IDF Withholds Video of Lebanese Soldiers Firing on Naqba Protesters

Here’s a question from this afternoon’s inbox:

IDF withholds video of Lebanese firing on protesters

What do you think this means? To me, either the footage isn’t conclusive or it does show the Lebanese Armed Forces fire on civilians, but Israel wouldn’t want to exploit that – hoping that if future incidents arose the LAF would do the same thing. In other words, the IDF would rather the LAF mow down their own citizens.

My thoughts:

Releasing the footage would embarrass the Lebanese army, make them think twice before securing their side of the border next time the refugees return for another day of mayhem. A weak to non-existence LAF response is definitely not in Israel’s interests.

If the footage’s quality isn’t good enough to justify the risk, letting the Lebanese know Israel possesses a video is a signal of its own. After all, shooting Palestinian refugees isn’t politically correct. How the Lebanese public would react to such footage is anybody’s guess. Maybe — just maybe — officials will pause before kicking up a fuss in the UN.

Lebanon’s job is to A) responsibly secure its side of the border and B) deal with the fallout when incidents like these get messy. Without equating two other players — Israel and Syria — both are taking knocks in today’s papers. That’s life in the big leagues.

Given the recent debate on the releasing the Osama Bin Laden photos, there’s what to talk about. Should Israel release its footage or not?