Western and American political leaders are focused on dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict but to the north, it is very likely that Hizbullah will gain a majority in the Lebanon Parliament in the election to be held on June 7. Hassan Nasrallah, the dynamic leader of Hizbullah would not win any popularity contests in western nations, but he is a charismatic leader who is widely admired among Muslims in the Middle East. There are 20 parties competing in the election while Hizbullah will be united behind their candidates. Of course in the topsy turvy world of Lebanon politics, power has to be divided between Christians and Muslims so the outcome is still unclear as to which group will have effective power in governing the nation.
However, Nasrallah supporters are excited about what they view as the coming victory. One supporter, Hussein Alloush, told a reporter: “We are the party of God, God is going to help Nasrallah win.” Funny, I thought God was on the side of George Bush. Does this mean God is a turncoat who is switching sides and abandoning Christianity for some Muslim leader?
The pan-Arab newspaper, Asharq Alawsa, reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei has personally replaced the leader of Hizbullah from his position of power due to the initiation of the summer war with Israel. Hizbullah leader, Nassan Narallah was demoted and some of his responsibilities will be assumed by his deputy, Sheikh Na’im Kassen because the Iran leader was furious that Nasrallah created a conflict with Israel that led to an invasion and serious fighting. At the same time, Hizbullah issued a strong denial of having anything to do with the assassination of General Francois al-Hajj who was supposed to become head of Lebanon’s armed forces once General Michel Suleman moves on to the position of president of the nation.
It is still unclear as to the reasons for Nasrallah’s demotion but apparently his Iranian bosses did not agree with the strategy of confronting Israel and having a war. American war hawks in the Bush administration will now have to come up with new excuses to claim Iran only seeks war and terrorism in the Middle East. Apparently, Iran’s leadership did not seek a military confrontation with Israel and is replacing the person responsible for such action. Given this action and the recent publication of an American Intelligence report that Iran does not have nuclear weapons, it might be possible for the United States to cease its rhetoric of hate against Iran and engage in meaningful negotiations that would lead to peace in the Middle East and end of terrorism by Hizbullah and Hamas.
Posted in Dick Cheney, George Bush, Human Rights, Iran, Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Muslims, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged Ali Khamenei, Hizbuallah, Iran, Israel, Nasrallah
Zaher Mahruqi, writing in the Jerusalem Post, raises the question as to whether or not there has been a fundamental misunderstanding among Israelis about Hizbullah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah. He notes Nasrallah’s comments after the Israel invasion of Lebanon which did not lead to recapture of Israeli soldiers and fierce fighting, “We did not think, even one percent, that the capture 9two soldiers) would lead to at this time and of this level. You ask us, if we had known that the operation would have led to such a war, would we have done it? I say no, absolutely not.” His comments shocked many Arab people who initially regarded him as a hero who had stood up to Israel. According to Mahruqi, Nasrallah was attempting to make the Lebanese people aware he did not wish further war or violence and wanted to play a role in creating a viable Lebanon. He understands the Lebanese people are sick and tired of war. Last week, Nasrallah agreed to an exchange of bodies with Israel. He is a politician who wants power and authority, and, if necessary, he is willing to forgo violence to achieve his ends.
Perhaps, it is time for Israel to discover the extent to which Nasrallah really wants peace by offering to negotiate with Hizbullah on a wide range of issues, including return of the Israeli soldiers. If Nasrallah is a pragmatist, he will engage in negotiation. So far, the continual resort to violence on the part of Israel has not been particularly successful.
Posted in Islam, Israel, Judaism, Military, Muslims, Peace, Politics
Tagged Hizbullah, Israel, Israel soldiers, Lebanon, Nasrallah
Last week Israel completed secret negotiations with Hezbollah by arranging for the exchange of the body of a dead Israeli for the bodies of two Hezbollah militants and a prisoner. Prime Minister Olmert, who thus far has failed to retrieve two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah, can now claim his first success in getting an exchange while Nasrallah, the Hezbollar leader, can now boast to the world he is willing to negotiate and compromise. The entire operation was the work of a secret German intelligence officer known simply as “Mr. Hezbollah,” who is a leading expert on the Middle East. He was asked by the UN and former Israel Shinn Beit operator, Ofer Dekel, to draw upon his contacts in Hezbollah to effectuate a transfer of bodies. Although, the incident involves a rather minor issue, it opens the door for potential negotiation between Israel and Hezbollah regarding more important issues.
Once again, there is an example of negotiation instead of war as ways to handle conflict in the world. Olmert launched an ill fated invasion of Lebanon to retrieve two captured Israel soldiers that wound up costing the lives of over a hundred Israelis and a few thousand Lebanese civilians and militants. Perhaps, if Olmert had resorted to behind the scene negotiation the results might have been different.