Israel Says Hezbollah Positions Put Lebanese at Risk

The moving of military infrastructure into and near Lebanese villages means that many civilians are likely to be killed in any future war, Israeli officials warned.

Comments: 254

  1. Israel has finally recognized that its time to engage in the propaganda war it has largely lost to date in Europe and other regions of the world. Israel is also saying that those civilians that allow military/terroristic organizations to form in their midst bear some responsibility for that formation and should either stop that formation or flee the sadly inevitable consequences.

  2. The headquarters of the IDF (HaKirya) are in downtown Tel Aviv. Does that mean civilians in Tel Aviv "bear some responsibility for that formation and should either stop that formation or flee the sadly inevitable consequences"?

    What about other civilian places in Israel where the IDF are heavily embedded?

  3. " civilians that allow military/terroristic organizations to form in their midst bear some responsibility for that formation and should either stop that formation or flee the sadly inevitable consequences"

    4th Geneva Convention, Art 28:

    "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."

    https://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/380-600033?OpenDocument

    This is meant as a warning to aggressors, with the intent of protecting civilians from the inevitable and necessary response from the other side when civilian areas are used for offensive fire. Of course, no one cares about the Geneva Conventions when it protects Israel.

  4. "Israel has finally recognized that its time to engage in the propaganda war"

    Hasbara has been a staple of Israel for a generation now. We are swamped in it. But yes, this article is yet more of that.

  5. Is Netanyahu preparing the world opinion for his next adventure? Having killed thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians last year, is he now getting ready to kill thousands of innocent Lebanese civilians? As your article makes clear, the recent skirmishes along Israel's northern border have almost always been started by Israeli strikes. After nearly a decade of peace along the Israeli- Lebanese border and prospects of peace with Iran, why start violence and killing of innocent civilians now? Will Netanyahu ever give peace a chance?

  6. Peace is Netanyahu's worst nightmare. He desperately needs conflict and "existential" threat to stay in power.

  7. Oli, you state, "As your article makes clear, the recent skirmishes along Israel's northern border have almost always been started by Israeli strikes."

    But neither the article nor the reference in the article makes anything like this "clear". The reference simply states,
    "The death in January of a Spanish member of the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon was caused by Israeli fire during a clash, an Israeli security official confirmed Tuesday. A military investigation concluded that the peacekeeper, Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, had been killed as the Israeli military responded to a cross-border attack against its forces by Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant organization. The Israeli security official said the results of the investigation had been shared with the Spanish government."

    Hezbollah has admittedly been involved in Syria and its involvement in dropping barrel bombs and poison gas on Syrian civilian populations. It would not be wise for Hezbollah to do the same in Israel.

  8. http://elderofziyon.blogspot.no/2015/02/two-more-of-those-children-kille... says 70% of the children killed in Gaza between the ages of 9-17 were boys (One would expect a similar amount of boys and girls being killed in Gaza, but that simply isn't the case.). The ratio goes up the older the teens are, from 62% of those 9-11 to 79% of those between 15-17. Given that we have evidence (same link) of children as young as nine being used by terror groups, a significant number of the "children" killed in Gaza must have been helping out Hamas or other terror groups.

    The Meir Amit ITIC, in their latest report on how Gaza terror groups recruit children, says "An examination of the names of Gazan fatalities in Operation Protective Edge indicated adolescents who served in the military-terrorist wings of the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. The extensive recruitment of young men and the intention to use them as auxiliary forces for the regular military-terrorist units is liable to increase the number of those killed and wounded in future confrontations between the terrorist organizations and the IDF, serving Hamas as propaganda material to use against Israel."

  9. “We will hit Hezbollah hard, while making every effort to limit civilian casualties as much as we can,” the official said,...

    Sorry but I do not believe what this Israeli official says.

    In 2008 the government of Israel adopted a doctrine called the “Dahiyya Doctrine” as reported by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper in October of that year. The doctrine involves the comprehensive destruction of areas in their entirety and the use of disproportionate force as punitive actions whenever there is any level of militant Palestinian/Hamas/Hezbollah resistance. According to the former chief of the Israeli army’s general staff, the idea of maximum civilian death and destruction is to brand in the Palestinian consciousness the fearsome might of the Israeli Army.

  10. The fact that there's a liberal Israeli newspaper for you to cite should tell you something.

  11. And you believe Hezbollah?

  12. "Proportionate force" is that amount of force required to achieve a military objective, in this instance, suppression of rocket fire. When the enemy embeds its rocket launchers and other weapons among civilians, that enemy becomes responsible for "collateral damage," not the defending forces.

    The best example of this was last summer's Gaza war, in which Hamas likewise embedded its rockets and other weapons among the civilian population of Gaza, using them as expendable "human shields." While there were 2,100 casualties, the majority of whom were civilians who were not allowed to move out of harm's way when warned by the I.D.F., through phone calls, leaflets and unarmed "knocks on the roof."

    Like the leadership of Hamas, Nasrallah intends to produce as many casualties as possible, irrespective of whether Israeli civilians, or Lebanese civilians, to generate the "sympathy factor" among soft-headed liberal apologists. War is a dangerous and often fatal business which should not be left to amateurs!

  13. I have no doubt that Hezbollah uses civilians and civilian areas for military purposes. Not only does this provide a level of "protection" but provides for great propaganda.

    I have no doubt that what Israel is doing to the Palestinian people now is horribly wrong, from stealing their land and livelihoods to needless and heedless destruction of the people themselves. Israel has allowed itself to become that which it is fighting against.

    No side in the Middle East holds a "higher" moral ground as both side perpetrate evil. All sides are wrong, dead wrong. Those who choose sides, regardless of which side, need be reminded of that the lesser of two evil is still evil.

  14. Palestinians rejected peace negotiations twice which would have given them 95% of the wesrt bank with the remaining 5% in land swaps, they started a war and lost it in 1967. There are consequences to starting and losing wars

  15. the moral equivalence between a democracy that keeps trying for peace (gave back sinai, southern lebanon, gaza etc) all territory taken in defensive wars, and medieval theocracies without any semblance of personal freedom is a joke. do you really look at these pictures of children in keffiyahs with machine guns and think "they are just like me"? they do not tick off any of the boxes that says they deserve a country. People with a death fetish should not be rewarded with a state at the expense of a freedom loving democracy. Would we give a state to people on our border who swore our destruction and purposely killed our children? no, we would wipe them out. Israel's restraint for 70 years is beyond comprehension.

  16. There are consequences of being completely ignorant of historical facts as well, Alex.

  17. Israel will fight tooth for tooth and nail for nail. You have to visit Israel and then go to any Arab country and see for yourself what the differences are. Where are the billions and billions of dollars that have gone to the Palestinians? I see tunnels, huge supplies of arms ready to take on Israel, and I see lots of poverty. Israel collects taxes to give to the Palestinian Authority, and where is that money going?

    Go to Israel and see how what this country has done in just 70 years.

    How many wars has the Arab world has initiated with Israel, and she still fights for here survival. Israel is outnumbered probably 10:1 by her enemies and they would totally like to decimate her and her people.

    As for those who might write that she fights with a strong arm and sword rather than throw stones, I say good for her! You cannot fight an enemy whose women believe that it's their duty to rear multitudes of children for war against Israel, and if they die, they will go to Heaven. The enemy has to know that they will be severely punished and retribution will be costly. As for the writer who wrote about Israel's doctrine called Dahiyya, so what! Israel just has to lose one war, while the Arab world keeps on and on.

    As for disproportionate fighting, I have seen America fight various wars around the world with all of her superiority and might. So why did so many of her children return in body bags from wars in Vietnam and Iraq I & II? And who invented the words "collateral damage"?

  18. The Jew haters are out in force and European Jewry better wise up and start fighting back or retreat to fortress Israel.

    Two Millenium and nothing really changes.The Jews have and always will be scapegoated by fascists and tyrants to keep their ignorant and angry masses in tow.

    Only brains guts and guns have kept Israel alive and so it will be right to the end.

  19. For starters it's 'tooth and nail" not tooth for tooth. That's most likely a misplaced reference to 'eye for an eye'. Beyond that this whole thing is, say... deja vu, all over again. Look that one up.

  20. I took "tooth for tooth" as a play on words.

  21. Israel warns Hezbolla that retaliation will kill civilians after creating Hezbolla with invasion and post invasion policies and incursions that killed civilians. Why shouldn't Hezbolla set up in areas to protect their people if those people are going to be killed by Israel anyway?

  22. Israel has zero interest in Lebanon beyond ensuring security. There is no border dispute as per the UN. So why is Hezbollah building up "defenses"? It's clearly to attack Israel.

  23. Why do you make the assumption that Israel is going to kill people 'anyway' without provocation. The Israelis are fairly warning Hezbollah, and the world, that if Hezbollah attacks (emphasis on "if"), Israel will be forced to respond and that this will most likely result in many civilian casualties, given Hezbollah's unethical and illegal build up in civilian areas. Conversely, if Hezbollah does not attack, there'd be no need to be concerned about civilian casualties. Bottom line: Hezbollah are the provocateurs and aggressors, not the Israelis.

  24. Is Hezbollah "protecting their people" by using children, women and others who are forbidden to move to safety? Really!!!

  25. I sure would like to know what alternative(s) are available to Israel. They came into existence with full recognition by the USA and USSR in a rare cooperation and were recognized as a legitimate State by the UN. They were repeatedly attacked by Islamic States with the intent of being driven into the Sea. Yes, there are legitimate criticism to actions by Israel since 1948. The Islamic States could have accepted Israel but they made war upon it many times over the years and so, here we are. Israel is not interested in attacking Lebanon. Who is kidding whom? A build up by Hezbollah on the Lebanon border can only be for the purpose of attacking Israel at some point.

  26. Two alternatives, Walt: collective suicide to placate the Arabs and Jew-haters or winning when necessary and by any means necessary when push comes to shove. Or does the only sovereign Jewish state in the world -- rebuilt on historic Jewish land stolen in blood by the Romans and passed on from one conqueror to the next -- not merit the right to survive in your book?

  27. Yes. Israel came into existence with the full recognition of the USA and the USSR, but were any countries in the area consulted? A book entitled" What Price Israel?", was written by Alfred Lilienthal, an American Jew who was on the American delegation to the UN at the time of the creation of Israel. The establishment of Israel was a triumph of the Zionist movement accomplished by all kinds of machinations in the UN. The world is still paying the price of the existence of Israel, even though everything had the full approval of the USA and the USSR as well as the Brits who gave thier protectorate, Palestine, to the Zionists.. It is likely that the Islamic states, and certainly the Palestinians will never accept the existence of Israel. They were never consulted, but their land was taken to establish Israel.

  28. How many NYT readers are ignorant of the fact that when the Arabs attacked Israel in 1948, it wasn't to create (much less resurrect) a fictional independent Arab country of Palestine, their goal was to divide all of Mandatory Palestine among themselves.

    How many NYT readers think Israel "conquered" a fictional country of Palestine in 1967, ignorant of the fact that Jordan ruled the West Bank and Egypt ruled Gaza until 1967, and these areas were repeated used as staging areas for Jordanian and Egyptian aggression against Israel?

    Israel at its widest point was only 9 miles across in 1967. How many do overs was Israel supposed to give the Arabs before the Arabs would finally succeed in cutting Israel in half?

  29. I think it's wonderful that Israel is so concerned about the lives of Lebanese people.

  30. Is Hezbollah concerned? If so, how are they showing this concern?

  31. Obviously, Hezbollah isn't!

  32. I believe that an outside organization, respected by all sides, needs to travel to Lebanon to examine these allegations. If they are false, Israel needs to be censored. If they are true and if Hezbollah initiates a new war, Israel cannot be blamed for responding to military targets purposely established in civilian areas.

  33. And what about Israeli "military targets purposely established in civilian areas"? E.g., the headquarters of the IDF (HaKirya) are in central Tel Aviv?

  34. What the article neglects to mention is that the last encounter between Israel and Hizbollah ended with an internationally brokered cease fire that promised international oversight to prevent Hizbollah from rearming with new missiles, rockets and weapons. Israel repeatedly alerted the international community to observed breaches of that agreement.
    So there is no outcry when Hamas lobs tens of thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian centers; no outcry that Hamas used UN safety zones to store AND fire rockets (several international journalists reported that with videos of children playing from where rockets were fired during the Gaza operation); no outcry when Hizbollah rearms; apparently there will be no outcry that Hizbollah, like Hamas is more interested in generating negative attitudes and press against Israel than in protecting its own people by provoking conflicts that will get its civilians killed. Worked for Hamas.
    Let's be clear -- Hizbollah and Lebanon are not Palestinian or Palestine. This is an expression of Arab non-acceptance of the State of Israel which predates that state's establishment, and demonstrates that the conflict is not between Israel and Palestinians, but the Arab world in general.

  35. The only thing that comes out of a meat grinder is ground meat. I don't know of anyone crazy enough desiring to become sausage.

  36. In an era of the internet and satellite photography sites such as Google Earth, Israel should make this evidence available so that anyone can see what they see. The best way to build support for military actions and to counter hostile reactions to civilian deaths is to show these fortifications and so forth. The four photos included in the NYT article are insufficient.

  37. In the last election Israel chose confrontation and war over the possibility of compromise and peace. They've made their bed, let them lie in it.

  38. The practice of hiding military installations in civilian areas is not only cowardly, but shoes that Hamas and Hezbollah has no regard for human life. In the 2nd World War when we carpet bombed Dresden or dropped the A Bombs on Japan where were the Human rights groups or the International courts.
    In any war or armed conflict civilians get killed but to hide behind them and use them as human shields is something that the Human Rights Groups and the Un choose to ignore. Hmmm, I wonder why? A bit of anti-semitism?

  39. During WW I, even as a non-combatant, we were shipping war materiel to Britain in passenger liners crossing the North Atlantic. Talk about putting civilian lives at risk! Especially when we had already embargoed Germany.

    There are all sorts of way to worm oneself into war, if waging war is the intention.

  40. Perhaps someone is lining their pockets?

  41. When a military force embeds itself into a civilian population and enjoys widespread support from that population, it is no longer a human rights issue. It is a military/propaganda tactic. There should be no surprise or hand wringing when that tactic is met by opposing military force.

    Israel has built an elaborate warning, shelter and missile defense system to protect its citizens. Hezbollah does all it could to its people in greater danger.

  42. "When a military force embeds itself into a civilian population"

    It is a part time militia. It isn't embedded. It isn't hiding behind the civilians. It is the civilians.

    That does not justify a tactic of killing all the civilians. That has been condemned since the Germans did it in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War as they moved across the country to occupy it in the face of the mobilized "National Guard" militia of France post-defeat of Napoleon III's Army.

  43. How come the UN peacekeeping force allows this Hezbollah human-shield build-up in Southern Lebanon? What would be these forces role in the next probable conflict? This question deserves some serious investigative reporting.

  44. Because they have no ability to actually enter these villages. They are literally intimidated by Hezbollah from entering certain areas.

  45. Based on a history of Israel bombarding UN compounds in Lebanon and Gaza, whom do you believe the UN forces near the Lebanese border are more afraid of in the event of another war, Hezbollah or Israel?

  46. What a bloody mess. United States needs to cut all ties with the middle east. It would do us some good to focus on United States for a change. America needs to be repaired. Congress, stop stuffing your pockets and help America. Our country needs genuine patriots to act.

  47. I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion, but I thank you for a comment free of hate, based on neutral principles and proceeding from a love of our country.

  48. Perhaps Israel should simply stop making enemies at every opportunity and not specifically target civilian populations. Eye for an eye has made that region blind for some time now.

  49. Right. Maybe they should pull out of Lebanon, oh, forgot, they did that.
    Maybe give back the Sinai deserts, 2/3rds of its land mass, oh, forgot, did that too.
    Maybe give back Gaza, hey, they did that too.

  50. Israel doesn't target civilians, or weren't you paying close attention last summer? It was Hamas shelling Israeli civilians, and Israel bombing their rocket emplacements.

  51. Your snark does not change the reality on the ground. The Israeli government (not people - they are no more in control of Netanyahu than I was of George Bush), like our Republican Senate/Congress, has moved so far to the right that there appears to be no common sense left. And yes, they should give back Gaza - minus the walls, humiliating check-points and other apartheid-like humiliations.

  52. Bravo! At last, Israel has taken the initiative in exposing the wide use of civilian shields by the war-ready forces menacing Israel's borders. In Gaza, the secretive war-mongers civilian-be-damned strategy was exposed when by pure chance an Indian TV crew saw rockets being installed outside their hotel room window.
    Other than that, the locals, either eagerly or by threat, join in keeping rocket sites secret whether on the hospital roof, the school playground or a UN safe haven.
    This is war with not only the suicide prone but fanatics to whom civilized rules of war are trashed. Ambulances are used for troop transport. Tunnels are dug menace civilian sites. Arsenals are located in apartment buildings. Israel must continue to detail, document and publicize these vicious, lethal and amoral sworn killers so that the world knows what Israel's defense forces are facing.

    al and

  53. No one is ever going to understand the Mid East given the shoddy, sketchy reporting of news events there. Most people know no history; most people have no idea as to which party possesses legitimate grievances. And I am not talking about ancient history or twentieth century history. I am thinking about the year 2000.

    The article notes that before that time most of Lebanon backed Hezbollah (certainly not the Christians, but that's another, side issue). The article further notes that after 2000 Hezbollah's popularity waned. The article doesn't explain why. If it did, the moral superiority of Israel's position would be clear.

    Very simply, in 1999 or 2000, Israel withdrew its forces from Southern Lebanon. More specifically, Israel withdrew from all Leb. sites South of the Litani River.

    Israel was supposed to get something in return: Peace. It conformed to the idea we've all heard about ad nauseum, land for peace.

    Of course, the Arabs were interested in no such thing. They proceeded to use Southern Lebanon as they had always used it: As an advance position for shooting at, shelling and bombing Israel.

    IN any event, that's why support for Hezboallah declined after 2000.

  54. Israel's failed economic and commercial security zone in South Lebanon was stolen land, so when Hezbollah threw them out (and they lost the chance at the Litani river water that was the main draw) they didn't "give up" anything except another imperialist misadventure. But they haven't learned, and they plan to go back.

  55. There goes Israel again, starting a drum-beat, preparing for another. This time it is Hezbollah. Palestinians may get a reprieve. Israel should at least change their justifications Again there are rockets being,Israel's security at risk ( in spite of top-of-the-line artillery ) and Hezbollah hiding behind civilian skirts and there are the tunnels. Why did Israel airstrike Hezbollah on the SYRIAN border in the first place? So then if Hezbollah retaliates it is fire and brimstone. Having been struck it would in the scheme of things for them to have a build-up. Or is Israel the only one allowed to do so? Israel's behavior is getting more and more clear. Cry out loud that you are the victim and then go ahead and create war, a war between unequels.

  56. Despite the buildup of weapons in South Lebanon, no war has occurred yet. The few limited Israeli air strikes in Lebanon and Syria were for the purpose of keeping advanced weapons out of Hezbollah's hands. If a war begins, it will be because Nasrallah wants it. Israel is unlikely to start the next war in Lebanon, but Israel is likely to finish it!

  57. It's hard to be supportitive of anyone in the region, war seems a sport to them, don't we have other things to work on? I'm tired of the bickering. Energy independence, domestic manufacturing, health care, here in the U.S.

    I've been hearing the sky is falling in the Mideast for fifty years. If those adolescents are just gonna fight in the backseat during the whole trip it's time to have them get out of the car and start walking.

  58. Cut off the internet and satellite phone service to the Middle East. Done.

  59. “Where is the world? Why does it not stop the buildup?” - Yaakov Amidror, former Israeli national security adviser.

    Apparently "the world," which has long been party to this region's seemingly endless conflict, is not simply not interested - nor has it ever been, until or unless some particularly nasty atrocity takes place there - which in this case has been every few years. Israel must face at least partial responsibility for having, intentionally or not, created a climate of haves and have nots in a territory equally claimed by disparate peoples. The argument stated by one writer that "you have to go there to understand the differences (between Israel and its Arab neighbors)," implying that Israel has created something of value out of the desert while the Palestinians are content to live in the Stone Age, holds no more legal, moral or ethical imperative than the argument supporting Europe's conquest of the New World.

    That being said, Hezbollah has nothing much else but human lives to throw at Israel - along with the hope that her allies (pretty much the U.S. and the U.K.) will become queasy at the mass slaughter of civilians in the unavoidable next conflagration (such as took place in the most recent Gaza devastation). This strategy, a kind of extrapolated version of suicide bombing, apparently is one more significant difference between Israelis and their neighbor enemies - and it is going to be a tough one to beat.

  60. Um... there is no border dispute with Lebanon. The Lebanese have no need to throw bodies at Israel. The Israelis aren't interested in Lebanon, except for keeping the border secure. The. Israelis. Aren't. Threatening. Lebanon.

  61. What Israel is responsible for is providing for its own national defense; no no more and no less. If Hassan Nasrallah chooses to throw Lebanese bodies against Israel, as expendable "cannon fodder" and "human shields" to defend Hezbollah rocket launchers and other installations, that is his responsibility. If that goes badly for him, he has no right to complain!

  62. I guess this Hezbollah's idea of a peace process.

  63. When will the Jewish State learn.

    The world doesn't care if Hezbollah, Iran or Hamas fires missiles indiscriminately at Israel because these nation states have pledged to wipe Israel off the map and kill all the worlds Jews.

    However, the world will cry foul if Israels response to these missiles kills a single Lebanese or Gaza civilian.

    That is the definition of Antisemitism. All other democracies of the world are allowed to defend themselves against totalitarian dictator attacks except for Israel.

  64. Ludicrous, baseless claims.
    Given the occupation of Syrian land, the Golan Heights, one cannot argue that Syrians deploying military bases in the adjoining territory, among Syrian citizens, is an offensive or antisemitic act.
    Sure, if one were without fault, claiming the right to exist while denying others their own rights, would gain wide support? That is not the case.
    Perhaps anticipating war, is not the wise choice. If there is no choice but to anticipate war, one must assume that all potential enemies anticipate war and their actions will reflect their intent. It is especially delicate "allies" are beheading people, antagonizing the only super-power, and aiding the most extreme terrorists and America has been trying to wrest nuclear arms from a enemy of genuine import while for petty political reasons Israel's arrogant leader attempts to humble the leader of the free world. What is one to do?
    No it is not antisemitic to oppose Netanyahu and the crazies in Likud. It is necessary and what will preserve Israel. The war that is being waged between the Sunni and Shia is not antisemitic; it is sectarian. Netanyahu has just backed the wrong party? If war breaks out between Syria or Lebanon and Israel what will Saudi Arabia do?
    Can a state that has the bomb really expect the world to accept their claims of privilege or specialness to support their opposition to others having the bomb? If one denies the claim of Israeli specialness is that person antisemitic?

  65. Which totalitarian dictator is Israel fending itself against?

    Is the definition of Anti-Semitism anything which is said against Israeli actions or policy?

  66. Yep, that's the definition.

  67. There is no border dispute between Israel and Lebanon even according to the notoriously anti-Israel UN. So what could the Lebanese build-up be if not to wage offensive war? Of course they are aiming for as many civilian deaths as possible, on both sides, in order to win the sympathies of the gullible West.

  68. To be clear it is a Hezbollah building and not a Lebanese one. Hezbollah at this point is several times stronger than the Lebanese army.

  69. "There is no border dispute between Israel and Lebanon even according to the notoriously anti-Israel UN."

    Yes, there is. The Blue Line is not accepted by either side as a border.

    Anyway, Hezbollah originated in an Israeli invasion of Lebanon, an attempt to occupy and keep southern Lebanon. Hezbollah's main excuse for existence is that without it, Israel would invade again. Israel now says it would invade only because of Hezbollah, but it invaded and stayed for 20 years starting before Hezbollah existed.

  70. "“The civilians are living in a military compound,” a senior Israeli military official said, speaking at military headquarters in Tel Aviv."

    Somehow the irony is lost on the Israeli official and the reporter: Criticizing Hezbollah for building military facilities in civilian areas - while speaking from a military facility (presumably HaKirya) in the heart of a civilian area.

  71. Misfit- rockets are not launched from the Kiryah, as you probably know. Are you possibly defending Hezbollah's stationing missile launchers and weapons depots in civilian neighborhoods?

  72. Meyer - However, the Kirya is a military command center and, under Israeli terms of engagement, a legitimate military target, e.g., the IDF justified bombing the homes of Hamas leaders by claiming the were being used for military planning.

    In the last Gaza invasion members of the IDF were billeted in civilian homes (legitimate targets?) while the Iron Dome missile launchers were positioned in civilian areas (legitimate targets?).

  73. Why would Hezbollah be re-arming themselves except for the express purpose of attacking Israel? It's not in self-defense; Israel has posed no real threat to Lebanon or Hezbollah. All of Israel's actions have been responses to provocations by Hezbollah.
    The Palestinian situation being an aside (that's a lengthier discussion), to all who say that Israel is evil, try this thought experiment: If Hezbollah (and the Lebanese) were to totally disarm -- dispense with all their rockets and stand down their soldiers and militants on the southern border, does anyone realistically expect that the Israelis would attack? Not likely. If anything, peace treaties would ensue. Now reverse the situation. If the Israelis laid down their arms, what would happen? It would probably be a matter of hours before Hezbollah (and Hamas in the South) overran the borders and massacred as many people, Jews and otherwise, as possible.
    Does anyone really believe that Hezbollah stands for peace? Does anyone really believe that Israel is the aggressor?

  74. Hezbollah stands for keeping Israel from making incursions into Lebanon.

  75. I believe that Israel is the agressor because they massed troops on the Lebanese border for the express purpose of destroying Hezbollah installations in Lebanon. The IDF has carried out a campaign of “limited” ground operations with the purpose of destroying Hezbollah infrastructure in southern Lebanon. I think if we compared the number of Lebanese civilians killed by th IDF to the number of Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah, there would be an overwhelming majority of Lebanese killed by the IDF. I dare say there have been zero Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah.
    The Israelis love to talk about zillions of Isaraelis being slaughtered by potential invasions by Hezbollah or Gazans or other Arab elements when there hasd been no slaughter of Israelis at all. Actually Israel makes frequent incursions into Lebanon and Hezbolllah is there to protect the Lebanese.

  76. They have aggressively acquired and occupied other's land (including Lebanon) and rain bombs and bullets down on those who resist (as well as civilians caught in the cross-fire). The answer to terrorism shouldn't be well-funded terrorism.

  77. If Israel's claims are accurate, it may be an effective strategy by Hezbollah to draw the IDF into battles in Lebanon, unavoidably killing many civilians, amplifying global anger against Israel (isn't this what ISIS wants to accomplish with the U.S.?). The question is, how long can Israel sustain such a policy against its neighboring countries? Clearly, Hezbollah is willing to draw death and destruction down onto the Lebanese people.

    If ever there was a time in Israel's history to show boldness and strength in seeking peace instead of warning about inflicting more deaths, it is now.

  78. It is Israel which seeks peace; they will not strike, if not provoked. Perhaps, Israel should adopt the American Revolutionary "Don't Tread on Me" flag, with the words translated into Hebrew, as a warning of the certain dangers which await aggressors.

  79. "If ever there was a time in Israel's history to show boldness and strength in seeking peace instead of warning about inflicting more deaths, it is now."

    What a twisted view of history. Israel has always seek peace. Unfortunately there were only two courageous Arab leaders who were bold to stand against public opinion in their own countries - President Sadat of Egypt, who paid with his own life for making peace with Israel, and the late King Hussein of Jordan.

  80. Israel fought a war against Hezbollah in 2006 and got their tuchas thoroughly kicked. Came as a big surprise and despite all the denials and obfuscating, an irregular Arab army stopped the vaunted Israeli military machine in its tracks. Good for them.

    Things won't be much different in subsequent 'invasions'. Probably worse.

    Israeli policy of killing civilians when it can't kill soldiers will continue to make it a pariah nation in the world.

  81. Israel can't kill enemy soldiers, because the enemy soldiers are hiding behind women and children in schools and mosques.

  82. "Good for them"? Perhaps I should give you some credit for honesty. Most people don't admit so readily that any defeat of Israel is cause for celebration.

  83. Great,
    So Israel will start another war with a bordering country. No wonder they're not very popular in the neighborhood.
    Then they will ask for US help so they won't be censured in the UN Security Council.

  84. "So Israel will start...." Did you read the article? Hezbollah has turned Lebanon into an armed camp. Over 100,000 rockets and missiles are aimed at Israel civilian population centers. Israel has never invaded or struck at Lebanon without having been provoked. If Israel is left alone the Lebanese can live a quiet peaceful life under Hezbollah tyranny. If provoked Israel, as is its right, will
    fight back.

  85. Guess you missed it in the article: it's HEZBOLLAH doing the buildup, and putting emplacements in civilian areas. The Israelis are pointing it out NOW, and letting the world know, so when Hezbollah attacks, the world knows that Israel didn't start it. Not that anyone will pay attention to facts.

  86. Israel has never started a war but has been attacked throughout its history. There are only two country in the "neighborhood" that have a peace treaty with Israel, Egypt and Jordan. And all is quiet on those borders.

  87. With his Cabinet comprising of extremists more radical than Netanyahu’s Israel is readying itself for another war. Will it be Hezbollah, Gaza or Iran? No group or country in the region can match a country with over 200+ nukes and overwhelming firepower.
    Israel’s long game is to pursue Iran and those associated with Iran but for what purpose particularly when Obama is attempting to bring Iran back into the international community. Is this a canny ploy by Netanyahu to use Hezbollah and blame Iran thus defeating the C+5 plans?

  88. Israel is not "readying" for another war.

    Israel has been in a state of war since its inception. There are only two countries in the region that signed a peace treaty with Israel: Joradan and Egypt. Israel is not "readying" for a war with those.

  89. The proposed nuclear agreement is as opposed as much by the hardliners in Iran, as by the Republicans. Are the Mullahs who rule Iran any less radical than the members of Israel's Knesset?

    The 200+ warhead Israeli nuclear arsenal should be as effective a deterrent, as are the American, Russian, Chinese, Pakistani and Indian arsenals are to potential aggressors, but if the "Supreme Leader (Fuhrer) desires to ascend to Paradise in a thermo-nuclear cloud, he may just get his opportunity!

  90. I have to disagree with you. Your point about Jordan doesn't hold water as it is impotent while Egypt cosies up Al Sissi and strangles the Palestinians from one side while Israel strangles them from the other.

  91. Those living in Washington D.C. and Alexandria, Va. will be interested to know that the placement of military installations in or near civilian areas justifies the infliction of civilian casualties. Or is this another example of one rule for us, another for them?

  92. Those military installations are set apart from residential areas far enough, so that an attack by conventional ammo will spare civilians. A far cry from 400 installations among a town of 4000.
    Try again.

  93. We don't have rocket emplacements on the roofs here in the DC burbs, and we're not lobbing rockets at Virginia from the tops of our schools and churches.

  94. THIS article seems to prepare the Public Opinion for an Invasion of Lebanon.

    Hezbollah was created after the relentless Bombing of Beirut in 1980s by Menachem Begin that prompted Ronald Reagan to call Begin and tell him: "I just saw "Holocaust in Beirut" and if you do not stop, I will withdraw all Military and Financial Aid to Israel".

    THIS article gives the account of how Israel got involved in Lebanon back then and why we should not buy any such arguments any longer:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/opinion/a-preventable-massacre.html?_r=0

    ISRAEL lost the 2006 War to Hezbollah and since then has been trying to get a re-match while Hezbollah has maintained Defensive Posture responding as retaliation directly or by acts of Terror.

    THERE is NO Evidence that Hezbollah has any Plans or Desire to engage Israel despite all the rhetoric by its leadership.

    AND initiating a "Pre-emptive Attack" on Lebanon, would signal Israel's involvement in the Syrian Civil War siding with Anti-Assad fighters that include Al-Qaida and ISIS.

    THIS is a very Bad Idea/Plan and will further inflame Tensions in a very Volatile Region and further endanger the Security of Israel.

  95. "while Hezbollah has maintained Defensive Posture responding as retaliation directly or by acts of Terror."

    "Defensive Posture... by acts of Terror." The civilized world does not buy this twisted logic any longer. Hezzbollah (read Iran) attacks, S. Lebanon will be destroyed. Israel with its tiny parcel of land has no other choice.

  96. The 2006 Lebanon war was at best a costly stalemate for Hezbollah. If they were not seeking a rematch, they would not be conducting an arms buildup in the south. If Hezbolllah was formed in response to the previous Israeli invasion, they have a strange way of inviting the Israelis to return and occupy Southern Lebanon.

    I doubt the veracity of your Reagan quote; as a veteran of World War II, he certainly understood the "defensive war of necessity," such as the one that he took part in. Ordinance is expensive and the I.D.F. will not expend it needlessly against entities which do not constitute a threat. If Nasrallah does not provoke an incident on behalf of his Iranian masters, he has nothing to fear, but if he wants war, he will certainly get it!

  97. "The United Nations Human Rights Council is due to publish a report on the 50-day conflict in Gaza last summer that left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians, according to the United Nations."

    Where does that death count come from and, if the United Nations, from whom did they get it? I have read that the UN takes the word of Hamas. The NYTimes should make clear how the 2,100 was independently verified.

  98. Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas spoke to Arab journalists in Cairo on Saturday night, warning that the unity deal he sealed with the Hamas terrorist organization in April - torpedoing peace talks with Israel - is on the brink of collapse.
    Another point Abbas touched on was the death toll in Operation Protective Edge. Hamas has been busily pushing an inflated civilian death toll to world media outlets that rely on it for figures given the lack of objective investigation in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza, and in doing so Hamas uses a variety of tactics to skew the numbers.

    Abbas burst the claims, saying “Hamas says the number of dead from their ranks didn’t go past 50, when in actuality over 850 Hamas members and their family members were killed.”

    Hamas’s health ministry has claimed just slightly over 2,000 Gazans dead in the operation. Given that, Abbas’s figure, which didn’t include the number of killed terrorists from other groups such as Islamic Jihad, would support Israeli reports placing the ratio of civilian to terrorist casualties at roughly 1:1, an almost unprecedented achievement in urban warfare.

    Abbas’ figure includes family members who were around Hamas terrorists whom some would count as civilians, others as human shields. It’s also a likely incomplete figure, but gives us a bigger picture.

  99. This is most likely propaganda cover for the Dahiya doctrine, which is the Israeli plan to hit civilian areas and is named after a neighborhood hit during the 2006 war.

  100. Hezbollah is set at the border of Israel as a tool for Iran who wants to invade and rule the whole area to be led by the “Faqeeh” a Mullah Shiite extreme religious ideology, that is so crazy.
    They get the blessing and tolerance from the imperial power in our world America and England to (Divide and Conquer) in this area of the world and that is exactly why we have the whole Middle East in such a war zone, Israel is a victim of this as much as the whole Sunni majority, so in my opinion a regional religious war would expand to the whole Middle East

  101. Hezbollah is a forward operating position of the Iranian army. This is evinced in many ways including the fact that Hezbollah is now used as an Iranian proxy to fight in the Syrian civil war for the the Assad regime. This strategy of placing military positions in civilian areas - aka human shields - should be considered inasmuch as Team Obama is about to sign an nuclear agreement with the Iranian regime.

  102. "Hezbollah is a forward operating position of the Iranian army."

    Wow! I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing.

  103. You'd have to be able to actually think to have known that, but since you don't it isn't surprising you weren't aware of it. Carry on.

  104. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and its allies have killed who knows how many civilians in Yemen in indiscriminate air raids. The Saudis very considerately advised civilians to leave the area it was bombing, but of course they had nowhere to go. The world takes no note of this, and slams only Israel when its enemies fight from behind civilians, from schools, from mosques.

  105. Well, we all like the Arabs especially after 9/11.

  106. +1.

    Because many of the people who slam Israel don't actually care about Lebanese, Palestinians, or other civilians. It only bothers them when they are victims of Israel. If Palestinians are killed by the thousands in
    Syria at the same time as the fighting in Gaza - no mention of it is made by these people.

  107. There are villages in South Lebanon in which every second house has rockets INSIDE the house.
    Citizens in those villages have kitchen, children room, living room, and missiles room (with a folding roof to fire the missiles). Beneath the house there are tunnels connecting it to bunkers, Hezbollah positions and to other houses.
    The rockets are aimed at Israeli cities, and the IDF will have to destroy those villages in case of war.

  108. In 2006 Israel, acting in the utmost bad faith, paved Southern Lebanon with US-supplied cluster munitions in the hours before the cease-fire. Now, if it can manage to start another war there to help prop up the flaccid Netanyahu and his coalition of rightists and racists, I guess Israel is just going flatten everything there as a "military target," with the civilian casualties as a propaganda bonus for the Eretz Israel crowd.

  109. "Maps and aerial photography provided to The New York Times by Israeli military officials this week...."

    Since when does a countries military send such information to a newspaper? And to a foreign newspaper? Only Israel, because as we all know Israel is always exceptional. It seems obvious to me that Israel is laying down media cover for one of its next war crimes.

    We know that Israel has the technology to make highly precise attacks on pinpointed targets. But, just like in Gaza, Israel will not employ such precise weaponry. It will use the most indiscriminate weaponry it has to inflict as much "collateral damage" as possible.

  110. Right. Hezbollah deliberately puts civilians in harms' way but it's Israel that's guilty of war crimes. Where is your criticism of Hamas? Or do you only criticize Jews?

  111. Doesn't Hamas do the same in using indiscriminate weapons against Israeli civilians, which as defined by the 1949 Geneva Conventions as a war crime?
    As the aggressors Hamas and Hezbollah may choose their own "Rules Of Engagement, but when Israel applies the same "R.O.E." against them, they have no right to complain. There is an old Marine Corps adage about "Payback" which cannot be repeated in its entirety in a family newspaper, but in essence, "what goes around, comes around!" If Nasrallah provokes an incident, he can expect the I.D.F. to "Rock and Roll!"

  112. There's no precise weaponry that can dodge around the women and children Hamas hides behind. You seem to have an inflated idea of Israel's capabilities.

  113. Israel has already issued a disclaimer that they are not at fault for civilian deaths and destruction caused by, well, them killing civilians and destroying civil infrastructure. The Israeli history of collective punishment, of massacres even in refugee camps, of destroying UN buildings, personnel and convoys makes it a moot point for the Israelis to preemptively absolve themselves of responsibility for the brutality we all know they use with impunity.

  114. Is the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilian communities, as is done by Hamas, and perhaps soon by Hezbollah, any less "collective punishment?"
    If the I.D.F. could take out Nasrallah without injuring Lebanese civilians, it would do so, but by embedding its forces among the civilian population of South Lebanon, Hezbollah intends to make them "human shields" subject of counter-terrorist military operations.

  115. ... and what about Hamas and Hezbollah shooting Missiles at Israeli Cities and Civilians ???

  116. NM, your use the phrase, "we all know," would seem to be incorrect. Many of us neither "know," nor accept, nor recognize any truth or validity to the claims you make. I have no doubt that there is a group of people who believe that they "know" these things, but there is also a very large group of people who find such claims puerile, false, and ridiculous. Perhaps you might consider changing "we all know" to "I believe", which would, unlike the rest of your comment, at least have the benefit of most likely being true.

  117. Some will suggest that Hamas and Hezbollah should not conceal their weapons, but rather to create military bases and arsenals out in rural fields. If they are not visible enough, perhaps they can print maps and plant road signs identifying how to get to such bases and arnsenals. Perhaps they can give public tours of their rocket launch sites, like at Cape Canaveral.

    Me thinks that would not be too smart.

    Hamas and Hezbollah are resistance groups engaged in guerrilla warfare when necessary. I seem to recall the French Resistance hiding their weapons in their basements.

  118. I seem to recall the Paris Gandarmerie rounding up 8,000 Jews for transport to Drancy on their way to Auschwitz. How quickly and conveniently we forget. How far back shall we go, Greg? Shall see dig up Clemencau and ponder whether WW II could have been averted had France been less greedy at Versailles in 1919? That Israel would not have come into existence but for France's lust for revenge against a defeated Germany? History didn't start in 1948.

  119. Yes, and under international law those places are then legitimate targets. The only question is the type and amount of force used against them. There is no disagreement that such fighters and equipment are legitimate military targets.
    If you want the legal protection of being a civilian, then it's simple - don't participate in any way in the fighting.

  120. The article notes that "The Israeli claims could not be independently verified." Uh, NYT couldn't find a reporter to go look at any of the identified sites?

  121. "All of Israel's actions have been responses to provocations by Hezbollah."

    Hezbollah didn't even exist until after Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

  122. Lebanon invaded Israel in 1947 and 1967, hezbollah is the same jew haters with a new name.

  123. True, but why must they have weapons if they call themselves "The Party of God." If they were truly a movement that embraces religious piety they would lay down their weapons and become part of the fabric of the Lebanese society.

  124. Lebanon never invaded Israel. Not once.

    Israel has invaded Lebanon, and tried to keep much of it in a 20 year occupation.

  125. last time i checked lebanon was an independent nation with hezbollah in its government and dosent need permission or advice from some settler enclave without declared borders on anything,

  126. FYI, UN Resolution 1701 settled the border between Lebanon and Israel (the "blue line"). That is now an internationally recognized border, and all Israeli forces are behind it.

    The resolution also prohibited certain weapons - such as missiles - to be stored south of the Litani. That has been honored in the breach.

    So if Lebanon is an independent, sovereign country (a doubtful assertion), then it is responsible for every rocket launched from its territory into that of its neighbor. "Responsible" includes being subject to retaliation.

    Lastly, since you call Israel (a member of the UN) "a settler enclave", at least we know where you stand. Thank you for sparing us the wishy-washy koombaya stuff.

  127. Israel has no "settler enclaves" in Lebanon, but Israel does have an "inherent right to individual, or collective self-defense," as recognized by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter!

  128. If another war starts, Hezbollah is likely to disperse its missile launchers -- even more so than it did in 2006. In other words, they may be in towns and villages now, but they'll be moved when the time comes.

    Will that be enough to keep Israel from bombing those towns and villages? Was it last time?

  129. 1) The largest missiles - and the first to be hit - are launched from fixed positions.
    2) When is a village a legitimate target? When it is a military depot, active or not. You don't want to be bombed, don't store missiles. Ever.

  130. If no rockets are fired into Israel from those towns, then Israel will have no legitimate reason to attack them, but on the other hand, if Nasrallah orders Hezbollah to fire rockets into Israel from those towns, he will provide the necessary justification for Israel to militarily respond! That decision is in Nasrallah's hands, not Israel's!

  131. The civilized world needs to discard the notion of 'disprportionate' force, because that notion makes it defenseless against another modern 'invention', assymetric warfare.

    The notion of 'disproportionate' force, aside from having no objective measure and therefore being a nonense, has created pockets of frozen impossible to win military conflicts that slowly but surely bleed our civilization back into savagery.

  132. Force is only "disproportionate" if it goes beyond the force required to stop the aggression.

    Hamas was firing rockets into Israel up to the moment of the ceasefire. One could logically argue that Israel was using insufficient force. Certainly the US would use far more force, consider the response to 9/11. Was the US response "proportionate?"

  133. No, the US response to 9/11has clearly been insufficient, since Islamist aggression against it still continues with no end in sight.

  134. “Historically, armed forces have separated themselves from the population, in uniform,” the senior Israeli military official said. “This is not the case here or in Gaza.” Ummm, historically armed forces in civilian clothes are called guerrilla fighters and there is nothing unusual about that!
    Also, the death toll in Gaza from the 2014 war is DOUBLE the number Kershner cites. Come on, NYT, Where are your fact checkers?

  135. In international law, it doesn't matter how you dress - uniform or not. If you actively take part in a military operation, or even actively aid one (for instance, signaling fighting forces when the other side is approaching), you are a combatant - not a civilian. It is permissible for the opposing side to treat you as a combatant under such circumstances. Guerrilla forces are combatants. They have no protection as civilians.

  136. My O My. Hilarious! Israel is sure to win hearts and minds by means of this release to the press. Wow, how compassionate can you get! ........ before you proceed to obliterate these villages.

  137. The point, which mysteriously seems to elude you, is that Hezbollah should move its weapons stockpiles away from these villages, so that the Israelis are not forced to strike there. If there were no weapons, soldiers, tunnels, bunkers, etc., imbedded in the villages of Southern Lebanon, then the villages of Southern Lebanon, and the people who live in those villages, would likely emerge unscathed in case of an armed conflict.

    Another simple solution, of course, would be for Hezbollah to disarm, since the Israelis make no claim on Lebanon or its territory. Similarly, Israel would have no reason to attack at all if Hezbollah didn't have the stated aim of destroying the State of Israel and if it didn't arm itself heavily with that intent.

  138. Don't start a war, don't deliberately embed your forces in civilian areas, and no one will get killed. Is that rocket science for you, Greg?

  139. Israelis make no claim on Lebanon or its territory...lawlz

  140. The Israeli society resembles very much America in one point. Both countries have built an industrial-military complex and a powerful military machine. Both countries need threats and enemies to justify guns over civilian spending. Coincidentally, both countries finance their military might with American taxpayers money.

  141. You got it. The Israelis need threats and enemies to justify taking money away from their universal health care, excellent education system, world class symphony, and other things that they would rather not fund. And lo and behold, who should come along to help them but Hamas and Hezbollah! These two organizations have, in their eagerness to assist, adopted genocidal ideologies that seek to destroy the State of Israel and murder all Jews everywhere, and they have even taken the time to get sponsorship from Iran and other busy countries to build a massive arsenal of rockets, all conveniently pointed at Israeli civilians, whom they repeatedly threaten to annihilate. Thanks, guys, for giving the Israelis exactly what they really need! And thanks, also, to Al Qaeda, ISIS, and all the others who give us Americans precisely what we need too in order to justify not spending money on civilians. We appreciate it!

    If I may say so, you have truly nailed the situation, and your insights, in my humble opinion, put you at the forefront of left wing thought. Please keep up the good work, and I hope that you will continue to shine a clear light on these and other important questions.

  142. Sure Uzi. Israel was never repeated attacked by Arab armies, never assaulted by waves of terrorists, never threatened repeatedly with genocidal annihilation. Nor is any of this going on now. Must be a figment of those wily but paranoid Jooooooze ... uh, I mean Israelis. Right, Uz?

  143. Perhaps the Yishuv not being able to, or wanting to, control the Irgun back in the 30's before Israel was created might have something to do with all of this? Can you quote any Israeli leaders who have said that this might become a real problem? David Ben-Gurion himself came out of retirement three weeks after the 1967 war and proclaimed that Israel must give back the seized territory or face existential problems that may be insurmountable.

    And so it is. I find people who use imagery like "Jooooooze" to be a major part of the problem.

  144. Absent in these comments is the acknowledgment that Hezbollah is an active participant in the Syrian war on the side of the Assad government. Over 200,000 dead and millions of refugees. Shame on you who are in anyway excusing or supporting Hezbollah.

  145. This is a bit of a complicated situation. Hezbollah are fighting ISIS and Sunni fundamentalist in Syria. The people they are fighting pose a threat to the US. This is one area where American interest is going to be different from Israeli interest.

  146. About 2/3 of those killed were killed by the Western backed terrorist forces, including al Qaeda and ISIS. They do mass murder, beheadings of children and prisoners, and even burned a prisoner alive in a cage on video. You can't put all that on Assad.

  147. Yes it can be put on Assad. The civil war started in an attempt by Assad to eliminate those Syrians calling for freedom from his dictatorship.

  148. Israel, a country with a history of invading Lebanon, with a leader who just formed an ultra-right wing government declaring that there will be no two state solution, a country committed to expanding illegal settlements, occupying land, mistreating Palestinians and non-Jews, is complaining that Hezbollah is setting up defensive positions within Lebanon? Let's be clear, Hezbollah is the only force capable of defending Lebanon from yet another invasion by Israel. Lebanon has Syria at its north border killing anyone who speaks out against Assad and Israel on its southern border invading whenever it suits them. I've been to the Hezbollah museum in Lebanon. It's very impressive and these guys know what they are doing. The Lebanese want peace, which they have not enjoyed for more than a couple of years and they are totally dependent on Hezbollah for security of their southern border. Israel's treatment of the Palestinians finally got Hamas elected in democratic elections, Hezbollah is empowered by Netanyahu's reelection and his new right wing coalition government. It's unreasonable to expect to continually provoke people and then object when they prepare for an invasion and a fight. These are defensive positions well within the Lebanese border. Israel's economy is in shambles. Netanyahu will provoke a confrontation, Hezbollah will retaliate and launch a few missiles into Israel, then Israel will say, "See! Hezbollah is attacking Israel!", and use this as an excuse to invade.

  149. In the absence of an attack by Hezbollah,why would Israel invade Le
    banon?

  150. Israel "attacked Lebanon" after Palestinian Black September attacked Israel. Black September was driven out of Jordan, with tens of thousands of their fighters killed, after they tried to take over Jordan.

    Israel has never "attacked Lebanon" nor "attacked Gaza" without provocation. Apparently, the entire world has the right to defend themselves, except Israel. No double standard there, eh?

  151. This is the type of fantasy which issued from the pen of Paul Joseph Goebbels. Israel only invaded and occupied South Lebanon, when it became necessary for Israel's national defense. Adding further devastation to that suffered by Lebanon in its 15 year civil war, will not help the country recover and redevelop from those years. Compare the GDP's of Israel and Lebanon; the Israeli economy is booming and developing new technologies, while envious naysayers argue otherwise.

    Of course, Hezbollah is an armed mercenary force in the hire of Iran, to protect Assad from home grown Syrian insurgents, making rapid gains against his autocratic regime. Iranian funding keeps Hezbollah going, despite heavy losses in Syria, which is on the verge of collapse without that aid and no longer a serious threat to Israel. What will Hezbollah do once Syria collapses? Will Iran cut off its funding as a lost cause. If Nasrallah instigates another Lebanese war, that could happen!

  152. Israel is set up to strike Lebanon with Egypt and Jordan having peace treaties and Syria neutralized in Civil War. IDF can strike with impunity as long as Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army lack air defenses. But if Lebanon acquires these, or Iran jumps in on their side - Israel will not have everything its own way.

  153. That is why Israel must strike before Russia can deliver the S-300 missile defense system, which is not likely to be delivered for over a year. As before, Israel must act to keep advanced weaponry out of the hands of Hezbollah!

  154. One would think with Israel's proclivity for bombing civilian populations, Hamas would build tunnels away from residential areas. Israel is most likely giving warning, that if we cannot find you, we will take revenge on populated areas. Israel has recently appeared on the world stage as cowards and I suspect, this will be their defining legacy. We can be almost certain Israeli troops never actually fight combat like they bravely did in the nascent period of their state's history and founding.

  155. You get points for originality. This is a new one on me:

    "We can be almost certain Israeli troops never actually fight combat like they bravely did in the nascent period of their state's history and founding."

    Antisemitism frequently saddles Jews with such dualities: simultaneous capitalists and communists: at once cosmopolitan and elite; despised when weak and when powerful. I have heard many things said about Israeli soldiers, but I have never heard anyone say they are cowards.

    A gratuitous and pointless insult.

  156. Both Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately target Israeli civilian civilian communities with their rockets in violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which defines that act as a "war crime." As the aggressors, both can select their own "Rules Of Engagement," but when Israel applies those same "R.O.E." against them in retaliation, they have no right to complain.

    There is an old Marine Corps adage about "Payback," which cannot be repeated in its entirety in a family newspaper, but in essence, "what goes around, comes around!" The devastation of Gaza, resulting from Hamas' last war is well documented; if Nasrallah seeks to turn South Lebanon into the next Gaza with some stupid provocation, the I.D.F. is willing to accommodate him. If the only means to ensure the security of Israel's civilian population is to pound Lebanon into oblivion, that will be what the I.D.F. is required to do!

  157. Do you think possibly that locating missile launching sites, or mortar sites in the midst of civilian populations has a correlation to where the Israeli's bomb?

  158. The kid in the picture with the flag in his hand. Who will take the flag away from him so that he doesn’t become an innocent victim in the next war? Hezbollah? Iran? Supporters of Hezbollah and Iran in the U.S. and Europe?

  159. It was Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan that amassed troops along the Israeli borders that provoked the 1967 Six Day war, Israel being triumphant opened East Jerusalem to all religious persuasions, and opened the Suez Canal to all international traffic after 16 years of being closed by Egypt. Now Lebanon and Syria are making the same mistake, and after Israel wins another war, Hezbollah by placing Lebanese civilians in direct harms way to cause as many casualties as possible, will continue to evoke as much sympathy as possible but only from the naive.

  160. it was the Israeli that attacked. Moshe Dayan said it. The Suez Canal was open in 1967 and had been open for decades. It was closed afterwards. Read your history.

  161. What I think Israeli state is looking for a pretext to attack. This time again, they will come off badly.

  162. Was the canal open to Israeli shipping?

  163. Israel is making the same mistake that almost wiped them out in 1973: They are letting Hezbullah set the date and time for the next round. If Hezbullah gets off their 100,000 missiles, Israel is toast, but Israel is too afraid of what the US, EU, NY Times, etc will say if they strike first so they wait.

  164. Isn't it about ISIL, al Nusra? I don't think it is time yet for Hamas/Hezbollah to hit Israel. I may be wrong but surely it is ISIL/al Nusra that worries them.

  165. Quite amused by some of the comments here. Israel is a country about the size of New Jersey. It has 100000 rockets pointed at it. No nation in Euorpe has an arsenal of rockets that size. Lebanon has been a stomping grounds for attacks against Israel. In the 70's it was the PLO and over the last decades the Hezbollah. Every incursion into Lebanon was in order to deal with the incessant rocket fire and incursions from Lebaonon. The paradox is that in a different world Lebanon would and should be at peace with Israel. There is no territorial arguments nor anything else for that matter. The Islamic Hezbollah under the guidance of Iran has perpetuated a conflict that has no real need to exist but to act as a buffer for Iran and Syria. Syria is becoming irrelevant. Only time will tell when the significant and substantial threat from Lebanon will have to be addressed. It apparantly will be "messy" for both sides.

  166. Of course, when the inevitable war breaks out, the NYT will conveniently forget about the significance of Hezbollah intentionally using civilians as human shields, and blame Israel when Israel is forced to respond to rockets from the midst of civilians.

    The 4th Geneva Convention, Art 28 applies equally to Hamas and Hezbollah:

    "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."

    https://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/380-600033?OpenDocument

    Except of course when terrorists attack Israel, then all bets are off.

  167. I thought Hezbollah had been disarmed? After all, it's 9 years since UN SC 1701 was passed.

    UN SC 1701 calls for "full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state."

    So how's that working out? Not so great for the Syrians Hezbollah is murdering, apparently, not to mention the sectarian violence with Lebanon.

    But hey, it's all good, as long as Hezbollah continues to threaten Israel.

  168. One condition of Israel's ceasefire and withdrawal from Sounth Lebanon, 2006 was that the UN force would oversee and ensure no Hizbollah weapons south of the Litani River.
    Whereas the UN is quite aware of the vast movements of Hizbollah weapons in contravention of the ceasefire agreement, it has failed to lift a finger. It's particularly concerned that its soldiers would be targeted by Hizbollah (this has happened) & shows the complete uselessness of the UN, its "peace-keeping" force and any international promise - not worth the paper its written on. (Another is the US, the UK & Russia guarantees to the Ukraine, 1994)

  169. Israel's opponents regularly use human shields in defiance of international law but the world doesn't care. If anything they're given more sympathy when the civilians they cower behind are injured and killed. Reporters know this but thanks to a combination of bias and the need for access don't report it. For example there is a video during the Gaza conflict, taken by an Indian reporter (who obviously didn't get the memo), of rockets being fired by Hamas next to a hotel filled with reporters, inside an entirely civilian neighborhood. The video is bad enough on its own but it's clear other reporters must have also seen this and nobody -- none of them -- decided it's newsworthy. Lately however the bias has become so extreme, and the hatred of Israel so intense (and so clearly often stemming anti-semitism), that I think world public opinion is turning in favor of Israel. The propaganda has become so over-the-top -- so transparent and obvious -- and the reporting that comes from it so transparently biased that it helps Israel as reports are discounted as no longer credible by the mainstream public.

  170. "it helps Israel as reports are discounted as no longer credible by the mainstream public."

    Were that it was so. The anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rhetoric in professional associations and NGOs is insidious and destructive, worming its way into the mainstream of college campuses and the media. Concurrent and sickening is the raw hypocrisy of artists and intellectuals that boycott Israel but would never walk out on a gig in NYC or Sydney or London over policies they profess disgust them (e.g. Iraq); it exposes the nub of the matter: money. Anti-Israel stands play well in the West and boycotting Israel doesn't dent but fattens the artists' wallets and pumps their PR quotient - Israel is a small market, the West is large one, its really that simple.
    Ditching a MSG show would give the accountants, lawyers and agents of the artist heart attacks - Israel, go ahead, walk out, it plays well.

    Half the things these artists and thinkers say, think and do on a daily basis, publicly and privately, would land them in a Hamas, Hezbollah or Iranian cage; in Israel they get paid and a microphone for their trouble, but Israel's the problem - Amazing.

  171. "Israel's opponents regularly use human shields in defiance of international law but the world doesn't care."

    Israeli "settlers" are human shields. The Israelis sneak women and children into Palestinian farmers' fields, along with camp trailers and armed guards, and then they dare the Palestinians to touch them.

  172. Israel's preparedness and "military planning" for airstrikes in Southern Lebanon to hit the Hezbollah may just be a myopic solution! It will kill many civilians and decimate the militants' strength along Israel's borders, but it will not wipe out the group's existence, because it is part of Lebanon's political establishment.
    It's most unfortunate that Hezbollah has called for the destruction of Israel and sees the whole of Palestine as occupied land. Instead of falling into the Hobbesian trap, Israel is well advised to seek a political solution with the Palestinians! Iran has much influence on Hezbollah. Perhaps it's time for the regional players like Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia to rethink the political future of their countries!

  173. How can there be any political solution when Hezbollah, Hamas, P.A. and all the 'official' countries bordering and neighboring Israel fundamentally do not believe in the existence of Israel or the jews, have political platforms or 'mission statements' requiring death to the jews and all of Israel, and officially support 'jihad' against Israel specifically and the west. There really is no way to negotiate when these 'leaders' are actively engaged in using civilians as shields in their religious war.

    The only language these terrorist regimes understand is death to the leaders and death to the next generation of leaders and so on. The problem is the financial support all these groups receive from Iran and Saudi Arabia given directly to the suicide bombers families from the oil dollars we have spent every day on middle east oil since the 1930. Then, once the killing starts the generational hatred comes along and only perpetuates the stereotypes and continued hatred.

  174. There's no question Hezbollah started the last conflct in 2006 by kidnapping and killing Israeli soldiers. What is not as well known is that Nasrallah apologized to the Lebanese people for the death and destruction his aggression brought upon the Lebanese:

    Nasrallah: Soldiers' abductions a mistake
    POSTED: 10:07 p.m. EDT, August 27, 2006

    "BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Had Hezbollah known how Israel was going to respond, the group would not have captured two Israeli soldiers last month in northern Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday.

    If someone had said July 11 that there was "a one percent possibility" Israel's military response would be as extensive as it turned out to be, "I would say no, I would not have entered this for many reasons -- military, social, political, economic," said Nasrallah, speaking in Arabic."

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/27/mideast.nasrallah/

  175. A pure political move by Nasrallah - it is called realpolitik.

    If there was ever fair elections in Lebanon, Nasrallah would be PM.

  176. Seriously? So they pled ignorance and had no idea that Israel would be upset about them taking and killing their people? How ridiculous.

  177. "A pure political move by Nasrallah - it is called realpolitik"

    Makes it a little harder to rally the public behind you for the next war, don't you think? Is that "realpolitik?"

    "If there was ever fair elections in Lebanon, Nasrallah would be PM."

    There are elections in Lebanon, and Hezbollah is in the minority despite their threats.. If there were ever justice in Lebanon

  178. Jews trusting others to play nice is a policy that has not worked since 1933.
    Better to be condemned than mourned.
    And the right of Jews to return to homes in the Arab world that were stolen from them is is piffle.

  179. Thanks Larry, agreed. It is always better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

  180. "It is always better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."

    You might notice there hasn't been much forgiveness for the last couple of times. That is worn thin.

  181. It would be very strange if Hezbollah suddenly would seek trouble with Israel - at a time that it is deeply involved in the Syrian civil war. So if Hezbollah is strengthening its positions at the Israeli border it is very likely because it expects Israel to attack.

    Israel has long been suspected of supporting the uprising in Syria and even of having sympathy for ISIS: former Israeli ambassador Oren once said that he prefered Al Qaeda in Damascus over Assad. As at the moment Saudi Arabia is mobilizing support for the Syrian uprising everywhere it wouldn't be surprising if it had asked Israel to take out Hezbollah. After all the two work together in Yemen too.

    In that light the Israeli warning seems to me a sign that Israel may be trying to build the case for a new Lebanon invasion and a war against Hezbollah.

  182. It is totally ludicrous to suggest that Israel has helped the crazed members of ISIS. Israel's attitude about Syria is to watch carefully the enemies of their enemies kill each other. I highly doubt that Israel will invade Lebanon. Perhaps they will use air strikes against Hezbollah who are not exactly the nice guys on the block!

  183. In context of the previous article, "Inspectors in Syria Find Traces of Banned Military Chemicals" is there any surprise that Israel would, and should, take dramatic steps to ensure the safety of its peoples. There is no denying that Hezbollah is playing a significant role is Syria in support of Assad and therefore there is a high probability that Hezbollah is in agreement with the use of, if not the users of, chemical weapons.

  184. There's no mention here of the UN guarantee at the end of the last Hezbollah war that Hezbollah would not be allowed to rearm and fortify their positions in the border region. I guess the Times doesn't want to point out how worthless UN "guarantees" are.

  185. The UN did not "guarantee" that.

    It also did not guarantee to stop the daily Israeli violations. It just announces them, daily.

  186. "It also did not guarantee to stop the daily Israeli violations"

    Why don't you enlighten us about those "daily Israeli violations?"

    You can be sure if there were such things, there would be "daily NYT articles" about them.

  187. What violations from the Israelis and where is the UN reporting the violations from either side ?

  188. Sorry, but this article sounds like an Israeli army handout slightly reworded. The figures and theories are all Israel's position. The lack of balance makes it easy to dismiss.

    So Israel wants another war. What else is new? That they want us to fight it and pay for it? That's probably in the next handout.

  189. Sounds like somebody's inventing excuses for a little land-grab with a little war of aggression thrown in. Nothing like Israeli Lebensraum.

  190. Silly. why is it so hard for you to understand that Israel and Israelis actually want nothing to do with Lebanon? All we want is to be left alone and not threatened by them.

  191. Israel bashers are uniformly uninformed about history.

    They know nothing of Black September (which forced the PLO to begin using Lebanon as their base for attacking Israel), they even believe that Israel "conquered" a fictional country of Palestine in 1967, when the facts are Israel drove back the attacking Jordanians from the West Bank (which Jordan controlled prior to 1967), and the Egyptians from Gaza (which Egypt controlled prior to 1967).

    Just as you state wrt Lebanon, Israel had no territorial ambition in the West Bank, absent repeated Arab aggression Israel would not be in the West Bank.

    We've seen how Israel ending occupation results in peace. See : Gaza. And don't whine about "blockades." Israel withdrew in 2005 and there was no blockade until 2007, after the Palestinians proved the need for one.

  192. when you categorize Israeli policy as Lebensraum, either you don't know the history of the term or you are showing your true colors, which are black and blacker.

    It makes no sense to equate Israel with Nazi Germany but it's typical of the 180 degrees wrong crowd thinking that dominates American political discourse today.

  193. Of course Israel would strike without warning since intrernational law requires a declaration of war. As that great governor of NY said, let's go to the record. The PLO in 1982 agreed to leave Beirut in return for Palestinians refugees being unharmed. Within minutes of the PLO leaving for Tunisia Israeli Einsatzgruppen using native auxiliaries murdered over 900 unarmed women, children, and old men. Hezbollah would be crazy if it did not protect its civilians with military forces--they saw what happened in Gaza when Israel waited until refugees poured into UN refugee centers, then opened fire.

  194. Protecting civilians means separating the means of war from civilian areas. It is clear that Hezbollah has no regard for civilian-Israeli or Leboneese. They send rockets into civilian areas inside of Israel and they place the rocket launchers in or near civilians within Lebonon.

  195. if it were not for Hezbollah, Lebanon would need no defending from Israel.
    Once again the backward thinking of the Islamic mind perpetuates it's own dilemma.

  196. Hezbollah was created during an Israeli occupation of Lebanon lasting 20 years. "Need no defending?" That ignores all that happened.

  197. "Hezbollah was created during an Israeli occupation of Lebanon lasting 20 years"

    Do you always start your history in the middle? The PLO started attacking Israel from Lebanon after they were driven out of Jordan. See : "Black September"

    I know in your world view, Israel has no right to defend itself. Fortunately, your world view is irrelevant and no constraint on any country's right to defend itself.

  198. This is a final proof if any were needed that the new extra rightwing Israeli government is going to repeat its massacre of Lebanese people as it did in 2006 and as it did in Gaza a few months ago. The allegation that Hamas had been hiding behind civilian targets has been completely debunked by UN observers but the propaganda continues. Why should they worry, because Israeli war criminals have never been held accountable.

    It has been established beyond any shadow of doubt that Ehud Olmert had been planning the 2006 attack on Lebanon for a long time prior to an incident that they created on the border as an excuse for the war. In the course of the war they killed 1300 Lebanese people and displaced one million Lebanese. The Israelis also made massive use of forbidden cluster bombs.

    During their invasion of 1982, the Israelis killed and wounded tens of thousands of the Lebanese, and their allies the Phalangists massacred upward of 3,500 Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatilla camps. It is dangerous to be a neighbor to Israel. The Lebanese and the Hezbollah have never attacked Israel but have been trying to defend themselves against repeated Israeli attacks.

    The world should stop another Israeli massacre of innocent Lebanese before it is too late. It will not make Israel any safer. Only a settlement of the conflict with the Palestinians will bring lasting peace and security to Israel.

  199. "It is dangerous to be a neighbor to Israel":

    Just ask the Jordanians and Egyptians.

  200. "It has been established beyond any shadow of doubt that Ehud Olmert had been planning the 2006 attack on Lebanon for a long time prior to an incident that they created on the border as an excuse for the war."

    Then Hezbollah should not have given them an "excuse," eh?

    If you don't want an Israeli response, don't start a conflict with Israel. If you DO start a conflict with Israel, you MUST accept the fact there will be consequences.

    Unless of course you're an apologist for Muslim terrorists. Then anything the terrorists do can just be written off as "resistance"

  201. Worth stating explicitly what UN SC 1701 requires:

    The Resolution calls for "full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state."

  202. • But when the Israeli military trains its lens on that hilltop Shiite village close to the border, it sees nine arms depots, five rocket-launching sites, four infantry positions, signs of three underground tunnels, three antitank positions and, in the very center of the village, a Hezbollah command post.

    Sounds like a lot of "WMD's" to me.

    How many Israeli nukes travel stealthily under the surrounding waters of the Mediterranean, Caspian and Black seas and the Persian Gulf? How many on land across the Lebanese border.

    “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” ~ FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

  203. Israel has never threatened to US its nukes against Lebanon.

    Hezbollah issues threats to Israel daily.

    Simple enough?

  204. Israel is right. Hezbollah militants should be stationed at the same place. They would then be an easy target for Israel army.

  205. Israel will do everything to scuttle a nuclear deal w/ Iran.

    Its plan was to remove Assad(ally of Iran & Hez), hence the invasion by AlQaeda.

    MO of removing Assad would involve Hezbollah, thus by spreading thin Hez forces, Israel hopes to get rid of Hez & Assad in 1 stone. First by removing Assad,(Hez's main ally in the region), then turn to Hez-weakened by the US & Israeli AlQaeda proxy war in Syria-Israel would turn the head choppers towards Hez. Israel learned that confronting Hez on the battlefield, gave a very bitter taste. Better to recruit, arm & aid AlQaeda to attack Hez. That way AlQaeda whom you are aiding & arming, will die fighting your enemy,& you will not shed a tear because you lead from behind & destroy both-AlQaeda are plentiful and easy for ISrael to continue to recruit Arm, train, nurse, give them intel and logistics, Saudis, USA foot the bill.

    Israel can make up excuses how the border is being destabilised (by her and USA's ( Saudis/GCC/Turkey-sponsored jihadis) & it must intervene-goal is a pretext to attack Hezbollah. Thus, Israel can now try to get its revenge after being sent back with the tail between her legs in 2006(left a Merkava graveyard in Lebanon behind).

    Once Hezbollah is gone, Iran is next (luckily with Syria & Hez gone).

    It hasn't quite gotten as planned, but something has to be done, & Israel will double down, sabotaging a coming Iran Nuclear Accord is crucial, because a deal, will undermine all the plans above.

  206. Wow, you must write scripts for Hollywood.

  207. "Israel will do everything to scuttle a nuclear deal w/ Iran."

    As will Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, etc and everyone else who actually has a stake in the region. None of them can believe the US position.

  208. Hezbollah has always received lukewarm reception in Lebanon. However, Hezbollah is now the only real guard against infiltration of Lebanon in the North and East by ISIS. In the South, Hezbollah repulsed the 2006 Israeli invasion. It appears Israel is preparing for another invasion. While Hezbollah remains an outsider to many Lebanese, most are now grateful for the protection received against ISIS, Israel and other violent forces.

  209. "In the South, Hezbollah repulsed the 2006 Israeli invasion."

    What a bizarre revisionist history. Even Nasrallah knows who started the conflict:

    Nasrallah: Soldiers' abductions a mistake
    POSTED: 10:07 p.m. EDT, August 27, 2006

    BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Had Hezbollah known how Israel was going to respond, the group would not have captured two Israeli soldiers last month in northern Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday.

    "If someone had said July 11 that there was "a one percent possibility" Israel's military RESPONSE would be as extensive as it turned out to be, "I would say no, I would not have entered this for many reasons -- military, social, political, economic," said Nasrallah, speaking in Arabic."

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/27/mideast.nasrallah/

  210. Let's just remember that under the 2006 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hezbullah, the UN was supposed to guarantee that Hezbullah would not be allowed to move arms south of the Littany river. Yet, the UN (as it done multiple times before) never enforced this agreement. It is totally certain, that this charade by the UN will be repeated in Israel next inevitable confrontation with Hezbullah; as soon as Israel responds to Hezbullah's provocations and Lebanese civilians start getting killed, we will again be hearing the hysterical UN condemnations and Ban-Ki-Moon calls for a ceasefire under guarantees from the UN. The international media (including The NY Times) will then start describing the war between Israel and Hezbullah as the "renewed cycle of violence" that started when Israel fired back. How predictable?

  211. Neither side has complied. Each says it is because of the other's non-compliance. Israeli violations are daily.

    The UN has called out both for this, but is not there as an army to enforce terms, just as a neutral observer to call out violations. It does.

  212. And what are Israel's "daily" violations?

  213. "Israeli violations are daily."

    Why don't you clue us in on some of the "daily" Israeli violations?

    And it wasn't just weapons south of the Litany. UN SC 1701 calls for complete disarmament of all militias in Lebanon.

    The Resolution calls for "full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state."

  214. Why is any of this a surprise? It has long been a tactic for Hamas to harbor its military hardware among civilians so as to make it more difficult for Israel to hit without causing civilian casualties and thereby incurring global condemnation. So why is it in any way remarkable when Hezbollah does the same?

    Now, in a sane world, global opinion would hold Hamas and Hezbollah responsible for what amounts to war crimes, that the various codes of international law governing armed conflict intending to reduce civilian casualties by requiring combatants to act in certain prescribed manners actually mean what they say. But that does not happen, because if Israel or the US is involved, condemnation is reserved for them alone regardless of whatever violations or even atrocities are committed by opponents.

    So when they inevitably decide to try to kill more Israeli civilians by pumping rockets into civilian areas and Israel seeks to retaliate, the supposedly civilized world will ignore both the fact that they started the violence and deliberately attacked civilians, and will condemn Israel for daring to try to defend itself by responding militarily to military threat deliberately emplaced within civilian areas. Which is why those opponents act in precisely this way.

  215. Yeah, yet Israel does not care how many civilians they kill, which is why they strike schools, UN zones, and hospitals, resulting in over 2,000 civilian deaths last summer

  216. So true, Kurt. And all the American "liberals," who I otherwise mostly agree with, will start calling Israelis "Nazis." Even the LGBT contingent, who would be the first to be persecuted by Hamas and Hezbollah (cf. Germany in the 1930's).

  217. Yes, the Palestinians care a lot about the lives of civilians, that's why they bomb Israeli buses, sniper shoot on the roads and kidnap and kill unarmed Israeli children.

  218. Nothing is being done now, and the reason is that Israel has many many enemies far and wide. What enemies of Israel care about most is, having a reason to blame Israel, that is much more important to them than to save the lives of the poor lebanese people. So let them die, as long as Israel looks like the bad guy, its all good.

  219. The military plan to drive out the civilian population is outright ethnic cleansing of the region of Lebanon coveted by Israel, up to the Litani River.

    "An Israeli expert familiar with military planning said that if Israel attacked Lebanon again . . . it would call for civilians to evacuate southern Lebanon. Once a critical mass of people had left, ground troops would move in."

    They won't leave. They've all seen what happens to those who leave when Israel warns. It is risk the attacks of Israel, or live for endless generations in refugee camps.

    This is in addition an elaborate excuse for the attacks of Israel on civilians, in Gaza already, and announced as intended in Lebanon soon. It is cover for things like the attacks on the UN centers.

    The forces facing Israel are militia. They are not in military bases, they are in their homes. That is what militia are.

    In that area, there is no other place for them to be anyway -- it is small, and they are where people can be.

    Finally, these numbers lie. It is simply impossible than among 4,000 people there are 400 military sites and facilities belonging to Hezbollah. That is every house in a place with large extended families and many children in each home. They are claiming everyone in every home is Hezbollah, the kids and grandparents too, and they mean to bomb all of them.

  220. This is extremely disingenuous. Southern Lebanon is "coveted" by Israel? No, Israel wants that land demilitarized, not bristling with sophisticated weapons. Israel has never had any designs on Lebanon or any part of that country. Hezbollah has the latest in rocketry aimed at Israeli civilian targets. You may call them a militia and parse words about what a militia is or is not, but your comment is biased and engages in selective analysis.

  221. Keep fooling yourself and making excuses for terrorists. These are military bases.

    Militias don't bring supplies of weapons into their homes.

  222. You do know that according to UN SC 1701, Hezbollah was supposed to be disarmed?

    Regardless, no attacks from Lebanon, no Israeli response. As for casualties that result from offensive fire from civilian areas, that is covered in the 4th Geneva Convention, article 28:

    "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."

    Or do you feel the Geneva Conventions don't apply when they allow Israel to defend itself according to international law?

  223. It is indisputable that Netanyahu has not been particularly helpful in promoting peace. But it is also obvious that Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian mullahs still believe that the state of Israel will be erased at some future date. It is ridiculous to pretend the military build up of these terrorist organizations have anything to do with protecting Gaza or Lebanon from Israeli aggression. Until there is an Iranian regime that recognizes that eliminating Israel is a delusion the area is doomed to perpetual conflict.

  224. That's talking in circle isn't it? Iran and half of Middle East want to erase Israel but Israel also wants to erase the Palestinian and expend the border to Greater Israel. Neither side believe the other's right to exist and are willing to fight for it.

  225. So it means nothing to you that Hamas fires missiles into Israel for years. You expect Israel to ignore them.

  226. @Jimmy So it means nothing to you that Israel has been oppressing and brutalizing the Palestinians for decades by massacring them, destroying their homes, farms, olive groves, and illegally stealing their land and expanding? And that the Palestinians didn't start resisting until 20 years after (since 1967) Israel began its brutal and violent policies?

  227. Just check your calendar. This is preparation/justification for the next "mowing the grass" attack war scheduled for the hiatus between the American presidential election in November 2016 and the swearing-in in 2017 as so many of these wars have magically "broken out" in that U.S. presidential hiatus in the past. And then just as magically Israel declares a cease-fire a week or so before the next U.S. president takes office.

  228. Check your calendar also for Iranian elections or political intrigue.

    Shooting by Iran's paid proxy usually occur when the Mullahs wish to divert attention away from their latest act of terror or war.

    Check out the Iranian "peace" destroyer seeking to bring "humanitarian" aid to Yemen., and being confronted by US and French planes and ships.

    Oops! May be time for more incoming Hezbollah rockets.

  229. It is a shame we cannot schedule events around the Iranian, Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Saudi Arabian, Yemeni, Libyan or any other Arab countries election calendar!

  230. Boy its a good thing the U.S. does not have any military installations among or near its civilians. The real question is not where military stuff is located but why is Israel getting ready to attack? Is the domestic scene there so bleak that the threat level must be raised to orange?

  231. Why is Israel getting ready to attack? Read the article. It's because once Hezbollah feels strong enough it will once again start attacking Israel. After all that's its reason for existence - to drive the Jews into the sea. And "we do not intend to stand by helplessly in the face of rocket attacks.” Or do you think that Hezebollah is acquiring all those rockets because it plans on invading some other country?

  232. How does discussing a country's defense plans mean the country is preparing TO attack?

    I guess the US must be in permanent offensive mode because it has a standing army. According to your logic, you don't need an army unless you are going to attack someone.

  233. "why is Israel getting ready to attack?"

    Maybe because as the article describes,

    1) there are offensive missiles placed right near the border
    2) Hezbollah repeatedly threatens to attack Israel
    3) Hezbollah has an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets with no purpose other than attacking Israeli civilians?

    Israel will not be the first one to fire, but the truth is, if you hold a gun to my head, I'm not obligated to wait for you to fire. It's only because of Israel's military superiority (and sensitivity to the double standards applied to its own defense by the US and EU), that Israel exercises restraint no other country would

  234. The French Resistance also hide amongst civilian population. That's what people do when facing with a technological superior adversary bend on taking away their freedom.

  235. Last I heard Israel has no soldiers in Lebanon. They unilaterally withdrew form Southern lebanon years ago (BIG MISTAKE ). )How exactly is Israel bent on taking away the freedom of the Lebanese?

  236. Always good for a chuckle. Now Hezbollah compares favorably to the French Resistance.

    I see Nasrallah more like a Paul Revere type.

    Don't you?

  237. 1) The "French Resistance" was more of a myth than a fact.
    2) There were many resistance fighters (such as the Bielski brothers) who hid away from civilian population so as to NOT endanger civilians.
    3) Using civilians as human shields is a war crime, even when committed in the name of "resistance"

  238. Last time I checked the IDF headquarters was located in the middle of Tel-Aviv, together with a few hundred other legitimate military instilation inside civilian population.

  239. As you should well know, no weapons are launched from IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv.

  240. And the White House is in Washington. But that's irrelevant. You don't fire rockets from the White House or HaKirya (IDF Headquarters). That's why they are NOT military targets. Military targets are limited to targets that can actually have functioning weapons. Nice try misrepresenting.

  241. Love the anti-Semites here.

    So good to have a country in which Jews can at least defend themselves.

    Hezbollah plans to limit Israel's strikes by endangering Arab civilians. So, what else is new?

    Unsurprisingly, not one Poster here has expressed any outrage over the Party of God's intent to inundate Jewish population centers with Iranian rockets.

    But, after all, Islamic fascists are the new bedfellows of Progressives. Kinda like the SDS with really good bombs.

  242. I see a lot of outrage and little sense in the arguments. Hezbollah basically acknowledged doing what Israel said it was doing, which is the logical thing to do for an insurgency that is outgunned but has broad popular support in a particular region. It then makes sense for Israel to call Hezbollah out on this practice in order to deflect criticism of the IDF when the inevitable happens.

  243. shooting at civilians targets regardless of whether there is military instillation embedded is a direct violation of the The Geneva Conventions of 1949. Israel continues to ignores international law that a majority of the western world tries at all cost to uphold. Yes the US and its western allies have in Iraq done it in the past with notable regards to the recent Black water guards but those acts have resulted in long prison sentences. why should Israel be immune to act II of the Geneva convention?

  244. Is there a reason you choose to ignore the US and UK drone program which has killed over 1,000 civilians in Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere?

    Nobody (except for Hamas and Hezbollah), including Israel, targets civilians - they target the weapons near the civilians.

  245. Well, now that Netanyahu got his win in the elections, now he has to give back to the hawks that support him. And some form of military action against the ever present enemy is just fine, for the hawks, the arms dealers, the sponsors of Israel around the world
    Not that I agree with Hezbollah and their ways, but shouldn't Israel start fighting for peace not with weapons but with other means. Everybody knows that no one will defeat them in war so why not try some other way. It is sad to realize that war is the only way they know how to live (as do the Palestinians)!

  246. Agree it all a ploy to attack lebanon and thus sell weapons etc...but Hezbollah did beat mighty israeli army on few occasions

  247. When a country invades another country without authorization from the UN Security Council, that is an illegal war. A war crime. And when anyone is killed in such a war, it is the aggressor who is responsible. If Lebanon invades Israel, Lebanese casualties would be the responsibility of Lebanon. But of Israel invades Lebanon, which it has done time and again, any casualties would be the responsibility of Israel, no matter how formidable its public relations apparatus, no matter how receptive elite U.S. publications may be toward reporting uncritically what Israel's public relations apparatus wants them to say.

  248. How does the UN handle rockets fired by one country toward another country's civilians? Not well, based on history.

  249. This article seems to omit any mention of the UN peace-keepers stationed in Southern Lebanon to prevent Hizbollah's rearmament - a condition of Israeli withdrawal. Are they still there, preventing nothing, but acting as human shields to impede Israeli action during the next war? It would have been helpful if the history and status of this contingent had men mentioned.

  250. What hypocrisy! Israel has repeatedly stored its weapons next to its own civilian centers. Just travel through the occupied territories and see for yourself. Everyone should be able to see through this rhetoric: Israel is once again preparing public opinion for future atrocities against the Lebanese and Palestinians in Lebanon.

  251. Israel, and most other civilized countries, do not launch rockets and missiles from homes, schools or houses of worship.

    Hezbollah and Hamas do.

  252. As usual Israel attempting to justify their killings of civilians be it Palestinian, Israli or Lebanese...Hezbollah has a track record of never initiating unless provoked by Israel; they are there to defend themselves not to occupy or intrude into israel to occupy. Why not work on dialogue so there is no senseless fighting and killing ; only arm dealers drool happily with war.

  253. The only Hezbollah track record I am aware of is their classification as a terrorist group by the US, UK, EU, Gulf Cooperation Council and several other countries.

    As a defender of President Assad of Syria, they are clearly a highly respected organization.

    If, in your mind, kidnapping/killing Israeli soldiers and shooting missiles at population centers isn't initiating, I am not sure what is.