reminder that Jews are not safe in the world today, but it did not come as a surprise to anyone involved in intelligence, espionage and counterterrorism. That such acts of targeted, cold-blooded killing have not been carried out on a daily basis, as they were during the Second Intifada, is due to the incredibly heroic work of our security services, not to a weakening of the will or means of our enemies.
Nor was it accidental that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately responded by pointing the finger at Iran and its chief proxy, Hezbollah. Whatever spin analysts have been trying to put on Netanyahu’s blatant and authoritative accusation, made before all the forensic facts were in, anyone paying the slightest bit of attention knows that there is a global war going on between the East and the West — with the former fast and furiously building a nuclear weapons arsenal that could blitz the latter if not into oblivion, then at least into submission.
It is being said by pundits that the purpose of Netanyahu’s statement about Israel’s not being the only entity in danger from the Iranian threat was to prepare the ground for a possible joint military operation against the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities. This is doubtful.
In the first place, Netanyahu had trouble this week even keeping his own coalition intact. Indeed, the short-lived merger with the Kadima party fell apart over the issue of drafting the ultra-Orthodox into the army. So it is not likely that the prime minister would be able to make out any better with outside elements, particularly not those “allies” who continue to conduct pointless, fruitless — and therefore dangerous — “dialogues” with Tehran, while it marches full speed ahead with its centrifuge perfection and uranium enrichment.
Secondly, even if he could trust the Obama administration’s assertions that the U.S. would not allow the Iranians to stall indefinitely, Netanyahu has pressing problems that go far beyond an election campaign. These include Syria, on Israel’s northern border, and Egypt, to the south — not to mention the need to step up security for El Al and other airlines that fly to and from Israel.
While U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is busy making speeches about Middle East strife, Netanyahu is the only free world leader actually sitting on the front lines of each country in the region engaged in internecine battles between Jack the Ripper and the Boston Strangler. (This makes choosing sides a tad trickier than Clinton would have Americans believe, especially when she has just over three months to sway their ballots in her boss’s favor.)
Netanyahu has many failings, but being stupid is not one of them. He is fully aware of all of the above and then some. But he had to pound home the point that Iran is actively pursuing its hegemonic aims, even as it prepares to come to the “negotiating table” with the P5+1 yet again, this time in Istanbul on July 24. That will be less than one week after it masterminded the terrorist attack on innocent Israeli tourists about to embark on a fun-filled vacation in Bulgaria.
But none of this was the focus of the Israeli punditocracy in the aftermath of the attack. What has been reiterated repeatedly for the past two days is that this act of terrorism was in retaliation for the February 2008 assassination — attributed to the Mossad — of arch-murderer Imad Mughniyeh.
Mughniyeh was a Hezbollah honcho, responsible for high-profile and even higher death-toll terrorist attacks against Israeli and American targets (the 1983 bombings of the U.S. Army barracks and embassy in Beirut, and the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.) He was killed in Damascus by a car bomb. Though Israel has never actually acknowledged its part in his death, Mughniyeh had been on the Mossad’s radar for years, and it is widely believed that his assassination was carried out in response to his role in instigating the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Referring to “retaliation” for specific actions is a big mistake on behalf of the press. Just as Mughniyeh was targeted for his lifetime of plotting and committing mass murders of Western “infidels,” and to prevent him from continuing to do so, Hezbollah took aim at a group of Israelis boarding a tour bus (denials notwithstanding) as part of a comprehensive strategy to annihilate and/or subjugate Jews and Christians the world over. This is as much its stated goal as that of its patron sugar daddy, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Hezbollah does not need an excuse to perpetrate pernicious acts of war. Nor could Israel do anything differently to avoid arousing the wrath of the mullahs and their proxies. It is Israel’s existence that causes soldiers in Allah’s army to strap explosives to their bodies and die for the sake of killing. This was the case long before Mughniyeh got his just desserts. It would still be the case if he were alive today.
It is this truism that Netanyahu has been trying to convey to his counterparts in Europe and America, with shockingly little success. It might help if Israeli “analysts” and “experts” kept their mouths shut once in a while, rather than providing further fodder for those who blame the Jewish state not only for dead Arabs, but for dead Jews as well.
Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring,’” now available on Amazon.
Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook.