Sunday, April 1, 2012

Back to The Beaufort

"The IDF commanders said they were satisfied that the demonstrators in Lebanon held a rally near the Beaufort Castle and did not advance towards the Israeli border."

Beaufort Castle. What is it, where is it? Who knows? The IDF soldiers doing their term of service nowadays barely know the name and are not quite sure what exactly happened there. Those who still remember the 1970's and 1980's can remember when the time when The Beaufort was very prominent in the headlines. For a time it was called "The Monster of the North" and was regarded as a strategic objective which must be subdued, and there was much complaint of the massive basalt rocks used by its Medieval builders which proved able to stand even the bombardments of modern artillery and aerial bombings.

And then the first day of the First Lebanon War. Exulting newscasters reporting on the capture of The Beaufort and the Israeli flag fluttering over it. And Prime Minister Menachem Begin arriving there by helicopter and telling reporters that "The Beaufort was captured without any Israeli casualties" (that's what he had been told). And the public anger when the  truth came out, and the protests of family members of Major Guni Harnick and the other soldiers killed in the conquest of The Beaufort, the first spark in the escalating chain of protests which brought masses into the  streets and sent objecting soldiers to the military prison and eventually eventually got the troops out of Lebanon - though it took eighteen years and many more deaths. And at last the Israeli flag was lowered from the flagpole on The Beaufort and this scene was broadcast worldwide. But afterwards there did not happen anything special there and The Beaufort went out of heart and mind. Even the Land Day rally which took place there last Friday is not very likely to bring it back into the public mind.

Do not to worry. The Beaufort got a lot of heirs. Also today there are plenty of spots which are considered essential and crucial and of the most vital strategic importance, to be given up under any circumstances. Just ask Netanyahu.