Tag Archives: Nasrallah

Hizbullah Looks For Lebanon Victory

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?

Hizbullah Stands Firm Against Israel Compromise

Hassan Nasrallah once again repeated Hizbullah rhetoric about the need to defeat Israel and restore Palestine to the Arab people. There was not a sign of any compromise or willingness to seek a realistic solution to the current conflict. Nasrallah shouted, “Palestine, from the sea to the river is the property of Arabs and Palestinians and no one has a right to give up even a single gran of earth or one stone, because every grain of the land is holy. The entire land must be returned to its rightful owners.” He made clear his group was not interested in seeking any involvement of the United States or any nation is helping the people of Palestine to attain peace and prosperity.

The tragedy of Palestinians and other Arabs is the presence of charismatic leaders who pontificate and boast for the audience at hand since they always prefer words to actual a resolution of problems. President Ahmadinejad, his fellow master of rhetoric rather than reality said similar things in his UN comments. Neither of these leaders has the slightest interest in reaching a compromise that will empower Palestinians to gain authority of their own destinies and have their own nation. As far as Nasrallah is concerned a photo op always takes precedence over discussing issues of substance.

Inside Hizbullah In The Streets Of Lebanon

Hanady Salman, writing for Al-Ahram from the streets of Beirut described how policies of the United States, Saudia Arabia, and inept leaders of Lebanonon forced Hizbullah fighters to openly oppose the government. Hizbullah militants went a gainst the wishes of their own leaders in asserting power against government forces. “It did not mater how many times the secretary-general of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, asserted he did not want an Islamic republic in Lebanon. It did not matter how many times he explained that his party’s sole aim was to have a fair share in the decision making of the country. He repeated his patience had an end vis-a-vis the government’s decision that were alienating both the party and his followers…Finally, they pushed him into the corner.”

For months, Hassan Nasrallah, has been expressing his willingness to dialgoue with Israel even to the point of offering an extended cease fire, but the Bush-Olmert mentality that speaking with the enemy means accepting everything the enemy desires, has blocked efforts at negotiating with Nasrallah.

Salman argues the Lebanese government has been accepting advice and support from outside forces like the United States and Saudi Arabia which have turned Lebanon away from both internal and external negotiations and compromises that might result in stability. Instead, chaos is growing and only Hizbullah may have the power to impose its will upon opponents.

As Salman observes, “And, someone has to convince the U.S. that it cannot keep supporting a group of Lebanese politicians that cannot deliver the way U.S. backed politicians did when the US invaded Iraq. Does the US want another Iraq?”

Saudi Journalist Blasts Hamas

Saudi journalist, Mussad al-Hamis, writing in the London-based newspaper, Al-Hayat, strongly attacked the behavior and words of Hizbullah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and made the accusation he “wishes to be the Al Capone of Lebanon, and the Arabs, to sit in his lair, and receive orders from the Great Satan(Iran) and carry them out in exchange for a fistful of dollars.” He ridiculed Nasrallah’s declaration of an “open war with Israel.” The writer asked,”What war does he
mean? Does it make sense to put the decision on whether to declare war or establish peace in Lebanaqon and the region in the hands of a man like Hasah Nasrallah? If such a war were to break out, no one but Allah knows when or how it will end.”

The article most probably would not had been written without some consultation with the government of Saudi Arabia. It reflects a sense of fatigue on the part of many Arabs about the nonstop fighting and killing in the Middle East. Most probably, they are tired of Kassam rockets hitting Israel and the IDF response of bombing and killing. Perhaps, there is a growing awareness in the region that peace would be a welcome rest. Now, is the time for the Israel government to make some dramatic announcement. It might well pick up on the latest study which revealed one-third of land seized on the West Bank for settlements was in violation of Israeli law. Why not take control of those homes and turn them over to Palestinian refugees as a symbol of peace and reconciliation?

War Of Words, People Die In Israel And Gaza

The war of words has escalated in Israel and Gaza even as the war between opposing forces continues to result in death and destruction. Gaza has been cut off from the outside world as Kassam rockets from it continue to hit Israeli cities. Sharp exchanges in the Israel cabinet led Internal Affirs Minister Meier Sheetrit to blast Hizbullah’s leader by exclaiming: “We shouldn’t be afraid of Nasrallah, we should eliminate him.” Public Security Minister Avi Dichter complained the Israel armed forces were not doing enough to halt Kassam rockets and urged taking action “whatever the cost to the Palestinians.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded by insisting the IDF was hitting terrorists and was also planning new ventures. Gaza’s only electrical plant closed on Sunday insisting they had run out of fuel while Barak claims they have plenty of fuel but are only trying to gain world sympathy.

Hamas spokesperon, Sami Abdul Zhuhri defiantly told Israel, “we will not raise the white flag, we will not surrender.” The dueling banjo voices of extremists on both sides only ensures there will be no peace for either Palestinians or Israelis. The two immediate actions are an end to Kassasm rockets and opening Gaza to humanitarian supplies as well as access to needed fuel. It is time for Israeli and Hamas leaders to end their verbal exclamations and declarations and focus on what is needed for momentary peace. On one hand, the US and Israel insists they will never negotiate with Hamas, on the other hand they want Hamas to cease firing rockets. These are incompatible foreign policy objectives. There is need to involve prominent Arab leaders in a comprehensive approach to dealing with these issues and it is critical that Hamas be involved in any discussions. Ironically, lost in the anti-Hamas policy of Bush and Israel is the reality they are allowing Hamas to dictate what happens in the Middle East.

Iran Demotes Hizbullah Leader In Anger Over War With Israel

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.

Hizbullah Leader Nasrallah-Terrorist Or Politician?

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.

“Mr. Hezbollah” Arranged Body Transfer Between Israel and Hezbollah

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.