Provocation and response

So, the irrational Hizbollah decided to attack an Israeli bulldozer that was peacefully working on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon. An senseless "provocation" and escalation - but what else is one to expect from group that, according to the US State Department, is part of the "A-team of terrorists"?

The only problem is, that's not what happened:
The Israeli army today changed its account of the border incident to acknowledge that the soldier killed in the clash had actually been on Lebanese and not Israeli soil at the time.

"We deviated [from standard procedure] by going into Lebanon," Reuters reported Brigadier General Yair Golan as saying.
In most circumstances, there would be a difference between an attack against a hostile foreign military unit that had violated international borders and one that had not. But not here:
"From their [Hizbullah's] standpoint [the attack] is legitimate, although not from ours," Brig Gen Golan said. "It is very serious and an escalation ... it is a provocation by Hizbullah."
Yes, from Israel's viewpoint, nothing that does not support its policies is "legitimate". When people fight against an occupation army, that's "terrorism" or "provocation". When Arab states try to work peacefully against Israeli policy through international channels like the UN or the International Court, that's "diplomatic incitement". When artists create pieces that Israeli diplomats do not like, that's "apologizing for terrorism". And when ordinary people speak up against Israel's brutality, that's "anti-Semitism".

More from General Golan:
"In every operation like this when a D-9 bulldozer crosses the fence, due to its large size and the width of the blade, it passes along the border and passes a meter or two inside Lebanese territory. They [Hezbollah] saw this as an opportunity to strike at us."
It is interesting to see Gen. Golan employ such a rationale, especially when Israeli soldiers routinely snipe people like Lebanese hunters and Palestinian children who simply wander near - not actually cross over - Israel's borders and security zones.

But it doesn't matter. The original story, of the Israeli army being viciously attacked by irrational Arab terrorists with no provocation while peacefully minding its own business on Israeli land, is what will stick with the American public. This timid admission that perhaps, just maybe, Israel was in the wrong, buried at the bottom of later stories (if published at all), will make no difference. The Israeli air force's repeated attacks in Lebanon and the constant violation of its airspace, acts which really are provocative, likewise are of no consequence. One side has the right to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, however it wants... and the other side doesn't. And as with the myth of the unprovoked Syrian shelling from the Golan Heights before the 1967 war, we're not supposed to recall Israel's exact role in the whole mess, but simply remember the approved line: unprovoked Arab aggression.

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