Hezbollah and the New Rules of Engagement

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Israeli calculations don’t always meet their goals. In 1982, the Israeli army invaded Lebanon and killed more than 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians — mostly civilians, as usual — in the hope of ridding Lebanon of the Israeli occupation’s enemies. The results of that invasion are well-known, but let’s just say that Israel never had more formidable opponents and resisters than the ones that its own brutality and savagery produced in Lebanon. Furthermore, Israel often casually invades and bombs for electoral benefit. Shimon Peres could never run a campaign without engaging in a massacre or bombing campaign. Crimes and massacres are part of Israel’s electoral politics.

It’s unclear what Israel’s motives are in this campaign. Typically, Western media and Arab oil media volunteer that those who were killed were planning an attack on Israel. No one asks how the Israeli military is able to read Arab minds and predict what every Arab is up to at any point of their existence. It can thus tell when an Arab considers engaging in a “terrorist” attack, and kills him before he acts. This gives Israel the right to kill any Arab anywhere.

It’s possible that Israel was testing the readiness and vigilance of its enemy, Hezbollah. It is also possible that Israel has assumed that Hezbollah is too distracted to respond to Israeli attacks. On both counts, Israel was wrong. Israel does not understand Hezbollah, and has a long history of misunderstanding its enemies. Israel (like the Saudi clients in Lebanon) assumes wrongly that Hizbullah is no more than a client of the Iranian regime and that it has no domestic home-grown basis. In fact, Hizbullah’s roots in Lebanon are now more entrenched than ever, and it has succeeded in equipping the population (even beyond its constituency) with a culture of resistance to Israel and its aggression.

Nasrallah’s latest speech brings something new to the picture. It signals the beginning of a new phase in Hezbollah’s confrontation with the Israeli enemy. It seems that Hezbollah feels rather confident about its operational branch after the capture of Israeli agent Muhammad Shawraba. This was reported in the Zionist media as a failure for Hezbollah, but should be perceived as an operational success. Israeli leaders know deep down that they have failed miserably in infiltrating the ranks of the party at the members level, let alone the leadership. In the case of the PLO, the ability of Israel to obtain secrets and to foil operations before they happen was legendary, and not so much due to skills of the notoriously incompetent Mossad, but due to the carelessness and corruption of the PLO under Yasser Arafat. Furthermore, Arafat used to keep those who were suspected of spying for Israel or the US, because he believed (foolishly) that he could send messages to his enemies through them.

Hezbollah, further, has another level of confidence: the actual combat experience of its fighters and commanders in Syria, especially in extended military fighting, has been immeasurable. Hezbollah now operates on the assumption that it can employ new tricks and methods against Israel, for which it didn’t have the capacity before. The references to the ability of Hezbollah in future confrontations to hold territory in the Galilee is the product of the new self-confidence within the party.

The advantages of Hezbollah vis-à-vis Israel are tremendous. Never before in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict has there been a party that can threaten Israel (with retaliation — not with offense, as US media likes to describe it) and be credible in its threats. There has never been a non-state actor (resistance group) in the history of the conflict that could aim and achieve a direct hit on Israeli soldiers whenever it wants. This is a new calculus in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is certain that Hezbollah can also easily capture Israeli occupation soldiers whenever it wishes.

Nasrallah’s speech was significant in more ways than one. In one segment, he talked about the party’s habit of announcing its dead (“martyrs” for the party) when they die in combat. He said (and there is evidence to support his claim) that the party never hides its dead or the number of its dead. All those who die in battle are announced and they receive public funerals. This is in response to fantastic claims made by March 14 and Saudi media to the effect that the party has lost thousands upon thousands of members in the Syrian conflict. No one explains why the party announces some “martyrs” but covers up others.

What Nasrallah was responding to, however, is the practice by Israel to kill at will, anywhere and any time. Israel, which perfected the art of terrorism long before Bin Laden, has managed to justify all its massacres and killing sprees in the name of “fighting terrorism.” No act of violence by enemies of Israel, especially acts against its own terrorist soldiers, has been ever labeled as non-terrorist by the state of Israel. But Nasrallah’s declaration, that his party won’t adhere to the “rules of engagement” anymore, sends a signal to Israel that it won’t be allowed to practice its unilateral form of terrorism. This annuls the understanding of April 1996, which limited the “rules of engagement” to military targets inside South Lebanon; because Israel has continued its violation of Lebanese sovereignty and its harassment of Lebanese civilians in South Lebanon without any international repercussion.

Just as Israel does not adhere to any laws, regulating its morality or standards of violence, Hezbollah is telling Israel, for the first time, that it can also match its record of international violence, going beyond the narrow confines of April 1996. Furthermore, it is also signaling that it is not — contrary to Israeli wishful thinking — shackled by its military intervention in Syria. Israel now knows that its next assassination or bombing campaign will be met with a swift Hezbollah response. Israel, and the Zionist project in general, has not been accustomed to deterrence. The future of the Arab-Israeli conflict promises that Israel will receive the same poison that it has administered to Arabs for decades.

Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil is a Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus, a lecturer and the author of The Angry Arab News Service. He tweets @asadabukhalil

Comments

Your Heroes Are Worse than the Zionists of 1948?

As usual Dr. Abu Khalil tries to promote Hezbollah leadership and rank fighters by polishing their images to his readers. No reasonable mind should accept that discovering a top ranking operative at Hezbollah highest clique (who turns out to be an Israeli spy) is a victory of that group.

More importantly however, is Abu Khalil's strive to camouflage Hezbollah's atrocities in Syria against a large segment of its population bordering Lebanon: "…the actual combat experience of its fighters and commanders in Syria, especially in extended military fighting, has been immeasurable...." For Sure Abu Khalil never saw the plethora of clips showing the true colors of Hezbollah fighters in the battle field. Any casual smart phone with any Hezbollah fighter carries numerous video clips of actual savagery in beating and torturing captured Syrians!

Your hero fighters Mr. Abu Khalil have dislodged and displaced over a millions Syrians Arabs from their homes in bordering Syrian towns-A lot more than the Zionist Hagana and other Zionists gangs had inflicted on the Palestinian Arabs in 1948!

Let me tell you what you already know but pretend not to know to deceive the reader of your groundless claims: "The Zionists of 1948" were professional terrorists whose job was to terrorize and liquidate the civilian Palestinian population to ethnically cleanse Palestine from its indigenous population to give a deceptive credence to the deliberately manufactured Zionist myth which was designed to mislead the jews and public openion into believing the ridiculous lie that Palestine was a "land without people to people without land". The policy of Hizbollah has been to destroy this myth and prevent Zionist trrorism from replicating their fantastic ( from fantasy) success in Lebanon and Syria. In plain words, Hizbollah is in Syria to fight the brainless instruments of the Zionists who ignorantly perform what their foreign masters and "their Arab friends" want them to perform: the fragmentation of Syria and Lebanon, including of course Iraq. Hizbollah is in Syria to safe guard the integrity of Syria and to help in preventing what Israel did in Southern Lebanon. So do not make silly, stupid, absurd, idiotic statements that are neither factual nor logical.

No Kidding Here!

Besides not replying for your political arguments which advocate all sectarian and vicious acts by
Hezbollah fighters against the Syrian Arab population, the numbers are hard to refute especially
when they come from the UNHCR.

The Agency have recorded over 1.2 million of Sunni Arabs Syrians are made refuge
because of the presence of Hezbollah fighters in the southern Homs province as well as
in the Kalamoun mountain stretch south of Homs( bordering Lebanon with a depth of 200 KM.)

If Israelis are “…professional terrorists whose job was to terrorize and liquidate the
civilian Palestinian population to ethnically cleanse Palestine from its indigenous
population…” for uprooting 756 thousands of Arab Palestinian then your , then your
heroes are by far more professional criminals than the Israelis, because they have
displaced a lot more Syrians and they refuse to let any return to his or her village.
Go check the authenticity of my arguments with Hezbollah commanders in AlKussair
and Ayin Atieh, if you please! Ask them FOR field trip there, they ARRANGE for
such visits all the time, no kidding here!

I am sure Hezbollah has at hands better propagandists than displayed so far!

Douri of the South.
Bint Jbail, Southern Lebanon

The imposter Douri of the South is back and so I am back. (I will provide proof below why I call him the imposter).

Hi Douri, how are you friend, ok enough niceties and small talk.

No reasonable mind, says Douri (aka Karim Hari) can accept that a group is victorious if that group discovered a mole in its ranks. So what are they to do upon the discovery of the mole Karim? Should they announce defeat instead? Should they abandon their goals? What should they do? Give us the benefit of your reasonable mind. You are one silly ****.

And then Karim talks about the plethora. What's a plethora, one, two, 3 (fake) clips. Why don't you post them. And then he says any smartphone carries numerous video clips. Really? So you conducted a survey and you confirmed that any random smarphone has numerous video clips demonstrating the savagery?

And finally like the true wahabi salafi that he is, he compared Hezbollah to the zionists and concluded that the crimes of Hezbollah against the Syrians(remains unproven) are worse than those of the zionists against Palestinians. This is the line of reasoning that all sectarian arabs especially the salafi wahabi types have been using since the beginning of the conflict in Syria 4 years ago.

Proof Douri of the South is an imposter:
In this article of Al-akhbar http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/4876 back in 2012, Douri of the South forgot to edit the name "Karim Hari" in the name text field, but signed the end of the article as he usually did with "Douri of the South".

When the truth about Mossad's misdeeds is finally known the world will respond with anger, revulsion and ferocity to its list of crimes against humanity. Its business model of false flag terrrorism is becoming increasingly well known and will one day backfire. Israel is truly the terror state.

"incompetent Mossad?"
the writer is one of many in the Arab world (though he lives in USA, it is apparent that he hates his adopted country) who thinks that Israel pulls strings throughout the region, if not the globe. Could an incompetent service do that? Or does Israel have nothing at all to do with what is happening in the Arab world, other than its obvious military capers?
Please choose. You are confusing me.

The only strings the "Israelis" pull around the globe whether in the Arab world or the entire globe is the "strings" of terrorism...no one can deny and the writer clearly states that the only thing the Mossad knows how to do are acts of terrorism..they excel in that...no question about that..but when it comes to them fighting people who can fight back..that is where the Mossad are helpless...in conclusion Schlomo...the Mossad excels in acts of terrorism around the world and fails in fighting someone that can fight back...now you can go back to your Hasbara

Barry the Zionist' rant has nothing to do with As'ad article, and everything with hasbara
Mossad is a band of criminals, just like CIA, and they both commit various crimes in the ME and beyond. As'ad knows it well enough from his own experience under Zionist occupation. Of course, the most criminal gangs could also be incompetent - after all, Mossad with support from USA and Europe still cannot defeat the Resistance - even though Mossad murdered a lot of civilians while trying.
I am not an Arab (even though I would not mind at all) and I almost always agree with As'ad and always see through hasbara.

I suppose. after the end of Zionist colonialism, in history books Hezbollah will be put at the same list with the most heroic anti-colonial fighters.

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