Making the Rubble Bounce in Lebanon
According to a report posted on the Reuters site, Israel has threatened to “destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure if Hizbollah fires rockets at Tel Aviv as Hizbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened on Thursday, a senior Israeli defense source told Israel’s Channel One television.”
Excuse me, but it seems Israel has already done a mighty effective job of destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure. I guess the 60 bridges and 70 roads destroyed, the taking out of Beirut’s airport, the destruction of power plants, the fuel tanks and gas stations bombed, the food warehouses, dams, schools, television and radio stations, churches, mosques, hospitals, ambulances, and the thousands and thousands of homes targeted and destroyed are not, according to the Israelis, part of Lebanon’s critical infrastructure.
In essence, what Israel is saying here is that if Tel Aviv is touched by Hezbollah’s tinker-toy rockets they will make the rubble bounce in Lebanon.
Of course, considering what the Israelis did to the Palestinians—and continue to do—the threat by “a senior Israeli defense source” should be taken seriously. Following the United Nations handing Palestine over to the Zionists in 1948, more than 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed by the Israelis. Major urban areas—Nazareth, Baysan, Beersheba, Acre, Ramla, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa, and others—were systematically “depopulated,” a polite word for ethnic cleansing. See a list of the destroyed villages here.
“By the end of the 1948 war, hundreds of entire villages had not only been depopulated but obliterated, their houses blown up or bulldozed,” writes Palestinian author, Walid Khalidi. “While many of the sites are difficult to access, to this day the observant traveller of Israeli roads and highways can see traces of their presence that would escape the notice of the casual passer-by: a fenced-in area, often surmounting a gentle hill, of olive and other fruit trees left untended, of cactus hedges and domesticated plants run wild. Now and then a few crumbled houses are left standing, a neglected mosque or church, collapsing walls along the ghost of a village lane, but in the vast majority of cases, all that remains is a scattering of stones and rubble across a forgotten landscape.”
“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages,” mused Israeli war criminal Moshe Dayan in 1969 (see previous link). “You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu’a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”
Jonathan Cook enumerates a handful of these persistent crimes:
The roll call of dishonor is long indeed, but its highlights include: the massacre of some 200 civilians in Tantura, as well as large-scale massacres in at least a dozen other Palestinian villages, during the 1948 war that established Israel; Ariel Sharon’s attack on the village of Qibya in 1953 that killed 70 innocent Palestinians; the Kfar Qassem massacre inside Israel when 49 farm workers were gunned down at an improvised army checkpoint; a massacre in the same year in the refugee camp of Khan Yunis, in Gaza, in which more than 250 civilians were killed; attacks on dozens of Palestinian, Egyptian and Syrian villages during the 1967 war; the killing of six unarmed Arab citizens of Israel in 1976; the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the Lebanese refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982; the unremitting use of lethal force by the army against unarmed Palestinians, often women and children, during the first intifada of 1987-93; the aerial bombardment of Qana in south Lebanon in 1996 that killed more than 100 civilians; and the endless “collateral damage” of Palestinian civilians during the second intifada, including a half-ton bomb that killed a husband and wide and their seven children….
In addition to exacting disproportional retribution on Arabs, Israel is an ethnic cleansing and land grabbing colonial state par excellence. “During the 1967 Six Day War Israeli forces seized a piece of Lebanese territory called the Shebaa Farms, a 25 square kilometer area consisting of 14 farms located south of the Shebaa, a Lebanese village on the western slopes of Mount Hermon,” explains the Shebaa Farm Foundation.
As well, Israel has long coveted the waters of the Litani River. “Israel has had historical interest in the Litani River, whose entire flow is within the borders of Lebanon,” notes Hussein A. Amery. “Jewish interests in the Litani River were made explicit in letters from Chaim Weizmann, head of the World Zionist Organization…. The diaries of Moshe Sharett, an Israeli prime minister during the mid-1950s, reveal that Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, chief of staff and defense minister, were strong advocates of Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon to the Litani River.”
Israel is now in the process of denuding the landscape of Arab villages in southern Lebanon—or at least pancaking them and stampeding residents, or those physically able to be stampeded—and sending in thousands of troops to establish a “security zone,” a repeat of its 1978 invasion, when it grabbed 850 square kilometers containing 85 villages. “Only 100,000 of the original 250,000 residents from 1978 remain today,” Nicholas Blanford wrote prior to Israel’s retreat in 2000.
Thus Hezbollah’s salvos of rickety rockets are providing Israel with a perfect excuse to continue its habitual pathology of murder and ethnic cleansing. It’s not so much about an eye for an eye—or rather 100 eyes for an eye—but rather bringing Israel’s long planned invasion to a bloody and criminal fruition.
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