Friday, October 15, 2010

2006: Second Lebanon War in Israel

Ahmadinejad's Visit to Lebanon

by Nadene Goldfoot

We've had several wars with Lebanon over the years. 1978 saw one war. We moved to Israel in 1980. I hadn't realized that there had been a war with Lebanon when we moved to Safed, which is quite close to the border with Lebanon. I was in Safed during the war in June 1982. "June 15, 1982: We were naturally happy that the PLO have been run out and had been worried about the arms and weapons that were coming in from them right across our border. It's time something was done about it. The U.N. and others were not doing anything about it. We never dreamt they would do as much as they did. Everyone is very upset about the casualties on both sides, but Lebanon seems to be very happy, and Major Hadad, the Christian Lebanese leader in Lebanon is very happy. In fact, all of Christian Lebanon is happy. We are glued to the radio for the short reports we get in English, and I read every word in the Jerusalem Post." Lebanon's minority were Christians, and the Christians and Muslims did not get along. Major Hadad and his militia patrolled our border and helped to protect Israel because the PLO had taken over southern Lebanon in the 70's. This 2nd war lasted 3 months when we actually went into Beiruit. By 1985 we had established a buffer zone between Lebanon and Israel.

In 1996 we had to go in Lebanon again in our Operation Grapes of Wrath, which lasted 16 days in order to end the shelling in Northern Israel by Hezbollah. Kiryat Shemona was constantly underfire, just as it was in 1982. That was one of my favorite towns, as they had the Hamishbeer, a wonderful department store which reminded me of Meier & Franks here in Portland. We had many American Jews living there, and they have been under attack so much, I don't know how they endure. Ceasefire was on 27 April, 1996.

Ahmadinejad has now visited Lebanon, buoying up their hatred for Israel. Iran is hoping to shake off memories of their 2005 assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Now they've been helping out Lebanon with water and electricity, so they are standing in the winner's circle. Ahmadinejad's disparaging remarks have been, "The world should understand that the Zionists will go. Palestine will be liberated." The crowd roared in approval.

He visited towns affected by Israel-Lebanon wars. Qana is a southern Lebanon town where more than 150 were killed by our bombs during 1996 and 2006 wars. Ahmadinejad was attributed with helping Lebanon "win the war."

The 2006 war was a 34 day war with Hezbollah. It started on 12 July 2006 and ceasefire by the UN was declared on 14 August 2006. On the 8 September Israel lifted their naval blockade. Hezbollah started it by firing rockets on our border towns. Then they fired anti-tank missiles on our Israeli Humvees patroling the border. They killed 3 soldiers and kidnapped 2 who could have been either dead or alive. We tried a rescue but 5 were killed in the attempt. Lastly we struck Lebanon with air attacks, hitting their airport which was the place they got imported weapons. A ground invasion was the end result. Hezbollah shot hundreds more rockets into northern Israel, where I used to live. They reached Haifa. They hit one of our warships with a drone. Lebanon took the biggest hit. They lost about 1,300. A million Lebanese were displaced as well as 300,00 to 500,000 Israelis. Israelis were able to return finally to their homes, but Lebanese couldn't due to our using cluster bomblets.

Why did Lebanon start attacking Israel in the first place? Do they not realize that we will retaliate? "For a trans-border Arab-Israeli war, this conflict was different than most. Israel at first responded lightly in the ground war, apparently relying on the air and artillery campaign to inflict most of the damage. Hezbollah responded with wave after wave of rockets and missiles supplied largely by Syria and Iran over the past several years."

Oregonian Newspaper 10/15/10 Iran's president speaks in Lebanon page A8
Letters From Israel by Nadene Goldfoot page 194.

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