ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Seeking Total Victory

Seeking Total Victory

16 July 2006

By Yisrael Ne’eman

As of mid-day yesterday Israeli forces began a massive artillery barrage on south Lebanon in an attempt to destroy all Hizbollah infrastructure in the border region. The air force continues to pound the Hizbollah command center of Dekhiah in south Beirut and is seeking out katuysha rocket squads as they prepare to fire at northern Israel. In Haifa yesterday morning, eight railway workers were killed when a long range rocket landed on the Israel Railways maintenance garage. Since Wednesday Haifa and the Galilee have absorbed some 1,500 rockets and shells.

Two developments on the Israeli side are of note: Ground troops are massing on the northern border and Patriot missile batteries are being brought into operation, especially in the Haifa area. The probability of a ground operation in south Lebanon certainly exists while a more involved defensive alignment against long range missiles is being established.

The Arab World

But the larger drama is shaping up in the political/diplomatic arena. Hizbollah is finding itself in universal isolation, even by its Syrian and Iranian friends. Firstly, this weekend’s Arab foreign ministers’ summit meeting concluded with no agreed statement concerning the current crisis. Syria and Yemen wanted a pro-Hizbollah declaration yet most preferred to disassociate themselves from Hassan Nasrallah’s aggression. In particular Jordan and Egypt fear the continuing wave of Islamic extremism while Saudi Arabia has openly blamed Hizbollah for the violence. The Persian Gulf and the above mentioned Arab nations are petrified from a Khomeinist Shi’ite Iranian victory in the Arab world.

The more Israel destroys the Hizbollah military and political infrastructure the more Lebanese public opinion is overtly shifting away from Nasrallah. Lebanese PM Fuad Seniora requested a cease-fire on Saturday and stated his willingness to send the Lebanese army to the border with Israel. It is possible that more Lebanese than expected want the Hizbollah disarmed, destroyed and cut down to size politically. Unfortunately the Lebanese army is no match for Hizbollah, has Shi’ite contingents who are much more loyal to Nasrallah than to the Lebanese state and will not be sent to the border area any time soon.

Nasrallah and his well trained and financed fascio-Islamic terrorists are working to ensure as many civilian casualties as possible both by hiding rockets and launchers in civilian structures in south Lebanon and by the exclusive targeting of Israeli population centers. In his speech last night he called for Lebanese unity in battling the Zionists. This was done in light of official Lebanese requests for a cease-fire and rising criticism, especially from Druze leader Walid Jumbalat who accuses Nasrallah of being an Iranian stooge and destroying Lebanon. Nasrallah and Hizbollah are loyal to the Khomeini Revolution and not to any secular state structure.

Syria is distancing itself from the war and Iranian President Ahmedinejad declared that should Israel attack Damascus, Iran will come to Syria’s aid. It is interesting that no word was said about involvement to save the Hizbollah.

Some analysts believe Hizbollah opened fire and abducted the Israeli soldiers to deflect western scrutiny from their nuclear development project. Possibly, but since Syria was forced out of Lebanon, Hizbollah is fairly free to pursue its own Islamic agenda, dominate the Lebanese state and provoke Israel with cross-border attacks in an attempt to draw the Arab/Moslem world into a general conflict. All three are not in the Syrian interest.

G-8 Summit

Prior to the Moscow summit only the USA and Germany were showing unconditional support for Israel. France and Russia were attempting a “balanced” approach but as of yesterday have shifted in Israel’s direction. Britain and Canada are seen to be coming down on Israel’s side, Japan’s PM was in Israel when the crisis exploded and can expected to show sympathy and Italy’s newly elected president is attempting negotiations between the two sides. US Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice openly announced that “now is not the time for a cease-fire.” There were no objections and Israel will be given time to crush the Hizbollah. No doubt this is a very unusual occurrence.

In the end the G-8 called for Hizbollah and the Hamas to release the three abducted soldiers and for the halt to all rocket attacks. Only then was Israel asked to observe a cease-fire. French President Jacques Chirac accused Israel of using “excessive force” once the conference was completed (no surprises here). Overall, Israel has never enjoyed so much international support.

However at the UN Israel can expect to lose a General Assembly vote should there be one. But that is the least of Israel’s worries.

The Western Press

Showing consistency with their flat learning curve most of the western press continues to be duped by Islamist claims concerning civilian losses. Hizbollah uses human shields, especially in the south where rockets and launchers are stored in the private homes of ardent Islamists. Anyone doing so is an accomplice to Hizbollah aggression and is responsible for the death of their own families when they willingly turn their homes into military targets. Hizbollah headquarters in Dekhiah was deliberately built in that heavily populated southern Beirut neighborhood in order to ensure a human shield. To avoid civilian casualties Israel has dropped leaflets urging civilians to flee.

Overall there have been innocent civilians killed and wounded. With thousands of sorties by the air force and shells fired by the artillery, some rounds will miss their targets. On the other hand, Hizbollah’s main objective is to massacre civilians.

In conclusion, Israel needs to show extreme caution and not make any brash moves. Patience and long term endurance are necessary to continue the methodical, step by step demolition of all Hizbollah’s infrastructure. Everything looks a bit too positive to be true. Israel for sure should be able to secure a military victory, but the real question is how to translate all this into political/diplomatic and long term security capital. Israel (and the West) must now go for a total victory.