Middle East Fighting Not New

An Israeli artillery unit fires across the border into southern Lebanon from a position on the frontier in Zaura, northern Israel, Thursday, July 13, 2006 Israel on Thursday imposed a sea and air blockade on Lebanon to cut off supply routes to Lebanese militants, the Israeli military said. AP Photo/Oded Balilty

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel and others had prevailed on Israel's prime minister and Palestinian leaders to start making some tentative steps back toward the road map.

Remember the road map, the West backed peace plan? Now Israel is fighting on two fronts in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon.

These aren't new wars. They are the unfinished business of old ones. I asked a young Israeli friend of mine her thought about the fighting, and she called it a best worst situation, meaning, if you're an Israeli, the fighting is not new. And, protecting your right to exist doesn't require justification.

This time, Israelis didn't die in the street at a bus stop, a worse worst situation. The Israelis say the Palestinians and the Lebanese must be responsible for the terrorists in their midst, but when an Israeli rocket in search of Hamas ends up killing a family of nine, it's hard to win the love or respect of the locals.

But, as we all know, the story is not new.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith
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