Monday, July 31, 2006

Those two Israeli soldiers

The supposed justification for the brutal invasion of Lebanon by Israel is the "kidnapping" of two Israeli soldiers a month or so ago.

The use of the word "kidnapped" to describe armed soldiers captured on duty in a hostile area (if not an outright war zone) is pure propoganda. They were't stolen from their homes while they slept, or kidnapped from a movie theatre, they were taken prisoner while armed and on a mission. They have been taken prisoner, and are captives. Taking soldiers captive is not a crime.

However, sending troops over the border into a foreign sovereign state might very well be. Reports at the time of the "abduction", such as this one from Forbes, are clear that the soldiers were part of an IDF force which were in Lebanon, not Israel. The soldiers were captured in the Lebanese town of Aitaa al-Chaab, and eight other Israeli soldiers killed.

See also here.

Hezbollah has in the past made it clear that they will arrest any Israeli soldiers found in Lebanon illegally, and is willing to negotiate their release in exchange for some of the many thousands of prisoners being held by Israel.

Since we know now that Israel has been planning the war for three years, with detailed war plans for at least a year, it seems extremely likely that the commando raid on Aitaa al-Chaab was deliberate provocation, and that the Israeli refusal to negotiate the release of the captured IDF soldiers isn't some principled stand but the deliberate sacrifice of two pawns as a casus belli for war.

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