How “Indiscriminate” is Hezbollah’s Shelling?
By JONATHAN COOK
(Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel)
"What I have argued instead is twofold. First, we cannot easily know what Hizbullah is trying to hit because Israel has located most of its army camps, weapons factories and military installations near or inside civilian communities. If a Hizbullah rocket slams into an Israeli town with a weapons factory, should we count that as an attack on civilians or on a military site?
The claim being made against Hizbullah in Lebanon -- that it is “cowardly blending” with civilians, according to the UN’s Jan Egeland -- can, in truth, be made far more convincingly of the Israeli army. While there has been little convincing evidence that Hizbullah is firing its rocket from towns and villages in south Lebanon, or that its fighters are hiding there among civilians, it can be known beyond a shadow of a doubt that Israeli army camps and military installations are based in northern Israeli communities.
At the very least, we should concede to Hizbullah that it is not always targeting civilians, and very possibly is not mainly targeting civilians, which might in part explain the comparatively low Israeli civilian casualty figures.
Like every army in a war, Hizbullah may not acting in a humane manner. But it is demonstrably acting according to the same standards as the Israeli army -- and possibly, given Israel’s siting of military targets in civilian areas, higher ones. The fact that the contrary view is almost universally held betrays our prejudices rather than anything about Hizbullah’s acts. "