In a presentation broadcast live this afternoon from Haifa, Defense Minister Amir Peretz declared that Israel would not honor human shields in Lebanon.
Peretz said while he was proud that in Gaza that a soldier told him that he did not fire at a terrorist armed with a launcher because the terrorist was holding the hand of child that the same does not apply in Lebanon where rockets are being stored in civilian locations.
Peretz warned that the IDF would target and destroy rockets wherever they are stored – including in homes and other civilian locations.
Peretz went on to explain that the Government was driven by the insistence of the Israeli public that the episode end with there being a significantly different situation on the ground than there is today.
DM Peretz set Israel’s key demands that the militias be disarmed and the captured soldiers be returned, making it clear that a cease fire with the deployment of Lebanese security forces on the border in place of Hezbollah would not suffice.
Henry Kissinger once quipped that Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy.
Beyond the highly rational logic behind DM Peretz’s position is the stark truth that even Israeli politicians who typically can at best only think ahead in units of 24 hours realize that it would be political suicide to end the campaign with a cease fire that leaves Hezbollah armed and in place and only some empty promises that the situation will change some time in the future.
If it comes to it, when forced to choose between political suicide and facing down world pressure to stop without achieving a truly discernable accomplishment it is highly likely that these politicians will opt for political survival.