Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Canadians Support Israel

New poll shows strong support for Israel:

Almost two in three Canadians believe Israel's military action in Lebanon is justified, a new poll has revealed.

The survey, conducted online by Ipsos Reid for CanWest News Service and Global National, found 64% of Canadians believed Israel's action is either somewhat or completely justified...

When asked which side should compromise in order to secure a ceasefire, 63% of Canadians said it was "those who kidnapped the Israeli soldiers," while 53% of Quebecers said it was the Israeli government.

The numbers for Quebec show strong opposition to the Israeli action, but overall these numbers reflect wide support. I think this numbers speak to the notion that Israel has the right to defend herself, and in fact Hezbollah bears responsibility for this latest crisis. I don't extrapolate these numbers to mean Canadians give Israel carte blanche to do whatever if wants. In fact, if the question read, "Do you believe it is acceptable that for every Hezbollah fighter killed, ten Lebanese civilians also die?" the findings would be much less supportive. Equally, if the question read "Do you support the bombings of infastructure and residential areas?", I suspect more division.

I support Israel's right to defend itself, and do believe a military response was completely warranted. However, I part ways on the question of degree, as well tactics which clearly punish innocents and leave Lebanon in shambles. I honestly don't believe that view is in the minority, it just depends on the question.


Mark Dowling said...

I don't think it's entirely fair to characterise it in those terms.

The Israelis use guided munitions - they just ordered more from the US from a batch previously approved for export. There is zero evidence I have seen that Israeli air strikes target civilian habitations for the purpose of killing civilians.

Dropping 1000lb bombs at rocket sites sited near apartment buildings is going to cause casualties no matter how accurate they are, and statistically those bombs will miss by a margin, sometimes by a lot.

Siting military facilities in civilian habitations was a violation of the Geneva Convention last I heard but that seems to be a concern only when it comes to when militants are captured rather than how they conduct their campaigns.

By contrast, the missiles that Hezbollah use (such as the WW2 era Russian Katyusha) have no terminal guidance system (Fajr is accurate to 1 kilometre radius!) so they are truly a collective punishment weapon.

FurGaia said...

Well, it looks like some Israelis are more enlightened than us: Morality is not on our side.

Steve V said...

"There is zero evidence I have seen that Israeli air strikes target civilian habitations for the purpose of killing civilians."

I don't think there is intentional targeting, but that doesn't absolve the high civilian casualties. Currently there is a 10-1 figure for casualties, which makes you wonder how effective the precision campaign really is.

There is no question that this is illegal.

Steve V said...

Also, Israel has also acknowledged that Hezbollah will remain after this offensive. With this resignation in mind, it is hard to justify bombing residential areas, whether they be Hezbollah sympathetic or not. My personal opinion, the ground offensive should have been the first response, to achieve the goal of a buffer, stop incoming rockets and minimize damaging the infastructure throughout the whole country.

The "guided" missile angle conveys the image that these bombs are precise. The evidence suggest otherwise, as the bombed United Nations post will attest, and tend to sanitize the human cost. Air wars are largely ineffective in eliminating a guerilla army.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Steve V,

I'd say there's CONSIDERABLE question as to whether the story you link to refers to something "illegal". What I see is a story about Israeli troops in a running battle with Hamas terrorists. They enter an apartment, and rather than shooting first (what I probably would have done, to my detriment), they detain those they find inside and go right back to fighting the terrorists. First however, they place the family members in a staircase (the safest place should Hamas decide to fire RPGs or other rockets at the apartment building) and then turn back to shooting at the terrorists.

The only thing that even suggests something that might, in theory, be illegal here is the interviewee's own supposition that the Israelis put them in the staircase to block the passage of a theoretical suicide bomber, as opposed to because that was the least likely part of the building to collapse if Hamas destroyed the builiding around them. To me, it reads like an interview from a man who was placed in the safest position the soldiers could get him too while engaged in an open battle with terrorists, and WILDLY misinterpretted what had happened. The notion in the article that the family would have been safer inside the apartment (next to the Israelis who were taking fire) instead of safely apart from the soldiers in a stairwell seems patently ridiculous to me. And I guarantee that if the family had been kept in the apartment with the Israelis and been killed by Hamas fire there would have been OUTRAGE that the Israelis didn't place them somewhere else in the building, away from the soldiers and the fire they were taking.

Personally, I don't believe for a second that Israeli soldiers would use civilians as a human shield against suicide bombers. Firstly, because I don't think that's the way Israel's military operates; secondly because I don't think Hamas sends suicide bombers against well-armed Israeli army units (that know they are under attack) in the middle of a battle; and thirdly because I don't believe there's an Israeli anywhere that believes that a suicide bomber would be deterred by the presence of non-combatants.

The Israeli soldiers detained the family, placed them in the safest part of the apartment building available, and went back to the fight they were actively engaged in. I don't know what else we should expect. I CERTAINLY don't see where any law of war was broken.

Steve V said...

"I CERTAINLY don't see where any law of war was broken."

Why am I not surprised. As an aside, "laws of war" is such a bizarre term isn't it.

BlueBerry Pick'n said...

2:3 Canadians believe the Lebanese action is JUSTIFIED?!?

dammit, Harper really knows his audience, doesn't he?

when will people realize WHY WE FIGHT?

no way, really? damn. talk about a lack of a sense of PROPORTION... this has been planned for some time, they were simply waiting for the opportunity for 'explainable circumstances'

hell, there have been protests about the 'weaponized bulldozers' sent to Israel by Caterpillar...

I say, its a cash/land/resource/risk adjustment everyone is making a mad scramble before the Basel II Accord begins assessing 'risk' for countries & government administrations...

but hey, I'm just paranoid, right?

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @
"Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced"

BlueBerry Pick'n said...

UN-targeted Deaths?

its a butchershop between cousin tribes, brought on by CORPORATE interests in government & globalization efforts

I'd call a PERSONAL verbal confirmation from the Israeli PM that UN peacekeeper/observer sites were PROTECTED... what happened to that crack surgical Mossad strike?

its hell-bent for leather: can you say Basel II Accord?

I feel sick.
You DO realize the US is going broke, right? That Bin Laden has a master's in Economics... & was part of the CIA effort to bring down the USSR in Afghanistan, right... you DID know this...

I mean, Al Quaida didn't exist until the US CorpMedia & CIA got there hands on the 'facts'

tell me you knew this...

BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @
"Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced"

Steve V said...


Thanks for all the links- lots to chew on!

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