Is a Hizbullah – Israel War Likely?

A reporter asked me two questions about the possibility of war between Israel and its enemies. They were:

1. Does war between Hizbullah and Israel seem increasingly likely?
2. On what factors does keeping the calm depend?

Here is my answer:

1. War grows ever more likely the longer President Obama fails to organize his effort at Arab-Israeli peace and put some muscle behind it.

2. There are two sides to the conflict. One side is made up of Israel, which hopes to expand its borders into Arab land it captured in the 1967 war. It is backed by Egypt and Jordan, countries which have made peace with Israel and to which Israel has returned the land it conquered.

The other side is made up of Syria, Lebanon and the Palestine, all of which have lost land to Israeli conquest and annexation. Iran is backing the Syrian side. They have stated that they will resist this annexation and fight to get their land back. This makes war inevitable.

There are two ways to resolve this dispute. One is to make peace and find a compromise over land. This is the long-term solution.

The second is for Israel to continue preemptive bombings and incursions to weaken its enemies. This is the short term fix, but it can continue for an indefinite period so long as the US is willing to back Israel and help prevent its enemies from improving their weapons systems or acquiring nuclear capacity.

The down side is that these wars radicalize the region and draw America ever further into a costly and never ending “Global War on Terror.”

The war option has prevailed over the last decade, ever since the Oslo process died in 2000. The 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the 2007 bombing of Syria’s purported nuclear plant, and the 2009 bombing of Gaza are the most obvious cases in point.

Resistance and preemptive wars are likely to continue as the chosen policy unless a sincere peace process is jump started soon.

Unfortunately, as US elections loom on the horizon, the prospect that the Obama administration will want to get into a test of wills with its close ally, Israel, diminishes. This makes war look ever more likely. In the short term, neither side wants war. It would be too costly. They will raise the rhetorical heat and go through the motions of a stare down in preparation for a game of chicken… But what happens if no one holds them back after all the growling, teeth gnashing and head feints?


News Round Up

Scud fiasco opens door for Israeli aggression
‘With or without the missiles, there is a crisis now … of broad proportions,’ says Analyst
By Michael Bluhm
Daily Star, April 29, 2010

….Whatever the truth about the Scuds, Israel has been building the case for another assault on Hizbullah and Lebanon since shortly after UN Security Council Resolution 1701 ended the 34-day war in 2006, said Paul Salem, head of the Carnegie Middle East Center. Israel then widened its argument for another war based on the “new alignment” in Lebanon after May 2008, when the Doha accord ended days of civil strife by creating a government including Hizbullah representatives, Salem added. With Hizbullah part of the state structure, Israel would be free to destroy any part of the Lebanese state in any future combat, Salem said.

Israel will not begin any armed strike on Lebanon in the short term, however, because of the region’s more pressing and significant problems, the analysts said. For example, the US is hammering out details with Russia and China on a new round of UN sanctions against Iran over the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program, and Israel will have to wait out US diplomatic efforts to defuse the Iranian crisis before commencing a new war in the Middle East, Salem said.

“The main issue remains Iran,” he said. “I don’t think there will be a war in the next six months.” The Scud crisis “is saber-rattling, but it increases the risk of war, certainly,” he added. “Tensions are higher, certainly. Israel has more justification,” he added…..

Retired General Elias Hanna said, “In any case, the Scud crisis reaffirms that Lebanon sits firmly in the Iran and Syria-led camp opposing Israel and so would absorb the consequences should that enmity explode into war. It means that Lebanon is really f****d,” he said.

Qatar blasts Israel on Scud claims
Thu, 29 Apr 2010

Qatar’s Prime minister has charged Israel with posing new threats against Lebanon and Syria by accusing Damascus of supplying Scud missiles to Hezbollah. …. “Launching threats against Lebanon or Syria is unacceptable and we’ll do whatever we can to foil Israeli foolishness,” said Sheikh Hamad at a press conference quoted by Lebanese daily Naharnet. “Israeli threats are not strange and it’s very important for Israel to realize the failure of its previous military adventures and hopefully they have grasped the lessons,” he added.

Gates: “No One in this Department Believes that the Lack of Progress in the Peace Process is Costing American Lives”
Laura Rosen via FLC

“… “Don’t forget that the office of the Secretary of Defense [sees its role as to] ride herd on the uniformed personnel,” the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Patrick Clawson said. Part of their job “is to keep the uniformed military [from] speak[ing] out on policy issues.”
The suggestion is that Gates’s showing of high honor to the Israeli defense chief may have been a message to those specifically in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Central Command to, in essence, clam it. ……

…… At a joint Gates-Barak media appearance at the Pentatgon Tuesday, Israeli Channel 10’s Gil Tamari asked … “Secretary Gates and Minister Barak, …. if you can just explain us, why do you host this press availability now?” Tamari asked. “Is it because this administration would like to portray a feeling of business as usual with the Israeli government when the general perception, as you well know, is that business is not so usual between Israel and the United States right now?

“And … is the real perception of the Pentagon — that, like [Centcom commander] General [David] Petraeus suggested, that the United States is paying a price with the life of American soldiers when Israel is not reaching peace with the Palestinians?” Tamari continued.

Gates jumped in to answer the second question.

“First of all, General Petraeus did not say that the lack of progress in the peace process is costing American lives,” Gates said. “And no one in this department, in or out of uniform, believes that.”

In Washington, Jerusalem mayor asserts no freeze
April 28, 2010

(JTA) — Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called the Obama administration’s demand for a construction freeze in eastern Jerusalem a “slap in the

Barkat during a meeting with reporters in Washington on Tuesday night also denied that there is a de facto freeze on building in Jewish
neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem.

“There are more buildings being built right now,” Barkat said. “In a place like Jerusalem, we need to build for both Jews and Arabs. If we
give the Palestinians any hold at all on the city, it will be a Trojan horse for the Jews in Jerusalem.”

Regarding the strained relations between the United States and Israel, which began after the Jerusalem municipality approved new housing
construction in eastern Jerusalem during a visit in March by Vice President Joe Biden, Barkat said, “It takes time to recover from an
attack by an ally such as the U.S., but I believe that the tensions are now behind us.”

….At his news conference with U.S. House of Representatives minority whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), the
Republicans took shots at the White House.

“You see strong bipartisan support” in Congress for Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, Cantor said, “as opposed to what is coming out of the White

From MEMRI Blog: Event in Damascus today Involving Iraqi Ba’thists

… The High Committee of the National Democratic Front [a Ba’th-centered group] called for “a carnival” to be held in Damascus today to support the Iraqi resistance [which often translates into acts of violence.] The carnival, organized by a wing of the Iraqi Ba’th party under Yunis Al-Ahmad, who was accused by the Iraqi government of carrying out terrorist acts in Baghdad, will be held in one of “cultural centers” in Damascus “to underscore the role of the Iraqi national resistance.” One objective of the “carnival” is to unify the various elements of the so-called resistance movement. This will be the first such event, held publically, in Damascus.

The Iraqi Ba’th party comprises two wings – the one that is organizing the event in Damascus under Yunis Al-Ahmad, and the other which is under former Iraqi vice president Izzat Al-Douri. The two wings differ on strategy.

26 Convicted in Egypt Attack Planning
By MICHAEL SLACKMAN, April 28, 2010, NYTimes

CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Wednesday convicted 26 men of belonging to a Hezbollah cell that was charged with planning to attack Israeli tourists in the Sinai Peninsula, fire on ships passing through the Suez Canal and smuggle weapons, supplies and people through tunnels to the Gaza Strip.

The men’s sentences ranged from life in prison to six months in jail. Prosecutors had asked for the death penalty for several defendants, including Muhammad Youssef Mansour, also known as Sami Shehab, who had been sent by Hezbollah to set up the cell in Egypt.

The decision not to issue death sentences was seen as a calculated effort by Egypt to avoid inflaming relations with Syria, a prime sponsor of Hezbollah, a militant, social and political organization in Lebanon, regional experts said. Egypt and Syria have been at odds for several years over the handling of the Palestinian crisis and over Syria’s relations with Iran.

“This is a sign of an Egypt that is interested in de-escalating and finding moderate solutions for an issue that loomed very big in the background in its relations with Syria and Lebanon,” said Amr Hamzawy, regional director for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Beirut.

As the verdict was read in a packed Egyptian courtroom, 22 defendants sat behind bars in the prison dock. They shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great, when the verdicts were read.

The other four defendants, including the leader of the cell, Mohammed Qublan, were tried in absentia. Mr. Qublan and two others who were on the run were given life sentences.

The case against the group arose as relations between Egypt and the Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, grew extremely heated. Mr. Nasrallah had publicly criticized President Hosni Mubarak, saying that Egypt was not doing enough to aid the Palestinians during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip in late 2008. Mr. Nasrallah effectively called for a popular uprising against the president, while Egypt accused Hezbollah of being a proxy for Iran.

Mr. Nasrallah acknowledged setting up the group in Egypt but insisted that it was organized only to help the Palestinians, not to conduct terrorist attacks on Egyptian soil. Mr. Mansour’s lawyers had said that their client had proposed attacks in Egypt but that Mr. Nasrallah had rejected that plan.

In court on Wednesday, the judge, Adel Abdul Salam Gomaa, dismissed the defense’s claim.

“Is targeting ships in the canal support for the Palestinian cause?” the judge asked as he read the verdict. “Is preparing explosives and targeting tourist resorts support for the Palestinians?”

Laura Kasinof contributed reporting.

Comments (38)

Akbar Palace said:

History-Impaired Professor Josh refuses to tell the other side of the story. This is what happens when you spend too much time in college and the Syrian embassy…

a.) How did the Palestinians and Syrians “lose land” prior to any annexation?

b.) And presently, what Lebanese land has Israel taken by “conquest and annexation”?

The other side is made up of Syria, Lebanon and the Palestine, all of which have lost land to Israeli conquest and annexation. They have stated that they will resist this annexation, which makes war inevitable if Obama cannot convince all sides to come to the table and make a deal they are satisfied with.

April 29th, 2010, 3:40 pm


almasr said:

As I have been saying all along, both so-called right and so-called left in the hate-filled israeli enclave have the same aim which is to steal the land. They are the two faces of the same coin. The Palestinians must go back to armed struggle in order to get their lands back. Obama is fake and so-called peace process is a sham,

The Arabs must, including Egypt and Jordan, declare israeli enclave an enemy of arabs and humanity as a whole, kick American and Israeli ambassadors from the Arab world and arm themselves properly in order to deal with this scourge of humanity.

April 29th, 2010, 4:01 pm


Akbar Palace said:


You mean you’re not going to criticize Egypt for the gassing of Gazan smugglers?

I’m shocked!

April 29th, 2010, 4:32 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Firstly, we are at war. The name of this war is ‘Jihad’ ( The Elephant
In The Room That No One Talks About, because it’s not PC ).

It’s going to be long, and with ups and downs, so fasten your sit-belts, for a long and jumpy ride.
As all totalitarian ideologies, this Jihad in a point in the future, will self-exhaust and self-consume. It will happen in a generation or two. Till then, nothing but blood sweat and tears.

This war will escalate into physical violence, only if HA Hamas Iran or Syria start the aggression. And then, as Golda said, Israel will again win.

There are only 4 options for the future: (1) the Arabs disappear (2) Israel disappears (3) there is mutual recognition, and respect (4) the war continues.

April 29th, 2010, 7:45 pm


Ghat Albird said:

The only democracy and sole ally of the US in the Middle East handcuffs
non-Israeli children

Palestenian children are handcuffed by Israelis.

April 29th, 2010, 8:22 pm


almasri said:

There is only one option for the future:
Israel has no place inside the Arab/Muslim world – Palestine IS in the Arab/Muslim world. So Israel will disappear and Golda is dead already as is zionism.

April 29th, 2010, 8:37 pm


Shai said:


I’m so glad you linked this article. I too was rather shocked (positively shocked) when I saw it in the Hebrew version. Reuven Rivlin is of course not only Speaker of Knesset (almost became Israel’s President), but also a prominent member of Likud.

He’s no dummy, either. Which means that if he’s honest about what he says (I think he is), then he genuinely believes this land belongs to Jews and Arabs together, not separately, in a single state. It also means he’s ready to accept a non-Jewish majority in Israel. This is revolutionary.

I’m curious about Akbar and Amir’s view of this non-Leftist. Does he “hate Israel” now? Or maybe he doesn’t really mean what he says? Or maybe we’re misinterpreting what he means? Come on, let’s hear our AIPAC-analysts on this one – their very own.

(I wonder if Barak can win an extra seat or two in the next Election, referring to Rivlin as a traitor-from-within the Likud…)

April 29th, 2010, 8:39 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I too was intrigued to hear this from Rivlin, whom I like very much.
Did you hear his speech at the opening ceremony of the day of independence? That speech doesn’t coexists with what he said today.

And I hope you noticed, that Tzipi Khotoveli said the same thing, 2 weeks ago !
So it seems like there is a kind of a new trend within the hardcore of the right’s right wing. Indeed interesting.

I think that they will have to detail and to elaborate some more, before anyone could respond to this idea of a one state, the right’s solution.

April 29th, 2010, 9:29 pm


norman said:

Do you think they want that and want Israel as a Jewish state so the Christians and Muslims are residents not citizens ,or , do you think that Netanyahu is sending them out with that notion to scare the Israeli citizens of what is coming if there no move on two states , (( Shai , Your Idea)) coming from Israelis instead of Palestinians ,

April 29th, 2010, 10:15 pm


Yossi said:

I think that maybe they’re thinking that they can just annex the west bank, without Gaza. That’ll preserve a Jewish majority of 65% in the short to medium term, all under one-man-one-vote rule. I think this is an excellent idea that everybody will agree to, except Hamas. This will provide the way to move to bi-nationalism in an incremental way. Alliances across sectarian lines will form—it will become impossible to keep 35% of the population away from the power centers.. Then, perhaps 10 years later, if it works well and there is desire on both sides, Gaza could be moved into this union, too.

April 29th, 2010, 11:49 pm


Vedat The Turk said:

What I don’t understand is what Syria has to gain by arming Hezb as it has recently done? I have been a Syriaphile for 20+ years and have been stumped by this one question for the last 5-6 years! Think about the costs they have paid in economic sanctions and international isolation!

There was a reason that Hafez Assad was always careful to not allow any one faction in Lebanon not to become too powerful so as to challenge Syria. This policy has long since been abandoned by Bashar. The question I want answered is why? What does Syria get from such a policy shift? Who benefits from Hezb’s growing strength? If Syria is the beneficiary what does it get in return? If it’s influence, then aren’t there other less risky ways to attain this goal without such high costs? Just something to ponder.

April 30th, 2010, 3:43 am


Off the Wall said:

Shai and Yossi, and Amir
From one big fan of one state solution, the speaker’s declaration is a rather positive sign, why don’t they form a coalition with Arab Israelis who have been saying the same thing for years?

That said, with language like Amir’s generalization (Jihad scare brobaganda), and al Masri’s uni-tone doomsday declarations, both of which I consider to be cheep, ill informed shots, the road seems very arduous.

As for Akbar, not content by the fact that he was made irrelevant few weeks back by the beating he took from both of you (Shai and Yossi), he (the character i mean not just whoever is behind it) is making that character even more irrelevant with the endless stream of meaningless one liner comments, but recently with catchy bold titles hoping to frame the debate in MEMRI’s communication style.

You need to ask for a refund from those teaching you communication skills !

Good luck to both sides.

April 30th, 2010, 7:02 am


Akbar Palace said:

Who benefits from Hezb’s growing strength?

Vedat the Turk,


If Syria is the beneficiary what does it get in return?

a.) A fighting force that isn’t afraid to “resist” the Zionist enemy.

b.) A force that doesn’t implicate Syria or expend Syrian blood, and the hope of getting back the Golan without making peace (like Southern Lebanon).

c.) Of course, influence.

It’s really too much to ask for peace in exchange for the Golan, and really, the Golan is just the booby prize. The influence is really worth much more to a tyrant who doesn’t have to respond to any impediment like a Syrian voter.

April 30th, 2010, 10:39 am


Akbar Palace said:

Now that the “One State Solution” has been solved (here on Syria Comment), we have a few other pressing matters:

New US warning to Syria on Scuds

“President Assad is making decisions that could mean war or peace for the region”

“These threats to Israel’s security are real, they are growing and they must be addressed. Transferring weapons to these terrorists, especially longer-range missiles, would pose a serious threat to the security of Israel, it would have a profoundly destabilising effect on the region and it would absolutely violate UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which bans the unauthorised importation of any weapons into Lebanon.”

April 30th, 2010, 11:11 am


Shai said:

Dear Norman, OTW, Yossi,

I don’t know why, but it’s getting fun again on SC… 🙂


I imagine Rivlin’s idea was not Bibi’s, but it sure sounds good to most Settlers. Which, by the way, only shows their true face, which is that of either religious fanatics (still believing in some God-Chosen Greater Israel), or Apartheid racists, who’d gladly annex the West Bank with all its 2nd-class “citizen blacks”.


You may be right. But it’s super-bold, on the Likud side, to make 2.5 million Palestinians citizens of Israel (with equal rights). It’s a hell of a lot easier to consider Israel a “Jewish State” with 20% minority, than with 40%. If the entire West Bank is annexed, Israel’s population would become approx. 9.5 million, with some 5.6 million Jews (a bit under 60%).

I can’t imagine many on the Right (or Left for that matter) who’d support such a bold move, bringing Israel that much closer to a non-Jewish majority.


Knesset Speaker Rivlin specifically used the term “citizens”, and not “residents”.

April 30th, 2010, 12:30 pm


Shai said:


Thanks for the anti-Scud warnings. I think we’re getting somewhere.

In fact, I think we’re headed right for where you’d like us to go. War, that is. Yes, you’re dying to see Israeli F-15’s kicking some Hez-butt, maybe “extending” eastwards a bit (Syrian targets?), maybe far-eastwards (Iran?). What’s the difference, as long as it’s Jewish boys kicking some Arab butt. The kind of stuff that makes us stand proud, wherever we might be, and shed a tear.

So yalla, let’s do it. Let’s create the kind of Crisis Kissinger told Sadat he needed. Let’s find the next excuse for war. And let’s have it. Heck, maybe it’ll be a really good one, with far more casualties than the Yom Kipur War (2,500 dead Israeli soldiers). But at least we’ll feel, afterwards, that it was for our existence. That it was not a “war of choice” (like Begin termed the first Lebanon War). And then, since we know already we’ll be right back where Uri Saguy was 11 years ago, we’ll be able to negotiate with a fresh-record, not an ancient one. We’ll be able to say to the Syrians – you really want another war? And maybe that way we’ll get a little extra. Maybe Syria will allow us to withdraw over a 17 year period, instead of a 15 year one they already offered. Maybe they’ll allow for a Peace Park on 35% of the territory, and not 30% as they offered in the first meeting held between Alon Liel and Ibrahim Suleiman.

I think it’ll be worth it, Akbar. Let’s do it. Oh, and please remind me which flight you’re taking to Israel, to come fight in this war, so I can pick you up at Ben-Gurion Airport, and we can go fight together. I’ll bring the snacks.

April 30th, 2010, 12:43 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Is a Hizbullah – Israel War Likely?
I would answer by NO
Israel can not wage war without US approval,and it is not to the advantage of US to have war now and for the next two years,the consequences of war could be devastating to american allies.

April 30th, 2010, 12:58 pm


Akbar Palace said:

More Excuses


Thanks for the anti-Scud warnings.


Don’t thank me, thank your hero President-for-Life Dr. Bashar Assad and Honorable Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

I think we’re getting somewhere.

The “decay of Israel”? I can only “hope”. How else will the evil Israelis learn to deal with their peaceful neighbors?

In fact, I think we’re headed right for where you’d like us to go.

I would prefer that Israel doesn’t have to fight a war, but allowing Lebanon to arm herself with more missiles than “most countries” have at their disposal is suicide. That may be a good thing for you, but most Israelis probably see this as a direct threat. 2006 wasn’t a long time ago.

War, that is. Yes, you’re dying to see Israeli F-15’s kicking some Hez-butt, maybe “extending” eastwards a bit (Syrian targets?), maybe far-eastwards (Iran?).

No, I would prefer that Israel make peace with Lebanon and Syria, but, to date, I haven’t heard what Syria is willing to provide Israel for the return of the Golan. If you have a list, feel free to link me and the rest of the forum to the information.

What’s the difference, as long as it’s Jewish boys kicking some Arab butt.

If it does come to a war, yes, I will be supporting the State of Israel. I know on this and other liberal websites, I may be in the minority.

The kind of stuff that makes us stand proud, wherever we might be, and shed a tear.

The word “pride” should not be used in the Israeli/Jewish lexicon. We should always maintain Jewish weakness and a sense of “Tikkun Olam” so Jewish liberals will feel more comfortable.

Let’s find the next excuse for war.

I wasn’t aware Israel needed an excuse for war. It seems to me the non-compliance of UNSC 1701 by Iran and Syria is a pretty good “excuse”.

But I’ll let your elected official determine that.

April 30th, 2010, 1:08 pm


almasri said:

Zionism is the most abhorrent ideology that appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. Sometime ago, the sad events of the Armenian massacres were brought up on this forum. It looks like these mass killings were perpetrated by none other than Zionists who were called Donmeh by the Turks. These Donmeh’s infiltrated the Ottoman government under different guises and were instrumental in carrying out these massacres,!!

You may also want to look into the works of the Armenian researcher Ara Sarkis Ashjian in Arabic who has some good documentation supporting the information provided by the above link.

At the time of the discussion, the US with plots from zionist AIPAC was in the process of declaring the events a genocide and implying Turkey’s responsibility for it. We say in Arabic, you can do whatever you want once you lose your sense of shame. In other words, what could be more sinister than killing someone and then appear next day to offer condolences at the funeral?

The question then arises about the anti-human and evil nature of this so-called zionist movement. The world must come together in recognition of this evil and act in concert in order to ban this evil ideology just like Nazism.

I wonder how some expats could become fans of such evil enclave in the midst of the Arab world. It looks like after some time, some expats lose touch with their roots unless their true roots happen to be somewhere else.

April 30th, 2010, 1:54 pm


Akbar Palace said:

People usually die in War NewZ

ALMASRI said (above):

Sometime ago, the sad events of the Armenian massacres were brought up on this forum. It looks like these mass killings were perpetrated by none other than Zionists who were called Donmeh by the Turks.


A month and a half ago, you didn’t even recognize an “Armenian Genocide” and shrugged if off by saying “there was a war and people usually die in wars”.

Why the sudden change in heart? To blacken Joos and Zionists?

ALMASRI said about 1 month ago

I do not believe the Turks committed any crime against any nationality. I do not think anyone can prove anything. There was a war and people usually die in wars.

March 11th, 2010, 12:50 am


Sorry for the “irrelevant” post. I’m sure YOU would have brought AlMasri’s psychosis to his attention.;)

April 30th, 2010, 2:37 pm


Ghat Albird said:

World summit to determine Israel’s fate or how to by pass AIPAC, 300 Congressmen and 76 Senators. No Litani River or the Golan for you Tel Aviv.

April 30th, 2010, 3:27 pm


almasri said:

One can easily see the parallels between the downfall of the Ottoman Empire and the impending doom of America. In both cases, the zionists became entrenched in the administration. At one point, the zionists in Ottoman Turkey became strong enough to challenge the Sultan. The same thing is happening in the US with AIPAC’s obvious public challenge of Obama. Ottoman Turkey was also made to sink into unmanageable levels of debt owed mostly to zionist organizations. The same thing is now happening in the US due to zionist-inspired wars against so-called terrorist states and organizations. The next step perhaps would be for the zionists of america to create another massacre or two inside the US just like the so-called holocausts of the 20th century. But who will be the actors that will perpetrate such zionist evil plots? Well, there is no shortage of ethnic diversity in the US. So, you make your choice.
The next question is: which country will host the evil doers after America’s fall? Neither China nor India is likely to fall into the evil traps of these evil zionists. Europe, the Arabs and Muslims have had enough of the evil designs.

Zionism must be banned worldwide.

April 30th, 2010, 4:16 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Growing Horns on Syria Comment


Don’t your words, “There was a war and people usually die in wars” also pertain to the evil Joos and Zionists? Why not?

April 30th, 2010, 5:52 pm


Ghat Albird said:

Its the ways of Israelis…….or how the Golan was seized.

In a 1997 New York Times interview, Moshe Dayan, defense minister during the 1967 war, explained that Israeli settlers’ “greed for the land” led them to provoke the Syrian army to shoot at them, opening the way for the Israeli invasion and seizure of the Golan Heights.

April 30th, 2010, 10:20 pm


norman said:

May 1, 2010 ⋅ 12:17 am ⋅ Email This Article ⋅ Post a comment
Filed Under Assad, Hezbollah arms, Iran, Lebanon, Syria
Interview conducted by Jan Puhl

Ribal al-Assad, the cousin of Syrian President Bashar Assad, is an advocate of greater democracy in Syria. He talks to SPIEGEL ONLINE about Iran’s influence on the country, allegations that Damascus supplied Hezbollah with weapons and the conditions for a peace deal with Israel.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Syria has been able to improve its relations with the United States and Turkey in recent years. Is the country on the path from pariah status to partner?

Assad: Syria should not see it as a triumph. The US’s new approach is a test. Syria needs to now prove itself. Damascus should not in any case imagine that it has received a green light from the international community to oppress people.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Your cousin is Syrian President Bashar Assad. The two of you are greatly divided over the issue of democracy. Is he at all willing to democratize the country further?

Assad: He has promised to do so. But so far nothing has happened. The problem is the influence of Iran. Syria is today a vassal state of Tehran.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Should your cousin therefore break off relations with Iran?

Assad: Syria must act independently and should no longer be submissive or act subordinately. This can only succeed, however, if Syria has a government of national unity that can win popular support for the goal of more democracy.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: There were reports that Syria supplied the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon with Scud missiles. What do you know about this?

Assad: If that is true, it would seriously damage Syria’s reputation in the world. So far, however, there have only been rumors about it. Hezbollah is not dependent on Syria, but on Iran. Hezbollah is part of the government in Beirut. They need to stop being a tool of Tehran. Iran is using Hezbollah to stir up trouble in the Middle East.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What could persuade Hezbollah to give up this alliance?

Assad: The international community should speak with Hezbollah and offer something in return for renouncing Iran, such as money for schools and hospitals, for example.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Many people in the West believe that Tehran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb. What can still be done to stop Iran?

Assad: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is very close to his goal and is not willing to give up now. The only hope is the “Green Revolution” (editor’s note: the Iranian opposition movement). The international community must support the movement very patiently. Sanctions don’t achieve anything. They only affect ordinary people.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why is there still no peace agreement between Israel and Syria?

Assad: The precondition for that is Israel returning the Golan Heights to Syria. (Editor’s note: Israel has occupied the Golan Heights since the 1967 Six Day War.)

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In other words, a compromise currently seems unrealistic.

Assad: The deal is land for peace. That is something that Israel will ultimately have to accept.


April 30th, 2010, 10:49 pm


Ghat Albird said:

A typical “hasbara controlled” interview for which Spiegel is known for.

Its intent is to create friction among those who oppose Israel’s manipulations.

In the US it typifies a National Enquirer story line.

May 1st, 2010, 12:12 am


Vedat The Turk said:

Who benefits from Hezb’s growing strength?

To Akbar Palace

Thanks for the reply Akbar. Always good to hear others opinions.

However I must disagree with you.

1. A force that doesn’t implicate Syria…

See Syria’s association with Hezb does not fool anyone. Like it or not Hezb today is viewed as a Syrian / Iranian proxy paramilitary force — some would call it a terrorist organization. It’s this association that is costing Syria far more than anything it gains by the old “plausible deniability” argument. I think Syria could be a far more effective threat to Israel without Hezb. For relatively little expense even the poorest countries in the world can quickly militarize and threaten its neighbors — think of 1980’s North Korea or Taiwan during the 1960’s. During Hafez Assads rule Syria’s military was far superior vis-a-vis the Israelis. Under Bashar it seems to have all gone down hill. Maybe it’s this lack of military investment that is motivating the Syrians. But make no mistake about it, as Hezbullahs influence grows it will become a threat to Syria.

2. Of course, influence.

I would ask how Syria has been able to be King Maker in Beirut for 40 years before the creation of Hezb? Whether the Lebanese like it or not, Syria has a great deal of influence in the country – with or without Hezb.

3. A fighting force that isn’t afraid to “resist” the Zionist enemy.

How many Hezb fighters have actually died for Syria? For that matter how many Hezb fighters have died on the battlefield? Seems to me that they have only perished to support their own cause and not Syria’s? And when you do the numerical math you will quickly realize the number is into the hundreds at best! (Though I have to note Hezb has a history of never releasing casualty figures)

When you add it all up, it becomes clear that Syria is paying one hell of a price just to support a group that can be easily replaced.

Maybe the real reason Syria supports Hezb is because the group has grown so strong that the ruling elite’s in Damascus cannot say no to it. Let us not forget that this is the Middle East and regimes come to power by force. A paramilitary force like Hezb with strong links to the Syrian military could pose such an internal threat… but no one seems to discuss this. Your thoughts would be appreciated.


May 1st, 2010, 12:22 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


My anti virus detects Trojan horse from SC ..
JS:ScriptIP-inf [Trj]

May 1st, 2010, 1:52 am


Alex said:

Thanks Amir,

We had that earlier today, it was cleaned though.

The good guys love to hack this blog for some reason.

If you are using internet explorer try Cntl + Shift + Delete to clear it.

May 1st, 2010, 2:03 am


why-discuss said:


Is Robal al Assad mentally retarded or he is joking ????

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What could persuade Hezbollah to give up this alliance?

Assad: The international community should speak with Hezbollah and offer something in return for renouncing Iran, such as money for schools and hospitals, for example. ”

A BRILLIANT IDEA, he should suggest it to Obama, Merkel and Sarkozy! Maybe Israel could participate too.

May 1st, 2010, 3:03 am


norman said:

WD ,

I do not know who he is , but it is interesting that he made it clear that there will be no peace with Israel without the return of the Golan , the major mistake he and others made and make is thinking that the people of Syria anybody else beside Bashar Assad ,

if the international community want Hezbollah to become a political party only they should do the following ,

Israel withdrawal to 1967 border
Give the Palestinians their rights
have one man and one vote in Lebanon
Israel must abide with international law and stop violating Lebanon’s airspace and stop interfering in their naibours

These moves should not be difficult to achieve as they are legal under international law ,

The question is weather the West can see that ,

May 1st, 2010, 3:21 am


Off the Wall said:

Avast still detects the same virus mentioned by Amir, I will clear the cache and see what happens. I am using Chrome

May 1st, 2010, 7:48 am


Der Spiegelfechter» Blog Archive » Flammen über Nahost said:

[…] 1680 und 1701 zu entwaffnen, bergen nach Ansicht von Analysten durchaus das Potenzial für einen neuen Konflikt. Es melden sich allerdings auch Stimmen, die in der aktuellen israelischen Warnung nur ein […]

May 2nd, 2010, 5:58 pm


Flammen über Nahost? « Auto-Anthropophag said:

[…] 1680 und 1701 zu entwaffnen, bergen nach Ansicht von Analysten durchaus das Potenzial für einen neuen Konflikt. Es melden sich allerdings auch Stimmen, die in der aktuellen israelischen Warnung nur ein […]

May 2nd, 2010, 6:15 pm


beowolfe said:

Israel can make peace with the Palestinians anytime they want to and it doesn’t depend on anything Obama may or may not do. Too many in Israel don’t want peace with the Palestinians unless and until they can finish taking all of the land they wish to take. Too many presidents have made the mistake of thinking if they could just get the Palestinians/Arabs to recognize Israel’s right to exist and act accordingly, the world could have peace in the region. Wrong answer.

For my tax money, the US should cut them loose and let them go it alone for a bit. Unless and until Israel really feels the ‘pinch’ of going it alone, only then will they be receptive to any foreign nation’s plan for peace in the region.

May 19th, 2010, 7:27 pm


» Flammen über Nahost? said:

[…] 1680 und 1701 zu entwaffnen, bergen nach Ansicht von Analysten durchaus das Potenzial für einen neuen Konflikt. Es melden sich allerdings auch Stimmen, die in der aktuellen israelischen Warnung nur ein […]

July 10th, 2010, 4:18 pm


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December 8th, 2012, 7:38 am


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