المسرحية الإسرائيلية ضد لبنان: الخلفية والقصد والنتيجة؟

أكتوبر 2, 2018

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

في عمل مسرحي سيّئ الإخراج والتمثيل قدّم نتنياهورئيس وزراء العدو الإسرائيلي صوراً ادّعى أنها لمواقع في لبنان يخزّن فيها حزب الله صواريخ عالية الدقة، وتقع في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت، وعلى بعد عدة مئات من الأمتار من مطار بيروت الدولي، وحتى يستنفد الوقت المحدّد له على منبر الجمعية العامة للمتحدة أضاف إلى الفصل الأول من المسرحية الهزلية صوراً زعم أنها لمواقع تخزّن فيها إيران عناصر خطيرة من ملفها النووي قرب طهران.

طبعاً المسرحية كما قلت لا تستحق بذاتها النقاش لإظهار زيفها ووهنها وإسقاط أيّ عنصر من العناصر التي قد يتكئ عليها لتقريبها من المشهد المعقول القابل للنقاش، فالصور كما أظهرت بدا أنها التقطت لمكان عام يرتاده الناس بشكل عادي وعلى مدار الساعة ولا يمكن ان يكون له صلة بعملية تخزين صواريخ او شيء سري ذي صلة بعمق أو بعد أو طيف استراتيجي، ولذلك لن نهدر الوقت للرد ّعلى العدو وإظهار كذبه الفضائحي، لكن السؤال الذي لا بدّ من طرحه والاهتمام بمتعلقاته هو لماذا قام العدو بمسرحيته وهو يعرف أنها مثار السخرية والضحك وعصية على التصديق. فخلفية وسبب العرض المسرحي هو المهمّ في هذا النطاق فلماذا؟

قد يسارع البعض للقول بأنّ العدو في عرضه استكمل سياسة الاتهام بتحويل المناطق الآهلة المدنية الى مستودعات عسكرية، وهو اعتمد هذا الأمر في الأمم المتحدة ليبرّر لاحقاً العودة الى تطبيق نظرية الضاحية والاستراتيجية التدميرية التي تستهدف المدنيين وكامل البنى التحتية اللبنانية، خاصة أنه أكد في إعلانه أكثر من مرة انه لن يميّز بين جيش لبناني ومقاومة وشعب لبناني ومؤسسات رسمية وأهلية لبنانية فالكلّ في الحرب المقبلة أهداف لعدوانه، وبالتالي يختصر الموقف هنا بالقول بأنّ العرض هو تمهيد لعدوان لا يقيم وزناً او تمييزاً بين مرفق مدني ومنطقة آهلة وموقع عسكري.

لكننا هنا لن نتأخر في الردّ على هذا الرأي رغم وجاهته ونقول إنّ «إسرائيل» ليست عدواً كباقي البشر الذين لديهم شيء من حسّ إنساني، فـ «إسرائيل» أصلاً لا تنذر ولا تهدّد بل تذهب للقتل والتدمير مباشرة ولنذكر من يريد مثلاً مصداقاً لهذا القول، انّ «إسرائيل» دمّرت الأسطول الجوي المدني اللبناني في العام 1968 دون ان توجه كلمة إنذار او اتهام واحدة للبنان، وانّ «إسرائيل» اجتاحت لبنان في العام 1982 ووصلت الى بيروت دون ان تهدّد بشيء ودون ان تأبه لشيء، بل انها اخترعت مسرحية محاولة قتل سفيرها في لندن وقامت بالعدوان على لبنان. فالقاعدة لدى «إسرائيل» عندما تكون قادرة هي أن تفعل وتترك الآخرين يتحدثون عنها وعن أعمالها، اما إذا هدّدت فإنّ في الأمر كلاماً آخر فما هو.

قبل ان نفصّل في الأمر، لا بدّ من التأكيد هنا على أمر أساسي بأنّ «إسرائيل» وبسبب واقع القوة الدفاعية اللبنانية المشكلة من شعب وجيش ومقاومة، المعادلة التي فرضت معادلة ردع استراتيجي عليها، انّ «إسرائيل» هذه باتت مردوعة في مواجهة لبنان، وغير قادرة على الذهاب ضدّه إلى حرب، فللحرب شروطها الثلاثة وهي غير متحققة في الواقع «الإسرائيلي» الآن، فلا هي تملك القوة القادرة على تحقيق الإنجاز العسكري في ظلّ فقدان الحافزية العسكرية لدى جيشها وفي ظلّ قوة المقاومة بوجهها، ولا هي قادرة على استيعاب ردة فعل العدو على جبهتها الداخلية الواهنة، ولا هي قادرة على التحكم بالبيئة الاستراتيجية والسياسية الدولية لصرف الإنجاز فيها إذا تحقق، وهذه البيئة اليوم عرضة لتوازنات ليست في مصلحة «إسرائيل». لكلّ ذلك فإننا لا نربط مسرحية العدو الهزلية بالاستعداد للعدوان على لبنان وانْ كانت «إسرائيل» تشتهي العدوان على الدوام وتعمل للتحضير له على مدار فرضت عليها واقعاً حرمتها من الاستقلالية والحرية في اتخاذ قرار الحرب وجعلتها مردوعة عنها كما يصف حالها خبراؤها. وبعد هذا نسأل لما المسرحية «الإسرائيلية» اذن؟

انّ «إسرائيل» شاءت وفي ظلّ ظروف محدّدة ومستجدّة وضاغطة تتمثل في إغلاق الأجواء السورية بوجه طيرانها وصواريخها وقنابلها الذكية ما تسبّب بنكبة استراتيجية لها في وقت تتحضر فيه أميركا لاعتماد سياسة لـ «خنق إيران» في 4 تشرين الثاني المقبل مع الخشية «الإسرائيلية» من نجاح أحزمة النجاة التي تحضرها أوروبا وروسيا والصين والهند لإيران، ورداً على الموقف العلمي الاستراتيجي الكبير للعماد عون في الأمم المتحدة وقبلها في مقابلة مع جريدة «لو فيغارو» الفرنسية، شاءت «إسرائيل» ان تذهب الى حروب أخرى بديلة وتعويضية.

ولهذا كانت هذه المسرحية بمثابة التمهيد والانطلاق الى تلك الحروب التي نعتقد انّ «إسرائيل» تقترحها او تشارك فيها ضدّ لبنان وهي ثلاثة حروب غير الحرب النارية القتالية التي فرض عليها العجز عنها، فقد شاءت حرباً نفسية ترهق لبنان مستفيدة من واقع انقسام اللبنانيين حول المقاومة وهي تريد ان تغذي هذا الانقسام وتثير دخاناً في وجه المقاومة ويعيد الجدل حول وجودها واستمراريتها الى الواجهة، جدل يحجب انتصاراتها ويمنعها من الاستثمار في الداخل والإقليم. وهنا وللأسف وجدنا في لبنان من يواكبها لا بل من يتقدّم عليها لخدمتها في مواجهة المقاومة والإساءة اليها والى قوة لبنان الدفاعية.

اما الحرب الثانية التي شاءت «إسرائيل» تسعيرها بمسرحيتها فهي الحرب السياسية التي يعتبر تشكيل الحكومة المتعثر بعض وجوهها كما يشكل استهداف رئيس الجمهورية بشخصه ومواقفه جزءاً آخر منها. فالرئيس كما بات معلوماً اتخذ في رحلته الأخيرة الى الأمم المتحدة من المواقف الاستراتيجية والسياسية والعسكرية العلمية ما أكد على حق لبنان بالمقاومة وأوضح بشكل علمي انّ المقاومة وسلاحها هي نتيجة لسبب متمثل بالاحتلال التي تمارسه «إسرائيل»، وانّ هذا الاحتلال سبب مآسي للبنان والمنطقة، ومنها مسألة اللجوء والنزوح، وانّ معالجة هذه المسائل تبدأ بمعالجة الأصل. ومنطق الرئيس الذي يجسّد المنطق السليم لا يرضي «إسرائيل» المجافية لكلّ منطق والتي لا تؤمن إلا بمنطق القوة العدواني واغتصاب الحقوق، لذلك شاءت ان تساهم في حرب سياسية ضدّ لبنان ورئيسه يرفده ويواكبه أيضاً وللأسف لبنانيون يدّعون زوراً العمل لمصلحة لبنان.

أما الحرب الثالثة فهي الحرب الاقتصادية وهي الأخطر والأدهى، لأنّ لبنان في ظلّ هذه الحرب يعتبر أقلّ مناعة منه في الحروب الأخرى التي ذكرت، ولذلك كان التصويب على مطار بيروت من أجل حصار لبنان وخنقه بالقبض على رئته التي تصله بالعالم، وأيضاً وأيضاً ومن شديد الأسف نجد ان لبنانيين ومنهم مسؤولون رسميون يساهمون ويشاركون «إسرائيل» في حربها وما الذي شهده مطار بيروت مؤخراً من تصرفات لا يبرّرها منطق ولا قانون إلا تأكيد على هذه الشراكة عن قصد أو غير قصد.

إذن هي حروب نفسية وسياسية واقتصادية تريدها «إسرائيل» بدائل عن الحرب النارية القتالية العسكرية ضدّ لبنان، حروب تحوّلت اليها «إسرائيل» بعد ان أدركت عجزها عن الأخرى، وهنا يطرح التحدّي الكبير على اللبنانيين وبالأخصّ منهم المسؤولون فهل يحصّنون لبنان في وجه العدوان «الإسرائيلي» المثلث هذا والذي جاءت المسرحية الهزلية في الأمم المتحدة تمهيداً له، أم ينتفض كلّ لبنان بوجه العدوان البديل ويحمي لبنان؟

في الإجابة السريعة على السؤال نقول إننا نتمنى أن يدافع كلّ اللبنانيين عن وطنهم، ولكننا وللأسف لا نثق بتحقق هذا التمني إلا انّ ثقتنا قائمة في مكان آخر، نثق بأنّ من حرّر لبنان وكانت له المواقف الثابتة خدمة للحق اللبناني سيكون أيضاً هنا وبالمرصاد… وأنه اليوم وفي ظلّ المعادلات الدولية والإقليمية الجديدة سيكون أكثر قدرة على المواجهة وأكثر طمأنينة للانتصار.

أستاذ جامعي ـ باحث استراتيجي

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When Sayyed Nasrallah Deeply Impacts The “Israeli” Consciousness

Yasser Rahal

“The warrior should be wakeful because if he sleeps the enemy does not sleep.” This is advice from Imam Ali (PBUH) gave. Hezbollah’s secretary general memorized it well. He uses it to advise others and repeats it during every Zionist threat to Lebanon.

The “Israeli” media knows exactly what these words mean. It knows that Sayyed is a meticulous follower of the Zionist entity’s news. From time to time, it acknowledges Sayyed’s superiority in terms of the media and psychological warfare that stems from facts rather than illusions. On more than one occasion, the Israeli media recognized the accuracy and quality of the follow-up and translation of the resistance’s media of everything that is published in the usurping entity in an attempt to expose it to the public.

A week ago, Amos Harel wrote in Haaretz, in a piece titled Nasrallah’s Propaganda that

“in a speech at the end of last week (the liberation of the Jroud speech), Nasrallah quoted Brick’s criticism of the “Israeli” army’s performance. He also mentioned Yaniv Kuovich’s ’s article which he published here regarding a 40 percent increase in the percentage of soldiers visiting psychiatric clinics in the army.”

Harel refers back to Sayyed Nasrallah’s famous “Spider Web” speech on the entity and its media when he delivered it in Bent Jbeil in 2000. It still resonates until today.

“Nasrallah’s firm hypothesis is based on the most famous speech, the ‘Spider Web’ speech in Bint Jbeil immediately after the end of the “Israeli” army’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000: the “Israeli” society is weak and pressured. If the Arabs knew how to act against “Israel” with determination and strength, they would be able to demand more concessions.”

We continue with the enemy’s media and “Sayyed’s” impact on it. Channel 10 remarked that “Nasrallah is a brilliant and very clever speaker who did not make a lot of mistakes in analyzing the weaknesses of the “Israeli” society.”

In an interview with the Arab affairs correspondent, Zvi Yehezkeli, the presenter said (while analyzing the second liberation anniversary speech):

“If Nasrallah were not on the side of the ‘bad guys’, we would have said that he was a brilliant speaker and a very intelligent man. In a speech he delivered yesterday, he analyzed the weaknesses of the “Israeli” army and did not made a mistake.”

Yehezkeli replied,

“I agree that Nasrallah is a brilliant speaker in the Arab world. But regarding the content, I see it a bit differently. Nasrallah’s speech reminds us of the speech of the ‘Spider Web’.”

Take note of the choice of the Bint Jbeil speech. Some compared him to Gamal Abdel Nasser for his brilliance in speechmaking. He spoke about the weak society or what he called in 2006 prior to the war as the “Espresso Society”. This description was still present in Yehezkeli’s mind after 12 years. He said that the “Espresso Society” will not go to war for the two captured soldiers. He also said this in a press conference on the day of their capture. The “Espresso Society” went to war. It did not go the way it was planned. It was an implicit recognition of defeat. Once again he says this while speaking about defeatism. I agree with him on this angle at least when he enumerates “Israel’s” failures by saying, “the invincible army may not be the only description for “Israel”.” Then came the recognition that the army is not fit to represent the defeated entity.

“What impressed me is his very modern knowledge of the “Israeli” press. There is someone who reads things to him very carefully, analyzes them very intelligently and never makes mistakes when he points out the weaknesses in “Israeli” society,” the presenter added.

Yehezkeli: There are those who say that the “Israeli” office in Hezbollah is Nasrallah himself. He does not allow others to read it. He sits and reads. In an interview he spoke about how long it takes him to read the “Israeli” press and the “Israeli” society. He is a person whose goal is to analyze things in society that have not been analyzed before. He also has intelligence capabilities. However, he still reads the press, quoting newspapers such as Haaretz, Yedioth Ahronoth as well as opinion polls, analyses, analysts and experts. But he does not know Hebrew.

This was recognition of Sayyed familiarity with the nature of the Zionist society and its weaknesses. It also praised the monitoring and the Hebrew-to-Arabic translation team. This is not the first time that the enemy’s media deals with the quality, experience and accuracy of the abilities of the resistance’s media to keep track of the Zionist entity. A few years ago before the Zionist withdrawal and the humiliating defeat of the “invincible” army, a media specialist conducted a comparative study between the resistance’s media and the enemy’s one. In it they looked at details including the quality of the paper used by the resistance’s media and the nature of the technical production and covers designs. It concluded that the resistance’s media excelled past that of the enemy. We continue with the presenter when he asks about the fear of death complex gripping the families of the occupation soldiers:

“When he said in this speech that the “Israeli” elite wanted to send their children to the 8200 [cyber warfare] unit and less to the front. He recognized something … (signs of admiration and astonishment on the face of the presenter).”

Here, we pause at the surprise that occurred in the war on Syria, where the number of participants among the ranks of the resistance doubled. Reports were made by families who were insisting to send their children to the battlefronts. Here, we discover the reason behind the admiration and astonishment of the presenter. The resistance’s society does not fear death, especially when martyrdom is one of two choices, victory being the first. This was in contrary to the enemy’s society where the fear of death makes families want to send their son to work behind a desk.

Attempting to create a fabricated picture of the truth Yehezkeli concludes:

“Certainly, I think what he said is part of psychological warfare that shows distress ahead of the next confrontation.”

“But nevertheless, he certainly brought something painful to our stomachs.”

He ends the interview with a passage from Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech about the soldiers seeing psychiatrists.

The speech on the anniversary of the Second Liberation Day opened a deep wound. It was painful for the enemy. It reopened an old wound, which is the May 25, 2000 [“Israeli”] withdrawal from Lebanon.

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سيناريوهات العدوان لوقف عملية تحرير ادلب؟!…والرد؟

أغسطس 28, 2018

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

بات واضحاً أن عملية تحرير ادلب ستكون العمل الميداني الاستراتيجي الأخير بهذا الحجم وبتلك التداعيات، وأن إنجاز هذه العملية بنجاح على يد القوات العربية السورية وحلفائها يعني وضع حدّ نهائي للحرب العدوانية على سورية التي تجاوزت السنين السبع ببضعة أشهر. ولأن لعملية تحرير ادلب هذه الأهمية والخصوصية التي تتجاوز كل ما سبقها من معارك تحرير مناطق سورية أخرى على أهميتها، فإن معسكر العدوان على سورية يلقي بثقله الآن في المواجهة مستبيحاً كل المحرمات من اجل منع سورية من تحقيق الأهداف الوطنية الاستراتيجية من هذه العملية.

وفي سياق أعمال التحضير العدواني لمواجهة الموقف المرتقب في إدلب فقد سجلت في الساعات الأخيرة المواقف السياسية التهديدية الحادة التي انطلقت من أكثر من موقع من مواقع معسكر العدوان على سورية، وترافقت تلك المواقف مع أعمال عسكرية ميدانية توحي وبشكل واضح ان هذا المعسكر العدواني عازم ويحضر بشكل أكيد لفعل شيء كبير يتصل بسورية انطلاقاً من ادلب وما يتعلق بمعركة تحريرها حيث سجل حتى الآن:

توجه مدمرة اميركية مع قطعة بحرية أخرى الى الخليج على متنها 45 صاروخ كروز لتجهز للاستعمال لقصف مناطق في سورية.

نشر 3 قطع حربية من الاسطول الأميركي السادس مقابل الشاطئ السوري والتحضير لقصف في أهداف في سورية.

نقل جبهة النصرة الإرهابية 8 حاويات من الكلور الى جسر الشغور لتكون جاهزة في تمثيل مسرحية استخدام الأسلحة الكيماوية واتهام الحكومة السورية به.

انتشار عدد من فرق جماعات الخوذ البيضاء الإرهابية في مثلث ادلب سهل الغاب جسر الشغور تمهيداً للمشاركة في تمثيل وتلفيق مسرحية الكيماوي في مهمة «الإنقاذ» المزعوم والتوثيق المطلوب.

تحذير فرنسي أميركي بريطاني منفرد وجماعي بالتدخل العسكري في سورية «إذا» استعملت الحكومة السورية الأسلحة الكيماوية. وكان التصريح الأخير لجون بولتون واضحاً بأن اميركا تحضر لعمل عسكري عنيف ضد سورية «إذا« استعملت السلاح الكيماوي.

التهويل من قبل الأمم المتحدة وآخرين يدورون في الفلك الأميركي بوقوع كارثة إنسانية بين المدنيين إذا نفذت عملية تحرير ادلب عسكرياً. ويدّعي المهولون كذباً بأن في ادلب 3 ملايين شخص وهو رقم غير صحيح. ويناشدون القوى «المحبة للسلام» لمنع العمل العسكري في المنطقة لحماية المدنيين هؤلاء.

التدخل العدواني الفظ لمنع أي نوع من المصالحات تجريه بعض الفصائل المسلحة مع الدولة السورية، كما وقمع الشرائح الشعبية التي تعمل للعودة الى حضن الدولة والوطن.

إن تصرّفات معسكر العدوان على سورية بقيادة أميركا توحي بأن هذا المعسكر عازم على فعل شيء ما قبل انطلاق عملية تحرير ادلب لمنع الانطلاق بها، او بعد انطلاقها لوقفها خاصة إذا تبين له أن الجماعات الإرهابية لن تكون قادرة على الثبات في مواقعها، ولن تكون قادرة على منع العملية بذاتها، وأنها بحاجة لدعم عسكري مؤثر يحول دون سقوطها ويمنع الحكومة السورية من استعادة المنطقة. وعليه فإننا نرى أن المسالك الممكنة او المحتمل أن تقوم بها قوى معسكر العدوان هي واحد من السيناريوات الأربعة التالية التي نرى ان لكل منها قدراً من الاحتمال يجعلها قابلاً للتنفيذ:

السيناريو الأول: شنّ الحرب نفسية الصاخبة لمنع العملية. قد يكتفي معسكر العدوان بالإعلان عن المواقف السياسية والتحضيرات والاستعداد الميدانية العسكرية لاتخاذها عوامل ضغط على الحكومة السورية للتراجع عن عملية تحرير ادلب وفقاً لاستراتيجيتها المركبة من عمل تصالحي وعمل ميداني. وهو يعول على الحرب النفسية هذه من أجل الحؤول دون تنفيذ التحرير لإبقاء ورقة ادلب مع تضخيم وزنها وأهميتها، بيد القوى المناهضة للدولة لاستعمالها في البحث في الحل سياسي المرتقب.

السيناريو الثاني: ارتكاب جريمة استعمال الأسلحة الكيماوية ضد المدنيين في ادلب واتهام الجيش العربي السوري بها والمبادرة الى تنفيذ التهديدات الغربية السابقة بقصف تحشيدات الجيش والحلفاء مع تحييد المواقع الروسية على ان تكون الضربة ذات وظيفتين رئيستين، وظيفة تحذيرية إنذارية تتوخى منها أميركا والغرب إظهار الجدية في المواجهة العسكرية إذا استمرت سورية في قرارها بالعمل على تحرير ادلب ميدانياً، ووظيفة عسكرية لتدمير بعض القطعات والتشكيلات التي حشدتها سورية للانطلاق في معركة ادلب ما يؤثر على انطلاقها ويعرقله ويؤخر ساعة الصفر.

السيناريو الثالث: يبدأ كالثاني ولكن يتقدّم عليه بحيث ان المجموعات الإرهابية البالغ حجمها ما يصل الى 65 ألف مسلح، وبتخطيط وتنسيق مع قوى العدوان، تستفيد من الضربة العسكرية التي يشنها العدوان ضد الجيش العربي السوري والحلفاء وتنفذ هجوماً واسعاً باتجاه حماه وحلب. وهنا تستفيد تركيا من الوضع الميداني المستجدّ وتظن هي والقوى الأخرى بأنهم قادرون على تحقيق شيء من توازن في الميدان يمكنهم من كسب مواقع متقدمة في الحل السياسي بصيغة جنيف الأولى.

السيناريو الربع: انتظار العدوان لانطلاق عملية التحرير وتقدير الموقف وفقاً لأيامها الأولى، مع تقديم الدعم غير المنظور للمجموعات الإرهابية، فإذا تبين للعدوان قدرة الإرهاب على الصمود بوجه سورية استفادت منه للقول بوجود التوازن الذي يحيي مواقعها في الحل السياسي الذي تريد، وإذا انهارت هذه المجموعات الإرهابية، تقوم قوى العدوان سريعاً بلعب مسرحية الكيماوي ثم التدخل عسكرياً على أحد مستويين: الأول منخفض الشدة والتأثير ويكون من قبيل تنفيذ التهديد والإيذاء دون أن يحقق وقفاً للعملية ويترجم بقصف أهداف مختارة بعناية. والثاني عالي التأثير والشدة ويكون أوسع وأشمل ويستهدف التشكيلات العسكرية المشاركة بالعملية ويرمي الى منعها من متابعة التقدم.

على ضوء ما يمكن للعدوان القيام به، يبدو أن سورية وحلفاءها ماضون قدماً في العمل لتنفيذ القرار الاستراتيجي الكبير الذي أعلنه بنفسه الرئيس الأسد لجهة تحرير ادلب ومنطقتها وهم مع مراقبتهم ما يحضره معسكر العدوان من تحشيد وتلفيق ويمارسه من حرب نفسية، ماضون قدماً أيضاً في التحشيد والتحضير للانطلاق في عملية التحرير، وكما أن في أحد السيناريوات حرباً نفسية فإن معسكر الدفاع لا يفوّت فرصة هذه الحرب، ويدخل فيها باحتراف عالي كما يظهر حتى الآن. وفي هذا الإطار يسجل ما تقوم به الأجهزة المختصة في سورية وروسيا خاصة من فضح ما يخطط وما يحضر له معسكر العدوان والتحذير من مغبة الحماقات التي قد يرتكبها. أما الرد العسكري والميداني على العمل المسرحي والتحشيد القتالي فإن له عند معسكر الدفاع من الردود والمواجهة التي تبقى خططها أوراقاً مستورة لا تظهر إلا وقت الاستعمال حتى لا تفقد عنصر المفاجأة.

إن ما يحيط بإدلب وما يحتمل من مواجهة بين معسكري العدوان والدفاع عن سورية هو جدي وهام نظراً لخطورة ملف ادلب وتداعياته على مجمل نتائج الحرب العدوان على سورية. وليس بإمكان معسكر الدفاع أن يتراجع. اما معسكر العدوان فعليه أن يعرف أن من صمد وانتصر طيلة ما يزيد عن 90 شهراً بإمكانه ان يخوض معارك قاسية لتثبيت إنجازاته حتى ولو تطلّب ذلك تسعين يوماً أو تسعين أسبوعاً إضافياً من القتال، وهو لن يتراخى ولن يضيّع مكتسباته وأن معظم ما في المشهد الميداني يشهد لصالح انتصار سورية وحلفائها.

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Nasrallah in the “Israeli” Consciousness: An Unpleasant But an Honest Arab Leader قائد عربي مرّ… لكنه صادق

Yehya Dbouk

One of the most important weapons in the hands of the resistance in 2006 was Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. He is an active, influential and credible weapon. The enemy anticipates his appearance even before the allies do. It waits to hear his positions to be used as a sufficient indicator of what to anticipate. This is how the “Israelis” saw Nasrallah in 2006 and still do in comparison to their less credible leaders and their declining status.

From the leaks that preceded the July 2006 war, a series of studies and extensive research were conducted both inside and outside the “Israeli” security establishment. They involved research centers dealing with strategic studies in Tel Aviv that focused on the personality and charisma of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and how he was a “lethal weapon” in the hands of the enemies – no less effective on the conflict’s outcome than the missile arsenal in Hezbollah’s possession.

He is a weapon of psychological warfare, aware and well versed in the enemy’s abilities as well as its strengths and weaknesses. He also realizes the meaning of psychological warfare and its effectiveness. This awareness is not only related to influencing his supporters in Lebanon and the Arab and Islamic worlds, which “Israel” can understand, but his influence (that “Israel” regards as negative) also extends to the “Israeli” public as well as the political and military leadership.

One of these studies was prepared as an academic master’s thesis and authored by the current chief of staff of the “Israeli” army, Gadi Eisenkot. The context of the study was based on his understanding of “Israel’s” main enemy on the northern front. The study, from which a general description was published, is part of a series of studies that have been carried out over the past years. It examined the character of Nasrallah and his charisma, him being part of the consciousness battle as well as the military battle of the resistance fighters. According to Yedioth Ahronoth, this study is one of Eisenkot’s main contributions. It tackles Lebanon and the great threat posed by Hezbollah to “Israel”. It studies and analyzes the personality of the most important enemy leader (Nasrallah), specifically regarding his performance by analyzing his public speeches, described by both the newspaper and the study as: “getting into the enemy’s head”.

An unpleasant enemy and the leader of the Katyusha front

Early research on Nasrallah’s words, status, his impact during the 2006 war, underscoring that the “Nasrallah phenomenon” and its foundations and concentration in the collective consciousness of the “Israelis” date back to the pre-war years. It is a research published weeks after the cease-fire in the “The Seventh Eye” (Issue 64, September 2006), an “Israeli” magazine devoted to criticizing and evaluating Hebrew-language media outlets and publications. The columnist, Zvi Bar’el, the Middle Eastern affairs analyst for Haaretz Newspaper, points to the following:

(Sayyed) Hassan Nasrallah represents three different personalities within the “Israeli” media and the “Israeli” public consciousness: an unpleasant enemy, the leader of the Katyusha front, an expert on military affairs and measures as well as an expert in the “Israeli” society and army. The “Israeli” leaders and public, including the pundits in the “Israeli” media waited for his speeches the same way the Lebanese and Arab leaders and public would. (…) It seems that no war in the modern era had the same share of Nasrallah’s speeches and addresses, which were affluent in facts, analyses, explanations and values as the last one had. It dominated the media’s analyses. It was also of paramount importance to denote the realities and approaching developments in the war.

In his research, Bar’el adds that the “Nasrallah media phenomenon” would not have existed in this manner and formula unless it had previously been built up for years in the “Israeli” media. Nasrallah has earned the title of the “credible person whose words have a clear impact on hundreds of thousands of “Israelis” and on “Israel” as a whole. And in the eyes of many, this man, rightly, expelled “Israel” from Lebanon and created a huge deterrent system against it.”

In signifying his status in the “Israeli” consciousness, Bar’el notes: “In short, Nasrallah, for the first time, breaks an agreed upon rule among the “Israeli” public and media: an Arab leader who does not boast; he does not lie, and his words are accurate.” These qualities terrified the “Israel” broadcasting authority officials during the war. They quickly attempted to obstruct the effects of Nasrallah’s words and speeches during the battles. They subjected them to censorship and classified them as a weapon in the hands of the enemy.

Nasrallah is different from Arab leaders

Another publication in “Israel” related to the effects of the 2006 war came from the “Israeli” Media Association’s quarterly Masskrut Media’s Fall 2012 edition titled: “Hassan Nasrallah’s Television Appearance During the Second Lebanon War”. The study examined the seven speeches Sayyed Nasrallah delivered during the war, especially with regard to his verbal and nonverbal messages. The emphasis was on the latter, affecting the consciousness of the recipient by combining the words with movements and facial expressions that demonstrate truthfulness, rigor, firmness and knowledge. The long academic research is full of data, abstracts and diagrams that show the effectiveness and influence of Nasrallah’s speeches in the “Israeli” consciousness, particularly in the Second Lebanon War as an effective weapon alongside the military battle.

One of the more remarkable aspects of the research relates to the reasons given by the authors in their introduction as to why Sayyed Nasrallah was placed as a reliable and credible figure among the “Israelis” unlike previous and current Arab leaders.

One of these reasons is the collective “Israeli” will and that of its media to distort the image of Nasrallah and to undermine his credibility and his position among the “Israeli” public. This eventually backfired against the initial scheme of distortion and strengthened his image. The effect of the repeated television appearances, in sound and image, and more importantly his body language during his speeches, later enhanced his image further, especially with the coupling of his words with subsequent events and developments that indicated his credibility. This is what happened before the war, years before and after 2000 and during the 2006 war up until the present day.

The research by the “Israeli” studies over the image of Sayyed Nasrallah and its impact on the “Israeli” consciousness is endless. The samples presented here are taken from research published in “Israel”. Yet many of them have not been published and remain confined to the institutions and forums dealing with the permanent confrontation between “Israel” and Hezbollah, as is the case with studies published and discussed within the “Israeli” security establishment and its several academies.

Fighting against “Israel” without fire

18 years after the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and 12 years after the war in 2006, Nasrallah’s image continues to taunt the consciousness of the “Israeli” public, leaders and security establishment. It is impossible to deny that the decision makers in Tel Aviv are aware of this phenomenon and the damage it has caused as they work hard to reduce its negative effects. However, there is a race between the plans and Nasrallah’s credibility. It appears that the latter is winning. Most “Israeli” strategists, who worked on this phenomenon and tried to limit it, excelled in describing it. They spoke about the necessity to address it. But despite all the available possibilities, they failed to develop strategies that would evolve “Israel’s” required efficiency and objectives in this confrontation.

In this regard, several articles and other research materials have been published in “Israel” and abroad on the Nasrallah phenomenon. One sample appeared in an article authored by the director of the Military and Strategic Affairs and Cyber Warfare programs at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Col. Gabi Siboni. It was published in Newsweek a year ago (18-10-2017). He discussed the need to “confront Nasrallah’s intellectual speech and its negative impact on the “Israeli” public and army both during times of war and in the absence of it.” Siboni stressed that the “Israeli” security establishment should develop a strategy to strengthen and fortify the “Israeli” public with regard to the efforts made by Hezbollah and its Secretary General in particular as an integral part of the preparations for a military confrontation. The intellectual elements that Nasrallah utilizes before and during the war will have a very important role in the coming confrontation, no less important than the war effort itself.

Siboni emphasizes what he calls “fighting against “Israel” without fire” in his description of the battle on the mind. The battle is against the consciousness and influence. This is a characteristic of Nasrallah’s speeches. The researcher demands that those who make strategies and policies in “Israel” understand that the mind has become an integral part of the 21st century battle, and that security knowhow is now an urgent need for national security.

Siboni’s references and descriptions, the demands and his insistence on these in his article as well as the refinement in his choice of words linked to the relevance of his position and his familiarity with the policies and strategies adopted and enforced by the “Israeli” army, all clearly and unequivocally indicate that “Israel” so far, 12 years after the 2006 war and despite its perception of the seriousness of Nasrallah’s image engraved in the “Israeli” mind, has not yet found a “cure” for this phenomenon and its negative impact as a second weapon of Hezbollah, integrated with weapons and military efforts – before, during and after the battles.

Source: Al-Akhbar, Translated by website team

نصر الله في الوعي الإسرائيلي

قائد عربي مرّ… لكنه صادق

 الإثنين 23 تموز 2018

إحدى أهم الوسائل القتالية التي كانت في حوزة المقاومة عام 2006، هي الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله. سلاح فاعل ومؤثر وذو صدقية، يترقب إطلالاته العدو قبل الصديق، وينتظر مواقفه كمؤشر كافٍ بذاته للدلالة على الآتي. هذه هي حال الإسرائيليين عام 2006، في النظرة إلى نصر الله، وما زالت، في موازاة تدني صدقية قادتهم، وتراجع مكانتهم.

في التسريبات التي سبقت حرب تموز عام 2006، وتلك التي أعقبتها، تظهّرت جملة دراسات وأبحاث داخل المؤسسة الأمنية الإسرائيلية وخارجها، بما يشمل مراكز بحثية تُعنى بالدراسات الاستراتيجية في تل أبيب، ركزت على شخصية الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله وكاريزميته، وكونه «سلاحاً فتاكاً» في أيدي الأعداء، لا يقلّ فاعلية لجهة النتيجة، عن الترسانة الصاروخية الموجودة في حوزة حزب الله.

سلاح حرب نفسية مبني على تأسيسات مدركة وخبيرة بالعدو وقدراته ونقاط قوته وضعفه، في موازاة إدراكها معنى الحروب النفسية وفاعليتها. إدراك لا يرتبط بالتأثير في جمهوره في لبنان والعالمين العربي والإسلامي وحسب، وهو ما يمكن إسرائيل تفهمه، بل تأثيره («السلبي من ناحيتها») يمتد بكاريزميته إلى الداخل والوعي الإسرائيليين، بما ينسحب على الجمهور والمستويات القيادية، في اتجاهيها السياسي والعسكري.

إحدى هذه الدراسات، بحث أعده رئيس أركان الجيش الإسرائيلي الحالي، غادي أيزنكوت، كرسالة ماجستير أكاديمية، جرى التطرق لها في سياق استعراض مستوى فهم ايزنكوت للعدو الرئيسي لإسرائيل في الجبهة الشمالية. الدراسة التي نشر عنها توصيف عام، تأتي ضمن سلسلة دراسات جرى العمل عليها في السنوات الماضية، واعتنت وبحثت في شخصية نصر الله وكاريزميته، وكونه جزءاً من المعركة على الوعي إلى جانب المعركة العسكرية التي يخوضها مقاتلو المقاومة. بحسب صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت»، هذه الدراسة هي إحدى أهم ميزات أيزنكوت حيال لبنان والتهديد الكبير الذي يمثله حزب الله على إسرائيل، إذ تتعلق بدراسة وتحليل شخصية أهم قائد لدى العدو (نصر الله)، وتحديداً ما يتعلق بأدائه عبر تحليل خطاباته العلنية، في محاولة توصفها الصحيفة والدراسة معاً: لـ«دخول رأس العدو».

عدو مرّ وقائد جبهة الكاتيوشا

أولى الكتابات البحثية حول كلمات نصر الله ومكانتها وتأثيرها خلال حرب عام 2006، مع تشديدها على أن «ظاهرة نصر الله» وتأسيساتها وتمركزها في الوعي الجمعي للإسرائيليين تعود إلى ما قبل الحرب بسنوات، تتمثل في البحث المنشور بعد أسابيع على وقف إطلاق النار، في دورية «العين السابعة» (العدد 64 أيلول 2006)، المجلة المتخصصة التي تعنى بنقد وتقويم الإعلام العبري وكتاباته. الكاتب، تسفي برئيل، معلق شؤون الشرق الأوسط في صحيفة «هآرتس»، يشير إلى الآتي:

يمثل حسن نصر الله لدى الإعلام العبري وفي وعي الجمهور الإسرائيلي، ثلاث شخصيات مختلفة: عدو مرّ وقائد جبهة الكاتيوشا؛ خبير في الشؤون والتدابير العسكرية؛ وخبير في المجتمع والجيش الإسرائيليين. وكما فعل القادة والجمهور اللبناني والعربي في انتظار خطاباته، فعلت أيضاً القيادة والجمهور الإسرائيليين، بما يشمل المعلقين في الإعلام العبري. (…) ويبدو أنه لم تحظ أي حرب في العصر الحديث، بما حظيت فيه الحرب الأخيرة، من خطب وكلمات، على لسان نصر الله، مع غنى بالوقائع والتحليلات والتفسيرات والقيم المضافة: وهو ما كان موضوع تحليل على رأس سلم الاهتمام الخبري؛ وأهمية فائقة أيضاً للدلالة على وقائع وتطورات الأيام المقبلة للحرب.

يضيف هرئيل في بحثه، أن «ظاهرة نصر الله» الإعلامية لم تكن لتكون موجودة بهذه الكيفية والصيغة، من دون بنائها على مدى سنوات في الإعلام الإسرائيلي. حاز نصر الله صفة «الشخص الموثوق بكلامه، وفي كلامه انعكاس واضح على مئات الآلاف من الإسرائيليين وعلى إسرائيل برمتها. وبعيون الكثيرين، يعد هذا الرجل، وعن حق، من طرد إسرائيل من لبنان وأوجد منظومة ردع هائلة في قبالتها».

في التدليل على مكانته في الوعي الإسرائيلي، يشير هرئيل: «باختصار، نصر الله وللمرة الأولى يحطم قاعدة متفقاً عليها لدى الجمهور والإعلام الإسرائيليين: زعيم عربي لا يتبجح؛ لا يكذب وكلامه دقيق»، هذه الصفات هي التي أرعبت مسؤول سلطة البث الإسرائيلي في زمن الحرب، عندما سارع لمنع تأثيرات كلمات نصر الله وخطبه خلال أيام المعارك، وإخضاعها للرقابة، باعتبارها سلاحاً فعلياً في أيدي العدو.

نصر الله شخصية مغايرة للقادة العرب

من ضمن ما نُشر في إسرائيل، وبما يرتبط أيضاً بتأثيراته في حرب عام 2006، يبرز بحث نشر في فصلية الجمعية الإسرائيلية للإعلام («مسكروت مديا») – خريف 2012، تحت عنوان «الظهور التلفزيوني لحسن نصر الله خلال حرب لبنان الثانية». عمد البحث إلى دراسة خطب السيد نصر الله السبعة خلال الحرب، وتحديداً ما يتعلق برسائله اللفظية وغير اللفظية، مع التشديد على الأخيرة لكونها أكثر تأثيراً في وعي المتلقي، التي تقرن اللفظ بالحركات وتعابير الوجه الدالة على الصدقية والصرامة والحزم والمعرفة. البحث الأكاديمي، الطويل جداً، مليء بالمعطيات والخلاصات والرسوم البيانية، الدالة على مدى تأثير خطب نصر الله وفاعليتها في الوعي الإسرائيلي، وتحديداً في حرب لبنان الثانية، كسلاح فعال إلى جانب المعركة العسكرية.

اللافت في البحث، هو ما يتعلق بجملة الأسباب التي بحثها المؤلفون في مقدمته، والتي أدت إلى تموضع السيد نصر الله كشخصية موثوقة ومصداقة لدى الإسرائيليين، مغايرة للقادة العرب الذين ألفوهم في السابق والحاضر. إحدى هذه الأسباب تعود إلى إرادة إسرائيلية لدى وسائل الإعلام العبرية، لتشويه صورة نصر الله نفسه وضرب صدقيته ومكانته لدى الجمهور الإسرائيلي، الأمر الذي ارتدّ سلباً في نهاية المطاف على المخطط الابتدائي للتشويه، وأدى إلى تعزيز الصورة عنه. تأثير الظهور المتكرر التلفزيوني، بالصوت والصورة والأهم الحركات التي يبديها خلال كلماته، أدى لاحقاً إلى تعزيز صورته أكثر، خصوصاً مع اقتران كلماته بأحداث وتطورات لاحقة دلت على صدقيته. هذا ما حدث قبل الحرب، في سنوات ما قبل عام 2000 وما أعقبه، وخلال الحرب الأخيرة 2006، وصولاً إلى الآن.

البحث في الدراسات الإسرائيلية عن صورة السيد نصر الله وتأثيرها في الوعي الإسرائيلي، يطول إلى الحد الذي لا ينتهي معه. العينات الواردة هنا، مأخوذة من أبحاث نشرت في إسرائيل، رغم أن الكثير منها لم ينشر وبقي متداولاً في المؤسسات والمحافل المختصة بالمواجهة الدائمة بين إسرائيل وحزب الله، كما هو حال الدراسات الصادرة والمتداولة في المؤسسة الأمنية الإسرائيلية وأكاديمياتها المتعددة.

القتال ضد إسرائيل من دون نيران

صورة نصر الله، بعد 18 عاماً على الانسحاب من لبنان عام 2000، و12 عاماً على حرب عام 2006، ما زالت تحفر في الوعي الإسرائيلي، جمهوراً وقادة ومؤسسة أمنية. لا يمكن الإنكار أن صانع القرار في تل أبيب يعي هذه الظاهرة وأضرارها، وهو يعمل عليها بشدة ضمن هدف تقليص مفعولها وتأثيرها السلبي، لكن ما بين الخطط الموضوعة وواقع صدقية نصر الله سباق، يبدو أن الغلبة للثاني. معظم الكتبة الاستراتيجيين الإسرائيليين، الذين عملوا على هذه الظاهرة ومحاولة الحد منها، أبدعوا في توصيفها، وتحدثوا عن ضرورة معالجتها، لكنهم عجزوا عن بلورة استراتيجيات مواجهة توصل إسرائيل إلى النجاعة والهدف المطلوبين في هذه المواجهة، رغم كل الإمكانات المتوافرة لديها.

في ذلك، صدرت عدة أبحاث ومقالات في إسرائيل وخارجها، حول ظاهرة نصر الله، بالمعنى المشار إليه. ومنها عينة، وردت في مقالة نشرت في «نيوزويك» الأميركية قبل عام (2017-10-18)، لمدير برنامج الشؤون العسكرية والاستراتيجية في مركز أبحاث الأمن القومي في تل أبيب، العقيد احتياط غابي سيبوني، الذي بحث في ضرورة «مواجهة خطاب نصر الله المعرفي، وتأثيره السلبي في الجمهور والجيش الإسرائيليين، في زمن الحرب واللاحرب». يشدد سيبوني، على وجوب أن تبلور المؤسسة الأمنية الإسرائيلية، استراتيجية خاصىة لتعزيز وتحصين الجمهور الإسرائيلي في الداخل حيال الجهود المبذولة من قبل حزب الله وأمينه العام تحديداً، كجزء لا يتجزأ من الاستعداد للمواجهات العسكرية، حيث ستكون «العناصر المعرفية» التي يقودها نصر الله، خلال الحرب وقبلها، دور مهم جداً في المواجهة المقبلة، بحيث لا تقل أهمية عن الجهد الحربي نفسه.

يؤكد سيبوني ما يسميه «القتال ضد إسرائيل من دون نيران»، في توصيفه للمعركة على العقل، حيث هي معركة على الإدراك وعلى التأثير، وهي السمة التي يتّسم بها خطاب نصر الله. على هذه الخلفية، يطالب الباحث أن يفهم مبلورو السياسات والاستراتيجيات في إسرائيل أن العقل بات جزءاً أصيلاً من معركة القرن الواحد والعشرين، والأمن المعرفي هو الآن ضرورة ملحّة للأمن القومي.

إشارات سيبوني وتوصيفاته، والمطالبات والإلحاح عليها في مقالته، والتنميق في اختيار عباراته، ربطاً بمكانته وسعة اطلاعه على السياسات والاستراتيجيات المتبناة والمفعلة من قبل الجيش الإسرائيلي، تشير كلها بشكل واضح لا لبس فيه إلى أن إسرائيل حتى الآن، بعد مرور 12 عاماً على حرب عام 2006، ورغم إدراكها خطورة صورة نصر الله المحفورة في العقل الإسرائيلي، إلا أنها لم تجد حتى الآن «علاج» هذه الظاهرة وتأثيرها السلبي، كسلاح ثانٍ لدى حزب الله، يتكامل مع الوسائل القتالية والجهود العسكرية، قبل المعارك وخلالها، وأيضاً في أعقابها.

Sayyed Nasrallah Is the First Arab Leader Whose Credibility Has an Influence on «Israel» السيد نصر الله أوّل زعيم عربي تؤثر صدقيته في الإسرائيليين

René Naba

On July 12, 2010 and on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the destructive war against Lebanon, the “Israeli” newspaper Haaretz published a detailed university study on the topic, drafted by the “Israeli” military establishment. It was an academic study by a senior “Israeli” intelligence officer. It backed the assertion that Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, is the first Arab leader since the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser who has the ability to influence “Israeli” public opinion with his speeches.

Hezbollah achieved two military victories against “Israel”. It is one of the world’s chief liberation movements, eclipsing the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, the National Liberation Front (Algerian) and the Cuban Revolution. It is striking that the criminalization of Hezbollah by the Persian Gulf and the Arab League came in the name of Arabism, a slogan that the Wahhabi dynasty wanted to destroy.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah ponders his words that are equal in weight to gold. They are immediately analyzed by interpreters, philologists and linguists – whether they be academics, diplomats, strategists, experts in psychological warfare, native Arabic speakers or pseudo Orientalists. The Western political media bubble is about to suffocate from its pent-up anger, as is the case with the Arabs applauding them. They both face the same reality: Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah – a Lebanese Shiite paramilitary group, is a man who does not only talk. His actions correspond to his words and his words with his actions.

What he says in his speeches is not for the sake of boasting or bragging. His credibility does not have the same effects of a propaganda campaign. The facts are documented by senior “Israeli” Arab journalists whose acknowledgments are in this article.

On July 12, 2010 and on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the destructive war against Lebanon, the “Israeli” newspaper Haaretz published a detailed university study on the topic, drafted by the “Israeli” military establishment. It was an academic study by a senior “Israeli” intelligence officer. It backed the assertion that Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, is the first Arab leader since the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser who has the ability to influence “Israeli” public opinion with his speeches.

The article reads “Colonel Ronen discussed this thesis at Haifa University based on an analysis of the contents of Hassan Nasrallah’s speech during the second Lebanon war in 2006.” The “Israeli” officer describes Nasrallah as “the first Arab leader who was able to develop the ability to influence “Israeli” public opinion since Abdel Nasser” in the 1960s. Ronen, who was then an intelligence officer in the “Israeli” army, wrote the following: “Nasrallah used two weapons to confront “Israeli” threats: his speech addressing his audience and using it for defensive battles on the Lebanese front and missiles directed against “Israel”.”

Nasrallah’s speeches were the subject of most “Israeli” newspapers. It aroused strong reactions from “Israeli” political and military leaders. Ronen pointed out that “if “Israel” deciphered Nasrallah’s speeches during the war, it would have had an impact on its decisions.” He stated that during the war Nasrallah used to bolster the claim that “we will win the war if we succeed in the defense.” For him, victory meant “to continue resisting and keep Lebanon united without accepting humiliating conditions.”

The “Israeli” officer pointed out that “the resistance of Hezbollah carried on until the last day and the unity of Lebanon was not undermined.”

“With regard to the humiliating conditions, the answer is not conclusive on whether Nasrallah was forced to accept the deployment of the Lebanese army and elements of the United Nations in southern Lebanon, which he rejected at the beginning of the war,” the author notes.

When the government’s approach was demagoguery, the man appeared to be reasonable and did not brag even in the smallest of the theatrical details. He put on a stunning show on a Sunday afternoon in July 2006, giving a televised political speech to hundreds of thousands of viewers astonished by the destruction of an “Israeli” battleship near the Lebanese coast.

In an area that is eroded by sectarianism, the cleric posed as a lawyer with his eloquent language and rich vocabulary in which religious expressions blend with the worldly as well as the standard (Arabic) with the dialectic. His speech is inspired by the more rigid Arabism. And thus he transformed his country into the regional diplomatic indicator and the role model in the history of the Arab-“Israeli” conflict, especially as he relies to the collective Arab memory that had an important psychological impact equivalent to the impact of Operation Badr (the seizure of the Bar-lev line) and the crossing of the Suez Canal during the October 1973 war.

After eight years, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah did it again, not caring about the rejection of all Arab monarchies. He laid the groundwork for a new way of confronting his fiery enemy, which was the mobile conflict in a closed battlefield. It was a new approach to modern military warfare, supported by a strong missile deterrent force feared by the West and its Arab allies.

Hezbollah fought with its light armament and full control over its weapons, especially the anti-tank ones. The group fought in a decentralized manner similar to that of the Finns in their war against the Soviets in 1940.

But in view of this unique achievement in the history of the contemporary Arab world, the protests of a degenerate political class created by modern feudalism and developed from the stream of opportunism would stir sectarianism in a region considered to be a prey of intolerance and in a country that has suffered so much in the past. It is a country whose people are in despair due to the growing impoverishment. They are the forgotten victims of the old, heinous actions, the prey of intellectual and moral impoverishment of a class of elites, and finally the prey of the Nazism of senior Lebanese politicians unnaturally allied with the old warlords and their financiers.

Hezbollah has become a Lebanese political-military movement, which is marked for elimination by the Americans. It enjoys unprecedented parliamentary representation thanks to the digital majority of the Shiite community, thanks to its contribution to the liberation of its land, thanks to its prestige at the regional level and finally thanks to the people’s support who are not looking to benefit from it.

Former French Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin paid a high price for calling Hezbollah a terrorist. He was the victim of the most recent stone-throwing incident in contemporary history, ending his political life in a pathetic way and politically burning him forever.

Source: Al-Mayadeen, Translated and Edited by website team

السيد نصر الله أوّل زعيم عربي تؤثر صدقيته في الإسرائيليين

2018-07-09

نشرت الصحيفة الإسرائيلية “هأريتز” في 12 تموز/ يوليو 2010 بمناسبة الذكرى الرابعة للحرب المدمرة على لبنان دراسة جامعية مفصلة في هذا الموضوع للمؤسسة العسكرية الإسرائيلية. هي بحث أكاديمي قام به ضابط رفيع في المخابرات الإسرائيلية تدعم مقولة أنّ حسن نصرالله، الأمين العام لحزب الله، هو أول زعيم عربي يتمتع بقدرة على التأثير بخطابه على الرأي العام الإسرائيلي منذ الرئيس المصري الراحل جمال عبد الناصر.

حزب الله هو صانعُ انتصارين عسكريين ضد إسرائيل، وأحد أكبر حركات التحرر في العالم الثالث هيبةً، مضاهياً بذلك جبهة التحرير الوطنية الفيتنامية وجبهة التحرير الوطنية الجزائرية وثورة الملتحين الكوبية. واللافت أن تجريم حزب الله من الخليج والجامعة العربية جاء باسم العروبة وهو الشعار الذي كانت السلالة الوهابية أول من أراد دفنه.  

السيد حسن نصر الله يزن كلماته وأقواله التي تساوي وزنها ذهباً، فتؤوّل في الحال على ألسنة كل المفسرين وفقهاء اللغة وعلماء المعاني واللسانيات؛ سواء كانوا أكاديميين أم دبلوماسيين أم باحثين استراتيجيين أم اختصاصيين في الحرب النفسية؛ سواء كانوا من الناطقين الأصليين بالعربية أم من المستشرقين الزائفين. فالفقاعة الإعلامية السياسية الغربية على وشك الاختناق من الغضب المكتوم، كما هي حال العرب المصفقين لها، أمام إثبات متطابق مع الواقع: السيد حسن نصرالله زعيم حزب الله، الحركة الشيعية اللبنانية الشبه عسكرية، هو رجل لا يكتفي بالكلام. فأفعاله تتطابق مع أقواله وأقواله مع أفعاله.

فما يقوله في خطاباته ليس تبجّحاً وتباهياً. ومصداقيته ليست كأثر حملة دعائية. فالوقائع موثّقة يؤكدها كبار الصحفيين الإسرائيليين العرب الذين حصل هذا المقال على اعترافاتهم بها.

نشرت الصحيفة الإسرائيلية “هأريتز” في 12 تموز/ يوليو 2010 بمناسبة الذكرى الرابعة للحرب المدمرة على لبنان دراسة جامعية مفصلة في هذا الموضوع للمؤسسة العسكرية الإسرائيلية. هي بحث أكاديمي قام به ضابط رفيع في المخابرات الإسرائيلية تدعم مقولة أنّ حسن نصرالله، الأمين العام لحزب الله، هو أول زعيم عربي يتمتع بقدرة على التأثير بخطابه على الرأي العام الإسرائيلي منذ الرئيس المصري الراحل جمال عبد الناصر.

يقول المقال “إن العقيد رونين ناقش هذه الأطروحة في جامعة حيفا مستنداً إلى تحليل لمضمون خطاب حسن نصرالله خلال الحرب الثانية على لبنان في عام 2006”. يصف الضابط الإسرائيلي نصرالله على أنه “أول زعيم عربي استطاع تطوير قدرته على التأثير في الرأي العام الإسرائيلي منذ عبد الناصر” في الستينات. يكتب رونين، الذي كان وقتئذٍ في منصب ضابط المخابرات في الجيش الإسرائيلي، ما يلي “استعمل نصرالله لمواجهة التهديدات الإسرائيلية سلاحين: خطابه الذي توجه به لجمهوره وقاد به المعارك الدفاعية على الجبهة اللبنانية والصواريخ الموجهة ضد إسرائيل”.

كانت خطابات نصرالله موضوع غالب الصحف الإسرائيلية كما أنها أثارت ردود أفعال شديدة لدى القادة السياسيين والعسكريين الإسرائيليين. لقد أشار رونين إلى أنه “لو قامت إسرائيل بتحليل عقلاني لخطابات نصرالله خلال الحرب لكان أثر ذلك على قرارها”. وذكر بأن نصرالله كان يؤكد أثناء الحرب “بأننا سنربح الحرب لو نجحنا في الدفاع”. فالانتصار يعني بالنسبة له “الاستمرار في المقاومة وأن يبقى لبنان موحداً دون القبول بشروط مذلة”.

كما أشار الضابط الإسرائيلي إلى أن “مقاومة حزب الله استمرت حتى اليوم الأخير ووحدة لبنان لم تمسّ”. كما لفت النظر “إلى أنه بالنسبة للشروط المذلة فالجواب ليس قطعياً في أن نصرالله أجبر على القبول بانتشار الجيش اللبناني وعناصر الأمم المتحدة في جنوب لبنان، الشيء الذي كان يرفضه في بداية الحرب”.

في المنطقة التي يكون أسلوب الحكومة فيها هو الغوغائية، يظهر الرجل رزيناً غير متباهٍ حتى في أصغر تفصيل من التفاصيل المسرحية، فيقوم بالعرض المذهل بعد ظهر يوم أحد من شهر تموز/ يوليو 2006 معطياً الأمر في خطاب سياسي من على منبره التلفزيوني وأمام مئات آلاف المشاهدين المذهولين بتدمير بارجة إسرائيلية عائمة قرب السواحل اللبنانية.

في منطقة تتآكل بالطائفية البغضاء، يقف رجل الدين السيّد محامياً بلغته البليغة ومفرداته الغنية التي تتمازج فيها التعابير الدينية مع الدنيوية، والفصحى مع الدارجة، وبنغمة خطابه المستوحاة من روح العروبة الأكثر تشدداً. وهكذا دفع ببلده ليصبح المؤشر الدبلوماسي الإقليمي والمثل الأعلى في تاريخ الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي وخاصة أنه بارتدائه ثوب الذاكرة العربية الجماعية كان له أثر نفسي هام يعادل أثر عملية بدر (الاستيلاء على خط بارليف) وعبور قناة السويس في حرب تشرين الأول/ أكتوبر عام 1973.

أعاد السيد حسن نصرالله الكرّة بعد ثماني سنين غير آبهٍ برفض كل المملكات العربية تقريباً، فوضع الأسس لطريقة جديدة في مواجهة قوة عدوّه النارية، وهي الصراع المتنقل في ميدان مغلق، نهج جديد في القتال العسكري الحديث، مدعوم بقوة ردع صاروخية قويّة أمام ذعر الغرب وحلفائه العرب.

لقد قاتل حزب الله بعداده الخفيف وتحكّمه التام بسلاحه وخاصة ذلك المضاد للدبابات بطريقة لامركزية على طريقة الفنلنديين في حربهم مع السوفييت عام 1940.

لكن بالنظر إلى هذا الإنجاز الفريد في تاريخ العالم العربي المعاصر الذليل فإن احتجاجات طبقة سياسية مهترئة نشأت في لدن الإقطاعية الحديثة ونتجت عن تيار الانتهازية سيحرّك الشعور الطائفي في منطقة تعتبر فريسة للتعصب وفي بلد عانى الكثير في الماضي. هو بلد يقع شعبه فريسة اليأس نتيجة الإفقار المتزايد، فريسة نسيان ضحايا الأعمال الشائنة القديمة، فريسة الفاقة الفكرية والأخلاقية لفئة من النخبة، وأخيراً فريسة نازية كبار الساسة اللبنانيين المتحالفين بطريقة شاذة عن الطبيعة مع أسياد الحرب القدماء ومموّليها.

أصبح حزب الله حركة لبنانية سياسية-عسكرية، مطلوباً القضاء عليها أميركيا. وأصبح يتمتع بتمثيل برلماني لا سابق له بفضل الغالبية الرقمية للطائفة الشيعية، وبفضل إسهامه في تحرير أرضه، وبفضل هيبته على الصعيد الإقليمي وأخيراً بفضل الالتفاف الشعبي حوله دون أن يبحث عن أيّ استفادة من ذلك.

رئيس الوزراء الاشتراكي الفرنسي الأسبق ليونيل جوسبان، دفع من حسابه ثمناً باهظاً لتوصيفه حزب الله بالإرهابي، فكان ضحية أشهر حادثة رجم بالحجارة في التاريخ المعاصر، منهياً حياته السياسية بطريقة مثيرة للشفقة فاحترق سياسياً إلى الأبد.

ترجمة سناء يازجي خلف

The War in Syria was a US Intervention Since “Day 1”

April 15, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – In the aftermath of US-led missile strikes on Syria, the Western media has attempted to continue building the case for “US intervention.”

However, before the first agitators took to the streets in Syria in 2011, the US was already involved.

The New York Times in its 2011 article, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” would admit (emphasis added):

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks. 

The work of these groups often provoked tensions between the United States and many Middle Eastern leaders, who frequently complained that their leadership was being undermined, according to the cables. 

The financing of agitators from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) before the so-called “Arab Spring” was meant to stampede targeted governments from power – paving the way for US client states to form. Nations that resisted faced – first, US-backed militants – and failing that, direct US military intervention – as seen in Libya in 2011.

After the US funded initial unrest in 2011 – the US has armed and funded militants fighting in Syria ever since.

The same NYT would publish a 2013 article titled, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” admitting (emphasis added):

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders. 

The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

As the proxy war the US waged against Damascus began to fail, multiple attempts were made to justify direct US military intervention in Syria as the US and its allies did in 2011 against the Libyan government.

This includes repeated attempts to enforce the “responsibility to protect” doctrine, multiple false-flag chemical attacks beginning with the Ghouta incident in 2013 and the emergence of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) which helped the US justify the deployment of ground troops now currently occupying eastern Syria.

The notion of the US currently “contemplating intervention” in Syria attempts to sidestep the fact that the Syrian conflict itself – from its inception – has been a US intervention.

Long Before “Day 1” 

Even before the most recent attempt at US-led regime change in Syria, the US has pursued campaigns of violent subversion aimed at Syria and its allies.

In 2007, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh would write in his article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,” that (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Hersh’s words would become prophetic when, in 2011, the US would begin arming and backing militants – many with overt affiliations to Al Qaeda – in a bid to destabilize Syria and overthrow the government in Damascus.

The article would also lay out preparations that – even in 2007 – were clearly aimed at organizing  for and executing a wider conflict.

Yet, published CIA documents drawn from the US National Archives illustrate how this singular agenda seeking to overthrow the government of Syria stretches back even earlier – by decades.

A 1983 document signed by former CIA officer Graham Fuller titled, “Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria” (PDF), states (their emphasis):

Syria at present has a hammerlock on US interests both in Lebanon and in the Gulf — through closure of Iraq’s pipeline thereby threatening Iraqi internationalization of the [Iran-Iraq] war. The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad [Sr.] through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey. 

The report also states:

If Israel were to increase tensions against Syria simultaneously with an Iraqi initiative, the pressures on Assad would escalate rapidly. A Turkish move would psychologically press him further. 

The document exposes both then and now, the amount of influence the US exerts across the Middle East and North Africa. It also undermines the perceived agency of states including Israel and NATO-member Turkey, revealing their subordination to US interests and that actions taken by these states are often done on behalf of Wall Street and Washington rather than on behalf of their own national interests.

Also mentioned in the document are a variety of manufactured pretexts listed to justify a unilateral military strike on northern Syria by Turkey. The  document explains:

Turkey has considered undertaking a unilateral military strike against terrorist camps in northern Syria and would not hesitate from using menacing diplomatic language against Syria on these issues.

Comparing this signed and dated 1983 US CIA document to more recent US policy papers and revelations of US funding of so-called activists prior to 2011,  reveals not only continuity of agenda – but that attempts to portray the 2011 “uprising” as spontaneous and as merely exploited by the US are disingenuous.

Breaking the Cycle 

The current stalemate in Syria is owed to Russia’s involvement in the conflict. This began in 2013 when Moscow brokered a political deal preventing US military intervention then – and again in 2015 when the Russian military – upon Damascus’ request – built up a presence within the nation. Today, it is the threat of Russian retaliation that has hemmed in US options and plunged American special interests into increasing depths of desperation.

The recent missile strikes by the US and its tentative holdings in eastern Syria reflect geopolitical atrophy amid a conflict that was initially aimed at quickly stampeding the Syrian government from power back in 2011.

Washington’s inability to achieve its objectives leave it in an increasingly desperate position – attempting to reassert itself in the region or face the irreversible decline of its so-called “international order.” However, a desperate hegemon in decline is still dangerous.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

Also Read

HEZBOLLAH – CAPABILITIES AND ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (FULL DOCUMENTARY)

South Front

Hezbollah is a social and political movement with a strong armed wing. It was formed in 1980s. Hezbollah’s creation was conditioned by the aspiration of the Shia population of Lebanon to meet the challenges of Israeli expansion and Western “new-style” colonialism.

The Hezbollah (“Party of God”) movement was formed in 1982 in Lebanon by a segment of the Shia community displeased with the secular, in their view, nature of the Amal moderate Shia party. There were also disagreements concerning whether Israel should be confronted using new organizational forms and methods of warfare. According to its General Secretary Hasan Nasrallah, since its formation, Hezbollah was a purely intra-Lebanese creation, relying on the support and aid from the Palestinian and Lebanese parties, while the support from Iran and Syria came later.

Since the very beginning, Hezbollah’s activities have been based on three principles. First, Islam is declared an ideological, doctrinal, and practical basis for the organization’s functions. Secondly, its main aim is the struggle against Israeli occupation of Lebanon and Palestine and against Zionist domination. Third, it recognizes the Iranian Shia thesis concerning the necessity of Vilayat-e-Fakih. This Shia doctrine asserts that during the era of the 12thGreat Reappearance of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi the leadership over the Shia is transferred to high-ranking Shia clerics.

Structure and Decision Making

Hezbollah, as an organization, has a structure based on certain ideological principles and exists within the framework of a state, that has no actual influence on the movement’s activities. The party is led by the Shura Council consisting of 7 members (six spiritual leaders—ulemas—and one secular leader). The members are elected by the Central Council (Al-Majlis al-Markazis), consisting of the 200 most authoritative members of the movement. Shura Council elections consist of three phases. The first is the candidate selection (usually 70-80), both clerics and secular individuals who satisfy the criteria set by the top leaders. Those who pass this stage have the right to participate in the second stage. In other words, they become candidates for the Shura Council. As a rule, 10-15 people make it to the second round. The final phase consists of the direct election of the 7 Shura Council members.

Council decisions are final and religiously binding for all party members. They are adopted either unanimously or by the majority of votes. If there is a deadlock or a split within Shura Council, issues are decided by the party leader, whose decisions are final and obligatory on all administrative institutions, and cannot be challenged. This is how the principle of Vilayat-e-Fakih is observed and splits within the ruling elite are averted.

The actual operations of the party are conducted by the administrative executive apparatus, known as Shura Tanfiz. It consists of five councils:

  1. Executive Council (oversight over political and organizational matters, including social, cultural, and educational activities);
  2. Politburo (addresses intra-movement matters);
  3. Parliamentary Council (concerns itself with Hezbollah activities in the Lebanese legislature);
  4. Judicial Council (issues religious resolutions and carries out arbitration on matters of disagreement, relying on Islamic law); and
  5. Jihad Council (directs the movement, including oversight, recruitment, training, equipment, security).

Each council is usually headed by a Shura Council member.

The movement General Secretary is Hasan Nasrallah, who is also the supreme commander of its armed formations. Leadership also includes his deputy, a spiritual leader who is also the supreme judge, some Lebanese legislators, the military formation commander for Southern Lebanon, and regional leaders of the organization. The Executive Council has various departments responsible for specific areas of activity: welfare, healthcare, information, press, finance, external communications, coordination.

Armed Formations and Their Peculiarities

Assessments of Hezbollah’s armed strength vary. Iran’s FARS news agency data from October 2016 put Hezbollah’s armed strength at no less than 65,000 troops, including reserves. Of them, 21,000 are professional soldiers with constant training. According to the 2017 Military Balance, currently 5-8 thousand Hezbollah troops are fighting in Syria.

Bekaa Valley: the commander’s responsibilities include control over arms shipments from Iran through Syria for the “Sheikh Abdallah” military camp that’s under joint command by the Hezbollah and the Syrian army. According to various sources, this region’s forces consist of at least 7 infantry battalions with 252 people each. Three of them are motorized.

South Beirut: according to various sources, this region includes at least two battalions of 252 troops, one of them motorized.

South Lebanon: after the Taif treaty of 1989, Hezbollah formations were reorganized and placed under a unified command. The current commander is responsible for Hezbollah military and Special Security formations and may also command Lebanese Army units in South Lebanon. This region includes at least 7 battalions of 252 troops each, five of them motorized.

Moreover, one should note the nontrivial fact of the existence of a full-scale, by Iranian, NATO, and Russian measures, tank regiment. In November 2016, near the city of al-Quiseir (Homs province, Syria), there was an inspection of Hezbollah equipment. The photos showed T-55, T-62, and some T-72 tanks, some 2S1 Gvozdika howitzers, BMP-1, and -2, M113 APCs with 14.5mm machine-guns, ZSU-57-2 SPAA. Most of this equipment apparently came from SAA arsenals and was obtained from the Lebanese Army and possibly Iran.

Of most interest are the hybrids assembled using Kvadrat (SA-6) SAM tracked chassis and Soviet-era KS-12 85mm and Ks-19 100mm AA guns. While their effectiveness against modern aircraft and drones is doubtful, they are useful as direct fire support against land targets. Other interesting weapons are the modern Kornet ATGMs mounted on quadricycles. These self-propelled ATGMs are able to effectively fight any modern tank, including Israeli.

By all appearances, this unit was formed to prosecute the war in Syria, where thousands of Hezbollah fighters are constantly on the front lines. The absence of direct fire support such as tanks and artillery undermines the success of operations. Therefore it’s logical to assume that Hezbollah decided to assemble an arsenal of its own armor and accompanying artillery to ensure battlefield success.

Being a fully-fledged political and military organization, Hezbollah understands that it is surrounded by enemies such as Israel and radical Sunni Islamists. Therefore having a tank regiment with experienced crews is of vital importance, as the unit represents a serious force by the standards of Lebanon and the adjacent countries. The prolonged civil war in Lebanon, the permanent stand-off with Israel, and now also the struggle against Sunni Islamists, in other words, the constant balancing on the edge between war and peace, makes the movement flexible in its command arrangements and able to quickly and appropriately react to emerging problems.

One can also draw the conclusion that the paramilitary wing of the Hezbollah, in spite of external attributes of a partisan movement, which it was 20-30 years ago, is gradually becoming a fully-fledged army with a training establishment, a command structure, and a logistical segment.

Cadre Selection and Training

The preparation of a future fighter starts at a very young age. Kids aged 6 are involved in discussions and as they grow, they receive more advanced political and religious preparation. A sample training regimen includes: Studying Koran, A day at the mosque, I love my country, How to run a household, Summer camp, I submit to my leader. Younger kids’ uniform, as a rule, includes blue shirts with epaulettes, white scarves, and pins with the image of Khomeini.

Older boys spend several weeks during the summer in camps in the south and in Bekaa Valley, where they train and acquire survival skills while obtaining more in-depth religious preparation and studying their native language and culture.

Then they transfer to the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts. One of the scouts’ missions is helping the poor. According to the Scouts head, if kids who lost their father or their brothers were left to their fate, they would withdraw inwardly and develop psychological problems such as aggression.

At the age of 17, those who excelled at the Scouts become members of Taabia, or the reserves.

At the same time, education does not seek to promote absolute hatred toward Israel, despite what Western journalists love to depict. The education system is first and foremost based on developing a national and religious identity, the context in which the Shia community of Lebanon exists.

In an interview provided by a Hezbollah fighter, it was noted that those who choose political independence become social pariahs. Such people can’t even visit their villages, given that the family and the society hate them.

Cadre troops are focused on combat training, and each receives a specialty such as an ATGM gunner, a sniper, or demolitions. Regular Hezbollah fighters undergo training in specialized camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran (under IRGC officer leadership). They conduct training for the rank and file and select outstanding individuals for special units. Some of them become commanders, others are selected for the Special Security Apparatus.

Taabia reservists are engaged in protecting villages and are selected from the Scouts. Cadre fighters and reservists undergo service in one of the districts: Israel-Lebanon border and the Litania river area—Nasr Brigade, north of Litania—Badr Brigade, Bekaa Valley—Haidar Brigade.

Each Hezbollah brigade in south Lebanon has a sector in northern Israel that it is supposed to occupy. Combat and special training in each brigade take into account local geography. One should also note that border terrain is fortified: there is a large-scale network of tunnels, bunkers, minefields. Using the tunnels, Hezbollah can concentrate large number of troops on the needed attack sector without being spotted and attacked from the air

Due to fighting in Syria, Hezbollah opted to conduct training courses with reservists lasting 60-90 days. Commanders are also sent to the battle zone to obtain experience. Intensive operations and unavoidable losses have forced commanders and troops to remain in the war zone (murabata) for longer than their rotation periods. For the reservists, it was 15 days a year. Before the Syrian war, the border with Israel was considered such a zone. Currently, the rotation period in the Syrian war zone is 20 days and may be increased if the situation demands it. This is considered optimum, as it allows for having trained and rested troops available in case of any escalation on Israel border, and in Syria.

Here’s an example of a news report regarding deployment of Hezbollah units from May 20, 2017. The Radwan special unit and others were fully withdrawn from Syria and replaced by the Badr Brigade which is stationed in the eastern and northern part of the Aleppo province. Aziz Brigade was withdrawn from the outskirts of Palmyra and al-Qaem Brigade temporarily replaced it there.

Moreover, the Radwan unit was brought to an elevated alert level and sent to south Lebanon (Litania river and Shebaa farms on Israel border). Al-Jalil Brigade, intended for operations in Galilee in case of war with Israel, remained on its permanent positions in south Lebanon. Nasr Brigade, which is directly under Hasan Nasrallah, remained in reserve.

The Radwan unit was named after the head of Special Security department Imad Mugniyeh (pseudonym al-Hadja Radwan) who was killed in 2008. The unit has much experience in raids and is the most prepared for urban warfare, which makes it irreplaceable in Syria. If there is a new war between Hezbollah and Syria, it will be in the first line of attack.

Military Doctrine. Specifics of Fighting in Syria

Hezbollah leadership reviewed its concept of operations after the start of the Syria war. Before the war, the emphasis was placed on defensive ops in built-up areas with small units to inflict maximum troop and equipment losses on the IDF while simultaneously shelling Israel using large numbers of short- and medium-range rockets.

In Syria, Hezbollah realized that it had to wage offensive ops in cities. Therefore it reconsidered its training system, increased its rocket arsenal, and provided more heavy weapons and recon systems.

The first operation where Hezbollah took offensive using large units was the battle for el-Quseyr in April-June 2013. Some 1200-1700 best-trained Hezbollah troops took part in the battle. They were divided into 17 detachments, with later division into teams of 3-5 troops. Prior to the attack, the command performed recon of the city and its approaches, then divided the city into 16 sectors, one for each detachment. Each region had its codename. During the battle, this allowed for command of forces using open channels of communication without the enemy being able to take any countermeasures. Hezbollah command undertook the direction of SAA tank and artillery units near the city. Considering that the city was in the Islamist hands for over a year and was well-fortified, the ratio of losses was nevertheless 5:1 in favor of Hezbollah. The battle showed that with proper organization, a fortified city can be effectively attacked by a small force.

As far as the military direction of Hezbollah units in Syria by Iran is concerned, it seems probable that Iran directs Hezbollah units down to battalion level (sometimes down to company) using IRGC specialists from the al-Quds Force. It can’t be ruled out that IRGC specialists coordinate Hezbollah and local self-defense forces like the Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq. Units smaller than a battalion don’t warrant the provision of specialists. There is a need for a large number of trained cadres able to command and provide assistance. One of the factors influencing cooperation in this instance is the language barrier—Arabic in Lebanon, versus Farsi in Iran.

Hezbollah became one of the factors which allowed to turn around the war in Syria, since its troops were able to fight in cities. The SAA, in 2011-12 was organized along 1970-80 lines to fight combined arms battles mainly against Israel. New realities have shown that this army was unable to fight as small units in the cities. Moreover, the SAA has not fought for a long time. Its last significant operations took place in 1982. Therefore it had no commanders with urban warfare experience. Hezbollah, on the other hand, has constantly fought Israel since the moment of its creation. Generations of commanders have honed their skills in the years of clashes and battles with the IDF, causing it serious losses during the 2006 war. Israel was forced to retreat from south Lebanon, and Hezbollah’s reputation has risen to unprecedented heights.

Israel’s military command is worried about Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, since its paramilitary wing will now be able to wage offensive ops using heavy weapons and a huge number of short-, medium-, and long-range rockets.

The fact that Hezbollah has become akin to a regular army is confirmed by IDF’s rethinking of its approach to the fight against it. First, IDF is preparing for fighting big formations, up to a brigade, whose task will be invading Israel and capturing villages or military bases. Second, it is paying special attention to combating tunnels, including technical and psychological preparation of its troops to fight in tunnels.

Rocket Arsenal

The movement’s distinguishing characteristic is the enormous rocket arsenal which, by various estimates, contains between 50 thousand and 120 thousand weapons. And not merely an arsenal, but a whole system, from rocket part and fuel factories to storage facilities and camouflaged launch sites.

The existing land-based arsenal includes various short-range ballistic missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and multiple rocket launchers.

The existing land-based arsenal is reflected by the following table:

Hezbollah – Capabilities And Role In The Middle East (Full Documentary)

Click to see the full-size image

* –depending on the specific variant.

MRL – multiple rocket launcher

SSM – surface-to-surface missile

SRBM – short-range ballistic missile

Most of the weapons come from Iran and Syria. The possession of Scud-Ds is doubted, including doubts of the Western media. This system requires qualified personnel and specialized equipment, since the rocket uses liquid fuel.

To assess Hezbollah’s effectiveness, let’s look at the shelling of Israel in 2005. At the start, according to Nasrallah, there were over 12 thousand rockets. Official Israeli police reports noted 3770 rocket strikes on the country, including 901 strikes in the cities. Thanks to civil defense, only 44 were killed and 1384 were wounded. One is also tempted to note that Hezbollah mostly used rockets with ranges under 100km and small warheads, as no SRBM strikes were noted. This was due the small number of SRBMs and Israeli effort to destroy them, which was partly successful. Hits by 600-980kg SRBM warheads would have had catastrophic consequences on cities. The presence of SSMs proved a surprise for Israel. On July 14, 2006, Israeli corvette Hanit was hit by a Chinese-made C-802 SSM launched from the short. The ship’s air defense was turned off since nobody expected an SSM attack. 4 sailors were killed and the corvette was incapacitated for 3 weeks. The 165kg warhead most likely failed to explode, otherwise, the corvette would have sunk.

Having a large rocket arsenal made in Iran, PRC, and Syria, raises the question of whether Hezbollah has its own factories of rockets. If it does, they manufacture certain numbers. It’s been a long time since the last war with Israel. Launching a rocket after lengthy storage could be dangerous to its launch crew. It would seem that the war in Syria is being used to use up old Russian and Chinese rockets of which it has large numbers. The situation is more complex with SRBMs. They are very expensive to make. It would make no sense to establish their production on territory which at any moment could be bombed by Israel. With proper servicing, such rockets can be stored for up to decades. It’s likely that some assistance here is provided by Iranian civil and military specialists.

Building a rocket plant on the territory of another country is a whole different matter. In August 2017, Israeli media reported that Iranians are building a ballistic missile plant in north-west Syria. It is built near the coastal city of Banias, tens of kilometers from Tartus where the Russian base is located, and south of Hmeimim where Russian aircraft are based, protected by S-300 and S-400. Therefore the factory can be protected against Israeli strikes. According to experts, the plant will produce Fateh-110 rockets for the SAA and, possibly, Hezbollah.

The rocket arsenal has been modernized and expanded. At the start of the next war, Hezbollah will be able to launch 1500 rockets a day, instead of 200 in 2006, covering the whole territory of Israel and not only the border regions. There are reports that Hezbollah has Russian Yakhont SSMs obtained from Syria, instead of the unreliable C-802.

Therefore Hezbollah rocket arsenal is not a network of warehouses full of artisanal rockets, dangerous to own crews. It’s a whole range of industrially produced weapons capable of destroying land and naval targets at various ranges.

All of the above does not mean Hezbollah seeks war with Israel, whose leadership should be aware that if there is another war in south Lebanon, Israel’s civilians will face unprecedented threats.

Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence

Hezbollah’s Special Security department is responsible for both intel and counter-intel, and implements several missions, one of the most important being professionally carried out operations abroad at the behest of Shura Council. Imad Fayez Mughniyeh was a head of Special Security department until 2008 when he died in a car bomb blast in Kafr Sousa neighborhood of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Responsibilities of the department’s head in Shura include overseeing the following departments:

  1. National preventive security apparatus, which provides personal security to high-level spiritual leaders.
  2. Internal security and intelligence apparatus, which tracks political and religious reliability of the Hezbollah members.
  3. National central security apparatus, which observes, tracks, infiltrates, and if necessary eliminates military or political individuals or groups seeking to interfere with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
  4. Foreign combat cells and intel apparatus. This department partly overlaps with the central security council, depending on types of requests received by cell leaders.

Imad Mugniyeh is the individual who made this department one of the most powerful secret services in the world. He was born in 1962 in the Tayr Debba village in south Lebanon. He started his career in the mid-1970s in the FATH organization. In 1977-82 he was a member of its intelligence and special units (Force 17, Unified Security Directorate, etc.). After an advanced course under IRGC instructors at the Imam Ali base in Bekaa province, he headed the personal security team for prominent Shia cleric Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah.

Before 2005, Hezbollah was to a large extent integrated into Lebanese intel services, including Amn al-Amn Main Directorate for Common Security which expanded its ability to carry out intelligence and counter-intelligence ops. After Hezbollah was accused of being complicit in the death of former Lebanese PM, Rafik Hariri in February 2005, Hezbollah members were forced to leave Lebanese secret services, which affects the movement’s intel work.

The Special Security department studies Iranian and Israeli experience. According to Israeli intel members, Hezbollah has a large agent network in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and AMAN military intelligence. This opinion is supported by the presence of limited access Israeli MOD maps, manuals, and documents on captured Hezbollah members.

The movement’s intel successes are largely based on exploiting familial and criminal ties between Israeli and Lebanese Arabs, and the well-oiled cooperation between Hezbollah intel and Palestinian Authority armed formations. Moreover, Hezbollah intelligence often uses interrogations of captured officers and soldiers, and data obtained through recruitment of senior Israeli officers. For example, Hezbollah was able to recruit IDF Lt. Col. Omar el-Haiba, a Bedouin. This officer occupied a high post in the Western district HQ. He was one of the most capable Bedouin officers in the IDF. After a serious wound, he was disabled but nevertheless returned to the IDF and earned awards for his agitation among the Bedouins. This officer was arrested on suspicion of giving Hezbollah secret information on IDF forces on Lebanon border and the schedule of patrols. On June 18, 2006 a court martial sentenced him to 15 years in prison for espionage, contact with enemy agents, and drug trade.

Due to the secrecy regime in Special Security Apparatus, little is known about foreign terrorist and intel cells. As a rule, they become known only after major events. Hezbollah selects people for special ops from among its own special units. These people are believed to be well trained and prepared to die for the sake of the mission. Some of them are from Arab and Islamic organizations that have ceased to exist. All of Hezbollah’s special ops are handled by Special Security apparatus, with support from Iranian and Syrian intel and special ops forces, and from the IRGC.

Members of the overseas cells are thoroughly trained. They have knowledge and information about the country where they work. They speak the language of the country. This attracts less attention from civil and military authorities.
Infiltration unit equipment in includes Israeli or other military uniforms, depending on the mission. Units infiltrating Israel speak Hebrew, use Israeli weapons and equipment as camouflage, and are familiar with all types of weapons used in the region. Members of special infiltration units and members of the suicide units differ, among other things, by their uniforms. For example, Jihad Detachments wear green or black clothing, carry Semtex, C-4, or C-9 charges, and usually wear masks on operations.

The following Jihad Detachments are known:

  1. Islambula Brigade: assassination of political activists.
  2. Al-Quds Brigade: two units of suicide bombers consisting of 56 each, the Fathi Shkaki Company and the Ihye Ayasha Company.

On Imad Mugniye’s initiative, in the early ‘90s a special unit of Hebrew-speaking Lebanese Palestinians was formed. It had the task of eavesdropping on IDF army frequencies. Later, SSA sought to improve their language and professional skills at the Center of Islamic Science and Culture and its branches in Iran, Cyria, and Lebanon.

One should note that the Hezbollah units and controlled territories are targets of Israeli human intelligence efforts. Israeli Border Police (MAGAV) includes the YAMAS unit which camouflages its members to look like Arabs. During the 2006 war, Hezbollah counterintelligence located and destroyed an Israeli agent network in south Lebanon and Beirut. The network conducted espionage in Hezbollah HQ and transmitted this data to the IDF. Agents from among local population set up equipment to monitor Hezbollah military installations and used GPS devices to guide munitions, spread glow-in-the-dark powder around buildings and command centers, rocket warehouses and launch sites. Still, IDF and Israeli intel was not able to kill or capture a single senior Hezbollah official or destroy the command system, since the shelling of Israel continued no matter what.

The Media: Agitation and Propaganda

Hezbollah places particular importance on the media. It owns a satellite TV channel (al-Manar), four radio stations, and five newspapers. Without any doubt, Hezbollah’s image was to a large extent formed by al-Manar, which has been broadcasting since June 1991, and has gone satellite in 2000. It has become Hezbollah’s face to the world. The channel is unique, before its existence Arab media consisted of newspapers and radio stations. Experts believe its audience is second only to al-Jazeera. Al-Manar became the official channel of the movement, demonstrating accomplishments, particularly in the realm of fighting Israel. Its broadcasts consist mainly of news and political programs, broadcasts dedicated to the memory of martyrs, informational and entertainment shows. It is also unique in that it broadcasts in Hebrew for the Israeli population. While Western media depict the al-Manar as propaganda for a terror group, the channel does not broadcast any information on making bombs, executions of Israeli soldiers, blowing up of checkpoints, and other forms of cruelty.

Hezbollah radio stations al-Nour and al-Iman broadcast from southern Beirut. Al-Islam broadcasts in south Lebanon, and Sawt al-Mustad’afin broadcasts in the area of Bekaa river valley. There are also newspapers: Al-Bilad, al-Ahd, al-Muntalaq, al-Sabil, and Baquitou Allah.

The movement has a website, www.moqawama.org. Its content includes the most important news from Lebanon and the world, video addresses by movement leader, respecting the memory of martyrs, opinion polls, and memorable dates in the movement’s history. Agitation video broadcast by TV and web channels are of high artistic and directorial quality and take into consideration the preference of the audience and Arab mentality not only in Lebanon but the world.

Social Work

Even though the Hezbollah is known in Western media as a terror organization, it defies that label by the multifaceted aspect of its activities. Apart from fighting in Syria and against Israel, it is part of Lebanon’s legislature, provides education and medical services to the Lebanese. In 2000-2010 Hezbollah spent several billion dollars on humanitarian efforts in Lebanon. The organization builds kindergartens and schools, hospitals and clinics, and even supermarkets. Its fighters and their family members can take advantage of many services with major discounts. Education in Hezbollah-built schools is cheaper than in public schools. The poor obtain stipends. Of course, the education focuses on the Arabic language, Islam, and Shia traditions. But English language and physical sciences are also taught. These schools provide a very high level of instruction by ME standards.

The media also focus on those who fell for the freedom and independence of Lebanon. As a sign of respect for the martyrs, which is how Shia community views them, the funerals are attended by senior officials. They also participate in any funerals of people who perished in battle or in other circumstances. This is apparently due to Hasan Nasrallah’s having suffered a personal loss. His eldest son Hadi became a martyr during fighting in south Lebanon.

If the killed fighter had children, they are taken under care, receive education or jobs. In spite of financial problems, providing money for cadre soldiers and for the families of the dead is the top priority.

Mu’assasat Jihad al-Bina’ or the Fund for Sacred Struggle was founded by the Hezbollah in 1988. It quickly became one of the most visible NGOs in Lebanon. Although it is autonomous, its activities fall under the purview of the social services department of the movement. Its main aim is to “lessen the burdens faced by the poor families by relying on God’s aid in fulfilling their moral and Islamic obligations.” The Fund operates in southern districts of Beirut, Bekaa Valley, and south Lebanon. The fund provides more than half of population of those regions with water, helps farmers with procuring livestock, fertilizers, fuel. It carries out electrification of the most backward villages.

Mu’assasat al-Shahid, or the Martyrs’ Fund, supports the children of killed or captured fighters and civilians. It provides housing, jobs, and support for widows and runs a job placement office for the youth.

Lujnat Imdad al-Khomeini, or the Khomeini Support Committee, was formed right after Israeli aggression of 1982. It helps poor families, particularly those which suffered from Israeli occupation. The aid includes monthly benefits, food parcels, basic necessities, clothing, health services, and education. The committee provides medical assistance, including through medications, diagnoses, surgeries, and rehabilitation, to tens of thousands of patients a year. The financial and technical incapacity of the Lebanese government, particularly the Ministry of Health, forced the movement to take under the control of the Islamic Health Unit the hospitals of south Lebanon.

Hezbollah education department is headed by an office titled al-Ta‘bia’ al-Tarbawiyya, or the Education Directorate. It provides financial aid to needy Hezbollah members. Its expenditures are extremely important to the movement, because public schools suffer from lack of funds for construction and education technology.

The education department also provides needy students higher education in applied sciences, and religious studies in various institutions such as Technical Institute of the Great Prophet, the Technical Institutes of Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, the Institute of Sayydat al-Zahra’, the Institute of Shaykh Raghib Harb, and the Islamic Shari’ah Institute.

Other types of aid include paying for textbooks and school materials, and part of the tuition in public and private schools.

Economic and Financial Activities

A variety of sources of funding—donations, business, and Iran’s support—ensure the party’s independence and economic stability. Its assets are held in the Saderat Bank of Iran or in other banks in accounts of front individuals, to prevent the US and the West from freezing its assets. The party is a huge corporation whose assets belong to the whole party, not just specific individuals.

The main sources of funding are:

  • Direct subsidies from Iran, no more than $100 million per year, though $200 million before the fall of oil prices.
  • Contributions by Shia community in and outside of Lebanon
  • Profits from economic and banking activity.

Income from smuggling, illegal sale of weapons and drugs, are not taken into consideration in this context

According to Pew Research Center and the World Factbook (CIA), Shia Muslims represent a high percentage in about 25 countries.

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Total: approx. 200 million worldwide.

One should keep in mind that Pew data have often been criticized by Western experts and Shia diasporas for underestimating Shia numbers.

According to World Labor Organization, average salaries in these countries in 2016 were:

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The Islamic concept of Zakat states that when it comes to deeds performed in God’s name, including supporting warriors waging jihad, the poor, or people propagating Islam, the average worker should contribute 2.5% of theirsalary.

Considering the multi-child families which are the rule in Muslim countries (one does not consider non-working wives and children), zakat may be paid by up to 10% of the community.

In this case, contributions by country look as follows:

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Thus, the Shia diaspora may contribute no more than 1/5, or 120 million USD, for financing Hezbollah.

This calculation does not include income tax, since each country has a different tax law. One should also keep in mind that not all Shia in the West and Persian Gulf are supportive of Hezbollah’s military aid to Syria. For example, NGO surveys of Shia in the Persian Gulf states in the second half of 2013 suggests that the percentage of supporters fell to 30-50%. This is apparently due to the Hezbollah being given an image of the aggressor by the media of these countries, which can’t help but influence financing. After IS was proclaimed in 2014, India’s Shia issued a statement proclaiming readiness to send 30,000 volunteers to Iraq to fight radical Islam. There is no information concerning the Shia of India or neighboring countries providing aid for Syria.

More than 100,000 Lebanese have permanent residence in African countries, including 60,000 in Cote d’Ivoire, 25,000 each in Senegal and Sierra Leone, 16,000 in Nigeria, 6,000 in DRC, 5,000 each in Gabon and Cameroun. The majority of Lebanese in Africa are not Christians but Shia. They have concentrated control of much profitable business, which allows them not only live well but support their historical motherland. In 2008 alone, money transfers from African Lebanese exceeded $1 billion. It is difficult to assess Lebanese Shia affluence in Africa due to the never-ending financial crisis. Since it is Hezbollah that runs active social programs in Lebanon, one can assume the majority of remittances ends up on the organization’s accounts.

Overall, the movement collects no more than $500 million a year. It’s not much, considering it is waging a war in Syria and is financing the social sector of the whole country.

Why Hezbollah became a Middle East powerhouse and its transition to a quasi-state

After the IDF withdrawal from most of Lebanon in 1985, Hezbollah with active support from the IRGC began to create its own weapons arsenals, and the January 1989 Damascus-Tehran agreement allowed Hezbollah to restore its military infrastructure and resume operations in south Lebanon. Thus by 1991 Hezbollah became the leading Lebanese resistance force, operating in the country’s south against the IDF.

Starting in early ‘90s, Hezbollah began a transition away from being a purely paramilitary formation. In the summer of ’92, Iran’s leaders recommended Hezbollah transform itself from an openly extremist organization into an active Lebanese political force. Hezbollah reached an internal compromise between the “moderates” and “radicals”, established a ceasefire with Amal, and began active preparation for parliamentary elections. Hezbollah today acts as the leading political force in Lebanon and as a major Shia social and humanitarian organization (Lebanon has an estimated 2.5 million Shia out of 6.2 million total population). IDF withdraw from south Lebanon in 2006 was a huge victory in the eyes of the Arab world. Hezbollah has truly become a significant regional factor. Growing its influence in Lebanon and Syria and the region with Iran’s help, Hezbollah has become a base for recruitment, training, and preparation of volunteers for battling Israel and radical Sunni organizations. Hezbollah units often fight like regular army nits.

One of the reasons for the rise of Hezbollah’s regional influence is the strategic coordination between the Lebanese and Iraqi Shia, and also Syrian Alawites due to the continuous war in the Middle East. It’s important to note that the organization has proved its worth even in the darkest hours of Lebanon’s history, such as the many years of almost uninterrupted slaughter, but also during the perennial clashes with its external adversaries, even dangerous ones like Israel.

Opinions of Iran’s influence vary. Some experts claim Iran’s aid is so important that it fully affects all aspects of Hezbollah’s decision making process. Naturally, Iran’s authority as the leader of the Shia around the world is near-absolute. It also provides Hezbollah with tremendous military aid. Moreover, the movement has suffered losses in Syria, it’s most professional and best trained fighters have perished there, which weakens the organization. Therefore Hezbollah leaders have to show more flexibility and care in its dealings with Iran if differences of opinion arise.

The most likely explanation is that Hezbollah maintains considerable independence due to its exceptional political standing in the country, and of its nature as a strike force against Israel and Syria’s Sunni. Since the start of conflicts in Syria in 2011, Nasrallah tried to maintain neutrality. Hezbollah became involved only in 2013 when the situation grew out of control and there was a danger of combat spreading to Lebanon. Nasrallah stated in one of his announcements that” Iran should be viewed as the center of strategic influence in the region, as the model of a sovereign state which supports nations in their search for independence and as a force which helps countries and nations of the Middle East become stronger. Syria and Iran can’t force Hezbollah to act against its own plans. They can only argue with us and try to convince us.”

Since its independence, Lebanese government paid little attention to the problems of the southern parts of the country. Therefore Hezbollah has assumed the role of helping the poor and developing infrastructure not for self-promotion, but because it was an objective necessity. Practically since birth, a Lebanese Shia is under Hezbollah’s care. Kindergartens, clinics, schools, and institutions—all of that has been built and is financed by the movement. So it’s no surprise that the movement is hugely popular and service within its ranks is considered honorable.

One should especially note that today Hezbollah is more than a movement. Even though it has not declared sovereignty over part of the country, it has every attribute of a state. It has legislative, executive, judicial authority, institutions for the collection and distribution of taxes, its own education system, a military, intelligence and counter-intelligence, media—all of that exists and functions within the movement’s framework. Moreover, it has control over its subjects, the totality of information about them and, most importantly, it relies on their good will to work with the movement in some form. The concept of citizenship is not after all defined by a passport but by the individual’s willingness to associate to a state or a movement and be loyal to it.

Here’s what is written about it by one of Hezbollah’s ideologues and the deputy general secretary, sheikh Naim Kassem: “From the theoretical point of view, we are calling for an Islamic state, we are drawing others into that process, since only an Islamic state may facilitate the maximum of human happiness. But on the practical level this question depends on the free human choice, in addition to the Quran Ayat 2.257: There is no compulsion in religion. The correct way is quite separate from the false one. Whoever does not believe in idol worship but believes in God, has found a reliable foundation which cannot be crumbled. Verily, God is all-hearing and all-knowing.”

The victory of radical Sunni groups in Syria would mean the possibility of merciless annihilation of all other religious groups, following the Iraq scenario. After the US invasion of Iraq triggered a civil war and later the appearance of ISIS, which proved unspeakably cruel toward all other beliefs, it sent the message that in these conditions of ethnic and religious warfare, only paramilitary organizations like the Hezbollah can ensure their own survival.

Conclusion

Hezbollah’s popularity among Lebanese Shia is based on several factors: its military campaign against Israel, its wholly Lebanese nature, its role as a defender of the historically repressed Shia community, its religious nature and its wide range of social services.

Hezbollah has done more for the Shia community in Lebanon than the official government. Since the very start of its involvement in the war in Syria, the movement leaders that its fighters are defending Lebanon, Lebanese Shia, and Shia holy sites from the spread of extremist Sunni Islam, represented first and foremost by Jabhat al-Nusra and IS. According to Nasrallah, this was not a war of choice but of necessity.

Lebanese NGOs which carried out a survey in 2015 noted that 57% of respondents view the threat of radical Islam to Lebanon as real, and 80% view Hezbollah as making the life in Lebanon calmer. Lebanon today, just as the Middle East as a whole, is experiencing renewed inter-religious and inter-communal slaughter.  People living in unstable and unpredictable countries are trying to find protection and support among their own national or religious community. Therefore it is no surprise that Hezbollah enjoys such unconditional support among the Shia of Lebanon and Syria, even if they don’t fully support the movement’s aims and mission.

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