Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Lebanese – Israeli Lullaby


Probably the most interesting and most complex relationship between the Zionists and the Lebanese was the contradictions of regarding Lebanon as part of the Israeli plans.

Lebanon Proper, under the Ottomans, was divided into several regions, which included some parts existing in Syria and Palestine. Lebanon by the 19th century was divided into an autonomous Mutasarifieh in Mt. Lebanon which covered the Druze and Christian lands, the Tripoli governorate which included Northern Lebanon and parts of Syria, the Damascus governorate, which included the Bekaa, and the A'ka governorate, which included parts of the South as well as occasionally Sour (aka Tyre). Now these borders fluctuated, but in general, for most of the centuries of Ottoman rule, that is how Lebanon administratively was divided.

For starters, Lebanon since Prince Fakhridean II had enjoyed autonomy, sometimes that autonomy expanded to include certain Syrian areas, and sometimes that autonomy got demolished. Eventually, there was an interruption of 9 years under Mohammad Ali Basha, and his son Ibrahim Basha, of Egypt, for nine years. In the 19th century, Prince Bashir II, an ex-Sunni converting to Christianity, created the concept of Mt. Lebanon based on Christian premises, the concept of sovereign Lebanon and the Lebanese Christians became intertwined since then, specially in a later phase of the 19th century, when it was an autonomous region, under an Ottoman governor, with the patronage of six European imperial forces. By then, Europe's super powers followed the logic of "protecting the minorities" to expand their territorial acquisitions.
By the time the French successfully dominated Syria and Lebanon Proper regions, the British successfully ousted the French from the Sykes-Pico agreement, and took over Palestine. Jordan was separated from Syria, under the British Mandate, while Iraq broke the norm of carving out nations, rather, that country was patched up from three large governorates into a gigantic country, Iraq. Under Archbishop Howayek, from Mt. Lebanon, the second Lebanese delegation travelled to Versailles negotiations, and demanded that the French rule Lebanon directly after WWI. Clemenceau appeared in the newspapers hugging Archbishop Howayek. Modern Lebanon was officially created in 1920. One purpose for its creation was the Christians seeking autonomy in a Muslim world. It has to be noted, the Christians were the first to advocate Arab nationalism in the face of the Ottomans, but when having the chance to break free, the Versailles treaty gave them that chance.

The Zionists, on the other hand, didn't have a land to demand. The Palestinians, made up of Muslims, Christians, and Jews were living in harmony and didn't accept the isolationist logic of the Zionists. Till current days, Arab Jews still argue that Zionism came from Europe. Israel was not supposed to take place, the British promised the Zionists a national home and not a nation in the infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917. The Zionists were actually desperate, they were cajoled by the Germans and the British, and the Zionists almost opted for the German option, however, due to Germany's alliance to Turkey, the Germans couldn’t deliver their promises. It has to be noted, that the Zionists were a huge minority in Europe. The Communist Jews, the Jewish Socialist Party (Bund), and the Jewish assimilation associations were much more popular. Probably the most famous Jews of that era were Clara Zatkin, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev, and Leon Kamenev. The fact that Jews were leading revolutions throughout Europe placed Weizmann in an awkward position to the extent in a 1919 meeting with Lord Balfour in Paris, his men had to convince Lord Balfour that Lenin's mother was not a Jew, rather Lenin's background was pure Christian.

Nevertheless, once landing in Palestine, the Zionists started their expulsions, purchases of land, and importation of Jews from Europe under the promise of a better world. The British officials were surprised that Palestine "was not empty".
The Zionists nevertheless, using history to justify their 19th century ethnic and segregationist movement, to argue that they are reunite a Diaspora of Jews that dated back 2000 years ago. The irony is that Israel as a nation state didn't last even a century when it was crushed by the Romans. Nevertheless, they regarded themselves as a minority surrounded by Arabs and Islam. The Lebanese Christians, unlike the Palestinian Christians, were regarded differently. While the Palestinian Christians were regarded as enemies, same as the Muslims, the Zionists used history to regard the Lebanese Christians as Phoenicians.

Certain Christians did promote the Phoenician nationality in the area of Lebanon then. Their argument is to give legitimacy for the ideals of independent Lebanon by providing roots that dated back to the pre-Islamic conquests, hence the Phoenician identity. It was first triggered in the 19th century by a certain French sociologist, however, it didn't gain momentum accept when the Christians needed autonomy. There was never a Phoenician state, the Phoenicians were divided into Phoenician city states and kingdoms. Each mini-kingdom had its own policy, such as the colonization of Libya as an escape route for what was happening in the homelands. Probably the only time the Phoenicians fought as a single identity is when they pooled their resources to halt the advancing Assyrians. They were successful the first time militarily.

Several Zionist documents in the early 20th century referred to the Christians as Phoenicians and wanted to revive the over 2200 year old relationship with them. They regarded the Phoenicians as the perfect allies. Since the Lebanese Jews and Zionist Jews were a minority. Probably the first contact between the Zionists and the Lebanese was through the Soursok family, which sold the Jewish Agency Palestinian Lands, even though they didn't own property of them. According to Amin Mustapha's book: History of Resistance in Lebanon, the Zionists even had the proposal to shift the Christians to South in an autonomous region in alliance to Israel, to safeguard their Northern borders.

1930s - 1940s

The most notorious Lebanese back then to have contacts with them was the Lebanese President Emile Edde (Lebanese President from 1936 – 1941), whose offspring Reymond Edde challenged his father's ideas. Emile Edde was known for his Christian hardliner perspective. He was quoted of saying that whoever doesn't like Lebanon, there is always Mecca. In the early half of the 1930s, he sent Weizmann a congratulating letter that it seems he will establish the nation-state he seeks.
Even worse, Emile Edde had plans to carve out Lebanon and give parts of Muslim majority to the Zionists' forthcoming nation. Itimar Rabinovich wrote: "Another School of thought, headed by Emile Edde, was convinced by the 1932 census that the Muslims were about to become the majority in the Lebanese state and that the possibility of France abandoning the Lebanese Christians had to be taken seriously. Edde concluded that it was essential that to 'expedite the territorial reduction of Lebanon in order to enable the latter state to have a more consistent Christian majority.' By 'amputating' Tripoli and Southern Lebanon from the Lebanese state, 'Lebanon will be rid of almost 140,000 Shi'I and Sunni Muslims and will be left with a Christian majority equaling about 80% of its population.' Edde tried to win the support of the French government, which was not unimpressed with his reasoning but which in the end chose to preserve the territorial status quo. Still, Edde did not abandon his idea, and in 1946 he sent an emissary to Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader, to attempt to persuade Weizmann to seek the incorporation of southern Lebanon and its predominantly Muslim population into the Jewish national home."

(Picture Above: President Emile Edde)

To confirm the validity of this historical disastrous point in Lebanese history, Itimar Rabinovich's footnote included the following: "In a meeting of the directorate of the Jewish Agency on February 11, 1945, Weizmann, the president of the agency, reported that, "The son of the former president came to me. A Christian under a strong French influence – he came with a proposal ... that he would like to hand over to us, to the national home Tyre and Sidon ... because there are there a hundred thousand Muslims. I responded by saying that my grandfather used to say that he would not receive a 'biting' gift; but he would not relent and said that he will come again" (minutes of the Jewish Agency Directorate General).

(Picture Above: Ben Gurion)

Of course, Israel was announced as an entity in 1948, and Lebanon participated in the mockery of the Arab world sending their soldiers to Israel. Lebanon won its front at Malikieh, and progressed to link up with the Syrian army. However, the Jordanian and Egyptian treason for territorial expansion led to the Israeli Defense Forces to have time to equip their armies and eventually ousting all Arab regions except Ghaza and the West Bank due to Egyptian and Jordanian treason.

It has to be noted, that Lebanon was under the French Mandate from Post WWI till 1943, and the Phoenician Christians didn't represent the entire Christian community. According to Wilson's commission, the majority of the Christians preferred the link-up with Faysal's Kingdom.

To understand the vision of the Israelis to Lebanon in the 1950s, we have to look at Yossi Schwartz's article, who highlighted important aspects on Ben Gurion's perspective and Israeli aims. I hope he will continue to highlight more: "

Two important sources on the Zionist plans for Lebanon are the diary of Moshe Sharett, who was the Prime Minster of Israel in 1954-1955 and who was considered a "soft Zionist", and Livia Rokach's Israel's Sacred Terrorism: A study based on Moshe Sharett's Personal Diary, and other documents. In the latter we find some very interesting information, and it is worth quoting from Sharett's diary at length:

"Then he [Ben Gurion] passed on to another issue. This is the time, he said, to push Lebanon, that is, the Maronites in that country, to proclaim a Christian State. I said that this was nonsense. The Maronites are divided. The partisans of Christian separatism are weak and will dare do nothing. A Christian Lebanon would mean their giving up Tyre, Tripoli, and the Beka'a. There is no force that could bring Lebanon back to its pre-World War I dimensions, and all the more so because in that case it would lose its economic raison-d'etre. Ben Gurion reacted furiously. He began to enumerate the historical justification for a restricted Christian Lebanon. If such a development were to take place, the Christian Powers would not dare oppose it. I claimed that there was no factor ready to create such a situation, and that if we were to push and encourage it on our own we would get ourselves into an adventure that will place shame on us. Here came a wave of insults regarding my lack of daring and my narrow-mindedness. We ought to send envoys and spend money. I said there was no money. The answer was that there is no such thing. The money must be found, if not in the Treasury then at the Jewish Agency! For such a project it is worthwhile throwing away one hundred thousand, half a million, a million dollars. When this happens a decisive change will take place in the Middle East, a new era will start. I got tired of struggling against a whirlwind. (27 February 1954,)"

The next day David Ben Gurion sent Sharett the following letter:
"To Moshe Sharett the Prime Minister,
Sdeh Boker, February 27, 1954

"Upon my withdrawal from the government I decided in my heart to desist from intervening and expressing my opinion on current political affairs so as not to make things difficult for the government in any way. And if you hadn't called on me, the three of you, yourself, Lavon and Dayan, I would not have, of my own accord, expressed an opinion on what is being done or what ought to be done. But as you called me, I deem it my duty to comply with your wishes, and especially with your own wish as Prime Minister. Therefore, I permit myself to go back to one issue which you did not approve of and discuss it again, and this is the issue of Lebanon.

(Picture Above: Moshe Sharrett)

"It is clear that Lebanon is the weakest link in the Arab League. The other minorities in the Arab States are all Muslim, except for the Copts. But Egypt is the most compact and solid of the Arab States and the majority there consists of one solid block, of one race, religion and language, and the Christian minority does not seriously affect their political and national unity. Not so the Christians in Lebanon. They are a majority in the historical Lebanon and this majority has a tradition and a culture different from those of the other components of the League. Also within the wider borders (this was the worst mistake made by France when it extended the borders of Lebanon), the Muslims are not free to do as they wish, even if they are a majority there (and I don't know if they are, indeed, a majority) for fear of the Christians. The creation of a Christian State is therefore a natural act; it has historical roots and it will find support in wide circles in the Christian world, both Catholic and Protestant...

D.B.G. (27 February 1954)"

Sharett responded a few weeks later with the following:
"Mr. David Ben Gurion, March 18, 1954, Sdeh Boker

"As far as I know, in Lebanon today exists no movement aiming at transforming the country into a Christian State governed by the Maronite community...
"This is not surprising. The transformation of Lebanon into a Christian State as a result of an outside initiative is unfeasible today... I don't exclude the possibility of accomplishing this goal in the wake of a wave of shocks that will sweep the Middle East... will destroy the present constellations and will form others. But in the present Lebanon, with its present territorial and demographic dimensions and its international relations, no serious initiative of the kind is imaginable.

"The Christians do not constitute the majority in Lebanon. Nor are they a unified block, politically speaking or community-wise. The Orthodox minority in Lebanon tends to identify with their brethren in Syria. They will not be ready to go to war for a Christian Lebanon, which is for a Lebanon smaller than it is today, and detached from the Arab League. On the contrary, they would probably not be opposed to a Lebanon united to Syria, as this would contribute to strengthening their own community and the Orthodox community throughout the region... In fact, there are more Orthodox Christians in Syria than in Lebanon, and the Orthodox in Syria and Lebanon together are more numerous than the Maronites...

"... There are also decisive economic arguments against it. We are not discussing the issue in 1920/21... but 30 years later. Mount Lebanon has meanwhile integrated into one organic unit with the coastal plane of Tyre and Sidon, the Valley of Baalbeck and the city of Tripoli. They are commercially and economically interdependent and inseparable. Mount Lebanon was not a self-sufficient unit even before World War 1... The annexation of the three regions plus the city of Beirut to the Lebanese State has rendered possible the creation of a balanced economy. A return to the past would not just mean a surgical operation but also a disintegration leading to the end of Lebanon...

"When all this has been said, [I should add that] I would not have objected, and on the contrary I would have certainly been favorable to the idea, of actively aiding any manifestation of agitation in the Maronite community tending to strengthen its isolationist tendencies, even if there were no real chances of achieving the goals; I would have considered positive the very existence of such an agitation and the destabilization it could bring about, the trouble it would have caused the League, the diversion of attention from the Arab-Israeli complications that it would have caused, and the very kindling of a fire made up of impulses toward Christian independence. But what can I do when such an agitation is nonexistent? ... In the present condition, I am afraid that any attempt on our part would be considered as lightheartedness and superficiality or worse-as an adventurous speculation upon the well being and existence of others and a readiness to sacrifice their basic good for the benefit of a temporary tactical advantage for Israel.

"Moreover, if this plan is not kept a secret but becomes known a danger which cannot be underestimated in the Middle Eastern circumstances-the damage which we shall suffer... would not be compensated even by an eventual success of the operation itself...
"M. S.
(18 March 1954)"

At that time Ben Gurion did not convince Sharett. The conditions were not ripe for such an attempt. But the idea never went away and remained in the minds of the leading Zionists as an option. The time to put into practice came in 1978 during the civil war when the "Litani Operation" was launched.

Israel was created at a terrible price. The Palestinians were expelled from their homeland, pushed into refugee camps all around the region. Israel thus came into being in an almost permanent state of war against its Arab neighbours. Israel was envisaged as an outpost of western imperialism, a "safe ally" that could police this oil-rich region. For decades it played that role quite successfully. Part of that task involved trying to get at least one "friendly" regime to its north in Lebanon. But this was easier said than done. Because of its delicate ethnic makeup, Lebanon dominated by the Christian elite could never be a stable country. Class conflict would emerge and re-emerge in the form of ethnic conflict due to the lack of a clear working class, socialist leadership that could cut across the ethnic divide.

1960s - 1970s

(Picture Above: Kamal Junblatt)

1960s and 1970s witnessed the Israelis focusing on the destruction of the PLO who started to gain international recognition. The Christians and Israelis had common interests. The Christians considered PLO activities as downsizing the sovereignty of Lebanon, and worse, their own, specially the PLO misconduct gave the Phalange mainly the ability to recruit over 90,000 Christian, whereby such a number is too large for a small country like Lebanon. They were already allocated densely in Lebanon and Jordan. Their warplanes saved the Monarchy and the PLO became cornered in Lebanon. As thousands of PLO warriors moved to Lebanon from Jordan after 1970, Israeli efforts were focused on how to contain the PLO in Lebanon.

(Picture Above: Palestinian Refugee Camp in Jabal Hussein in 1970)

(Picture Above: Refugee Camp in New Amman following Black September in 1970)

The first logic was bomb Lebanon and specially the entire South and blame it on the PLO operations, which actually paid off extensively because the Shiites became wrathful of the Palestinians and stood politically next to the Christian Government. Moussa al Sadre and later Nabih Berri built AMAL movement based on the anti-Palestinian resentments. Kamal Junblatt was critical against Moussa el Sadre's indirect alignment with the Christians despite the fact that Fatah played a role in building that militia. The second logic was how to help the Christians, who were the primary spearheads against the PLO activities. Hence, minor arms were sent to the Phalange/Tigers/Tanzeem via Jounieh port. Most of the weapons that were sent have been Soviet manufactured and captured from the PLO militants in occupied Palestine and Jordan. The smuggling occurred via Cyprus, and in case the weaponries were discovered, the Lebanese National Movement, PLO's allies, or the Palestinians themselves will take the blame and Israel will not be linked to the Christians. The Israelis clearly didn't want direct confrontation in Lebanon, rather, they preferred that the Christians were helped to stand on their own two feet. The first man to establish contacts with the Israelis was head of the most feared militia, the army offshoot leader of al-Tanzeem, Georges Adwan (current member of Parliament).

(Picture Above: Yasser Arafat reacts to applause at the U.N. General Assembly in New York in this Nov. 13, 1974)

Prior to the Lebanese Civil War, Yasser Arafat gave the peace initiative of "Olive Instead of Bullets", whereby he declared that he will be satisfied with rump Palestine, which included the West Bank and Ghazza, the Israelis refused such a peace offering, however, it gave the Palestinian people the status of observant in the UN, which meant half-way recognition of Palestinians internationally. Some question if the Israelis accepted the offer then instead almost 20 years later, would have been there war in Lebanon? Or at least a war to last 17 years?

(Picture Above: Syrians enter Lebanon)

When the Lebanese National Movement and the PLO dominated over 81% of Lebanon in 1975-1976 wars, Israeli interests switched whereby they gave Henry Kissinger the blessing to let the Syrians uproot the PLO from existence. Hence, the Syrians, under the hesitated blessings of Pierre Gemayel, Camille Shamoun, and Suleiman Franjieh, as well as Israel and USA, entered Lebanon. The Israelis still didn't want to be directly involved, because then the Christian militias would lose legitimacy in the Arab World. In 1977, Israel pulled the Litani operation to safeguard its Northern borders.


(Picture Above: War-Criminal Ariel Sharon)

Bashir Gemayel's Zahli Crisis successfully got the Israelis and Syrians involved. When Israeli planes should down Syrian aerial vehicles, the Palestinians rained in the South missiles on Northern Israel. Hence, Ariel Sharon, then Minister of Defense, wanted to permanently demolish the PLO. The settlement in post-Zahli crisis, stopped everyone from shooting, but kept the PLO growing stronger without any interventions. In 1981, Sharon visited Bashir Gemayel in East Beirut, and had dinner with Pierre Gemayel and Camille Shamoun, with the promise to invade Lebanon since now the Syrians – Lebanese National Movement – PLO forged an undefeatable alliance. The logic for such a move was to uproot the PLO once and for all and block any sovereignty. Sharon's second logic was install a satellite president and impose a peace treaty. Bashir Gemayel already became the most popular Christian since the 100 Days War where the Syrian forces bombed brutally East Beirut for a 100 days.
When the invasion began in 1982, the Israelis failed to demolish the PLO since they were severely allocated in West Beirut. Sharon's plan was to have the Lebanese Forces (then a unity of militias under one banner militarily) enter the street to street fights. Bashir Gemayel, knowing his men's disability to face the cornered PLO and Lebanese National Movement, preferred not to.

(Picture Above: Israel Bombing West Beirut residential areas)

(Picture Above: Times cover in 1982)

Israel's main man was Bashir Gemayel, he suited their plans to be president, whereby Israel will have military benefits, and even joint business markets, Bashir became stubborn under US support. For the Israelis, they always thought that peace with Lebanon will eventually come, but after a stronger country signs peace. Bashir was assassinated. Prior to the assassination; however, Bashir had his undelivered inauguration speech. In it again, Bashir stressed on how Lebanon is an Orientalist nation rather an Arab nation again giving its existance roots to a pre-Islamic era. Furthermore, he didn't regard Lebanon in a state of civil war, rather under Palestinian and Syrian invasion without refering to the Israelis, more like hinting to the Israelis to oust the PLO militant remainders and Syrian forces out. It is worthy to note, that Sharon had a Plan B, which was transferring the PLO and the whole Palestinians to Jordan after assassinating the Jordanian King, hence establish a "New Palestine" for the Palestinians. The US diplomats accused Sharon as an 'asshole'.

(Picture Above: Bashir Gemayel)

While trying to salvage a deal with Amin Gemayel, even the Americans hindered several of their efforts. However, it is known that Sharon tried to pull a deal with Amin Gemayel behind the Americans' backs, through a business merchant called Sami Marun. It was intercepted, and the Americans changed a lot of the items which went to Lebanon's benefits. However, the 17th of May Accord was shot down via Syria, and its allies Junblatt and Berri. Israel's primary concern became on how to pull out from Lebanon since they couldn't tolerate military operations conducted on them.
Their sudden pull-out from Mt. Lebanon, witnessed pro-Lebanese Forces residents demonstrating in front their headquarters over there not to withdraw, but the IDF couldn't tolerate any more casualties. The sudden pull-out from Mt. Lebanon witnessed the bloodiest collisions in Mt. Lebanon between Walid Junblatt and Samir Geagea, which ended up with bloodshed, mostly on Christian areas, and resulted in the biggest sectarian cleansing since Bashir Gemayel's cleansing of East Beirut from Non-Christians. Since then, the Christian leadership lost confidence with the Israelis and felt they were betrayed.

(Picture Above: Israel's occupation of Southern Lebanon)

1990s - 2000s

The case of the Northern borders became the priority of Israel, specially Hezbollah arming itself under the Syrian Mandate in Lebanon. They attempted to preserve the 40 Km area in South Lebanon with their puppy army, the South Lebanese Army, but failed. After confrontations in 1993, 1996, the year 2000 they were expelled in Lebanon.
Ehud Barak actually won elections in Israel with the promise of withdrawing from South Lebanon. At first, his government launched "Lebanon First", whereby they sought to seek a peace treaty, the negotiations were shot down because the Lebanese, under Syrian hegemony, demanded that Israel would negotiate with Lebanon and Syria at the same time. When the Israelis initiated "Syria First", the Syrian regime directly hopped the negotiating table. While Hezbollah operations aggravated, the Israelis preferred to preserve their tight grip on the Golan Heights in Syria, and withdrew suddenly from Southern Lebanon, leaving Syria shocked without any means to bargain in 2000.

Post 2005 events

(Picture Above: July War 2006 was more than the IDF soldiers can handle, another contributing factor on Israel's crackdown for Lebanese demands)

After Harriri's assassination in 2005, Israel held high hopes towards Lebanon after Syria was ousted out by internal activism and international pressure. Nevertheless, the participation of their sworn enemies, Hezbollah, in the government meant bad news. The US hoped that the anti-Syrian 14th of March can contain Hezbollah, but to no productive results. At first, some expressed hope when Hezbollah participated in the government that they will become gradually a political party, but they ended up as both: political and militant. Israel, in collaboration with the US, decided to end Hezbollah, with the support several Arab leaders, according to Bolton at Marcel Ghanem's talk show. Their primary lookout was certain Christian Groups, the Druze, and the Sunni Street. When Hezbollah, for different speculated reasons pulled their military operation on July 12, 2006, the war began, and the promise of Olmert was "extermination of Hezbollah". From this perspective, they will proceed bombarding Hezbollah, and hoped that a civil war will break between the 14th of Marchers and Hezbollah. Yet, the Lebanese despite political divisions, united on assisting the refugees throughout Lebanon. Hence their plans that were relatively successful in the late 1960s, and very successful in the 1970s ended up in failure. Yet, Hezbollah emerged even stronger, calling the war "Divine Victory". Their hopes of 14th of March to balance against Hezbollah evaporated when Hezbollah within 72 hours swept Lebanon politically and militantly under their grip. Even worse for the Israelis, the appearance of two powerfully militant parties preserving their trainings since the days of the civil war: AMAL Movement and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. This doesn't mean that 14th of March have been collaborating with Israel, rather, they shared the hatred to Syria in Lebanon. 14th of March also didn't express any need to forge any peace treaty with Israel, specially their mass butchery of the Lebanese, and destructive operation against Lebanon as a whole. Hence, Israel's key component, the undefeatable army, changed their plans and followed an informal disengagement plan. Whereby they successfully were willing to give Hezbollah the remaining prisoners, and a large chunk of martyrs, willing to withdraw from Sheba'a farms, and initiated via Turkey, under US patronage, the withdrawal from the Golan Heights, in order to focus on their internal problems, and probably gain some time to rebuild their army and sort internal problems for future wars.

(Picture Above: Israeli Brutality on Beirut during the July War of 2006)


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not the Final Chapter of the July War

I have not been blogging due to personal obligations but intended to return blogging in two months. Now, that a lot of events took place, I have no choice but to write...

Introduction and Cont'd of an Earlier Article

Last year, I wrote extensive analysis in "Lessons from the July War". Now, the main logo of Hezbollah for launching their July War "Operation Honest Promise" was achieved. Israel gave Hezbollah Samir Quntar in return for their two soldiers, who so far, we didn't know what happened to them till the last moment.
In Israel, the primary question was bombarded on Olmert and his allies as follows: "Why did we enter a war if there was going to be a swipe?" Hence, what started Israel's humiliation in 2000, aggravated in 2006, and climaxed in the liberation of Lebanon's national hero, Samir Quntar, a man who symbolized resistance to the Zionists, and resilience to the Zionists' attempts to crush the soul of resistance.

Samir Quntar argued in TV that his 1978 operation, the hostages were shot by Israeli soldiers. While the Israeli media hovered around how their government released him, the whole media of the world forgot how many Lebanese children the Israelis have cold-bloodedly butchered. Of course, whenever the pictures of our massacred children pop up the news, the Israelis rudely accuse the Lebanese as "faking" the picture.

The Israeli media also accused Nasrallah as shrewd, since he considered the liberation of Samir Quntar as a national victory. This was not the first time, when the Lebanese ousted the Israeli Defense Forces and their puppies, the Southern Lebanese Army, from Lebanese soil, Nasrallah argued it was a victory for the resistance, Lebanon, the Muslims, and the entire Arab World. The fact all the Lebanese politicians were there to welcome Quntar and the last Hezbollah soldiers, reflected the dimension of the long awaited victory of Samir Quntar, whom we were raised to hear his name: the man whose will never shook down.

Brief Bolshevik Point

Now for me, as a revolutionary Marxist, we oppose individual acts of operations from the view point that such operations aggravate the unity of the Proletariat across borders, hence our unity as Lebanese Proletariat, with the residents of Occupied Palestine and Israel minus the Arab reactionary leaders and the Zionists. We believe in longer run emancipation tactics which requires more patience while focusing on welfare policies and women empowerment in the short-run. What I would respect about Samir Quntar is what he did inside the Israeli prisons. The man was named "Dean of the Prisoners" not because he is the oldest of prisoners, rather, his activism inside the Israeli prisons. He was the one who organized informal networks inside Israeli prisons across nationalities whereby the prisoners self-educated themselves, resisted Israeli pressure to break the will of the prisoners, and always held their heads high in the face of Zionist brutalities.

Impact of Samir Quntar's release

The release of Samir Quntar was greeted by over a million Lebanese (mainly) citizens, among a small minority of others. Quntar's freedom brought Lebanon to the 1970s nostalgia where dreamers hoped for the crush of Israel and liberation of Palestine whereby the Palestinians can finally and peacefully return to their homes. This nostalgia which witnessed the PLO and other radical factions waging operations against Israel also included the factions of the Lebanese National Front, and the Lebanese Resistance Front (whose three pillars were the SSNP – LCP – Order for Communist Action). Now my personal opinion is known, I oppose the ideological demands of the Lebanese National Movement, while I oppose their tactics, specially going blindly behind the PLO. The higher euphoria, in the words of Jubran Arayji, an SSNP top official to NBN," was the belief in your own platform to be actualized".
While Israel wept, Lebanon celebrated. The Israelis in a pathetic manner tried to show that the Lebanese are barbaric while they are a civilized nation surviving this barbaric world is the fact that the Lebanese danced, celebrated, while Hassan Nasrallah did a sudden appearance in the festivalities to greet his own soldiers and Samir Quntar. Quntar, for a man living 30 years in prisons, always kept his head up and till now he doesn't show his real age, 47. The insistence of Quntar to remain wearing his military suit showed to what extent his will remained unbroken.

Dancing Coffins

The Israelis also were baffled on how the Lebanese and Palestinians welcomed the martyrs' bodies with rice, dancing, and flowers. To this Perez called our traditions as "shameful". The Lebanese and the Palestinians, from years of agony, learnt to welcome their beloved in a "marriage" ceremonial manner. Several Muslim and Christian traditions of funerals included whistling, dancing, clapping, throwing rice, and "dancing the coffin" whereby the people carrying the coffin get the coffin to move up and down which appears dancing. The purpose of such a process is to pay tribute to the deceased. When Samir Qassir was buried, his coffin was dancing amidst flying flowers, wedding singing called "Zalghota" in Arabic, amongst others. When George Hawwi, the ex-stalinist Communist Party leader was assassinated, everyone clapped and danced as the men "danced the coffins". Such traditions are a tribute to the deceased and paying respect. The second significance is to show for the deceased and whoever wanted him/her dead that the people are not weeping, rather they do a wedding instead of a funeral to pay respect because one popular culture includes the belief that the deceased do not want their beloved to cry for them, rather they should celebrate and rejoice. The final reason for such festivities is to prove to the deceased and to recharge amongst them that they are celebrating instead of mourning because the person involved is not dead, rather still alive in their hearts. And that is how the Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians welcomed the deceased martyrs' bodies.

Israel yet again Humiliated

Now for the celebrations of what that ugly Levni proclaimed as shameful welcome of a criminal, the Lebanese are over-joyous in welcoming a hero who made the enemy cry on their knees after killing over 60,000 Lebanese, across the years, displacing over a quarter of citizens (in 2006), and eventually proving how stupid she and her country is. They waged a war on the Lebanese, called it "War on Hezbollah" which included the killing of everyone except Hezbollah in general, such as the red cross, the foreign journalists, the Lebanese Army, and the Police, and even three members of Hezbollah's archenemies: the Lebanese Forces. Hence, that war was everything but a war on Hezbollah. The other dimension is that almost the entire Lebanese citizens across political and sectarian lines in one way or another cooperated to contain the Southern exodus. Even Palestinian camps such as Ain el Hilwi welcomed Lebanese fleeing under bombardment their homes for safety. After all, Israel used the refugee buses as target practice. Shameful and uncivilized. Hence, how can Lebanon not welcome Samir Quntar as a hero, or even as a liberator, who proved to the Lebanese and Palestinians that the Israelis are ineffective to do anything right? He even inspired to others that Israel's days are countable, so many believed that thought, happily to see their Southern racist neighbor drowning in tears, same people whose media forgot to announce how many they killed of children in Palestine and Lebanon, forgot to compare Israel's operation to Palestine in 1948 to Milosevic's ethnic cleansing in 1999 to Kosovo. In one of those few occasions Lebanon celebrated in joy and happiness while Tel Aviv drowned in tears.
Israeli reactions to the Lebanese victory were different in several manners. For starters, the Israeli intelligence added Samir Quntar's name to be assassinated next to Nasrallah. After all, Lebanon shouldn't go against the flow of Arab regimes trying to convince that Israel is here to stay. Reactions from normal Israeli citizens within Israeli media demanded that the next war with Lebanon have Beirut leveled down. I have news to them, in the last war, half of it was already leveled down. Finally, to the families of the deceased soldiers, they should expect such operations when they are wearing the military suit.

Israel since the year 2000 has had their victories cut short. All of Israel is in a way trained soldiers because all its citizens should serve the Israeli Defense Forces. Hence such an operation impacted them in 2006 because each citizen thought to himself/herself "It could have been me or my relatives". Well, to them, start changing your racist policies if you want legitimacy within your neighborhoods.

Impacts of Hezbollah and Lebanese Victory

While the entire cabinet of different political parties gathered in the airport , Israel tried to downsize Lebanon's happiness as "Nasrallah has the entire Lebanese as hostages". If that is true, I love Israel's way of dealing with a hostage crisis, burn the entire country to kingdom come (2006).

Hezbollah have been in a winning since 2000. They ousted the Israelis outside Lebanon in 2000 and proclaimed themselves as the descendants of the Resistance front forged by the Lebanese Communist Party and Order for Communist Action, and followed by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. However, the latter three's leaders were marginalized and persecuted by Syria. In the words of one Iranian Diplomat during the July war to Ahmad Fatat, "we the Iranians learnt how to resist from the Christians, such as George Habbash and George Hawwi." Hezbollah by 2004 proved their complete dominance over the Bekaa and South in municipalities elections whereby AMAL movement's influence was downsized. In the end, Syria had to intervene to face-save their allies AMAL. Hence, Hezbollah officially dominated the Shiite sect while AMAL became a relative minority. The defeat of 2006 of Israel on the infantry level reflected how the underdogs caught up with the giants. Israel's army is not indestructible. The assassination of Imad Moghnieh was again a defeat to Israel even if it is not 100% confirmed that they assassinated him. Hezbollah's alliance to the Christian bloc, the Free Patriotic Movement, moved them away from isolation as well as a Shiite sect. Their military power also remained undisputed in Lebanon when they swept Beirut against 14th of March in one evening, while Mt. Lebanon collapsed in two hours. Hence, they got the demands they have been requesting: Red lines on Hezbollah's arms, no Western power can oust Hezbollah out, got the national unity government they needed to veto any governmental decisions that might touch their arms. Finally, to complete Hezbollah's euphoria, they did the impossible and liberated Samir Quntar and left the Israelis feeling canned inside their borders. The timing of Samir Quntar was marked with the 2nd memory of the July war.
The liberation of Samir Quntar was highly valuable for Israel. Their 2006 across borders operation was called "The Honest Promise", which means the promise to liberate Samir Quntar. Olmert and his goons crumbled down at timing more perfect for Hezbollah. For starters, they pulled Lebanon in a euphoria outside the last civil war we had couple of months ago and diverted attention to this blunder operation they did whereby retribution will take a long run form between the Sunnis and Druze and the Shiites. Their and their allies' vulgar behavior "as peaceful" diverted to the liberation of Samir Quntar. Trying to erase the breach in their promise "no weapon shall be turned to the inside of Lebanon", they proved that they are the only force to inflict defeat on Israel and their arms are still needed.

As a matter of fact, the pro-14th of March are trying to pull a symbolic victory by getting Shebaa farms diplomatically. Second, Samir Quntar's allegiance to Hezbollah was also what they needed. After all, Quntar spent his time reading Israeli media, whereas the most hated to them were Hezbollah, hence, they became his favorites, specially they were the ones who liberated him. So, whereas March 14th accused Hezbollah to ignite the July war in 2006 to protect their allies Syria from the International Tribunal, now got their promise actualized and diverted attention that the war was not about Syria's attention. Although, Bashar Assad's hypocritical attitude celebrating the July war as the real victor on the ashes of Lebanon is quiet lame. Sadly, Quntar supported Syria blindly without investigating what has happened during their era. Hopefully he will have much more time to do so to fill the gap.

Now the term resistance became over-charged, Ali Kanso was bragging that the SSNP will not surrender their weapons because it is "Arms for Resistance" although we didn't see a single shot directed on Israel all this time except on other Lebanese. The election of Assad Herdan as SSNP president shows the partial return of the Syrians, and the military urgency that the SSNP are currently living in especially several Ras Beirut zones are still within the newly resurrected SSNP cantons. Hence, Hezbollah's allies are now justified to preserve their weapons while leaving the 14th of Marchers in another security dilemma to rebuild their forces, hence a new showdown coming soon within the next decade.

Now, Hezbollah can behave the Judge and Executioner if things don't go the way they don't like. Simply unleash the AMAL movement goons on those supporters.

More to the point, Hezbollah's victories have an impact on the Arab region and the World as a whole. Most of the Arab regime, dictators like Egypt's Moubarak, Jordan's King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's al-Saud, Qatar's Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, and most recently Iraq's Maliki, among others, are having aftermaths of Hezbollah and Lebanon's victories. While al-Assad, along with Libya and few other Arab nations support War with Israel, the majority don't The mentioned states are satellite regimes for the USA, who established peace with Israel on the account that "Israel is here to stay" and "let us do the best out of it". Hence, they oppressed their people under that logo plus receiving US funds as support. Egypt and Jordan are the second and third most funded governments by the US for signing peace treaties. Such victories, destabilize Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt whereby the oppressed majorities can dream of ousting their tyrants and boycott Israel.

The questions goes: how long Israel plans to distort history, for 1948 has its impact on all Arab worlds, specially Lebanon. How long they plan to remain racists and Zionists, after all Racism and Zionism go hand in hand with each other. The underdogs in a military sense are catching up, once the underdogs know how to shoot down Israeli planes, Israel's very existence is threatened with extermination and the Jewish Proletariat are threatened with another ethnic cleansing as a payback for what their Zionist leaders pushed to do throughout the British mandate. The on-going atrocities do not help on the Palestinians. Furthermore, how long can those US satellite regimes hold on, and haven't they realized the more the Israelis are brutal, the more secular and progressive forces are purged or shoved into Islamic movements, like Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Muslim Brotherhoods. Finally, Hezbollah's victories sustained the Assad regime to rule for the next decade or two with maximum peace inside his lands and oppress his own people; specially the British themselves declared that Assad is different than Saddam. The reason for this is the fact that the alternative to Assad's regime in Syria would be the three more oppressive, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last, I hope Nasrallah would live as long as possible, because the scariest of all is the relations of Hezbollah to Ali Khamanei through the Iranian funds and Wilayat el Faqih. If Nasrallah passes away, the option is not a moderate tolerant leader like Hassan Nasrallah, rather the extremist Na'im Qassem who, all Hezbollah's allies on grassroots level from pro-Hezbollah Palestinians, Syrians, Aounis, and even the SSNP, expressed that "all hell would break loose if he takes control."

Unwanted Palestinians

What were most disgusting about 14th of March, the Opposition, Hezbollah, the Lebanese President, and others is their behavior: "Palestinians are not welcomed to stay here" hence the "Liberation".


With Nasrallah declaring that the war with Israel is an open war, following Moghnieh's assassination, and promising us future wars, paralleled with Israel's nutcases such as Olmert and Perez that new wars are coming up as retributions, a doomed nation like Lebanon has no choice but to wait for the next disaster.