Exchange

Interesting to see how all the Sinioras and Junblatts who have continually lambasted Hezbollah for 2 years over their ‘ill judgment’ in capturing Israeli soldiers in 2006, were falling over each other yesterday to bask in the glory of the eventual success of that action. Equally interesting to observe the ‘shocked’ reactions worldwide to the celebration in Lebanon. It is amazing how many people keep swallowing Israel’s version of the ‘Kuntar is a child killer’ story – i.e. he was convicted as such by an Israeli military (kangaroo) court, but has maintained during his trial and still maintains that the victims were actually killed by Israeli soldiers coming to ‘rescue’ them. (Israel typically never admitted this, and didn’t actually release the trial records until… last week). But even if he did kill them, what’s the difference with what the IDF has been doing and keeps doing in Occupied Palestine? The same goes for Dalal Mughriye – oh no, she killed innocent civilians! Well, I suggest all those ‘disgusted western liberals’ have a look around ‘our’ terrorism and wholesale killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq right now – or in Palestine for that matter – rather than reserving their disgust for people who kill Israeli and western civilians only. I never heard those same people expressing their disgust earlier this year when Israel was celebrating 60 years of massacres, apartheid, land robbery, torture and systematic ethnic cleansing. Not to mention the consistent terrorizing of all its neighbouring countries. There are no terrorists, you see, there are only wars. And civilians are always the first and main victims of war – any war.
For an amusing sampling of the ‘shock and disgust’ of the ‘liberal circles’ at anybody stating the obvious, i.e., that violence is the only language that Israel understands (and speaks), have a look at the comments on this article on the Guardian’s website by Charles Harb, who teaches social psychology at the AUB here in Beirut: ‘Hizbullah’s success can be added to its already long list of achievements, and reminds Arab and Muslim audiences worldwide of the effectiveness of a steadfast resistance. In an Arab world used to humiliations and defeats, the list of achievements claimed by Hizbullah in the past decade is indeed noteworthy. The resistance movement was able to liberate most of Lebanon’s territory from a two decade-long Israeli occupation, conducted a successful prisoner exchange in 2004, broke the invulnerability myth of the Israeli Defence Forces in the 2006 war, and managed to return all Lebanese prisoners held in Israel this past week. Hizbullah’s charismatic leader has argued that his movement has never capitulated to Israeli demands, and thus never been defeated in its 25-year history – “the era of [Arab] defeats is over”. This is in stark contrast to what “Arab moderates” could show for in the same decade they spent negotiating with the Israeli state. The much-publicised and now barren “peace process” keeps edging “forward” through road maps, countless summits, visits, and vague “visions” of a Palestinian state that fails to materialise, and which remains as elusive as it did 60 years ago. Expanding Israeli settlements keep shrinking the space of a Palestinian state, and Israeli checkpoints still pepper the West Bank. Half the population are refugees scattered around the globe, and the other half live in confinement behind a segregation wall. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s repeated pleas for the release of some (if any) of the 11,500 Palestinians held prisoner keep falling on Israeli deaf ears. Only armed resistance seemed able to edge Israeli settlements and checkpoints out of the Gaza strip, and only Hamas seems able to force Israel into negotiating a prisoner release. Israel seems more likely to yield to the demands of resistance movements (Hamas, Hizbullah) than to friendly pleas and peace offers. This is a strong message that further undermines the US’s Arab allies.
(…) Current western support for Arab dictators and the associated labelling of resistance movements as terrorist organisations may not be to its best interest. Striking mutually beneficial deals with those that more closely represent Arab populations rather than with the corrupt dictators that rule them may have better long-term pay-offs.’

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