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Hezbollah Takes Southern Lebanon Hostage

Hezbollah forces have taken over more than a hundred villages to store their heavy artillery, and their command posts are near schools and hospitals.

by
Richard Landes

Bio

July 9, 2010 - 12:00 am
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In a larger sense, Israel may have taken the risk to be proactive this time, after a decade of being accused of wantonly killing innocent civilians despite their unprecedented efforts to avoid doing so. These cannibalistic strategies of Hezbollah are very similar to those Hamas developed during the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead. Both strategies seek to maximize their own civilian casualties for the value of those deaths in demonizing Israel as killers of innocent civilians. Israel apparently hopes to dampen some of the outrage — which arises so readily from the media and diplomatic services — by pointing out this cannibalistic strategy that so cruelly sacrifices its own people in the service of its goals.

Perhaps the most tragic dimension of this strategy comes from the key role the mainstream media plays in this process. As one Gazan explained to an Italian journalist during Operation Cast Lead:

The Hamas militants looked for good places to provoke the Israelis. They were usually youths, 16 or 17 years old, armed with submachine guns. They couldn’t do anything against a tank or jet. They knew they were much weaker. But they wanted the [Israelis] to shoot at the [the civilians’] houses so they could accuse them of more war crimes [emphasis added].

So this cruel racket of sacrificing civilians only works if the Israelis are blamed, only if the MSM provides the stage on which this death cult can accuse Israel of “more war crimes.” If the media — and the “Human Rights” NGOs and UN Human Rights Council initiatives like the Goldstone Report — highlighted these pre-meditated war crimes of Hamas and Hezbollah, then the ploy wouldn’t work. In a profound sense, it is only because the media plays the game the way these terrorist organizations dictate it that it even makes sense to maximize one’s own side’s suffering.

So let’s see what happens. Does the MSM recognize its unconscionable role in this unnecessary tragedy? Will they inform the world of these intentional war crimes against the Lebanese people? Or will they ignore this “non-story,” and then when the rockets fly and civilians die again, will they — also again — join in the chorus of accusing Israel of reckless criminal behavior? I’m personally not betting on maturity.

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Richard Landes is a Professor at Boston University in history. He has just come out with two books: Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience and The Paranoid Apocalypse: A Hundred-Year Retrospective on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He blogs at The Augean Stables.
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