Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Notes: Eric Margolis, "The War has Backfired for Israel, and Its Old Lebanese Curse Keeps Getting Worse," Toronto Sun, August 6, 2006.

NEW YORK -- Last week, Doron Rosenblum, a columnist for what I consider Israel's finest newspaper, Ha'aretz, delivered a zinger I doubt anyone would dare print in North America, where most Mideast news is heavily slanted.

The real cause of the latest Lebanon war, wrote Rosenblum, was not the seizure of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, but an earlier, boastful TV speech by Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, that provoked Israel's leaders.

Nasrallah taunted Israel's new triumvirate of PM Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Amir Peretz, and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, sneering they were "small" compared to Ariel Sharon. "Adding fuel to the fire," said Rosenblum, Nasrallah "emphasized the 'small' with his fingers."

According to Rosenblum, "bad-tempered" Olmert, Peretz, and "arrogant Halutz" flew into rages at this grave insult to their manhood, and sought to prove they could out-Sharon Sharon by turning a minor skirmish into an all-out war.

Sounds bizarre, but remember, George Bush Sr. invaded Panama after Manuel Noriega called him as a "wimp." Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait after its crown prince suggested Iraq's war widows be sent to Kuwaiti harems. Adolescent behaviour springs eternal.

Israel's old Lebanese curse just keeps getting worse. "

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