Rocket Attacks into Israel: This Story is Personal
Ralph Kostant e-mails us the following thoughts:
Hugh Hewitt commented on his show yesterday on the importance of political and military developments in Israel for all Americans. Of course, for Jewish Americans, with ties to Israel, the attachment is more personal. My wife, Laura, and I lived in Kiryat Shemona for three months just after our marriage, from October through December 1976, while attending an “ulpan,” or Hebrew language school. The Chief Rabbi of the town, Tzefania Drori, is married to a woman from Los Angeles (whose brother, Lee Samson, is a client of the Hedgehog’s law firm). So we feel a personal connection to this story of a rocket attack Monday on Kiryat Shemona and other communities in Northern Israel, carried out by Hezbollah, operating from southern Lebanon. Hezbelloh guerillas actually crossed the border into Israel, seeking to kidnap Israeli soldiers from northern outposts. As related in this story from the Jerusalem Post, a yeshiva (religious school) student now serving as a sniper in a paratroop unit of the Israel Defense Forces is credited with killing four of the infiltrators single-handedly.
It was precisely rocket attacks from Lebanon on these communities in Northern Israel that brought about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. For the next 18 years, Israel’s occupation of Southern Lebanon protected these communities, because Israeli troop positions in Lebanon bore the brunt of such attacks. Since the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon in September 2000, Hezbollah regularly stirs up trouble on the northern border, and the Lebanese government has thus far been either unwilling or unable to disarm this independent militia, acting under Syrian and Iranian sponsorship.
Israel now receive rocket and artillery attacks on a regular basis on two of its borders, in the north, from Lebanon, and in the southwest, from Gaza (since the removal of Israeli settlements and troops from that area). It is highly likely that withdrawals from Yehuda and Shomron (the “West Bank”), as favored by the United States, Ariel Sharon’s new party, and the leftist Labor Party, will expose the populous, urbanized center of Israel to such attacks, from the West Bank. Would Americans tolerate regular mortar and rocket attacks from Canada and Mexico?
Ralph B. Kostant