Israel: A Paper Tiger
Looks like the Big Tough Jews of Israel have failed again. Their embargo against Lebanon is folding fast, evenbefore the Germans(!) come to help the Jews.
The DPA German news agency reported on Wednesday that an Israel Defense Forces officer admitted that the army could not enforce an air blockade over Lebanon and prevent civilian aircraft from landing at the Beirut airport.
"We regret the fact, but we have no choice. We do not want to hit civilian planes," a military official was quoted as telling the German news agency, when asked whether Israel would allow civilian aircraft to break the air blockade.
Meanwhile, an airliner from a British Airways franchise took off from London's Heathrow Airport earlier Wednesday for a direct flight to Beirut, in what it said would be a breach of the air embargo imposed at the start of the war with Hezbollah eight weeks ago.
The announcement by British Airways franchise partner BMED also coincided with efforts by Annan to get Israel to lift its air and sea blockade of Lebanon.
"British Airways/BMED is breaking the air embargo and flying into [Beirut's] Rafik al-Hariri International Airport tonight," the company said in a statement.
BMED's commercial director, Jonathan Grisdale said the airline was resuming flights to Beirut after securing assurances from the British government it was safe to do so.
"The blockade is still in place," Grisdale said, denying that BMED had sought Israel's permission for the flight.
"We are a U.K. civil airline trying to operate a lawful service in Lebanon," he said by telephone from London. "Our government has given us clearance and permission that we can operate safely and securely on that basis."
An IDF spokeswoman said permission to land in Beirut is granted to any flight that meets unspecified criteria.
"Yesterday 20 flights were permitted to land," she said. "There is obviously an interest to let whoever wants to return [to Lebanon] for humanitarian reasons do so."
Lebanon's Middle East Airlines and Royal Jordanian began flying regularly into the capital last month, but have complied with Israel's insistence that all such flights go via Amman. Qatar's national airline began flying commercial flights into Lebanon earlier this week. Israel said it had coordinated the flight, but Qatar Airlines said it had gone ahead without Israeli permission.
Gulf Air said Wednesday it was resuming commercial flights to Lebanon, with the first flight to be operated on Saturday.
The utter bankruptcy of the ideology of Olmert, Peretz, and the quasi-Likudnik Israeli "center" is laid bare for all to see. The Big Tough Jews think they can bully their neighbors, but when push comes to shove, they're not willing to start a war with counties that can fight back. Of course, I suppose Olmert and Kadima are better than Netanyahu and Lieberman, they would probably be crazy enough to shoot down the planes and really start WW 3.