Israel Must Prepare the Civilian Populations of Lebanon and Gaza and the International Community to the Coming War

One of the more important speeches during the Herzliya Conference was that of Israel’s Chief of Military Intelligence General Aviv Kokhavi. Two numbers he mentioned remained etched in one’s memory. The first – Israel is now facing 200,000 missiles and rockets. A year or two ago the talk was of 150,000. The difference, as far as the destruction to Israel’s towns and cities, is nearly academic – more important is the recognition that the enemy keeps arming itself at a fast pace without the Israeli government taking effective action to stop it. The second is that every tenth house in Lebanon (I believe he meant in South Lebanon, although this is not clear from the summary published on the conference’s website) has either a rocket store or a rocket launching position.

Whilst, from Israel’s point of view, the war against Syria and Iran will aim to hit their military forces and strategic infrastructure which are fairly clearly separated from their civilian populations, in Lebanon, and more so in Gaza, Israel will be fighting terror organisations which on the one hand use civilian populations as a human shield against an attack on their rockets, and on the other hand maximise the use of any unintentional or unavoidable civilian casualties for propaganda purposes. I wrote about this in my previous article ‘When Terrorists Fight Behind the Backs of Women and Children’

Israel has never dealt satisfactorily with this state of affairs. The political and public opinion damage caused by both the 2006 war in Lebanon and the 2008 operation in Gaza was huge.  It is essential to prepare both the international community and the civilian populations of the Gaza Strip and Lebanon to a new strategy Israel will be using during the next war long before this war starts, instead of trying to minimise damage after the event when faced with an international board on Inquiry.

Israel must start now embedding in the consciousness of the civilian populations of Gaza and South Lebanon that in the next war, it will not be able to fight the terror organisations controlling the areas in which these populations dwell with one hand tied behind its back. It should use radio and TV broadcasts in Arabic, internet websites and where necessary, leaflets dropped from the air, and it should do it again and again along a period of time to demonstrate its seriousness. Israel must instruct these populations to prepare emergency rations and to plan in advance in which areas relatively clear of terrorist concentrations – orchards, fields, hills and beaches – they will seek shelter while the IDF, and in particular the Israeli Air Force, freely, intensively and finally hit these terror concentrations. The damage to houses and civil infrastructure will of course be huge, but Lebanon’s and Gaza’a houses are not more precious than Israel’s houses which, no doubt, will also be severely hit.

On the international front, Israel must also prepare the foreign media, political administrations and the UN to what is about to take place. No country in the world would allow another country to destroy it just because its weapons are launched from within its civilian population. Britain and the US have demolished entire German cities in response to the Blitz even if the contribution of the civilian populations of these cities to the German war effort was secondary (factory workers for example). In the next war, Israel will be forced into a situation of ‘Them or Us’. With all the regret, the choice must be obvious.

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6 Responses to Israel Must Prepare the Civilian Populations of Lebanon and Gaza and the International Community to the Coming War

  1. Des Clark says:

    Israel’s paranoia is reflected in this article.All they need to do is give the Palestinins their land back to the 1967 border UN resolution 242 .If the Nazis had invaded the south of England claiming that as anglo saxons they were entitled to that land.I think most people agree that the inhabitants of the south of England would be entitled to armed resistance.

    • Much Courage and Peace says:

      I am impressed – you have managed to pack a mountain of misunderstanding into a single short paragraph.
      The Arabs were pushed away from the 1967 borders when they initiated the war in that year. Read a bit of history. There is not a single Israeli soldier or civilian occupying the Gaza Strip or Lebanon. According to your logic that should be the end of all hostilities with these two territories. You forget the simple fact that both Hammas and Hezbollah are committed to the complete destruction of the State of Israel even within the 1967 borders.
      If you call the deliberate and indiscriminate slaughter of Israeli women and children ‘armed resistance’ do not be surprised when Israel will go after these murderers.
      And if you are looking for invaders as examples you need not go so far as the Nazis – England itself has invaded Northern Ireland and is still occupying it to this day.

  2. John Bibby says:

    It is absurd to compare Ireland today with what Israel is doing today in Palestine. (If you go back 100 years there may be some comparison – but ideas about imperialism and what is acceptable have changed a lot in the last 100 years. What Israel is doing today (and what England did 100 years ago) is not acceptable.

  3. Roger says:

    You seem to love the idea of killing Palestinians and preferably civilian ones. You are always advocating war against unarmed civilians. Just like a true Israeli.

    • Much Courage and Peace says:

      To begin, I suggest that you replace your reading glasses – they are giving you a very twisted view of reality.
      The whole point of this article is to PREVENT civilian deaths. Your Lebanese and Gazan terrorist friends are using them as human shields and are storing and launching rockets from their homes. They don’t give a a toss if these civilians get killed – but Israel does. The war is against terror – not against hapless unarmed civilians who are used by the terrorists as a cover. I am a true Israeli and I am proud of it – but not in the sense that your hateful and distorted view of reality presents it.

    • Much Courage and Peace says:

      BTW – regarding your “You are always advocating war against unarmed civilians” – I will have a word with my lawyer later. I could probably sue you for libel just for this single sentence which is now in the public domain.

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