Remembering Israel’s Forgotten War

Matti Friedman’s Pumpkinflowers restores the honor of Israeli soldiers who fought a ruthless enemy in a dress rehearsal for the mayhem and carnage to come.

IDF soldiers at a stronghold in the Lebanon security zone, 1989. Ayalon Maggi/Israel Government Press Office.

IDF soldiers at a stronghold in the Lebanon security zone, 1989. Ayalon Maggi/Israel Government Press Office.

Observation
July 20 2016
About the author

Michael M. Rosen is an attorney and writer living in Israel. Reach him at michaelmrosen@yahoo.com.


Israel’s eighteen-year-long incursion into southern Lebanon, launched in 1982 to put an end to the relentless attacks on northern Israel by the PLO, is hardly among the most distinguished ventures of the Jewish state. Its initial phase ended a year later with a unilateral IDF withdrawal to a strip of territory in the southernmost part of the country, which Israel continued to hold in conjunction with local allies. Although this “security zone,” as it came to be called, succeeded in protecting the Galilee from terrorist infiltration and mortar fire, it itself remained a target of sustained attack until Prime Minister Ehud Barak abruptly evacuated it in 2000. For most of that time, Israel’s main opponent was Hizballah, a guerrilla force made up not of Palestinians but of Lebanese Shiites sponsored mainly by Iran.

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More about: First Lebanon War, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Lebanon, Matti Friedman