Monday, July 17, 2006

Caroline Glick on the Cost to Israel of Appeasing Hezbollah

Caroline Glick is the Middle East Fellow for Frank Gaffney's Center for National Security. She was on vacation in the north of Israel when the conflict with Hezbollah began. In this column in the Jerusalem Post, she analyses how a policy of ignoring or appeasing Hezbollah was followed for six years by successive Israeli governments, after Israel's precipitous withdrawal from Lebanon, each government hoping that the inevitable confrontation with Hezbollah would fall to his successor. In the meantime, the Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization built up a massive arsenal of missiles and rockets, in effect allowing the Iranian mullahs, who have sworn Israel's destruction, to set up shop along her northern border. She analyses what must now be done to protect Israel's security: "destroying Hizbullah as a fighting force and compelling the Lebanese army to deploy along the border with Israel after Hizbullah is routed." While acknowledging that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared that those are in fact Israel's objectives in the current conflict, she questions whether the Olmert government has the will to resist pressure to quit before those goals are achieved. She concludes:
As my interrupted vacation proved, by retreating from Lebanon and Gaza, Israel effectively surrendered the initiative for waging war to its enemies. Israelis no longer control when war comes to us. It is therefore imperative that the Olmert government understand that retreat is not an option. Otherwise, whether at work or at play, at home or on the town, we will all be sitting ducks.

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