Tuesday, July 25, 2006

posted by Ofer

Nasrallah had a Farm

So what is Hizbullah all about ? Hizbullah claims to be a patriotic Lebanese resistance movement with the goal of freeing Lebanon from foreign occupation and freeing Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. As such, it is widely excepted and respected in Lebanon and in the entire Arab world.

Syria occupied Lebanon for 29 years, with a military force of 14,000 soldiers. Syria openly claims, to this day, that Lebanon is part of the historic Greater Syria, and rejects Lebanese sovereignty. Moreover, the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations, and have only recently begun talks on marking a clear boarder between them. However, the "freedom fighters" of Hizbullah have never opposed Syria's presence in Lebanon. On the contrary: In March 2005, during the peak of the Lebanese Cedar Revolution, Hizbullah organized a massive pro-Syrian rally in Riad Al Solh square in Beirut. Quite obviously, Hizbullah couldn't care less about Lebanese sovereignty.

Last week, a Hizbullah rocket killed two Israeli children in the city of Nazareth. The two children were Arab. Nasrallah publicly apologized for this "mistake" and proclaimed the two children Shahids (martyrs). The father of these children has as much say in the policies of this country as I do: we each get one vote in the election and the freedom to express our discontent with the government. Its likely that this man from Nazareth voted for one of the Arab parties, which currently oppose the government, but I too voted for a party which opposes the current government. Both he and I pay the taxes which fund the planes, tanks and war ships that are currently attacking Lebanon. Nevertheless, Hizbullah isn't targeting the Arab residents of Nazareth, its targeting me. Nasrallah's war is a religious war against the Jews, and has nothing to do with the countries of Lebanon or Israel.

The main reason Hizbullah does not willingly disarm is their claim that Israel still occupies Lebanese land in the disputed Sheba Farms. The Sheba Farms are a 2-3km wide strip of land at the northern tip of the Golan Heights, which the UN has certified as being Syrian land. The UN reached this conclusion in 2000, after examining numerous different maps of the region, all of which clearly marked the Sheba farms as part of Syria. Some of these maps were actually issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Defense and army. The only map the UN could find which marks the Sheba Farms as being part of Lebanon was later discovered to be a forgery fabricated by Lebanon. The whole issue of the Sheba Farms first came up in 2000, after Israel had completed its withdrawal from South Lebanon (how convenient...). A wonderful summary on the topic can be found in Wikipedia. The bottom line is that Lebanon's claim to the Sheba Farms is a lie and an excuse to continue aggression towards Israel. In due time, Israel will probably return the Sheba Farms, along with the rest of the Golan, to Syria.

The only remaining justification given by Hizbullah for its aggression is the issue of the Lebanese prisoners in Israel. Guess how many prisoners we're talking about .... three. One of them is the child-killer Samir Kuntar. The other two: terrorists with blood on their hands, caught in the act.

Hizbullah currently holds an arsenal of 10,000 short and medium range missiles. Its annual budget, funded by Iran, is estimated at 100 million dollars.


Blogger Ali said...

Good summary of events. Hizbollah would never bite the hand that feeds them, hence the reason for supporting the Syrian occupation in March 05. Also, the Syrians were the ones that gave the Shiaa a say in Lebanese politics. Before them they were the marginalized politically and economically(they still are). My question is why not give Lebanon the Shebaa farms and Exchange prisoners? I strongly believe that this would take away Hizbollah's raison d'etre. If they decide to go beyond the farms you probably will have an internal conflict in Lebanon about Hizbollah ambitions. Peace between us has never been this close.
Best, Ali

1:46 PM  
Blogger inmotion said...

Hi Ofer

I came to your blog hoping to find the perspective of an israeli and openly discuss our differences in a positive manner and civilized even if we were meant to never agree.

I'm disappointed but I too have taken a hard stand on somethings as you have.

I wish you would be more open to seeing things from a perspective such as mine.

I invite you to read my blog first before commenting negatively or positively as I have done with yours.

When you have done so please come let me know so we can 'talk' without the prejiduce and the evil doings.

That's it.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Ofer said...

First of all, thanks very much for your comments. I am honestly thrilled that you are reading my posts.

Ali, I believe that Hizbullah have already lost their raison d'etre, and they will keep making up reasons to attack us no matter what we do. Israel doesn't want the Shebaa farms for itself, but if we return them now, Nasrallah will find something else he wants. So what's the point ? Releasing Kuntar and the other two Lebanese prisoners would only be teaching Nasrallah that his extreme tactics indeed work. If we send this message, we will pay a much bigger price down the line.

Babykaos (sorry, I don't know your name), I enjoyed reading your blog. You say that Israelis are hypocrites, and this may be true. But you must understand that Israel is in a fight for its survival. We are a very small country, surrounded by enemies that want to erase us from the map. Its not a question of hypocrisy, honesty or fair-play. Our policy makers focus only on doing what needs to be done to ensure our existence and our security. I am perfectly happy with a situation where the Arabs think that I am a hypocrite, but quietly stay on their side of the boarder. In Israel we call this situation a "cold peace" - its a peace without any love, and we currently have it with Egypt and Jordan. And by the way, I would really love to visit Dubai someday ...

3:15 PM  

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