Can you pass the Hezbollah quiz?

FlagofHezbollah
Hezbollah flag. Trans. “Then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant/The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.”

Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia Islamic organization, has evolved over the last three decades from a guerilla movement to the most influential political and military power in Lebanon.

Given that Hezbollah is a crucial part of the Iran-led “Axis of Resistance”, it is not surprising that the mainstream media in the West uses simplistic stereotypes to demonize it. However, whether the West likes it or not, Hezbollah is clearly fated to continue playing an important role in Lebanon’s future.

The purpose of this quiz is to understand the roots and evolution of Hezbollah, a sophisticated organization that effectively combines pragmatism and militancy, social services and religious faith.

The Hezbollah quiz

1. Did Hezbollah exist before June 1982?

No.

2. Did Hezbollah exist after June 1982?

Yes.

3. What precipitated Hezbollah’s creation?

“Israel invaded Lebanon on June 5, 1982, following an eleven-month cease-fire with the PLO, which Israel claimed had been broken by the attempted assassination of the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom…It made little difference to the Israelis that the assassination had been carried out by a renegade Palestinian group [which was] a blood foe of the PLO. The invasion gave Ariel Sharon, then the Israeli defense minister, carte blanche to pursue his own dream of destroying the PLO as a political force in the region and putting in place a pliant government in Beirut that would become the second Arab state, after Egypt, to enter into a formal peace agreement with Israel. Within the Israeli government at the time—as within the American foreign policy establishment—there was little understanding of the developments under way among the Shi’i Muslims of Lebanon and no analysis was made of the impact of this invasion on them. Even if Israel had not launched its invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982, the young would-be revolutionaries among the Shi’a would have pursued their path of emulating Iran’s Islamic revolution. Undoubtedly, however, the invasion pushed the Shi’a further in this direction, creating conditions for the establishment and flourishing of Hezbollah.” (Augustus Richard Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History, Princeton University Press, Princeton: 2007, 33. Hereinafter referred to as, Norton.)

“Iran and Syria share credit for sponsoring [Hezbollah]…although Iran certainly played the leading role. For Iran, the creation of Hezbollah was a realization of the revolutionary state’s zealous campaign to spread the message of the self-styled ‘Islamic revolution.’ From Syria’s standpoint, the new militant Shi’i party was a fortuitous instrument for preserving Syrian interests: supporting Hezbollah allowed Syria to maintain its alliance with Iran, gain the means for striking indirectly at both Israel and the United States, and keep its Lebanese allies, including the Amal movement, in line.” (Norton, 34-5.)

“From where had this Shia surge sprung? For a millennium or more…Shia Muslims had struggled, with a few rare historical exceptions, on the margins of politics and wars. Their…senior jurists espoused the dogma of quietism…By the turn of the twentieth century, Shia thinkers had begun to question quietism” and thus argued that Shia should not resign themselves to passivity and injustice. (Thanassis Cambanis, A Privilege To Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel, Free Press, New York: 2010, 101-2. Hereinafter referred to as, Cambanis.)

For more information on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and for a more extensive version of this quiz, go here.

4. Who said the following? “When we entered Lebanon [in June 1982]…there was no Hezbollah. We were accepted with perfumed rice and flowers by the Shia in the south. It was our presence there that created Hezbollah.”

Ehud Barak: Prime minister of Israel from 1999 – 2001 and current Minister of Defense. (Another Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, made the same point in 1987.) (Norton, 33.)

Israel had expected the Shiites to greet them with tolerance; and, “thanks to their prior hostility to the Palestinians, most Shiites did at first manifest a kind of ‘positive indifference’ towards the Israelis….But this reception did not last very long….It was Israel itself that changed the Shiites, which turned rice and flowers [tossed mainly by southern Maronites] into grenades and home-made bombs. [While the Shiites had not been Israel’s main target] they had nonetheless suffered more than any other community if only because, as inhabitants of the South, they stood directly in its path. Mainly theirs were the villages—nearly 80 per cent of them—that were damaged or destroyed, theirs the majority of the 20,000 killed.” (David Hirst, Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East, Nation Books, New York: 2010, 197-9. Hereinafter referred to as, Hirst.)

From 1985 until its withdrawal in 2000, Israel maintained its ‘security zone’ in southern Lebanon which comprised 10 per cent of all Lebanese territory and 6 percent of its people. The Israelis set up a 2,000-man South Lebanese Army (SLA) that was overwhelmingly Maronite-officered, and Israeli ‘advisers’ in the security zone to oversee it. “”If the situation in the South quieted, as it did periodically, Israeli officials held up the zone as a success that could not be safely terminated. When the situation became hotter, the zone became a necessity. [Hezbollah officials reasonably argued] that, without effective…resistance…Israel would have little incentive to consider withdrawing…” (The Egyptians in 1973 and the Palestinians in 1987 came to the same conclusion.) (Norton, 81.)

Israel’s general strategy in Lebanon from 1985 to 2000 was two-fold: “militarily to smash the guerillas themselves, their bases and their personnel; politically to persuade the Lebanese state and people, by punishing them too, to turn against Hizbullah, and then to make a final peace with Israel independently of Syria.” For an example of civilians being punished, consider Israel’s 1996 “Grapes of Wrath” campaign which caused “some 500,000″ Lebanese to flee north. During the 16-day campaign “25,132 artillery rounds and 2,350 air sorties” resulted in killing only thirteen Hizbollah fighters. “Once again…it was Lebanese civilians who bore the brunt; 165 died, compared with not one Israeli, military or civilian.” (Hirst, 249, 257-8.)

5. Who wrote the following in 1954? “It is clear that Lebanon is the weakest link in the Arab League…[The Christians] are a majority in historical Lebanon and this majority has a tradition and a culture different from those other components of the Arab League…The creation of a Christian state is therefore a natural act…It seems to me that this is the central duty…of our foreign policy. We must act in all possible ways to bring about a radical change in Lebanon…”

Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding prime minister, was expressing his hope to capitalize on tensions that existed in the Middle East at the time to promote a grand design for Lebanon. “On this occasion Sharett [the foreign minister] prevailed: there was no attack on Lebanon…But the idea of one would not go away. In May…1955, Ben-Gurion once again demanded that something be done about Lebanon….Dayan leapt to his support and…outlined a plan by which it should actually be carried out: ‘[T]he only thing that’s necessary is to find an officer…We should either win his heart or buy him with money, to make him agree to declare himself the saviour of the Maronite population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will occupy the necessary territory, and will create a Christian regime which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel…’” This plan by Dayan eerily anticipated Israel’s 1982 war on Lebanon. (Hirst, 65-6.)

6. Why did Israel withdraw from Lebanon in 2000?

Hezbollah’s resistance operations against Israel were relentless and effective. From “an average of about 200 a year before 1996″ such operations rose to “1,000 a year thereafter, peaking at 1,500 in 1999-2000.” Hezbollah lost 1,248 men between the 1982 invasion and 1999; while the Israelis, between 1985 and 1999, lost 332. And the trend favored Hezbollah. “There was only one way the ‘slow bleeding’…could be staunched, and that was to get out…” Israel would “do what it had never done before—relinquish Arab territory it had conquered and occupied for nothing in return.” (Hirst, 263-5.)

In 2006, “Israeli Brigadier General Guy Zur…described Hezbollah as ‘by far the greatest guerrilla group in the world’…” (Norton, 140.)

7. After Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, what was Hezbollah’s policy toward Lebanese who had collaborated with Israel?

When Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, “it left behind thousands of collaborators, including men who had beaten and tortured Hezbollah fighters on behalf of the Israelis. Nasrallah ordered his followers to keep their hands off all collaborators, leaving their judgment to Lebanese courts.” In fact, following the withdrawal “there was a remarkable degree of calm….Overall, that time will be remembered as a remarkably orderly and humane period, especially when measured against the history of internecine violence that scarred Lebanon for much of the preceding few decades.” (Cambanis, 5; Norton, 89-90.)

Hezbollah’s decency and efficiency “was so remarkable that those whom much of the world still looked upon as ‘terrorists’…now earned a grudging respect in unfamiliar quarters, including European officialdom…” (Hirst, 267.)

8. During the period between the Israeli withdrawal of May 2000 and the war in July 2006, how many Israeli civilians were killed by Hezbollah?

One. However, “Nine Israeli soldiers died in Hezbollah attacks in the contested [Shebaa] farms area,” a disputed territory in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that is recognized to belong to Lebanon, “and eight others were killed in six clashes along the ‘Blue Line’ demarcated by the UN after Israel’s withdrawal. Some of the attacks were in retaliation for Israeli-caused deaths in Lebanon….Generally, however, this six-year period was relatively quiet…and this was frequently commented on by Israeli officials prior to the summer of 2006.” (Norton, 91.)
From 2000 to 2006, the great bulk of Katyusha rocket firings into Israel proper, according to Israeli sources, came from Palestinian fedayeen not Hezbollah. (Norton, 92.)

9. What was the “pretext” for Israel’s 12 July 2006 invasion of Lebanon? What was the “context”?

“Since Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, Hezbollah and Israel had clashed sporadically….Nasrallah had said again and again that Hezbollah’s primary military goal was to secure the release of Lebanese prisoners held in Israel and the return of Lebanese dead. The way forward, he said, was to seize Israeli captives and trade them.” On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah commandos succeeded in capturing Israeli soldiers; the commandos had tried similar raids in the past without success. Nasrallah expected that Israel’s response would be similar to past experience however Israel exploited the operation to justify its 2006 invasion. (Cambanis, 63.)

Hezbollah had negotiated a January 2004 prisoner exchange with Israel. And, “when its fighters attacked an Israeli army unit on July 12, 2006, and captured two soldiers, Hezbollah announced it would exchange them for…Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners in Israel.” (Assaf Kfoury editor, Inside Lebanon: Journey to a Shattered Land with Noam and Carol Chomsky, Monthly Review Press, New York: 2007, 97. Hereinafter referred to as, Kfoury.)

The context of Israel’s invasion was clear. The desire within Israel’s “leadership to have it out with Hezbollah increased markedly in 2005 and early 2006.” Israeli officials had had to endure “Hezbollah’s taunting ever since their unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000″ and thus desired to reestablish their deterrence power in the eyes of Hamas and Hezbollah in particular.” (Norton, 133.)

“In leaked testimony to the Winograd Committee investigating Israel’s mismanagement of the summer 2006 Lebanon war, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert admitted that the war had been carefully planned at least four months ahead of time…” (Kfoury, 157.)

“In confidential discussions with the White House, Israel promised President Bush a ‘quick and decisive result’ that would end with Hezbollah’s demise.” (Norton, 139.)

10. True or False: Human Rights Watch reported that it found no evidence that Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect its fighters from retaliatory Israeli attack.

True.

Hezbollah, as Nasrallah admitted on a 21 July 2006 broadcast, underestimated Israel’s grossly disproportionate attack: “strikes on roads, bridges, [hospitals, schools, densely populated areas,] seaports and airports throughout Lebanon…” “Even a member of [Tony Blair’s] cabinet, Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Howell, was moved to declare, during a visit to Beirut, that it was ‘very, very difficult to understand the kind of military tactics that have been used [by Israel]…You know, if [you're] chasing Hizbullah, then go for Hizbullah. You don’t go for the entire Lebanese nation…’” (Norton, 135, 138; Hirst, 360-1.)

11. True or False: Just before the launch of the July 2006 Lebanon War, Israel’s Chief of Staff Dan Halutz instructed his stockbroker to sell certain investments that were likely to be negatively affected by the war.

True. (Hirst, 345.)

“Within a few months [of the end of the war]…Halutz and key commanders had resigned in disgust or disgrace; the reputation of the Israeli army, most sacrosanct of institutions, fell to an unprecedented low.” (Hirst, 381.)

12. True or False: Saudi Arabia supported Hezbollah during the 2006 war.

False. Saudi Arabia voiced “quick disapproval of Hezbollah’s actions…and Jordan, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates followed suit. The Sunni Arab governments were understandably apprehensive about the rising profile of the Shi’ite power Iran in the Arab world, the emergence of a Shi’i-dominated government in…Iraq, and the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon. All these forces might well inspire domestic opposition forces in their own countries, especially as Hezbollah gained enthusiastic support even among the vast Sunni population of the Arab world [as it provided the only effective opposition to Israel].” (Norton, 136.)

“Many secular Arabs, Sunni Muslims, Christians—forces for moderation who had suffered at the strengthening arms of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Hamas ‘Resistance Axis’—yearned for a death blow to Nasrallah’s movement. But as the arc of Israel’s punishment expanded, the outrage toward Hezbollah subsided to a chirp. After Qana it fell silent completely.” The “Israeli bombing of Qana on July 30,” that resulted in the deaths of “twenty-eight civilians,” ended the “support for Israel’s campaign in” Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt due to “the heat of public outrage.” In Saudi Arabia, for example, “by late July, public expressions of solidarity with the Lebanese and Hezbollah were expressed by Saudi officials, albeit grudgingly.” (Cambanis, 81; Norton, 140, 149.)

“Across the Arab and Islamic world people on the street began hoisting Hassan Nasrallah’s portrait into the air. Here was a leader who resonated like no one had since Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 or Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s.” Hezbollah had shown that resistance, not the accommodation of states like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, worked against Israel. And, as all Arabs knew, “in 1967 Israel had vanquished all the Arab armies in six days, but in 2006 they had fought thirty-four days and failed to take control of a thin sliver of South Lebanon [despite a massive ground offensive of some 30,000 troops in the last two days of the war].” (Cambanis, 119, 120, 122.)

For the confluence of interests of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel, see the Saudi Arabia Quiz here.

13. Does Hezbollah receive substantial support from Iran?

While much of the funding for Hezbollah’s extensive “social and medical infrastructure is raised domestically…Hezbollah…receives significant subsidies from Iran. The amounts are often estimated at $100 million a year…A significant portion of Iranian support is for Hezbollah’s militia wing.” (Norton, 110.)

“Nasrallah [makes] no apologies for his party’s links to Tehran and Damascus, publicly thanking Hezbollah’s patrons in speech after speech.” In fact, “Every Lebanese faction [has] received money, weapons, and political cover from foreign powers [such as Saudi Arabia, the CIA and Israel].” (Cambanis, 113, 182.)

Hezbollah’s capacity for force that has made the party so important depends almost entirely on Iran and Syria, not just financially but logistically. According to Juan Cole, the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, “The fall of the Baath regime in Syria would leave Hizbullah high and dry. Its rockets and other weapons, and some of its communications and code-breaking abilities, depended on Syrian help….The downside of any weakening of Hizbullah is that it could encourage Israeli expansionism in South Lebanon, as in the 1980s and 1990s (Israel’s leaders have long wanted to steal the water in south Lebanon’s rivers).” (http://www.juancole.com/2012/07/top-ten-implications-of-the-damascus-bombing.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+juancole%2Fymbn+%28Informed+Comment%29)

As a mature organization, “Hezbollah is no mere proxy, and seems to enjoy something closer to the status of a junior partner or favored ally with Tehran.” “The speed with which Hezbollah [has] attacked, counterattacked, and improvised during clashes with Israel [makes] clear the local command in Lebanon [makes] its own decisions.” (Cambanis, 223.)

Iran’s assistance to Hezbollah is dwarfed by US assistance to Israel. According to the 12 March 2012 US Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance…” (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf)

14. Is the following an official Hezbollah statement? “Israel’s final departure from Lebanon is a prelude to its final obliteration from existence and the liberation of venerable Jerusalem from the talons of occupation.”

The statement is part of Hezbollah’s 1985 open letter addressed to the “Downtrodden in Lebanon and in the World.” “There have been periodic hints from leading Hezbollah officials, including Nasrallah…, that the 1985 open letter is obsolete” and belongs “to a certain historical moment that” has passed. In any event, despite what it may wish, Hezbollah cannot destroy Israel. (Norton, 39, 46.)

In the “modern Middle East racist attitudes thrive even among populations that coexist peacefully…Whether sincerely or not, [Hezbollah] has excised hatred of Jews from its official doctrine….[However,] Hezbollah’s updated manifesto declares Israel ‘an unnatural creation that is not viable and cannot continue to survive.’” (Cambanis, 9-10.)

“It [Hezbollah] will wage unyielding war against Israel as long as that approach expands its power base. If war with Israel were to become more costly, or if by some change in circumstances it endangered Iranian support, Hezbollah could shift its focus to other enemies.” (Cambanis, 227.)

When asked whether he “was prepared to live with a two-state settlement between Israel and Palestine, Nasrallah said he would not sabotage what is finally a ‘Palestinian matter.’” (Kfoury, 97.)

15. Why hasn’t Lebanon had an official census since 1932?

Following Lebanon’s independence from France in 1943 the “political system…was formalized into a system of sectarian communities…Each of the country’s seventeen recognized sects was accorded political privilege, including senior appointments in the bureaucracy, membership in parliament, and positions in high political office, roughly proportionate to the community’s size….Thus, the Maronites, considered the plurality, were accorded the presidency, which carried preeminent prerogatives and powers, and the second largest community, the Sunnis, won the premiership, decidedly second fiddle to the presidency. The Shi’i community, third largest, was awarded the speakership of the parliament, a position with far weaker constitutional powers than either the presidency or the premiership. The provenance of this allocation of power was a 1932 census of dubious reliability and, in fact, the last official census ever conducted in Lebanon….The imbalance of power…was rectified significantly by” the Ta’if accord; however Ta’if left in place the destructive sectarianism of the original constitution. “As a result of the Ta’if accord of 1989, which marked the end of the civil war [which claimed 150,000 lives], seats are divided equally [in parliament] between Muslim [including Druzes] and Christians, in contrast to the prior distribution that favored Christians by a 6 to 5 ratio. The 128 parliamentary seats are subdivided along confessional lines: 27 seats each for the three largest sects—Shi’a, Sunni, and Maronites…” (Norton, 11-12, 97.)

In 1932, Shi’ites were “a mere 16 per cent of the population.” However, by 2005, they had risen to “35 per cent of it.” (Hirst, 308.)

Lebanon’s dilemma is that while the percentage of Shi’a in the population has grown over the past decades, “the constitution does not” enable this fact to “be translated at the level of politics….So, every time a sect wants to move…upward in the political hierarchy” strife results. “In a regular democracy” votes would address the issue. (Norton, 155.)

“Not a single powerful political party in Lebanon, with the exception of Hezbollah, argued for a wholesale redesign of the political system because all of them knew that a more fair, just, or representative system would cast them from their perches. None of the movements allied with the moderates or with Hezbollah had anything resembling internal elections or party congresses. They were run like family mafias.” (Cambanis, 261.)

16. What percentage of the popular vote did Hezbollah and its allies receive in the 2009 elections?

In the June 2009 parliamentary elections, “Hezbollah and its allies…decisively triumphed in the popular vote, denying Saad Hariri and his backers an opportunity to trumpet the election as a great victory for the moderate axis….Of the roughly 1.5 million people who voted, 54 percent voted for Hezbollah [and its allies], and 46 for the governing coalition.” In June 2011, Lebanon’s new prime minister, Najib Mikati, announced a government dominated by members and allies of Hezbollah. (Cambanis, 286.)

“Hizbullah…has members of parliament and cabinet positions and…so it is part of the Lebanese political establishment.” All over the Arab world, the “” Muslim fundamentalist movements have for over a decade been…drawn into parliamentary, Westminster-style politics.” We see this with Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere. (http://www.juancole.com/2012/05/romney-wants-to-fight-whole-muslim-world-not-concentrate-on-bin-laden.html)

“Without ever shedding its Islamist character and conservative moral code, Hezbollah has in fact built alliances with other parties, secular and non-Shiite, in order to get a larger representation in the government. When it put up candidates in…parliamentary elections, some of those on its electoral list were Christians…” (Kfoury, 100.)

17. True or False: Hezbollah campaigns for votes primarily by promoting religious issues.

False. “[M]ost striking about Hezbollah’s political campaigns is the extent to which nonreligious themes [such as economic and security issues] are habitually emphasized. Hezbollah’s electoral strategy does not dwell explicitly on religious themes at all, in stark contrast to, for example, Christian fundamentalist groups in the United States.” (Norton, 102.) (For more information, see the Christian Right Quiz here)

The Shia in southern Lebanon “were known as an easygoing and hospitable lot, who liked their food…tobacco…liquor…Once in the 1980s Hezbollah tried to preach austerity, in the manner of the Iranian ayatollahs, and popular support plummeted. They retreated quickly, and never again tried to enforce any moral code on the general public.” (Cambanis, 58.)

In municipalities where Hezbollah has controlled the local council it has shown a capacity for good governance and it has not prohibited alcohol. (Norton, 103.)

18. What are the two main reasons Hezbollah is supported by the bulk of Lebanon’s Shi’a and by many from other sects as well?

Hezbollah Provides Dignity

Hezbollah’s effective resistance against the legendarily effective Israeli military forces “embarrassed virtually all regular Arab armies and undermined the notion, deeply embedded in the Israeli psyche, that Arabs are inherently inferior in the arts of war.” Hezbollah thus gives Shiites a deep feeling of pride, for this it is honored. (Hirst, 247.)

Consider the words of an educated Lebanese Shiite to understand the deep support of Hezbollah: “The people of the South had grown accustomed to feeling downtrodden. But Hezbollah was able to give people a sense of pride so strong that people were willing to lose material things, and even to give family members as martyrs, so long as they could keep this sense of honor.” (Cambanis, 178.)

What good, Nasrallah can fairly ask, have the many years of negotiations between the PLO and Israel achieved? While the Palestinians continue to lack dignity under occupation, Hezbollah’s long resistance has led to dignity and freedom from occupation for Lebanese. (Cambanis, 8.)

Hezbollah Provides Services

As the “Lebanese government offers paltry social welfare services for its citizens” Hezbollah’s welfare provision is needed. And, unlike other Lebanese parties and militias, its “discipline, integrity and dedication generate feelings akin to awe among many Lebanese, Christians and Muslims alike.” (Norton, 107; Hirst, 240.)
Hezbollah engages “in a vast range of public services and infrastructural projects—from which Christians and Sunnis, not just Shiites, often benefited—such as hospitals and schools, cut-price supermarkets and pharmacies, low-cost housing, land reclamation and irrigation. [In some areas] it has assumed responsibility for most of the water supply, electricity, refuse collection, sewage disposal” and policing. (Hirst, 240.)

While support for Hezbollah is unquestionably genuine, the party does also deftly use “instruments of coercion” to maintain its dominance over its community. It has “its own intelligence network, its own army, police, court, and prisons…Shia political rivals who contested Hezbollah could be humiliated, slandered, or economically pressured. Social critics could face ostracizing, harassment, or loss of benefits.” (Cambanis, 179.)

19. Did Hezbollah praise the 9/11 terrorists?

Hezbollah was placed on the US Terrorism list in 1999 but “was taken off the list a couple of years later following Hezbollah’s strong condemnation of the 9/11 attack on America. Hezbollah was returned to the list when Dick Cheney opined that a ‘presumed Hezbollah operative’ probably met with an Al Qaeda representative in South America in 2001.” “A study undertaken at the American University of Beirut in January – February 2007, benefiting from research and surveys from a variety of international and Israeli human rights organizations, tabulated no fewer than 6,672 acts of Israeli state terrorism directed against Lebanon and Palestine between the years 1967-2007. Not only is Israel absent from the US State Department Terrorism list, Israel appears to determine who is on it.” (http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/04/06/why-is-hezbollah-on-the-terrorism-list/)

For more information, see the Terrorism Quiz here.

20. True or False: Hezbollah normally sends its most dispensable fighters on martyrdom (suicide) operations thus preserving its elite fighters.

False. Only Hezbollah fighters “of exceptional battlefield prowess [can] apply for martyrdom operations, and only a small subset of that elite [is] accepted.…If Hezbollah deployed callow throwaway teenagers on martyrdom operations the party felt it would cheapen rather than ennoble the cult of death. The party’s military planners reserved death missions for otherwise unattainable military objectives.” (Cambanis, 164.)

“Even though it cultivates a vibrant culture of martyrdom among it supporters, the party hasn’t launched a suicide bomber since December 30, 1999, when a Hezbollah fighter drove a car bomb into an Israeli military convoy.” (Cambanis, 12.)

If a U.S. marine charged an enemy sniper position to save comrades under fire he might receive the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. government.

Posted in Iran, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Occupation, War on Terror

{ 241 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. bpm says:

    It’s very disheartening to read this and realize the mountain of falsehoods and disinformation saturating the US press about Hezbollah.

  2. Taxi says:

    “Hezbollah flag. Trans. “Then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant/The Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.””

    I beg to differ on the translation. I would translate the first sentence simply as:
    Indeed Hizbollah are the victors.

    The message in Arabic is in the present tense affirmative.

    Only the envious gestapo-brained israelis and saudis would classify a successful resistance group as a gang of terrorists.

    Yesterday, Nasrallah gave a speech about the hizb’s weapons, noting that when Saudi Arabia or UAE purchase new weapons in the mega billions, not a whisper of complaint is heard from the israelis. But when Hizbollah is given weapons by Iran or Syria, of inferior hi-tec and worth a handful of millions, israel totally freaks out and sounds the alarm worldwide and demands more free armory from the USA. He, amused, linked thus and succinctly, the clandestine agreement between the zionist jews in israel and the zionist arabs in the House of Saud.

    • anan says:

      “when Saudi Arabia or UAE purchase new weapons in the mega billions, not a whisper of complaint is heard from the israelis.”

      I disagree. The Israelis do protest but lack the power to stop them. Or more specifically Israel wants to lower the specifications of the weapons the Gulfies buy.

      What I don’t understand is why there isn’t much more protest? Is anyone under any illusions that the Gulf are friend of Europe, America, or basically any nonmuslim or minority muslim in the world? The world needs to wake up.

      Most Lebanese think that Iran and Syria should only give weapons to the Lebanese Armed Forces or LAF. I agree with them. Iran and Syria can give as much money and weapons to the formal Lebanese government as they want. But should not give money to militias that are not loyal to the state.

      Even Aoun believes this, although he isn’t yet pressing the issue.

      Did you hear President Michel Suleiman’s speech?:
      link to nypost.com

      • Walid says:

        Anan, your idea of Syria and Iran or any other party supplying arms to Lebanon’s army is great and even Hizbullah has been asking for this to happen since several years, but Israel is refusing to allow it and whenever the Lebanese army has had an opportunity to be better armed to defend the country, the US stepped-in and blocked it from happening. The US and Israel won’t allow the Lebanese army to get air defense missiles that are ineffective to attack Israel because they want Lebanon to remain defenseless against Israel. The majority of Lebanese would prefer to have their army capable of defending the country instead of Hizbullah but until the US and Israel let the Lebanese army get the needed weapons, most Lebanese do not want Hizbullah to give up their arms because these are what is keeping Israel on its side of the border.

        • anan says:

          Walid, have you carefully studied the LAF OOB?

          I have looked at the LAF a little. We disagree. Iran, Syria, Russia have refused to provide large scale aid for the LAF. Russia offers to donate old aircraft and weapons platforms that require heavy maintenance that the LAF can’t afford to maintain.

          The fundamental problem is that the large Lebanese national debt/GDP and Lebanese budget deficit/GDP keep the LAF budget low and unpredictable.

          Russsia, Turkey, US, Europe help a little. But not that much. Unfortunately the little aid the US does provide is likely to cut by the Congress.

          Maybe I can share my thoughts on the LAF later with you.

          Is any commentator on this blog a LAF expert?

        • Shingo says:

          The fundamental problem is that the large Lebanese national debt/GDP and Lebanese budget deficit/GDP keep the LAF budget low and unpredictable.

          You keep harping on about national debt, when every country in the West has the very same problem – Israel included.

          Maybe I can share my thoughts on the LAF later with you.

          Maybe not Anan. It will be the usualy verbiage of false statements based on whatever you happen to be imagining at the time that has no basis in reality.

          Please spare us from more of your trolling.

      • Shingo says:

        I disagree. The Israelis do protest but lack the power to stop them. Or more specifically Israel wants to lower the specifications of the weapons the Gulfies buy.

        Wrong as usual. The US arms industry missed out on the biggest arms deal in history during the Tahtcher years because the Israeli Lobby killed the deal. Even the recent sale to Saudi Arabia was only based on outdated F15 Eagles, none of which challenege Israel’s technological advantage.

        Most Lebanese think that Iran and Syria should only give weapons to the Lebanese Armed Forces or LAF.

        Based on what evidence? Oh that’s right, you have none. You just made that up.

        But should not give money to militias that are not loyal to the state.

        Hezbollah are the most local militia to the state. They took on the IDF when the LAF had given up trying. And no, Aoun does not eblieve this. You also made that up.

        You know less abotu Lebanon than you know about Signapore.

      • Inanna says:

        anan, you need to study the history of weapons-buying by Arab regimes since the 80s. Congress several times denied Saudi requests for weapons in the 80s (to the consternation of our weapons manufacturers who saw those lucrative contracts go to the UK). It wasn’t until Saudi and the other Gulf countries got wise as to how they could get US weapons that AIPAC-sponsored objections to these sales ended.

        As for this: “Most Lebanese think that Iran and Syria should only give weapons to the LAF” Really? On what authority do you claim this? I’m sure that the 54% of Lebanese who voted for Hizbullah and their allies thought that, right? As far as I’m aware, Hizbullah’s acts of resistance against Israeli occupation and aggression are pretty loyal to the state of Lebanon. What wasn’t loyal was Siniora and friends welcoming the aggression in 2006 to destroy Hizbullah for them.

    • dimadok says:

      So there are Zionist Arabs now? Wow they are must be a new species-care to give any example of such rare birds?

      • Walid says:

        Yes, dimadok, there are some, but don’t take it as a compliment, it’s said of certain people to disparage or disgrace them. These are found in Arab countries as part of a ruling class abusing an oppressed majority or an oppressed minority in the same manner that Jewish Zionists abuse and oppress Palestinians. They are not rare and they act like other Zionists.

        • anan says:

          Akhoiya Walid, some minorities in the region take any help they can get from anyone, including Israel. This is not wrong for them to do and doesn’t detract from their values as good people loyal to their countries.

        • dimadok says:

          So House of Saud is a Zionist one? Perhaps Bahrain leaders also?

        • Walid says:

          Can’t agree with you on that one, Anan, any Arab accepting help from Israel can’t have good values and can’t be loyal. You’re surely thinking of the Christians in Lebanon that were allied with Israel and went as far as signing a peace treaty with Israel that the Lebanese Parliament refused to ratify. These people are still distrusted by other Lebanese; in the long run, it wasn’t worth it for them.

        • ColinWright says:

          “Akhoiya Walid, some minorities in the region take any help they can get from anyone, including Israel. This is not wrong for them to do and doesn’t detract from their values as good people loyal to their countries.”

          I beg to differ. Why is it not wrong for them to do? Obviously, Israel isn’t aiding them out the goodness of her heart. To take Israel’s aid is to advance Israel’s interests.

          The only correct response is that which wounded women and children from Gaza displayed when they were finally allowed to leave Gaza and travel to the West Bank for medical care. The Israelis had set up a series of brightly decorated reception areas, well-staffed with Israeli nurses and doctors.

          Obviously, the Israelis were hoping for a number of rather useful photographs — concerned Israeli doctors helping wounded Palestinians, etc.

          The wounded women and children walked right past the Israelis.

      • Roya says:

        So there are Zionist Arabs now? Wow they are must be a new species-care to give any example of such rare birds?

        Iraqi Jews are Arabs. Tunisian Jews are Arabs. Yemeni Jews are Arabs. Libyan Jews are Arabs. Eyptian Jews are Arabs. And they are even Arabs when they arrive in Israel, at which point they are stripped of their culture and history.

    • mondonut says:

      /noting that when Saudi Arabia or UAE purchase new weapons in the mega billions/

      Also note that both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are actual sovereign countries, Nasrallah cannot make that claim. Maybe Iran and Syria should be giving weapons systems the Lebanese military instead of private proxy armies.

      • lebanon is a sovereign country. hezbollah is part of the government. didn’t you read the post?

        In the June 2009 parliamentary elections, “Hezbollah and its allies…decisively triumphed in the popular vote, denying Saad Hariri and his backers an opportunity to trumpet the election as a great victory for the moderate axis….Of the roughly 1.5 million people who voted, 54 percent voted for Hezbollah [and its allies], and 46 for the governing coalition.” In June 2011, Lebanon’s new prime minister, Najib Mikati, announced a government dominated by members and allies of Hezbollah. (Cambanis, 286.)

        • mondonut says:

          Of course I read the post. But believing HB is entitled to their own army because they are part of the government is no different than believing the same about the American Democrats and Republicans.

          Do you believe that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood should field their own military force apart from the command and control of the Egyptian Army? How about the Israeli Labor and Likud parties?

        • mn, believing HB is entitled to their own army because they are part of the government is no different than believing the same about the American Democrats and Republicans.

          no it is not. lebanon’s parliament is set up as a confessional government, unlike ours. the distribution political and institutional power is supposed to be proportional to the population among religious groups but actually in lebanon that’s questionable. wiki says “In Lebanon, all posts in government and seats in the legislature are apportioned amongst different religious groups according to a political agreement, as the relative demographic weight of those groups is unknown.

          it’s ‘unknown’ on purpose because when it was originally set up it was weighed to give christians more power.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          The 1943 National Pact, an unwritten agreement that established the political foundations of modern Lebanon, allocated political power on an essentially confessional system based on the 1932 census. Seats in parliament were divided on a 6-to-5 ratio of Christians to Muslims, until 1990 when the ratio changed to half and half. Positions in the government bureaucracy are allocated on a similar basis. The pact also by custom allocated public offices along religious lines, with the top three positions in the ruling “troika” distributed as follows:

          The President, a Maronite Christian;
          The Speaker of the Parliament, a Shi’a Muslim, and
          The Prime Minister, a Sunni Muslim.

          anyway, lebanese politics is complicated (really!). over time it became apparent the proportion of seats allocated to shia muslims, or their representation wasn’t reflected. so there were deals made and it is my understanding hezbollah got to keep their militia in exchange for relinquishing a proportional representation ..or something like that.

          i am sure there are others here who know more about this than me. but i do know it isn’t like the democrats having their own militia. because we don’t have a confessional governing system. but if we did, someone would have to explain why 2% of the population was over represented in congress.

        • mondonut says:

          So the are entitled to their own army because it is a confessional government? Are you serious? Is there something unique about confessional governments, among all the governing types in the entire world, that entitles parties within the the government to field their own military?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “So the are entitled to their own army because it is a confessional government?”

          They’re entitled to their own army in exactly the same way the zionists are “entitled” to a state: they have the force to enforce their desire to possess it. And when you consider the way that the israelis have repeatedly committed war crimes on the Lebonese people, removing ANY armed force capable of protecting Lebanon would be a worse result, because it would open the country up to further rapine deprivations from the beast to its south.

        • Walid says:

          They are entitled to have their own militia to protect their own people since the central government hasn’t been able to do it against Israel for the past 50 years. When the central government will be in a position to defend the whole country against Israel’s aggression, I’ll be at the front of the line asking for Hizbullah to disarm. But until then, it’s inconceivable to have Hizbullah disarm.

          A couple of days back, Nasrallah speaking at a Hizbullah womens auxiliary iftar reminded how Israel, known historically to invade one of its neighbours, especially Lebanon, during periods of regional unrest such as with the so-called Arab Spring that’s been happening all over the Middle East, for a change, it didn’t even think of invading Lebanon because it’s now aware of what awaits it if it does. Remember Netanyahu’s statement about what Israel should have done during the 89 Tinananmen Square uprising? He also said that the Israelis have admitted that the only military force that spooks them is Hizbullah’s since it’s a fact that none of the Arab countries would lift a finger to help a fellow Arab country being attacked by Israel. The Arabs did nothing in the past with the 6 or 7 invasions of Lebanon by Israel and it happened time and again against the Palestinians, and not a single Arab state stood in opposition to what Israel did. We saw how the Arab states did absolutely nothing during and after Cast Lead. And you want the one and only deterrent force holding back Israel to disarm?

          Mondonut, you can keep screaming for Hizbullah to disarm until you are blue in the face, it isn’t going to happen.

        • So the are entitled to their own army because it is a confessional government?

          no, they are entitled to their own militia because agreements were made wrt the balance of power thru the distribution authority whereby the legislative seats equally between Christians and Muslims and the government refuses to undertake a new census. wiki:

          Muslims, for the most part, prefer a unified, central government with an enhanced share of power commensurate with their larger share of the population. The reforms of the Ta’if agreement moved in this direction but have not been fully realized.

          so, my understanding is there was a tradeoff. it was the tradeoff that entitled to hezbollah their own army, not the confessional government per se. one supposes if there was a new census taken and the legislature was not divided equally between Christians and Muslims but instead more accurately reflected the population hezbollah would end up with even more power essentially officially representing the armed forces of lebanon. they protect lebanon and everyone knows it. if there was a majority will within lebanon for hezbollah to dismantle it probably wouldn’t be thriving. after all it relies on the people to function. a lot of people actually.

          why doesn’t israel just disband the idf? that makes at least as much sense as hezbollah disbanding.

        • Walid says:

          The Hizbullah militia has nothing to do with with balance of power, Taef agreement or anything else of the sort. It came to life with Iran’s help to get rid of the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon, nothing more. The Taef agreement ( a city in Saudi Arabia where the agreement to end the civil war was signed) in a nutshell stripped the Christian president of most of his constitutional powers and gave them to the Sunni Prime Minister that effectively put him in the driver’s seat and made the president a figurehead passenger. It was tough for the Christians to swallow but the only way to stop the war. The Shia as usual got nothing special.

        • Roya says:

          So the are entitled to their own army because it is a confessional government?

          They are entitled to their own army because Israel keeps using Lebanon as a punching bag and the Lebanese government and military is powerless to do anything about it, so it’s up to Hezbollah to defend the country. If you are so concerned about Hezbollah then perhaps you can write a letter to Bibi telling him to stop fucking with Lebanon. And Palestine too while you’re at it.

        • walid, i thought there was some kind of deal whereby hezbollah was allowed to keep their militia in exchange for something political. that might be entirely incorrect but i could swear that’s how they were introduced to me..although i can’t recall where.

        • Walid says:

          Annie, nobody gave any formal acceptance to Hizbullah’s militia and nobody today is in a position to dictate that it gives up its weapons or to take them away from it. For the past couple of years, pro-US politicians have been trying to negotiate with Hizbullah to give up its arms and to have it merge its fighters with units in the Lebanese army. Hizbullah maintains that it is willing to consider such options on condition that the Lebanese army would be allowed to be properly armed to defend the country, but the US will not allow this arming of the army to happen. It wants the army to remain weak and defenseless while it also wants Hizbullah to disarm. Perhaps this is the part that was explained to you. All the Lebanese army needs to make everyone happy is to be allowed to have surface-to-air missiles to prevent incursions into Lebanese air space by Israel and as these missiles would be useless to attack Israel, they have no offensive value but they would give Lebanon the needed security. It’s very likely that Hizbullah already has such weapons and these are the weapons that it’s being asked to give up, not the light arms that practically every militia already has. It’s Israel’s fear that Hizbullah already has such sophisticated SAM weapons that’s causing Israel to have second , third, fourth and fifth thoughts about attacking Lebanon again. Hizbullah has already proven it has the arms to take out Merkavas, helicopters and destroyers like it did with the Hanit. Remaining to be proven is if it can take out the F16s.

        • Merk says:

          Annie, Hezbollah lost in 2009 (not sure why my response to that was censored before, i’ll try again)

          Hezbollah accepts election loss, U.S. backs allies

          link to reuters.com

        • Hostage says:

          i thought there was some kind of deal whereby hezbollah was allowed to keep their militia in exchange for something political.

          No there have been a number of Security Council resolutions that call on the government of Lebanon to disarm all armed groups in Lebanon, so that there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State, e.g. 1559 (2004) , 1680 (2006), and 1701 (2006), e.g.
          *http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1559%20%282004%29
          *http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1680%20%282006%29
          *http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1701%20%282006%29

        • Hostage says:

          Annie, Hezbollah lost in 2009 (not sure why my response to that was censored before, i’ll try again) . . . Hezbollah accepts election loss, U.S. backs allies

          Using that metric George Bush Sr. lost the first Gulf War too.

        • Shingo says:

          Annie, Hezbollah lost in 2009 (not sure why my response to that was censored before, i’ll try again)

          Merk, in 2011, Hezbollah’s coalition won power through politial agreement.

          link to bbc.co.uk

        • Shingo says:

          No there have been a number of Security Council resolutions that call on the government of Lebanon to disarm all armed groups in Lebanon

          I believe the wording referred to militias, and no Lebanese government was willing to designate Hezbollah a militia.

        • ColinWright says:

          “…Of course I read the post. But believing HB is entitled to their own army because they are part of the government is no different than believing the same about the American Democrats and Republicans….”

          America isn’t faced with an overwhelmingly powerful and pathologically aggressive power across its border. Nor is there any superpower that makes it its business to keep the American army from obtaining any modern military equipment.

          Hezbollah is the only force within Lebanon able to effectively deter an Israeli invasion. If we were faced with an awesomely powerful Mexico that had repeatedly invaded us in the past, and the Republican party fielded the only fighting force able to keep them at bay, I’d be inclined to let the Republicans keep their arms.

        • Hostage says:

          “…Of course I read the post. But believing HB is entitled to their own army because they are part of the government is no different than believing the same about the American Democrats and Republicans….”

          LOL! An appropriate analogy would be the attempts by the United Nations to demilitarize the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) under the auspices of Chapter VII of the UN Charter and Security Council Resolution 1244.
          link to un.org

          NATO was never able to implement that UN mandate, because the KLA asserted the inherent right of self-defense and rejected any role for Serbia in protecting ethnic Albanians.

      • Hostage says:

        Maybe Iran and Syria should be giving weapons systems the Lebanese military instead of private proxy armies.

        No, the UN should stop interfering in matters of defense which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the inhabitants. Our own Constitution reserved war powers for the individual States, so that they could deal with actual invasions or cases of imminent danger. See the third paragraph of Article 1 Section 10 link to archives.gov

        For example, in the Bosnia genocide case, Judge Elihu Lauterpacht affirmed a preliminary objection (paras 98-107 on Pages 64-71) which held that the Security Council arms embargo was illegal and exceeded the organ’s authority under the Charter. He said it had, in effect, required the other member states to assist in Serbia’s genocidal activities, while denying the Bosnians the ability to exercise an inherent and customary right of self-defense.

        The failure of the Lebanese armed forces to stop routine Israeli incursions into Lebanese air space – coupled with the history of Israeli attacks, invasions, military occupation, and collusion with neighboring Lebanese factions in carrying out serious crimes – make it imperative that the inhabitants of Southern Lebanon retain the capability to look after their own defense.

  3. Chespirito says:

    This quiz is a very useful and efficient piece of prose, muchísimas gracias.

  4. Fredblogs says:

    Actually the attempt to murder the ambassador was just the last straw after 270 terrorist acts over 11 months by the Palestinians from Lebanon and in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza that left 29 Israelis dead and 300 injured.

    • anan says:

      Fredblogs is right. Fredblogs, how many of these terrorist attacks were committed directly by Arafat versus other Palestinian groups?

      I don’t think these attacks were the reason Israel attacked. The real reason was for Israel to take advantage of the opportunity to help the Christians, Shia and Druze defeat the PLO. Israel hoped to solidify a friendship of sorts with the Lebanese Christians, Shia and Druze. Although Israel was initially greeted by the Christians, Shia and Druze, Israel quickly burnt her bridges. Israel was also disloyal to the Lebanese that tried to work with Israel. Not good form at all.

      In 1982 Israel was de facto backing Khomeini against Saddam and thought a similar de facto relationship with the Lebanese Shia was possible.

      • Shingo says:

        Fredblogs is right. Fredblogs, how many of these terrorist attacks were committed directly by Arafat versus other Palestinian groups?

        No, Fred is 100% wrong and your endorsement of his blatant lies reveals you to be a Zionist shill.

        The real reason was for Israel to take advantage of the opportunity to help the Christians, Shia and Druze defeat the PLO.

        Surely, you can’t be that stuipid Anan?

        Israel has no interest in heling the Christians, Shia and Druze. In fact, when they turned up, they were welcomes by the Shia, but their stupidtiy and bruitality towards the Shis turned the Shi population against them and ultimately led to the creation of Hezbollah. How does murdering people serve to solidify a friendship of sorts?

        Do you have any clue about these events whatsoever or are you simply reading this from a Likud web site?

    • Donald says:

      “Actually the attempt to murder the ambassador was just the last straw after 270 terrorist acts over 11 months by the Palestinians from Lebanon and in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza that left 29 Israelis dead and 300 injured.”

      Cite? Also, break it down for us. What portion of that violence came from Lebanon, what came from the WB and what came from Gaza? What are the dates and how much violence was Israel inflicting on Lebanon? How many people were killed and wounded by Israel’s strikes? What are the dates for Israel’s strikes? You’re not going to tell me that this happened for 11 months and Israel was just sitting there the whole time, are you? I hope not, because you’d be lying–Israel was bombing Lebanon pretty heavily back in the summer of 1981, 11 months before the war.

      Incidentally, I’ve read Jonathan Randal’s book on Lebanon (he was the Washington Post correspondent back then) and the picture he paints of Israel’s behavior is that of a country which habitually bombed civilians.

      • Fredblogs says:

        A truce was in place from July of 1981, which the Palestinians routinely violated.

        As for Jonathan Randal, why not just cite Arafat instead? Randal is biased against Israel, of course he is going to portray them in a bad light.

        • Donald says:

          “Randal is biased against Israel, of course he is going to portray them in a bad light.”

          Yes, I know–”biased against Israel” is a technical term used to describe anyone who accurately reports Israeli brutality. You guys use that one so much it’s pretty much lost any real meaning it might have.

          Randal is best known in the mainstream for his book on the Kurds, which described the atrocities committed against them by both Turkey and Saddam’s Iraq. I guess he was biased against Saddam and Turkey as well.

        • Donald says:

          “A truce was in place from July of 1981, which the Palestinians routinely violated.”

          Cite, Fredblogs? I forgot to ask you about that. If it’s not an internet link then at least cite a book or something. According to wikipedia–

          link

          Israel bombed a Lebanese town in March 1982 after an Israeli officer stepped on a landmine in Lebanon. Is that a ceasefire violation by the PLO? What other sorts of ceasefire violations are you talking about? Can you point to some case where an attack came FROM LEBANON during that time which wasn’t a retaliation for an Israeli raid?

          And then I’ve visited the NYT archives. Here’s a story from mid July 1981 (the NYT is getting fussy about handing out free archival articles, though I’m not sure what the rules are, since I can read some of them)–

          guerillas fire dozens of rockets at Israel after air raid killing 3

          It seems from that article that Israel started the violence in July 1981. But I would bet that most people talking about what happened back then would claim that Israel “retaliated” for Palestinian rocket attacks. In fact the wikipedia article gives that impression.

        • Donald says:

          BTW, Fredblogs, one of the reasons I’m harping on what happened in Lebanon in 1981-1982 is that I once recall seeing George Will on TV claiming that Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to stop the rain of rockets that were hitting Israeli towns, as though Israel were sitting there minding its own business when those awful Palestinians just started shooting rockets at the civilized folk. Yet, oddly enough, when I try to check this story out it doesn’t really hold up very well. And Will isn’t the only one who tells the story that way. You seem to be telling it that way as well.

        • Hostage says:

          Yet, oddly enough, when I try to check this story out it doesn’t really hold up very well.

          Because Prime Minister Begin admitted quite publicly that Israel had started the war with Lebanon by choice. He claimed his policy had continuity to Ben Gurion’s policy and that the only difference was that Ben Gurion had resorted to subtrefuge, while he pursued his policies openly. See Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, Pantheon, 1987, page 5.

          Avi Shlaim wrote:

          For many Israelis, especially liberal-minded ones, the Likud’s ill-conceived and ill-fated invasion of Lebanon in 1982 marked a watershed. Until then, Zionist leaders had been careful to cultivate the image of peace-lovers who would stand up and fight only if war was forced upon them. Until then, the notion of ein breira, of no alternative, was central to the explanation of why Israel went to war and a means of legitimizing her involvement in wars. But while the fierce debate between supporters and opponents of the Lebanon War was still raging, Prime Minister Menachem Begin gave a lecture to the IDF Staff Academy on wars of choice and wars of no choice. He argued that the Lebanon War, like the Sinai War of 1956, was a war of choice designed to achieve national objectives. With this admission, unprecedented in the history of the Zionist movement, the national consensus round the notion of ein breira began to crumble, creating political space for a critical re-examination of the country’s earlier history.

          See “The War of the Israeli Historians”, Annales, 59:1, January-February 2004, 161-67. — link to users.ox.ac.uk

        • Theo says:

          “biased against Israel”

          Anyone and/or any article that dares to criticise Israel, even if that criticism is true and valid. Israel is created by G-d, therefore it never makes a mistake or does anything wrong. End if discussion!!!

      • Shingo says:

        Cite? Also, break it down for us. What portion of that violence came from Lebanon, what came from the WB and what came from Gaza? What are the dates and how much violence was Israel inflicting on Lebanon?

        Don’t be silly Donald. Anan doesn’t do citations. He’ll tell you to get on the mobile to the genrals on the LAF groun

    • Walid says:

      Fredblogs, the attempt on the ambassador’s life turned out to be another of Israel’s false flag operations eventhough it was undertaken by Palestinians; see Dickerson’s post below explaining this foul Israel deed by way of a Uri Avnery article. Israelis killing Jews and others to pass the blame on other people is a old proven Israeli tactic. (Baghdad Jewish market bombing, Beirut Magen Avraham Synagogue, Egypt Lavon Affair, Buenos Aires Office Tower, Bulgaria airport, etc)

      • Merk says:

        Walid, has Hezbollah committed any terror attacks against Israel? Has anything happened to Israel, which Israel itself didn’t perpetrate?

        The Lavon Affair (where they didn’t attack any other Jews and no one died) happened, the rest, is BS. I suppose the latest attack in Egypt you will blame on Mossad also?

        • Walid says:

          Merk, the story of the Baghdad Jewish market bombing was written about by Iraqi Jews to describe how Israel “encouraged” reticent Iraqi Jews to leave the country. The shelling of the synagogue in Beirut was also to “encourage” Lebanese Jews to leave but it was done by an Israeli navy ship during the 82 invasion of Beirut. I wouldn’t be surprised if Israel had a hand in the latest attack on the Egyptian border guards to get the place shut down again, Debka wrote that the Egyptian MB is accusing the Mossad of having done it to undermine Mursi.

          link to debka.com

        • Debka wrote that the Egyptian MB is accusing the Mossad of having done it to undermine Mursi.

          yes, the MB have accused mossad of carrying out the operation. i started to write about it and got sidetracked. it was even published in the chicagotribune and other papers including wapo. think about it, the border was finally opened. now, it is closed (less than a week). i always find it intriguing whenever terrorist actions serve the agenda of the occupier. it used to happen a lot in iraq. the way the bombs blew up the bridges that cordened off areas of the city in conjunction with the walls we were building.

          also, during the years of lead, often the terrorist actions served to facilitate rightwing governments, especially when they occurred right before elections, like operation gladio. so, it’s a natural response. basically, we donot know who carried out the operation, but we know who is served by the results and who is not. granted the smugglers do not cash in with an open border, so there’s that. but why kill the solders? sad.

        • Merk says:

          it never stops does it Walid? like i said, there isn’t a thing which can happen to Israel where you won’t blame it on…… Israel.

        • Walid says:

          Sure it does, Merk, but Israel is a rogue state with a track record of frequent false-flag operations so it’s to be expected that whenever something foul happens in the world like assassinations of Iranian scientists or Lebanese politicians or an attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria and now the slaughter of Egyptian border guards as they were breaking their Ramadan fast, it’s only normal to think first of Israel. Israel invites blame by its never-ending nefarious actions. Surveys a couple of years back have shown that even the guilt-ridden Europeans believed that Israel was at the root of most of the world’s problems.

    • Shingo says:

      Actually the attempt to murder the ambassador was just the last straw after 270 terrorist acts over 11 months by the Palestinians from Lebanon and in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza that left 29 Israelis dead and 300 injured.

      Absolute rubbish. The PLO had been infuriating the IDF by sticking meticulously to the ceasefire for the previous 11 months. The attempetd murder of the ambassador was carried out by an enemy of the PLO.

      • Fredblogs says:

        Since when are over 200 terrorist attacks “sticking meticulously” to a ceasefire?

        “Since the ceasefire, established in July 1981, until the start of the war, Israel recorded 240 “terrorist actions” committed by the PLO against Israeli targets including the assassination of an Israeli diplomat in Paris and encounters with PLO units attempting to cross from Jordan.[24]”
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        • Fredblogs says:

          Yaacov Bar-Simantov was the diplomat’s name in case you wanted to look it up.

        • fred, the wiki reference [24] says “Herzog (1982) p. 341″

          isn’t that a novel by sam bellows? do you have another source besides wiki?

        • Donald says:

          “Since when are over 200 terrorist attacks “sticking meticulously” to a ceasefire?”

          The ceasefire was with respect to Lebanon. The fact that Israel and members of the PLO had a continuing war going on was no reason for Israel to attack Lebanon if PLO attacks came from other areas. (And of course the violence flowed both ways .) Thousands of innocent people lost their lives in Lebanon in 1982 because Israel invaded.

          Was it you elsewhere in this thread that said it was none of Hezbollah’s business if Israel did something in Gaza. Yes it was–you said this–

          “First, it was either the killing of 6 soldiers and the stealing of two of their bodies, or the killing of 4 soldiers, the capture and subsequent cold blooded murder of two more. Not the killing of two and capturing of one. Last time I checked, Gaza City was not part of Lebanon. So none of Hezbollah’s business. Similarly, the other incidents he mentions have nothing to do with Hezbollah”

          So Israel can hit its enemies wherever it chooses–there’s no geographical compartmentalization and nevermind the innocents who suffer, but it’s barbaric if Israel’s enemies act on the same principles.

        • Annie- “Herzog” is indeed a novel by Saul Bellow. (his best in my opinion) but Wikipedia is in fact referring to a book by Chaim Herzog, probably “The Arab Israeli Wars” published by Random House in 1982 according to a footnote further down in the article. (Although the Wikipedia article on Herzog, who served as Israeli president from ’88 to ’93, seems to indicate that the book was published in ’83.) Chaim Herzog was also known as Vivian, because Chaim means life and Vivian means life and when he served with the British army the Brits could not pronounce Chaim, so someone suggested Vivian. He was featured in Israel on the nightly news explaining the events of the Yom Kippur War as a military analyst, when I was in Israel in 1973.

        • Fredblogs says:

          The reference is by Herzog, not titled Herzog. The title is “The Arab-Israeli Wars, Random House (1982)” Which you would know if you looked at the other instances of “Herzog” in the wikipedia article. Though as it happens, it is supposed to be the first footnote to mention a reference that has the full title and subsequent ones that refer to a shortened version.

          If you’d like to read the original source, it is available on Amazon.

          link to amazon.com

        • Fredblogs says:

          And innocent people lost their lives in Israel because of PLO attacks. If you play with fire, you’re liable to get burned.

          Israel was hitting the same enemy that was attacking Israelis and Jews worldwide. Hezbollah was attacking someone who was not attacking them (except in retaliation for their attacks). Or should the British not attacked the Germans because the Germans were attacking them from their bases in France rather than the ones in Germany?

        • Hostage says:

          If you’d like to read the original source, it is available on Amazon.

          I have. It says that the northern border with Lebanon remained peaceful. So the Lebanese weren’t guilty of any wrongful acts of state that warranted an invasion. The assassinations in Europe or attacks from Jordan did not constitute grounds for an invasion of Lebanon either. In fact, the government of Lebanon had already pointed out it had nothing to do with PLO commando operations when it obtained UN Security Council resolutions ordering Israel to cease its operations against Lebanon and to fully withdraw its forces in 1978. See S/RES/425(1978) & S/RES/426(1978): link to un.org

          FYI Israel conducted assassinations in Europe from 1972 until at least 1992. According to reliable sources, including Time Magazine correspondent Aaron J. Klien, many of the victims had nothing to do with the Munich massacre and those most responsible escaped. See Kliens “Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel’s Deadly Response”, Random House, 2007 .

        • Shingo says:

          And innocent people lost their lives in Israel because of PLO attacks. If you play with fire, you’re liable to get burned.

          What you hasbrats don’t udnerstand is that the principal of a ceasefire means you stop attacking those you make the agreement with – otherwise you don’t agree to a ceasefire in the first. place.

          Israel was hitting the same enemy that was attacking Israelis and Jews worldwide.

          No they weren’t. The enemy was not attacking Israelis and Jews worldwide.

          Hezbollah was attacking someone who was not attacking them

          eOf course they were. Israel had been firing missiles into Southern Lebanon,violating air space and abducting Lebanese civlians between 2000 and 2006. All acts of war.

    • Fredblogs says:
      August 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm
      + Show content
      Actually the attempt to–

      Present is prologue to the past. For last 10 yaers ,Israel has been violating Lebanse airspace routinley.For last 5 years israel ahs been suffocating gaza on a daily basis and sending armies/F 16 irrespective of provaction or over made -up charges of Kasham volley over Israeli citizen that never killed anyone . Israel instigated 2006 wars by killing Gazan and by kidnapping Lenabese farmers and the world blamed 2006 wars on Lebanon and Gaza.
      What I am trying to say is the Israeli provoctaions that happen routinely get no attention despite it happening routinley under the noses of Western media and western politics.The same was going on in 1982 when isarel using the responses to its owqn provocative assults on neighbouring countries mounted attacks on PLO and Lebanon under the eyes of the Western powers.

      • Fredblogs says:

        The rocket attacks from Gaza have killed many people and maimed still more. And destroyed property. If the Palestinians want a war, Israel will oblige them.

        • Hostage says:

          Fredblogs the Hezbollah Manifesto and the Palestine Annex to the Charter of the Arab League give everyone in the region a “special relationship” with Gaza exactly like the one Israel has with the US. Both sides have been playing the blame game and obliging the other with a series of wars. The notion that the belligerents on either side are behaving righteously at this point is risible.

        • Shingo says:

          The rocket attacks from Gaza have killed many people and maimed still more.

          They have killed 20 people in a decade. More peopel die from peanut allergies.

          And destroyed property.

          Isrlae has destroyed thousands of times as amany propoerties.

          If the Palestinians want a war, Israel will oblige them.

          Even if they don’t, srael will oblige them anyway, becasuie Israel is a war mogering state and murdering Palestinians is always good for sagging polls numbers.

  5. American says:

    Very informative. Thanks.

  6. Fredblogs says:

    ROFL. I love how Hezbollah commits an act of war by capturing Israeli troops and then that is a “pretext” for an invasion rather than the reason for the invasion.

    • dimadok says:

      I’m so amused reading here praises for Hezbollah, while their leader sits for a sixth year now in bunker, growing mold in his beard.

      • marc b. says:

        sits for a sixth year now in bunker, growing mold in his beard.

        oh, what a hard guy you are dimeadozen. nasrallah certainly isn’t as brave as the israelis sitting in lawn chairs, eating hummous while their heroes in the IDF shell civilians in gaza 50 kilometres away. no, that’s real courage.

      • Walid says:

        dimadok, it will break your heart to learn that Nasrallah is not afraid of the Israeli clownish Mossad, but because every other spy agency from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the US, France, the UK and a few others are working around the clock to locate him. If it would have been only the Mossad, he’s be on a beach getting a tan because these guys are bumbling idiots. When he gives the signal to let fly the missiles, half of Israel runs to the shelters.

      • Shingo says:

        I’m so amused reading here praises for Hezbollah, while their leader sits for a sixth year now in bunker, growing mold in his beard.

        Yeah, and driving the Israeli leadership insane with his ability to evade their attempts to assassinate him – that’s when he is not leading his team to kick IDF butt.

        LOL

    • marc b. says:

      really, bready? so everytime that the IAF violates lebanese airspace, the lebanese are justified in bombing a water treatment plant in israel. and everytime that the IDF violates the international border to plant surveillance devices in s. lebanon, the lebanese are justified in bombing the airport in tel aviv. and the fact that the winograd commission determined that the invasion of lebanon was planned four months in advance of ‘hezbollah committing an act of war’, that’s not evidence of pretext? (which pre-planning is consistent with the pre-planned ‘cast lead’ atrocity, complete with the pre-planned assault on police cadets.) keep typing. you think you’re scoring a point for your cause, but it’s just the opposite.

      • dimadok says:

        Is Hezbollah a regular unit in Lebanese army? Does it have any jurisdiction over Lebanese borders? I don’t think so-once it dismantled , surveillance flights and other activity will stop.

        • Shingo says:

          Is Hezbollah a regular unit in Lebanese army?

          No, it is an irregular unit of the Lebanese army.

          I don’t think so-once it dismantled , surveillance flights and other activity will stop.

          No they won’t. If is is dismantled, Israel will invade Lebanon again, which is why it will not be dismantled.

        • Merk says:

          No, it is an irregular unit of the Lebanese army.

          Rubbish, it has no affiliation with the Lebanese Army.

          Hezbollah is in violation of 1701 by arming themselves south of the Litani. Israel monitors this violation w/ surveillance and flyovers.

        • marc b. says:

          you mean UNSCR 1701 which calls on israel to respect the territorial integrity of lebanon? let me make it real simple: israel conspired to attack lebanon well in advance of any allegation that hezbollah captured an israeli soldier, they intentionally seeded s. lebanon with unexploded ordinance, they intentionally destroyed civilian infrastructure, even in areas where hezbollah had no military presence. and israel has other resources to monitor any ‘violations’ of 1701. the repeated fly-overs of lebanese territory are a crude display of power, important because of the psychological impact, not the value of any intelligence gain, and the lebanese government’s inability to respond effectively to the flyovers weakens the elected government and strengthens hezbollah. israel doesn’t want a stable, democratic lebanon. it wants weak, corrupt, fractured neighbors.

        • MarkF says:

          “Hezbollah is in violation of 1701 by arming themselves south of the Litani. Israel monitors this violation w/ surveillance and flyovers.”

          Takes a violator to know a violator – settlers sure do seem like a violation. Unless of course you believe the whole Judea/Samaria chest-pump thang….

        • Merk says:

          Marc, you make no since, 1701 was a response to Lebanon 2, what does it matter if Israel planned anything in advance. What about Israel’s territorial integrity, the war started when Hezbollah crossed the border and slaughtered Israeli soldiers.

        • Hostage says:

          Marc, you make no since, 1701 was a response to Lebanon 2, what does it matter if Israel planned anything in advance. What about Israel’s territorial integrity, the war started when Hezbollah crossed the border and slaughtered Israeli soldiers.

          Israel violated the territorial integrity of Lebanon when it invaded and occupied the country in violation of the UN Charter. It did so once again when it transferred Lebanese civilians across the international border and continued to hold them as bargaining chips, after its withdrawal, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Then it violated Lebanese territorial integrity and the applicable UN Security Council resolutions by continuing to conduct fly-overs of Lebanese territory.

        • marc b. says:

          Marc, you make no since, 1701 was a response to Lebanon 2, what does it matter if Israel planned anything in advance.

          merk, try walking and chewing gum first. then maybe you’ll be able to tease out the simple chronology in what i wrote. 1. israel planned the ‘war’ before the ‘kidnapping’ (as the idiots in ha’aretz call the capture of men under arms); 2. israel violated international law in its prosecution of the ‘war’; 3. israel violates (present progressive tense) 1701 on an ongoing basis by its violation of the lebanese border. three separate but related wrongs. geddit?

    • BillM says:

      Well, it’s a pretext as even Olmert has admitted they never expected to get the soldiers back, and believed they were dead from the first day.

    • Walid says:

      Fredblogs, stop laughing and get informed; most of the live prisoners exchanged had been abducted from Lebanon. Weren’t those acts by Israel acts of war? Mustapha Dirani and Abdul-Karim Obeid were abducted from their homes by Israelis and held, tortured and sodomized during 10 years in Israel’s concentratioin camp to be used as bargaining chips for Ron Arad; wasn’t that an act of war too?

      The only reason those Israeli troops were captured in 2006 was because Israel had reneged on its promise to release the prisoners in exchange for information that Hizbullah had supplied about Ron Arad. When Nasrallah concluded that the only way of getting the Lebanese prisoners back was by capturing Israeli soldiers for a swap, those soldiers were captured. The Israeli invasion, as Jeffrey Rudolph wrote, had been planned months in advance and written about by Sy Hirsh and also admitted-to during the Winnograd inquest.

      • Fredblogs says:

        Obeid was a terrorist and Dirani was a terrorist and a war criminal. There is no proof that either of them was sodomized or tortured.

        • Walid says:

          Fredblogs, the one sodomized was Mustapha Dirani and the issue is still in the Israeli courts. The one who did it or ordered it was Doron Zahavi (Captain George) that now serves as police liaison to the Jerusalem Arab community:

          link to richardsilverstein.com

          The other was Sheikh Obeid, a Hizbullah pastor. Jonathan Cook wrote about Obeid’s ordeal at Israel’s concentration camp “Facility 1391″:

          link to jkcook.net

          Obeid and Dirani were released in a 2004 prisoner swap in exchange for captured Israeli spy Elhanan Tanenbaum.

      • RoHa says:

        When Hizbullah captured the Israeli soldiers in 2006, the first news reports suggested that the Israelis had entered Lebanon and were captured on the Lebanese side of the border. Later reports suggested that Hizbullah forces had entered Israel and captured the Israelis there.

        Could someone provide a definitive version of the events, please?

        • Merk says:

          RoHa, Hezbollah themselves released a video of this.

          link to deliberation.info

        • Walid says:

          RoHa, the Israeli soldiers were captured inside Israel.

        • RoHa says:

          The video clip shows a group of soldiers crossing a fence and going to a Humvee. This article makes reference to a tank.

          link to antiwar.com

          I’m still not sure what actually happened. Were the Israeli soldiers leaving Lebanon, and captures in hot pursuit? Were they just patrolling the border?

          The clearest account i have found so far is this one.

          link to haaretz.com

          Anyone got any more details?

        • Walid says:

          RoHa, the soldiers that were captured, Regev and Godwasser, had nothing to do with Lebanon, there were just patrolling the border on the Israeli side.

          Hizbullah crossed into Israel to capture them for an eventual swap for the release of Kuntar as Israel had reneged on its promise to release him. An Israeli tank followed the raiding party into Lebanon where it hit a land mine killing all 4 soldiers in the tank.

          That evening, Nasrallah announced on Lebanese TV that 2 soldiers had been captured and that it was now waiting to be contacted by Israel to start the negotiations on the prisoners swap. There was no question of war by Hizbullah but simply an event for a routine swap of prisoners as had happened several times in the past between Israel and Lebanon. The next morning, Israel responded by bombing parts of Beirut’s suburbs and continued bombing the rest of the country for 34 days.

          After a week of bombing, Olmert wanted to stop but the US and some Arab leaders wouldn’t let him and pressed Israel to continue the bombing. After about 27 days, it was agreed to stop the fighting but the US (Rice,Bolton and Kouchner which turned out to be a French Zionist) kept stalling on the wording of the UN resolution to stop the war for a week to give Israel a last chance to knock out Hizbullah and plant about 3 million cluster bombs all over Lebanon’s south that is still killing and maiming people to this day. Months after the war ended, Israel completed the swap that had been proposed by Nasrallah before the senseless war was started.

        • RoHa says:

          Thanks.

          Glad to finally clear that up.

        • Roya says:

          Also might be useful to add that Israel had been planning the war for years and that the capturing of the soldiers was by no means the pretext for war, just the excuse Israel had been waiting for to make the massacre seem legitimate in the international stage.

        • RoHa says:

          “the capturing of the soldiers was by no means the pretext for war, just the excuse Israel had been waiting for”

          Yes, that was clear from the start.

        • “…Olmert wanted to stop but the US and some Arab leaders wouldn’t let him and pressed Israel to continue the bombing.”

          Eh, come again?

    • talknic says:

      Fredblogs August 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      ” I love how Hezbollah commits an act of war by capturing Israeli troops”

      It’s quite legal and legitimate to capture enemy soldiers

      “and then that is a “pretext” for an invasion rather than the reason for the invasion”

      The war was planned by Israel prior to the capture of soldiers by Hezbollah. What was the reason?

      • Merk says:

        The war was planned by Israel prior to the capture of soldiers by Hezbollah. What was the reason?

        are you joking? this is what a military does, it plans. You act like they just sit and twiddle their thumbs until an attack then they form a plan.

        • talknic says:

          Merk August 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

          “are you joking? this is what a military does, it plans”

          Planning defense is understandable … planning a war is another matter

        • Fredblogs says:

          As for planning defense. It doesn’t work like that. You can bet we (the U.S.) know our first offensive moves in a war with any plausible country we might ever have to fight, and probably with most implausible ones as well. Those plans do not just include “how will we react if they invade”. They include “which military targets are most important and how hard should we hit them to knock them out”.

        • Roya says:

          You can bet we (the U.S.) know…

          Thanks for the clarification Fred. It seems you’ve figured out that when Ziobots say “we” it is usually (rightly) assumed that “we” means “Israel,” the primary country of Ziobots’ allegiance.

        • talknic says:

          Fredblogs August 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm

          Defense does work like that Fred, you go on to explain it, not that it actually needs explaining

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Roya
          I was specifying because not everyone knows I am an American. Particularly with Woody Tanaka constantly lying about my nationality.

      • Fredblogs says:

        It is legal (under international law, and so long as Hezbollah counts as the lawful armed forces of Lebanon), legitimate, and an act of war. That’s how it works. It wasn’t a war crime, but something doesn’t have to be a war crime to be an act of war.

        Sending an armed party across a border means you have just given causus belli, a reason for war, to the other side. They can then legitimately say that you started it when they bomb the hell out of your military.

        Of course the war was planned by Israel prior to the capture of the soldiers. It’s called “contingency planning”. It’s what the leaders of every military in the world do when there isn’t an actual war on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. had contingency plans to invade Mexico and Canada. You can bet we have plans for war with Iran. Contingency planning means that you don’t get caught with your pants down if the other guy decides to start a war.

        • Hostage says:

          Sending an armed party across a border means you have just given causus belli, a reason for war, to the other side.

          That’s a reference to jus ad bellum, or the law regarding justifications to engage in war. Israel had already invaded Lebanon and illegally transferred civilians across the international frontier to prisons inside Israel for use as bargaining chips in violation of the Geneva Conventions. So the proper body of law would be jus in bello or the limits to acceptable wartime conduct.

          Once states are at war with one another, jus ad bellum no longer applies. So long as Israel maintained a state of belligerency and held onto Lebanese prisoners, jus in bello applied. So the Lebanese had ample justification to remain on a war footing.

        • talknic says:

          Fredblogs August 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

          “Sending an armed party across a border means you have just given causus belli, a reason for war, to the other side.”

          Ah yes… Like the continual violation of Lebanese airspace by Israel Freddo? Or Israel bombing an alleged nuclear site in Syria? Assassinating Iranian scientists? Israel capturing a ship in International waters, forcing it into Israeli waters, slaughtering nine of its passengers?

        • ColinWright says:

          “Sending an armed party across a border means you have just given causus belli, a reason for war, to the other side. They can then legitimately say that you started it when they bomb the hell out of your military.”

          How about when they just bomb all and sundry, including lots of people who have no conceivable connection with Hezbollah and aren’t anywhere near any Hezbollah militiamen?

          Is it legitimate then? Many or most of Israel’s attacks were not on military targets or even on targets anywhere near a military target. Some respected human rights group or other investigated 25 randomly selected Lebanese civilian fatalities. 24 of them were nowhere near any Hezbollah fighters at the time they were killed.

          You implied that Israel attacked ‘military targets.’ In fact, their operation was conducted with all the restraint and precision of an SS anti-partisan sweep on a bad day. They just went in and blew hell out of half the country — apparently on the obviously mistaken assumption that this would make Hezbollah unpopular.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “They can then legitimately say that you started it when they bomb the hell out of your military.”

          Well, Fredo, israel doesn’t limit itself to military, and seems to take pleasure in destroying civilian infrastructure, so regardless of who started it, israel ALWAYS commits the war crimes.

          “Of course the war was planned by Israel prior to the capture of the soldiers. It’s called ‘contingency planning’.”

          There is a difference between contingency planning on a tactical level, which you’re talking about, and planning for war as a strategic matter, which is what everyone else is talking about. So are you ignorant or purposefully confusing the two in order to gain an imagined rhetorical point? Are you stupid or trying to be devious?

        • Walid says:

          Woody, you mentioned Israel taking pleasure in destroying civilian structures. This is discussed at length in Noam Chomsky’s description of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Beirut when Israel specifically targeted hospitals, cluster-bombed a sanitarium and precision shelled orphanages and finished them off with phosphorus bombs. The full ugly picture of Israeli viciousness with all the gory details on how Israelis acted that explain why the Lebanese hate Israel with so much passion:

          link to chomsky.info

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Exactly, Walid. Heck, just today there is a story that the israeli is destroying Palestinian emergency housing. These people are vile. EVERYONE should hate israel with this passion. But not in the US. I guess blood, money and politics are stronger than justice.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          A state of war was not in effect when Hezbollah killed those Israeli soldiers. And of course since the Hezbollah jihadis were not legally part of Lebanon’s armed forces, it technically would be a crime for them to do what they did even if the two countries were at war. Armed forces of nations aren’t committing crimes when they fight, private groups that breach borders to kill soldiers on the other side have no such legal immunity.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Sorry, Woodrow, but Israel bombs military targets, not civilian targets. It isn’t Israel’s fault that its enemies have a tendency to put military targets inside civilian buildings and neighborhoods. Even the GCs say that civilians can’t be used to immunize a military target from attack.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Woodrow
          They are knocking down an illegally constructed building. Same as any nation would.

        • Shingo says:

          They are knocking down an illegally constructed building. Same as any nation would.

          No. They are designating buildings built before the cretion of the state to be illegal, unlike any other nation and they are specificalyl targettign Arab homes – much like apartheid South Africa.

        • Shingo says:

          Sorry, Woodrow, but Israel bombs military targets, not civilian targets.

          Sorry Fred, but Israeli leadesr have admitted otherwise.

          “The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets.”
          Mordecai Gur(Israeli politician and the 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF)

          Of course, it is revealing that you should be referring to civlians as “targets”.

          It isn’t Israel’s fault that its enemies have a tendency to put military targets inside civilian buildings and neighborhoods.

          So you admit they do target civlians, they just lie about their military relevance.

          Even the GCs say that civilians can’t be used to immunize a military target from attack.

          Really? Where does it say that?

        • Shingo says:

          A state of war was not in effect when Hezbollah killed those Israeli soldiers.

          Yes it was. There was a ceasefire in place (which Israel were routinely breaking), and all Hezbollah was break it too. Israel decided it was an act of war. They didn’t have to. There was no need for self defense on their part. Israel was not threatened or udner attack.

          And of course since the Hezbollah jihadis were not legally part of Lebanon’s armed forces, it technically would be a crime for them to do what they did even if the two countries were at war.

          Not at all. As Hostage has explained, the right fo self defense is a human right, not exclusive to states.

          Armed forces of nations aren’t committing crimes when they fight, private groups that breach borders to kill soldiers on the other side have no such legal immunity.

          According to what article ro law Fred? I mean, real legal fisings Fred, bit the ones you make up as you go along? And who has legal immunity anyway?

        • Shingo says:

          It is legal (under international law, and so long as Hezbollah counts as the lawful armed forces of Lebanon), legitimate, and an act of war. That’s how it works. It wasn’t a war crime, but something doesn’t have to be a war crime to be an act of war.

          You’re simply sputing bullshit Fred. You have no idea what you are talking about – you;re just writing down any rubbish thatcomes to your head.

          You can’t suport this claim with any legal case or precedent.

          Sending an armed party across a border means you have just given causus belli, a reason for war, to the other side.

          A causus belli is an excuse to go to war. That is different from acting in self defense. What you have admitted is that Israel seized on this incident as an excuse to go to war. They could just as easily have decided not to.

          They can then legitimately say that you started it when they bomb the hell out of your military.

          No one bombed the hell out of anyone’s military.

          Of course the war was planned by Israel prior to the capture of the soldiers. It’s called “contingency planning”.

          No, it’s called a strategy – to start a war. Israel wanted to settle the score with Hezbollah since 2006. They even allerted Bush and Blair to their plans to do so before this incident.

          As the Winograd Commission report cponcluded, Israel “initatited the war”, not Hezbollah.

        • Hostage says:

          A state of war was not in effect when Hezbollah killed those Israeli soldiers.

          Correction: According to the regulations in Chapter V, “Armistices” attached to Hague IV (1907), a state of war has existed between Lebanon and Israel ever since Ben Gurion declared the 1949 armistice agreements null and void and reasserted a state of belligerency and belligerent claims, e.g.

          Art. 36.

          An armistice suspends military operations by mutual agreement between the belligerent parties. If its duration is not defined, the belligerent parties may resume operations at any time, provided always that the enemy is warned within the time agreed upon, in accordance with the terms of the armistice.

          Ben Gurion’s act violated a number of Chapter VII Security Council resolutions, including number 73 link to un.org

          Israel invaded Lebanon and simply withdrew, but still designates it as an enemy state and refuses to terminate its claims and states of belligerency in accordance with Security Council resolution 242. Lebanon has similarly refused to drop some of its belligerent claims, e.g. Shebaa Farms and prisoners. In fact, we’ve mentioned that Israel was still holding Lebanese civilians as bargaining chips in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN Security Council resolutions on hostage taking and abductions, e.g. link to un.org

          And of course since the Hezbollah jihadis were not legally part of Lebanon’s armed forces, it technically would be a crime for them to do what they did even if the two countries were at war.

          There is no requirement for volunteer, militia groups, or paramilitary groups comprised of inhabitants to be part of the national armed forces. They are only required to carry their weapons openly during each military engagement, and during such time as they are visible to the adversary while engaged in a military deployment preceding the launching of an attack. See Article 44(3) of the 1st Additional Protocol. link to icrc.org

          Israel does not consider that Article 44(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I reflects customary international law, despite the fact that it has been ratified by 172 state parties and that various international criminal tribunals have ruled that it reflects customary practice.

          The Hezbollah attack certainly did violate UN Security Council resolutions, but it’s not a crime to attack military objectives or to take members of the enemy’s armed forces as prisoners. They have a legal status that is different from civilian hostages or civilian abductees.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Shingo
          Big problems with that Gur quote. Like many anti-Israel quotes, it is a fake.

          The quote is an anti-Israel historian’s “summary” of a remark Gur made that said nothing of the sort. You are quoting Ze’ev Schiff, not Gur. What Gur said was “For 30 years, from the War of Independence until today, we have been fighting a population that lives in villages and cities.” A more honest summary is “we fight the terrorists, but they hide in the villages and cites, making civilian deaths inevitable”.

          link to books.google.com

          Israel does not target civilians, they target military targets, some of which happen to be in civilian areas.

          Re:GCs
          4th GC
          Art. 28. The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          In that case, what are you complaining about? If a state of war has existed between Lebanon and Israel over the entire period you mentioned then Israel could have invaded at any time. They didn’t even need the capture or killing of their soldiers as a reason for it.

          Also, holding terrorists and other fighters doesn’t fall under the 4th GC, which concerns civilian populations, it falls under the 3rd GC, covering POWs.

          As for it not being a crime to capture soldiers, it is still justification for an invasion. You don’t get to capture soldiers without consequences. The war crime was murdering them after they captured them.

        • Shingo says:

          Big problems with that Gur quote. Like many anti-Israel quotes, it is a fake.

          No it’s not Fred. Ze’ev Schiff was the Haaretz reporter who cited Gur during an interview.

          First of all, the statement was in relation to Lebanon, not the war of independence.

          “In South Lebanon we struck the civilian population consciously, because they deserved it…the importance of Gur’s remarks is the admission that the Israeli Army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously…the Army, he said, has never distinguished civilian [from military] targets…[but] purposely attacked civilian targets even when Israeli settlements had not been struck.”
          — Israeli military analyst, Ze’ev Schiff (Haaretz, May 15, 1978).

          The admissionthat Israel does target civlians is also supported byh Abba Eban’s onw statement

          “There was a rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that affected populations would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities, satisfying Israel’s goals.”

          Article 28 relates to the use of human shields, something Israel does. This means that civlians cannot be moved to a location or kept there to make it immune from attack. That does not howver allow any party to atatck a civlian area just because they believe a possibel target resides there.

          The Dahita Doctrine is hwover a blatant admission that Israel has no reservations about deliberately targets civilians and civlian infrastructure, as a means of inducing suffering for the civilian population, thereby establishing deterrence (ie. collective punishment).

          The Dahita Doctrine has no legitimate objective other than to target civlians in the hope that this will deter them from resisting Israeli occupation.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Yes, he cited him, but did not quote him as saying that. Go follow the link I provided. The quote was the reporter’s words, not Gur’s. As even your new quote shows. One set of quotes around Ze’ev’s words, not Ze’ev quoting Gur.

          As for the Abba Eban “quote”. You’ve come up with too many fake quotes in the past to be believed without providing a source by anyone but an anti-Semite.

          As to article 28, the question of how important the military target is compared to the human shields who will be killed when the military target is attacked come into play. The war crime is the Palestinians’ for using civilians as human shields, not Israel’s for attacking legitimate military targets.

          All the Dahita doctrine says is that if the enemy attacks the attackers will be considered legitimate military targets, even if they attack from civilian areas.

          Really it’s the only way of dealing with war criminals like the Palestinians, who attack from behind human shields.

        • Hostage says:

          In that case, what are you complaining about? If a state of war has existed between Lebanon and Israel over the entire period you mentioned then Israel could have invaded at any time. They didn’t even need the capture or killing of their soldiers as a reason for it.

          Also, holding terrorists and other fighters doesn’t fall under the 4th GC, which concerns civilian populations, it falls under the 3rd GC, covering POWs.

          I’m not complaining, that’s what United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is for. You were the one talking about a casus belli. Israel has never treated any suspected terrorists or fighters as POWs or as internationally protected persons according to the rules of either convention. Israel has bombed UNIFIL. In a more perfect world, that would be considered a casus belli.

        • Shingo says:

          Yes, he cited him, but did not quote him as saying that. Go follow the link I provided. The quote was the reporter’s words, not Gur’s. As even your new quote shows. One set of quotes around Ze’ev’s words, not Ze’ev quoting Gur.

          I did follow your link. I knwo the source of these quotes well. Apparently you have never heard of Noam Chomsky who you strangely referred to as anti-Israel historian .

          Yes, thew quotes are real. Chomsky is citing Ze’ev quoting Gur. It’s nto that difficult, even for a intellectually backward person like you.

          You’ve come up with too many fake quotes in the past to be believed without providing a source by anyone but an anti-Semite.

          In other words, you fond the quote and haven’t come up with a response to it.

          As to article 28, the question of how important the military target is compared to the human shields who will be killed when the military target is attacked come into play.

          No, the fact that humans are in the area does not automatically make them human shields. As the articel stipulates, there has to be a concerted effrot on the part of the enemy to use human shields or move civlians into the area to act as human shields. It’s not enough to argue that the presence of civlians makes them human shields.

          The war crime is the Palestinians’ for using civilians as human shields, not Israel’s for attacking legitimate military targets.

          The IDF has repeatedly argued against and violated an Israeli Supreme Court ruling banning the use of human shields, so Israel violates war crimes as a matter of policy. Israel claimed that Hezbollah were using human shields in Lebanon and it was debunked. They also made the same claim in Gaza during Cast Lead, but there was no evidence of it.

          All the Dahita doctrine says is that if the enemy attacks the attackers will be considered legitimate military targets, even if they attack from civilian areas.

          No, the Dahiya doctrine pertains to asymmetric warfare in an urban setting in which the the army deliberately targets civilian infrastructure, as a means of inducing suffering for the civilian population, thereby establishing deterrence.

          General Gadi Eizenkot, who came up with it stated that ” Harming the population is the only means of restraining Nasrallah.”
          link to en.wikipedia.org

          Really it’s the only way of dealing with war criminals like the Palestinians, who attack from behind human shields.

          Silyl boy. The Dahiya doctrine was formulated in Lebanon.

        • Hostage says:

          As for the Abba Eban “quote”. You’ve come up with too many fake quotes in the past to be believed without providing a source by anyone but an anti-Semite.

          It comes from an exchange published in the Jerusalem Post. Here you go:

          A small glimpse into the reality was given by Prime Minister Menahem Begin in a letter published in the Israeli press in August 1981, written in response to what he regarded as hypocritical criticism of the Israeli bombing of Beirut, which killed hundreds of civilians Begin offered a “partial list” of military attacks on Arab civilians under the Labor governments, which included over 30 separate episodes that left many civilians dead. He concluded that “under the Alignment government, there were regular retaliatory actions against civilian Arab populations; the air force operated against them; the damage was directed against such structures as the canal, bridges and transport.” “The picture that emerges,” former UN Ambassador and Foreign Minister Abba Eban wrote in response, “is of an Israel wantonly inflicting every possible measure of death and anguish on civilian populations in a mood reminiscent of regimes which neither Mr. Begin nor I would dare to mention by name.”

          — Prof Edward S. Herman, “The Real Terror Network”, South End Press, 1999, page 77. link to amazon.com

          Here is another:

          Turning to the second major example of the pre-Reagan period, in southern Lebanon from the early 1970s the population was held hostage with the “rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that affected populations would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities” and acceptance of Israeli arrangements for the region (Abba Eban, commenting on Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s account of atrocities in Lebanon committed under the Labor government in the style “of regimes which neither Mr. Begin nor I would dare to mention by name,” Eban observed, recognizing the accuracy of the account).31*

          *31 Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 1981; see Fateful Triangle, chapter 5, sections 1, 3.4, for further quotes, background, and description.

          “Necessary Illusions” Copyright © 1989 by Prof Noam Chomsky, Appendix V, Segment 5/33 link to books.zcommunications.org

        • Fredblogs says:

          Well, as to protected persons, that only applies to occupied territories, which Lebanon is not currently. As to POWs, that applies to those who follow the laws of war, bear arms openly, fight with insignia of rank and if not in uniforms then at least in ways that visually distinguish them from civilians. Terrorists do not get protections as POWs. No more than spies and saboteurs did in WWII when they tended to get strung up after interrogation, when captured.

          UNIFIL provides cover for terrorist attacks on Israel. They get bombed by accident when Israel fires back at the terrorists.

        • Hostage says:

          Well, as to protected persons, that only applies to occupied territories, which Lebanon is not currently.

          I cited a UN Security Council resolution which condemned both sides for taking hostages and abducting civilians during the occupation of Lebanon by Israel. Hezbollah was complaining that some of those persons were still being held in Israeli prisons in 2006.

          As to POWs, that applies to those who follow the laws of war, bear arms openly, fight with insignia of rank and if not in uniforms then at least in ways that visually distinguish them from civilians.

          I already cited the customary law reflected in the 1st Additional protocol. The Palestinian militias wear uniforms and carry arms openly, but Israel refuses to treat them as POWS or protected civilians at times when they are not engaged in hostilities.

          Terrorists do not get protections as POWs.

          You can label prisoners as war criminals, if they’ve actually attacked civilians in violation of the laws and customs of war. But you can’t simply declare a belligerent state’s militia to be terrorists under the rules of the Third Geneva Convention.

          UNIFIL provides cover for terrorist attacks on Israel. They get bombed by accident when Israel fires back at the terrorists.

          That’s the usual hasbara nonsense. Israel demanded that UNIFIL share its military intelligence with the IDF. That would have required the UN to spy on one party to the conflict on behalf of an other party to the conflict.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Shingo
          I’m refering to Ze’ev Schiff as the anti-Israel historian. Chomsky is the anti-Israel linguist. Chomsky is not citing Schiff quoting Gur. Chomsky is citing Schiff “summarizing” what Gur said, not quoting him. If by “summarizing” Schiff meant “pulling garbage out of a hat and falsely calling it a summary of what Gur said”. Nobody in this chain of citations except you mistook this for a quote from Gur or ever claimed it was a quote from Gur.

          As to article 28, it says nothing about civilians having been moved to cover a military target. only that their presence does not render a military target immune.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          Thank you for the source. That is them politicking against the Labor government. Politics is rife with exaggeration, hyperbole, and outright lies.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          Have you got a cite in the 3rd GC that says that people who attack without openly bearing arms and without insignia get POW treatment?

          1st Additional protocol is rejected by the US and by Israel for exactly the reason that it does try to tie the hands of the good guys and give terrorists rights that are reserved in the 3rd GC for legitimate military forces.

          “Another provision would grant combatant status to irregular forces even if they do not satisfy the traditional requirements to distinguish themselves from the civilian population and otherwise comply with the laws of war. This would endanger civilians among whom terrorists and other irregulars attempt to conceal themselves. ”

          link to reagan.utexas.edu

          Somehow, I can’t see Palestinian suicide bombers walking across the border openly displaying their weapons and wearing a uniform. They wouldn’t get very far. Israel allows the Palestinian terrorists to get visits from the Red Cross, and grants them the rights that should rightfully only go to real soldiers. They aren’t obligated to, by any treaty Israel is party to, but they do. In what way do you claim they don’t treat them as POWs?

        • Shingo says:

          I’m refering to Ze’ev Schiff as the anti-Israel historian.

          Schiff was a military correspondent snf anslyst for Haaretz in Israsel you dufus – not a historian. And yes, Chomsky was citing Schiff quoting Gur. The statement that “we struck the civilian population consciously, because they deserved it” were not Schiff’s words, nor woould they have made sense if they were. The “we” referred to the IDF, which Schiff was not a part of.

          Chomsky refers to “the importance of Gur’s remarks” not Schiff’s. So clearly, there was no mistaking that this was a quote from Gur.

          As to article 28, it says nothing about civilians having been moved to cover a military target

          Of course it does.

          Additional Protocol I
          Article 51(7) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
          The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

          link to icrc.org

        • Shingo says:

          That is them politicking against the Labor government. Politics is rife with exaggeration, hyperbole, and outright lies.

          When you’re in a hole Fred, it;’s best to stop digging. These remarks were made by the ISraeli foreign minister.

        • Shmuel says:

          I’m refering to Ze’ev Schiff as the anti-Israel historian.

          You obviously have no idea who Ze’ev Schiff was. Not only was he the military correspondent of Ha’aretz; he was the voice of the Israeli “defence establishment” in the media. You might as well call the IDF general staff “anti-Israel”.

        • ColinWright says:

          Fredblogs says:“I’m refering to Ze’ev Schiff as the anti-Israel historian. Chomsky is the anti-Israel linguist. “

          Aside from the problems that have already been noted, wouldn’t ‘anti-Israel historian’ and ‘anti-Israel linguist’ both be redundant expressions?

          After all, a ‘pro-Israel historian’ is obviously an oxymoron, and I imagine a ‘pro-Israel linguist’ would be as well — although I suppose a linguist who sought falsity might find much to admire in Israeli discourse.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Shingo
          Military analist for Haaretz or not, Schiff is also a historian. He wrote “A History of the Israeli Army: 1874 to the Present”. The statement “we struck the civilian population…” was Schiff’s summary of Gur, not a quote from Gur. The “we” referred to Israel, not the IDF. The same kind of “we” as in “we won WWII”, from people who weren’t even born at the time. Chomski even says “Schiff summarizes Gur” just before Chmski quotes Schiff’s _summary_ of what Gur said. The only actual quote from Gur in that piece is “For 30 years, from the War of Independence until today, we have been fighting a population that lives in villages and cities.”

          Since Chomski outright says that Schiff is summarizing Gur, I’m not sure why you can’t understand that Schiff is summarizing Gur.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Shingo
          The remarks were made about the actions of an opposition former government in response to criticism from the out of power opposition, not about the present actions of the government. Might as well blame the U.S. government for whatever lies Romney makes up about what Obama is doing.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Shmuel
          You have a point, I was just taking his conversion of

          “For 30 years, from the War of Independence until today, we have been fighting a population that lives in villages and cities.” -Gur to “we struck the civilian population…” -Schiff as evidence of his anti-Israel attitude. I suppose he could have just gone anti-Israel for that one blatant mis- (well since he didn’t claim it was a quote we can’t call it a misquote) mis-summary. Well, that and he worked for Ha’aretz.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Shingo
          Additional protocol is irrelevant since Israel isn’t a signatory and your bolded sentence does not in any case override the previous sentence that:

          The presence… of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations.

          In fact, what you cited it just makes it even clearer that there are two ideas in operation here. First that using human shields is forbidden, and second that if you try to use people as human shields, the other side can bomb anyway.

          It doesn’t matter whether Mohammed goes to the mountain or the mountain comes to Mohammed. That is, whether you take the civilians to where the weapons are or cache your weapons in civilian buildings, the presence of the civilians, moved or not, doesn’t render a military target immune from attack.

        • Shingo says:

          The statement “we struck the civilian population…” was Schiff’s summary of Gur, not a quote from Gur.

          Of course it was a quote. The statement that “we struck the civilian populations becasue they deserved it”, would not have been Schiff’s words but Gur’s because it would have been out of character and unprofessional for a journalist to make that determination.

          The fact is that even if he was summarizing Gur and not quoting him directly, it still amounts to a blatant admission that Israel does target civilians.

          Chomski even says “Schiff summarizes Gur” just before Chmski quotes Schiff’s _summary_ of what Gur said.

          Summarizes what Gur says in Gur’s own words. That does not refute that Schiss was quoting Gur, but truncating his quotes.

          And again, summary or not, this is a blatant admission that Israel targets civlians. Even the Eban quote, which you simply put down to politics, is consistent with this state policy.

        • Shingo says:

          The remarks were made about the actions of an opposition former government in response to criticism from the out of power opposition, not about the present actions of the government.

          He makes no distinction between former actions and current policy.

          Might as well blame the U.S. government for whatever lies Romney makes up about what Obama is doing.

          No, becasue Romney and never led the country, is not in power nor has he ever been.

        • Shingo says:

          Schiff as evidence of his anti-Israel attitude.

          Who’s to say that Schiff isn’t proud of the fact Israel attacks civlians as a matter fo policy?

          I suppose he could have just gone anti-Israel for that one blatant mis- (well since he didn’t claim it was a quote we can’t call it a misquote) mis-summary. Well, that and he worked for Ha’aretz.

          Ha’aretz is an Israeli paper. To suggest Ha’aretz is anti ISraelis is like saing Ha’aretz is anti Ha’aretz.

        • Hostage says:

          That is them politicking against the Labor government. Politics is rife with exaggeration, hyperbole, and outright lies. . . . These remarks were made by the ISraeli foreign minister.

          Bear in mind that Eban was responding to Prime Minister Menachim Begin’s 1981 article in the JPost. So it was the Prime Minister himself who was discussing his government’s continuation of a general policy of conducting retaliatory strikes against civilian objectives that existed under previous governments, including the Alignment-led Government of National Unity that Begin had joined in 1967.

        • Shingo says:

          Additional protocol is irrelevant since Israel isn’t a signatory and your bolded sentence does not in any case override the previous sentence that:

          Israel is bound by the protocol, whether they like it or not, which is why Israel argued that the laws fo war should be changed after they tartgetted civlians during Cast Lead.

          In fact, what you cited it just makes it even clearer that there are two ideas in operation here. First that using human shields is forbidden, and second that if you try to use people as human shields, the other side can bomb anyway.

          So we both agree that:

          a. Israel does use civlians as human shields – ie. settlers are all human shiekds since they are being moved into combat zones
          b. that Israel targets civilians.

          Glad you came around.

        • Hostage says:

          Have you got a cite in the 3rd GC that says that people who attack without openly bearing arms and without insignia get POW treatment?

          Surely, Article 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
          (1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

          Article 4 A.( 2) et seq adds additional categories of POWs, but does not modify Article 4 A. (1).

        • Hostage says:

          1st Additional protocol is rejected by the US and by Israel for exactly the reason that it does try to tie the hands of the good guys and give terrorists rights that are reserved in the 3rd GC for legitimate military forces. . . . Somehow, I can’t see Palestinian suicide bombers walking across the border openly displaying their weapons and wearing a uniform.

          Fred Common Article 3 simply and explicitly requires signatories to afford prisoners all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. The bottom line is that Israel and the United States choose not to obey the fundamental laws recognized by civilized people.

          You’re constantly misstating facts and desperately trying to re-frame the question after you’ve lost the original argument. We were talking about the fact that Israel takes Lebanese or Palestinian civilians hostage or abducts them for use as bargaining chips. That’s something that the government of Israel and the Courts in Israel have readily admitted in a number of landmark cases. That’s illegal whether you transfer them across an international border or international line of demarcation in violation Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention or not.

          Israel has routinely imprisoned up to 10,000 Palestinians at a time. The overwhelming majority of cases don’t involve suicide bombers or armed attacks. Thousands of those prisoners were illegally transferred to prisons outside the occupied territories. The Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected a petition to order the State to refrain from holding Palestinian prisoners and detainees in facilities located in Israeli territory within the Green Line. See HCJ Rejects Petition against Holding Detained Palestinians in Israeli Territory [HCJ 2690/09] [28.3.2010] link to idi.org.il
          The HCJ did not question the customary status of the prohibition in Article 49(6) of the Geneva Convention, it simply held that Israeli national legislation overrides the provisions of international conventions to which Israel is party, including conventions that codify customary norms of international law and war crimes.

          Nothing you’ve linked to says that the United States rejects Additional Protocol I or II for the purposes of the treatment of prisoners. In fact, the Reagan Administration transmittal for Protocol II that you cited is both senescent and inapplicable in that respect. It specifically noted that the Administration was working with our allies to develop appropriate methods for incorporating the positive provisions of Protocol I into the rules that govern our military operations, and as customary international law. That of course was a ludicrous statement, since the US actually rejects the jurisprudence of the ICJ, the ICTY, the ICTR and the pronouncements of international human rights treaty bodies on the applicability of codifications of customary human rights to armed conflicts. The fundamental non-derogable human rights and laws of war reflected in the Protocols are also reflected in the lengthy list of punishable offenses of customary international law enumerated in the Rome Statute of the ICC.

          In any event the President’s fact sheet on Guantánamo and Detainee Policy stated that the US applies Protocol II and that Article 75 of Additional Protocol I, which sets forth fundamental guarantees for persons in the hands of opposing forces in an international armed conflict, is consistent with our current policies and practice and is one that the United States has historically supported. link to whitehouse.gov

          The Israeli High Court accepts that it’s illegal to take hostages or abduct enemy civilians for use as bargaining chips. It also accepts that prolonged illegal imprisonment is a form of mental torture, and that torture is prohibited by customary norms reflected in the 1st Additional Protocol. See Public Committee against Torture in Israel v. Government of Israel, HCJ 769/02 at ¶ 20 (11 December 2005).

          The MFA advises that

          In particular, Israel’s High Court of Justice has confirmed that in the ongoing armed conflict with Palestinian terrorist organisations, including Hamas, Israel must adhere to the rules and principles in (a) the Fourth Geneva Convention,(9) (b) the Regulations annexed to the Fourth Hague Convention (which reflect customary international law), and (c) the customary international law principles reflected in certain provisions of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions on 1949.(10) Israel is not a party to the Additional Protocol I, but accepts that some of its provisions accurately reflect customary international law

          – See Terrorism obstacles to peace, Hamas war against Israel, Operation in Gaza, Factual and legal aspects, Applicable legal framework, 5 Aug 2009 at the MFA website: link to mfa.gov.il

        • Hostage says:

          The remarks were made about the actions of an opposition former government in response to criticism from the out of power opposition, not about the present actions of the government. Might as well blame the U.S. government for whatever lies Romney makes up about what Obama is doing.

          You can’t employ that excuse in the cases of past “reprisals” conducted against civilian objectives when they are listed by the sitting Prime Minister to justify his own continuing policy of reprisals against civilians. I’ve lost count of the number of times that the official IDF spokesperson has labeled an attack a “reprisal”. That practice has been ipso jure illegal and criminal for decades.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Nope. Israel is not bound by any treaty that they haven’t ratified. Some people think that some parts of the treaty are customary law, that doesn’t make it binding, it just gives them an excuse to whine. The only exception being the Israeli High Court, which gets to decide these matters for Israel.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage. When Israel bombs Hamas terrorists in response to terrorist attacks on Israel, that’s a reprisal. Nothing in the definition of “reprisal” that means it is an attack on civilians.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          No, it takes Lebanese and Palestinian terrorists prisoner, not civilians and not hostage.

        • Shingo says:

          When Israel bombs Hamas terrorists in response to terrorist attacks on Israel, that’s a reprisal. Nothing in the definition of “reprisal” that means it is an attack on civilians.

          And the rest of the times, it attacks civlians. Of course, we’ve already established that “reprisals” are when Israel provokes Hamas with an atatck and uses the intended response to justify further attacks.

        • Shingo says:

          Some people think that some parts of the treaty are customary law, that doesn’t make it binding, it just gives them an excuse to whine.

          I love how these fascists Hasbrats think they can dismiss international law just with the flick of a wand.

          The only exception being the Israeli High Court, which gets to decide these matters for Israel.

          The IDF routinely violated the rulings of the Israeli High Court.

        • Hostage says:

          @Hostage No, it takes Lebanese and Palestinian terrorists prisoner, not civilians and not hostage.

          Fred we all know that they abducted civilians and used them for bargaining chips for a couple of decades, because the government and Supreme Court openly defended the practice, until 2000. Since then the Supreme Court has really only required that the government employ a fig leaf when it continues to employ the practice:

          Israel Court Bars ‘Bargaining Chip’ Detentions
          Mideast: Decision in case of Lebanese captives reverses 1997 ruling acknowledging practice aimed at securing release of missing soldiers.
          April 13, 2000
          JERUSALEM — In a landmark decision, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state cannot continue to hold a group of Lebanese detainees as “bargaining chips” to secure the freedom of missing or captured Israeli soldiers.

          The decision reversed a ruling by the court in 1997 that had provided the first official admission of the practice. The latest ruling was hailed by human rights activists and legal experts here as marking an end to detentions that many have denounced as “legalized hostage-taking,” but it was greeted with disappointment by relatives of the missing Israeli soldiers.

          –http://articles.latimes.com/2000/apr/13/news/mn-19123

          Of course, we know that the government ignores the Supreme Court rulings on targeting killings, the neighbor policy, and the use of bargaining chips, because they publicly argue in favor of the continued use of those illegal practices. The bottom line is that these Lebanese and Palestinians are still just as dead, illegally coerced, or illegally imprisoned, it just takes a couple of months for the government to invent an excuse:

          AG refuses to ok use of Hamas officials as ‘bargaining chips’ G8: IDF detention of 64 lawmakers raises ‘concerns’; Israel warns not even Haniyeh immune from detention
          Jun.29, 2006
          Attorney General Menachem Mazuz refused a request by the Shin Bet security service and the government to place dozens of senior Hamas officials under administrative detention or hold them as “bargaining chips” under the Unlawful Combatants Law.

          Mazuz insisted that the arrests be carried out under ordinary criminal warrants that would require legal proceedings against the Hamas officials under the Prevention of Terror Ordinance. They will probably be charged with membership in or leadership of a terrorist organization.

          link to haaretz.com

        • Hostage says:

          Nope. Israel is not bound by any treaty that they haven’t ratified. Some people think that some parts of the treaty are customary law, that doesn’t make it binding, it just gives them an excuse to whine. The only exception being the Israeli High Court, which gets to decide these matters for Israel.

          First of all, there are 121 countries that have agreed that they will prosecute Israel, or any other state, for the violations of customary international law contained in the Rome Statute when those offenses are committed on the territory of another state. The international community of states and the Courts decide what the customary law says, not individual states. Palestine is current going through the process of establishing its standing to file a complaint for crimes committed on its territory since July 2002.

          Secondly, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that customary law is automatically incorporated in the domestic law of Israel, but in many cases it has allowed the Knesset to overrule non-derogable norms of international law with specific legislation. That simply means the Judges and MKs are individually, criminally, responsible. But that is nothing new or surprising. The Courts and the Knesset have been engaged in a joint criminal enterprise over settlements and apartheid for many decades.

        • Hostage says:

          @Hostage. When Israel bombs Hamas terrorists in response to terrorist attacks on Israel, that’s a reprisal. Nothing in the definition of “reprisal” that means it is an attack on civilians.

          Fred we know for a fact that Israel has carried out reprisals against Palestinians for the wrongful acts committed by others in the case of the Eilat attacks. They’ve also used punitive home demolitions as reprisals in the past against real or perceived criminal or terrorist activities using the mandate era Defense Emergency Regulation and “military necessity” as justification. See the discussion in Bringing Down The House: Israeli Demolitions in the Occupied West Bank, at the Foreign Policy Journal link to foreignpolicyjournal.com

          Reprisals were by definition otherwise illegal acts committed in response to some alleged act by an enemy for the limited purpose of securing future compliance with the laws and customs of war. They were outlawed by Common Article 3 and 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

          The sinking of the Lusitania was an example:

          In the conduct of reprisals it is admitted that
          neutral lives should not be imperiled, and the
          destruction of the Lusitania, in so far as it
          endangered neutral lives, was therefore unjustifiable.
          Another summary, that of the New York
          ” Times,” is as follows :
          First, Germany, while considering reprisals
          against an enemy legal and knowing that the
          United States Government regards reprisals as
          illegal, admits that the attack upon the Lusitania
          was an act of retaliation that was not justifiable
          in so far as it involved the lives of neutrak,
          and also assumes liability for such loss of neutral
          lives.

          link to unz.org

          During the trials of the WWII War Criminals, the opinion of Hersh Lauterpacht from Oppenheim’s International Law, 6th and 8th Editions was cited to define reprisals and to determine when reprisals against civilians, towns, and villages were customarily authorized in accordance with Article 50 of the Hague Convention (see pages 3 & 4)

          Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention states:

          No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
          Pillage is prohibited.
          Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

          Article 53 states:

          Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.

          Nowadays you can’t drop a 2,000 pound bomb on a multiple family dwelling to kill a civilian that you’ve merely accused or suspected of committing a crime without first obtaining a sentence from a regularly constituted court.

    • Shingo says:

      I love how Hezbollah commits an act of war by capturing Israeli troops and then that is a “pretext” for an invasion rather than the reason for the invasion.

      I love how these are only acts fo war whern they are perpetrated against Israel, but when Israel does it, it is an act of se,lf defense or mainitinig security.

      • Fredblogs says:

        Oh, no, it is an act of war when Israel does the same thing. Make no mistake. It may also be self-defense but it is still an act of war. Fortunately, countries can choose to ignore acts of war or handle them through diplomacy, if they want to.

        • Shingo says:

          Make no mistake. It may also be self-defense but it is still an act of war.

          That’s a contradictory argument, so you are mistaken. It’s typical of you to make stuff up like that.

          Fortunately, countries can choose to ignore acts of war or handle them through diplomacy, if they want to.

          Unfortunately, Israel expects everyone else to handle them through diplomacy, but choses to respond with violence when it finds itself on the receiving end.

        • Fredblogs says:

          It’s not a contradictory argument. Things that are acts of war don’t stop being acts of war just because someone else started it. The bombings of German munitions factories in WWII were acts of war, even though they were done in self defense of Britain and the other Allies.

        • Shingo says:

          Things that are acts of war don’t stop being acts of war just because someone else started it.

          No, acts of wr are indentified as such for being inciting events.

        • Hostage says:

          It’s not a contradictory argument.

          Yes it is. Once a war is in progress, the rules of jus in bello apply without prejudice to questions of how or why the war began. Additional justifications for acts of war, casus belli, under the rules of jus ad bellum are irrelevant, because no additional acts are legally required before either side can conduct further offensive operations.

        • Fredblogs says:

          No, acts of war are not limited to inciting events. It is just that that is the main time when they are significant. Since people just expect that once a war is on, there will be constant acts of war by both sides.

        • Hostage says:

          No, acts of war are not limited to inciting events. It is just that that is the main time when they are significant. Since people just expect that once a war is on, there will be constant acts of war by both sides.

          In the 2005 targeted killings case, the Israeli Supreme Court accepted the government’s position that “a continuous state of armed conflict has existed between Israel and the Palestinian militias operating in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza since the first intifada.” The High Court said that the entire area is part and parcel of an armed conflict. See the subsection of the ruling under the heading “The General Normative Framework, A. International Armed Conflict”

          The government of Israel also says that the rights that accrue to humans do not accrue to Palestinians because they live in a part of a perpetual armed conflict. They also claim that the Occupied Palestinian Territories are not a part of Israel’s sovereign territory and jurisdiction. See CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, para 8 or E/1990/6/Add.32, para 6-7

          dimadok and Bing Bong have different ideas about that sovereign jurisdiction stuff. But it sounds like a slam dunk case of apartheid and persecution to me.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          re:Looks like slam dunk
          Then you aren’t paying attention to the facts. Apartheid applies when it is your own citizens being denied rights because of race, not when an occupied enemy is denied rights because of his enmity. The U.S. doesn’t let the people of Afghanistan vote in our elections. By your definition that is apartheid.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Oh, I see, Fredo. So the Afrikaners problem was that they didn’t simply pass a law saying that non-whites weren’t “citizens”. Had they done that, then you would be fine with it?

        • Hostage says:

          Then you aren’t paying attention to the facts. Apartheid applies when it is your own citizens being denied rights because of race, not when an occupied enemy is denied rights because of his enmity.

          Fred that is a rule of hasbara, not a rule of law. The very first case of apartheid that was referred to the International Court of Justice involved an illegal regime imposed upon all of the citizens of the State of Namibia by the neighboring government of South Africa in order to deny them self-determination and independence. They used the same lame-assed excuse about the occupation and the claimed the members of SWAPO were their enemies. See:
          *S/RES/566 link to un.org
          *Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970) link to icj-cij.org

          The ICJ received a similar complaint about continued Israeli occupation, colonialism, and apartheid in 2003. It’s findings of fact found that Israel was systematically violating the human rights of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with the notable exception of the citizens of Israel. It applied the same test that it used in the Namibia case, and advised that Israel was violating its obligations under the UN Charter to respect the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.

          The Goldstone Fact Finding Mission cited those ICJ findings of fact and confirmed that:

          Despite prohibitions under international humanitarian law (IHL), Israel has applied its domestic laws throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967. . . . .[T]he application of Israeli domestic laws has resulted in institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to the benefit of Jewish settlers, both Israeli citizens and others. Exclusive benefits reserved for Jews derive from the two-tiered civil status under Israel’s domestic legal regime based on a “Jewish nationality,” which entitles “persons of Jewish race or descendency” to superior rights and privileges, particularly in land use, housing, development, immigration and access to natural resources, as affirmed in key legislation. Administrative procedures qualify indigenous inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as “alien persons” and, thus, prohibited from building on, or renting, large portions of land designated by the Government of Israel as “State land” (para 206). . . . . From the facts available to it, the Mission believes that in the movement and access policy there has been a violation of the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race or national origin (para 1548).

        • Fredblogs says:

          It’s not a question of a law, it is a question of the facts. The fact is the Palestinians are an enemy people, not citizens of Israel.

        • ColinWright says:

          Fredblogs: ‘It’s not a question of a law, it is a question of the facts. The fact is the Palestinians are an enemy people, not citizens of Israel.’

          Well now…that’s where you’re wrong. Normally, when nations annex territory, they regard the newly acquired subjects as citizens, or at least as potential citizens (see the French rationalizations concerning Algerians.) Take the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine. When they’re in Germany, they’re German citizens. The territory reverts to France, they become French citizens. We annex Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans become US Citizens. Etc.

          If you don’t want the people to become citizens, the thing to do is to not conquer the territory. So withdraw.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “It’s not a question of a law, it is a question of the facts. The fact is the Palestinians are an enemy people, not citizens of Israel.”

          Oh, I see, so the Afrikaners should have just held the policy that the blacks ween’t merely non-citizens, but were an enemy people. Then that would have made everything peach-kean, eh, Fredo? (Hmmm… trying to destroy someone you deem “an enemy people” by making them “non-citizens”… I seem to remember an Austrian corporal trying that routine a couple years ago…)

        • Hostage says:

          It’s not a question of a law, it is a question of the facts.

          That’s incorrect, the crime of apartheid is a question of law. In the Namibia case, the ICJ used the UN Charter as a legal test. It determined that South Africa was in violation of the purposes and principles of the UN Organization contained in Article 1 of the Charter, namely the principle of self-determination of peoples.

          Remember that preemptive attack in 1967. You can’t invade another territory and declare the indigenous people there non-citizens, a security threat, and deny their right of self-determination because they are now your “enemies”. The Court cited Article 25(2)(b) of the Declaration Regarding Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts which precludes a state from invoking necessity to preclude the wrongfulness of an act when it has created the situation or contributed to the situation of necessity. link to untreaty.un.org

          The submissions of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, et al in the Wall case cited the list of constituent acts of the crime of apartheid from the suppression convention and the test used by the Court in the Namibia case. The Court’s findings of facts affirmed those individual violations of the UN Charter and the corresponding rights that were being violated from the non-derogable ones in the ICCPR and ICESCR (the International Bill of Rights). So it’s both a matter of law and the facts.

        • Hostage says:

          Oh, I see, so the Afrikaners should have just held the policy that the blacks weren’t merely non-citizens, but were an enemy people.

          That’s a moot point, since that’s exactly what the Afrikaners did in the case of the Namibians and SWAPO.

    • Yopu got it wrong . Israel abducted leabnses farmers and israel killed Gazan family before 19th June 2006 .Lebanese and gazan responded.
      Check counterpunch

    • A perilous excursion into the distant past, starting seven whole weeks ago
      Hezbollah, Hamas and Israel: Everything You Need To Know
      by ALEXANDER COCKBURN

      As the tv networks give unlimited airtime to Israel’s apologists, the message rolls out that no nation, least of all Israel, can permit bombardment or armed incursion across its borders without retaliation.

      The guiding rule in this tsunami of drivel is that the viewers should be denied the slightest access to any historical context, or indeed to anything that happened prior to June 28, which was when the capture of an Israeli soldier and the killing of two others by Hamas hit the headlines, followed soon thereafter by an attack by a unit of Hezbollah’s fighters.

      Memory is supposed to stop in its tracks at June 28, 2006.

      Let’s go on a brief excursion into pre-history. I’m talking about June 20, 2006, when Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.

      Back we go again to June 13, 2006. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in another attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.

      Now we’re really in the dark ages, reaching far, far back to June 9, 2006, when Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians and injuring 32.

      That’s just a brief trip down Memory Lane, and we trip over the bodies of twenty dead and forty-seven wounded, all of them Palestinians, most of them women and children.

      • Fredblogs says:

        First, it was either the killing of 6 soldiers and the stealing of two of their bodies, or the killing of 4 soldiers, the capture and subsequent cold blooded murder of two more. Not the killing of two and capturing of one. Last time I checked, Gaza City was not part of Lebanon. So none of Hezbollah’s business. Similarly, the other incidents he mentions have nothing to do with Hezbollah.

        • Hostage says:

          Last time I checked, Gaza City was not part of Lebanon. So none of Hezbollah’s business.

          The same logic would apply to Sderot and the “special relationship with Israel”, which is not part of the USA. Although it’s none of our business, the Republicans and Democrats always include Israel in their party platforms. For that matter, the anti-Sharia planks in many of the state party platforms read a lot like counterpoints to Hezbollah’s 1985 Manifesto against Zionist colonialism and the US imperialism, except of course that there is no one pursuing pro-Sharia agendas in most US neighborhoods.

        • Roya says:

          Last time I checked, Gaza City was not part of Lebanon. So none of Hezbollah’s business.

          Funny. Last time I checked, Bethlehem was not part of Israel. So none of Israel’s business. Maybe someone should let Bibi darling know, since Israel’s been occupying Jesus’s birthplace for 45 years (WWJT?)!!! So really, Fredo, Israel has set the rules, and the rules are that there are no rules. So no whining about what Hezbollah or Hamas or whoever did or didn’t do.

        • Shingo says:

          First, it was either the killing of 6 soldiers and the stealing of two of their bodies, or the killing of 4 soldiers, the capture and subsequent cold blooded murder of two more.

          Notjhign was stolen, they were captured.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          Partly right, you may notice that the USA hasn’t attacked Gaza.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Shingo
          Sorry, stealing corpses isn’t covered under “military acts”. If they died there, stealing their bodies was a war crime. If they were captured alive and subsequently murdered, that was a war crime.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Roya
          If Hezbollah wants to play by no rules then they have no cause to complain when Israel invades. The Palestinians are at war with Israel and refuse to make peace, that is what justifies Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

        • Shingo says:

          If Hezbollah wants to play by no rules then they have no cause to complain when Israel invades.

          The rules were already established. There had been prisoner exchnges in the past, and there was no reason to believe that such an exchange woudln’t take place again.

          he Palestinians are at war with Israel and refuse to make peace, that is what justifies Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

          False. In 2008, there was a ceasefire in palce and ISrael broke it becasur they didn’t want to make peace. The ceasefire was set to expire and in the eyes of the Israelil leadrership, this posed a danger because reneweing it woudl also mean movign forward in establishign a more permant peace. Israel didn’t want peace so they chose war.

        • Shingo says:

          Partly right, you may notice that the USA hasn’t attacked Gaza.

          They have inavertently by being enablers and providing all the hardware and diplomatic cover to do so.

        • Shingo says:

          Sorry, stealing corpses isn’t covered under “military acts”.

          No coprses were stolen. The captured soliders died as a result of teh skirmish. Hezbollah probablyh didn;’t have time to determine if the captives were still alive or not.

          If they died there, stealing their bodies was a war crime.

          But the bodies were not stolen. Soliders were captured and died as a result fo teh attack. It was later determined that they died as a result.

          If they were captured alive and subsequently murdered, that was a war crime.

          There is no evidence this s whathappened, though Israel are known to do this – especialyl when they are harvesting body parts.

        • Hostage says:

          @Hostage . . . Partly right, you may notice that the USA hasn’t attacked Gaza.

          No but it has invaded Lebanon twice. FYI the General Assembly has gone into emergency special sessions and condemned the USA on several occasions over improper use of its veto to facilitate Israel’s continued occupation and annexation of Arab territories captured in 1967. It has also condemned substantial US involvement in acts of aggression against Palestinians, including continued US arms sales to Israel in violation of UN resolutions regarding the maintenance of international peace and security. The US Corps of Engineers assisted in the design of a steel wall constructed between Gaza and Egypt after the UN and ICRC treaty monitoring bodies declared the closure/blockade an illegal form of collective punishment and persecution.

        • Roya says:

          The Palestinians are at war with Israel and refuse to make peace, that is what justifies Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

          This is how this sounded in my head: link to youtube.com. Everything you say is starting to sound like that, Freddieboy.

        • Fredblogs says:

          @Hostage
          The General Assembly has almost no power. There is a reason for that. Mainly that the bad guy countries outnumber the good guy countries.

        • talknic says:

          Fredblogs August 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm

          “The General Assembly has almost no power. There is a reason for that. Mainly that the bad guy countries outnumber the good guy countries”,/em>

          Please explain …

        • Shingo says:

          Mainly that the bad guy countries outnumber the good guy countries

          I’m sure that’s what Hitler believed at the time.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Last time I checked, Gaza City was not part of Lebanon. So none of Hezbollah’s business. ”

          Exactly. So when some random Jew in India or South America gets killed, it’s none of israel’s business.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “The General Assembly has almost no power. There is a reason for that. Mainly that the bad guy countries outnumber the good guy countries.”

          You’re an idiot, Fredo. It’s set up that way because the people who devised the system intended to freeze the international power structure which existed at that time.

        • Fredblogs says:

          It hardly needs explaining. You count up the dictatorships and other countries run by bad guys, and the countries that whore out their U.N. votes to avoid pissing off said bad guys (afraid of an Arab/Islamic oil embargo for one thing, terrorism for another) and you get a majority of countries in the U.N.

        • ColinWright says:

          Fredblogs says: “@Hostage
          The General Assembly has almost no power. There is a reason for that. Mainly that the bad guy countries outnumber the good guy countries.”

          Now a statement like that does nothing but justify the attitude most posters display towards you.

        • Shingo says:

          You count up the dictatorships and other countries run by bad guys, and the countries that whore out their U.N. votes to avoid pissing off said bad guys

          Who are the bad guys? The US who supports most of those dicatatorships or the few dicatorships that remain outside US influence?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You count up the dictatorships and other countries run by bad guys, and the countries that whore out their U.N. votes to avoid pissing off said bad guys (afraid of an Arab/Islamic oil embargo for one thing, terrorism for another) and you get a majority of countries in the U.N.”

          No, Fredo, paranoid racists ramblings have the JEWS working behind the scenes to rule the world through fear, intimidation, and sneakiness, not the MUSLIMS…

    • RE: “I love how Hezbollah commits an act of war by capturing Israeli troops and then that is a ‘pretext’ for an invasion rather than the reason for the invasion.” ~ Fredblogs

      SEE: “The Crime of Lebanon and Palestine – Are Iran and Syria Next? – Part II”, By Stephen Lendman, OP-ED News, 07/27/06:

      (EXCERPTS) On July 26 [2006], Aljazeerah reported a story headlined – “Israeli invasion of Lebanon planned by neocons in June (2006).” It was done at a June 17 and 18 meeting at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado at which former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud Knesset member Natan Sharansky met with US Vice President Dick Cheney. The purpose was to discuss the planned and impending Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invasions of Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. Cheney was thoroughly briefed and approved the coming assaults – before Hamas’ capture of an IDF soldier on June 25 or Hezbollah’s capturing of two others in an exchange first reported as occurring in Israel and now believed to have happened inside Lebanon after IDF forces illegally entered the country.
      Following the Colorado meeting, Netanyahu returned to Israel for a special “Ex-Prime Ministers” meeting in which he conveyed the message of US support. . .
      . . . Aljazeerah also reported that after the Colorado AEI conference Natan Sharansky met with the right wing Heritage Foundation in Washington and then attended a June 29 seminar at Haverford College in suburban Philadelphia sponsored by the Middle East Forum led by US Israeli hawk Daniel Pipes. Sharansky appeared there with Republican Senator Rick Santorum who on July 20 was hawkishly advocating war against Syria, Iran, and “Islamo-fascism” in an inflamatory speech at the National Press Club attended by a cheering section of supporters composed of members of the neocon Israel Project, on whose Board Santorum serves along with Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss

      SOURCE – link to opednews.com

      • P.S. THIS LAWSUIT CONFIRMS THAT DICK CHENEY WAS IN BEAVER CREEK, COLORADO ON JUNE 16, 2006, THE DAY BEFORE THE AEI CONFERENCE IN BEAVER CREEK ON JUNE 17 & 18 OF 2006.

        • ARTICLE: “Supreme Court rules for Secret Service in Cheney case”, By James Vicini, Reuters, 6/04/12

        [EXCERPTS] WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Secret Service agents have immunity from a lawsuit by a Colorado man arrested after he confronted then-Vice President Dick Cheney and criticized his Iraq war policies. . .
        . . . The Colorado man, Steven Howards, claimed in his lawsuit that agents Virgil Reichle and Dan Doyle retaliated against him for exercising his constitutionally protected free-speech rights under the First Amendment.
        Howards was arrested after he approached Cheney during a June 16, 2006 visit to a mall in Beaver Creek, Colorado. When Howards learned Cheney was at the mall, a Secret Service agent said he overheard Howards say into his cell phone, “I’m going to ask him (Cheney) how many kids he’s killed today.”
        Howards waited to meet with Cheney, who was greeting people, shaking hands and posing for photographs. He then confronted Cheney and told him his “policies in Iraq are disgusting.”
        As Howards departed, he touched Cheney’s right shoulder with his open hand. . .
        . . . The two agents decided to arrest Howards, who was turned over to local law enforcement authorities and charged with harassment under state law. The charges were later dismissed.
        Howards then sued, claiming he had been arrested unlawfully and seeking money damages from the two agents.
        The Supreme Court in an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas overturned a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that allowed the lawsuit to proceed on the grounds that the remarks by Howards could have motivated the agents to take action against him. . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to articles.chicagotribune.com

  7. RE: [3. What precipitated Hezbollah's creation?] “Israel
    invaded Lebanon on June 5, 1982, following an eleven-month cease-fire with the PLO, which Israel claimed had been broken by the attempted assassination of the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom. . . ” ~ Augustus Richard Norton

    ALSO SEE: “The War of Lies” , by Uri Avnery, gush-shalom.org, 09/06/12

    [EXCERPTS] Thirty Years ago this week, the Israeli army crossed into Lebanon and started the most stupid war in Israel’s history. It lasted for 18 years. About 1500 Israeli soldiers and untold numbers of Lebanese and Palestinians were killed.
    Almost all wars are based on lies. Lies are considered legitimate instruments of war. Lebanon War I (as it was later called) was a glorious example.
    From beginning to end (if it has ended yet) it was a war of deceit and deception, falsehoods and fabrications.
    THE LIES started with the official name: “Operation Peace in Galilee”.

    If one asks Israelis now, 99.99% of them will say with all sincerity: “We had no choice. They launched katyushas at the Galilee from Lebanon every day. We had to stop them.” TV anchormen and anchorwomen, as well as former cabinet ministers have been repeating this throughout the week. Quite sincerely. Even people who were already adults at the time.
    The simple fact is that for 11 months before the war, not a single shot was fired across the Israeli-Lebanese border. A cease-fire was in force and the Palestinians on the other side of the border kept it scrupulously. To everybody’s surprise, Yasser Arafat succeeded in imposing it on all the radical Palestinian factions, too.
    At the end of May, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon met with Secretary of State Alexander Haig in Washington DC. He asked for American agreement to invade Lebanon. Haig said that the US could not allow it, unless there were a clear and internationally recognized provocation.
    And lo and behold, the provocation was provided at once. Abu Nidal, the anti-Arafat and anti-PLO master terrorist, sent his own cousin to assassinate the Israeli ambassador in London, who was grievously wounded.

    In retaliation, Israel bombed Beirut and the Palestinians fired back, as expected. The Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, allowed Sharon to invade Lebanese territory up to 40 km, “to put the Galilee settlements out of reach of the katyushas.”
    When one of the intelligence chiefs told Begin at the cabinet meeting that Abu Nidal’s organization was not a member of the PLO, Begin famously answered: “They are all PLO”.
    General Matti Peled, my political associate at the time, firmly believed that Abu Nidal had acted as an agent of Sharon. So do all the Palestinians I know.
    The lie “they shot at us every day” has taken such a hold on the public mind that it is nowadays useless to dispute it. It is an illuminating example of how a myth can take possession of the public mind, including even of people who had seen with their own eyes that the opposite was true.
    NINE MONTHS before the war, Sharon told me about his plan for a New Middle East. . .
    . . . His design for the region, as told me then (and which I published nine months before the war), was:

    • To attack Lebanon and install a Christian dictator who would serve Israel,
    • Drive the Syrians out of Lebanon,
    • Drive the Palestinians out of Lebanon into Syria, from where they would then be pushed by the Syrians into Jordan.
    • Get the Palestinians to carry out a revolution in Jordan, kick out King Hussein and turn Jordan into a Palestinian state,
    • Set up a functional arrangement under which the Palestinian state (in Jordan) would share power in the West Bank with Israel.
    Being a single-minded operator, Sharon convinced Begin to start the war, telling him that the sole aim was to push the PLO 40 km back. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to zope.gush-shalom.org

  8. anan says:

    Much of this article is accurate. But it is written from a wholly pro Hezbollah partisan point of view. Aoun and Berri would cringe at some of the points above.

    Hezbollah aren’t angels. They are deeply unpopular with a majority of Lebanese. This is partly because of anti Shia bigotry, but also partly because of Nasrallah’s own mistakes. Hezbollah has a behind the scenes rivalry with Amal as well.

    This article ignores some of the largest reasons Hezbollah came about:
    1) The disappearance of Musa al-Sadr, probably killed by the schmuck Qaddafi. Musa al-Sadr seems have been a good and great man.
    2) The harsh oppression of Lebanese Shia for a millenia. Musa al Sadr and Hezbollah after him greatly reduced the oppression of Lebanese Shia.
    3) Khomeini’s decision to create a Lebanese militias through the IRGC Kuds force that was loyal to Khamenei rather than Amal or the Lebanese state. [Strikes me as disloyal. At the same time Khomeini was taking Israeli help against Saddam he was secretly planning to kill them in Lebanon. Why can't people say what they think and do what they say?]

    This article also does not mention the vast number of Amal people Hezbollah killed in the 1980s. That wasn’t right or just.

    The article doesn’t mention Hezbollah’s unnecessary conflict with the Druze, Hariri and Christian folks in 2008. Another big mistake.

    What is Hezbollah’s big plan to train Lebanese knowledge workers for the jobs, products and technologies of tomorrow?

    The article mentions Sheba farms. Israel doesn’t want Sheba farms and has offered it to Syria. Sine the UN says that Sheba farms belongs to Syria, Israel cannot give it to Lebanon unless Syria formally renounces its claims at the UN which Assad has refused to do.

    Hezbollah has a less than perfect record in treating Lebanese Palestinians. Although some Hezbollah partisans I have encountered claim that Hezbollah isn’t as bad as other Lebanese. What a sad state of affairs. Lebanon is better than that. Do right Lebanon.

    On the other hand, Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir should scare all of us a lot. [Dear Taxi, he is a "Takfiri."] His anti Hezbollah and anti Shia diatribes are completely over the top and inappropriate.

    I don’t have evidence that the Gulf establishment is holding his apron strings. Could someone else provide this? This would be yet more evidence that much of the Gulf establishment are secretly the enemies of most people on the planet, masked by their fake smiles and deceitful flattery.

    Dear Israel, they are your enemies too. They are using you. Don’t be a fool and fall for them.

    • Walid says:

      Anan, your assessment of the Lebanese on Hizbullah is about 98% wrong., especially the part where you say that it’s unpopular with with most Lebanese. The oppression of the Shia is now old history.

    • Mooser says:

      “probably killed by the schmuck Qaddafi.”

      Why, there’s a locution I wouldn’t expect “anan” to use. What gives with that and all the punctuation emoticons?

    • Hezbollah aren’t angels. They are deeply unpopular with a majority of Lebanese.

      i guess that explains why they “decisively triumphed in the popular vote” and “Of the roughly 1.5 million people who voted, 54 percent voted for Hezbollah” in the last election.

    • Israel does not want Sheba farm.
      Israel does not need not to want it.It simply can vacate and go home.

    • Anna says “they are deepoly unpopular with.”

      http://www.counterpunch.com
      July 31,2006

      As Yesterday’s War Still Rages…
      Bush’s Enemy Du Jour
      by MARJORIE COHN

      There is overwhelming support for Hezbollah in Lebanon. According to a poll by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hezbollah’s fight with Israel. The level of support for Hezbollah is high among non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians, 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis polled support Hezbollah.

      These numbers are likely to rise in the wake of Israel’s bombing of Qana yesterday, which killed over 60 civilians, mostly children. Thousands in the Middle East have taken to the streets, outraged at the carnage…”

    • Inanna says:

      Spouting Quwat/Mustaqbal propaganda. Go to the wikileaks of Feltman’s meetings with former PM Siniora to see who is really the enemy of Lebanon. Hizbullah’s not my choice for Lebanon but as long as Siniora, Hariri and their equally criminal and corrupt cronies are around, give me Hizbullah any day.

      The only thing you are right about is the Gulfies. They love the Israelis in the same way Christian Zionists do.

    • Shingo says:

      . Aoun and Berri would cringe at some of the points above.

      Whereas evertyone here cringes every time you post your ignorant diatribes.

      They are deeply unpopular with a majority of Lebanese.

      False. Hezbollah are hugely popular not only in Lebanon, but throughout the Arab world.

      3) Khomeini’s decision to create a Lebanese militias through the IRGC Kuds force that was loyal to Khamenei rather than Amal or the Lebanese state.”

      Hezbollah’s creation was not the ingular decision of Khomeini. It was a home grown resistance movement that came about becasur the Lebanese army had failed to resist the Israeli occupation. Zionist hasbrats like yourself like to pretend Hezbollahi is a gforeign ientity inside Lebanon.

      This article also does not mention the vast number of Amal people Hezbollah killed in the 1980s. That wasn’t right or just.

      That was due to Amal agression and Amal siding with Israel.

      The article doesn’t mention Hezbollah’s unnecessary conflict with the Druze, Hariri and Christian folks in 2008. Another big mistake.

      That’s because you fail to mention that it was the Druze, Hariri and SOME Christian folks who were conpsiting with the US and Israel to bring down Hezbollah’s communication network. Hezbollah simply put these Western backed betrayers in their place. They had no other choice.

      Israel doesn’t want Sheba farms and has offered it to Syria.

      Sheba farms is not Israel’s to offer anyone.

    • ColinWright says:

      “…Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir should scare all of us a lot…”

      I’m terrified. He’s a TV talk show host in a tiny country that has no arms to speak of and is located almost perfectly on the opposite side of the planet from me.

      It’s enough to make my blood run cold.

  9. Walid says:

    A very comprehensive description of Hizbullah and of Lebanon’s recent political history. Jeffrey Rudolph had another great quiz here on Saudi Arabia in February last year:

    link to mondoweiss.net

  10. ToivoS says:

    Interesting set of facts about Hezbollah. However, I think their relationship with Syria is a little more complicated then reported here. In the beginning the Syrian army tried to suppress Hezbollah because they saw them as competition for Amal, which had Syrian backing. Abu Khalil describes this story here:

    link to english.al-akhbar.com

  11. Roya says:

    Hezbollah from a Lebanese Christian’s point of view: link to indymedia.org.uk

    • Walid says:

      Roya, I’ll add that the Christian in the interview expressing his pro-Hizbullah views represents the views held by about 80% of Lebanon’s Christians. The other 20% are in the pro-US/Israel camp that (like the SNC today) are not averse to signing an unconditional peace with Israel and the cantonization of the country. A couple of years back, a Christian MP and member of a pro-US/Israel faction declared that he was proud that his political party had been allied to the Israelis during the civil war because the survival of Christians had depended on it, which of course was not true. It had been the Syrians that had come to the rescue of the Christians. The hanky-panky between some Christians and Weizmann goes back to the 1930s that was trying to cut a deal with them to chop a big chunk out of Lebanon up to Saida to have it joined to Palestine that the Zionists knew they were going to get eventually and that Weizmann was adamant to get for the future Jewish Palestine.

      • Roya says:

        Hmm and can you shed some light on what proportion of Lebanese Druze are favorable to Israel? And where that “alliance” stems from?

  12. June 27, 2006
    Hitchens Hails the “Glorious War”
    Israel’s Deadly Siege of Palestine
    by ALEXANDER COCKBURN

    “The idea is to put Palestinians on a diet but not make them die of hunger,” commented Dov Weisglass, senior advisor to Israeli Prime Ministers Sharon and Olmert, when asked how Israel should deal with the new Hamas government. Even these disgustingly callous words scarcely do justice to the collective punishment to Palestinians (illegal under international law) being inflicted by Israel on the people of Palestine for democratically electing a government that refuses to accede to Israeli demands.

    The situation is desperate. Since the new Hamas-dominated government took office in January 2006, record levels of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, malnutrition, movement restrictions and social unrest of all kinds have been reported.

    Here is the grim picture as culled from available sources by Jennifer Loewenstein of the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, the U.K.

    In addition to an economic siege imposed by the governments of the United States and the European Union ­in which all aid to the Palestinian Authority (and in some cases to NGOs as well) has been cut, bank transfers suspended, contacts with and visas for new government members effectively banned, and $55 million in tax revenues illegally withheld each month- comprehensive closure has been imposed on the territories restricting access to goods and services within the West Bank and imposing draconian movement restrictions on the entire Palestinian population.

    Israel has kept the Karni (al-Muntar) industrial crossing into the Gaza Strip shut for weeks at a time locking out medicines, food and goods as well as preventing the export of agricultural produce from Gaza. Approximately 165,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority have gone without pay for more than three months affecting the lives of at least 700,000 people. Doctors, nurses, teachers, civil servants, policemen and others return home empty handed each day to families whose overall levels of poverty and malnutrition have grown dramatically. Save the Children UK Program Manager Jan Coffey reports that in Gaza now 78% of the population lives below the poverty line ($2 per day) and that 10% of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition.

    Israeli artillery shelling, targeted assassinations, incursions into cities and towns, arrests and raids continue with impunity. Even after the widely publicized deaths of almost an entire family on a north Gaza beach and a subsequent attack in which two children and three paramedics were killed after two Islamic Jihad militants were assassinated in Gaza City, the international community remains silent ­in effect condoning the piecemeal destruction of an entire society. These atrocities are in addition to the economic and political blockade of Palestine.

    On March 15, 2006 the World Bank published a report in which the economic outlook for the occupied Palestinian territories is assumed based on a scenario (now extant) in which tax revenues to the PA are withheld, trade and labor restrictions are imposed and foreign aid reduced. Under this scenario “[r]eal GDP per capita declines by 27 percent, and personal incomesby 30 percent ­a one-year contraction of economic activity equivalent to a deep depression. Unemployment hits 47 percent and poverty 74 percent by 2008. By 2008, the cumulative loss in real GDP per capita since 1999 has reached 55 percent.”

    The World Bank estimated in 2004 that, following “Disengagement,” 2006 poverty rates in the West Bank would reach 41% and in the Gaza Strip 68%. Unemployment would be at 23% in the West Bank and 38% in the Gaza Strip. These estimates were made before the Western powers and their friends imposed the economic embargo and suspended aid to the Palestinian Authority.

    Raji Sourani of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights provides conservative estimates of the current situation across the territories. According to Sourani, the rate of unemployment in the territories now is 34% in the oPts as a whole and 44% in the Gaza Strip. This rate rises to 55% during times of complete closure. He estimates current poverty levels at 50% for the territories as a whole and nearly 70% in Gaza.

    According to an OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) report published on April 11th 2006, unless the siege on Palestine ends unemployment and poverty will reach especially high levels in the Gaza Strip (60%) and the northern West Bank (50% & 40% in the governorates of Salfit and of Jenin, Tubas and Tulkarem respectively). The OCHA office in Gaza has warned of a “humanitarian disaster” owing to a lack of money and food. OCHA estimates the current rate of poverty in the oPts at 56%. Prior to the Second Intifada it was 22%.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross has also warned of a “humanitarian crisis” if aid and funding to the Palestinian Authority continues. “The ICRC is deeply concerned about the growing needs and the worsening security situation in the occupied territories, caused in large part by the decision earlier this year to withhold funds and other aid from the Palestinian Authority,” it said on Monday, June 12. ” [T]he occupying power ­in this case the State of Israel-is responsible for meeting the basic needs of the civilian population of the territories it occupies. Those needs include sufficient food, medical supplies and means of shelter.”

    Israel’s continued withholding of just Palestinian tax/customs revenues reduces the total available budget resources for the PA to between US $700 – $750 million. In the PA’s draft budget for 2006 prepared by the IMF in December 2005, the figure needed to sustain the territories was US $1.9 billion. The United States’ administration nonetheless claims that no humanitarian crisis in the occupied territories exists.

    The rationale for this onslaught on a civilian population? Israel says Hamas is a terrorist organization, bent on Israel’s destruction. As prominent Israelis and western observers have pointed out, Hamas’s leadership has made it clear on numerous occasions that Israel’s right to exist is not at issue. What is at issue is Israel’s adamant refusal to confirm Palestine’s right to exist. As prime minister Olmert told a joint session of the US Congress in Washington DC a few weeks ago, “I believed, and to this day still believe, in our people’s eternal and historic right to this entire land.” In other words he doesn’t recognize the right of Palestinians to even the wretched cantons currently envisaged in his “realignment”.—

    Present can shed a lot of light on the past when it comes to israeli behaviors

  13. iRevolt says:

    I’m reading a number of unsubstantiated comments re: Hezb’Allah’s popularity in Lebanon, by commentators I assume are not Lebanese; the audacity, ay?
    Well, as a Lebanese woman from the glorious region of the south, which produced Hezb’Allah, I beg to differ.

    Hezb’Allah remains a popular resistance group and Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah  remains a well-respected and revered leader – a position much deserved. Also, an assortment of Lebanese, from the Christians to the Athiests, to the Muslims and all in between speak positively of Hezb’Allah. Sayyed Hassan, though a religious leader of sorts, draws in everyone – even when speaking of Palestine: have any of those co-opting our Lebanese voices heard a single speech of his (yes there are English translations available) – I would assume not.

    I suggest the lot of you visit Mleeta and see the Resistance museum, it is centered in the region of the south touted as being “where heaven meets earth”, and when you climb towards the tip-top of the museum’s middle path, leading towards Sayyed Hassan’s letter to the fighters, you will contend that it is indeed where heaven meets earth. 

    Also, this invitation is not open to Zionists; sorry. Though the museum does have photographs of the “brave” IDF wailing and bawling, if that makes you feel any better.

    Also re: Taxi’s comment on the flag, he’s right! Indeed the party of God (Hezb’Allah) are the victors.
    They are the victors. Deservedly and rightfully so.

    • as a Lebanese woman from the glorious region of the south, which produced Hezb’Allah, I beg to differ.

      yeah! good to see you here.

      and taxi is a she.

      ;)

      • Taxi says:

        “and taxi is a she”, and ‘she’ is also hanging out in a village in the “glorious region of the south, which produced Hezb’Allah”. Yay!

        Shoofeemafee ya iRevolt?!

        • iRevolt says:

          Oy, Taxi is a she? Lak shu hayda! And email me so we may meet up while I’m there, else’ I am afraid we’ll completely demolish this thread: roq.chams (@) gmail.com

          So glad Mondoweiss has this piece up!

        • bintbiba says:

          Yaa Taxi, i Revolt!!! Ila l amaam ya sayyidaati! Yaaaay!! Ana Teta ajouzi,
          Ya3eesh Mondoweiss.( Long live Mondo).
          So glad to hear from you .
          Onwards and upwards, ladies!

        • Taxi says:

          Wow Teta – your heart is full of the youth of revolution!

          I’m visiting friends in Lebanon, staying in the south and sightseeing everywhere – love it!

          You in the south too?

          Wherever you are, whoever you are, I love you.

        • bintbiba says:

          Love you too, Taxi! Love your input on MW too.
          I don’t live in Lebanon any more. Lived through ALL of the various and sundry wars ,invasions, civil and uncivil! Just got tired. Hangin’ in London,drying out these old bones,enjoying the priceless to and fro-ing,the banter and great information on this wonderful site.

          Thank you, Philip ,Alex, Annie ,Allison,and the rest of the Team.

        • Taxi says:

          London is cool. I used to live there, got educated there – lived there for over two decades – still visit regularly. Now I’m an LA beachbum, visiting the Lebanon – I lived in Beirut in 1965-1974 with my parents when I was a kid – my dad’s job took us there – we left before the civil war).

          You might enjoy this bit of biographical writing about my early days in Lebanon:
          link to mondoweiss.net

        • Cliff says:

          Wow Taxi, awesome article!

        • Walid says:

          Hi, iRevolt, I appreciated your reflections on Syria and wish you’d publish them here to kick off a good debate. When it comes to Syria, I’m a fence-sitter but this too is unacceptable as I get stones thrown at me by both sides.

        • Taxi says:

          Namaste Cliffy!

        • bintbiba says:

          Taxi, Thank you . I’m dizzy with admiration at your eloquence and insight.
          I was 12 when we were ejected from Jerusalem, and lived in Beirut till ’90.
          It was such an exhilarating place ’50s to 70s!! But too many bad things happened, and one gets tired of living one’s life ducking.

          You write so well, Annie is right; Where is the novel?

        • yeah i totally loved it!

        • bintbiba says:

          Annie is right; “Where is the novel?”

        • American says:

          ‘You might enjoy this bit of biographical writing about my early days in Lebanon:
          link to mondoweiss.net>>>>>>

          Damn Taxi…I’m blown away by that 2010 piece! Just blown away! Hadn’t see it before.
          You are the one girl.
          Hope we all live long enough to see a triumphant ending for that novel that’s in you.

        • Roya says:

          Taxi, I would love to see a novel too! (or at least a personal blog to share more of your stories, pretty please?)

        • Taxi says:

          Thank you kindly mondofriends.

          The novel?

          I prescribe to the French poet Rimbaud’s attitude to writing and publishing literature: fuck it! Hahahahaha I’m laughing cuz I’m serious.

          But hey, who knows? Perhaps one day I’ll write the great American anti-novel.

        • iRevolt says:

          Walid do you mind emailing me? Check my site http://frustratedarab.com for my email/contact form! Yallah :)

  14. radkelt says:

    I love this site, better than watching gladitorial tennis. Mondo should be
    happy that they have attracted the best that the hasbaratchik can muster,
    not equal however to the well informed, articulate, (poor spellers or typers) regulars
    here who demolish them.

    • Mooser says:

      “the best that the hasbaratchik can muster,”

      I wish I could agree with you, but unfortunately, I don’t think I can. The best Zionism can muster do much, much better than these clowns. To begin with, the real Zionist agents know when to keep their mouths shut, which these guys never do. They also know much better than to open their mouths in public like these pathetic clowns, they do their talking behind closed doors, when they’re sure they’re safe in the sanctums of power. And believe me, they don’t depend on these dumb “self-self-determination” arguments, they bring cash.
      If these self-appointed Internet Maccabees were the best Zionism had to offer, it would have been gone, long ago.

  15. Emma says:

    Excellent information. Thanks.

  16. I am commenting on the photo sent by philip weiss from palestine, namely the poster;,,visit palestine ” my son in law ,who is a tourist guide in israel has such an original poster in their home. it dates from the british rule of palestine(1918-1948).
    yehoshua rosin rehovot. israel

  17. thetumta says:

    I wonder if Israel will be on the world map 10 years from now, 10 months from now or maybe even 10 more days as people could wake up. I hope they and their friends don’t drag my country down the drain with them? But you never know?
    Hej!