During the war, both sides targeted civilian areas, resulting in the deaths of over one thousand civilians and the displacement of thousands more. In an account of the 2006 Lebanese War published by the Anti-Defamation League, Hezbollah militants are accused of launching rockets into Israel with the intention of harming civilians. Conversely, it is explained that the Israeli military targeted Lebanese civilian areas because Hezbollah has been known to operate out and live amongst civilian homes and stores.
In addition, it appears that the author of the account places the blame upon Hezbollah for igniting the war against Israel by launching rockets across the border in the years following the departure of Israeli forces from Lebanon, after the Lebanese Civil War and the Israeli siege on Beirut. The ADL reports that there were over twenty occurrences of attacks launched by Hezbollah militants on Israel between 2000 and 2006. The ADL, however, does not conclude its account of the events without addressing errors made by Israel.
Many Israelis allegedly held their own government accountable for the destruction of parts of the country, not because the government retaliated against Hezbollah’s attack, but because “the military and country had been ill-prepared for the conflict and its soldiers ill-equipped” (ADL). Such accusations prompted the Israeli Prime Minister to order a commission of inquiry to address the accusations. In 2007 and 2008, the Winograd Commission announced that questionable decision making had taken place during the war by Israeli government officials.
Rasha Salti’s personal account of the 2006 war from the perspective of a citizen living in Beirut makes no mention of Israel’s self-proclaimed guilt, however. Her compilation of notes written during the war instead portray the violent attacks and practical demolition of Lebanon – a country that had only recently managed to rebuild itself after the conclusion of the fifteen year civil war in 1990. Her frustration about the situation and her devastating accounts of civilian casualties during the 2006 war blame only the Israeli military and government because of the brutal force and destruction used against Lebanon.
Salti even makes reference to the abduction of the Israeli soldiers, and criticizes the Israeli government for overreacting and launching a war against Lebanon in retaliation. The ADL’s description provides factual data that is not included in Salti’s “siege notes”, and alternately the “siege notes” provide a personal account of the war that any reader would be able to relate to and identify with. Despite reporting upon Israel’s Winograd Commission, the ADL clearly maintains the perspective that Hezbollah functions as a terrorist organization and was at fault for the 2006 Lebanon War.
Salti, on the other hand, conveys a clear message about Israel’s vicious military and menacing government. The comparison of documents such as the ADL and Salti accounts of the 2006 Lebanon War illuminates the importance of collecting multiple sources of information before drawing conclusions about any historical event.