By Gideon Levy
August 06, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - Official Israel presented
itself as shocked at the disaster that struck its
neighbor, Lebanon, yesterday. Almost everyone put on a
sorrowful face. Except for Richard Silverstein, who
writes a blog, Tikkun Olam, no one accused Israel of
causing the disaster. Except for Moshe Feiglin and a few
other racists, no one expressed satanic joy over it.
Fortunately, former Israeli army spokesman Avi Benayahu
ran Feiglin out of the race: “With such statements, you
don’t belong to the Jewish people,” declared Benayahu,
the man of Jewish morality, and the stain was removed.
Benayahu is right: The Jewish state never caused such
disasters, and when our enemies fell it never rejoiced.
The Israel Defense Forces,
Benayahu was, never such caused destruction and
devastation, certainly not in Lebanon, certainly not in
Beirut. What does the IDF have to do with the
destruction of infrastructure? An explosion in the
Beirut port? Why would
the most moral army in the world have anything to do
with bombing population centers? And so the country’s
leaders hastened to offer help to the stricken land of
the cedars, such a typical Jewish and Israeli gesture,
human, lofty and moving to the point of tears.
True, the Israel Air Force thumbs its nose at
Lebanon’s sovereignty and flies through its skies as if
they were its own. True, Israel has devastated Lebanon
twice in war, but who’s counting. Israel’s president
issued a statement of condolences to the Lebanese
people, the prime minister and the ministers of foreign
affairs and defense said they had “given instructions to
offer humanitarian and medical assistance to Lebanon.”
As if all this beneficence was not enough, the mayor of Tel Aviv ordered the municipality building illuminated with the colors of the Lebanese flag. Words fail. All past hatred has been set aside, Israel is now a friend in need to its suffering neighbor. Maybe it was Tu B’Av, the holiday of love, marked yesterday. But still, a vague memory threatens to spoil the how-beautiful-we-are party, which we love so much around here.
Was it not that same defense minister that only last
that same Lebanon with destruction of infrastructure?
Didn’t the prime minister also threaten Lebanon? And how
does destruction of infrastructure look in Lebanon? Just
like what was seen in Lebanon on Tuesday. The sound of
thunder shook the city, black smoke billowed over it,
destruction and devastation, civilian blood spilled,
4,000 injured at hospital doors, as described in horror
by the ambassador of a European country in Beirut, who
had previously served in Israel. She was injured Tuesday
in the blast and was in shock.
Half of Israel and the entire IDF General Staff know
how to recite the acclaimed
Doctrine. Every second politician has threatened to
carry it out. That is our language with Lebanon and
Gaza. It’s the doctrine espoused by the Israeli Carl von
Clausewitz, former chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot, the
current hope of the Israeli left, when he was chief of
the Northern Command.
And what is this sophisticated doctrine? It’s the use
of disproportionate, unbridled force against
infrastructure, the sowing of destruction and shedding
of as much blood as possible. “Flattening” – to teach
the enemy a lesson “once and for all.” The IDF has tried
this more than once in the past, in Lebanon and in Gaza,
and it was a dizzying success story. It looks just like
what was seen in Beirut on Tuesday.
Not a week had passed since Israel threatened to
destroy infrastructure in Lebanon if Hezbollah dared
avenge the killing of one of its fighters in a limited
military action on the border, and Israel the destroyer
becomes Israel the merciful. Would you accept
humanitarian aid from such a country? Is there a more
sickening show of hypocrisy?
When Israel demolished Dahiya and other neighborhoods
in Beirut, the Tel Aviv Municipality building was not
illuminated with the colors of the Lebanese flag. When
Israel killed thousands of innocent women and children,
old and young, in Gaza during the criminal Operation
Cast Lead and Operation Protective Edge, the
municipality was not lit up in the colors of the
Palestinian flag. But on Wednesday we were all so
humane, so Lebanese for a moment. Until the next Dahiya.
Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist and author.
Levy writes opinion pieces and a weekly column for the
newspaper Haaretz that often focus on the Israeli
occupation of the Palestinian territories. Levy has won
prizes for his articles on human rights in the
Israeli-occupied territories. - "Source"