Having destroyed Lebanon, Hezbollah Takes Credit for Rebuilding
Michelle Malkin took the NY Times to task yesterday morning, for an article which appears to trumpet Hezbollah’s leadership in rebuilding South Lebanon. Unfortunately, I think the NYT was merely addressing the reality. It is the Lebanese who do not seem to understand that when Hezbollah puts missile launchers behind their houses, the destruction of those houses becomes Hezbollah’s fault — and therefore it deserves no thanks for restoring them.
You can read more on the respective sites or by following the link below to read my summary, but, in any case, you should not miss the following, which is circling the web and found its way to Malkin’s site:
The Times reports:
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 15 — As stunned Lebanese returned Tuesday over broken roads to shattered apartments in the south, it increasingly seemed that the beneficiary of the destruction was most likely to be Hezbollah.
A major reason — in addition to its hard-won reputation as the only Arab force that fought Israel to a standstill — is that it is already dominating the efforts to rebuild with a torrent of money from oil-rich Iran.
Nehme Y. Tohme, a member of Parliament from the anti-Syrian reform bloc and the country’s minister for the displaced, said he had been told by Hezbollah officials that when the shooting stopped, Iran would provide Hezbollah with an “unlimited budget” for reconstruction.
In his victory speech on Monday night, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, offered money for “decent and suitable furniture” and a year’s rent on a house to any Lebanese who lost his home in the month-long war.
“Completing the victory,” he said, “can come with reconstruction.”
Is this a joke, a parody, somebody’s idea of turning the moral realm on its head and portraying a genocidal guerilla army as a cross between the Lady Bountiiful, Santa Claus and the Army Corps of Engineers?
With Iran pouring cash into Hezbollah coffers for reconstruction projects in Lebanese towns that Hezbollah itself turned into battlegrounds by hiding its men and munitions in backyards, apartment houses and “hospitals,” the Grey Lady really dons the full-metal-hijab for Hezbollah this time, pushing the old “social services” story as the terror org’s means of “gaining stature.” The not-so-subtle subtext rationalizes Hezbollah’s support among what you might call ordinary Lebanese people: Hezbollah delivers tangible aid and comfort, so why shouldn’t “ordinary” Lebanese people give Hezbollah their undying devotion?
She then goes on to point out that this is the same way Hamas portrays itself, masking its terrorist activities with “humanitarian” support for kindergartens and other social services. And it’s true — Hamas does build Arab kindergartens while trying to land missiles in the middle of Jewish ones.
The problem is that in both cases, it is the terrorist organizations masking themselves, and not the press or our politicians masking them. The fact that the PA electorate selected the terrorist Hamas organization in January is, in fact, largely attributable to Hamas’ social services, as well as its reputation for being less corrupt than the PLO. In Arabic the PLO has never hidden its support for terrorists who attack Israel, and Arafat’s links to terror funding are well documented — so I do not believe we can say the Hamas victory was an endorsement of terrorism over peace, but rather an endorsement of greater honesty in both domestic affairs as well as the desire of the Palestinians to destroy Israel.
It is true, of course, that “the PA people supported Hamas’s genocidal campaign against Israel’s very state of being” as Malkin writes — I just don’t perceive a difference between Hamas and much of the PLO in that regard.
Every totalitarian gang in history, in or out of power, has been made out by large numbers of influential people to be a noble but misunderstood social service rescue agency. Media voices who promote this line, including reporters in the field, are part of the problem. These reporters, trained to ask probing questions, don’t seem to want to question the actions of enemies of Israel or America. Should we be blamed for suspecting that they sympathize with these enemies? To be charitable, some may have been intimidated; they should just leave rather than lie.
The fanciful “front page’ of the New York Times is a really cute idea. It shows what can be done with computers. Unfortunately, it has too much truth to it. The Jews in 1939 faced a world in which some countries would let them leave and others would not let them enter.
The time has come for all Jews to recognize that without Israel we would still be in this position. If there were no state of Israel, where would Jews go? This is what Rabbi Yaakov Ruderman said to me when I mentioned that some rabbis won’t put a mogen dovid in their shul because it is symbol of the medina. He was a true godol.
To paraphrase Churchill, Israel is far from perfect but it is the best we have.
As a Jew in Israel who has been disabused of religious Zionist ideology but have been no more thrilled by the behavior of hareidim during last years unfortunate events, I would like to say that I would desperately desire to live in a true Jewish state, with or without Moshiach, sometime while I am still alive. At this point in time I pretty much accept the position of the Gra without the political secular Zionism. I hope to see a Jewish government which is fears Hashem more than either the US or the public opinion polls.
FWIW, there is a superb book that dissects the NY Times refusal to accord any prominence to the Holocaust as genocide against Jews. It is must reading for anyone curious about the Times’ institutional , news and editorial policies and history on all things related to Judaism and Zionism along with Hazony’s The Jewish State which shows that the Times owners and the president of Hebrew U ( Magnes) traded speeches and editorials in support of a binational state in the 1930s.
The problem with this cutesy Times mockup is that it highlights an unhealthy obsession with victimhood. As repulsive as the Times’ moral equivalence may be, Israel, with its tanks, ships, and aircraft, can hardly be compared to the ragtag but inhumanly heroic rebels of the Warsaw ghetto.
Just like we find it intolerable when Israel is accused of committing Nazi-like acts against Palestinians, we should also refrain from self-pitying comparisons of Israel to the ghetto-bound Jews during WWII. The Nazis had no legitimate grievances against the Jews as a people whatsoever; they were driven by ideological nonsense. Israel on the other hand is involved in a geo-political conflict with significant military superiority and a powerful ally.
Of course, the Lebanese who give Hezbollah credit for its “reconstruction” efforts, instead of condemning Hezbollah for starting the war in the first place, are fools for doing so. But it’s a very human kind of foolishness.
After the US Civil War, when white Southerners looked at the destruction of their homes and the depressed state of their economy, did they curse their own leaders for starting a war to protect an immoral institution? No, they cursed the “damn Yankees”.
Re Aryeh Zucker: If the US and world media had today’s biases during WW2, I have no doubt that the war would have ended with the Nazi’s still in power. I think that one problem is that we need to stop condemning “terrorism”. After all, the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were all terrorism, if you define terrorism as “the deliberite attacking of civilians in order to attain a political or military goal”. There was nothing wrong with the bombing of Dresden or Hiroshima or Nagasaki, and there is nothing wrong with terrorism. The only problem is when countries fighting against today’s evil are not able to appropriately respond because of fears of civilian casualties.