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Monday, July 31, 2006

US: IAF to suspend activity over Lebanon for 48 hours

Al-AP is reporting that Israel has agreed to a 48-hour suspension of air activity in Lebanon. Israel has not yet confirmed the report as of this writing (12:55 AM local time).

The suspension of over-flights was announced [before Israel confirmed its agreement! CiJ] by US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli. Ereli said that Israel has reserved the right to attack targets if it learns that attacks are being prepared against it. Does this mean we can attack targets only before the Katyushas are fired at our cities, but that afterwards the attack is no longer "being prepared" and therefore we cannot respond?

"The United States welcomes this decision and hopes that it will help relieve the suffering of the children and families of southern Lebanon," Ereli told reporters traveling with Rice. Excuse me. I just lost my supper.

There's more:
Ereli said that Israel will coordinate with the United Nations to allow a 24-hour period of safe passage for all residents of south Lebanon who want to leave the region. [I wonder how many terrorists will leave and how many civilians will be forced by Hezbullah to stay. CiJ]

"We expect that Israel will implement these decisions so as to significantly speed and improve the flow of humanitarian aid," he added.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Rice met Sunday night and discussed the IAF attack and conditions for a cease-fire, including the proposed deployment of an international force there, an official said.

During the meeting, Olmert's military secretary, Gadi Shamni, briefed Rice about the Kana attack and explained that Hizbullah had used the town to fire rockets at Israel, the official said on condition of anonymity because the two-hour Olmert-Rice talks in Jerusalem were private. [Well, I certainly hope that's what he told her. In fact, he should have told her that last night. CiJ]

The official provided no details about the conditions for a cease-fire or the deployment of a peacekeeping force that were discussed.

The official and Olmert's office both said the fate of the disputed Shaba Farms territory was not talked about. [Well, that's good news. CiJ]

Israel has not ruled out withdrawing from the area, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is not opposed the discussion of the territory as part of negotiations for a long-term cease-fire arrangement, an official in her ministry said.
Can you imagine any other country in the world agreeing to this sort of thing? Can you imagine any other country in the world being asked to agree to this sort of thing?

Update 1:10 AM

Ed Morrissey a/k/a Captain's Quarters reports that Israel has also agreed to a 24-hour suspension of ground operations!

But Ed is much calmer about this than I am:
This is a smart move by the Israelis. It gives Hezbollah 24 hours to manuever, of course, but the time won't be long enough to bolster their capabilities in any meaningful manner. The suspension shows that the Israelis will respond to the global community within reason, taking some of the diplomatic heat off of Israel and the US.

A suspension puts more pressure on Hezbollah than it does Israel. The world has screamed for a cease-fire, and Israel has conditionally agreed, at least for a short period. If Hezbollah quits firing over the border, the Israelis may extend it, allowing the conflict to settle. However, no one really believes that Hezbollah will honor this -- after all, they started the war, and they obviously believe this plays to their benefit. Once they launch another rocket, all bets are off, and Israel will get at least another two weeks before the ADD-addled global diplomats again forget that Hezbollah started the war.

The US also benefits with this suspension. Given that our State Department announced it first and that it came at the end of Condoleezza Rice's trip to Jerusalem, it appears rather obvious that the demand came from the White House. That kind of intervention establishes that we have some limits -- even if they are foolish limits -- to our laissez-faire attitude towards Israeli action.

I predict that the suspension will not last; Hezbollah will continue its operations, providing yet another point of clarity in this conflict.
I hope you're right. If this war actually ends now, it seems very unlikely that Hezbullah will be disarmed, and that will just invite another, more painful war in the future.

Update 2:12 AM

The Jerusalem Post's Israel Alert (no link yet) has the 'official' word. It is slightly different from what's been reported above.
IAF to suspend activity over Lebanon for 48 hours

The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed an American report that the IAF would suspend aerial operations over Lebanon for the next 48 hours.

But the officials left open the possibility that Israel might hit targets to stop imminent attacks on Israel, and that the suspension could end sooner if the military completes its inquiry into the Kafr Kana tragedy in less than 48 hours.

Israel also said it would allow a 24-hour period where all residents of southern Lebanon who wanted to flee northward would be able to do so, in coordination with the UN.


1. No ground activity suspension, although there is a commitment to allow 'residents' to flee northwards.

2. The air suspension could end sooner if the army completes its 'inquiry' into what happened at Qana (which wasn't even mentioned before - I had put it into the original post and took it out because I saw that the articles in the media weren't mentioning it!).


At 2:40 PM, Blogger Zerosumgame said...


From this side of the Atlantic, it just does not seem like Israel is fighting to win. Yes, I know what the opinion polls say about strong Israeli support for war, but it does not seem to be translated onto the battelfield

Hezbollah has to be crushed; a fact the IDF and the government has known since Day 1. Even the USA was hoping and expecting this. But Israel is not even using half-measures to defeat them.

As for world condemnation, Israel takes the genocidal Jew-hatred of the UN, the EU and the Islamofascists as a given. Nothing we do, not even a second Shoah, would make the Europeans happy, they will hate Jews even when there are none left (look at essentially Judenrein nations like Spain, Poland, Norway and Greece).

So what is holding Israel back?

Are Israelis defeated mentally? I have family in Israel and my father fought in the IDF, so I actually feel sick when I write that. But I am beginning to think it is true. Israel would have to think it can survive despite all of the following:

a) The Iranians are almost certain to get nuclear weapons and likely use them on Israel; they do not care if hundreds of millions of Muslims die in the retaliation.

b) Europe has dropped any mask of sympathy, and is now actively helping the Islamofascists to finish the job they wish Hitler had finished.

c) Much of Europe will be Muslim in 30 years (possibly Russia too). So Israel will be even more surrounded by Nazis.

d) Worldwide Jew-hatred is even worse today then in the '30s. At that time, it was 80 million Germans, 10 million Austrians and perhaps a few tens of millions of others in Europe. Today, it is 1 billion + Muslims worldwide, the UN and the EU (and probably the vast majority of Europeans as well, not just the elites). And this time, the enemy has nukes. And despite the precedent of the 1930s, despite knowing where it will lead (to a second Shoah), the world seems eager to pursue this.

Given all of the above, I am beginning to wonder if Israel, after 60 years of struggle to survive, and now finding the odds longer than ever, is (consciously or subconsciously) losing the will to fight.

If Hezbollah is not crushed, there will be a chorus of opinion from Israel supporters (and even within Israel) about how Israel lost, how the Islamofascists are emboldened, and next time, Hezbollah missiles will have WMDs on them.

IMHO, Israel has one option left -- play the nuclear card. Discreetly (and with plausible deniability) let the UN, the Arabs and the EU know that a WMD attack on Israel will result not only in the obliteration of the Middle East, but also its oil supplies, thus destroying the world economy for decades; and resulting in the accelerated collapse of both Europe and the Islamic world.

If that does not bring them in line, well then, they will get what they deserve.


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