BACKGROUNDER: Hezbollah/Hamas War on Israel

• Hezbollah is an Islamist terrorist organization sponsored by Syria and Iran that seeks the destruction of Israel, the death, expulsion, or subjugation of all Jews in Israel, and strives to establish a Shiite theocracy in Lebanon. It is responsible for murdering Israelis, Americans and Argentinians, including the 1983 bombing attack that murdered 241 U.S. Marines sleeping in their barracks in Beirut and the bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenes Aires in 1994 which killed over a hundred civilians.

• Israel does its utmost not to harm civilians, but in a war where Hamas and Hezbollah hide among the civilian population, civilians will inevitably be killed. Israel should not be held to a standard of perfection while the Arab countries and terror organizations are held to no standard at all.

• Hezbollah is lobbing hundreds of rockets into Israel, seeking to harm and terrorize Israeli civilians. Israel, in contrast, seeks to prevent harm to Lebanese civilians. Before Israel began its large scale military attacks, Israeli planes dropped leaflets warning Lebanese civilians to leave any area in which Hezbollah was operating or living. Hezbollah locations are well known to Lebanese residents/neighbors, and if the neighbors remained nearby despite Israel’s warnings, their subsequent injuries or deaths are unfortunate, but hardly Israel’s fault. Hezbollah is ultimately responsible for all the deaths precipitated by its unprovoked aggression against Israel.

• Hezbollah and Hamas target Israeli civilians, while Israel targets Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, combatants and their infrastructure. This includes Hamas and Hezbollah leadership, weapons supplies, training bases, bomb workshops, as well as any infrastructure that could be used to resupply the terror groups with weapons or terrorists from abroad. This is a key reason the roads to Syria have been bombed, as well as the airport. Allowing Hezbollah unlimited access to arms from Iran and Syria would lead to an even longer war with even more deaths on both sides.

• Israel’s military response is aimed at degrading the abilities of Hamas and Hezbollah to threaten Israeli citizens in the future with ongoing barrages of rockets. Israel also seeks to deter future kidnappings or attacks against its soldiers by making it clear that the consequences will be severe.

• A prisoner swap with terrorist organizations would only encourage future hostage-taking by the terror organizations. Prisoner swaps by previous Israeli governments have been repeatedly cited by the terrorists as justification for their current tactic of kidnapping Israeli soldiers.

• Israel withdrew entirely from from the buffer/security zone in southern Lebanon in May of 2000 and its full withdrawal was even confirmed by the UN Security Council. The Hezbollah demand for Israel to "return" Shebaa Farms to Lebanon is just a pretext to continue fighting Israel, because Shebaa Farms was formerly Syrian territory, not Lebanese.  Israel gained the territory from Syria in the Six Day War in 1967 and the land's ultimate fate will be decided in negotiations between Syria and Israel. Hezbollah cannot claim to be bombing Israel to liberate Lebanese territory. Their goal is to destroy Israel and murder Jews.

• Since 2000, Hezbollah has launched numerous unprovoked attacks against Israel, including the firing of rockets and mortars at civilian areas, the abduction and murder of several Israeli soldiers, and the kidnapping of an Israeli civilian.  They have also used these six years to indoctrinate, recruit, train and heavily arm themselves in their quest to destroy Israel.  While Hezbollah does provide useful social services for the community, the goal of this work is to alienate the Lebanese from the more moderate government and to recruit and indoctrinate people to support Hezbollah and their extremist aims instead.

• UN Security Council resolution 1559 demands that the Lebanese government disarm the terrorist group Hezbollah, but they have failed to do so. To the contrary, the Lebanese  government took no steps to disarm Hezbollah and even allowed Hezbollah to run in elections and now they are part of the government. Hezbollah's extremism and violence against Israel are an immediate threat not just to Israelis, but to the authority of the Lebanese government, to the rule of law and order, and to the well-being of Lebanese citizens.

• Syria and Iran must be pressured by the international community to stop providing funds, weapons and a safe haven for terrorists. Syria and Iran are the primary supporters of Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran has reportedly provided Hezbollah with 100 million dollars and Syria provides a safe passage for weapons and terrorists from Iran to Lebanon, and is also a haven for the terrorists.

• Like the United States and other sovereign nations, Israel has the right and duty to defend itself from attacks that target its soldiers or civilians. No responsible government would remain passive after daily rocket barrages against its civilian population and/or the killing and hostage-taking of its soldiers.

• The Palestinian attack by Hamas came after Israel, in August 2005, unilaterally removed all Jews and Jewish communities from Gaza and turned over the entire Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in a painful quest for security and peace. The Palestinians are now using that same territory so generously given to them to launch rockets at Israeli civilians on a daily basis, causing widespread fear and havoc.

• Hamas and Hezbollah deny Jews' historical ties to the land of Israel, refuse to recognize Israel's legitimacy, and actively strive for Israel's destruction. Calls for Israel to negotiate with groups actively pursuing Israel's annihilation will certainly not lead to longterm peace or security. Would anyone who wanted to be taken seriously have called for the U.S. to negotiate with Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks? Since the terror leaders and their terrorist followers are being given safe haven in the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria and Iran, it is impossible to have them arrested and brought to trial for their crimes against humanity, therefore military action against them is necessary to prevent them from literally getting away with murder.

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