Saturday, August 05, 2006

Four Mothers -- this weekend's must read

Four Mothers was probably the most influential protest movement in the history of Israel. It was founded immediately after the 'disaster of the helicopters' - the collision of two Air Force helicopters carrying soldiers to Lebanon in February 1997, leaving 74 soldiers dead. The movement never amounted to more than a few dozen women (and several men). However, within three years it swept the country and fomented a shift of consciousness that led, ultimately, to Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000.

This article from Haaretz is one of the most revealing background pieces yet.
H/T Pieter Dorsman and others.

"Like all wars, this war, too is accursed. But this is an existential war at levels we do not yet understand. I think that it is approaching the War of Independence in terms of importance. It will determine whether Iran will control the Arab world. It will determine whether we will be able to survive against extreme Islam. And I hope that everything will be done not to use youth and innocence in this war as cheap raw material. But I heard the terrible booms of the Hezbollah shelling as they abducted the two soldiers on the border. And I understood immediately how terrible it is. And I understood that this is a war of no choice. And when there is no choice, there is no choice. No matter how heavy the heart. No matter how awful the burden.


"So if you are saying now that I was wrong when I believed that it would be possible to ensure far fewer casualties and far more quiet after leaving Lebanon, you're right. I was wrong. I'm afraid of those who are incapable of saying 'I was wrong' in the first person. I lived on the border, in Malkiya, and I saw the small tobacco plots of the farmers in southern Lebanon, and I believed that prosperity on both sides of the border would ensure quiet. That Nasrallah would aspire for his people to have a good life. In that I was wrong. I was definitely wrong.

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