Israel is managed by a generation of leaders who grew up wondering how could six million Jews walk to their death without putting up a fight. Maybe this explains why these leaders are so ready to over react when Israel is attacked and why Israel consistently loses the war that matters most, the war of global public opinion, even against the most unlikely candidates: Syria and Iran.

Hezbollah kidnapped two soldiers and threw rockets over Israel, a minor incident. Israel instead, invaded Lebanon, killed over a thousand people, caused billions of dollars worth of damage and managed to drive the majority of the Lebanese, who were not sympathizers of Hezbollah, into Hezbollah´s arms. Hezbollah as a movement needs two main resources, Iran´s and Syria´s money and angry young men. After the tremendous damage that Israel inflicted on Lebanon Hezbollah will have more of both. Especially now that it will be seen by most Lebanese as the only force ready to defend Lebanon.

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gusto on August 22, 2006  · 

I think that your explanation is simply common sense, but that´s the issue, being so evident that violence brings more violence and considering that eventhoug Israel has the right to self defense, it is obvious that global public opinion will follow the oppresed and the weak. But even more amazing is the fact that the U.S.A. and its inconditional back-up to Israel do not even hesitate when comes the time to also demand Israel to moderate and to avoid increase even more the hate fromo arabs/muslims. Moreover, in my opinion Israel would be better-off without an unditional U.S.

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Robert on August 22, 2006  · 

I am not much into politics, but shouldn’t they work something out and live in peace?
War won’t lead to anything good, on the long term.

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Dabis Camero on August 22, 2006  · 

Completely in agreement! -Regards -DECA

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Marcelo Levit on August 22, 2006  · 

I agree.
But you call this a “minor incident” ???
Think again.

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xl on August 24, 2006  · 

#5 Marcelo,

Well if that isn’t a minor Incident, what is the invasion during 40 years of the lebanon by the Israel… We should think why exist Hezbolah…
And the major reason is the Israel Invasion of Lebanon….

So If you have an army in other country to invade them, at least the minium is that they kidnaped 2 soldiers or that they do a guerrilla war…

Is that I’ll do, and is that you’ll do if you were a south lebanese…

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Matthaus on August 24, 2006  · 

Obviously, you don´t know the conflict in the middle east. First, Israel did not invade Lebanon for 40 years.

Listen, please learn some of the history of the conflict. Non of the sides are 100% right. Both of them have their story, both of them have the right to live in peace in the same land.

Israel is not de devil and arabs angels. My e-mail is We can discuss some of the facts if you want. History of the conflict.



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Marcelo Levit on August 24, 2006  · 

Dear XL,
18 years, not 40.

Do you know why Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 ?
Go find the answer in the internet, my friend.

They kidnapped 2 soldiers 6 (six) YEARS AFTER Israel left Lebanon lands !!!!

Israel was not at war with Lebanon…..
If I were lebanese, I would be against the Heezbollah, as I was against the military government at the Malvinas war.
By that time, the enemy was not Britain, but the militaries.


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XL on August 24, 2006  · 

Sorry for the tiping mistake I wanted to write 30 (exactly 28) taking in consideration the invasion of 1978.

If you were lebanese you will not be against Hezbolah, or you’re against the Military-nationalism of the Israel Goverment???

So don’t come with examples that doesn’t have nothing to see, first Malvinas were British, second the majority of the Argentinian population is against the military goverment, and you never feel it Malvinas as part of your nation, if they had invaded Cordoba Province, or Rosario, or Santa Fe… you’re feeling will be different… Also was Argentina who invades Malvinas, UK only expulsed the invasion troops from his land.

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Matthaus on August 25, 2006  · 


I would be against any terrorist wherever I am. I think you are from catalunia, but would you support ETA if you’d live in Euskadi? Don´t think so.

Hezbollah is not even lebanese. They use that territory to launch attacks against Israel. And they existed even before Israel invaded Lebanon, which was the reason to invade. Hundreds of terrorist attacks where launched from southern Lebanon.

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XL on August 25, 2006  · 

The problem of the first invasion wasn’t hezbolah, was Palestinian… But we should remember that Israel invaded part of palestina in 1967 during the 6 days war, and that was illegal, and they didn’t return the land, so palestinian started to figth from his freedom.
Also Israel invaded the heigths of Golan, so the conclusion is that you have a lot of people that wants to recover his nation… and that’s isn’t terrorism is a guerrilla war in the opinion of a lot of people.

ETA is completly different, as they are terrorist like “Bricate rosse” “Red October”…

But at the beggining of ETA they have a lot of support from the Basque population because it was more aq movement figting agasinst Franco and defending Euskadi, but step by step they come more terrorist and they were forgeting his original ideas… That’s why a lot of original eta members are against eta today.

And also they are more political than national so doesn’t represent all Basque people.

Hezbolah is more like the french resistence during the second world war. They were figting against the enemy who invades his country… And nobody call them terroris, just the NAZIS….

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Valentin on August 25, 2006  · 

Israel have all the technology and science can offer : drones, planes, engines.

They also have a strong intelligence activity.

But it’s like humans : the most important is not to have resources, but to act properly (with or without these resources). I am deply sad tha Israel are so strong in science of war, but are so weak concerning the science of peace. They didn’t foresaw what would be the results of their war in the field of public opinion.

If more of the leading brains were put in the direction of peace, the political and strategic actions would be very different.. and the results concerning the Middle-East situation more again !

I take no part in this conflict, but being objective you can observe things.
All MUST sit around a table and talk. Talk about their hurts, their sadness, their disillusions.
All parts must talk about that, because these feelings have been felt by all parts of the conflict, and becouse in order to solve problems, we must start by the beginning : be human, and show humanity.

This works, in war, between politics, but also between humans. It fondamental. Because this is the language of hearts, a quality owned by the real humans on earth. Are you one of them ?


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Ray on August 25, 2006  · 

Interesting point of view for a jew, Martin! Nevertheless, I completelly agree with you this time.

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Matthaus on August 25, 2006  · 

XL, I don´t think you can compare Hezbollah with the French resistance movement. The french never killed civilians. Hezbollah does.

I mean, are you saying it is fine for Hezbollah to kill civilians, but when Israel does is bad? I dont think it is a matter of quantity here. Killing civilians is always bad.

And fighting terrorist is too. Specially cowards like Hezbollah, who hide in the middle of the civil population. In Israel, at least, you know were military bases are… But terrorists prefer to attack civil population.

Sorry, you are not convincing

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XL on August 25, 2006  · 

FRENCH RESISTANCE was hiden between civil population, because they were civilians as Hezbolah, also French resistence kill german civilians…

Honestly each time Israel has more similitudes with the german nazi…

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Matthaus on August 27, 2006  · 


French resistance were french people. Hezbollah are not at all lebanese resistance. They are from Iran and everywhere in the muslim world and want to destroy israel at all. They do not want peace.

And no, XL, Israel is not like the NAZIS. Israel is a nuclear country and could have killed most muslims years ago. Nazis did that, Israel did not. I think Israel is not like NAZIS, but people like you are.


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XL on August 27, 2006  · 

Yes I’m a NAZI, for what??? be critic with killers???
I tougth that the nazis were the killers…

And I didn’t said Isarael are LIKE nazis, I said that each time they seems more to nazis.

Example: Nazis kill 10 french people each time that the resistance kill a german.

And Israelis Kill 1187 lebaneses, injured 4060, 15.000 houses destroyed, 256.000 people displaced… that’s the consequence to 8 israelis dead, 2 kidnaped, and 5 injured… And that’s was inside Leban, so they were out of his country…

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XL on August 28, 2006  · 


French resistance included foreign people specially spanish, so you mean that this spanish condecorated by the french goverment weren’t heroes, and were terrorist…

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Netanel Jacobsson on August 29, 2006  · 

Martin, very dissapointed to see that an intelligent guy like yourself can reach such black/white conclusions.

That Israel has a disastorous goverment is correct. That is the heritage of the former priminister Ariel Sharon.

Israel was attached by an Iranian & Syria supported militia. Hizbollah, not only crossed an international recognized border, killed 8 soldiers and abducted 2. This happened a week after the Hamas (the Palestinian goverment) crossed the Gaza strip , killed 2 soldiers and abducted 1. Israel left Gaza to the Palestinians for (what some people thought would lead to peaceful relations) a year earlier. Six years earlier Israel left Lebanon for what we and the international opinion thought would lead to a better relationship with our neighbours.

The buttom line is that almost no arab state will accept Israel for very deep ideological and religous reasons. Jews will only be accepted by arabs as long as the are inferior (study history Martin about Jews under arab rules).

The response was not any over reaction at all. The method was. Unfortunatley civilians died on both sides – totally in vain. Had Lebanon dealth with the help of the international community with Hizbolla, Iran and Syria in time – this war would never have happened.

To win global public opinion is meaningless when your existance is at stake. It is also very clear that no European state would come to Israels rescue judging from years of one sided anti-Israeli policies. But I guess that when ones concern is finding WiFi in a mediterranian harbour, it is easy to get carried away.

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Anonymous on September 1, 2006  · 

I am Jewish and grew up in working in the family store. The manager, who is like an uncle to me all my life, definitely considered as family, is a Muslim from southern Lebanon, from a town where Hezbollah is quite strong… In fact, his aunt was killed in the recent bombings and some family homes blown up.

What a crazy family…My Lebanese Muslim uncle giving job advice to my orthodox Jewish brother while hemming pants in the tailor shop…

Why don’t we fight? Because we say “Fuck politics.” Yeah, it’s as simple as that.

We only care about being good people to everyone.

If more people focused on that, on being good individuals and throwing ideology out the window, along with unrealistic, hate-inspired goals from the past, and worked on reconciliation. Maybe then we could have a good solution for everyone.

It’s pretty easy to point out bullshit policies and over-the-top violence on both sides.

So screw it, move on. Understand the situation of the other guy. Have a bagel, eat a falafel, and CHILL OUT. You think you got balls? Try forgiving people. That’s it. Change the mentality and everything else will fall into place.

Too idealistic? Works for a lot of people I know.

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Anonymous on September 4, 2006  · 

Let me start with some facts:

1. It was Lebanon who attacked Israel in 1948, on the same day as Israel declared independence.

2. Israel has no aspirations towards Lebanese territory and never had any territorial dispute with Lebanon. Or, better said, the territorial “dispute” emerged only AFTER Israeli _*FULL*_ withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 (check any map you will and ask the UN if you don’t trust me). Only then the Lebanese came up with the idea that Shebaa Farms, which have always been ruled by either Syria or, after 1967, by Israel, actually belong to them.

3. Lebanon has always served as a base for attacking Israel from 1948, over 1978, until 2006.

4. Israel is the only country in the world whose existence is denied by a big part of the world, including some prominent western “intellectuals”.

5. Israel has been fighting for naked survival for the last 58 years, and the Jews for the last 2000.

6. To use Shimon Peres’ words, Israel cannot afford fighting for public opinion, it is too busy fighting for survival. Considering that the majority of the mainstream media (Reuters, BBC…) are so biased against Israel, it has no chance anyway.

Considering all that: NO, Israel did NOT overreact. Anything less than complete anihilation of enemies who want to anihilate you since your very inception can only be described as “underreaction”.

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Mike on September 7, 2006  · 

“a minor incident” – what would you say if your wife is been kidnappt and your house is destroyed by a missile?
What would Spanish people do if terror groups would fire missiles from Portuguese territory (and not been stopped (or even tried to been stopped) by the Portuguese government) against Spain? An “incident”? Boy, think again.

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Fon Newbie on September 8, 2006  · 

Just to correct you – Hezbollah did kidnap 2 soldiers but they did not fire rockets into israel until after Israel attacked Lebanon. Neither side is blameless but Israel cannot be excused for wanton killing of its neighbours on such a massive and disproportionate scale in the name of a false democracy. The nearest thing to nazism after nazism ended was apartheid. The nearest thing to apartheid is zionism. When israel gives justice to palestinians and then when it becomes a real secular democracy then it will be a decent country and become part of the civilized world.

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Martin Varsavsky on September 10, 2006  · 


My point is very simple. Israel lost because by not differentiating Hezbollah from Lebanon it made enemies out of the majority of the Lebanese people who were not supporters of Hezbollah before Israel´s massive bombardments. Terrorism is an industry who´s key raw material is angry people. By attacking all of Lebanon Israel made it easy for Hezbolla to recruit. Hezbollah is a mercenary organization of Syria and Iran, a proxy army used by other nations to attack Israel. But Hezbollah is armed by Lebanese who are now more ready than at any time in the history of Hezbollah to join this organization.

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Mike on September 18, 2006  · 

@ #23
Maybe you should inform better:

May 28th: Hisbollah firing missiles on Israel military basis / Israel territory
As reaction Israel attacks a refugees base in Lebanon

May 29th: Hisbollah is firing more missiles on Israel territory; As reaction Israel intensives it´s air force attacks

June 25th: Hamas kills two soldiers and kidnapps one more on Israel territory

June 28th: Israel is doing air force attacks in Gaza as a reaction

July 12: Hisbollah is killing 8 soldiers and kidnapping two others on Israel territory

@ Martin: Tell me, how can you differentiate between “Hezbollah from Lebanon”. There are many people who work as teachers, workers, run shows etc. during daytime and take their weapons out of the box during nighttime. How do you want to differentiate when terrorists have their basis within houses and blocks where “normal” people live. If you are in your apartment in Paris or whereever and terror groups own the appartment next to yours – how do you want to hit only their appartment? Those terrorists use other human beeings as a human protection shield.

And a third point: Have you ever been thinking about the fact, that for example in VAE (Dubai) people with an Israelian passport are not allowed to enter the country? Even if you only have an Israelean visa in your Spanish passport you are not allowed to enter!

I would agree that Israel has lost the war on the TV screens and in the newspapers, BUT there is no doubt that there are groups and even countries which want to eliminate Israel from the world map – and you should give an answer how to prevent that.

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Martin Varsavsky on September 18, 2006  · 


You ask me about how to differentiate the minority of Hezbollah fighters from the majority of the Lebanese population who are not and you hit on a key point.

How can the government of Spain differentiate regular basque citizens from ETA terrorists who have gone as far as blowing up 21 people in a supermarket? How can the government of Spain differentiate between regular Muslim immigrants from the terrorist Muslim immigrants who killed over 200 people on March 11th 2004 and injured over 1000 an attack of the magnitude that Israel has never seen? Well the answer is the Spanish government can´t and therefore it does nothing. And the problem is going away, both on the ETA front and the Muslim front. Indeed Spain pulled out of Irak and things calmed down over here. Now Spain is Spain and Israel is Israel but I do think that Israel is overreacting and that its overreaction breeds more terrorism than it prevents.

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