The Plot Against Gaza

Israel has justified its assault on Gaza as entirely defensive, intended only to stop Hamas firing rockets on Israel’s southern communities. Although that line has been repeated unwaveringly by officials since Israel launched its attack on 27 December, it bears no basis to reality. Rather, this is a war against the Palestinians of Gaza, and less directly those in the West Bank, designed primarily to crush their political rights and their hopes of statehood.

The most glaring evidence contradicting the Israeli casus belli is the six-month ceasefire between Hamas and Israel that preceded the invasion. True, Hamas began firing its rockets as soon as the truce came to an end on 19 December, but Israel had offered plenty of provocation. Not least it broke the ceasefire by staging a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas members. Even more significantly, it maintained and tightened a blockade during the ceasefire period that was starving Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants of food, medicine and fuel. Hamas had expected the blockade lifted in return for an end to the rockets.

A few days before Israel’s attack on Gaza, Yuval Diskin, the head of Israel’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, noted Hamas’ commitment to the ceasefire and its motives in restarting the rocket fire. “Make no mistake, Hamas is interested in maintaining the truce,” he told the cabinet. “It seeks to improve its conditions — a removal of the blockade, receiving a commitment from Israel that it won’t attack and extending the lull to the Judea and Samaria area [the West Bank].” In other words, had Israel wanted calm, it could have avoided invading Gaza simply by renegotiating the truce on more reasonable terms.

Israel, however, had little interest in avoiding a confrontation with Hamas, as events since the Islamic group’s takeover of Gaza in early 2006 show.

It is widely agreed among the Israeli leadership that Hamas represents a severe threat to Israel’s ambition to crush the Palestinians’ long-standing demands for a state in the West Bank and Gaza. Unike Fatah, its chief Palestinian political rival, Hamas has refused to collude with the Israeli occupation and has instead continued its resistance operations. Although Hamas officially wants the return of all the lands the Palestinians were dispossessed of in 1948, at the establishment of Israel, it has shown signs of increasing pragmatism since its election victory, as Diskin’s comments above highlight. Hamas leaders have repeatedly suggested that a long-term, possibly indefinite, truce with Israel is possible. Such a truce would amount to recognition of Israel and remove most of the obstacles to the partition of historic Palestine into two states: a Jewish state and a Palestinian one.

Rather than engaging with Hamas and cultivating its moderate wing, Israel has been preparing for an “all-out war,” as Ehud Barak, the defense minister, has referred to the current offensive. In fact, Barak began preparing the attack on Gaza at least six months ago, as he has admitted, and probably much earlier.

Barak and the military stayed their hand in Gaza chiefly while other strategies were tested. The most significant was an approach espoused in the immediate wake of Hamas’ victory in 2006. Dov Weisglass, former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s fixer in Washington, gave it clearest expression. Israel’s policy, he said, would be “like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”

John Wolfensohn, envoy to the Quartet of the United States, the United Nations, Europe and Russia through most of 2005, has pointed out that the US and Israel reneged on understandings controlling the border crossings into Gaza from the moment of Israel’s disengagement in summer 2005. In an interview with the Israeli media, he attributed the rapid destruction of the Gazan economy to this policy. However, although the blockade began when Fatah was still in charge of the tiny enclave, the goal of Weisglass’ “diet” was to intensify the suffering of Gaza’s civilians. The rationale was that, by starving them, they could be both reduced to abject poverty and encouraged to rise up and overthrow Hamas.

But it seems the Israeli army was far from convinced a “diet” would produce the desired result and started devising a more aggressive strategy. It was voiced last year by Israel’s deputy defense minister, Matan Vilnai. He observed that, if Hamas continued firing rockets into Israel (in an attempt, though he failed to mention it, to break the blockade), the Palestinians “will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.” The Hebrew word “Shoah” has come to refer exclusively to the Holocaust.

Though his disturbing comment was quickly disowned, Vilnai is no maverick. He is a former major general in the army who maintains close ties to the senior command. He is also a friend of his boss, Ehud Barak, the Labor leader and Israel’s most decorated soldier. The reference to the “shoah” offered a brief insight into the reasoning behind a series of policies he and Barak began unveiling from summer 2007.

It was then that hopes of engineering an uprising against Hamas faded. The diet regime had patently failed, as had a Fatah coup attempt underwritten by the United States. Hamas struck a pre-emptive blow against Fatah, forcing its leaders to flee to the West Bank. In retaliation the Israeli government declared Gaza a “hostile entity.” Barak and Vilnai used Gaza’s new status as the pretext for expanding the blockade of food and medicines to include electricity, a policy that was progressively tightened. At the same time they argued that Israel should consider cutting off “all responsibility” for Gaza. The intention of Barak’s blockade, however, was different from the Weisglass version. It was designed to soften up Gazan society, including Hamas fighters, for Israel’s coming invasion.

Far from being threatened by the intensifying blockade, Hamas turned it to its advantage. Although Israel controls two of the land borders and patrols the coast, there is fourth short land border shared with Egypt, close by the town of Rafah. There Gaza’s entrepreneurs developed a network of smuggling tunnels that were soon commandeered by Hamas. The tunnels ensured both that basic supplies continued to get through, and that Hamas armed itself for the attack it expected from Israel.

From March 2008 Barak and Vilnai began pushing their military strategy harder. New political formulations agreed by the government suggested the whole population of Gaza were to be considered complicit in Hamas actions, and therefore liable for retaliatory military action. In the words of the daily Jerusalem Post newspaper, Israeli policy makers took the view that “it would be pointless for Israel to topple Hamas because the population [of Gaza] is Hamas.”

At this point, Barak and Vilnai announced they were working on a way to justify in law the army directing artillery fire and air strikes at civilian neighborhoods of Gaza, as has been occurring throughout the current Gaza campaign. Vilnai, meanwhile, proposed declaring areas of the tiny enclave “combat zones” in which the army would have free rein and from which civilians would be expected to flee — again a tactic that has been implemented over the past three weeks.

Although Israel is determined to crush Hamas politically and militarily, so far it has been loathe to topple it. Israel withdrew from Gaza precisely because the demographic, military and economic costs of directly policing its refugee camps were considered too high. It will not be easily dragged back in.

Other options are either unpalatable or unfeasible. A Fatah government riding in on the back of Israeli tanks would lack legitimacy, and no regime at all — anarchy — risks losing forces more implacably opposed to a Jewish state than Hamas, including al-Qaeda. Placing Gaza under a peacekeeping force faces other hurdles: not least, the question of which countries would be prepared to take on such a dangerous burden.

Instead Israel is planning to resort to its favorite diplomatic maneuver: unilateralism. It wants a solution that passes over the heads of Hamas and the Palestinians. Or as Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, put it: “There is no intention here of creating a diplomatic agreement with Hamas. We need diplomatic agreements against Hamas.” The formula currently being sought for a ceasefire will face opposition from Israel unless it helps achieve several goals.

Israel’s first is to seal off Gaza properly this time. Egypt, although profoundly uncomfortable at having an Islamic group ruling next door, is under too much domestic pressure to crack down on the tunneling. Israel therefore wants to bring in American and European experts to do the job. They will ensure that the blockade cannot be broken and that Hamas cannot rearm with the the help of outside actors like Iran. At best, Hamas can hope to limp on as nominal ruler of Gaza, on Israeli sufferance.

The second goal has been well articulated by the Harvard scholar Sara Roy, who has been arguing for some time that Israel is, in her words, “de-developing” Gaza. The blockade has been integral to achieving that objective, and is the reason Israel wants it strengthened. In the longer term, she believes, Gazans will come to be “seen merely as a humanitarian problem, beggars who have no political identity and therefore can have no political claims.”

In addition, Gazans living close to the enclave’s northern and southern borders may be progressively “herded” into central Gaza — as envisioned in Vilnai’s plan last year. That process may already be under way, with Israeli leafletting campaigns warning inhabitants of these areas to flee. Israel wants to empty both the Rafah area, so that it can monitor more easily any attempts at tunneling, and the northern part because this is the location of the rocket launches that are hitting major Israeli cities such as Ashkelon and Ashdod and may one day reach Tel Aviv.

The third and related goal, as Barak and Vilnai proposed more than a year ago, is to cut off all Israeli responsibility for Gaza — though not oversight of what is allowed in. Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian analyst, believes that in this scenario Israel will insist that humanitarian supplies into Gaza pass only through the Egyptian crossing, thereby also undercutting Hamas’ role. Already Israel is preparing to hand over responsibility for supplying Gaza’s electricity to Egypt — a special plant is under construction close by in the Sinai.

Slowly, the hope is, Gaza’s physical and political separation from the West Bank will be cemented, with the enclave effectively being seen as a province of Egypt. Its inhabitants will lose their connection to the wider Palestinian people and eventually Cairo may grow bold enough to crack down on Hamas as brutally as it does its own Islamists.

The regime of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, meanwhile, will be further isolated and weakened, improving Israel’s chances of forcing it to sign a deal annexing East Jerusalem and large swaths of the West Bank on which the Jewish settlements sit.

The fourth goal relates to wider regional issues. The chief obstacle to the implementation of Israel’s plan is the growing power of Iran and its possible pursuit of nuclear weapons. Israel’s official concern — that Tehran wants to attack Israel — is simple mischief-making. Rather Israel is worried that, if Iran becomes a regional superpower, Israeli diktats in the Middle East and in Washington will not go unchallenged.

In particular, a strong Iran will be able to aid Hizballah and Hamas, and further fan the flames of popular Muslim sentiment in favor of a just settlement for the Palestinians. That could threaten Israel’s plans for the annexation of much of the West Bank, and possibly win the Palestinians statehood. None of this can be allowed to pass by Israel.

It is therefore seeking to isolate Tehran, severing all ties between it and Hamas, just as it earlier tried — and failed — to do the same between Iran and Hizballah. It wants the Palestinians beholden instead to the “moderate” block in the Arab world, meaning the Sunni dictatorships like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia that in turn depend on Washington for their security.

The prospects of Israel achieving all or even some of these goals seems improbable. Too often Israeli meddling in its neighbors’ affairs has ended in unintended consequences, or “blowback.” It is a lesson Israel has been all too slow to learn.

Insight-info

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Chomsky: Israel is heading for destruction

The US intellectual Noam Chomsky believes Israel’s appetite for war on Iran and the Gazans will eventually lead to self-destruction.

noam chomsky

Source: www.insight-info.com

“I wrote decades ago that those who call themselves ‘supporters of Israel’ are in reality supporters of its moral degeneration and probable ultimate destruction,” the prominent linguist told CounterPunch.com in an interview.

“I have also believed for many years that Israel’s very clear choice of expansion over security, ever since it turned down [Egypt’s former President Muhammad Anwar] Sadat’s offer of a full peace treaty in 1971, may well lead to that consequence,” said the respected academician.

Chomsky made the remarks when asked by CounterPunch, ‘During the last few months, Israel has accentuated its attacks on Gaza and is talking of an imminent ground invasion. There is also a strong possibility that it is involved in the killing of the Hezbollah leader Mughniyeh and it is pushing for stronger sanctions (including military) on Iran. Do you believe that Israel’s appetite for war could eventually lead to its self-destruction?’

Replying to the same question, the historian Ilan Pappé, known for his anti-Zionist opinions and his analysis of Zionism in the colonial context, predicted that the Israeli regime would head to destruction, especially once the US withdrew its support.

“Yes, I think that the aggressiveness is increasing and Israel antagonizes not only the Palestinian world, but also the Arab and Islamic ones. The military balance of power, at present, is in Israel’s favor, but this can change at any given moment, especially once the US withdrew its support,” he opined.

The remarks come as Israeli deputy prime minister Shaoul Mofaz claimed on Friday that the Israeli regime would attack Iran should the country continue with its nuclear program.

Wind of change blows over Lebanon

The following is the speech of the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day, May 26, 2008, in southern Beirut, Lebanon.

hasan nasrallah may 2008

First of all, great greetings to every pure spirit of the resistance and homeland martyrs, especially to the leader of resistance martyrs Seyyed Abbas al-Mousawi, the sheikh of the resistance martyrs Raghib Hareb and our dear brother whom we miss today leader Al-Hajj Imad Moughniyah.

I would like to welcome you to the 8th anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day. Your presence here today justifies your reality and identity and testifies once again that you are the most honorable, precious and the purest of people.

As God Almighty has said in his Glorious Book:

In the name of Allah, the most Merciful and Gracious,
Pharaoh had tyrannized on Earth, divided people into groups. He oppressed one group on behalf of the others, slaughtering its children, and ravishing its women. Indeed, he was among those corruptors.

The Pharaohs of our time are the USA and its right hand, Israel. Allah has promised:

We want to bestow upon those who were oppressed on Earth and make them precedents and successors; and we will consolidate their position on Earth to show what Pharaoh, Haman, along with their soldiers have been worried from.

God Almighty speaks the truth!

Brothers and sisters, today marks the day of resistance and the liberation of our homeland and nation coincides with the anniversary of the calamity and the loss of Palestine as well as the establishment of the extorter’s existence.

It also coincides with the 30th anniversary of Israel’s 1978 occupation of southern Lebanon and the establishment of the occupied territory, which was later expanded. This coincidence must provoke us to think twice, evaluate the situation and draw lessons and conclusions that will benefit Lebanon as well as the Muslim and Arab worlds.

Although this occasion has its own intellect, emotion, literature, rights and ethics, today I will not confine myself to introductions, as there is much to talk about.

Starting from Lebanon and its resistance… the latter has demonstrated two strategies, one of liberation and driving away occupiers, and the other of defending the homeland and people against any attack, invasion or threat.

This is the stratagem and vision of resistance: liberation and defense. These are also the clear and joint messages of the resistance in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.

As a result of the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon and the occupation of a part of our land in 1978, the Security Council issued the Resolution 425. We submitted ourselves to the will of the international community and waited for its implementation. At the time, it was suggested that Lebanon was too weak to face Israel and it would therefore need a strategy of Arab unity.

The UNSC decision, however, was not implemented and an Arab strategy was never found. The international community and the Arab world took no action, and the will to confront was lost. It was at this time that the Imam and leader Seyyed Moussa al-Sadr proposed that the people of southern Lebanon put their trust in God Almighty and resist by any means possible.

What resulted from the false proposals of inaction? Israel weakened Lebanon and thought we were too weak to respond. This resulted in the great invasion of 1982 aiming to ultimately make Lebanon part of Israel.

As has been proven throughout history that a divided country can easily be conquered, such was the case of Lebanon at the time of the Israeli invasion in 1982 and so was the case of Palestine. The same applies to Iraq and shall apply to other countries as well. In the face of occupation, people are divided into various groups and categories:

Some remain neutral toward the occupation while some rule the country and have an extent of authority do not feel the impact of the occupation as the most important thing for them is to eat, drink and enjoy life. Another group are spies and mercenaries, cheap tools such as Antoine Lahid’s army who despite being Lebanese committed shameful acts. Another group consists of the internally defeated elite who cooperate with the occupiers for their own benefits and theoretically believe they can minimize national casualties.

Also, is a group that tacitly defies the occupation but is not willing to endure hardships and pay for freedom with their blood. Finally, there is the group that believes it has an ethical, national, religious and humanitarian responsibility to liberate their fatherland from occupation. They are ready to pay the price whatever it may be. This is the group of resistance. This is the group that takes the necessary action.

This division is not exclusive to Lebanon; it is a natural, historical and social trend stemming from the loss of national unity.

To those claiming that there is no national agreement regarding resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq I would say that there is also no national agreement on neutrality, treachery, cooperation or carelessness. Every group decides on its own. This is also true in Lebanon.

As always, I advise nations under occupation not to wait for a national or public agreement on resistance, but to pick up weapons and fight for the liberation of their land, nation and prisoners of war and regain their dignity and glory. This cannot be achieved other than by weapons, giving blood and making great sacrifices.

The resistance and the Lebanese people are intertwined with one another. Whether Muslim or not and regardless of sect and political parties, we have given countless martyrs. Self-reliance, jihad, various operations and our male and female youths have brought the resistance so far. Both the Arab and Muslim worlds were duty-bound to offer help. Many, however, have refrained to take action. It was Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran who actively supported us.

We first achieved victory from 1982 to 1985 and another historical victory was won on May 25, 2000: a magnificent victory for Lebanon, Arabs and the nation and an utter defeat for Israel that shattered its dream of expanding its territory from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Israel has been cut off from southern Lebanon and western Bikaa and the Zionists have suffered a shameful defeat without gains, guarantees or concessions. While the liberating strategy adopted by the resistance succeeded, the negotiation strategy beginning from Madrid was not even able to free an inch of our land.

The strategy of inaction has done nothing but strengthen our enemy and weaken our country. Subsequently, it was the librating strategy adopted by the resistance, which similarly brought success in 2000.

After the 1984 calamity, Palestinians hopelessly waited for Arab support and international intervention.

In Iraq, America has occupied the country under the banner of establishing a democracy. The truth is that the American occupation was aimed at monopolizing the country’s resources. Their true objectives becoming more clear every day. How? After the invasion, similar to other occupied nations I mentioned before, Iraqis were divided into two relatively large groups.

One seeks a political process and the other prefers resistance, specifically an armed one. Based on our religious, ideological, intellectual, political experience as well as reality, we the Hezbollah are zealous toward resistance. Those supporting the political process have wasted a great deal of time and are today faced with an extremely difficult test, which is to determine the stance they will take now that America is attempting to impose a security deal on Iraqis, the finalization of which only requires the signatures of the Iraqi government and parliament.

Complete speech: http://www.insight-info.com

Sayyed Nasrallah: Qintar, Brothers to Return Very Soon

Hezbollah commemorated the eighth anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day in a huge central festival in Beirut’s southern suburb.
 

lebanese protest


Hundreds of thousands of people flocked from across Lebanon into the Raya playground in the Sfeir region. Representatives of President Michel Suleiman and House Speaker Nabih Berri attended the festival alongside diplomatic, political, religious and Hezbollah figures also took part in the annual event.
 
Waiving yellow Hezbollah flags, people chanted Lebanese and Hezbollah anthems and challenged US-sponsored allegations that Hezbollah’s popular base has diminished.
 
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah appeared on a huge screen amid cheers and pledges of allegiance. 
 
Sayyed Nasrallah began his speech with praising the martyrs, particularly former Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Mussawi, Shekh Ragheb Harb and Hajj Imad Moghniyyeh.
 
“Our eighth anniversary coincides with the 60th anniversary of usurping Palestine and the establishment of the oppressive entity. It also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Israeli invasion to south Lebanon. Hence this is a time to contemplate and draw lessons whether in Lebanon or in the Arab and Israeli worlds.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resistance has served as an example and a strategy in two areas: “There is a strategy for liberation and removing the occupation, and a strategy of defending the homeland and people in the face of aggressiveness, threats and an invasion…This is our message today to Lebanon and the Arab and Islamic worlds; it’s a joint message by the resistance in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq to the whole nation. When Israel invaded south Lebanon in 1978, UNSC resolution 425 was issued, we waited for its implementation and we bargained on the international community. In Lebanon, there were suggestions that a united Arab strategy be formed to confront the aggression. None of this happened, neither by the international community nor by Arab governments that had abandoned the choice of confrontation.
Imam Mussa Sadr here in Lebanon had established the choice of resistance with the help of southerners and of course trust in Almighty Allah.”
 
The Hezbollah chief elaborated saying that the consequences of the wrong choices saw Israel deeming Lebanon a weak state and invaded it in 1982, “thus creating a second Arab Nakba (Catastrophe).
“The Lebanese were divided into: a neutral group, a second unconcerned group, a third group of cheap collaborators, a fourth group that had intersecting interests with the Israelis, a fifth already defeated group that was looking forward to cooperate with the occupation on any level in the framework of cutting losses, a sixth group that, politically and through the media, rejects occupation and a seventh group that believes that its national, religious and moral obligation is to take up arms and liberate the country regardless of the price; this is the group of the resistance.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed such division resulted in a lack of consensus on the resistance.
“I tell anyone whose country is under occupation: Don’t wait for consensus…take up your arms and head to liberation. This is what happened in Lebanon. The resistance that constituted a part of the Lebanese people depended on its will and the strength of its fighters in the battlefield. The Arab and Islamic worlds should have helped them, but many of these governments lagged behind, however Syria and Iran spearheaded the countries that assisted the resistance and consequently the historic victory in 2000; a clear victory for Lebanon, the resistance, the Arabs and the Umma. It was also a clear defeat to Israel and its “from-Euphrates-to-Nile- Rivers” scheme in the region. The strategy of liberation adopted by the resistance was successful while the strategy of negotiations failed to gain back an inch of Lebanese land and the strategy of wait-and-see was making the enemy stronger.”  
 
The Secretary General set other examples.
“In 1948, the Palestinians were waiting in vain for their Arab brethren to form a unified Arab strategy or for the international community to act. The Palestinian resistance was the reason why the world woke up to the fact that there is a Palestinian cause. Every achievement was the achievement of the resistance. The big achievement was in blockaded Gaza where the resistance managed to defeat the occupation and forced it to withdraw unconditionally. “The Gaza Strip is fighting Israel just as we did. The strategy of resistance succeeded in Lebanon and will succeed in Gaza too.
In occupied Iraq, there are those who believe in resistance and others in politics…Today, you must take the decisive position. The resistance has been dealing severe blows to the US occupation army. Iraq is called to follow the strategy of the resistance.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah added that Hezbollah has also presented a defensive pattern. “Israeli judge Winograd wondered in his report how a few thousand men defeated Israel and withstood week of fighting. Your steadfastness, the blood of your martyrs and the resistance have decreased the possibility of war in the region between Israel and Iran or Israel and Syria. I tell whoever is bargaining on a US or Israeli strike on Lebanon, we fought in 2006 and we will fight in any coming war…I tell (US President George W.) Bush and (US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of Hezbollah’s defeat, that as long as Hezbollah relies on Allah and his people, you are the ones who will be defeated,” he stated.
 
His eminence called on this occasion all Arab people to reconsider the resistance’s strategy of defense and liberation. “In Lebanon, we talk about defense. What we need now is a liberation strategy for the Shebaa Farms, Kafarshouba Farms and the detainees in Israeli jails. The prisoners are our commitment and Samir Kuntar  and his brothers will soon return to Lebanon.”
 
“On the 25th of May 2000, I stood in Bint Jbeil and declared this a victory for all the Lebanese, the Palestinians and the whole Umma. I said that what we did was our duty and we don’t ask for anything in return. We called upon the authorities to take their responsibilities in all of the country. We did not prosecute the collaborators and we had no armed appearance. We asked them to take care of south Lebanon and the deprived regions like Baalbek and Hermel. We did not ask for reshaping the regime or the Taef Accord. We did not ask for anything. They argue that the resistance in France laid down its arms after liberation. I tell them that throughout history, every victorious resistance in every country took the reins of power, but we did not ask for that. I renew my position today: we do not want to share power in Lebanon and we don’t want to rule the country or impose our thoughts on the people,” his eminence stressed.
“They speak of a coup and bringing back Syria into Lebanon. They also said that Hezbollah is fighting for the sake of Iran’s nuclear program. When the “government” revoked its two black decisions the opposition proved in Doha that it does not want to monopolize power and did not raise the ceiling of demands. We went there to save Lebanon from sedition and (David) Welch’s) hot summer. We did not employ what happened recently in politicas and we did not ask for political gains. Isn’t this enough for those who accuse us of dreaming of power and authority? From the pride Dahiyeh, I renew my call for a national partnership where there is no victor and no vanquished…Hezbollah does not want power over Lebanon, nor does it want to control Lebanon or govern the country for we believe that Lebanon is a special, pluralistic country. The existence of this country only comes about through coexistence, and this is what we are demanding,” he said.
 
“I am in front of two options: Either I explain what happened before the two black decision were taken, and I don’t wish to do that, or I delay discussing the matter, and this is not fair. But I choose to delay the discussion, however I say that there are deep wounds on both sides, so either we irritate the wounds or we swathe them. I suggest the second option. We should draw lessons. Let us postpone this until the wounds are healed and a new phase in the country begins,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
 
His eminence thanked Arabs, especially Qatar, the Arab Ministerial Committee, Syria and Iran, and everyone who contributed in making the Doha Agreement that ended the Lebanese crisis a concrete reality.
 
On the arms of the resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah said:  “I today reaffirm the Doha agreement clause that precludes the use of arms to attain political goals. When we go to discussion, we will discuss this. The resistance’s arms are to fight the enemy, liberate lands and prisoners, and defend Lebanon – and for nothing else. The government’s arms, or the army and armed forces, is also to defend the nation, the people and their rights, the government, and to maintain security. The government’s arms cannot be used to settle accounts with a political opposition team. The government’s arms cannot be used for foreign projects that prevent Lebanon from facing Israel. The government’s arms cannot be used to nail the resistance and its arms. All arms must remain at the service of the goal they were created for.”
 
The Hezbollah chief stressed the electoral law that has been reached gives better representation that previous ones, and particularly the 2000 law.
“We do not claim that this is the ideal law. This is a law that we all agreed on to bring Lebanon out of the crisis. We hope that a time would come when the Lebanese discuss an up-to-date electoral law to build a state. Those who do not want to build a state are unveiled when they approach the issue of the electoral law,” his eminence said.
 
Sayyed Nasrallah also said that the election of General Michel Suleiman as President renews hope among the Lebanese for a new stage. The presidential oath we heard Sunday reflects the spirit of agreement President Suleiman had promised. What Lebanon needs is agreement, participation and cooperation.
“When I addressed you in the Riyad el-Soloh Square and promise you victory again, I did not mean the victory of one group on the other, I meant the formation of a national unity government; the  victory of May 25, 2000, as well as the victory of July 2006, and the accomplishment in Doha. I promise that the opposition’s representation in the government will not be limited to Hezbollah, Amal and the Change and Reform bloc. We will give other opposition parties shares – and unfortunately we must speak of shares – even if it is at the expense of Hezbollah’s shares.”
 
Sayyed Nasrallah called on “party of former Prime Minister Martyr Rafiq Hariri” to benefit from “the experience of this great man (Rafiq Hariri). ” Whoever is loyal to the martyred Premier must preserve his loyalty. We do not want monopoly or alliance; what we want is cooperation and participation as widely as possible.
 
“There are many names to be thanked today and I apologize for not naming them. It’s a long list, and I thank them for their courageous stances. We thank the Sunni leaderships in Lebanon and the Islamic world because they thwarted the US project which sought to portray any struggle as a sectarian struggle. We thank the Druze leadership for their courageous, wise stances … for their refused to define the struggle as a Shiite-Druze struggle. We thank the Christian leadership that stressed the struggle was political, not confessional. We have lost 14 martyrs whom we are proud of, and there are martyrs from the Lebanese Brigades to Resist the Occupation, the Amal Movement , the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Democratic Party and other opposition loyalists from all religions. We are proud of all these martyrs. We feel the pain of the victims of the other team as well. The comfort to the families of both sides is that the blood of their children saved Lebanon from the dark tunnel. We the martyrs, for they have put Lebanon before a new summer and a new phase. From our beloved Beirut to the Mount Lebanon, from the South to every area in Lebanon, you have the love and appreciation of the resistance on the anniversary of the liberation of Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

Source

 

Egyptian Intellectuals Praise Hezbollah, Resistance

Egyptian intellectuals, clerics and politicians considered honesty, belongingness, and even the geographical location as assets for the Lebanese Resistance and its Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah. They also viewed Hezbollah fighting conscious ideology as a main reason for the resistance victory, saying Hezbollah resistant structure gave it popularity that increased due to the credibility of its Secretary General.

lebanon may 2008
 
The Egyptian views were explored in a poll organized by the Cairo-based Arab Committee for the support to the Lebanese Resistance on the reasons behind Hezbollah’s victory on Israel and its agents. The poll, entitled “Resistance as seen by Egyptian intellectuals,” showed the objective perspective of the resistance movement in Lebanon as well as the clear perception of the causes of its victory.
 
The Egyptian figures stressed the Lebanese Resistance’s belief in the legality of its cause played a major role in achieving victories while at the same time abandoning any tendency to personalize Hezbollah’s organizational structure and the complete devotion to the cause. They added that these characteristics as well as the history of martyrs and their lofty values constitute the guidelines on the road to victory.
 
The Egyptian intellectuals also ruled out the possibility that the latest Lebanon incidents have negatively affected Hezbollah’s popularity. They stressed that what happened in Beirut was victory of the choice of resistance on the  Zionist-American scheme that sought to escalate the situation in Beirut to spread to other Lebanese regions to cause in Lebanon. They underlined that recent incidents were political, not sectarian.
 
“Sayyed Nasrallah is mandated by a large Arab popular base and the popular forces support him, despite the fact that some Arab leaders and governments that are allied with the US, differ on his role,” they said.
 
In the end, the Egyptian intellectuals, clerics and politicians quoted an Israeli remark acknowledging the strength of the Lebanese resistance: “No force could ever defeat Hezbollah.”

Source

Did Hezbollah Thwart a Bush/Olmert Attack on Lebanon?

This week Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief Major General Amos Yadlin complained to the Israeli daily Haaretz that “Hezbollah proved that it was the strongest power in Lebanon and if it had wanted to take the government it could have done it.” He said Hezbollah continued to pose a “significant” threat to Israel as its rockets could reach a large part of Israeli territory.”

hizbollah

Yadlin was putting it mildly.

But what Intelligence Chief Yadlin did not reveal to the Israeli public was just how “significant” but also “immediate” the Hezbollah threat was on May 11. Nor was he willing to divulge the fact that he received information via US and French channels that if the planned attack on Lebanon’s capitol went forward, that in the view of the US intelligence community Tel Aviv would be subject to “approximately 600 Hezbollah rockets in the first 24 hours in retaliation and at least that number on the following day”.

The Israeli Intel Chief also declined to reveal that despite Israel’s recent psyche-war camping about various claimed missile shields “the State of Israel is perfecting”, that this claim is being ridiculed at the Pentagon. “Israel will not achieve an effective shield against the current generation of rockets, even assuming no technological improvements in the current rockets aimed at it, for another 20 years. And that assumes the US will continue to fund their research and development for the hoped for shields”, according to Pentagon, US Senate Intelligence Committee, and very well informed Lebanese sources.

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