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Tag: Nasrallah (page 2 of 3)

Hezbollah Fully Rearmed

Hezbollah Ready
A UN intelligence report has revealed that not only has the Lebanon based Hezbollah fully rearmed itself, but they also have long range rockets capable of striking anywhere in the central Dan Region. The report, which was turned over to Israeli military officials, disclosed that much of the arms have been smuggled over from Syria and that the rockets include ones capable of reaching more than 250 km – more than enough distance to reach any target in central Israel. The report said that by smuggling arms in from Syria, and by rearming their forces in areas south of the Litani River, Hezbollah’s actions were in violation of UN resolution 1701, which was approved by the Security Council following the 2006 war with Israel.

Another disturbing element was information by the Israeli military noted armaments acquired by Hezbollah include advanced surface to sea missiles for use against enemy naval vessels. This information disclosed Hezbollah now has at least three times as many land to sea missiles than it had at the outbreak of the war in July, 2006. Judging from the fact that an Israeli missile boat was sunk during this conflict, this revelation is not good news. Needless to say, this report was taken as being very serious by both Israeli military officials and UN officials, including Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Even without this report, Hezbollah’s renewed presence along Lebanon’s border with Israel has been increasing with yellow Hezbollah flags once again in place in many areas. Hezbollah has even had the “Chutzpah” to display large posters with pictures of the captured Israeli solders, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser with captions in English relating to all the Hezbollah fighters and other men being held by Israel.

Does this mean that another round of fighting is due to break out along the now peaceful Israel Lebanese border? This is anybody’s guess, especially with the upcoming conference in Annapolis scheduled to take place next month. The recent attack by Israeli aircraft on a suspected nuclear facility in northeast Syria has also added fuel to the fire; and although Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad is not the same character as his father Hafiz was, he might still attempt some kind of conflict to raise his clout in the Arab world. All of this coincides with Turkey’s border conflict against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. Turkey and Israel presently enjoy good diplomatic and military relations, which could become aggravated if a new regional war between Israel, Lebanon and Syria should break out.

Heads or Tails Hezbollah Style

EldadIsrael’s anguish regarding it’s two captured soldiers by the Hezbollah, has become more intense following the revelation of an article in a Lebanese newspaper that one captive is alive but the other is “no longer among the living”.

This announcement was followed by another scathing flow of words by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in which he called for negotiations with the “Zionist government in Palestine” to commence with serious negotiations regarding a prisoner exchange. Nasrallah made these remarks from his secret headquarters, which were relayed to a gathering of his followings commemorating the anniversary of the battle at the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil, which Hezbollah has claimed as a victory, along with the entire Lebanese II war, for that matter. The Sheik concluded his remarks by saying that his organization has enough long range rockets to “strike anywhere in the territory of the enemy in Palestine” (he likes to refer to Israel as Palestine).

GoldwasserQuite obviously, this news must be very upsetting to the relatives of the two captured soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, who have been in a state of limbo ever since the two were captured following a Hezbollah attack on their military patrol vehicle on July 12, 2006, which launched the 34 day war.

Goldwasser’s wife, Carnit, also made a brief statement following the news revelation and Nasrallah’s ‘kind’ comments. Now she, together with the parents of both Udi and Eldad, have to wonder which of the two reserve soldiers are still alive: her husband, or Eldad.

Hezbollah in general, and Nasrallah in particular, seem to enjoy playing with the lives of relatives of captured Israeli solders, just like they did for more than three years following the capture of three soldiers on the Lebanese border near Israel’s northernmost town of Metulla.

Nasrallah seems to feel that he is in full control of the situation, complete with his threats of retaliation should Israel decide to attack Lebanon once again. Judging from what happened last year, any Israeli response to a Hezbollah launched missile attack (like what occurred a few months ago when the city of Qiryat Shmona was hit by three Katyusha missiles) might be considered by Nasrallah as a full fledged attack. Israeli forces did not respond to the recent attack on Qiryat Shmona, by the way.

So what happens now in this game of “heads or tails”? Do ‘heads’ mean that soldier “A” is still alive and soldier “B” is not? Should a prisoner repatriation occur in the near future, who will come walking across to the Israeli side, and who will be carried over in a coffin?

The anguish that the Regev and Goldwasser families must be having is tragic indeed. And all of us can only sympathize with them and pray that it will all end soon, one way or another.

The Six Day War 40 Years After

The Six Day War
They’re now graying, and many have more than comfortable paunches on their midriffs. But those Israelis who fought in the war of June 5-11 1967, now historically referred to as the Six Day War, still remember its glory. The Six Day War: a miracle victory against the combined armies of three Arab countries, two of whom are now at peace with Israel.

Recently, a reunion was made of the veterans who fought in the battle to liberate Jerusalem, three of whom are shown here when they experienced being at the Kotel or Western Wall for the first time in their lives. In fact, Israelis had not been allowed into the Old City and especially to pray at Judaism’s most holy site since the siege of this part of Jerusalem during the War of Independence, in 1948. The unification of the city, together with the capture of the entire Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank of the Jordan, including the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria, not only changed the history of the Middle East, but of the entire world.

As a result of this war, Israel’s status changed from being a tiny country under siege from all its neighbors to an occupying power due to its new jurisdiction over all the inhabitants of the lands it conquered during one of the most miraculous military conflicts of modern times.

It hasn’t been an easy change for the State of Israel, as less than 7 years later an even more terrifying war broke out, the Yom Kippur War, in which Israel was ferociously
Attacked by the combined forces of Egypt and Syria; a war that in its first critical days seemed almost to be the end of the Jewish State. Though Israeli military forces managed to win this war, at a terrible cost of more than 3,000 young soldier’s lives, and despite an eventual peace treaty with Egypt and the return to that country of the Sinai Peninsula, the situation regarding the ‘territories’ has become even more complicated with two ‘Intifada’ uprisings, scores of suicidal terrorist attacks and, now the specter of civil war amongst the Palestinians, who were given autonomy in the 1994 Oslo Accords.

40 years later, still no peace has occurred between Israel and its neighbors, which now include Israel’s entire northern regions after last summer’s Lebanon II war. Israel still maintains diplomatic relations with both the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. But it’s a very chilly peace, with indications that Egypt may one day again be at war with Israel, since that country continues to build up and improve it’s military forces; this time with help of Israel’s mutual ally, the United States.

The situation with Syria, Israel’s most immediately dangerous adversary, is as tense as ever, with Syrian President Bashar Assad, basking in the glory of his recent “re-election” to another seven year term in office, calling for the ‘liberation of the Golan Heights from the hands of the Occupiers’ (Israel). And Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, head of the Lebanese based Hezbollah, is now stronger than ever following the end of last summers war in which more than 4,000 ketiusha rockets were launched into Israel, striking even Haifa, Israel’s third largest city.

And on top of all of this, what might be the most dangerous enemy of all for the Jewish State, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is bent on “uprooting the Zionist tree once and for all from this region”.

40 years after; and yet it seems almost like yesterday. As an ancient philosopher once said in Rome concerning events in this part of the world: “the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain”. And judging from events which have transpired in the past 40 years, these words are still true in regards to the prospects of peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Still, the glory and the pride of those six fateful days, four decades ago, still linger in the minds of many who fought that historical war; including the three men who gathered a few days ago in the same spot where they stood so long ago in awe of their faith’s, and country’s most hallowed historical, symbol – the Kotel.

Failure Spelled Out: Ehud Olmert, Amir Peretz & Dan Halutz Get Final Grade

Olmert Faces WingradIn the beginning of the Second Lebanon War, early on, Hassan Nasrallah called to our leaders and warned that their inexperience should make them reconsider jumping into a war. In essence that is the conclusion of the Winograd Report handed out yesterday.

The report painted a clear, bleak picture of the three men that lead the country to war. Although the Winograd Committee was elected by Olmert and critics were quick to dub it a rubber stamp, this initial report shows they did the work required thoroughly, professionally and with a great deal of respectability.

Ignoring this report and not having these people removed from office (Olmert and Peretz), will both be detrimental and dangerous for Israel, and a step towards becoming a Third World Nation. The good news is that if we do become a Third World Nation, we won’t last that long anyway!

I went through a few pages and translated some excerpts of this frightening report. In case you want to read the initial report (all 171 pages) its available here in Hebrew (get a tissue out before you read this…).

Ehud Olmert was found to be the irresponsible, negligent in his duties and primarily at fault. As Prime Minister he was held accountable to the failures of the Second Lebanon War personally.

“his personal decisions, and the process in which decisions were made, was flawed. The Prime Minister took a position without getting a clear plan for action or asking for one – he therefore was unable to analyze the details of such a plan or approve it. Furthermore, Olmert never requested any alternative courses of action and did not display enough skepticism to the military options presented to him.
The Prime Minister also failed in leading the government to adopting ill conceived decisions, that he himself contributed to directly, in that he did not provide the guidance necessary for a clear decision making process. He also is accused of setting unrealistic goals and proclaiming that the war will not end until these goals were attained.”

Reading The Winograd Report - Moshik!As for Amir Peretz our so called Minister of Defense. The Committee clearly stated that he did not fulfill his duties as army chief. No real surprise there.

“His inexperience and lack of knowledge caused him to fail in all aspects of his job. During the whole period that was inspected by the Committee, Peretz did not request or examined a single military plan, did not check the readiness and preparedness of the armed forces. He did not examine in a broad view the methods of operation and how they relate to the intended goals proposed.”

“We believe that the decision by the Minister of Defense to accept the position, like the decision of the Prime Minister to appoint him the position, were political decisions that need to be examined on the political and public level only. One has to assume, for the benefit of the Minister, that if he had enough time he would have acquired the required competency. However, although lack of knowledge and proficiency in matters of his office should not prevent a man from taking a job, they are not to be celebrated or a reason for any pride. We found failures and deficiencies in every aspect of the Minister’s actions…he did not take necessary steps that would augment his lack of skill and experience, like for example, using a professional consulting system external to the security forces.”

Finally, Dan Halutz, the Chief of Staff. The committee laid at his feet an unprecedented amount of blame, never assigned before to a Chief of Staff. Halutz is now studying at Harvard Business School (MBA) and had Israeli reporters removed when they approached him for comments. The army is paying of course..

“The committee found Dan Halutz personally and professionally responsible for the fact that on the day of the attack he did not have any realistic plans for the possibility of escalation on the Lebanese front. He did not present to government, knowing their inexperience, the complexities of the arena, the army’s perceptions and the physical limitations in readiness. When Halutz received the Green Light, he avoided reserve army recruitment. He was a major contributing factor to the deficiencies and failures associated with the decisions of going to war. The army as a whole was uncreative in its approach.”

The committee clearly brings to light the festering infection at the core of Israel’s leadership. The lack of professional, educated, inspiring leaders has never been so apparent. In a final statement about the government’s role in the war the committee stated that the government as a whole should be held accountable. Ministers voted without knowing what were the exact plans going forward – that as a result of over relying on army reports.

“The government as a whole and each of its members is responsible. It acted in haste and without receiving any assessments that detailed the consequences of their decision on an overly aggressive military action. This decision was made without examining the possible results and demanding an orderly debate on the options. The government of Israel and each of its members, did not act using their better judgment, care and responsibility as required.”

That pretty much describes the problem with our people in government. The sad thing is that unfortunately I don’t think they have the tools to be good leaders, they are just not quality people. Each of them will sell their mother for money and the only benefit they see associated with being a member of government is their own personal wealth and power. Just look at the conviction rate and investigations of political figures and you’ll see the ideological bankruptcy we face.

This war is proof of how bad things can get when a used car salesman runs the show. When the Minister of Defense, a bumbling idiot, a wanabe socialist, bargains his way into the most sensitive position in the country and then war actually breaks out. The welfare of the country was sold for a political bargain price and the Hezbollah was there to call the bluff and serve us the bill – a body count of 139 people.

We need to start over. Get back to basics. Find the people that don’t want the job, that gave up and bring them back. The people that have been made sick by the low moral fiber that passes for leadership in Israel today.

Winograd Report: “for whom the bell tolls”

Eliahu Wingrad
Will Monday’s publication of the much awaited Winograd Report be reminiscent of Ernest Hemmingway’s classic novel: For Whom the Bell Tolls? The long prepared document prepared by a very distinguished committee headed by former Tel Aviv District Judge Eliahu Wingrad (pictured), is supposed to formally point out the faults of the Israeli government during last summer’s Lebanon II war, in which more than 230 Israeli soldiers and civilians lost their lives and the country’s entire northern region from Haifa and Afula onwards were bombarded during 34 days of constant Hezbollah launched missile attacks.

These attacks, which caused serious damage to many of Israeli towns and cities, including Haifa, also turned the country’s economy upside down and caused more than a million Israeli citizens to be either confined to very unpleasant conditions in crowded bomb shelters, or turned into refugees in their own land, forced to seek the kind assistance of people like billionaire Arkady Gaydamak, whose tent city in southern Israel gave temporary shelter while a hapless government failed to come to terms with a very unpleasant reality.

The report is expected to note the failures of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Amir Peretz, and then IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. But with all of this before us, is there really anything that hasn’t already been figured out by most of the Israeli public? After all, the reserve soldiers who were sent into battle without enough rations, ammunition – even water – do they need a long and very in depth report by a group to retired generals and legal experts to conclude what has already been thought out by nearly everyone with an IQ of at least 75? The report, which took more than five months to complete and at a cost of millions of shekels, is reported to find Olmert responsible for the results of the war, including lack of ability to care for the needs of nearly a fourth of the country’s inhabitants; Peretz’s failures due to his not being qualified for his position as Defense Minister; and Halutz’s failures due to his not having ‘on the ground’ military experience as a field commander (after all flying over a war zone is not the same as having to plow through it as many unprepared conscripts and reserve soldiers found out).

The committee also blames other IDF generals including Gal Hirsch and Udi Adam for their actions, and adds that lack of awareness of Hezbollah activity by former Prime and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, former Defense Ministers Shaul Mofaz and Moshe (Boogie) Ayalon allowed Sheik Hassan Nasrallah to strengthen his organization’s infrastructure in southern Lebanon during the six year period between the May 2,000 IDF pullout and the July 2006 war.

Though other details will most likely be revealed when the report is formally released at 3:30 p.m. on Monday (NOW !!), the resulting fallout to Olmert’s already troubled administration may result in early elections at most, or if not, at least a severe shakeup in Olmert’s cabinet.

Olmert commented recently that he knows he is not a very popular prime minister; and by the time the Winograd Report’s dust has settled, he may discover that his unpopularity is even more intense. After all, a lot of ordinary people were directly involved in this conflict – more than in most other major wars in Israel’s 59 year history.

And from a military point of view, many eyes will now be focused on new IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi to try to set things right in Israel’s armed forces. The only thing is – things have to be set right at the top as well; for as a former U.S. President, Harry S. Truman, once said, regarding ultimate responsibility: “the buck stops here”.

Yom Hazikaron 2007: Remembering also the living

Yom Hazikaron 2007
Israel prepares to honor its war dead and those killed in acts of terror at Remembrance Day 2007, also known as Yom Hazikaron. Coming just months after last summer’s Lebanon II war, the people of Israel have those killed in this unfortunate episode to add to many others who have fallen in battle or were killed by acts of terror since the founding of the state. Also to be remembered are the three captured Israeli soldiers: Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, and Gilad Shalit. Shalit was captured in late June when his patrol unit was attacked on the border with Gaza; Regev and Goldwasser were captured by the Hezbollah July 12 on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon – an act which sparked a war that ended more than a month later with more than 150 Israelis killed, including 38 civilians from 4,000 Katyusha rocket attacks.

Since the early 1980’s and the war known as Operation Peace for Galilee, or Lebanon I, a number of Israeli soldiers have been reported as either missing in action or captured. So far, none of these soldiers have returned alive, and many, including Air Force Flight Navigator Ron Arad, have been missing for years. It was only in the Yom Kippur War that some captured prisoners were returned alive, many after spending several months as prisoners in either Egyptian or Syrian jails or prison camps.

The reality of this past and recent scenario is that Israeli soldiers captured alive do not appear to have much likelihood of ever coming home again to their families; alive that is.

Recent optimism concerning a prisoner exchange with the Palestinians for the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit seems to be constantly frustrated as demands made by the Hamas dominated Palestinian Authority for the inclusion of prisoners with “blood on their hands” are just not acceptable by Israel. In regards to the other two being held by the Hezbollah, their spiritual leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, knows how to play on the emotions of concerned relatives as they did several years back when the remains of three Israeli soldiers, and a reserve officer named Elhanan Tenenbaum, were exchanged for more than 1,000 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

On Sunday night, April 22, Yom Hazikaron will begin in Israel with a special memorial ceremony at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. While special remembrance flames will be lit there, and at numerous ceremonies around the country, we must all pause to say a prayer for the three captive soldiers and hope that they will soon be released and back with their loving families.

That’s what Yom Hazikaron is all about: not just to memorialize the dead, but to pray for the living as well.

2006 OneJerusalem.com Year In Review

This is the OneJerusalem.com Year in Review – just a partial list, things that caught the eye..
Some Pics from the year and our associated posts. Happy New Year everyone!
To the families of the missing soldiers we hope to see them all back home soon.

January:
Hamas Wins ElectionsHamas Wins ElectionsMahmoud AhmadinejadMahmoud Ahmadinejad
Amir PeretzAmir PeretzArik Sharon in HospitalArik Sharon in Hospital
Arkady GaidamakArkady Gaidamak
Feburary:
Muslim Cartoon FiascoMuslim Cartoon FiascoBibiBibi’s Election Hype
Kadima Wins ElectionsKadima Wins Elections

March:
Miss IsraelMiss IsraelShelly & AmirShelly & Amir
Google IsraelGoogle Israel

April:
Kadima Wins ElectionsPrime Minister Ismail HaniyehIsrael Top Model Niral KarantinjiIsrael Top Model Niral Karantinji
Kadima Wins ElectionsParadise Now Wins

May:
Farewell To Yossi BanaiFarewell To Yossi BanaiMeir Ariel Passes AwayMeir Ariel Passes Away
Qassams Rain on SderotQassams Rain on Sderot

June:
Al Zarqawi is ToastAl Zarqawi is ToastMichael Moves to DubaiMichael Moves to Dubai

July:
NasrallahNasrallahKatzav Boinking EverybodyPresident Katzav Boinking Everybody
WarWar

August:
Bye Bye KofiBye Bye KofiLynching Dan HalutzLynching Dan Halutz
Mel Shits where he eatsMel Shits Where He Eats

September:
Pope Pisses Off MuslimsPope Pisses Off MuslimsIran Chasing the BombIran Chasing the Bomb
Our Missing SoldiersOur Missing Soldiers

October:
Idiots on the Streets Hit New LowIdiots on the Streets Hit New LowIsrael Trains Still A DisasterIsrael Trains Still A Disaster
Spawn of the Devil is in the MakingSpawn of the Devil is in the MakingAvigdor Joins the GovernmentAvigdor Joins the Government
Kim Has the Bomb!Kim Has the Bomb!

November:
Benny Gives Police An EnemaBenny Gives Police An EnemaGemayel Killed by SyriaGemayel Killed by Syria
Putin The DictatorPutin The DictatorBoratBorat

December:
Saddam SwingsSaddam SwingsJames Brown PassesJames Brown Passes
Tnuva SoldTnuva Sold

Lebanon not catching a break

Pierre Amine Gemayel Picture by Joe Sioufi

Once again Lebanon is thrown into turmoil with a little help from “its friends”. It’s like watching a baby trying to walk and a bunch of older kids coming up to it and kicking it down. Every time this country tries to make a change and build a future for itself something happens to send it tumbling back.

On Tuesday, Minister of Trade, Pierre Amine Gemayel (34) was shot and killed when his convoy was attacked in Beirut.

Unlike the last 5 assassinations where explosives were used, this one was more personal and gunmen using silencers at close range killed Gemayel and one of his body guards. A few days earlier, Gemayel received warnings that he was being targeted and urged his wife and 2 children to leave Lebanon. The information turned out to be accurate.

Gemayel’s father, former President Amine Gemayel, urged his followers from the Phalange Party, which he currently heads, to exercise restraint and refrain from vengeance. “Pierre was martyred for the sake of a cause, for the sake of freedom and for the sake of Lebanon,” his father said.

The Christian community has taken the brunt of Syrian “foreign policy” in hopes of getting invited back in by the same Christian population. The recent attack is part of the barbaric Syrian strategy that attempts to literally drown out the voices calling for an international tribunal on the killings of Prime Minister Hariri and others.

Through all this, Nasrallah and Hezbollah showed their true colors. Nasrallah, the ever loving resistance leader showed what a class act he was and how “in touch” he is with the Lebanese people this week. After the murder the Hezbollah leader he never even called to express his condolences to the family while every major country leader in the world did. I hope the Lebanese people keep this in mind…

AlJazeera, the Qatar based Pro Syrian news channel had its own way of dealing with the murder. It posed a poll question quoted on BeirutSpring:

“with a viciously worded poll question: What is more important for Lebanon, the Hariri tribunal or fixing the economic mess? Of course, in the world of Aljazeera, an economy can thrive in an environment where there’s a killer on the lose. As long as the killer is Arab, Aljazeera thinks its okay.”

Hat Tips: From Beirut to the Beltway, Beirut Spring and Across the Bay.

Letter to an Okie

Some people I know from “the old country” had been planning a trip to Israel this fall, but cancelled it, partially due to the “injustice” of the war in Lebanon. The following letter is my reply:

Dear ……,

I’m also very sorry you guys decided to “delay” your trip here. Many tours and private visits were “delayed”, but on the other hand, many more visits have occurred; by non-Jews as well as Jews.

The circumstances which brought all of this about still plague this region and Americans may not have the true picture as most attention is now focused on events in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as with (Daffy Duck loving) Kim Jong Il in North Korea; not to mention Iran.

Letter to an OkieIsrael started the year with the best intentions, including new Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s pledge to begin a withdraw from parts of the West Bank, following the painful August 2005 disengagement from Gaza. This should have made the Palestinians happy. But what did they do? Why they attacked an Israeli patrol, killing several soldiers and capturing Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Israel reciprocated by attacking Gaza to pressure the Hamas-led government there into releasing Shalit. Israel also ‘invited’ several P.A. parliamentarians to be ‘guests’ of the IDF until the release of Shalit.

When all this maneuvering didn’t work, the good Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and the “Hezbollah Friendship Society” did some ‘maneuvering’ of their own by pulling off a similar attack on Israel’s northern border, also killing more soldiers and capturing two more: Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, both reserve soldiers (Goldwasser had only been married 3 months before this incident occurred). About the same time, the Sheikh and Co. launched a bunch of their famous pop bottle rockets into Israel, resulting in Israel attacking them big-time.

Now, bear in mind that the Hezbollah Friendship Society (H.F.S.), because they are so friendly, like to locate themselves in the middle of heavily populated areas (Like the old Jude n’Jody furniture commercials, they love folk). That’s why Israeli Aircraft had so much trouble in ‘rooting’ them out. That’s also why that well publicized incident occurred when that house containing all those poor people was bombed, killing many of them (much less than the erroneous Lebanese and Red Cross information noted, however).

Yes, Lebanon did get bombed a bunch and a lot of innocent folk got killed. A number of innocent Israelis got killed too, though much less. However, we did suffer a significant amount of property damage; and this included more than 10,000 square hectares of agricultural and timberland, much of which will take 50+ years to grow back. With all this said and done, The Sheikh is now a hero, and Israeli leaders including P.M. Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz are castigated as losers, with many crying for their dismissal. Goldwasser, Regev, and Shalit are still captured as well.

I think Bush is mad at Israel for not “stomping a mud-hole” in Hezbollah, as should have been done; but this may still happen, and the good Sheikh knows this all too well. That’s why he still is lying low. Real low!

Despite all those UNIFIL and so-called Lebanese Army troopers patrolling Lebanon’s border, Hezbollah still has another 10,000 or so pop bottle rockets left, plus some bigger stuff. Israelis now feel more vulnerable than ever before, with no effective ‘anti-pop bottle rocket’ defense in hand.

Besides we’re all looking East toward that country run by the Mullahs who aid and bankroll the H.F.S. They and that even friendlier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are conjuring up some even bigger pop bottle rockets with something even more powerful to eventually shoot at Israel. Only one of these going off, and it’s all over.

So, when you talk about peace and justice, the question to ask is peace and justice for whom?

I still think you should eventually plan a trip here, and then you will see all of the facts for yourself. You also need to see where it all began (Christianity), which was also during a very volatile time (the Romans were not nice guys).

Take care and have a happy Thanksgiving.

M

Yalla Ya Nasrallah Video

This was a video created during the “2nd Lebanon War” as it was named. This was a clip created by “The Chalutzim” and bradcast on television. (Hat Tip: Heep).

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We are all Lebanese!

With the arrival of the first contingents of the agreed deployment of 15,000 Lebanese Army soldiers to patrol sections of southern Lebanon, it might be easy to believe that together with an eventual similar number of UN UNIFUL troops, some level of stability may at long last be in store for both the Lebanese and Israeli peoples. In reality, though, nothing may be further from the truth. The Lebanese soldiers, in their spiffy, immaculate uniforms, and riding in what appear to be newly painted military vehicles dating back to the Soviet military era of the early to mid 1960’s (from where much of this equipment originated from) will cause many military exports to wonder how these soldiers will have much effect against the Hezbollah, if Israeli combat units were having problems fighting them – on the ground, anyway.
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Sheik Nasrallah claiming victory

This is also a response to VJ’s previous post.

HI VJ,

Well,

I see the situation has become even more interesting, with the cease fire, and Sheikh Narsrallah claiming victory. While I am very much relieved that this blood bath has at least temporarily ended, there are a lot of “loose ends” that still are very troubling. First of all, too many deaths, especially on your side; as well as the widespread destruction on both sides. Narsrallah has not only emerged unscathed, he has actually emerged stronger and more popular than ever, not only in your country, but all over the world – especially the Islamic World.

Speaking of Islam, I was surprised to learn that you yourself are Muslim. I only became aware of this when I saw the responses to one of my postings in the blog site. Now the $64,000 question; are you Sunni or Shiite? If you have great reservations over Sheikh Narshallah becoming the Numero Uno in Lebanon, then this may indeed happen, as both President Ayoun and PM Siniora are very weak along-side the Sheikh. And with his promise that Hezbollah will help the Lebanese put their shattered country back together again, it’s a win win situation for Hezbollah.

Now, what comes next?

Israeli forces will remain in the sectors they have managed to reach until replaced by the so-called UN sponsored international force, which will be virtually impotent against an future encroachment by the Hezbollah. Naturally, the IDF soldiers, without the protection of bunkers and other fortifications (like they had there prior to the pull out in 2000), will be fair game for commando raids, roadside bomb charges, and other forms of Hezbollah induced insurgency, which resulted in their withdraw more than six years ago.

My question to you, as both a Lebanese and a Muslim, is this. Are you and your fellow Lebanese prepared to let the Sheikh and his ‘band of merry men’ take over your country? Are you prepared to live like the Iranians do today, especially under a person like Machmoud Ahmadinejad?

You may think that constitution of yours, which divides up the sharing of administrative and political power will prevent this from happening. But only someone who is absolutely naive can assume that this won’t ever occur. Because, my friend, it very well might. The Sheikh probably already has plans to either rewrite the Lebanese Constitution, or even discard it altogether, when he establishes his Caliphate. He may even consider the Christian Community as the descendants (and last remnant) of the Crusader kingdoms that were present in the land that both Lebanon and Israel now occupy. After all, both Tyre and Tripoli were once Crusader strongholds; and a network of Crusader fortresses were strung out across Lebanon, including Beaufort Castle in southern Lebanon.

If you really want to avoid all of this, and with Hezbollah a bit weaker militarily than they were prior to July 12, then perhaps it might be advisable not to let the Sheikh, as popular as he now is, gain the control he most certainly will have if he isn’t stopped now. Israel tried to do this; but maybe it’s better if you and your countrymen consider finishing the job. Perhaps that Lebanese Army of yours might even be willing to lend a hand.

Before it’s too late.

Good luck.

Q&A With A Beirut Resident – Part 3

In this second letter, VJ, a Lebanese Beirut resident, continues with his discussion with our correspondent, of what has caused, and continues to cause, the ongoing conflict between his country and the State of Israel. As in Part I, his comments are posted in his own words.

Hi ………;
Thank you for your reply. True, there are many grey shades over the Middle East conflict ever since it first began, especially that there are many historical narratives to it. To some, Israel is an illegal state that was founded on the basis of deportation and wars. To others, Israel is a fully legal state that was properly and lawfully established, just like the rest of the countries in the world.
As for me, I am totally with an independent, sovereign and LEGAL Israeli state for all its people to live in peace. I am aware of the historical overview that you mentioned, and let me add by saying that the Arab governments and leaders at that time were not that smart or wise in dealing with the Palestinian problem.
However, the Arab mistakes do not justify the Israeli brutality. And the Arab mistakes, do not rule out the fact that Israel did and still does violate International law just like I explained before.
My main point from my previous e-mail is that Israel, by violating international law and acting too aggressively over all its neighbors over the many decades, has generated the hate, the fanaticism and the terror which Israel itself is fighting against today. And I gave you the example of how Hezbollah was born. I’ll say it again in those few lines:

In 1978 the Ambassador of Israel in London is shot and wounded. 6 hours later, 28,000 Israeli-soldiers invaded the Lebanon. They occupied 20% of Lebanon for the next 22 years.
In 1982 Israel re-invaded the Lebanon and occupied another 43% of it. That is when and why, Hezbollah was born………
Israel’s “claim” that this war was against the PLO was false: Everything in Beirut was destroyed, from civilians to infrastructure to hospitals. Nothing was spared. And for what? For an Israeli “ambassador” in “London” that was “wounded”. So, for that ambassador, Israel killed thousands in Lebanon. It violated international law, the PLO got more support, and other groups started popping up, like Hezbollah.
Do you think it was a smart move from Israel?
So again, every time you hate Hasan Nasrallah, remember that it was your government’s present and previous wrong and unjust strategies that made Hasan Nasrallah powerful, making him by far the most popular man in Lebanon and the Arab world today.
I know the justifications about Israel’s occupation of Lebanon and other violations. But the fact remains: it is a violation of international law, and it remained not 1 or 2 years (like 1559), but 22 consecutive years. And what made things worse, is that it was an occupation of a residential land, where people live. Schools, hospitals, mosques, churches and homes were around the place. I am sure those people would praise and worship Hezbollah when they know that Hezbollah is fighting an occupation which has been in their land for so, so long.
As for the suicide bombers; first of all I do not support them. I am against all sorts of violence that targets civilians.
But many, many Palestinians were put in situations like this:
House destroyed.
Parents killed.
No job.
No school.
No future.
People around are still being targeted

How do you expect them to react?
They lost everything, and have no hope in a future. They have a “living body”. That’s it. That’s all what they have. And all of that are because of Israeli policies.
How do you expect such humans to react?
Again, I do not support suicide bombings…but once again, try to analise “why” are they happening and continuing to happening and even being taught in schools. Be careful. I’m not “justifying”. I’m simply trying to “explain” why. I might be totally, totally wrong.
To me, those are the root causes, behind Hezbollah, Nasrallah and a lot of the terrorism in this region.
I hope you would agree with me somewhere. Unless you believe violating international law is justifiable, and that it has no consequences.
Regards.
V.J

Shabbat Shalom Nasrallah

With the movement now on the borders, as soldiers are preparing to go back in to Lebanon in what will hopefully be a broader more decisive move, I want to wish them all a safe return and wish Nasrallah, Shabbat Shalom. We really hope to see you soon…

Nasrallah by the balls

Boxed In

Koosemo NasrallahAfter 28 days of living in and out of cramped, smelly shelters and 3 X 3 meter ‘security rooms’, many of Israel’s northern residents are rapidly approaching their ‘breaking point’. The ones feeling the effects of this very uncomfortable situation the most are parents with small children, as well as the infirm and the elderly. Many families who have the means found temporary accommodations further south, beyond the range of the short and medium range Katyusha rockets, responsible for nearly all of the deaths, injuries and destruction inflicted so far. Some have even traveled as far as Israel’s southern-most city of Eilat; where hotels and pensions are brim full, and opportunistic hoteliers have taken advantage of their good fortune by even raising prices in what is normally the resort community’s ‘off-season’.

The more unfortunate members of Israel’s northern communities, however, have stayed put, simply because they have nowhere else to go. Seeing elderly and chronically ill people, many with respiratory related illnesses, languishing in the foul, humid atmosphere of underground shelters, many with oxygen tubes in place to assist their breathing, is enough to effect anyone, no matter how understanding. Young mothers with babies and toddlers have been especially hit hard due to trying to cope with screaming infants and youngsters, as well as feeding them and taking care of their needs (changing diapers, etc), turning them into nervous wrecks. Kind and understanding remarks from government appointed psychologists and social workers are also doing little to placate peoples’ anger and frustration either. Past military intrusions into Lebanon, such as the 1978 Litani Operation, and even the 1982 Lebanese War (more formally known as Operation Peace for Galilee) have not resulted in such stress and hardships as this present conflict, which still appears to be far from over.

Recent government plans to temporarily evacuate residents from hard-hit communities like Kiryat Shmona, may be a temporary ‘stop-gap’ way of dealing with the crises, but not all effected citizens want to leave, as they are afraid of looters breaking into their homes. Others, especially those with school-aged children are beginning to worry about what will happen when schools reopen again in less than three weeks time. To have to delay the start of the school year in many communities could have an even further negative effect on kids who are already under a great deal of emotional strain from the effects of almost daily missile bombardment. “It was really keff (fun) at the beginning, when we all played together in the shelter. But now, it’s not that way anymore. I want to go back home to my own room and my privacy” one ten year old girl from Nahariya was quoted recently.

Discussions about a workable cease fire and stationing of international forces along Israel’s border with Lebanon may come in time to allow Israel’s northern residents to return to some semblance of normalcy; including the ability of children to begin their school year on time. What ever agreement is worked out, and hopefully honored by all sides in this conflict, will not make residents of Israel’s northern communities feel completely secure however. Many of them, especially those who have endured previous conflicts in the pas, know that at best it will only buy them some time – even if this can be calculated in years; until the next go-around.

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