Wednesday, July 26, 2006


We are defending our sovereignty
Ali Fayyad, Hizbullah leadership
Tuesday July 25, 2006
The Guardian

For nearly two weeks Israel has been waging a war of terror and aggression against Lebanon. Its stated justification is the capture by the Islamic Resistance (Hizbullah) of two Israeli soldiers with the aim of exchanging them for Lebanese prisoners. The war has already resulted in the killing of around 400 and wounding of more than 1,000 Lebanese. Most are civilians (a third children), crushed in their homes or ripped to pieces in their cars by Israeli bombs and missiles.

In reality, the Israeli escalation is less about the two soldiers and more about its determination to disarm the Lebanese resistance

[ …]

In the context of the continued occupation, detention of prisoners and repeated Israeli attacks and incursions into Lebanese territory, the capture of the Israeli soldiers was entirely legitimate. The operation was fully in line with the Lebanese ministerial declaration, supported in parliament, that stressed the right of the resistance to liberate occupied Lebanese territory, free prisoners of war and defend Lebanon against Israeli aggression. International law also allows peoples and states to take action to protect their citizens and territory. The Israeli onslaught is aimed not only at liquidating the resistance and destroying the country's infrastructure but at intervening in Lebanese politics and imposing conditions on what can be agreed.

There is now a clear national consensus on the need to maintain the military power necessary to prevent Lebanon from being subjugated by Israel's war machine. Popular resistance is a way of redressing the huge imbalance of power, defending Lebanon's sovereignty and preventing Israel from intervening in Lebanese internal affairs, as has happened repeatedly since 1948. It is also - as has been the case in the prisoner-capture operation - dictated by an entirely local agenda, rather than reflecting any Syrian or Iranian policy.

The aggression against Lebanon, which has primarily targeted civilians and failed to achieve any tangible military objectives, is part of a continuing attempt to impose Israeli hegemony on the area and prevent the emergence of a regional system that might guarantee stability, self-determination, freedom and democracy.

Hizbullah has tried from the start of this crisis to limit the escalation by adopting a policy of limited response while avoiding civilian targets; its aims were restricted to freeing the prisoners of war held in both camps. However, Israel's systematic destruction of entire civilian areas in Beirut and elsewhere and perpetration of scores of horrific massacres prompted Hizbullah to shift to an all-out confrontation to affirm Lebanon's right to deter aggression and defend its territorial integrity and its citizens, just as any sovereign state would do.

Thus far, Hizbullah has had surprising military successes, while maintaining its position in the face of Israel's superior fire power, and preserved its capacity to wage a long-term war. But Hizbullah is still ready to accept a ceasefire and negotiate indirectly an exchange of prisoners to bring the current crisis to an end.

This is what Israel has so far rejected, with the support of the US. For this is also a war of American hegemony over the Middle East, and the US - supported by the British government - is fully complicit in the Israeli war crimes carried out in the past two weeks. It would appear that the peaceful option will not be given a chance until Hizbullah and the forces of resistance have demonstrated their ability to confront Israel's aggression and thwart its objectives, as happened in 1993 and 1996. That is why resistance is not only a pillar of our sovereignty but also a prerequisite of stability.

· Ali Fayyad is a senior member of Hizbullah's executive committee

That The Grauniad can allow itself to be a mouthpiece for a fascist, anti-Semitic terrorist organisation almost destroys one’s faith in the mere existence of any kind of Decent Left at all. I don’t care if the paper does have a damn good film section (it does).

As one of the commentors on the article puts it: “Hey Guardian editors, Why not cut out the middleman and simply title all of your comment pieces, "The Jews Are Our Misfortune"?

Thankfully, Harry’s Place does some sterling work in restoring faith in the Decent Left with an outright condemnation of the latest Galloway-led, anti-Semitic lunacy:

I had been thinking about writing a few words on why people on the left should be giving their support to Israel in it's struggle with the fascists of Hezbollah and Hamas but when I started to sketch out the possible structure of such a post I realised how ludicrously pointless and offensive this debate on the left has become.

After all, for a discussion among leftists aimed at convincing those who disagree with a basic position of solidarity with Israel one should probably start with some sort of explanation for why the Jewish state has a right to exist.

But isn't there something odd, indeed sick, about even having to make that case?(continues)


Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Remarkable, I am lost in admiration. Never yet have I seen an Arab mimicking so perfectly a Stalinist of the golden era.

The US House of Representatives passed a pro-Israel resolution 410-8, including most of what passes for leftists in American public discourse.

Of course, as John Dolan says, compared with other English-speaking countries, the range of political discourse in the US is very constricted.

There isn't an American publication even remotely comparable to the Grauniad.

July 26, 2006 9:45 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

The Left is in something of a box on this. On the one hand, the Palestinians were done down in the creation of Israel. Consequently, all the resistance rallying cries apply.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians are hardly alone. It is the height of hypocrisy to advocate Palestinian rights while declining to give the US back to the descendants of the indigenous residents. Or, for that matter, do anything but give over the Southwest US to the Spanish.

There is probably a period of a generation or so where resistance to the new facts on the ground might produce results. After that, it is just pointless suffering.

Like it or not, Israel is an accomplished fact, and there is no plausible alternative to that fact. The Palestinians lost, and would be far better served coming to terms with that immovable fact.

July 29, 2006 10:37 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

There weren't any Palestinians in 1948. No one self-identified that way.

What created Palestinians was the combination of Arab instransigence and UN refugee camps.

Usually, when a population is dispersed, it melds into whatever place it is dispersed to. Even a particularistic group like the Jews did so, time and again.

Whether you believe Arabs were chased out of what is now Israel or withdrew as part of a plot (nicely described as, 'we will sell the Jews our land and then get it back free after we've killed them'), had those Arabs been permitted to resettle in what is now Jordan, Syria, Egypt etc., there would never have been a self-conscious group of 'Palestinians' and therefore no demand for a Palestinian state.

The proof of this is, surprisingly, Edward Said, from a Palestinian family that avoided the refugee camps, moved to Cairo, and became Egyptians; until, rather like Adolf Hitler becoming a German or Bonaparte becoming a Frenchman, one member of the family became a political Palestinian without ever actually being a resident of Palestine.

July 30, 2006 9:25 AM  

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