The Second Qana Massacre: 50 dead, including 37 children

"The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said nothing could justify the Qana bombing and said he had spoken Siniora to express his 'profound dismay'."

"Lebanese citizens responded with fury at the news that more than 50 people were killed in an Israeli strike
on a house in the southern town of Qana on Sunday.Across the nation, Lebanese woke up to graphic pictures of at least 37 dead children being removed from the rubble of a destroyed house."

"We utterly condemn what happened in Qana," says Khaled Mansour, spokesman for the UN in Lebanon. "The Secretary-General has called for an emergency session of the Security Council with the hope of bringing an immediate cessation of violence."

"Nearly ten years after the first Israeli massacre at Qana which killed 120 civilians who had taken shelter at a UN compound, Israeli air strikes at a civilian shelter in the town killed at least 56 Lebanese civilians, including 37 children, on early morning Sunday. More bodies are buried under the rubble and the rescuers lack the equipment to dig up more bodies or save buried survivors. Qana is already a potent symbol of Lebanese resistance against the Israeli military.

"The raid on the southern village of Qana was the bloodiest single attack during Israel's 19-day-old war on Lebanon which claimed over 600 civilian lives so far."

"The Israelis appear to be engaged in a concerted campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Shiite towns and villages of southern Lebanon, and are indiscriminately bombing all buildings in the area south of the Litani River. They have chased hundreds of thousands of residents out, and are destroying the property they left behind in a systematic way, rather as they destroy the houses belonging to the family members related to suicide bombers. In other words, the Israelis are engaged in collective punishment on a vast scale."


Dear Reverand Minister,

"Ethnic Cleansing." There is that sterile and loaded term again. a modern version of the relatively recent addition to the English Language "Genocide," and not a very accurate description of the crucial war that Israel is waging on Lebanon. (mind you, I am before my morning coffee.)Though ethnically arab, Hizbollah is not an ethnicity, it is a religious, political, and military movement. And this war is not cleansing, its bloody.

Allow me to introduce myself, I am Betzalel Edwards, a Jew, and Israeli, a Rabbi living in Jerusalem, once a student of Islam, a musician, a husband and a father. But all that really should concern you is the truth or falsehood of my claims, where my assesment is fair, and where you may see it as misinformed. Regardless of the crude drunken tirades of australian movie actors, Israel did not start this war. But regardless, Israel must fight this war with all its strength.

When two Israeli soldiers got lost in Ramallah and ended up being lynched by cheering, chanting, blood frenzied mob, former PM Barak warned the Palestinian police that it would be destroying its headquarters in an hour. Not a very strong response, but bear in mind that the mossad tracked down and iced everyone that they found involved in the lynching. The last time Hizbollah took Israeli soldier hostage, Barak responded with kid gloves. The last time Hizbollah took Israeli soldier hostage former prime minister Barak responded with kid gloves. Now there there are also many examples of harsh extreme and bloody shows of force, but remember, this is a war. Over two thousand Israeli civilians were killed in terrorist attacks between the years 2000-2003, and the blood trickles on. But is it a "Cycle of violence"? Or is it "arab violence provoking Israeli reprisals"? Or maybe, "Jewish war mongers killing innocent children"?

I have never been in the army, fired a gun once in my life at a target range, and abhor the killing of children. But what were the kids doing there? Rule number one: Dont launch missiles at Israel from a place in the vicinity of children. On July 25th the Israeli Army dropped leaflets all over southern Lebanon telling them to get civilians north of the Litani river. What were these kids doing there at a missile launch site? Something is missing in this puzzle, and the word is morality. Is Israeli "aggression" moral? Not bloody likely. What about "self defence?"

When you have someone pointing misile at you, what do you do? Your are a general, and you learn that 150 missiles were fired from a site a few miles from your countries border. You are the Israeli genreral now, what do you do? Apologize? Call a cease fire? Blow them to kingdom come? It's easy to sit in your armchair in Canada and hate the Israelis for killing Arabs, but when you live in an Israeli village on the Lebanese border that your parents built fro the ground up, and 60 years ago you grandparents and some six million other Jews were mudered by other soldiers in another land, what do you do now? You are in your own land now. In the words of the clash, "when they come knocking on your door, how you gonna come? with your hands upon your head or at the trigger of a gun?" It is not, "ethnic cleansing." It is a war of survival. What the Iranians and the Syrians want to do is "etnic cleansing." What the Jews want to do is not get killed.

There is a morality in killing, but I find it hard to argue morality in collective punnishments. When you know someone is coming to kill you, it is moral to kill him first in self defense. Is his blood any thicker than mine? But it is not moral to kill his kids, nor is it moral to leave children in a war zone. But sadly, there are many cases where they cannot get out.

Praying for Justice, waiting for peace,
Rabbi Betsalel
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