Does anyone still remember the avowed reason for our unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon six years ago - so that no more Israelis would die on Lebanese soil?
At the time, our fatalities in Lebanon averaged 20 to 25 soldiers a year. In the four weeks since the current fighting began, Israel has suffered 102 fatalities - the equivalent of four to five years worth of fighting in Lebanon before the withdrawal. Granted, only 63 of these casualties have been soldiers; the rest have been civilians. But that hardly seems an improvement.
Moreover, unlike our 18-year occupation of south Lebanon, this war has been fought largely on the home front, with consequently enormous economic and human costs. The north's economy has been virtually shut down for four weeks (and counting). Many small businesses have been so damaged that they will never reopen. Some 1.5 million residents of the north have either become internal refugees or been forced to spend four miserable weeks in bomb shelters. And some have lost their homes entirely in rocket strikes.