For the first time I’m actually somewhat let down by Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish… here’s why…
There is no excusing the senseless murder of an IDF soldier – shot while removing a tree on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border. It was obscuring a security camera (although why the camera could not be moved rather than the tree is the kind of question only Jon Stewart seems to ask).
I watched a televised report of the incident on Lebanon’s MTV (mtv.com.lb) in my Arabic class and the videos show an armed Israeli machinery reaching over the security fence to remove the tree. Regardless of who the land actually belongs to – a fence is a fence, the provocation was there in the first place. Warning shots were fired by the Lebanese Army and, as per usual, largely ignored on the Israeli side. Lives should not have had to been lost on either side, but its unfortunate that this post on Andrew Sullivan’s blog ignores the deaths of 3 Lebanese soldiers, a journalist from Al-Akhbar, and Israel’s subsequent bombing of a border town. I honestly don’t understand why the placement of the camera was necessary in the first place given Israel’s frequent manned overflights over the border. I also don’t understand why the incident was blown way out of proportion and brought all the way to the Security Council, which promptly reprimanded Lebanon for the whole thing happening in the first place. It’s just so odd how for so many years when Israel was ‘protecting its interests’ in Lebanon (read: invasions and occupations) and demanding that the Lebanese National Army defend its own sovereignty–that when they finally do and are able to defend their own sovereignty they are blamed for it.
An interesting thought occurred to me today… you know how that theory that democracies don’t fight each other always pops up now and then – I think it also goes by the name of the McDonalds theory – but that might be something else, or just sounds dumb anyway… I mean, I have no idea what sort of scholarly work has been done on it but it occurred to me that the conflict between Israel and Lebanon completely invalidates that theory as both countries are technically functioning democracies or republics or what have you–and they definitely both have McDonalds. Although there are plenty of people, including myself, would would raise one or two eyebrows at Israel’s practice of democracy as it seems to be one that fuses religion into the state rather than out of it… and seems to have excluded a couple million in its demographic from participating in it… but that’s a story for another day. The fact is… I’ve heard the theory thrown around a couple of times in political science classes and what have you… and I think the situation between Israel and Lebanon completely invalidates it. I’ll have to do some more research into it later on.