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Finish the job in Lebanon

By Michael Freund
7/16/2006, 12:00 AM

Here's a pop quiz for you.

Who said the following: "We'll take all the necessary measures to end the Katyushas. The fate and the situation of our residents is at the top of our concerns. Hizbullah has brought a tragedy upon Lebanon ... It will cause great damage to Lebanon. If the government of Lebanon wants to ensure its existence, it must remove the hand of terrorist organizations from the trigger."

If you said Ehud Olmert or even Ehud Barak – nice try, but incorrect.

In fact, the quote dates back to April 12, 1996, and was made by then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres.

He made the remarks after the launch of "Operation Grapes of Wrath", when Israel launched a major military operation to stop Hizbullah terror attacks against the Jewish state.

Israel_blasts_lebanese_terroristsWhy is this relevant?

Two reasons come to mind.

First – it is worth remembering that Hizbullah's assaults on northern Israel are nothing new. The Lebanese terror group has been terrorizing thousands of Israeli civilians intermittently for years, making it all the more important that Israel finally quash this terror group once and for all.

Second, it should serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers inherent in half-hearted measures or incomplete operations. Had Israel stuck to its goal ten years ago and truly dismantled Hizbullah, the current chaos would not be happening.

Instead, Israel halted the operation prior to achieving its objectives, and relied on a series of "understandings" reached through international mediation to bring about an end to Hizbullah attacks.

Let's hope Israel doesn't make that same mistake again.