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July 14, 2006
NYT: Give Hezbollah What They Want

A curious column in the New York Times prescribes a hefty dose of everything that Hezbollah wants as the path to peace on Israel's northern border. Michael Young, the editor of Lebanon's Daily Star, gives a first-class analysis of the political blunder that Sheikh Nasrallah has committed in his attack on Israel, but then advises the Israelis to ensure that it pays off:

Once the Israelis end their offensive, Hezbollah will regroup and continue to hold Lebanon hostage through its militia, arguably the most effective force in the country. Hamas leaders in Damascus will continue derailing any negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. And Syria will continue to eat away at Lebanese independence, reversing the gains of last year when hundreds of thousands of Lebanese marched against Syrian hegemony.

It would be far smarter for Israel, and America, to profit from Hezbollah’s having perhaps overplayed its hand. The popular mood here is one of extreme anger that the group has provoked a conflict Lebanon cannot win. The summer tourism season, a rare source of revenue for a country on the financial ropes, has been ruined. Even Hezbollah’s core supporters, the Shiite Muslims in the south, cannot be happy at seeing their towns and villages turned again into a killing field. ...

The five permanent Security Council members, perhaps at this weekend’s Group of 8 meeting, should consider a larger initiative based on the resolution that would include: a proposal for the gradual collection of Hezbollah’s weapons; written guarantees by Israel that it will respect Lebanese sovereignty and pull its forces out of the contested Lebanese land in the Shebaa Farms; and the release of prisoners on both sides. Such a deal could find support among Lebanon’s anti-Syrian politicians, would substantially narrow Hezbollah’s ability to justify retaining its arms, and also send a signal to Syria and particularly Iran that the region is not theirs for the taking.

Young wants Israel to cease all attacks until the UN Security Council can issue this declaration. Why should it do so? Apparently, so Israel can give Hezbollah exactly what it wants. The Israelis have to return Shebaa Farms, stop attacking Hezbollah while the terrorists rain missiles down on Israelis, and agree to the prisoner swap for which Hezbollah kidnapped the two soldiers and killed eight others in the first place.

And what does Israel get in return? A proposal to collect arms from Hezbollah, and a narrowing of the justifications for Hezbollah's continuing arms in defiance of an already-extant Security Council resolution (1559). Supposedly, this capitualtion will communicate to Iran and Syria that Lebanon will not countenance further meddling.

This has to be the least serious man appearing in American op-ed pages since ... well, Ismail Haniyeh.

Israel should ignore this advice, if one can call a demand for appeasement advice. The only reason that Hezbollah faces political pressure at home is because of the overwhelming Israeli response to the terrorists' provocation. If Israel actually acted on Young's advice, Nasrallah would be hailed as a victor, and the influence of Syria and Iran would grow exponentially. Israel certainly will not sit idly while Hezbollah holds its soldiers or while they shoot missiles into Israel. Hezbollah declared war on Israel, and a failure to meet that with a military response is a de facto surrender -- and the Iranians and Syrians know it.

Young's column so lacks seriousness that only the New York Times would publish it in any other department other than Humor.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 14, 2006 8:51 AM

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» Another NY Times Smear on the Military from Webloggin
From Hezbollah to the U.S. Military. The NY Times, seemingly over its non-guilt at having damaged national security, continues along her tired and true path of smearing the military. The anti-war wonks at the NY Times never seem to find time to researc... [Read More]

Tracked on July 14, 2006 11:40 AM


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