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Israel Directing Policy Through US Treasury: Sanctioning Hezbollah’s Political Allies in Lebanon

By Patrick Henningsen | 21st Century Wire | September 12, 2019

Nearly three years into the Trump administration, one thing is clear: as it struggles to wage any new direct shooting or proxy wars, Washington has instead relied on economic warfare against its perceived enemies, and largely on behalf of the state of Israel.

Through the U.S. Treasury Department and its own openly pro-Israel agents of influence, namely Secretary Steve Mnuchin, along with his Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal P. Mandelker, Israel has been able to attack and undermine all of its own geopolitical enemies and region rivals. The chief mechanism for achieving this is by directing the US government to label any person, politician or state agency – as a “terrorist,” or as a terrorist entity, thus allowing the US government to apply sanctions against any person or entity which Israel designates as its enemy, or even potential enemy. As a result of this runaway policy, the list of sanctioned persons and organisations by the Trump administration is the most in history.

Firmly in its crosshairs is Lebanon’s well-established political and military wings of the Hezbollah organisation. There is a fundamental flaw in the West’s framing of Hezbollah though, starting with its origins. It is a fact of history that Hezbollah was born out of Israel’s illegal occupation of southern Lebanon. Had Israel not invaded and occupied this region, or prosecuted its long and violent military campaign during and after the Lebanese Civil War, then it’s possible the Hezbollah movement may never had formed. It was born out of Israel’s occupation. Indeed, Iran has been traditional supporter of the group – which has drawn the ire of Washington and Tel Aviv who view both Iran and Hezbollah as a joint obstacle to US-Israeli strategic security objectives in the Middle East. In order to elevate Hezbollah to ‘most targeted status,’ US officials have had to repeatedly fabricate claims that Hezbollah is acting as major global terrorist organisation. In the same breath, US officials, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will enthusiastically drift out the well-worn fable that ‘Iran is the world’s number state-sponsor of terror’.

Earlier this year, the US also announced that henceforth, Iran’s leading military divisions, the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds Force – would now be designated as a “terrorist organisation.” The cold irony of course, is that Hezbollah militias are presently fighting (and defeating) actual terrorist organisations like al-Qaeda and ISIS (both of who have been created, as well as armed and financed by numerous western and gulf states, including the United States) in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Since 2013, Hezbollah militia have played a pivotal role in ejecting al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists from their enclaves in Syria, thus thwarting the regime change objectives of US, UK, France, NATO member states, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and also Israel too. Likewise for IRGC and Quds special military advisors deployed in Iraq and Syria to help subdue the invading terrorist brigades. The same is true for Iranian-backed militias in Iraq like the Hash’d Shaabi (People’s Mobilization Units), predominantly Shia, who were pivotal in Iraq’s ultimate victory over ISIS in 2017. Veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn summed it up when he concluded that the greatest threat to building peace in Iraq was not ISIS, but rather, Donald Trump determined to pick a fight with Iran. Documentation on the number of casualties is still difficult to determine, but on the aggregate, between Hezbollah, Hash’d, Iranian forces, the losses sustained in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda number in the tens of thousands – and likely far more than the combined US soldier death tolls in 18 year-long War on Terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Regardless of general western ignorance of what has actually transpired in Syria since 2011, and in Iraq since 2014, the people who actually live in the Middle East know the severity of this largely foreign-backed terrorist usurpation.

Regardless of the facts on the ground, neconservatives and war hawks in the Beltway are still happily pressing ahead with their policies. With Tel Aviv carefully leading from behind, Washington has successfully pressured many of its allies to obey its geopolitical dictates, with the UK, Argentina and Paraguay all falling into line this year by designating Hezbollah – both its political and military wings – as a terrorist organisation, as well as pressuring Brazil to follow suit.

Of deeper concern for Washington though, is that Hezbollah is defending Lebanon’s borders from what is undoubtedly the region’s most prolific aggressor – Israel. In just the last few weeks, Israel has attacked no less than 4 of its neighbours, including unprovoked military strikes against Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and of against Palestinians living under illegal Israeli occupation in Gaza. Hezbollah also poses another threat to Israeli hegemony in the region because of its unflagging support for Palestinian resistance against Israel’s violent occupation and ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinian people. Similarly, the Islamic Republic of Iran also supports the Palestinian resistance cause, which is also a predicate for Israel’s various and sundry fabricated claims about a ‘secret Iranian nuclear arsenal,’ and imagined conspiracy that ‘Iran is occupying Syria’ – all of which are designed to garner leverage in Washington whereby US officials can view Hezbollah an accomplice to “Iran’s threat world peace.” This is the sort of geopolitical gymnastics which Israel is attempting to perform on a daily basis in order to justify the longest-running, most brutal and inhumane apartheid regimes in modern history – being waged against Palestinians and Arabs in the Middle East.

Targeting Hezbollah’s Political Allies

Still, Washington insists on basing its international relations on these numerous fabricated claims about Iran and Hezbollah drafted by Israel’s J Street lobbyists and the Prime Minister’s office in Tel Aviv. Now the Trump administration is taking this method a step further by threatening to sanction any political allies of Hezbollah in Lebanon. With military options practically off the table, this is the only remaining option for Washington and Tel Aviv to try and undermine Hezbollah which is now a political force in Lebanese politics, forming a working majority in the Lebanese Parliament along with its allies, as well as holding key ministerial and cabinet positions. But will it work?


Future Sanctions Will ‘Absolutely’ Target Hezbollah Allies in Lebanon: US Envoy

Al-Manar – September 13, 2019

US envoy said on Thursday that future sanctions could target allies of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“In the future we will designate, because we have to, individuals in Lebanon who are aiding and assisting Hezbollah, regardless of their sect or religion,” the new US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, David Schenker, said in an interview with local LBCI television.

When asked by the interviewer if this means sanctions will target allies of Hezbollah, Schenker said “absolutely,” adding that the US is constantly reviewing its sanctions lists.

Earlier on Tuesday, US State Department announced it has issued sanctions against four alleged Hezbollah members, Ali Karakeh, Mohammad Haydar, Ibrahim Aqil and Fouad Shukr.

The administration of Presdient Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Hezbollah and other resistance groups since the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Last month, the US Treasury slapped sanctions on the Lebanese Jammal Trust Bank, claiming the bank “brazenly enabling” Hezbollah’s financial activities. And in June, the Treasury took the unprecedented step of sanctioning two sitting Hezbollah MPs, Amin Sharri and Mohammad Raad, alongside security head Wafiq Safa.

September 13, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nasrallah: Hezbollah has no more ‘Red Lines’ Against Israel, all Occupied Palestine can be Targeted

Hezbollah footage of the strike (English subtitles):

Report about Israeli dummy soldiers:

According to Israel’s military censor, there were no Israelis so much as scracthed by Hezbollah’s Kornet missiles, but only 2 days later, an Israeli soldier was severely injured and almost died because of an alledged ‘rock-throwing game’. Sounds like the lousiest cover-up ever…

Nasrallah: Hezbollah has no more ‘Red Lines’ Against Israel, all Occupied Palestine can be Targeted

Political section of the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on September 2nd, 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (‘Ashura), and the day after Hezbollah’s retaliation against an Israeli armored vehicle.

Transcript: 

The (political) part of my speech will be devoted to the latest developments, that is Hezbollah’s retaliation, the different reactions to it and (everything that happened yesterday and today).

First, we express our thanks to God Most High and Exalted for the success, the victory, and the accomplishments He has bestowed upon us, because all the benefits we enjoy come from His beneficence, His goodness, and His mercy. We praise Him and implore His forgiveness.

I must then address, at the beginning of my speech, the Resistance, the Mujahideen (fighters in the way of God), be they leaders, soldiers or persons in charge, who since 8 days, since Sunday (August 25) to this day, until last night or until this morning at least, were on the battlefield, at every time, along the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine, and ready (to hit the first valuable target). It is by their presence, their state of alert, their courage, their efficiency and their sacrifices that we realized and confirmed all the equations that dissuade the enemy and protect our country.

These brothers, since the first hours after my Sunday (August 25) speech, whether under the sun or under the stars, in the heat of daylight or the freshness of the night, and in spite of the maximum alert of the Israeli enemy, of his radars and (surveillance) drones, as well as all his (ultra-sophisticated) technical means, remained in front of the enemy, exposed (to strikes), present on the ground (and not hidden in bunkers), ready to give their blood. After God the Most High and the Exalted, it is they whom we must thank, these noble and very dear brothers.

In the same way, I must thank the Lebanese army, which remained vigilant on the whole length of the border, ready to face any aggression. I also express our thanks to our beloved people, our kith and kin, and our beloved families, especially those who are in the villages and regions closest to the border, who have spent all these days living their daily & normal lives, and who have followed, supported and congratulated our retaliation, and expressed their joy and pride in the success of the Resistance.

Likewise, we naturally thank anew the (Lebanese) Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Parliament) and government officials, and all those who have clearly and firmly taken a stance (alongside the Resistance). I declare in truth that they have followed the events until the last moments, and have assumed their national responsibility.

I particularly thank the media, who have made great efforts to follow the evolution of the situation, supporting the actions of the Resistance and showing the situation as it really was, thwarting the enemy’s attempts to hide the facts (claiming that Hezbollah didn’t cause any casualties). As I will explain, our operation did not take place only yesterday in the afternoon, but extended from my speech (on August 25) to the military operation itself. All of this has been closely monitored by the media, and I thank them all, especially the reporters on the ground, who sometimes put themselves in danger in order to show the situation in a strong and eloquent way [the Israeli Army had completely deserted the area, allowing some Al-Manar, Al-Mayadeen and Russia Today Arabic journalists to infiltrate Israeli territory and even enter abandoned military bases]. We also thank all the analysts and commentators who provided the public with truthful, relevant and eloquent explanations.

I did not prepare a list of all those I had to thank, so in advance, I apologize to all those I may have forgotten, which will dispense me from mentioning them later [Laughter]. We thank everyone.

Secondly, I will quickly assess what has happened so that I can draw clear conclusions. What happened started during the night from Saturday to Sunday (August 25), and consisted of two events. The first event was the Israeli airstrike against the city of ‘Aqraba in the suburbs of Damascus, which led to the martyrdom of our dear brothers Yasser Dhaher and Hassan Zbib. And a few hours later, the second event was the operation of the two suicide drones in the southern suburbs of Beirut. I want to clarify something in this regard: it is common knowledge that the first suicide drone was neutralized (pelted with stones) and fell to the ground, and therefore failed to achieve what it was sent for. I add today that the second suicide drone, which was also sent to destroy a target, also failed in its mission: the target that this drone tried to destroy was not hit. The Israelis know well what they have come to strike, and I have no reason to reveal it, but I announce to the enemy that this operation failed. And it is also a blessing of God the Most High and Exalted.

Since the first moments, we have announced, especially in my Sunday speech, that we would not remain silent about these two aggressions, that we would not accept that new equations are imposed (to our disadvantage), and that we wouldn’t let the achievements of our July 2006 victory be squandered. And that’s why we said we would retaliate with certainty to these two attacks.

Our response has taken two aspects. The first aspect of our response took place on the ground, and across the international border with occupied Palestine, with the territory of Palestine occupied in 1948. And the second aspect of our response concerns Israeli drones in the skies of Lebanon.

Regarding the first aspect, the direct operation on the ground, we have stated publicly and clearly… I will present the overall situation to highlight our strengths, the strengths of Lebanon, and the points of weakness, humiliation, fear and failure of the enemy. We announced publicly that we would retaliate from Lebanon, from anywhere on the Lebanese border (with occupied Palestine), and perhaps even in the depths (of Israel). We warned the enemy that he had to expect us (any time) from now on. This is a strength point of the Resistance. We could have remained silent, refrained from threatening (Israel of an imminent retaliation), not revealing our intentions, keeping quiet as we say, for 1, 2 or 3 days, then hit them by surprise. The military know that one of the most important aspects of a military operation is the element of surprise. But we have not done so, because our fight against the Zionist entity has a major psychological component, affecting the morale and soul of the enemy (which we strive to undermine). So we told them from the beginning to wait for us, because we were coming. In itself, it is an enormous challenge issued by the Resistance, (but the enemy did not dare to take up the gauntlet).

If we consider the overall situation, in our eyes, everything that has happened since my (August 25) speech until yesterday, and which I will detail, is a (humiliating) punishment inflicted on the enemy, a deterrence of the enemy, a (successful) confrontation with the enemy. It is an operation composed of several layers that add up. Part of it is psychological, part of it touches the morale, part of it takes place on the battlefield, a part consists of an (anti-tank) missile launch, but all this is part of the same operation of a multiple punishment of the enemy, consisting of different layers.

If we consider the situation since last Sunday, since my August 25 speech, and briefly summarize the facts, what happened?

1 – The border has been deserted throughout its length. For Israel, there was no longer any distinction between the blue line, the international border, and this or that disputed piece of land in one direction or the other: the entire border, whether it is indicated by a wall or barbed wire, was completely abandoned by Israel, and it was impossible to find any soldier on the whole length of the border. Neither soldiers, nor these vehicles that regularly move on the dirt tracks or asphalt could be seen along the border. We did not see anyone nor anything. It is only today that they began to reappear, our operation having ended yesterday.

2 – All positions close to the borders have been completely abandoned. They did not even hole up in their bases, no, they completely abandoned them. They escaped. By God, it’s more than we expected. I told them to hole up, but they literally fled.

Entire barracks were abandoned, like the one whose name has now become famous, the barracks of Avivim. A large military base, including a command center occupied by a large number of officers and soldiers, etc., etc., etc., was completely deserted, as a journalist (from Russia Today) showed: she went in and walked the premises, finding them completely empty. There was absolutely no one! Several barracks and military positions have been abandoned at the border, and sometimes even in the depths (of Israel).

3 – At a depth of 5 kilometers in some areas, and 7 kilometers in others, special measures, severe restrictions, evacuations and travel bans have been put in place. Even in the settlements, as we saw on television, cameras roamed the settlements from morning till night and did not meet a soul: no pedestrians, no motorists, no motorcyclists, no bicycles, no open shops, nothing. Everyone stood still. They were all holed up in their houses, and the doors of the shelters were open.

4 – Very severe (security) measures were taken everywhere in Israel, with an unprecedented state of alert. All the Iron Dome units that they could find and bring to the North, they brought and deployed them to face (possible) missile fire. All their anti-aircraft defense capabilities were activated, as well as all their means of dealing with the missiles or drones that Hezbollah could have launched towards occupied Palestine. Of course, we have drones (in quality and quantity), it’s not a secret and they know it well.

5 – During these 8 days, their combat units were on alert, on a war footing and deployed: I speak of several divisions, several air bases, several naval bases, etc.

If we consider the general situation that prevailed on the Israeli side during these last days, it was clear that this Israel, which to this day presents itself as endowed with the most powerful army of the region, the first army of the region, this arrogant, despotic, infatuated and tyrannical state, which once terrorized millions and hundreds of millions of people (through its wars and threats of aggression), for eight days, the whole world saw it frightened, fearful, hidden, holed up, and having completely deserted the Lebanese border on a width of at least 5 kilometers. It’s an absolute shame and humiliation. It is a demonstration of weakness. This is one manifestation of the fact that Israel is weaker than a spider’s web. And that’s part of the punishment (we inflicted on Israel). Before we retaliated with our military operation, some people were (ironically) asking: where is your response? But (this terror situation on the Israeli side) was already a punishment and a retaliation.

On the other hand, on our side, the Lebanese army has not left the border anywhere, remaining in all its positions. Likewise, the Resistance was present everywhere it was supposed to be. Our good Lebanese people were normally moving in border areas, whether in villages or fields [Israeli settlers were forbidden to approach “their” fields in occupied Palestine], and led a completely normal life.

So we have a scene (of normal life) on our side, on our territory and in our villages, a scene of endurance, strength, assurance, confidence, certainty, dignity and nobility, be it Lebanon, its people, its army, its State or its Resistance. Such was the scene on our side, (compare it with the spectacle of terror and desolation on the other side).

Similarly, to properly assess the situation, it should be noted that yesterday, the Resistance conducted its operation in broad daylight. The military is well aware of what it means to conduct an operation in broad daylight (risk of detection, of elimination, etc.), so close to the border, while the (Israeli surveillance) drones were flying in the sky, and while their combat helicopters were ready to come and hit us. Our fighters were exposed to danger in broad daylight because we did not act at night. It is a deliberate choice we made not to act at night, for reasons that I will not bother to mention (show of force, etc.). We made the decision to act imperatively by day, and we communicated it to the brothers in charge of the operation on the ground, and it is also one of the reasons for the delay of the operation, because if we had acted at night, we would have had more targets and opportunities.

This Resistance did not hit directly at the border – anyway, there were no targets at the border – but at some depth (2 kilometers). And despite all the Israeli measures, despite all their precautions and despite all the dummy targets they have scattered everywhere (empty vehicles or occupied by dummies dressed as soldiers), a considerable amount of military vehicles and tanks placed here and there, which were all calling for our strikes to put an end to this unbearable wait for the enemy, despite all this, the Resistance has patiently waited, watched and monitored, ensuring the validity of information and checking all the data, and when a valuable target finally showed up, we hit it and touched it with certainty. Today, the whole world was able to see the video of the operation broadcast in the media. What happened clearly demonstrates our boldness, our courage, our precision and our sense of responsibility.

O my brothers and sisters, one of the most important points about what happened yesterday, and whatever the Israeli attempts to minimize its losses, is the very fact that the operation was conducted. The most important aspect of the operation, even before its success and its results, is to have been accomplished! We had the courage to do it! For the past 7 days, in the media, there is not a single Israeli official who has not said that if we opened fire, shot a missile, killed, wounded or attacked, the reaction would be devastating and could lead to war, etc. We have heard all conceivable threats. And the most severe are those that were expressed through the diplomatic channels: if one was to believe them, Israel would not tolerate the slightest shot in its direction, would respond disproportionately and destroy the country, returning it to the Stone Age. A considerable operation to terrorize us was conducted by the media and diplomatic channels (United States, Great Britain, France, etc.). But I assure you, O my brothers and sisters, and in all sincerity: not only has Hezbollah not flinched, but none of the Lebanese officials with whom we spoke trembled! Nobody flinched! And Lebanon remained strong in its attachment (to its right to defend itself), and its faith in our retaliation response and the legitimacy of our retaliation. The very fact that we made this operation is a success in itself!

I come to the most important point to which all should pay attention, because it is on it that I will base the conclusion of this whole episode of confrontation, and the new equation in force. In the past, when we were attacked, where did we respond? In the Shebaa Farms, inside the Shebaa Farms. Because there are Israeli military positions inside the Shebaa farms. The traps we laid for Israeli tanks and vehicles were placed on occupied Lebanese territory. The rest of the border, that is to say the border of Lebanon with the territory of Palestine occupied in 1948, and which the enemy considers as its official and indisputable border, its usurping State and its entity, the very fact of touching this border was considered by the enemy for decades as one of the largest red lines. Israel could not tolerate anyone allowing himself to touch the barbed wire delimiting the border, sending any drone flying over its territory, firing in the air, or throwing a grenade at it. No way! Israel responded violently to any such violation, for it was a red line in their eyes! What happened yesterday is that the main red line of Israel for decades has been shattered by the Islamic Resistance! That’s what happened yesterday.

It’s not a red line anymore. It’s over. This period is well and truly over, regardless of what the Israelis can say and claim.

And even tastier, this Israel, which normally [Laughter] responds to any shot, any projectile and any grenade by air strikes, assassinations and massive destruction, yesterday, Israel has made considerable efforts to absorb the blow at all costs. And even their incendiary and phosphorous strikes (against empty lands and forests) were mostly defensive, and aimed at building a smokescreen to protect themselves from further strikes, as they imagined that the Resistance was going to strike again the barracks of Avivim and other positions. But they wanted to get over with it and especially not escalate, being ready to conclude a truce at any price.

What is the result of all this? First, we confirmed and even reinforced the deterrence equation. If Netanyahu wanted to change the equation in his favor, we confirmed it and even reinforced it in our favor. Our deterrent force is now greater. We have increased it by one step. He feared a retaliation from us, but thought we would respect some red lines. But we said and demonstrated that we no longer have any red line. Since Netanyahu tried to change the rules of engagement, our response was to break absolutely all the red lines (of Israel). We have passed from a stage where our responses were launched exclusively against (a thin band of) occupied Lebanese territory, namely the Shebaa Farms and the Kfar Chouba Hills, to a stage where our response directly strikes the territory of occupied Palestine! It’s something new. It’s completely new. And we do not have to hit the border area. We can strike at 1, 2 or 5 kilometers, or, if need be, far more distant points, in the full depth of occupied Palestine.

What is the message we sent? This is where our accomplishment and success lie. The message is clear: if you attack us, all your borders, all your soldiers and all your settlements, whether at the border, deep or at the very extremity of your entity, will be threatened and may be targeted by our response, absolutely and categorically. This does not pose any problem for us. And the courage and boldness demonstrated by the Resistance yesterday will be found in the future by actions much more courageous, bolder, stronger and more important. Such is the new equation.

Today, I want to say this to the Israelis: Listen carefully to what Netanyahu did by his imbecility and pettiness, and remember this date, September 1, 2019. Sunday, September 1, 2019 is the beginning of a new stage of the situation on the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine: as regards the defense of Lebanon, its sovereignty, its dignity, its security and its people, there is no longer any red line!

I now come to the second point. I already started to mention it on Sunday (August 25) when I declared that from now on, we would work on a new file on which we had avoided to intervene during all the past years, namely the Lebanese skies and its permanent violation by Israeli drones. I explained that it was only internal Lebanese considerations that led us to leave this issue aside, and that we constantly called upon the Lebanese State to solve this problem. But it has not been resolved. We have therefore established, and it is now irrevocable in the deterrence equation, that the Lebanese have the right to defend their territory, their skies, their waters, their people, their security and their sovereignty, and that we would take care of defending them. And so we opened a new field of action, namely to confront the Israeli drones in our skies. I say nothing more than that. I speak of the Lebanese skies. We have established and announced it clearly. The decision is made, and implementing this choice is now in the hands of our fighters on the ground, as for the first point. Since August 25, the decision to retaliate against Israel was taken and was in the hands of the fighters on the ground, to whom we announced that we were in no hurry: we wanted a clean operation, without any loss on our side, and that would restore the deterrence equation in our favor. The opportunity arose, they seized it and we re-established and strengthened the deterrence equation.

Today, with regard to the fight against Israeli drones, the same is true: the decision is made, and everything is now in the hands of our combatants on the ground. And I already explained how we would behave, what was our vision, etc., so I do not need to repeat myself [Hezbollah does not commit to shooting down all the drones, because that may disclose and / or exhaust all of its anti-aircraft defenses, but will act wisely and judiciously depending on the circumstances]. Tomorrow, someone will tell us, when the first drone is shot down – and this can happen at any time –, that we are putting the stability of the country in danger, pushing the situation towards a military escalation, etc. But it will be useless. Whoever wants, within the international community, especially the countries that contacted us before Sunday, Sunday and during the Sunday operation, I say to them now: whoever cares about the stability of Lebanon and the region must speak with the Israelis and tell them that the time of the violation of Lebanon’s skies with impunity is over. This time is over. There will be no more tolerance and we will no longer look the other way. Hezbollah will no longer allow the sovereignty and the skies of Lebanon to be violated. As for how we deal with it, it’s a decision that’s in our hands. But it’s our right. No matter how long it takes, it’s our right, and the way we act is just a detail. Of course, that’s part of our response.

Today, I declare that because of the death of our two brothers killed in Syria, and the two suicide drones in Beirut, our response began on Sunday, continued yesterday and will continue via the fight against drones. That’s what we decided. Naturally, we come out stronger from this episode of confrontation, with a stronger position. Netanyahu wanted to overturn the rules of engagement in Israel’s favor, and we stopped him. He wanted to break the balance of deterrence, and we strengthened it in our favor. This is the result, and that is the conclusion.

Anyway, the Israelis must know that all this was caused by the stupidity of this man, who has only one idea in mind, to win the elections at all costs in order to escape justice for the many corruption cases in which he is involved.

So we can say that this new stage of confrontation is over from the point of view of the new equation that it has founded. And in the future, the fight against drones will continue. And in case of aggression against Lebanon, there will no longer be any red line at the international borders and in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, to which will henceforth extend all our retaliations, which will no longer be confined to the Shebaa farms. All the limits have been removed, and everything is now clear.

I renew my thanks to God and to our fighters, whose response has confirmed and strengthened the equations, prevented the rules of engagement from being violated in favor of the enemy, preserved the achievements of the July 2006 war, as well as the dignity, the honor and the pre-eminence of Lebanon vis-a-vis Israel.

So much for this topic. I’m done with the political section of my speech. Pray upon the Prophet and his family.

September 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Whimpers at the First Kornet Fired by Hezbollah

By Marwa Osman | American Herald Tribune | September 4, 2019

In the past few days, Hezbollah’s retaliatory attack and destruction of a small Israeli Wolf combat vehicle in the upper Galilee has made headlines in both Arab and international media. The attack was in response to the Israeli aggression on Damascus on August 24 resulting in the killing of two Hezbollah engineers and also to an Israeli drone attack on the capital Beirut, the first of its kind since August 2006, in violation of the “rules of engagement” that have been established between the two sides.

When the decision was taken by the leadership of the resistance to respond to the aggressions against Damascus and the capital Beirut, the Israeli regime was the first to consider that retaliation as inevitable. No one in the world believes Hezbollah’s promises more than Israel does.

Within a few hours, Israeli occupation soldiers embarked on a previously trained plan to evacuate all of its positions and bases along the area believed to be a supposed target for insurgents. However, there was no need to intensify pressure on soldiers and settlers to abide by orders, since it was enough for them to hear the words of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah about Hezbollah’s promise to retaliate, prompting them to act impulsively, in line with their leadership’s decision and completely disappear.

The Israeli decision to evacuate all their military posts along the border, varying in depth from five to seven kilometers, effectively stole the life from territories on the borderline with Lebanon. The illegal colonial settlers, whose presence had declined sharply over the past decade in these bordering areas, were shocked to see that the soldiers who were supposed to protect them had fled their positions, leaving the settlers for their own fate.

Moreover, just as these settlers understood from their army’s actions that Hezbollah was preparing for a strike, they understood that Hezbollah ended its operation when the soldiers were seen returning to their original duties.

This is what happens to someone who has been struck by deterrence. To be deterred means to be afraid of everything around you. Not to trust yourself or those who are close to you or anyone who is supposed to protect you. To be deterred means to be aware that your margin of error is narrowing day by day. To be deterred means that you are fixated in front of your TV, waiting for an official statement from your enemy, to tell you when it is time to get out into the sun.

The Israeli occupation forces’ plan did not succeed in hiding the “real” targets from the resistance fighters who were monitoring the Israeli movements, from ground control points and via drones.

Despite the adherence of the occupation army formations deployed in the northern region to the orders of their command to evacuate positions along the border with Lebanon and freeze all inspection patrols, the Resistance managed to select the appropriate area of operations, and waited for the target.

At approximately 4 pm on Sunday, September 1, the Israeli Wolf multi-purpose vehicle was traveling on route 899 medium speed. The vehicle came from the eastern side of the settlement of Avivim, from the side of the Malikiyah settlement, to cross the back road down behind Avivim, and then turn around the area known as “Magayer Salha”, and up to the road next to the settlement of Yeron, which was the point of impact between the Wolf and the Kornet.

Hezbollah’s planned and precise response revealed the weakness of the Israeli fortifications and defense engineering, and the sterility of its plans, which it had intensified in recent years, with the aim of reassuring the inhabitants of border settlements and raising the morale of its occupation soldiers along the northern front.

Anyone who witnessed how strange the evacuation of the Avivim border military base was, which is responsible for the protection of the west within the area of ​​responsibility of the Galilee Division (91) deployed in the occupied Galilee and whose area of ​​responsibility extends almost 20 km from the borderline, would definitely be shocked to know that it is that same brigade that announced earlier this year the formation of a new reserve battalion, called the “gates of fire,” in order to defend the border area against what it called “the risk of Hezbollah fighters storming” the Galilee.

This time, perhaps, they did not have the opportunity to test the capabilities of the new battalion, because they had already fled, leaving the settlers to their fate, before any crossfire even began.

Marwa Osman is a PhD located in Beirut, Lebanon. University Lecturer at the Lebanese International University and Maaref University and former host of the political show “The Middle East Stream” broadcasted on Al-Etejah English Channel. Member of the Blue Peace Media Network and political commentator on issues of the Middle East on several international and regional media outlets including RT, Press TV, Al Manar and Al Alam. Writer in several news websites including Khamenei.ir, Modern Diplmacy, Shafaqna, Italian Insider.

September 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 7 Comments

Hizbullah Reminds Israel of Its Power

By Helena Cobban | Lobe Log | September 5, 2019

On September 1, Hizbullah fighters on Lebanon’s border with Israel fired two precision-guided missiles over the border, apparently hitting an Israeli “Wolf” armored personnel carrier (APC) and inflicting casualties of unknown severity on its occupants (see below). The strike came a day after Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah warned that the organization would retaliate for Israel’s killing, a few days earlier, of two Hizbullah fighters in Syria and Israel’s deployment of explosive drones against Hizbullah-related targets in eastern Lebanon and the capital, Beirut.

The Israelis responded to the attack on the Wolf by firing a number of rockets and artillery shells, seemingly at random, into uninhabited parts of southern Lebanon, with no casualties reported.

On September 2, Hizbullah released a video of the attack on the Wolf, which took place in broad daylight. The video shows Hizbullah operatives launching two guided missiles against a military vehicle, each of which causes a large explosion. Hours later, Nasrallah told his supporters that this cross-border action—the first since the extremely destructive Hizbullah-Israel war of 2006—represented a new stage in the struggle against Israel. He warned, too, that his fighters would henceforth feel free to bring down any of the scores of military drones that Israel deploys in Lebanese airspace each month.

Taken together, the events of late August through September 1 underscored that the situation of reciprocal (if highly asymmetrical) deterrence that has existed between Israel and Hizbullah since the end of the 2006 fighting remains in place.

This situation has significant impact not only for the peoples of Lebanon and Israel but also in the broader regional arena, in which the Israel-Hizbullah balance plays a key role. For though Hizbullah has always, since its emergence in 1985, been an authentic, indigenous Lebanese movement, it is also a key ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran. So if Israel, some parts of the U.S. government, and other regional actors such as Saudi Arabia are considering launching any significant military attack against Iran, then Hizbullah’s ability and willingness to join the battle by counter-striking against high-value targets inside Israel is a factor that anti-Tehran war planners have to take into account.

Iran does have, as I wrote here recently, a broader network of regional allies, of which Lebanon’s Hizbullah is only one part. But Hizbullah is unique by virtue of the special role its conflict with Israel plays in affecting strategic thinking and decision-making in Israel and elsewhere. Hizbullah, as everyone in the Middle East is aware, is the only body, governmental or non-governmental, that has been able to inflict significant military defeat on Israel—and not just once, but twice.

The first defeat became clear in May-June of 2000, when the Israeli military that had been occupying a strip of Southern Lebanon since 1978 simply pulled up its stakes and withdrew. The decisive earlier battle against Hizbullah that led PM Ehud Barak to take that decision had actually happened four years earlier. In 1996, Israel launched a scorched-earth attack against Lebanon that failed to either destroy Hizbullah or turn the Lebanese population against it. When Barak became PM, he judged, quite sensibly, that the casualties that Israel’s occupation force had continued to take in Lebanon since 1996 were all for naught.

In 2006, another Israeli PM, Ehud Olmert—who had far less military experience and military savvy than Barak—thought he would try his hand at diminishing the considerable amount of military and political power that Hizbullah had continued to accrue in Lebanon. With huge support from President George W. Bush and most European governments, Olmert launched another scorched-earth attack against Lebanon, once again aimed at either destroying Hizbullah or turning the Lebanese public against it. In the two years prior to 2006, there had been quite a lot of (Saudi-supported) anti-Hizbullah agitation in Lebanon, so perhaps Olmert hoped to gain advantage from that. If so, he failed miserably. Lebanese from all political and religious persuasions rallied strongly around Hizbullah.

That was not the only thing that went wrong with the war from Olmert’s point of view. Some three weeks into the conflict, it became clear that even the Israeli air force’s destruction of critical Lebanese infrastructure (gruesomely celebrated in Israel thereafter as the “Dahiyeh Doctrine”) could not force Hizbullah to cry “uncle.” Olmert and his advisors decided to send in Israeli ground forces. But the ground units all proved woefully ill-prepared for their task. It soon became clear that neither they nor the air force could stop Hizbullah’s well-trained rocketeers from continuing to fire missiles deep into Israel’s interior.

Thirty-three days into the campaign, both leaderships agreed it was time to stop. They negotiated a ceasefire through the mediation of the Lebanese government and the United Nations. The ceasefire’s basic structure was a return to the status-quo ante. All the Israeli troops recently deployed into Lebanon had to immediately withdraw. All hostilities and cross-border military actions had to cease. The United Nations beefed up its southern Lebanon peacekeeping force, which since 1978 had been a fairly ineffective presence along the border.

For Israel, the 2006 war was a crushing defeat—and for its ground forces, in particular, a humiliation. (One explanation for the three vicious assaults Israel launched against Gaza in 2008, 2012, and 2014 was that the country’s military leaders sought to regain from Israel’s citizens the high esteem they had always previously enjoyed—esteem that had been very badly dented in 2006.)

For Hizbullah, the 33-Day War of 2006 was unquestionably a victory, though one bought at a high price in the human and material losses suffered by all the Lebanese people.

The essential victory that Hizbullah won in 2006, as in 1996, was that it faced down Israel’s extremely hi-tech military and survived with its core military and political networks and its ability to inflict significant destruction inside Israel all intact—and without having made any political concessions. This is, of course, why Israel and its acolytes and supporters in the West all hate it so deeply.

In the limited military exchange that Hizbullah and Israel engaged in on September 1, the underlying facts about the reciprocal deterrence that has existed between them since 2000 were on full display.

For some years now, the Israeli military has been taking advantage of the chaotic situation in Syria to mount sporadic attacks against various targets there, including some that they claim are connected to Hizbullah or the Iranian military. At periodic meetings that Israeli officials have conducted with their counterparts in Russia, which has long been allied with the Syrian government, the two sides have sketched out rudimentary “rules of engagement” for such raids. In July, the Israelis extended their campaign to interrupt Iran’s export of weapons and advisors yet further, sending F-35s to attack two locations in Iraq that were allegedly being used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). In July, and again in late August, it struck at Hizbullah operatives inside Syria, killing at least two of them.

Of all the targets thus attacked, only Hizbullah retaliated directly against Israel. It did so in a measured and limited way that nonetheless served to remind Israelis of their continuing vulnerability to Hizbullah’s military muscle and military/political smarts.

Israel’s reaction to the announcement Nasrallah made on August 31, that Hizbullah “would retaliate” for Israel’s killing of its operatives in Syria, was intriguing. As was widely reported in the (always military-censored) Israeli media, the Israeli military ostentatiously announced that it would pull troops back from front-line positions facing Lebanon, in what seemed like a deliberate move to de-escalate tensions.

Israel’s responses to the Wolf attack, which happened the very next day, were also intriguing. Firstly, in the military sphere, its retaliation against Hizbullah/Lebanon was notably restrained, a fact that could perhaps be attributed to PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s reluctance to get Israel into yet another complex imbroglio in Lebanon with his country’s next general election coming up September 17—except that, in the context of, say, Gaza, Israeli leaders have often seemed to judge that launching an attack could be a valuable part of an election strategy.

Secondly, in the informational sphere, Netanyahu went out of his way to deny that the attack on the military vehicle had caused any casualties. The video that Hizbullah made and distributed of the incident seemed clearly to show that the vehicle was an APC, and that the two missiles that struck it caused massive explosions. Other news footage from inside Israel showed injured soldiers being carried out and evacuated to a nearby military hospital. But Israeli spokesmen, faithfully parroted by reporters from the local and foreign media—all of whom are subject to Israeli military censorship– described the vehicle as merely a military “jeep” and said the footage showing apparent medevac operations had been faked by the military, using dummies.

This strange claim seemed aimed either at reassuring Hizbullah that its operation had already “succeeded” enough that it need not launch any follow-on attacks—or, perhaps more plausibly, at damping down any desire Israelis might have had for a large-scale retaliation.

But throughout this whole episode, Israel’s leaders were still clearly signaling that they agree that “You don’t mess with Hizbullah.”

This has wider implications for the regional balance between Israel and Iran. One essential fact in that balance is that the alliance between Hizbullah and Iranian leadership goes far deeper than any mere coalition of convenience and is, in practice, unbreakable at this point. Another is that Hizbullah’s home turf and principal area of operations directly abuts Israel—and it cannot be defeated there. Remember, after all, that Hizbullah first emerged in the mid-1980s under the difficult circumstances of a harsh Israeli occupation of one third of Lebanon—and that it showed first, that it could successfully organize to throw off that occupation and, then, that it could repel the next big attempt Israel made, in 2006, to destroy it.

Much about the regional balance has changed since 2006. The biggest change has been the heartbreakingly protracted civil war in Syria, a conflict that weakened the Syrian government which had long been a key part of the Iran-led coalition and considerably weakened Damascus’s ability to protect the Syrian homeland from incursion by all manner of hostile foreign forces, including those of Israel, the United States, and Turkey. (Syria’s civil war has, however, provided Hizbullah and the IRGC with valuable opportunities to act and train in complex urban-conflict environments.) Another change has been a considerable weakening of U.S. military-political power in Iraq, with the diffusion of some U.S. military capabilities into Syria. All these changes—along with others that have taken place in the Arabian Peninsula and elsewhere in the region—undoubtedly affect the balance of power between Israel and Iran. But the inescapable facts, that Hizbullah can cause wide damage within Israel’s heartland and withstand the strongest counter-attacks that Israel can launch against it, still remain.

Veteran Middle East analyst and author Helena Cobban is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and the CEO of both Just World Books and the nonprofit Just World Educational. JWE’s website Justworldeducational.org makes freely available to the public a variety of resources on war, peace, justice, and the Middle East.

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook threatens to block Palestine news site for using the term ‘Hezbollah’

MEMO | September 3, 2019

Facebook has threatened to block the page of Quds News Network and stop its work on the social media site after it publishing news about the Lebanon’s Hezbollah, QNN told MEMO.

The threat came through a notice sent to QNN’s Facebook page as a result of the network’s coverage of the recent tensions on Lebanon’s southern border.

The network has been targeted by an incitement campaign, with efforts to remove its Facebook page, and several of the page’s administrators having their personal accounts deleted. Some of QNN’s posts have also been removed or temporarily blocked.

Commenting on the campaign, QNN said it will continue to perform its media mission and use all the available tools to deliver the voice of Palestine to all parts of the world despite the crackdown and hate campaign it is facing.

It said the attacks it is facing are part of Facebook’s targeting of Palestinian media organisations and aimed to please Israel which seeks to stop the occupation’s crimes from being exposed on an international basis.

“The recent threats are only a prelude to stricter measures which may include the deletion or blocking of Palestinian and Arab pages, away from the freedom of opinion and professionalism claimed by Facebook.”

Quds News Network was launched in 2011 as the first Palestinian news community on the social networking site, aimed at spreading a full picture of the situation in Palestine. It has over than 6.6 million followers on Facebook.

September 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

Netanyahu Does Something Stupid Again

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to review an honor guard with his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed in Jerusalem September 1, 2019. Credit: Ronen Zvulun/ Reuters/ Twitter)
By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | September 2, 2019

With general elections coming up on September 17, Benyamin Netanyahu made a calculated gamble last week and lost.

The attempt to assassinate someone by drone in Beirut failed. Two drones were sent into the largely Shia suburb of Dahiya, where Hizbullah’s political, media and welfare offices are based. The first drone, for surveillance, crashed on to the roof of a Hizbullah media office, causing damage inside but no human casualties. This forced the Israelis to abort the entire mission. They themselves destroyed the second drone, for assassination, according to the veteran Middle East correspondent Abdul Bari Atwan. The target for murder was clearly a senior Hizbullah figure or – as some have speculated – a representative of the Iranian government.  Israel certainly did not send a drone to Beirut just to put a hole in the roof of a building.

As this was the first attack on Beirut since 2006, when Israel jets pulverized Dahiya day after day, Hizbullah threatened retaliation. It never says when, how or where it will strike back but this time it retaliated almost immediately, destroying an Israeli APC (armored personnel carrier) at a military outpost across the armistice line.

That Netanyahu would launch such an attack without taking precautions to ensure the safety of civilians and military personnel in the north would have played badly before the public had not the government covered its tracks by firing a flurry of missiles into Lebanon and claiming in a media barrage that while the APC was indeed hit by the ‘terrorists’ no-one suffered even a scratch, as Netanyahu eventually claimed.

It may be some time, it may be never, that the truth comes out but the story pitched by the Israeli government and military has all the elements of high comedy, not sophisticated, more Bud Abbott and Lou Costello than Lenny Bruce. First the Israelis said the vehicle that was struck was a military ambulance, with no-one inside it. Then they admitted it was an APC, but again no-one was inside, as they had all gone somewhere else half an hour earlier, whether for a smoke, a meal or a pee we don’t know.

Likud minister Yoav Galllant said no-one had been hurt in the missile strike, even as footage was being shown of wounded soldiers being flown by helicopter to an army hospital but he was speaking out of turn, so the government said.

In fact, noone had been hurt. This was no more than a decoy operation. Israel wanted Hizbullah to think it had scored some kind of victory, so it dressed up store dummies as soldiers and had them carried away on stretchers. It turned out that Israel just wanted to fool Hizbullah. That was the point of the whole exercise. Ha ha, Hasan, the joke’s on you. Noone had been hurt after all. “The staged evacuation seems to have worked” wrote the veteran Zionist propagandist David Horowitz.

The fact that settlers in the north had been sent scurrying into their bomb shelters by the Hizbullah missile strike was soon overtaken by glowing reports of farmers back in the fields and children back in the classroom as usual now that the cross-armistice line missile fusillade had died down.

Readers will decide how much of this malarky they can believe. For most, probably none of it. Behind the propaganda smokescreen lies a core truth, which is that Netanyahu, Israel’s nincompoop-in-chief, launched a failed mission into Beirut, rather reminiscent of his failed attempt to kill the senior Hamas figure Khalid Mishael in 1997. The would-be assassins were arrested, and the panicked, sweating Netanyahu, close to nervous collapse, saved from his own folly only by the intervention of the Jordanian king.

The drone attack in Beirut was designed to deliver an election victory but backfired badly and had to be covered up as quickly as possible with what seems on the surface to be a complete cock and bull story.

The APC held eight men.  If they had been inside when it was struck by Hizbullah’s missile, all would have died or would have been badly wounded, as Hizbullah claimed they were. If they were killed or wounded, Netanyahu, approaching the end of an election campaign, would have had to prevent the public from knowing, even to the ludicrous extent of telling it that the wounded soldiers shown in video footage were actually store dummies dressed up as wounded men. The truth – if there were casualties – would have doomed his re-election prospects.

The drone attacks on Beirut included a strike on a PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) base in the Bika’a valley. Other drone attacks on the same day were launched against Hashd al Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Forces) units and regular Iraqi army bases in north Iraq close to the Syrian border. Iraqi intelligence believes the attacks were launched from the Kurdish region of northeastern Syria, controlled by the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US puppet militia. In the same time frame, the Zionists also attacked a military position close to Damascus.

These simultaneous attacks on three countries call to mind the rabid dog running around snapping at anyone who comes close. There was no immediate provocation for any of these missile strikes and drone attacks but in Israel’s case there never has to be. The Israelis say Hizbullah’s missile retaliation brought the two sides to within 30 minutes of another war,  and they say another one is coming anyway. This can hardly be news to anyone. Hizbullah has enough precision missiles to devastate Israel and the longer the Israelis wait the more it will have, so unfortunately another war is only a matter of time and perhaps a much shorter time than people might think.

Even though Israel has been flying drones over Lebanon for decades, an attack in central Beirut is unusual. It might not be the first, however: Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri, may have been assassinated in 2005 by a missile fired from an Israeli drone, and not killed by a car bomb, the generally accepted explanation. The UN investigation into Hariri’s death was grossly prejudicial, especially in the case of the reports filed by the first lead investigator, Detlev Mehlis, and came to nothing anyway. The charges against Lebanese suspects were dropped, at which point the UN tribunal switched its suspicions to Hizbullah, without having any prior evidence. This investigative route has ended in a dead end as well. The one chief suspect never investigated, even though standing out above all the others because of its long track record of murder and mayhem in Lebanon, is Israel.

In 2010 Hasan Nasrallah revealed that Hizbullah had intercepted Israel’s electronic communications and had captured images of an Israeli drone tracking Hariri across Beirut and into the mountains every day for three months. Along with an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) plane, an Israeli drone was hovering over the precise point on the corniche road when Hariri was assassinated.

Looking at the evidence, Thierry Meyssan has argued that a highly refined missile fitted with a warhead based on a ‘nano’ amount of enriched uranium may have been used rather than a car bomb (‘Revelations on Rafik Hariri’s Assassination,’ Voltaire Network, November 29, 2010).

However, whether drone missile or car bomb, Nasrallah implicated Israel in the murder. If the question cui bono is to be asked the answers are clear. It was immediately assumed in the ‘west’ that Syria must have been responsible, given the often difficult relationship between Hariri and the Syrian government, but the only beneficiaries of the assassination were Israel and its rightwing proxies in Lebanon.

Israel violates Lebanon’s air space as a matter of course. Over the years it has overflown Lebanon many thousands of time. It frequently flies across Lebanon to attack Syria. At the international level, no sanctions have ever been introduced to stop it, just as no sanctions have ever been introduced to stop it doing anything it wants to do. This will continue until the big war comes along, and then all those who could have done something to head it off but did nothing will be throwing up their hands in horror.

Apart from flights aimed at bombing targets in Lebanon or Syria, Israel’s aerial intrusions would have other purposes, including intimidation of the Lebanese civilian population and the unrest this might generate.

Most probably it would also want to draw Hizbullah out and, through retaliation to one of its attacks, see if it has missiles capable of bringing down its aircraft. A lost plane and pilot would be worth the cost of knowing. As the neutralization of Israeli air power must be a primary objective of Hizbullah and Iran, Hizbullah probably does have such weapons, but Israel is going to have to wait until the next war to find out.

September 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Israeli artillery shells southern Lebanon, drone drops incendiary devices along border

Press TV – September 1, 2019

Israeli artillery units have struck the southern part of Lebanon shortly after an Israeli drone violated the Lebanese airspace, and dropped incendiary material that sparked a fire in a forest at the border.

Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported that Israeli forces launched several 155-millimeter shells on the Jabal al-Rous area in the occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba Hills on Sunday afternoon.

The report added that the Israeli forces opened fire from their posts in the al-Zaoura area in Syria’s occupied Golan Heights.

An Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle, meanwhile, dropped incendiary devices on a forest in the border area of Bastara.

The Lebanese army said in a statement that the drone entered Lebanese airspace at 11:15 a.m. local time (0815 GMT) on Sunday, and dropped an unspecified number of devices, causing fires in some areas.

It added that the army would continue to follow up on Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Images published by the private LBCI television network showed smoke rising from a tree-covered hill, reportedly caused by the weapons.

Tensions have been high recently between Israel and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in connection with the Israeli attacks on August 25 in Syria and Lebanon. Hezbollah has pledged to retaliate.

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday evening that the resistance movement was determined to give a response to Israel over its recent drone incursion into Lebanon.

“The need for a response is decided,” he said during a televised speech ahead of the Islamic lunar calendar month of Muharram – the 10th day of which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam and Prophet Muhammad’s grandson.

The Hezbollah chief added that the response was about “establishing the rules of engagement and… the logic of protection for the country. Israel must pay a price,” he said.

“Israel should know that the Lebanese air space is not open to her,” Nasrallah said, adding that the Israel attack could open the door to assassinations if left unanswered.

Nasrallah noted that the response to the Israeli attack could come from anywhere in Lebanon and not only from the Shebaa Farms south of the country, where Hezbollah normally stations most of its military equipment.

“The response will come from Lebanon. We will choose the place and time,” he said.

On August 26, Hezbollah said Israel had sent two drones into Lebanon on a bombing mission the previous weekend.

According to the resistance movement, the first drone had fallen on a building housing Hezbollah’s media office in the suburb of Dahieh. The second drone, which appeared to have been sent by Israel to search for the first one, had crashed in an empty plot nearby after being detonated in the air, it added.

Following the drone raids, Nasrallah vowed in a televised speech that fighters of the resistance movement would counter any further violation of the Lebanese airspace by Israeli drones.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel Uses Its Firepower, Far and Wide

By Paul R. Pillar | LobeLog | August 27, 2019

Israel recently has been expanding its military attacks across much of the Middle East, hitting multiple countries. The aggressive campaign far outpaces anything any adversaries of Israel have been doing to it, or even trying unsuccessfully to do to it.

Over the past two years Israel has used combat aircraft to conduct scores of attacks in Syria. Israel has stayed silent about most of this campaign of bombardment, but when it speaks it says the targets it hits are associated with Iran. The most recent widening of Israel’s assaults have involved Lebanon, including drone attacks on facilities in suburban Beirut associated with Hezbollah—a departure from the cease-fire established after the last Israeli-Hezbollah war.

The most dramatic geographic widening of the Israeli assault came last month with multiple attacks, reportedly conducted with F-35s, in Iraq—which, of course, does not even border Israel. Among the targets hit was one facility that is 500 miles from Israel but only about 50 miles from the Iranian border.

It is difficult to identify anything being fired in anger in the opposite direction that justifies such an expansive Israeli military campaign. In January of this year, Israel’s missile defense system intercepted a missile heading for the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but that is about as close as anyone in Syria, Lebanon, or Iraq has come lately to inflicting damage on Israel. Planned or failed attempts to inflict such damage all appear aimed at retaliating for Israel’s own attacks. Israel claimed that sorties it conducted this past weekend in Syria had thwarted an Iranian attempt to launch attack drones against Israel. That claim is unconfirmed, but it is quite plausible that, as suggested by Israeli sources, Iran was indeed planning such an operation to retaliate for the Israeli attacks last month in Iraq. One searches in vain for hostile operations that are unprovoked and not attempted tit-for-tat responses to Israel’s own actions.

The escalated Israeli military campaign exhibits some longstanding attributes of Israeli policies and practices. One is to assert a right to seek absolute security even if that means absolute insecurity for everyone else. The mere possibility of someone harming Israel is taken as sufficient reason to inflict certain harm on someone else. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in commenting on the most recent Israeli operations in Syria, said that Israel “won’t tolerate attacks on its territory.” Evidently that means asserting the privilege of attacking anyone else’s territory, even if those countries have not already attacked Israel.

Domestic politics figures into such matters, in Israel as elsewhere. With an Israeli election looming, Netanyahu has a political reason to use aggressive operations to bolster his image as a tough-minded guardian of Israeli security.

The operations also are part of the larger anti-Iran theme that the Israeli government uses to keep a regional rival weak, preclude any rapprochement between that rival and the United States, blame someone other than itself for all the ills of the region, and distract international attention from subjects involving Israel that Netanyahu’s government would rather not talk about. The Israeli government wants to retain Iran permanently as a perceived threat, loathed and isolated, rather than to negotiate away any issues or problems involving Iran. Netanyahu demonstrated this when, after years of sounding an alarm about a possible Iranian nuclear weapon, he opposed the very agreement that closed all possible paths to such a weapon. His government demonstrated it again this week when it opposed President Trump’s expressed willingness to meet and negotiate with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Israel’s heightened military aggressiveness has multiple bad consequences, in addition to being an affront to the sovereignty of multiple regional states. It pours gasoline on fires in places that need de-escalation, not escalation. It is certain to provoke more attempts at retaliation. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah was quite explicit in promising such retaliation in response to the recent Israeli attacks in Lebanon.

Given the close U.S. association with Israel, the Israeli attacks disadvantage the United States in its own relations with the affected states, in the form of increased resentment and lessened willingness to cooperate with Washington. This type of reaction is appearing today in Iraq, as a result of the Israeli attacks there. The episode has been the occasion for a powerful bloc in the Iraqi parliament to call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and for shouts of “Death to America” to accompany “Death to Israel” at the funeral of one of those killed in the attacks.

No benefits offset these harmful consequences. It is useful to recall the previous time, before last month, that Israel attacked Iraq: the bombing of an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. Far from setting back the Iraqi development of a nuclear weapon, the attack energized and accelerated what until then had been a semi-moribund program. Armed attacks on states have a way of provoking that sort of reaction.

U.S. policy has failed to recognize these realities. Following the attacks in Iraq, the Pentagon did issue a statement—in the course of denying direct U.S. involvement—that “we support Iraqi sovereignty and have repeatedly spoken out against any potential actions by external actors inciting violence in Iraq.” But such mild language will hardly deflect Israel from its present course when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls Netanyahu and, according to the official State Department statement, “expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself from threats posed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and to take action to prevent imminent attacks against Israeli assets in the region.”

It is not just current U.S. policy that fails to recognize realities, but also wider discourse in the United States about troubles in the Middle East. A question that needs to be pondered carefully is, “Who is destabilizing the Middle East?” Stoked by the Trump administration’s own unrelenting campaign of hostility toward Iran, the stock and overly simple answer has been, “Iran.” That is an insufficient answer even when excluding Israel from the picture. And Israel does get excluded, and excused, for the variety of reasons—ranging from religious doctrine and historical legacies to the inner workings of domestic U.S. politics—for the strong U.S. favoritism toward Israel.

It may be too much to ask for consistency rather than hypocrisy in such matters, but the rest of the world easily perceives the hypocrisy. It at least would be honesty to acknowledge that the U.S. approach toward the region has been shaped not by which players are or are not destabilizing the region, but instead by U.S. fondness for some players rather than others.

Paul R. Pillar is Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University and an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community. His senior positions included National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, Deputy Chief of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and Executive Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence.

August 31, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 7 Comments

Paraguay Labels Hamas, Hezbollah ‘Terrorist Groups’; Israel Applauds

teleSUR | August 19, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Paraguay’s decision Monday to label Palestinian organization Hamas and Lebanese militant group and political party Hezbollah, as “international terrorist organizations,” a move that comes shortly after Argentina first blacklisted Hezbollah.

“I welcome the decision of Paraguayan President Mario Abdo to define Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations,” Netanyahu said in a statement  before he added that Israel is “working so that more countries will also take this important step.”

Paraguay announced its decision on Monday to designate the Lebanese group, along with the political faction of Hamas that governs Gaza in Palestine, as terrorist groups. The South American country’s presidency detailed that Hamas and Hezbollah will be ranked “international terrorist organizations” and al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group “global terrorist organizations”. The difference between the labels was not made clear.

With this resolution, the country “recognizes and reaffirms its commitment to redouble efforts to prevent and combat violent extremism”, the presidency stated.

Several states have already listed both groups as terrorists, among them Israel, the United States, and Canada. Washington designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1997. However, the U.S. has been recently leading a fierce campaign in the backdrop of its warmongering against Iran and has been pushing more and more countries to designate the Hezbollah (which is backed by Iran) as a terrorist group.

Argentina was the first Latin American country to take the step, gaining recognition from Washington’s neoconservatives,  including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Following Argentina’s move, a group of Republican lawmakers called on Pompeo to pressure Brazil and Paraguay to act the same and to designate Hezbollah.

“Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay are in a unique position to take meaningful strides in the fight against terrorism at the hands of Hezbollah,” said Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn in a statement at the time.

“We must recommit to ensuring that Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies are denied the resources they need to escalate their campaign of global terrorism,” added Ted Cruz, another Republican senator and co-signatory of the letter to Pompeo.

Hezbollah and Hamas leaders say their movements are resistance movements. The Palestine Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was created out of the military occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza, while the Lebanese Party of God (Hezbollah) rose to oppose the presence of Israel in the south of Lebanon.

The pressure exercised on Israel to leave the south of Lebanon (2000) and Gaza (2005) produced massive popular support which resulted in victories in both municipal and national elections. Both armed groups shifted since then towards increasingly passive policies, though at the same time they continue to be condemned to ostracism by Israel, the U.S. and Europe.

Last month, Trump’s administration imposed sanctions on Hezbollah political officials, including members of the Lebanese parliament, accusing the group of threatening the “economic stability and security of Lebanon and the wider region.”

RELATED: 

US Blames Hezbollah Leader for 1994 Buenos Aires Attack

August 20, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Iran Delenda Est

By Stephen J. Sniegoski • Unz Review • July 25, 2019

After Carthage had been significantly weakened by Rome in the Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC), Cato the Elder, a leading Roman senator, is said to have ended all his speeches with the words: “Carthago delenda est!” (“Carthage must be destroyed!”). This destruction ultimately took place in the Third Punic War (149–146 BC). A somewhat similar situation exists today in the United States, where war hawks demand that Iran–which in no way could effectively attack the United States, or even conquer America’s Middle East so-called allies—be stripped of its ability to protect itself.

Of course, what makes the American situation different from ancient Rome’s is that Rome sought to eliminate Carthage for its own interests whereas the United States is largely acting to advance the military interests of Israel (and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia) because of the immense power of the Israel lobby in the United States. In short, the destruction of Iranian power would enable Israel to solidify its dominance of the Middle East.

An insightful article by James North notes: “Iran in 2019 is no danger to U.S. interests anywhere. . . . The U.S. is squeezing Iran mainly because Israel wants it to. . . . Iran is the only regional power that is deterring him [Netanyahu] from completely annexing the West Bank. Iran is also a major supporter of Hamas, the resistance movement in Gaza.”

As North points out: “Israel wants the Iranian government destroyed, and Netanyahu has been instigating the United States for years to attack Teheran.” Obviously, Israel does not want any country in the Middle East to be able to contest its hegemonic power, which it maintains by virtue of its influence on the U.S. government and through its possession of top- level military weapons—especially its nuclear arsenal—the threatened use of which would likely cause the United States to intercede on Israel’s behalf to prevent a nuclear holocaust.

Support for Israel does not mean that American presidents have done everything sought by the Israel lobby, especially when it required outright war. Bush the Younger, for example, did not make war on Iran after defeating Saddam’s Iraq in 2003, although that was what Israel and its American supporters sought. And President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] in 2015 to prevent its development of nuclear weapons was vehemently opposed by Israel and its American myrmidons because they regarded it as far too favorable toward Iran, especially since it would terminate sanctions that had been placed upon it.

While Iran is not allowed to develop nuclear weapons, a 2019 report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) described Israel’s nuclear arsenal as consisting of: “30 gravity bombs capable of delivering nuclear weapons by fighter jets; an additional 50 warheads that can be delivered by land-based ballistic missiles; and an unknown number of nuclear-armed, sea-launched cruise missiles that would grant Israel a sea-based second-strike capability.” Considering this completely unbalanced nuclear-arms situation, it would be reasonable to assume that Iran is threatened far more by Israel than Israel is by Iran. But that is not how the Alice-in-Wonderland U.S. media and politicians present the situation.

Israel and its American supporters wanted an overall diminution of Iranian military power—not just a restraint on nuclear power—which they contended would be enhanced by the increased wealth accruing to Iran due to the nuclear deal’s elimination of existing sanctions. Obama, however, held that he had maintained Israel’s military superiority over Iran. As Avi Schlaim, an Israeli historian, wrote: “Obama has given Israel considerably more money and arms than any of his predecessors. He has fully lived up to America’s formal commitment to preserve Israel’s ‘qualitative military edge’ by supplying his ally with ever more sophisticated weapons systems. His parting gift to Israel was a staggering military aid package of $38bn for the next 10 years. This represents an increase from the current $3.1 to $3.8bn per annum. It is also the largest military aid package from one country to another in the annals of human history.”

Donald Trump ran in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as something of a non-interventionist, especially promising to stay out of conflicts in the Middle East. Trump stated that “[w]e will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with. Instead, our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying ISIS, and we will. Almost two year later, Trump would continue to repeat his non-interventionist promise when he stated on December 19, 2018, that “[w]e have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” However, from the beginning of Trump’s presidential campaign, his expressed non-interventionist position was negated by his staunch support for the interests of Israel.

Trump made the renegotiation of the Iran nuclear deal—a deal he described as disastrous—as one of his main foreign affairs campaign promises. Moreover, hardline supporters of Israel loomed large in his campaign team, such as son-in-law Jared Kushner, David M. Friedman, and Jason D. Greenblatt. And Trump selected Michael Flynn, a strong critic of Iran, who was a senior adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign and also his first national security adviser. Flynn’s pro-Israel credentials loomed large since he had coauthored a book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, with staunch neocon Michael Ledeen.

Trump’s advisers would become even more pro-Israel and anti-Iran with the addition of John Bolton, who played a significant role in bringing about the war on Iraq in 2003, as national security adviser in April 2018, and Mike Pompeo who became Secretary of State in April 2018. Both of these key figures have pushed for an attack on Iran.

Like many evangelical Christians, Pompeo is more supportive of Israel than most Jews. He has said that it is “possible” that Trump is meant to save the Jewish people, like Esther in the Old Testament, who used her wiles to prevent a massacre of Persian Jews.

Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran on May 8, 2018. This carried out his campaign promise and was something he could do unilaterally since the nuclear deal was a non-binding political agreement, not a treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate. Trump alleged that Iran was violating the agreement though there was no evidence for this. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was authorized to verify and monitor the nuclear deal, had repeatedly found Iran to be in compliance, and the Trump administration had not officially disputed IAEA’s assessment when the United States was still a member of the JCPOA.

After pulling out of the nuclear agreement, the United States was in the strange position of demanding that Iran still abide by it. Furthermore, the United States levied a series of sanctions which quickly had a devastating impact upon the Iranian economy.

On May 21, 2018 , almost two weeks after the United States exited from the nuclear deal, Secretary of State Pompeo, in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation, presented 12 demands (he would shortly add one more, human rights) for inclusion in any new nuclear treaty with Iran, most of which being unrelated to nuclear weapons. These requirements included: terminating support for any alleged terrorist groups—which meant groups hostile to Israel and Saudi Arabia, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis; removal of all forces under Iranian command in Syria, even though Iran played a significant role in defeating the Jihadi rebels there; disarming and demobilizing Shiite militias in Iraq, even though these militias played a major role in defeating ISIS; ending the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ support for alleged terrorists from the perspective of Israel and Saudi Arabia; ceasing Iran’s threatening behavior against its neighbors such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates; and ending threats to international shipping and cyberattacks. The totality of these requirements would have left Iran unable to defend itself against its enemies. In short, Pompeo’s demands could only be accepted by a government of a thoroughly defeated country. His demands emulated Rome’s treatment of Carthage after the Second Punic War before it was obliterated following the Third Punic War.

While the neocons and Israel firsters in his administration are pushing for war with the Iran, Trump acts as if he wants to avoid such a conflict. He certainly had the opportunity to launch war with Iran after it downed a U.S. surveillance drone—a massive RQ-4A Global Hawk costing around $130 million–over the Strait of Hormuz, which the United States claimed was in international waters. Whether this was true of not, the U.S. government has had a history of going to war over questionable, or outright false claims, such as the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine that led to the Spanish-American War; the alleged attack on an American ship in Gulf of Tonkin, which caused a much greater involvement in the Vietnam War; and the claim that Iraq had WMD, which ultimately led to the U.S. invasion of that country.

According to reports, Trump’s advisers were divided on how to respond. Bolton, Pompeo, and the CIA director, Gina Haspel, sought a military response, which Pentagon officials opposed. Trump initially called for a military strike on Iran in response but then aborted the mission at the last moment because, he claimed, it would lead to a large number of Iranian casualties, which was disproportionate to what Iran had done.

One interesting explanation for the non-attack put forth by the website Moon of Alabama provides some information that indicates that Trump planned a fake attack and instructed members of his administration to ask the Iranians for permission to bomb an area of their country that would not do any real damage. The Iranians, however, rejected this setup. While Trump’s explanation might seem questionable, given the myriad of leaks that have come out of his administration, it is hard to believe that this aforementioned strategy would be discussed, much less be proposed to Iran.

Trump realizes that war with Iran would not lead to any easy victory for the U.S. and would cause a devastating impact on the world oil market. He not only would want to avoid this situation per se but would grasp the likelihood that a war with Iran would entail a morass that would almost guarantee his defeat in the 2020 election, for it is quite clear that most Americans are opposed to such a war.

But how does this approach affect Israel and its American minions? Philip Weiss, a staunch Jewish critic of Israel, contends: “Trump’s climbdown represents a real defeat for the Israel lobby. Clearly Israel and its rightwing supporters wanted an attack on Iran and they did not get it.” But as I pointed out earlier, the Israel lobby does not get everything it wants especially when its plan might embroil the United States in a large war.

But what about Trump’s need for funds from large pro-Israel donors for the 2020 election? Last-minute funds from multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson were quite likely the key to Trump’s hairbreadth victory in the 2016 election. Would he get support from Adelson and other pro-Zionist billionaires if he does not make war on Iran as they desire?

As pointed out earlier, if the United States were enmeshed in war with Iran, Trump would almost be guaranteed to lose the 2020 election no matter how much money Adelson and his fellow pro-Israel plutocrats contribute to his campaign. Also, this group will not be as crucial for Trump in the 2020 election because he has already amassed a large war chest, which was lacking in 2016. Moreover, Republican funders who provided monetary support to other Republican candidates in the 2016 primary election would have these funds available for Trump in 2020 since almost all would prefer Trump over any Democrat.

Furthermore, even if Trump does not make war on Iran, he has provided benefits to Israel and the Adelsons that the Democrats are not likely to offer. For example, Trump has moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Syria’s Golan Heights as part of Israel, and, of course, placed heavy sanctions on Iran.

Moreover, Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Adelson’s wife, Miriam, and she has reciprocated, writing: “Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a ‘Book of Trump,’ much like it has a ‘Book of Esther’ celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from ancient Persia?”

Given what Trump has already done for Israel and the Adelsons, it would be quite reasonable that the couple would believe that Trump would take a more militant stance toward Iran, even making war, in his second administration when he would not have to worry about re-election. Also, there is no evidence that any Democratic candidate for the presidency would do as much for Israel.

The fact of the matter is that by pulling out of Obama’s nuclear agreement and threatening sanctions on all countries that attempt to deal with Iran, the United States has already seriously weakened Iran, forcing it to greatly reduce its funding of Syrian groups and even its closest ally Hezbollah.

As an article in the Washington Post of May 18, 2019, points out: “Hezbollah, the best funded and most senior of Tehran’s proxies, has seen a sharp fall in its revenue and is being forced to make draconian cuts to its spending, according to Hezbollah officials, members and supporters.

“Fighters are being furloughed or assigned to the reserves, where they receive lower salaries or no pay at all, said a Hezbollah employee with one of the group’s administrative units. Many of them are being withdrawn from Syria, where the militia has played an instrumental role in fighting on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad and ensuring his survival.”

In addition to this diminution of support, Israel has been bombing Iranian targets in Syria. And Syria is of vital importance to Iran. Leading figures in Iran have referred to Syria as “a golden ring of resistance against Israel” and Iran’s “35th province.” Assad’s Syria has provided a conduit for arms from Iran to reach Hezbollah and, to a lesser extent, Hamas. With Iranian arms those groups play a critical role in Iran’s strategy to deter, and if necessary, retaliate against an Israeli attack on it. However, a weakened Hezbollah would not be able to effectively attack Israel, much less provide substantial help to Iran in combat with the United States.

But how long will the Iranian populace be willing to have their government supply its allies as their own standard of living continues to plummet due to the U.S. sanctions? Iran is not a totalitarian state, such as North Korea where the population is virtually under total control. There is considerable evidence that while the great bulk of the Iranian population is willing to undergo great sacrifice in defense of their own country, they are not willing to do the same in support of Iran’s allies. And a significant number of Iranians are already critical of these ties.

If the United States continues to rely on sanctions but does not attack Iran militarily, it could cause Iran to give up supporting its proxies, who themselves would have become weaker as a result of diminished support from Iran.

Although the current Iranian government could support some type of compromise peace, it certainly would not concede to the harsh demands put forth by Pompeo. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told NBC News that “room for negotiation is wide open” once the United States removes its stringent sanctions, but another Iranian official, presumably at the behest of Ayatollah Khamenei, who is the actual ruler of Iran, added that negotiations would not include Iran’s missiles.

What has been the result of Trump’s treatment of Iran? There has yet to be a Carthaginian peace that Israel and its American supporters would like. Iran will remain a power that could resist Israel. However, the sanctions have weakened Iran and its allies, which should mean that Iran will not be as aggressive as it has been, and thus Israel’s position in the Middle East has improved for the time being. Nonetheless, it is not apparent how long this will continue. And undoubtedly Israel and its American supporters will continue to believe, or at least pretend to believe, that Israel still faces annihilation unless the United States does more for it.

July 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 16 Comments

Nasrallah: Banned in the West but Mandatory Viewing in Israel

By Tim Anderson | American Herald Tribune | July 22, 2019

In his speech on the 13th anniversary of the defeat of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Tel Aviv of the consequences of its constant urging of war against Iran. The Zionist state would be swept up in any such
war and would suffer “a terrible defeat”, he said.

In the upside-down world of western war propaganda, Nasrallah’s warning is portrayed as a ‘terrorist threat’, while Israel’s repeated attacks on Syria and constant urging of war against Iran are presented as self-defense. In this way, war in the entire Middle East region is normalized, for western audiences.

In an apparent paradox, Nasrallah’s voice of resistance is banned in many western countries. Facebook, for example, will automatically block any link to the Hezbollah news site, al Manar. However, in Israel Nasrallah’s words are carefully reported and studied.

There is a good reason for this. The USA and Britain, in particular, want to prohibit Nasrallah’s clear and insistent logic of resistance to the colony in Palestine; while Israel wants colonists to remain up to date on the latest detail from their northern nemesis. Of course, Nasrallah’s speeches carry a fair degree of morale-building rhetoric, of his confidence in victory and so on. But he speaks with the unique credibility of a commander in chief, as well as that of a strategic analyst. When he speaks of inflicting damage on Israel, his southern neighbors know that Hezbollah has done that before, driving zionist forces out of Lebanon throughout the 1990s and again in 2006.

No other resistance commander speaks so plainly and in such detail. Iran’s legendary General Qasem Soleimani, for example, rarely makes any public statements.

This latest message led with the warning over the war against Iran, and specified the vulnerabilities of Israel. Showing a map of occupied Palestine, Nasrallah emphasized the capabilities of the Lebanese resistance and the close proximity of all Israel’s military, logistic and industrial facilities. Hezbollah now has tens of thousands of accurate missiles and its retaliation would focus on the north and on the north coast.

Zionist leaders, recognizing that Hezbollah is now well embedded in the Lebanese government, seem to have abandoned any attempt to distinguish the resistance party from Lebanon. On more than one occasion Minister Yisrael Katz has threatened to send Lebanon back “to the stone age”. This is part of Israel’s (obsessive but futile) campaign to remove Iranian presence from both Syria and Lebanon. In December 2017 Katz threatened “This time, all of Lebanon will be a target … we will return Lebanon to the Stone Age.” Nasrallah responded in kind. Al Manar’s summary of the long speech (‘Sayyed Nasrallah confident of victory: we will pray in al Quds!’, 16 July) emphasized the devastating impact of Hezbollah’s retaliation against Israel.

Lebanon’s resistance forces are prepared for a counter-invasion of Galilee (northern Palestine) and would focus attacks on the coastal strip from Netanya to Ashdod, which included the main airport, arms depots, military facilities, petrochemical plants, power facilities and ports. Israel would suffer a “terrible defeat” and would be “on the verge of vanishing”. Nasrallah repeated his earlier statements about the weakness of Israeli ground forces. In other themes, Nasrallah said the Kushner plan for Palestine was doomed to failure, that with looming victory, Hezbollah had withdrawn many of its forces from Syria and, in Lebanon, the resistance backed internal de-escalation and stability.

In her report on the speech, Dr. Marwa Osman (‘Nasrallah’s surprises for Israel’, 21 July) pointed out that the resistance leader’s central message was a deterrence to the Netanyahu regime’s drive for war on Iran. The Zionist fear of Iran is logical. A bloc led by Tehran remains the main existential threat to Israeli expansion and apartheid.

Iran has told Washington that any attack on its territory will lead to counter attacks on US forces and proxies in the region. The Hezbollah leader has now made explicit the scope of the response of the Lebanese
resistance, on multiple targets in occupied Palestine.

July 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Nasrallah’s Surprises for Israel

By Marwa Osman | American Herald Tribune | July 21 ,2019

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah sent messages of “reassurance” to the Lebanese interior that the country was “not weak” in exchange for warning messages to the American axis, when he appeared for an interview on Al Manar Channel on July 12.

The date of the interview of the Secretary-General, Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, on Al-Manar TV, was not exclusively linked to the 13th anniversary of the outbreak of the July 2006 war. Nasrallah chose to address public opinion at a sensitive regional and international time as the possibility of war is being talked about more than ever in light of the recent developments in the Strait of Hormuz. The message that Nasrallah wanted to convey, seems clear: If you are willing to become a partner in the war against Iran, then you shall not be excluded from that “fire”, because “when you start a war against Iran, you open the war in the entire region.” So, the “advice” to the countries of the region was that “it is our responsibility to work to prevent the US war on Iran.”

“If the UAE were destroyed when the war broke out, would that be in the interests of the rulers and the people of the Emirates?” asked Nasrallah, while emphasizing that Israel must understand that in the event of any war in the region, it will not remain on the sidelines and that Iran can bomb it with ferocity and force.

However, despite tensions in the region, Nasrallah said, “What prevents the United States from going to war is that its interests in the region are at stake.” Trump canceled the military strike on Iranian military positions, in response to Tehran downing a US spy drone that violated Iranian airspace, “because Iranians sent a message to Americans through a third country telling them that if any target was bombed in Iran, then US presence in the region will be bombed as well.”

The words of Nasrallah reflect the concept that Iran, despite the siege and the sanctions it is facing, will not retreat. “Iran will not negotiate directly with America, and will not negotiate under the pressure of sanctions.” The latter will “strengthen domestic production, move them to a faster track in the application of the resistant economy, and strengthen relations with neighboring countries and the world.” However, Iran does not close doors to international efforts, “in a way that preserves interests and dignity.” Even the Islamic Republic, “was always ready for dialogue with Saudi Arabia and calling for it, but the answer was more [Saudi] belligerence.”

Iran’s policy of deterrence also applies in the face of the Zionist entity. 13 years after the 33-day war, “the resistance in Lebanon today is stronger than ever. The deterrence lies between a popular force and a country that considers itself a superpower in the region. This equation is recognized by the enemy with its leaders, officials and media.” Nasrallah said today that the enemy is more afraid of resistance than ever before, speaking of the development of its human and military capabilities. “We may or may not have missiles to shoot down planes, these are areas of constructive ambiguity against the enemy,” Nasrallah said.

In contrast to the Lebanese development, “the Israelis failed to restore confidence after the July war, despite everything that was done, and the acquisition of sophisticated weapons from the US, and all the military drills they conducted. The Secretary-General of Hezbollah advised the Israelis not to use expressions like “we will send back Lebanon to the Stone Age”, because it is not only the northern part of Israel that falls in the range of Hezbollah’s missiles, but also ” the most important point is the coastal strip from Netanya to Ashdod, where the heart of the entity relies, and the bulk of the illegal settlers reside, along with all basic governmental institutions.

Nasrallah asked “If there is resistance with tens of thousands of missiles capable of attacking that area, can our enemy handle this? That will be the real Stone Age. The enormous destruction is the minimum that will happen.” This state of major deterrence will prevent Israelis from resorting to war, according to Nasrallah, who is very optimistic that “it is true that our lives are in the hands of Allah, but according to the sense of logic, I will get to pray in al-Quds.”

Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah did not withdraw from Syria, “There are no areas we have completely evacuated. We are still in all the regions where we were, but we have reduced our presence, so there is no need to keep all our elements there. ” However, if “the need arises, they will return and maybe with greater numbers, despite sanctions and austerity.”

In his interview, Nasrallah discussed the so-called American “deal of the century“, saying that “it does not have the elements of success, and it has a set of factors to blow it from within.” And what stands behind it is the unity of the Palestinian position, the steadfastness of Iran, which is basically the only remaining logistical support for Palestine, the failure of the project in Syria, the victory in Iraq and Yemen, the strength of the axis of resistance, and the absence of an Arab lever for the deal. Saudi Arabia could have played this role, had it not been for its failure in Yemen. ”

Nasrallah also revealed that the Trump administration is seeking to open channels of communication with Hezbollah through intermediaries, as the US also is trying to impose itself as a mediator in the demarcation of land and sea borders with our enemy. “The term ‘demarcation’ is wrong,” he said. “The land border is originally planned, and these borders are required.” As for sea, the link between the sea and land routes is of utmost importance. He also stressed that the oil wealth will be protected by the resistance, «Lebanon is not weak. It is enough for us to say, this is our land and this is our water, and we want to sign deals with companies [to start drilling for oil], and the Israeli will not dare to enter it.”

The messages sent by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to the Israeli enemy last week reached Tel Aviv and imposed itself as a priority on the politicians and the media, and then the settlers, prompting the head of the enemy government to devote his speech at the beginning of the Council of Ministers to respond to it.

It is estimated Nasrallah’s words exceeds this time the usual influence on the Israelis based exclusively on internal accounts, that is, between Lebanon and the enemy, to exceed the regional accounts that are more present compared to the past due to the tension and escalation in the region.

Nasrallahs map speech 2c1df

It is clear from Netanyahu’s own speech last week that Nasrallah’s “map speech”, where he touched on specific areas in occupied Palestine and promised to destroy them in the event of a war, is placed at the top of Israel’s official agenda and was also marked by a very impressive Israeli media attention with a special discussion table in each TV channel, with the participation of a large number of Israeli experts and commentators, according to their specialties.

It was clear that the interview proved to the Israelis the mistake of betting on the restrictions they erroneously assume against Hezbollah, and can be a starting point for the wrong calculations, which are distributed as follows:

– Lebanese restrictions, including positions and voices issued from within in Lebanon that disparage Hezbollah and its protective role, which in essence is not limited to protectionism emanating from the Lebanese arena, but also, and from an advanced position, from outside Lebanese borders.

– US sanctions, which assume that Tel Aviv is restricting Hezbollah’s decisions and reducing its margin of maneuver, and pushing it to retreat in the face of Israel’s attacks. It is also similar to betting on the possibility of Hezbollah retreating as a result of the shrinking of Hezbollah’s financial resources. (In this case they need to reread the history of Hezbollah)

– Israel’s constant intimidation techniques which clearly are not working, like promising destruction and the targeting of humans and stone, and taking back Lebanon to the “Stone Age”.

These Israeli considerations left out the most important consideration of all. This consideration is the main motivation for the resistance: confronting the existential threat, whether in retaliation or attack mode, all the way from Beirut to Tehran and what lies between them. It is a consideration that will make all other Israeli faux considerations disappear at the decision-making table in Tel Aviv.

July 21, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment