A few observations first. 1) We had decent attendance for a mid-day rally in 90+ degree heat. 2) We Jews aren't bad showing up, but we absolutely SUCK at rallying. I've been to civil rights rallies and media reform rallies. They got spirit! They do call and response! We can barely muster applause at the right points (and frequently miss half the right points). I swear, I need to put together a handbook. the worst moment was when a speaker went from something where call and response was supposed to be "Yes!" like "Israel must defend itself!" "The kidnapped soldiers must be returned alive!" to something that required "no!", like, "Will we let Iran use Hezbollah to commit genocide?" I swear, half the audience said "yes."
Anyway, my interview as I recall it. My biggest regret is I forgot to take off my sunglasses (I'd forgotten I was wearing them). Bad move. Sunglasses make you look like a punk. Plain glasses or just eyes allow you to connect with the audience. Ah well....
AP: Why are you here today?
HF: To show Israel and the world we stand in support of Israel. Israel is doing the right thing. The world must know we support Israel doing the riught thing.
AP: The rest of the world condemns Israeli action. In Europe, they say Israel is not responding proportionately.
HF: In 2001, the United States and Europe invaded Afghanistan beause a terrorist group using Afghanistan as a base launched an attack on America and the Taliban would not surrender Al Qeda. I don't see how Europe can support invading Afghanistan to go after Al Qeda but condemn Israel when it tries to dislodge Hezbollah from Lebanon using less extreme tactics.
AP: What about the Lebanese people? Many people condemn the suffering of Lebanese civilians.
HF: If Hezbollah insists on using the Lebanese people as human shields, that is unfortunate. The suffering is innocent civilians is always a concern in war. But this must be weighged against the right of self-defense. We invaded Afghanistan knowing that there would be civilian casualties because the Afghan government sheltered Al Qeda and we had no other way to reach them. I don't see how this is different.
Hezbollah is like a crack house in your neighborhood. If you don't send in the SWAT team, they end up destroying the whole neighborhood. Sometimes, sadly, innocent people get between the SWAT team and the crack dealers. But if you don't send in the SWAT team, they keep dealing crack.
AP: What do you see as the end game?
HF: For more than a year, the democratically elected government of Lebanon has asked Hezbollah to disarm and participate in the political process. I think Hezbollah must return the prisoners and disarm. It should participate in the Lebanese political process.
AP: What do you think the US should do?
HF: The US should lead an effort to impose international sanctions on Syria. We should impose sanctions unilaterally, if we must. The US must show the world that you cannot wage war on a US ally by proxy. Syria provides significant support to Hezbollah to attack Israel. It will only stop waging war by proxy if we show that such a policy has costs.
AP: What about the Democraticly elected government of the Palestinian Authority?
HF: I think the same solution as Hezbollah. Hamas needs to return the prisoner it took in this action, renounce violence against Isreal, and participate in the political peace process.
(At this point, someone else rushes up to explain how Hamas is not really a democratic government and I head off).