War Room – Salon.com – Israeli criticism of the war in Lebanon

War Room – Salon.com

Israeli criticism of the war in Lebanon

This is an excellent examination of some of the Israeli news commentary regarding the war.  In part, I wanted to highlight this to show that there is definitely a diversity of opinion in Israel on whether this war is justified, and whether it is being waged correctly.  Clearly, the views of both of these respected figures in Israel show that not is support for the war not universal, but also that dissent appears to be healthy in Israel.

Its that final point that forms the second reason to highlight this post.  Whatever side you come down on in the Israel/Lebanon conflict, there can be little question that to those who live in Israel and Lebanon, these opinions are NOT simply theoretical notions to be bandied about over coffee … they are vital to daily reality of life in Israel or Lebanon.  But as Greenwald says in last point …

4) Israel’s democracy is sufficiently healthy that journalists and other citizens not only can criticize the country’s leader in the middle of a war but can call for his resignation — without being branded a traitor, a subversive, a coward and all of the other slurs to which Bush critics in the U.S. are routinely subjected.

There’s no way, IMO, to over-stress this point.  In Israel, where the war is at ever doorstep, and where your opinion on the war is tested on the ground on a minute-by-minute basis by rockets falling around you, it isn’t treasonous to openly criticize the leader, or the war policy.  Yet, over here, where the war really exists only on our televisions screens, and in the letters of a few friends and relatives who may be serving there, criticism of Bush or Harper over war policy leads to charges of treason, and any question of the way the war has been conducted gets labelled as ‘abandoning the troops.’

In Israel, opinion matters, and it is formed by the daily reality of the war, at your doorstep.  If they don’t think its treasonous to call for the resignation of a leader, if they feel they can support the troops while criticizing policy, who are we to argue?  Its time to loosen up our own rhetoric, and follow through on the freedoms we supposedly fight for.  One of those freedoms, is the freedom to criticize leadership … its ironic that Israel gets that right while the bombs fall all around, and yet we can’t seem to get it right in the calmness and clarity of peace.  Very ironic, IMO …

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