This week, the prominent Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran an opinion piece by Amitai Etzioni, titled “Should Israel Flatten Beirut to Destroy Hezbollah's Missiles?”
The short answer is yes—but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Who, you may ask, is the fellow who has taken it upon himself to ponder this important matter? As it turns out, Etzioni is not some random internee at a psychiatric institution but rather a professor at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., having formerly taught at other prestigious U.S. universities including Columbia and Harvard. Also on his CV are stints of service in the Palmach militia, which fought for Israeli “independence” until 1948, and the Israeli military.
Etzioni begins his philosophy session with a claim from an anonymous “Israeli representative” in D.C. that Hezbollah’s alleged stockpile of “100,000 missiles [is] now Israel’s number two security threat,” second only to a nuclear-armed Iran.
He then jumps across the ocean to a previous conference in Herzliya, Israel, where he says the Israeli chief of staff “revealed that most of these missiles are placed in private homes,” raising another question on top of the to-flatten-or-not-to-flatten one: “If Hezbollah starts raining them down on Israel, how can these missiles be eliminated without causing massive civilian casualties?”