Who started it?
Sharat G. Lin writes on global political economy, India, and the Middle East. He lived in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, and spent time in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Captured by a Palestinian militia in 1973, he has first-hand experience of their internal workings. He has assembled the definitive chronology of the current Middle East crisis for Counterpunch. It begins this way:
The Bush administration, Congress, and the press repeatedly echo the Israeli government’s position that the current warfare between Israel versus Palestinians and Lebanese is a consequence of the “kidnapping” of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit by Hamas-led militants on June 25, 2006 and the “abduction” of two more Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on July 12, 2006. Yet every hostile action in this part of the Middle East is seen by someone as a response to a prior action by the other side. The only logical starting point for objectively examining the sequence of causes and effects is to begin with a watershed event that was clearly independent of any preceding military or political provocation. In 2006 that event was the Palestinian elections of January 25.
This work does not deal with the long term, underlying tensions within the Middle East, but it nails the step by tragic step beginning and escalation of the current conflict.
Click the headline for the full story.