"Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself" is a mantra being tossed around by the rightwing these days in response to the unfolding events in the Middle East. Even our Gather.Com extremists--Ben Simonton, Rob Port, Chris Leavitt--have chanted the mantra or a very similar sentiment.
And I seriously doubt there are many--on the right or left-- who deny Israel has a right to defend itself.
But let's look at what Israel is doing. They are attacking and occupying a sovreign nation and indiscriminantly killing civilians--many of whom have no use for the likes of Hezbollah. In order to justify such a response as Israel's, it must believe its very existence is at stake.
Is Israel's existence actually in jeopardy? No. While Hezbollah certainly has some capacity to kill or wound Israelis, nobody seriously believes Hezbollah has anything approaching the wherewithal to bring an end to the Israeli state. The proof exists: why would Israel reject a ceasefire--however temporary--if its existence were in great danger?
Make no mistake--Israel knows two things with great certainty: one, whatever they do in Lebanon will not end Hezbollah. Two, killing civilians leads to the creation of more terrorists.
We can only sadly conclude Israel is using this latest bit of violence to continue a cycle of violence that has continued for nearly six decades.