imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The US, Israel and Lebanon: Historical Roots and Patterns of Conflict

by DAVID GREEN Sunday, Oct. 08, 2006 at 12:34 PM

The destructive and lethal forces unleashed this past summer by the United States and Israel upon Lebanon are not surprising in light of their historical roots in at least four patterns of conflict:

Historical Roots and Patterns of Conflict

The US, Israel and Lebanon


The destructive and lethal forces unleashed this past summer by the United States and Israel upon Lebanon are not surprising in light of their historical roots in at least four patterns of conflict:

First, the unwillingness of Israel and its American patrons to resolve the question of the Palestinian refugees and provide for a viable Palestinian state, but rather the exploitation of this conflict to intimidate other Arab states in the region, especially Lebanon.

Second, Israel's territorial ambitions in southern Lebanon, especially regarding water, as well as the economic challenge posed to Israel by a peaceful and thriving Lebanon as a center of finance and tourism.

Third, Israel's doctrine of massive and illegal retaliation against civilian populations in response to Arab terrorism and resistance, as a means of asserting unquestioned military superiority in the region and preventing the establishment of a deterrent force that would necessitate good faith negotiation.

Fourth, Israel's military alliance with the U.S., and its willingness to serve American interests in the latter's efforts to dominate the region's energy resources, as defined more recently by both neoconservative and neoliberal doctrines that have engendered the destruction of not only Lebanon but Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gaza; and have also justified the increased concentration of wealth and economic inequality in both Israel and the U.S.

The Palestinian Question:

Palestinian refugees have resided in Lebanon since the 1948 war. After the 1967 war, Israel continued bombing refugee camps in southern Lebanon. Ron David (Arabs and Israel for Beginners) quotes London Guardian correspondent Irene Beeson (writing in 1978) that "150 or more towns and villages in South Lebanon . . . have been repeatedly savaged by the Israeli armed forces since 1968." In 1970, PLO leadership was driven from Jordan to Lebanon. After the 1973 war, Yasser Arafat began to signal that he would accept a two-state solution to the Palestinian problem, building on an interpretation of UN resolution 242 that called for the formation of a Palestinian state comprising the West Bank and Gaza.

According to Noam Chomsky (Middle East Illusions):

"The issue reached the UN Security Council in January 1976, with a resolution incorporating the language of UN 242 but abandoning its rejectionism, now calling for a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The resolution was supported by virtually the entire world, including the major Arab states, the PLO, Europe, the nonaligned countries, and the Soviet Union, which was in the mainstream of international diplomacy throughout.

"Israel refused to attend the UN session. Instead, it bombed Lebanon once again, killing more than 50 villagers in what it called a 'preventive' strike, presumably retaliation against U.N. diplomacy . . . The United States vetoed the resolution, as it did again in 1980."

Chomsky (The Fateful Triangle) documents that Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982, long-planned and killing 20,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, grew out of fears of a peaceful resolution: "The PLO was gaining respectability thanks to its preference for negotiations over terror. The Israeli government's hope, therefore, was to compel 'the stricken PLO' to 'return to its earlier terrorism,' thus 'undercutting the danger' of negotiations." As such, this was a "war for the (illegal) settlements."

The background for the recent American-Israeli destruction of Lebanon was, of course, Israel's relentless starving and bombing of Gaza (with American weapons), beginning in its current intensified form after the election of Hamas early this year, with an escalation well before Israel's kidnapping of two Palestinian civilians on June 24th, followed the next day by the capture of an Israeli soldier which "precipitated" full-scale Israeli bombardment. While Hezbollah's capture and killing of Israeli soldiers two weeks later must also be seen in the context of six years of border violations since Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000 (with a ratio of 10 to one in favor of Israeli violations), it was arguably also a response in solidarity with Israel's assault on Gaza. Both Hamas and Hezbollah have legitimacy as religious, populist, and nationalist resistance movements in a Middle East dominated by American-approved authoritarian regimes. As such, they threaten American/Israeli hegemony if they become viable democratic actors and legitimate negotiating partners.

Israeli Ambitions in and Competition with Lebanon

Israel's long-term territorial ambitions are discussed in the diaries of the second Israeli Prime Minister, Moshe Sharett (1954-56), in accounts of conflicts with his predecessor David Ben-Gurion. These diaries form the basis for Livia Rokach's Israel's Sacred Terrorism.

Rokach writes:

"The 1982 'operation," as well as its predecessor, the 'Litani Operation" of 1978, were part of the long-standing Zionist strategy for Lebanon and Palestine. That strategy, formulated and applied during the 1950s, had been envisaged at least four decades earlier, and attempts to implement it are still being carried out three decades later. On November 6, 1918, a committee of British mandate officials and Zionist leaders put forth a suggested northern boundary for a Jewish Palestine 'from the North Litani River up to Banias.' (A 1919) proposal emphasized the 'vital importance of controlling all water resources up to their sources.'"

In the 1960s, as Ron David reminds us, Beirut was the "Paris of the East," a financial center with a tourist boom. In December 1968, Israel bombed the Beirut airport, destroying 13 civilian airliners in a "retaliatory raid" in response to an attack by two terrorists belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine at the Athens airport that killed one Israeli. The UN Security Council condemned the attack, but as David suggests, "Lebanese tourism nosedived; Israel's tourism went up, and up." The Lebanese economy was devastated by civil war (1975-90) and Israeli invasions (1978, 1982).

In this context, it's worth noting the comments of two Lebanese businessmen interviewed on Democracy Now.

Georges Hanna, manager of a factory for prefab housing: "They hit everything: 25,000 square meter coverage area, factories, all of them damaged. We think it's about -- they have also some factories that made the same products like us, and they made this attack to eliminate us from the market."

And Michel Waked, manager of a larger dairy factory: "You know, this is the third time our factory get destroyed. In '82, the same thing happened. It's not the first time. So how can you consider Israeli as a friend, or whatever? You always consider Israel the enemy. And the only dairy who can compete with them is us."

Among other things, the destruction of Lebanon can be seen as a kind of state-sponsored neoliberal gangsterism.

Massive and Disproportionate Retaliation Against Civilians

The first notorious example of Israel's doctrine of massive retaliation against civilians was at the Jordanian village of Qibya in 1953, reviewed by Walid Khalidi in an article also based upon Sharett's diary.

Ariel Sharon's Unit 101, under orders from Moshe Dayan, responded to the murder of an Israeli mother and her two children by infiltrators into Israel by blowing up 45 houses and killing 69 civilians, two-thirds of them women and children.

Israel's implementation of this policy based on a racist "language of force" (directed at Arabs who stand accused of understanding no other) does not necessarily require a clear provocation, as in 1982, when the assassination of the Israeli ambassador in London by the Abu Nidal group (sworn enemies of the PLO) provided the pretext for a long-planned invasion into Lebanon, literally a "war against peace" to drive out the PLO, which had scrupulously observed a truce for nearly one year. Nor does the initial action have to victimize Israeli civilians for Israel to "retaliate" primarily against Arab civilians, as recent events in both Gaza and Lebanon demonstrate.

In The Fateful Triangle, Chomsky quotes remarks by General Mordechai Gur regarding the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, as summarized by military analyst Ze'ev Schiff: "In South Lebanon we struck the civilian population consciously, because they deserved it . . . the Army has never distinguished civilian (from military) targets . . . but purposely attacked civilian targets even when Israeli settlements had not been struck."

U.S.-Israel Military Alliance

The U.S.-Israel military alliance can be traced to the early 1960s, and has been global in nature, especially regarding the support for terrorism in Latin America in the 1970s and 80s. With the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, Israel became even more important as a protector of American interests in the Middle East. This alliance has intensified during recent years with the neoconservative Project for a New American Century, 9/11, and the re-declaration of the 1980s "war on terror" by the Bush administration. The promotion of military solutions and of fear in the general population in both countries directly relates to transfers of wealth to military-industrial sectors. Both countries are thus beset by a vicious cycle of fear, war, and widespread economic desperation, for which invaded and occupied peoples have paid the highest price.

Regarding the specifics of U.S. support for Israel's invasion of Lebanon, Stephen Zunes writes:

"There is increasing evidence that Israel instigated a disastrous war on Lebanon largely at the behest of the United States. The Bush administration was set on crippling Hezbollah, the radical Shiite political movement that maintains a sizable block of seats in the Lebanese parliament. Taking advantage of the country's democratic opening after the forced departure of Syrian troops last year, Hezbollah defied U.S. efforts to democratize the region on American terms. The populist party's unwillingness to disarm its militia as required by UN resolution-and the inability of the pro-Western Lebanese government to force them to do so-led the Bush administration to push Israel to take military action."

Rhetoric and Reality in the "War on Terror"

As American and Israeli efforts to control events in the Middle East become increasingly problematic, there are increased efforts to re-cast the conflict in terms of a "clash of civilizations" between "Judeo-Christians" and "Islamo-fascists." Such propaganda is obviously intended to invoke both Nazi Germany and the Cold War, reframing power-driven conflicts over land and resources as an essentialized global conflict of culture and religion.

But the ironies inherent in this propaganda may portend changes in violent historical patterns. The Bush and Olmert administrations have proved to be corrupt and deceitful; the relation between their rhetoric and reality evokes none other than fascist propagandists and Pravda. Hezbollah and Hamas have proved to be incorruptible popular movements, unrelated to al-Qaeda, that rightly stand in opposition to the Palestinian Authority, the government of Lebanon, and Israel. Meanwhile, the religious subplot in the secular Jewish State evokes Jacob Talmon's 1965 assertion (quoted by Chomsky in Middle East Illusions) that "the Rabbinate (in Israel) is rapidly developing into a firmly institutionalized church imposing an exacting discipline on its members. The State . . . has given birth to an established Church." But the religious Jew stays at home or in the illegal settlements while the secular Jew is conscripted to fight in an American/Israeli war for oil and hegemony that targets civilians and infrastructure, and now invites serious retaliation against his community. One possibility to be hoped for is that the secular Jewish-Israeli conscript and impoverished American "volunteer" will come to see no future in all of this, and realize that their respective states are also (and just as fundamentally) at war against their own citizens.

David Green lives in Champaign, IL. He can be reached at:

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Thanks for posting Interesting article Sunday, Oct. 08, 2006 at 12:35 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy