The gifts that keep on giving

If the 2006 Israeli – Lebanon war was indeed the birthpangs of democracy, then these must be the seeds waiting to sprout.

What a pitty that Israeli children didn’t get to write loving message on these precious offerings? After all, the hang around so much longer than the 500 lb variety and some Lebanese children even get to play with them.

Israel has been heavily criticized for dropping 90 percent of the 2-3 million cluster bombs used throughout Lebanon during the last 72 hours of the war, after a cease-fire was agreed upon.

Not being ones to ruin the surprise of finding one of these, Israel has decided not to ruin the fun for the Lebanese population.

Thus far, 60 teams from UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) and private companies have cleared about 10 percent (110,000) of the unexploded munitions. Focus has been on population centers, but fields, forests, and grasslands are much harder to clear. The Israeli government has refused to turn over maps where cluster bombs were dropped, making clearing more time-consuming”¦and dangerous. Teams are also clearing 400,000 land mines; some are leftovers from previous wars, MACC reports, and some were planted last summer by Israeli troops.

As always, there are those who just don’t understand Israel’s egalitarian intent.

“What’s kept people in southern Lebanon for the past 60 years of neo-liberal policy,” he explains, referring to the time period since creation of the State of Israel, “is their profound attachment to the land. I believe it is Israel’s long-term strategy to create the conditions for displacement, just as they have done in Palestine.”

Well, I never”¦

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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