(I will continue my updates on this post. See below for earlier updates).
[Update 6:22 pm Israel time: Nasrallah appears on tv. He says that the Israelis have no "red lines" so Hizballah doesn't either. We surprised them in Haifa and we will surprise them again. We are strong, and we are not afraid of a ground operation. Don't believe anything that they Israelis say in their media reports.]
I have been listening to IDF radio all day long, and updating as I go. In addition to the specific information from Pikud HaOref (Home Front Command) on specific details about how the citizens of Israel should conduct themselves and updates on where the IAF is operating, I have heard one clear message repeated by four different politicians and IDF personalities - give us enough time to finish the job.
First it was Miri Regev, the spokeswoman of the IDF who said that in speaking to regular citizens who are under attack up north, she heard encouragement from them to continue fighting. Shaul Mofaz, former Defense Minister, spoke at the scene where eight people died today in Haifa, and praised the courage of the home front and said that their ability to withstand the assaults gives the IDF the opportunity to clear out the terrorists in Lebanon. IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz spoke along these lines at the end of the cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, and just a few minutes ago Gideon Ezra said roughly the same thing on IDF radio.
Who are they talking to? It may be to the United States and the other countries around the world who want to pressure Israel to back down - but I doubt it. It may be to the people sitting in the bomb shelters in the north - but I doubt it. I think they are all talking to the left wing/left - leaning media people who may start to demonstrate against the war we are waging. The same naive people who got us into this mess in the first place - who kept repeating over and over that we have to talk, that there is no military solution to the terrorist problem, yada, yada.
The army knows that if it is to succeed they have to finish the job, and clear Lebanon of the Hizballah, which they can't do in one or two days of fighting. Patience is needed. Those of you with blogs should write about this - clearly and calmly. Put your two cents in to the talkbacks. Vote for Israel on website polls (CNN for example). (My husband reported that a very left wing colleague sent around an e-mail urging everyone to go on to CNN and vote that Israel is completely justified in its operation in Lebanon. Pigs flying moment?)
Go to left leaning blog sites and put your two cents in on the comments section (example: Lisa of On the Face has an extremely superficial "analysis" that this whole operation is just a matter of testosterone levels. Really. You know, just a matter of two guys getting into a pissing contest. Anyone care to set her straight?)
The media war is just as important as the real war being waged. Let's help the IDF by giving them the time to finish the job.