Aron Zenou reopened his sidewalk restaurant yesterday, delighted that Israel's invasion of Lebanon has driven Palestinian artillery northward beyond the range of this seaside resort just five miles south of the border.
"Now we can have some peace and quiet," he told his only table of lunch customers as a cease-fire was calming the six days of combat.
Israelis in the northern Galilee, the main target of Palestinian guerrilla cannons and rockets, joined the restaurateur in unanimous cheering for Israel's massive military action, hoping it will end once and for all the threat of shelling by Palestinian guns.
The attacks on northern Israeli communities were cited by Prime Minister Menachem Begin's government as the main reason for the operation, named Peace for the Galilee. By blasting Palestine Liberation Organization weaponry out of cannon range, Begin's Army has eliminated the PLO's only credible threat against Israel except for isolated acts of terrorism.
The size and ferocity of the attack indicated that Israel also set out to kill as many guerrillas as possible and crumble their organization. But for the people of northern Galilee, the declared goal was sufficient reason for rejoicing.
"I just wish I were part of it," said Adi Shashuashizili, a 21-year-old Narhariya youth who left the Army four months ago and was not called up with his reserve unit because of a blood clot.
"I am not a Likud supporter, and I don't like Begin," he said. "I never thought Ariel Sharon was a very good defense minister. But this operation is great. People here have lived in fear. I don't want to be controlled by someone else. I don't want to be controlled by what Arafat decides to do from one minute to the next.
Yasser Arafat is leader of the PLO, the umbrella group linking the major Palestinian guerrilla factions, and of Fatah, the PLO's largest faction and its most powerful military force.
The comments by Shashuashizili underscored the fears and resentments generated by Palestinian shelling of Israel's northern towns and settlements, even when the damage is light and the casualties are few compared to the killing and destruction that were part of this week's drive into Lebanon. Explaining this, an Israeli reporter pointed out that each attack, even small, joins a string of battles fought since Israel declared its independence in 1948 and thus, in Israeli minds, becomes part of a large and costly struggle that began in the holocaust of World War II.
"I think they did the right thing; we have to finish with this terrorism," said Celia Amselm, a 59-year-old resident of a Nahariya suburb whose windows were shattered by Palestinian shelling last Friday evening.
"We go to sleep, and we don't know if we will wake up. But my head is turning. My son is up there. I don't even know where he is."
In Palestinian shelling and rocketing across northern Israel after Israeli warplanes bombed Palestinian targets in Lebanon last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, one person was killed and several were injured. A number of Nahariya buildings were damaged, including the apartment of Moshe Zizov, Amselm's neighbor whose roof was pierced by a 130-mm artillery shell.
To guarantee that it will not happen again, Shashuashizili is willing to see Israeli soldiers remain in Lebanon. His fear is that, having won a decisive military advantage, the Begin government will give part of it up in whatever arrangements grow out of postcrisis diplomacy.
"We have a good Army," he said. "Everybody knows that. But we have bad politicians. If we don't succeed in keeping everything we've gained, then in another six months it will just be the same. It will have been a waste of time and lives."
David Bin Abraham, a 32-year-old bulldozer driver and resident of nearby Maalot, also voiced the feeling of security he draws from knowledge that Israeli soldiers stretch as far north as Palestinian cannon range.
"It is much better if Israeli soldiers are sitting there 40 kilometers 24 miles from the border," he said. "I don't think it will be necessary to stay there all the time, but we have to finish with terrorism."
Abraham has reason for concern. When he was in the Army, a bus carrying him and some companions was attacked by a Palestinian commando squad, killing several of his friends and leaving bullets lodged in his leg. His town, Maalot, was the scene of a 1974 terrorist strike in which Palestinians took children hostage in the local school. The hilltop community of 7,000 also was shelled last weekend, sending five residents to the hospital.
Bitter with this memory, Annette Berco, 40, told visitors to a Maalot cafe that the Lebanon invasion was necessary because otherwise, "They're going to come and kill our children."
"The Lebanese are glad we're there," she declared from behind the counter. "They didn't have any liberty. We helped them, the poor people. Our soldiers don't even eat their own food. They give it to the Lebanese."
As for the Palestinians, she said, "Let them go to Jordan or to Syria." Reminded that they were unwelcome in Syria and had been driven from Jordan in 1970, she replied: "That's not our problem."