While Israel isn’t the U.S., and Lebanon isn’t Afghanistan, the common themes that run through both sets of wars are jarring, especially in the way a Western democracy tries to end a military campaign and how it manages (or not) the fate of local allies who fought alongside it.
My mom always tells me not to go to war zones because she’s afraid of losing me. I would never tell my parents when I entered a war zone, so they wouldn’t worry. But this summer when I returned to Palestine to photograph the war, she was pleased. “It’s OK,” she said, because I am next to you!” It’s funny how moms think.
Israel’s so-called government of change pledged to avoid controversial issues to ensure that the coalition remains afloat. But Israel’s settlement lobby has settled deeper and more irrevocably into the heart of power.
While the attacks carried out by Palestinian citizens of Israel were extensive and deadly, the overwhelming focus on that violence prevented the emergence of a much-needed debate within Israel about its growing problem of Jewish radicalization.
The very political figures that Israel’s longest-serving prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu nurtured and elevated conspired to end his reign. They did so, not out of ideological resolve, but out of exasperation that Netanyahu’s last days were following the Trump playbook.
The obstacles are daunting, but no law of nature dictates that Lebanon must remain last in line to make an honorable and complete peace with its neighbor to the south, one that secures the interests of the “Precarious Republic” and its citizens.
The maritime dispute between Israel and Lebanon has implications for the claims of other states and the energy industry’s perception of the region as a viable space for development. If Israel and Lebanon manage to work out their differences, others may follow suit.