Thursday, November 09, 2006

Israel vs. France

What the world really, really doesn't need right now is for the following to happen: An Israeli plane buzzes a French UN position in the Lebanon. The French troops are working under new rules of engagement which encourage them to treat Lebanon as their turf which the Israelis have no right to infringe upon. The French shoot down the Israeli plane.

The Israelis are utterly incensed, see this as a part of a general European quasi-conspiracy to side with the Palestinians and undermine their ability to defend themselves. The pilot becomes a national martyr and symbol of the fact that Israel can't rely on the West. By contrast, the French get just as angry that peacekeepers they see as attempting to protect Israel from Hizbollah attacks have been forced into this position by Israel's provocative actions.

This hasn't happened but this BBC report suggests it well could.

What the West, and by extension the world, really needs right now, with the credibility of our power as a deterrent hurt by Iraq, is a demonstration of unity. What it doesn't need is for a mid-ranking member of, what should be, a combined front of the Western powers getting in a spat with the American client in an important region. It would appear there has been some, long overdue, thawing in Franco-Israeli relations with a French minister acknowledging the security success of the Israeli wall. Both the French and the Israelis need to show some restraint and avoid making a collosal mess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"If you want shoot - shoot, don't talk..."

If French really want to fight, they can start with disarming of Hizballah instead of protecting them, following old UNIFIL tradition of close cooperation with Moslem fanatics.