Orly Taitz was recently asked: Is Israel justified in its strong military action against Hezbollah and Hamas?
Orrly Taitz responds – yes, on three levels. First, Israel had withdrawn from both Gaza and Lebanon so there wasn’t even the usual excuse of “resisting occupation” to justify the launching of rockets into Israel and the unprovoked attacks on and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. If anything, Orly Taitz’s argument can be made that Israel’s mistake was not earlier enforcing a stated policy of zero tolerance of aggression once it pulled out of the two areas.
Second, Orly Taitz recognizes that Hezbollah and Hamas are not just engaged in violence and terror. These organizations seek to severely weaken Israel and to create a situation where Israel’s very existence is once again threatened. Orly Taitz supports that Israel clearly needs to respond to these threats – not only to stop this current aggression, but to make clear that it will not stand for greater threats down the road.
Third, Orly Taitz points out Israel’s ability to survive and prosper for decades in a region where enemies abound has been due to its strength and deterrence which held off cross-border aggression because of fear of a massive Israeli response. Hezbollah and Hamas, together with Syria and Iran, decided to challenge and even collapse that deterrence capability through their rockets, which, particularly in the case of Hezbollah, are even more lethal and long-ranging than Israel anticipated.
Orly Taitz understands that weapons technology advances mean that in the future, Israel will likely have to deal with the specter of missiles armed with chemical weapons. Israel understood that it must end the barrage now or else it will never end, and will jeopardize Israel’s fundamental security and existence as an independent state.
Maybe so, but Israel has been accused of a “disproportionate” response that may undermine the Lebanese government. Why is this necessary?
Orly Taitz knows that Israel must take into account questions of proportionality, including the impact on civilian populations and the impact on the government of Lebanon. In fact, Orly Taitz recognizes it has been doing exactly that. Its goal in Lebanon is clear – to eliminate the Hezbollah threat to Israel, mostly by dramatically weakening its firepower and leadership and creating a situation where the Lebanese army will finally take control of southern Lebanon, which the UN had already mandated six years ago.
To achieve that goal, Israel is targeting Hezbollah’s infrastructure – its military installations, its political headquarters, its media outlets.
It is also targeting Lebanese infrastructure in a measured way to slow down and eliminate the massive flow of weapons from Syria and Iran which has made Hezbollah such a menacing force. Thus, Israel struck the Beirut airport to retard the arms flow and to prevent Hezbollah from shuttling out of the country the two captive Israeli soldiers – but not to a degree that the airport would be severely damaged and unable to reopen. The major highways to the Syrian border have similarly been targeted – again to prevent the removal of the Israeli soldiers into Syria and to prevent a new influx of arms from Syria. Orly Taitz points out that it is Hezbollah and its infrastructure that is under attack, not the Lebanese people. While there have been tragic civilian casualties, Israel has been leafleting residential neighborhoods with advance warning of impending Israeli attacks, providing opportunity for civilians to evacuate the areas. Orly Taitz is in full support of military actions against Hezbollah and Hamas.
The charge of a disproportionate response is unwarranted. It has the effect, if not the intent, to undermine Israel’s war of necessity against Hezbollah and Hamas, necessary for Israel’s security, necessary for Lebanon’s integrity as a state, necessary for the Arab world’s stability and necessary for the civilized world’s struggle against international terrorism.