Sayyed Nasrallah: Israeli Enemy Reached Rock Bottom, Game Over in Syria!

Sayyed Nasrallah: Israeli Enemy Reached Rock Bottom, Game Over in Syria!

Marwa Haidar

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed that the Israeli enemy has reached the rock bottom as it fears the Lebanese resistance’s growing power.

Addressing crowds in a ceremony marking the eleventh anniversary of the Divine Victory in 2006 July War, Sayyed Nasrallah said the game is now over in Syria, calling on some Lebanese sides who have been betting on the fall of the Syrian to quit on this idea.

Hezollah S.G. said that the US is launching a campaign of intimidation against the Lebanese government and people through bundle of sanctions against Hezbollah. However, his eminence stressed that such intimidation won’t affect the resistance, its determination and its growing power.

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that the cost of any new Israeli war on Lebanon will be very high, calling on the Israeli enemy to reconsider dismantling Dimona reactor.

The resistance leader reiterated Hezollah’s will to hand over all posts in Arsal outskirts once the Lebanese army is ready to this move.

Sayyed Nasrallah assured that the victory in the battle between the Lebanese army and ISIL in Ras Baalbek and AL-Qaa outskirts is definite, noting that there is no time limit for this battle.

Heroic Confrontations

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by asserting that jubilation witnessed today is by virtue of sacrifices offered by the resistance and its people.

“Our martyrs had sacrificed their souls for us to stay honored and happy. Today they are glad to see us smiling and jubilant.”

Sayyed Nasrallah talked about heroic confrontations that took place against the Israeli enemy in the town of Al-Khyam, especially during July War, stressing that they were part from decisive achievements that led to the divine victory.

His eminence also recalled the historic detention center in Al-Khyam, praising the steadfastness of prisoners who were held by the Israeli occupation there.

“Few Hezbollah fighters managed to defeat a whole Israeli brigade in Al-Khyam (during July war). This is July war equation,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

“The sample which Israelis had seen during July war, they will see it multiplied by 100 times in any future confrontation on all levels,” the resistance leader warned, stressing that the disgrace inflicted on the occupation soldiers during 2006 war will be more.

Growing Power

Sayyed Nasrallah said despite that eleven years have passed on July war, but it is still in the Israeli conscience, and that the Israeli enemy is still studying this war and looking deep into its lessons.

“July war’s goal was to crush Hezbollah, but since that time the Israeli enemy has been talking about Hezbollah’s growing power, and this is an acknowledgment that the war had failed to reach its goal.”

Sayyed Nasrallah noted then that the resistance in Lebanon works honestly in order to reach strategic goals, stressing that it does not seek personal and narrow interests.

“The resistance’s power is growing every day and this is what both enemy and friend know and say.”

Very High Cost

Hezbollah S.G. warned that the cost of any future war will be very high, noting that the resistance’s power deters the Israeli enemy from launching a new aggression.

“Any new war, whatever its goals were, does not worth the cost which the Israeli enemy will pay.”

His eminence noted that the principle of “survival of the fittest” prevails in the world nowadays, stressing that Israeli enemy respects Hezbollah because of its strength.

His eminence voiced satisfaction that Haifa ammonia tank is being emptied, calling on the Zionist regime to reconsider dismantling Dimona reactor because “it is more dangerous.”

Sayyed Nasrallah meanwhile, noted that the Zionist entity bets on the US administration to press Lebanon over Hezbollah, after failing to defeat the resistance movement, referring to new sanctions Washington will impose on Hezbollah in September.

His eminence said that such moves aimed at intimidating Hezbollah, Lebanese government and people, stressing that such move won’t affect the resistance’s determination and attempts to boost its abilities.

Sayyed Nasrallah hit back at US President Donald Trump’s remarks on Hezbollah during a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, stressing that US and ‘Israel’ are both terrorists.

“The US created ISIL and Hezbollah has been fighting terrorism. Hezbollah is part of the resistance which has foiled the ‘Greater Israel’ scheme, along with the ‘New Middle East’ scheme.”

“We have to be powerful; the era when the Israeli enemy can threaten and carry out is over.”

Israeli Enemy Frightened

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the Israeli enemy is frightened nowadays from any move he sees it suspicious at the border Between Lebanon the occupied Palestinian territories.

His eminence said the Zionist regime fears tree planting at the border, calling on the residents of the southern towns in Lebanon to go ahead with tree planting. In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that such fear indicates the low morale of the Israelis.

“The Israeli enemy has reached the rock bottom, while we have reached the peak,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

 

Source: Al-Mana

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هل مَن يجيب على أسئلة هادئة موجّهة لكتلة المستقبل؟

هل مَن يجيب على أسئلة هادئة موجّهة لكتلة المستقبل؟

ناصر قنديل

يوليو 26, 2017

– صدر بيانان لكتلة المستقبل عن معارك جرود عرسال. وهذا يعكس الإصرار من جانب الكتلة وكاتب بياناتها على إثارة قضايا أو فتح معارك يراها وتراها الكتلة مصيرية، وحيث إنّ البيان الأول اقتصر على الاتهامات وقد أعادها الثاني، وحيث لا مبرّر للخوض في سجال اتهامي يرغبه بعض من في الكتلة لاستحضار مظلومية واستعطاف شارع صار غالبه الأعمّ يعيش بفرح انتصارات المقاومة، ولم تعُد تنفع معه محاولات تشويه صورة الحرب ولا أكاذيب الحديث عن ثورة وثوار، فيكفي أخذ عصارة البيان الثاني وما فيها من مواقف سياسية وطروحات لمناقشتها أو طرح أسئلة حولها عسى يوجد مَن يملك في الكتلة، التي نفترض نيتها إثارة نقاش وطني حول ما قالت في بيانها ليوضح ويردّ على الأسئلة إلا إذا كان ما تريده هو فقط استدراج اتهامات كاتهاماتها، لأنّ هذه هي اللعبة المرسومة.

– لا نريد الخوض في المساجلات حول ما قاله البيانان عن تخديم أجندة وأهداف إيرانية افتراضية سبق قول مثلها في حرب تموز وبعدها عن مشاركة حزب الله في سورية وربطها بتحسين وضع تفاوضي لإيران حول ملفها النووي، وانتهى الملف النووي باتفاق لم يقايض بشيء من عناصر قوة ومعارك حزب الله ولم يوقفها، ولم يعتذر أصحاب الاتهامات عن سوء الظنّ ولا زالوا يرونه من حسن الفطن أو الفتن. ولا نريد الخوض في سؤال موازٍ للاتهام بأجندة أجنبية بالقول إنه إذا كانت إيران تقف وراء قرار حزب الله، وإيران لا تقاتل في المجرّات بل لها خصوم يتصدّرهم الأميركي و»الإسرائيلي»، فهل تنتبهون لمعنى وضع الأقدام في حلف قضيته المواجهة مع إيران ولحساب مَن إذن أنتم تقاتلون؟ ولا حتى السؤال عن رفة قلب لبناني لدماء لبنانية تعصم لبنان من خطر إرهاب، طالما الجفن لم يرفّ يوم احتشد مئات الآلاف يطالبون بصيغة شراكة في الحكم صارت مستسهلة ومقبولة بعد السابع من أيار، ومثلها صار العماد ميشال عون رئيساً مقبولاً بعدما قيل فيه نثراً وشعراً ما لم يقلْهُ مالك في الخمرة.

– سنكتفي بسؤالين منهجيين هادئين، يتصلان بمقترح الكتلة نشر قوات اليونيفيل في الجرود وسائر الحدود بين لبنان وسورية، والسؤال الأول كيف سيتمّ ذلك من دون تحرير الشق اللبناني من الجرود من وجود داعش والنصرة؟ ومَن سيقوم بذلك، ما دام الجيش اللبناني ليس مجهّزاً لخوض مثل هذه الحرب ويحتاج دعماً جوياً وتنسيقاً برياً مع الجيش الواقف قبالته على الضفة الأخرى من مناطق يحتلها الإرهاب، هو الجيش السوري؟ فهل المقترح بنشر القوات الدولية هو بعد أن ينتهي حزب الله قتاله أم قبل؟ وإنْ كان بعد فلماذا الحملة على خوضه الحرب إذن، وإنْ كان قبل فهل تقترحون التنازل عن جزء من الأرض اللبنانية للإرهاب وتسييجها باليونيفيل؟

– السؤال الثاني يتصل بالطابع القانوني للمقترح، فنشر قوات اليونيفيل يستدعي قراراً يصدر عن مجلس الأمن الدولي، ولنفترض أنّ المقترح هو بنشر اليونيفيل بعد تحرير الأراضي اللبنانية من الإرهابيين، فالسؤال هو طالما نتحدّث عن حدود بين دولتين هما لبنان وسورية، فالقرار الأممي يجب أن يصدر برضاهما وقبولهما، فهل هذه دعوة لتفاوض بين الحكومتين اللبنانية والسورية حول المشروع؟ وهذا ترفضونه طبعاً، ولكن لو سلّمنا أنكم تفكرون بذلك، ماذا لو رفضت الحكومة السورية؟ وهذا شبه أكيد، إنْ لم يكن في حكم المؤكد، ماذا تصير قيمة المقترح إلا على طريقة الحديث عن زواج ابن جحا من بنت الملك وقطع نصف الطريق طالما جحا وزوجته وابنه موافقين، اللهم إلا إذا كان المُراد قراراً وفقاً للفصل السابع. وهذا يعني وضع البلدين المعنيين تحت الفصل السابع ونزع سيادتهما وإلزامهما بالقرار. فهل هذا هو المشروع القديم الجديد منذ حرب تموز، فلماذا لم يرد في البيان؟ ويبقى السؤال حتى لو كانت هذه هي النيات، هل ثمة أفق لها بعدما فشلت قبل عشرة أعوام والتوازنات لم تكن على ما هي عليه الآن، وأنتم الأعلم أنّ الفيتو المزدوج ينتظر كلّ فصل سابع في مجلس الأمن؟

– هل مِن مجيب بغير الشتائم؟

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«‘Israel’ is Weak» Sign Concerns Ynet

Local Editor

It’s not only Hezbollah missiles that threaten “Israel”, a poster on the borders with Occupied Palestine might raise concerns all along the Zionist entity.

Hezbollah sign on the border with Occupied Palestine

In this context, “Israeli” Ynet daily chose to shed light on the defiant sign recently placed on the borders with Occupied Palestine over the weekend under the title: “weaker than a spider web”.

According to the daily, “Israeli” settlers noticed the sign as they left for work on Sunday. “We are familiar with their threats to invade the Galilee,” one said.

The sign also had the words “masters of victory”.

Ynet further said: “Meanwhile, Hezbollah continues to monitor the army’s activities in Lebanon. On the organization’s military PR page, they uploaded photos documenting “Israeli” soldiers with a bulldozer yanking out concrete obstacles.”

“They erected some kind of electric gate in the area, leading to the arrival of UNIFIL inspectors stationed in southern Lebanon,” it added, noting that “later in the day, Hezbollah posted a collection of other pictures of Lebanese soldiers repositioning the concrete barriers in an act of defiance against the “Israeli” army…”

Source: Ynet, Edited by website team

28-02-2017 | 11:31

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Anti-Donald Trump: war propaganda

Our previous articles concerning President Trump have caused some fierce reactions from our readers. Some of them have been wondering about the naïvety apparently displayed by Thierry Meyssan despite the warnings issued by the international Press and the accumulation of negative signals. Here is his response, well-reasoned as always.

| DAMASCUS (SYRIA) | 7 FEBRUARY 2017
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Two weeks after his investiture, the Altantist Press continues with its work of disinformation and agitation against the new President of the United States of America. Trump and his new collaborators are multiplying declarations and gestures which are apparently contradictory, so that it is difficult to understand what is going on in Washington.

The anti-Trump campaign

The bad faith of the Atlantist Press can be verified for each of these four main themes.

- 1. Concerning the beginning of the dismantling of Obamacare (20 January), we are obliged to report that, contrary to what is being announced in the Atlantist Press, the underprivileged classes who should have benefited from this system have avoided it en masse. This form of «social security» turned out to be too expensive and too directive to attract them. Only the private companies who manage this system have been truly satisfied by it.

- 2. Concerning the prolongation of the Wall at the Mexican border (23 to 25 January), there is nothing xenophobic about it – the Secure Fence Act was signed by President George W. Bush, who began its construction. The work was continued by President Barack Obama with the support of the Mexican government of the time. Beyond the fashionable rhetoric about «walls» and «bridges», reinforced border systems only work when the authorities of both sides agree to make them operational. They always fail when one of the parties opposes them. The interest of the United States is to control the entry of migrants, while the interest of Mexico is to prevent the import of weapons. None of that has changed. However, with the application of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), transnational companies have delocalised, from the United States to Mexico, not only non-qualified jobs (in conformity with the Marxist rule of «the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (TRPF)», but also qualified jobs which are performed by under-paid workers («social dumping»). The appearance of these jobs has provoked a strong rural exodus, destructuring Mexican society, on the model of what happened in 19th century Europe. The transnational companies then lowered wages, plunging part of the Mexican population into poverty – which now only dreams of being correctly paid in the United States itself. Since Donald Trump has announced that he intends to remove the US signature from the NAFTA agreement, things should return to normal in the years to come, and satisfy both Mexico and the United States [1].

- 3. Concerning the abortion issue (23 January), President Trump has forbidden the payment of federal subsidies to specialised associations which receive funds from abroad. By doing so, he has warned those specific associations that they must choose between their social objective to help women in distress or being paid by George Soros to demonstrate against him – as was the case on 21 January. This decree therefore has nothing to do with abortion, but with the prevention of a «colour revolution».

- 4. Concerning the anti-immigration decrees (25 to 27 January), Donald Trump announced that he was going to apply the law – inherited from the Obama era – in other words, to expel the 11 million illegal foreigners. He has suspended federal aid to those cities which announced that they would refuse to apply the law – where will we get our cleaning ladies if we have to declare them? He specified that among these illegal immigrants, he would begin by expelling the 800,000 criminals who have been the object of criminal proceedings, in the United States, Mexico or elswhere. Besides this, in order to prevent the arrival of terrorists, he has suspended all the authorisations for immigration to the United States, and has placed a three-month ban on people from countries where it is impossible to verify their identity and their situation. He did not draw up the list of such countries himself, but referred to a previous text from President Obama. For example, here in Syria, there is no longer a US embassy or Consulate. From the point of view of the administrative police, it is therefore logical to put Syrians on this list. But this can only concern a minimal number of people. In 2015, only 145 Syrians managed to obtain the US «green card». Aware of the numerous special cases which might arise, the Presidential decree allows all liberty to the State Department and Homeland Security to issue dispensations. The fact that the application of these decrees was sabotaged by civil servants opposed to President Trump, who applied them with brutality, does not make the President either a racist or an Islamophobe.

The campaign led by the Atlantist Press against Donald Trump is therefore unfounded. To pretend that he has opened a war against Muslims, and to evoke publicly his possible destitution, even his assassination, is no longer simply bad faith – it’s war propaganda.

Donald Trump’s objective

Donald Trump was the first personality in the world to contest the official version of the attacks of 9/11, on television that very day. After having noted that the engineers who built the Twin Towers were now working for him, he declared on New York’s Channel 9 that it was impossible that Boeings could have burst through the steel structures of the towers. He continued by stating that it was also impossible that Boeings could have caused the towers to collapse. He concluded by affirming that there had to be other factors of which we were as yet unaware.

From that day on, Donald Trump has never ceased to resist the people who had committed those crimes. During his inaugural speech, he emphasised that this was not a passage of power between two administrations, but a restitution of power to United States citizens, who had been deprives of it [for sixteen years] [2].

During his electoral campaign, once again during the transitional period, and again since he took office, he has repeated that the imperial system of these last years has never benefited US citizens, but only a small clique of which Mrs. Clinton is the emblematic figure. He declared that the United States would no longer attempt to be the «first», but the «best». His slogans are – « Make America great again» and «America first»

This 180° political turn has shaken a system which has been implemented over the last 16 years, and has its roots in the Cold War, which, in 1947, only the United States wanted. This system has gangrened numerous international institutions, such as NATO (Jens Stoltenberg and General Curtis Scaparrotti), the European Union (Federica Mogherini), and the United Nations (Jeffrey Feltman) [3].

If Donald Trump is to reach his objective, it will take years.

Towards a peaceful dismantling of the United States Empire

In two weeks, many things have begun, often in the greatest discretion. The booming declarations of President Trump and his team deliberately spread confusion and enabled him to ensure that the nominations of his collaborators were confirmed by a partially hostile Congress.

We must understand that it’s a fight to the death between two systems that has just begun in Washington. Let’s leave the Atlantist Press to comment on the often contradictory and incoherent statements by this one or that, and look at the facts on their own.

Before anything else, Donald Trump made sure that he had control over the security apparatus. His first three nominations (National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly) are three Generals who have contested the «continuity of government» since 2003 [4]. Next, he reformed the National Security Council to exclude the inter-army Chief of Staff and the director of the CIA [5]

Even though the latter decree will probably be revised, it still has not been. Let us note in passing that we announced the intention of Donald Trump and General Flynn to eliminate the post of Director of National Intelligence [6]. However, this post has been maintained and Dan Coats has been nominated for it. It transpires that talk of its supression was a tactic to demonstrate that the presence of the Director of National Intelligence in the Council was enough to justify the exclusion of the Director of the CIA.

The substitution of the word «best» for «first» leads to the engagement of partnerships with Russia and China, rather than a tentative to crush them.

In order to hobble this policy, the friends of Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Nuland have relaunched the war against the Donbass. The important losses they have experienced since the beginning of the conflict have led the Ukrainian army to withdraw and put paramilitary Nazi militia in the front line. The combats have inflicted heavy civilian casualities on the inhabitants of the new popular Republic. Simultaneously, in the Near East, they have managed to deliver tanks to the Syrian Kurds, as planned by the Obama administration.

In order to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, Donald Trump is looking for a way to help to eject President Petro Porochenko. He therefore received at the White House the head of the opposition, Ioulia Tymochenko, even before he accepted a phone call from President Porochenko.

In Syria and Iraq, Donald Trump has already begun operations in common with Russia, even thought his spokesperson denies it.The Russian Minister for Defence, who had imprudently revealed it, has ceased to say anything on the subject.

Concerning Beijing, President Trump has put an end to US participation in the Trans-Pacific Treaty (TPP) – a treaty which had been conceived in order to inhibit China. During the period of transition, he received the second richest man in China, Jack Ma (the businessman who confirmed – «No-one has stolen your jobs, you spend too much on war»). We know that their discussions touched on the possible adhesion of Washington to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). If this were to be the case, the United States would agree to cooperate with China rather than hindering it. They would participate in the construction of two Silk Roads, which would make the wars in Donbass and Syria pointless.

In matters of finance, President Trump has begun the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank law which attempted to resolve the crisis of 2008 by averting the brutal collapse of the major banks («too big to fail»). Although this law has some positive aspects (it’s 2,300 pages long), it establishes a guardianship of the Treasury over the banks, which obviously hinders their development. Donald Trump is also apparently preparing to restore the distinction between deposit banks and investment banks (Glass-Steagall Act).

Finally, the clean-up of international institutions has also begun. The new ambassador to the UNO, Nikki Haley, has requested an audit of the 16 «peace-keeping» missions. She has made it known that she intends to put an end to those which seem to be inefficient. From the point of view of the United Nations Charter, all such missions will be audited without exception. Indeed, the founders of the Organisation had not foreseen this type of military deployment (today, more than 100,000 men and women). The UNO was created to avert or resolve conflicts between states (never intra-state conflict). When two parties conclude a cease-fire, the Organisation may deploy observers in order to verify the respect of the agreement. But on the contrary, these «peace-keeping» operations are aimed at enforcing the respect of a solution imposed by the Security Council and refused by one of the two parties involved in the conflict – in reality, it is the continuation of colonialism.

In practice, the presence of these forces only makes the conflict last longer, while their absence changes nothing. So the troops of the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) deployed at the Israëlo-Lebanese border, but only on Lebanese territory, do not prevent either Israëli military operations or military operations by the Lebanese Resistance, as we have already seen many times. They serve only to spy on the Lebanese on behalf of the Israëlis, thus prolonging the conflict. In the same way, the troops of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, or UNDOF, deployed at the demarcation line in the Golan have been chased away by Al-Qaïda, without that changing anything at all in the Israëlo-Syrian conflict. Putting an end to this system means returning to the spirit and the letter of the Charter, renouncing colonial privileges, and pacifying the world.

Behind the media controversy, the street demonstrations, and the confrontation between politicians, President Trump is holding his course.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[2] “Donald Trump Inauguration Speech”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 21 January 2017.

[3] “Germany and the UNO against Syria”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Al-Watan (Syria) , Voltaire Network, 28 January 2016.

[4] “Trump – enough of 9/11!”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 24 January 2017.

[5] “Donald Trump winds up “the” organization of US imperialism].]”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 31 January 2017.

[6] “General Flynn’s Proposals to Reform Intelligence”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Contralínea (Mexico) , Voltaire Network, 1 December 2016.

UN: ISIS depriving 670,000 Syrian children of education

Western-backed Syrian militants walk in the al-Breij area northwest on the northern Syrian town of Aleppo after they reportedly re-took control of the area from the Syrian army on January 7, 2015. AFP/AMC/Fadi al-Halabi

Published Wednesday, January 7, 2015

An estimated 670,000 children in Syria are being deprived of education after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group ordered the closure of schools until the curriculum is made to conform with its medieval reading of the Islamic Sharia, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Tuesday.

ISIS declared a “caliphate” on land it seized in Syria and Iraq in a sweeping offensive back in June, committing wide scale massacres, sexually enslaving women and girls and recruiting children as fighters.

“In December there was a decree of the Islamic State [ISIS] ordering the stoppage of education in areas under its control,” UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac told a news briefing.

The militant group decreed that schools be closed until the school curriculum had been made “compliant with the religious rules,” he told Reuters, adding that children enrolled in primary and secondary schools in Raqqa, and rural areas of Deir al-Zor and Aleppo provinces are affected by the closures and teachers are forced to undergo “retraining.”

Prior to 2011, Syria had one of the best rates of basic education enrollment in the Middle East with 96%. The number is currently estimated to be lower than 40%, according to a 2014 report by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

The report also said that the effects of this drop in enrollment and access to proper education is expected to impact the country severely for many generations to come.

In early August, ISIS announced it was banning philosophy and science in Raqqa schools, claiming that the subjects “do not fit in with the laws of god.”

ISIS has also banned many other subjects in the Syrian state curriculum, including social studies – namely civic engagement and nationalism – fine arts, music, history, and religion, including Islamic and Christian studies.

In all, 4.3 million Syrian children are enrolled nationwide this school year, according to the education ministry, but between 2.1 million and 2.4 million are currently either out of school or attending classes irregularly, UNICEF said.

Moreover, UNICEF said that at least 160 children were killed and 343 wounded in attacks on schools across Syria last year. The toll was probably an under-estimate due to difficulties of access and obtaining data, Boulierac said.

“In addition to lack of school access, attacks on schools, teachers and students are further horrific reminders of the terrible price Syria’s children are paying in a crisis approaching its fifth year,” Hanaa Singer, UNICEF representative in Syria, said in a statement.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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Quasi-borders for a quasi-state: In Lebanon, partisanship trumps all else

Syrian refugees arrive at the Masnaa border crossing on the Lebanon-Syria border on August 7, 2014, after fleeing the restive northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal ahead of returning to Syria. (Photo: AFP/STR)
Published Friday, August 29, 2014
The issue of protecting the Lebanese-Syrian border is one of the most pressing demands being made in light of the Syrian war. However, the border issue in Lebanon has never been of a military, security, or even geographical nature.

 

In a French Foreign Ministry document dated May 27, 1938, one finds the following account: “A dispute erupted between the Druze residents of Majdal Shams and the Sunnis of Jubata al-Khashab, both Syrian towns located in Mount Hermon. The two religious groups summoned their coreligionists from Lebanon and Palestine to assist them. The outcome was clashes between the two communities, who ignored the demarcated borders between the three countries.”
It is hard to find a better example than this French document for the true nature of the borders among these three countries, which had collapsed under the weight of sectarianism when the Druze and Sunnis in Lebanon and Palestine scrambled to rescue their brethren in Syria. The incident in 1938 is not that different from what is happening today, under the weight of foreign interventions, and the growingly-easy violation of the borders, as though they do not exist at all.
Borders have long formed the political and sovereign framework that determines the fate of countries, which often fight long wars to preserve their territories. Today, these borders, particularly in the Middle East, are a fascinating topic for researchers studying the impact of the dissolution of the boundaries established by the Sykes-Picot agreement, and the conditions in the countries of the region that still maintain a bare minimum of their territorial integrity like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. In addition, the radical Islamist group the Islamic State has recently torn down some of these borders with a violent show of force, and it is almost certain that this will happen again with other borders.
The conclusion that one Lebanese researcher reached in a paper presented at an American conference on the Middle East, is that “partisanship” of all kinds dismantles borders, and supersedes all kinds of geographical demarcation. It is from the viewpoint of partisanship that we can understand how legal and geographical boundaries are breached when a religious community or a tribe wants to assist its kin, and perhaps what is happening in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq clearly underscores the role of such partisanship.
The situation at the northern and eastern borders in Lebanon is not really an anomalous event compared against both ancient and modern Lebanese history.
In the present day, militants have travelled to and from Syria to “help” their Sunni brethren in Ersal and elsewhere; Hezbollah fighters have crossed to Syria to assist their allies or defend Shia areas in Syria; Alawis have come from Syria to Jabal Mohsen; and Sunnis have gone from the North to fight in Syria. Sunnis and Shia are going from Lebanon to Syria and returning, as though the two countries are one open arena, as the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad suggested in a famous speech in 1976.
Not long ago, some Christians crossed the southern border to Israel, and so did the Druze who wanted to communicate with other Druze in Palestine. Indeed, if it weren’t partisanship that is the main dynamic that overcomes geographical boundaries, then what can explain the solidarity between Christians in Lebanon and Christians in Mosul, Maaloula, and Wadi al-Nasara (the Valley of the Christians)? Or what can explain the reason Shia in Lebanon have scrambled to help those defending the Sayeda Zainab shrine in Damascus?
The borders stipulated in the Lebanese constitution were not what protected Lebanon geographically or politically. This was never the case, particularly when the state of Greater Lebanon was declared, causing confusion regarding the map attached to this declaration, which turned out to be based on maps from the French campaign in 1862.
According to Issam Khalifa in The Lebanese-Syrian Border, this map was not based on accurate topographic data, but rather on general exploratory outlines that contained many irregularities.

“Partisanship” of all kinds dismantles borders, and supersedes all kinds of geographical demarcation.

 

Lebanon is one of the states that political science would designate as a “quasi-state,” which needs international and regional sponsorship and care to remain viable, especially since peoples of such states would not have usually been consulted when their states were created and their borders were drawn. From this standpoint, Lebanon never had stand-alone borders that offered comprehensive protection as otherwise suggested by Article A of the Preamble to the Lebanese Constitution: “Lebanon is a sovereign, free, and independent country. It is a final homeland for all its citizens. It is unified in its territory, people, and institutions within the boundaries defined in this Constitution and recognized internationally.”
After all, which borders is the constitution talking about exactly? Who is recognizing them when the Lebanese themselves are violating these borders? Are the borders in question the ones stipulated in the constitution? According to the first article,
“On the North: From the mouth of Nahr al-Kabir along a line following the course of this river to its point of junction with Wadi Khalid opposite Jisr Al-Qamar.
On the East: The summit line separating the Wadi Khalid and Nahr al-Asi, passing by the villages of Mu’aysarah, Harbanah, Hayt, Ibish, Faysan to the height of the two villages of Brifa and Matraba. This line follows the northern boundary of the Ba`albak District at the north eastern and south eastern directions, thence the eastern boundaries of the districts of Ba`albak, Biqa’, Hasbayya, and Rashayya.
On the South: The present southern boundaries of the districts of Sûr (Tyre) and Marji`yun.
On the West: The Mediterranean.”
Or are there other borders that the Lebanese have accepted for themselves, when politics, partisanship, and sectarianism trumped all else, as had happened at all major historical events, for example with the conflicts of 1958, 1967, 1973, and 1975, and with the Syrian entry in 1976 and the repeated Israeli invasions through the southern border?
The Cairo Agreement

Lebanon is one of the states that political science would designate as a “quasi-state,” which needs international and regional sponsorship and care to remain viable

 

The Cairo Agreement in 1969 was the first official document sanctioning armed struggle against Israel out of the Lebanese border, bearing in mind that following the creation of the PLO, the Arab regimes had agreed among one another not to establish military bases in Lebanon, and that those who join the Liberation Army would not be allowed to return to Lebanon (Farid al-Khazen, The Disintegration of the State in Lebanon).
The Cairo Agreement was the translation of developments on the field since the summer of 1968, with the growing number of Palestinian Resistance fighters (Fedayeen) infiltrating the Lebanese border from Syria heading to the Arqoub region. On June 14, 1968, Palestinian Resistance operations ignored the southern border for the first time, which in principle was protected by the armistice agreement with Israel. The latter agreement states that “no element of the land, sea or air military or paramilitary forces of either party, including non-regular forces, shall commit any warlike or hostile act against the military or paramilitary forces of the other party, or against civilians in territory under the control of that party.”
On October 30, Israel launched its first operation inside Lebanese territory, targeting a Fatah base. In December, Israel carried out an attack on Beirut airport. Since 1968, more and more Fedayeen began to infiltrate from Syria to Arqoub, with growing number of clashes taking place between them and the Lebanese army, the first of which occurred on October 29, 1968 in Arqoub.
In 1969, a series of confrontations erupted in Majdal Silm, Deir Mimas, Udaysah and al-Khiam. With the rising tension and the deepening Sunni-Christian rift over how to deal with Palestinian armed resistance in Lebanon, the secret Cairo Agreement was signed, despite opposition from Raymond Edde, who saw it as a violation of the armistice agreement. The Cairo Agreement facilitated the movement of the Fedayeen through the southern and eastern border, and allowed Palestinian fighters to flock to and from Lebanon, amid broad Sunni support and cover. Khazen wrote, “The Sunni leadership, represented by Rashid Karami, called for a policy of coordination with the Fedayeen… when the situation was aggravated with the Fedayeen, it was not possible to take military action against Palestinian fighters without unequivocal political support from the Sunni poles, especially the prime minister.”
Syria and the artificial borders
The problem did not just involve the Lebanese border with Israel. In 1969 and after clashes between the Lebanese army and the Palestinians, Syria closed its border with Lebanon, on October 22. Since that time, Syria continued to deal with those borders as artificial boundaries, and spared no occasion since it entered Lebanon officially and until it left officially to express its vision for the joint border, as evident from the texts of the Brotherhood and Coordination Treaty between the two countries signed in 1989.
Moreover, the problem of the Shebaa Farms, which Syria seized in 1956, was not the only border dispute between the two countries, though it took on an added political and military importance in recent years in light of the military conflict between Israel and Lebanon, specifically with Hezbollah, which still calls for the liberation of the Shebaa Farms that Israel occupied in 1967. This is while bearing in mind that the National Dialogue Commission in Lebanon had discussed the Shebaa Farms in the course of discussing the issue of demarcating Lebanon’s border, but was soon drawn into a linguistic debate over the “demarcation versus specification” of the borders.
Nor can we forget the number of Lebanese-Syrian incidents along the joint border, which intensified after the Syrian war, or the points that need a clearer demarcation including along the maritime borders, which could take on an additional importance when the issue of Lebanon’s oil and gas resources is discussed in earnest, regionally and internationally.
Israel and the Blue Line
Lebanon lacks modern and clear maps, and Israel deals with the southern border as though it doesn’t exist. However, Lebanon’s problem is that since its creation as an entity, it has failed to demarcate its border in all directions. With the withdrawal of the Israeli army from its territory, Lebanon was forced to accept the Blue Line, which took years to demarcate in coordination with the UN peacekeeping force.
Today, two mechanisms govern the southern border, the armistice agreement and UNSC resolution 1701, which was the result of the 2006 war in Lebanon. The first does not contain a full description of the border, but only states that the armistice agreement “adheres to the international border between Lebanon and Palestine.” This is while resolution 1701 stresses the international community’s respect for Lebanon’s political independence “within its internationally recognized borders,” but also its vehement support for respecting the Blue Line.
The March 14 alliance in Lebanon has tried to take advantage of this formulation to call for implementing the same mechanism along all Lebanon’s borders, to protest Hezbollah’s opening of the border and its involvement in the war in Syria.
However, the main problem with this is that the international resolution had been passed unanimously by the Security Council with the approval of the Israeli and Lebanese governments, something that is not possible at present: Neither is the international community prepared to expand the framework of the international peacekeeping force, nor are the countries concerned prepared to expose their soldiers to the risk of being taken hostage in a region witnessing large-scale slaughter and beheadings. Furthermore, the government in Lebanon would not consent unanimously to turning the border into an internationalized area, in light of the conflict between the Syrian regime and its opponents, especially given the threat of the Islamic State expanding into the Lebanese border.
All this takes us back to square one and the issue of the “quasi-state,” which perhaps needs something more than protection from the international community to survive.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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Naim Abbas: From an Admirer of Hezbollah to its Sworn Enemy

Lebanese soldiers in the Corniche al-Mazraa neighborhood where Naim Abbas was found. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
Published Thursday, February 13, 2014
The man who has more than one nickname (Abu Ismail and Abu Sleiman), and who is described by security agencies as an unparalleled “security mastermind and executor”, is now in the hands of the army’s intelligence directorate. The security community could hardly believe the news and the Islamist community is in shock. Suddenly, Abbas collapsed and confessed, in a record time of four hours, to dangerous information that he knew of and that thwarted more than one plan of suicide bombers and rocket shelling before they happened.
Abbas was kicked out of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades about a year ago. He stayed away from Sheikh Tawfiq Taha, known as Abu Mohammed, due to internal organizational disagreements. A few months ago, he swore allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and began to work for the al-Qaeda affiliated group, but he was not connected to the ISIS branch declared by the so-called Abu Sayyaf al-Ansari weeks ago. Islamist sources reveal that his relationship was directly with the organization’s leadership in Iraq.

Naim Abbas, 43, is a famous name in the world of terrorism and jihad. He is a leading figure in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp whose name comes up whenever prominent leaders such as Tawfiq Taha, Majed al-Majed, Usama al-Shihabi and others are mentioned. The name resurfaced last month when Sheikh Omar al-Atrash was arrested, who was accused of taking suicide bombers to Dahiyeh. His name was mentioned that day as Abu Sleiman who owns a warehouse on the outskirts of Dahiyeh where the car bombs are parked before they head to their target. Prior to that, he worked in the shadows and shied away from the media. It has also been speculated that he has been behind rocket attacks on Israel and attacks on UNIFIL troops.

His name came up in 2009 in the confessions of Fadi Ibrahim, known as al-Sikmo, who said that Abbas was involved in the assassination of the army chief of operations, Major General Francois al-Hajj in 2007. Nevertheless, the archives of the security agencies had only two old photographs of Abbas. One is more than 20 years old and the second is more than eight years old in which he appears sitting on a motorcycle in Ain al-Hilweh.
Abbas, who left the Islamic Jihad movement years ago to work with al-Qaeda, is a man of few words. Despite his record-setting speedy confession, everyone who met him agrees that he is a master at the art of silence. He exhibits little knowledge of a situation but his enthusiasm sometimes exposes him.
For a while, he stopped using a cell phone for security reasons but he went back to carrying one out of necessity. He started changing his number from time to time. The young man who admired Hezbollah in the past, now considers the “Shia party” his sworn enemy. He throws accusations against “the party that stood by the oppressive Syrian regime against the oppressed people,” and is proud of his affiliation with al-Qaeda.
It is not confirmed which exact piece of information led to Naim’s arrest. It is being circulated that the terrorist, who also faced an attempt of assassination by the Israeli enemy in 2010 by explosives, had been followed closely by the army’s intelligence directorate. Security sources reveal that the content of the recordings and eavesdrop on communications among other proofs, as well as the shock of the arrest, are the reasons that brought on his quick confession.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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