Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's Kfar Qana all over again...

And at the same place too, at the village of Qana... sheer tragedy for the poor people living there :( my heart goes out to the poor civilians, esepcially the children.

The Hezbulla did it in the very same way too. They launched rockets from next to the building then ran inside... hoping, I guess, for the IDF to attack the building. And sure enough, as leaflets had been showered on Qana telling people to evacuate, the IAF assumed the building was empty of civilians and attacked.

No words will help those children whose bodies are burried in the rubble... There's a special place in hell (with no virgins either) for the Hezbulla people who launched rockets from that building, knowing fully well they will be tracked down and shot at, dooming dozens of children to horrible death.

21 comments:

Jean said...

I guess, Israelimom, that you should include in hell the ones who also pulled the trigger to that bomb which ended up in this building.

Let me add too, that IDF did in fact shower the region with leaflets inviting civilians to leave the area, but:
- many of the civilian vehicules which tried to flee the area were targeted by the IDF.
- many of those who are left have no choice, as they have no cars
- many of those who are left have cars, but no fuel. IDF targetted most of the fuel pomps.

So, yes, it is absolutely NOT enough to ask the residents to leave, and this clearly does not disengage israel's responsibility from this horrible massacre. Hizbullah, neither, but israel certainly doesn't have clean hands in this neither.
They are both to be held responsible, and I would expect Olmert to present official excuses for the victims.

Jean
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IsrealiMom said...

You know, we have a unique concept in the IDF, of an obviously illegal command (not sure how to translate that). Had the pilot, or anyone else in the chain of command for that matter, thought that there were refugees in that building, they should have refused the command. It's what expected of them. They were told by whatever intelligence they gathered that the building was empty.

Hezbulla, on the other side, working from the ground and from within the village, knew fully well that there were people in the building, and they still chose to lead IAF bombers in that direction...

Are leaflets enough? apparently not. I agree with you there. As I posted before, I think Israel should have allowed for the 3 days long ceasefire to enable the evacuation of every child out of that region. Sigh. I guess it's too late for some of them now.

I just can't fathom the cold-blooded act of knowingly and deliberately launching the rockets from next to that building... I'm sorry, but that to me is much much worse than pulling the trigger on a bomb when you assume the building is empty. I hope that Olmert expresses his condolences, I assume it's already been done (though maybe not receieved media recognition), but I still think the moral responsibility lies with the Hezbulla. Don't you agree that for them this is a welcome and desired outcome?

Jean said...

You said "Don't you agree that for them this is a welcome and desired outcome?"

Of couse, and this is exactly why I expect Olmert to present official excuses to the victims. because of the moral issue, but also, because otherwise, HA would have a great momentum.

I'm surprised how IDF was not aware that there were civilians. They have drones flying all over, they should have noticed civilian activity in that building.
moreover, I would really expect the IDF to present unrefutable proof of the presence of HA fighters in the premises of this building. because otherwise, it is very easy to cover one's mistake with "there were HA there"..

Jean
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Jad Aoun said...

So did Israel successfully hit its target? I'm just curious how many Israeli shells, artillery and rockets have actually hit Hezbollah launching positions.

Jad Aoun said...

Didn't Operations Grape of Wrath end due to international pressure from the 1st Qana Massacre?
Is history repeating itself?

Jean said...

If this is the case, we all know who would have won.. sad.

Moreover, I haven't read yet that Olmert publically and clearly apologized for the victims.
Many of the people who don't like HA, say that it's because they kill innocent civilians just because they are jews.
Is Israel starting to kill innocent civilians, just because they are shiite ??
if no, they apology is in order, and quickly !

Time is ticking..

IsrealiMom said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/744295.html

Very much Kfar Qana all over again... talk about a Dejavu. This is so much what Israel did not want at this point, and just what we've been trying to avoid.

The public apology is out there of course, but as I said, I don't think it gets too much media attention. From the article above -
Israel, meanwhile, expressed "deep regret" for the deaths and said it would investigate the bombing.

"Israel deeply regrets, is greatly saddened, by this attack on innocent civilians in Lebanon. Israel takes full responsibility and is going to start an open investigation to find out how this happened," government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said.

IsrealiMom said...

And please, don't assume our intelligence knows everything (I know, I know, it's part of our deterrence to make others think that, so much so we sometimes fall into that very trap). It's not easy telling from the air whether the dots moving on the ground are civilians or Hezbulla (add to that that the HA fighters make a point of walking around in civilian clothings so they can assimilate within the local population).

Again, this goes so much against any Israeli interest that to think Israel did this with any kind of intent is just absurd...

As for how many launchers have been destroyed, it's hard to say - going back to what I said about the less-than-perfect intelligence. Add to that the fact that they keep being supplied from Syria (as much as we try to stop that, it's not always possible) and we really don't know much about actual numbers.

janjo said...

It is not really matter if it is an intelligence failure or not. If Israel targeted civilians on purpose or out of accident. What matters is that in few days there will be cease-fire and it does not seem that Israel is going to achieve it’s goal in destroying HA but only has weaken it in some ways. But what is not taken in consideration is the Hate injected in people of Israel and Lebanon by this war and making the region divided more than before. Don’t you see that this war only has made it easier for HA to reinforce them as a resistance in southern Lebanon? Today some reporters said Tony Blair has commented regarding a major cease-fire. The resolution is on the way. It will repeat UN Security Resolution 1559 calling on foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon and for militias to be disarmed. In reality, this is likely to mean incorporating HA into the Lebanese army and not disbanding them. How we gonna look into eyes of those who have lost their beloved ones after all this?

IsrealiMom said...

I have to wonder, what then would you suggest? Put yourself in the place of the Israeli prime minister. What would you have done in the same situation, when a heavily armed militia suddenly attacks your civilian population out of the blue?

janjo said...

attacks your civilian population out of the blue?
--

I am sure how things are at your side but I quote here what we were told here as what started this :
In a cross-border raid, guerrillas seize two Israeli soldiers before retreating back into Lebanon, insisting on a prisoner exchange and warning against confrontation. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert describes the capture of the soldiers as "an act of war".

I am not in any position to suggest anything cuz I am not in PM Plmert shoes but I know that similar things did happen in 2004 and they did a negotiation. My question is, if you knew 2 weeks ago that maybe HA is just doing this to have upper hand to maintain its existence in southern Lebanon and now after the war it actually has achieved its goal would you still support this approach?
If you were told by end of this war HA won’t be destroyed and even it can recruit more people with more hate for Israel which do as HA want them to do? Would you still choose this approach?
If you would know that in coming years HA could be come a bigger threat because now there are more people thinking maybe it is HA which they have to rely on not anyone else would you still support this approach? And with people I am taking about Shiias. Those 1 million people who are getting the most effect with this. They are real losers to all this.

What HA did was wrong and never can be justified. At least I can not see it justified but in no ways it has been reported here as an invasion in Israel or on civilian population. But even if it has not reported by BBC and CNN properly and it was as stressed as you say still there were ways apart from a war. And these other approaches have been used before for example in 2004.

But maybe at the time, 3 weeks ago Israel intelligence believed that they destroy HA but now they think otherwise. Maybe if they knew it is not gonna get destroyed they would not make it this way! Maybe I am wrong!

IsrealiMom said...

You know, I'm not even sure if this is the official Israeli stand (and don't care lol, it's my blog, not the government's ;)), but what started this wasn't just the kidnapping of the soldiers. Right before they entered Israeli territory to get the soldiers, they started shelling Israeli settlements along the border. Katyushas and mortal shells. This broke the six years of "peace", not the kidnapping in itself.

Was this a huge surprise? I don't know, can't tell you what our military intelligence did or did not know. It was a surprise for the Israeli public, I can tell you as much.

I don't think anybody estimated at any point that the HA can be eradicated at any form. That was never the goal, nor is it now. The goal is to drive them away from where they can launch attack on Israel. As simple as that. The secondary goal is to re-establish deterrence. Was that acheived? I actually think it was, at least to some extent. I think the HA's saying they were suprised by the magnitude of the Israeli response is just that. It means that they, the Palestinians and any other element in the region with similar plans may think twice before starting out another affair like that.

I doubt that Israel would have won an popularity contest in Lebanon before this. The general feeling over here is that you weren't going to like us much anyway, why try win any hearts? The same goes for the Europeans btw, not just the Lebanese people themselves.

HappyStill said...

Shame on you for trying to find a way to justify the massacre of those people.
You have no way of knowing what Hizbullah did prior to the launch of the mssiles at those buildings. you only know what you have been told.
I don't know how your media is reporting what is happening. The people who are left behind are the people who cannot leave even if they want to.
As is normal in this mad world that we have to share, it is the poorest, the weakest, the most powerless people who are left behind. Very often it's mums and children.
I watched a woman on tv tonight crying for her 3 daughters who were killed in that attack.
When all this is over, you have to live with your neighbours - I agree with Janjo - how will this be possible? And why would you think that obliterating the population of people living close to the border will stop Israeli people being massacred. Do you not think that those people will laucnh their attackes from elsewhere? Maybe from inside Israel? Physical borders mean nothing in this day and age.
The killing has got to stop and Israel is every bit as responsible for making it stop as the others.
I learned to be very critical of the media by necessity. In Ireland, governments, the media and any other person with influence lied to the people of Ireland for generations. They lied about what was happening, who was doing what and why they did things.
please do not think that I am a supporter of Hizbullah. I am somebody's mammy and I lived through enough bloodshed to know that someone has to make the decision that enough is enough.

IsrealiMom said...

Happystill, I know that trusting official explanations isn't very popular. It's not the media that I trust, it's even worse, it's the Israeli officers that present these things... See, I was one of them, my father was one and my husband is one still. As officers in the IDF, the first thing we were taught is not to lie. Yes, there are such things as psychological warfare and misinformation in the battlefield, but you do not use them on your own people. When an IAF brigadier general holds a press conference and says that rockets have been launched from Qana, he isn't lying. I trust him. He adds movies and pictures as proof (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3283816,00.html - play the movie there), but those aren't even necessary for me, because I believe him. I know where he's coming from. I know the IDF morals and rules about not hurting innocent civilians - I was brought up on them.

So, yes, there is no justification for knowingly killing innocent civilians. It is not our way and never has been. The IDF tries to avoid that. If you don't believe we have morals, then just think for yourself, this goes against Israeli interest and provides nothing. Hence, I am not trying to justify the act, just to explain how we got lead into this trap by Hezbulla people. People that apprently hold a different set of values (if you can even call them that), and think nothing of having dozens of children of their own people killed in the name of Allah.

I have said it before, numerous times, and I'll say it again. My heart goes out to the people caught up in the fireline, to the moms, dads, and children. In this crazy world, I hope for my country to find the best way to be able to protect my own children, without hurting others. Is this too much to ask for?

steve said...

Happy said: "Shame on you for trying to find a way to justify the massacre of those people."

Of all the assertions one could level at the woman who provides the space here in an effort for all sides to openly discuss the circumstances and conduct of this war, this is astoundingly rude.

Actually, that's all i have to say about it. If one needs to vent, this is hardly the place, IMO. Go to a newspaper. This is for serious people with serious questions.

HappyStill said...

For Steve,
If you read the original post - the implication is that, because they were warned, the people should have left the area and they would not now be dead. For me, that is justification of a massacre. If it is rude for me to be outraged by that then, fair enough, I am rude - I can live with that.
I grew up in a country where I was exposed to a single, correct and honourable way of doing things. I learned later that 'truth' is a very subjective commodity. I learned to my cost that there is rarely one 'truth' and it depends very much on your 'side' in a conflict.
For the record, I started reading this blog because I wanted to try to understand this war from an Israeli perspective. Clearly, in your eyes, I am not entitled to an opinion unless I agree with what's written. Perhaps I will go back to newspapers, as you suggest, but then don't be shocked if I don't see what Israeli people have to say.

Robby said...

Doesn't Hizballah claim to be a political and humanitarian group? If you watch the American news you see poor Lebanese families swearing to remain loyal to them because of the aide they supply.

So why doesn't Hizballah make an all out attempt to get these people out of there? And why didn't they evacuate the south before they kidnapped the soldiers?

Did they really think Israel would not fight back?

steve said...

Happystill said: "If you read the original post - the implication is that, because they were warned, the people should have left the area and they would not now be dead. For me, that is justification of a massacre."

Happy, re read what you just said above. Should I ask you why bother with leaflets if no one pays attention to them? Now, I grant you, no one is in the clear here, nor can I justify all the bombing of a city's buildings and infrastructure. It just hurts us all. Yet, why stay in a building or an area when you have been told it would be bombed? Would you grant my wonderings as to that?

you said: "If it is rude for me to be outraged by that then, fair enough, I am rude - I can live with that."

So why take it out on Israelimom? Hell, I am rude too; that is still not a crime. She posed a reasonable question: Once again, why stay when you know bombs are about to fall on your head? Or did they not read the flyers? I bet the next crowd who reads such news gets the hell out of the 'hood.

HappyStill said...

This isn't my space so I don't want to get into a continuing debate with Steve but....
I wonder myself about why people wouldn't leave.. could it be because they can't? Or they have nowhere to go? Could it be because, exactly like the Israeli people, they don't think they should be bombed into submission? I honestly don't know and I am not sure that's the point.
My point is that there can be no justification. The ordinary people who were killed are no different to ordinary Israeli people who die at the hands of Hizbullah.
I don't believe I am 'taking it out' on Israelimom - I still can't believe that people think that the killing of innocent people is excusable.
I read this blog, as I said, so that I can try and get an angle on both sides of this war. It doesn't mean I have to agree and it doesn't mean I can't be angry.
I still do not understand the logic of the argument - basically, you are all saying 'If I tell you I am going to kill you, you should just get out of the way and it's your responsibility if you don't!'
Isn't that the same argument that Hizbullah use? And the PLO, the IRA, the UVF and all the other organisations that are classed as terrorists in their own countries?
To my mind, if it's not right, it's not right!
For Israelimom..Sorry for going on and on and on... I know you are probably worried sick about your friends, family and country. I remember the feeling well.

IsrealiMom said...

Happystill, I am not offended and would like to keep the discussion going. Of course this is a heated subject, as well it should be. The world needs more people who feel so much for other people being involved in war. I know that Steve is one as well :)

You said -
I still do not understand the logic of the argument - basically, you are all saying 'If I tell you I am going to kill you, you should just get out of the way and it's your responsibility if you don't!'

That is not the argument at all. The argument is "I don't want to kill you. I will do all I can not to hurt you. But someone is trying to kill me and he's standing right next to you. You know him, and you let him stand next to you, and right now he is pulling you in front of him as a sheild and shooting at me. I will have no choice but to shoot him out of self defence. Either that or I get killed. I am letting you know, so you can do whatever you can to avoid being in the line of fire, because I am not going to stand idly and let him kill me instead."

The reason this war is so widely supported in Israel is that we feel this is a "no-choice" war that was forced upon us. An enemy started firing rockets at us, killing and wounding many, destroying our towns and paralysing half of this country. We can't live with that. It's unacceptable to us. Hence, we need to react in pure self defense. The reaction is some biblicat "eye for an eye". We dont want to kill even a single innocent person, so we don't count the number of dead people on both sides. People talk about proprotionality, but let me tell you this, if we could destroy the thread from the HA without killing a single innocent Lebanese, we would gladly do so, not seeking to "proportionally" kill a few dozens on their side... this isn't about proprotionality, it's about Israel's attempt to do away with a major threat to its existence.

Anonymous said...

The argument that the Nationalist community shielded the IRA (or indeed that the Unionist community shielded the Loyalist 'terrorists')was always the one that was levelled here. My family, my neighbours and I never had any control over the what the main players did and we were stuck. And to some extent we were being protected by these people.
But if we had chosen to flee, where would we have gone? No jobs, no money and in very many cases nowhere else to go except to another place exactly the same. Although I appreciate that what occurred here is not on the scale that you or your neighbours are suffering, it meant that virtually all of my childhood was spent in the middle of CS gas, rubber bullets, the endless threat of bombs/ shootings/ riots. I came within a heartbeat of losing a family member in a no warning bomb.
We were so entrenched into our 'tribes' or trenches we literally never met the other side or tried to understand their perspective. We witnessed endless atrocities. In the end, we drove this very small and insignificant country into the ground. It also drove generations of young men and women into lives as 'terrorists'. Nearly me too I might add. It was probably sheer fluke that i didn't get involved!
And all for what?
I am extremely lucky - I experienced more than all that.
I am not picking up the pieces of a lifetime spent at war with people that I don't even know. I have not been traumatised to the extent that I cannot hold down a job/ family and I didn't end up addicted to anything. But when I look around me, I see that I am indeed very fortunate.
And although we have an uneasy peace, there is a whole new generation of young people, who didn't even experience the conflict, for whom 'the other side' is as much a mystery as ever. they are raised on tales of what happened in years gone by.
We are about 10 years into 'peace' and about six weeks ago, a 15 year old child was beaten to death by people (probably people of a similar age) who thought he was the enemy. Within the past 2 weeks,they burned a picture of him on a bonfire.
I have to bring my kids up in a country where we still hate the sight of one another. I have no expectation that it will change except that the bitterness seems to get deeper with every generation.
I would not wish it for you or for anyone else and I strongly believe that is what you are going to get if this war goes on as it is at the moment. I don't think that Israel will ever wipe out Hizbullah or any other organisation because every death just seems to confirm to ordinary people in those countries that what they (H)say is actually true.
In the 21st century we need to be thinking differently.
ps it's me again - forgot my password!