For all the talk of a "war on terror" and rooting out Hizbollah, for more than 50 years Israeli policy regarding Lebanon has remained a constant. Lebanon should become a vassal state, in alliance with Israel, with the Muslims dispersed and powerless.I don't want to take anything away from Tony's research here but if he can put these easy to establish facts in a letter why can't mainstream reporters and commentators do so?
The personal diary of Moshe Sharett, Israel's second prime minister, tells of the attempts of David Ben Gurion to exacerbate the sectarian divisions inherent in Lebanon's constitution, to create a Maronite Christian state and effectively annex the south up to the Litani River. As Mr Sharett wrote on 27 February 1954, "I got tired of struggling against a whirlwind". Only the alliance with France, which led to the Suez war, put paid to these schemes.
Moshe Dayan, then chief of staff, tried to hire a Lebanese army officer who would agree to serve as a puppet leader. In 1982, Ariel Sharon acted out this desire before being forced to resign in ignominy. Today, even this pretext is discarded as Israel attempts to fulfil General Dayan's dream to "liberate Lebanon from its Muslim oppressors".
In 1982, the pretext for invasion was the attempted assassination, by the renegade Abu Nidal group of Israel's London ambassador, Shlomo Argov. Today the pretext is the capture of two Israeli soldiers, Hizbollah's rockets and the influence of Iran and Syria. The pretexts change but the aim remains the same.
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