Alliel – A Window Into Tribal Arrogance

March 16, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

This video is a spectacular glimpse into Jewish Identity Politics. In the music clip, Alliel, an  arrogant yeshiva boy is subject to a historical continuum of harassment.   Seemingly, Alliel didn’t bother to ask himself why is he chased and abused time after time by so many people in so many places.  Humanity, for him, is a pictorial remote entity united by Jew hatred. For him the only thing that matters is that Am Israel Chai The Jew always prevail. But then, if this is the case, if the Jews see themselves as omnipotent superheroes why do they expect the rest of humanity to regard them as hopeless victims?


Despite UN Vote Zionist Entity Pushing for More Settler Homes – OF Detains 10 Palestinians from Occupied West Bank

Zionist Entity Pushing for More Settler Homes despite UN Vote

December 27, 2016

Israeli settlements in West Bank

The Zionist entity could advance plans this week for thousands more settlement homes in occupied east Al-Quds (Jerusalem) in defiance of a landmark UN resolution demanding an end to such activity.

It would mark the first such approvals since Friday’s UN Security Council vote demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in Palestinian territory.

The resolution, which passed after the United States took the rare move of abstaining, infuriated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who lashed out at President Barack Obama and vowed not to abide by it.

On Wednesday, an Al-Quds ‘planning’ committee is to discuss issuing building permits for 618 housing units in the mainly Palestinian eastern sector of the city, according to the Ir Amim NGO, which monitors settlement building.

Jerusalem deputy mayor Meir Turjeman, who also heads the committee, has reportedly also spoken of seeking to advance plans for some 5,600 other units at earlier stages in the process.

On Tuesday he told AFP there were no plans to call off discussions in response to the UN vote. The hundreds of building permits were on the agenda before the resolution was passed.

“We’ll discuss everything that’s on the table in a serious manner,” he said.

And on his Facebook page Turjeman: “I’m not concerned by the UN or anything else trying to dictate our actions in Jerusalem.

Source: AFP

OF Detains 10 Palestinians from Occupied West Bank 

December 28, 2016

Israeli occupation soldiers

Zionist forces detained 10 Palestinians from the West Bank in raids, five of them from the Jenin area, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Wednesday.

It said among the five arrested from the Jenin area, two were former prisoners, one of them had served eight years in prison and the other four years, WAFA reported.

The PPS said three Palestinians were detained during a large-scale army operation in the Northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Two more from the Ramallah area were also detained, one of them a 17-year-old minor.

Source: Agencies

Hizbullah & «Israel»: 10 Years On

Darko Lazar 

An elderly woman stood in defiance of the years that had weathered her increasingly frail body, her face red with rage amidst the rising smoke and the remains of her devastated house. She screamed at the top of her lungs, her voice uncompromisingly steadfast in delivering the incisive statement.

“Sayyed Hassan made the whole nation proud. My house is gone… my house in the village is also gone. It is [all] a sacrifice for the sake of the resistance.”

Kemle Samhat has passed on since her words in the wake of “Israel’s” 34-day aggression on Lebanon in 2006, but they live on nonetheless, resonating with relevance 10 years later. What’s more, they have in many ways come to define the narrative that has shaped the conflict and its aftermath.

The brutal “Israeli” offensive devastated Lebanon’s population and infrastructure, and yet the suffering imparted must be understood in the context of the relationship between sacrifice and victory.

A decade later, we commemorate a triumph of a war that, in fact, never ended. Its flames rage on in Syria, fanned by the victory that Hizbullah inflicted upon its Zionist foe, and that irrevocably altered “Israeli” strategy and geopolitical regional realities.

The Hizbullah-“Israel” Transformation

Away from all the mythology and talk of divine intervention, Israel’s inability to achieve any of its stated military objectives during its attack on Lebanon in the summer of 2006 put a serious dent in the Anglo-American-“Israeli” “military roadmap” for the region, which came to be known as the “New Middle East”.

The new regional geopolitical realities that emerged – thanks in no small part to Hizbullah’s victory in 2006, as well as the resistance movement’s present-day role in Syria – forced both Washington and Tel Aviv to give up their quest for regional dominance and settle for mere influence.

“The rules of the game have changed and the “Israelis” no longer have the upper hand,” said Omar Nashabe, a Beirut-based journalist, who writes for the Al-Akhbar newspaper.

The “Israeli” public agrees.

Many taxpayers in “Israel” have become a lot more critical of the performance of their armed forces, seemingly having a tough time understanding why a military with an annual budget of around $8 billion lost a war against a far smaller and less technologically advanced opponent like Hizbullah.

Nashabe believes that, “the “Israelis” are now on the defensive following a string of defeats.”

A new five-year plan designed to ‘reform’ the “Israeli” military suggests that Nashabe is right on the money.

The architect of this plan, Gadi Eisenkot – chief of staff of the “Israeli” military since February 2015 – is promising to cut 5,000 men from a 45,000-strong officer corps, as well as remove tens of thousands of soldiers from the military’s reserve units.

Eisenkot is allocating millions of dollars to “Israel’s” cyber warfare and intelligence units. But what is perhaps most interesting is the decision to refocus the “Israeli” army’s training on countering guerilla-style opponents. Tel Aviv is updating the structure of its ground forces, which includes the revision of operational plans for ‘defending’ “Israel’s” borders. Only elite commando units are being primed for offensive action.

The planned reforms due to go into effect by 2017 appear to be a direct response to statements made by Hizbullah’s Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Earlier this year, Sayyed Nasrallah pledged to up the ante in any future war with the “Israelis”, warning that Hizbullah would invade the northern “Israeli” region of Galilee. In the event of any new “Israeli” attack, Hizbullah has also threatened to retaliate by striking “Israeli” nuclear sites and firing rockets at chemical storage tanks in Haifa, which houses much of “Israel’s” heavy industry.

The “Israelis” have good reason to worry.

In 2006, Hizbullah launched an estimated 4,200 missiles and rockets at targets in “Israel.” Today, the resistance group has reportedly amassed between 100,000 and 150,000 projectiles that are even more advanced.

“In 2006, Hizbullah fought a guerrilla war. Today, Hizbullah is like a conventional army,” says retired Lebanese army general, Elias Hanna.

In fact, since 2006, Hizbullah has morphed into a regional superpower, fighting foreign-backed militant groups on multiple fronts. Its commanders have emerged from battlefields in Syria and Iraq with invaluable combat experience, effectively transforming Lebanon into a death trap for any potential “Israeli” military incursion.

For the “Israeli” armed forces – which often put the Zionist PR machine to great use, portraying Hizbullah as being bogged down in the “Syria quagmire” – Hizbullah’s regional successes couldn’t come at a worse time.

Today the whole of “Israel” is living on former ‘glory’ – for lack of a better term for decades of despicable war crimes. “Israel” has never been more polarized both politically and socially. Its economy is in disarray, it faces growing international isolation and the Netanyahu government is resorting to increasingly authoritarian means to stifle political opponents.

In his quest for power, Netanyahu is now playing on – if not fueling – domestic divisions between the Mizrahim/Zionist radical, far-right and the more ‘secular’ left leaning liberals.

The polarization has also infected the “Israeli” military.

In May of this year, Eisenkot’s deputy, Major General Yari Golan slammed the far-right comparing contemporary “Israel” to Nazi Germany. He claimed to recognize some similarities between what is happening in “Israel” today and “the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and particularly in Germany… 70, 80, 90 years ago.”

The ten-year commemoration of “Israel’s” attack on Lebanon paved the way for fresh speculation over the possibility of ‘2006 war 2.0′. But if the transformations of both Hizbullah and “Israel” over the course of the past decade are anything to go by, there will never be ‘another 2006 war’.

A military confrontation between these foes is always possible – and ongoing along Syria’s frontlines – but the current conditions in the region, Hizbullah’s exponential growth and “Israel’s” internal problems will continue to serve as deterrents for an all-out war for the foreseeable future.

Source: Al-Ahed News

20-08-2016 | 09:28


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HOW HEZBOLLAH DEFEATED ISRAEL كيف هَزَمَ حزبُ الله «إسرائيل»؟


PART 1: Winning the intelligence war
By Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry


Writing five years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, US military expert Anthony Cordesman published an account of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. “Preliminary Lessons of the Israeli-Hezbollah War” created enormous interest in the Pentagon, where it was studied by planners for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and passed hand-to-hand among military experts in Washington. Cordesman made no secret of his modest conclusions, rightly recognizing that his study was not only “preliminary”, but that it took no account of how Hezbollah fought the conflict or judged its results.

“This analysis is … limited,” Cordesman noted, “by the fact that no matching visit was made to Lebanon and to the Hezbollah.” Incomplete though it might have been, Cordesman’s study accomplished two goals: it provided a foundation for understanding the war from the Israeli point of view and it raisedquestions on how and how well Hezbollah fought. Nearly two months after the end of the Israeli-Hezbollah war, it is now possible to fill in some of the lines left blank by Cordesman.

The portrait that we give here is also limited. Hezbollah officials will neither speak publicly nor for the record on how they fought the conflict, will not detail their deployments, and will not discuss their future strategy. Even so, the lessons of the war from Hezbollah’s perspective are now beginning to emerge and some small lessons are being derived from it by US and Israeli strategic planners. Our conclusions are based on on-the-ground assessments conducted during the course of the war, on interviews with Israeli, American and European military experts, on emerging understandings of the conflict in discussions with military strategists, and on a network of senior officials in the Middle East who were intensively interested in the war’s outcome and with whom we have spoken.

Our overall conclusion contradicts the current point of view being retailed by some White House and Israeli officials: that Israel’s offensive in Lebanon significantly damaged Hezbollah’s ability to wage war, that Israel successfully degraded Hezbollah’s military ability to prevail in a future conflict, and that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), once deployed in large numbers in southern Lebanon, were able to prevail over their foes and dictate a settlement favorable to the Israeli political establishment.

Just the opposite is true. From the onset of the conflict to its last operations, Hezbollah commanders successfully penetrated Israel’s strategic and tactical decision-making cycle across a spectrum of intelligence, military and political operations, with the result that Hezbollah scored a decisive and complete victory in its war with Israel.

The intelligence war
In the wake of the conflict, Hezbollah general secretary Hassan Nasrallah admitted that Israel’s military response to the abduction of two of its soldiers and the killing of eight others at 9:04 on the morning of July 12 came as a surprise to the Hezbollah leadership.

Nasrallah’s comment ended press reports that Hezbollah set out purposely to provoke a war with Israel and that the abductions had been part of a plan approved by Hezbollah and Iran. While Hezbollah had made it clear over a period of years that it intended to abduct Israeli soldiers, there was good reason to suppose that it would not do so in the middle of the summer months – when large numbers of affluent Shi’ite families from the diaspora would be visiting Lebanon (and spending their money in the Shi’ite community), and when Gulf Arabs were expected to arrive in large numbers in the country.

Nor is it the case, as was initially reported, that Hezbollah coordinated its activities with Hamas. Hamas was taken by surprise by the abductions and, while the Hamas leadership defended Hezbollah actions, in hindsight it is easy to see why they might not have been pleased by them: over the course of the conflict Israel launched multiple military operations against Hamas in Gaza, killing dozens of fighters and scores of civilians. The offensive went largely unnoticed in the West, thereby resuscitating the adage that “when the Middle East burns, the Palestinians are forgotten”.

In truth, the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others took the Hezbollah leadership by surprise and was effected only because Hezbollah units on the Israeli border had standing orders to exploit Israeli military weaknesses. Nasrallah had himself long signaled Hezbollah’s intent to kidnap Israeli soldiers, after former prime minister Ariel Sharon reneged on fulfilling his agreement to release all Hezbollah prisoners – three in all – during the last Hezbollah-Israeli prisoner exchange.

The abductions were, in fact, all too easy: Israeli soldiers near the border apparently violated standing operational procedures, left their vehicles in sight of Hezbollah emplacements, and did so while out of contact with higher-echelon commanders and while out of sight of covering fire.

We note that while the Western media consistently misreported the events on the Israeli-Lebanon border, Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper substantially confirmed this account: “A force of tanks and armored personnel carriers was immediately sent into Lebanon in hot pursuit. It was during this pursuit, at about 11am … [a] Merkava tank drove over a powerful bomb, containing an estimated 200 to 300 kilograms of explosives, about 70 meters north of the border fence. The tank was almost completely destroyed, and all four crew members were killed instantly. Over the next several hours, IDF soldiers waged a fierce fight against Hezbollah gunmen … During the course of this battle, at about 3pm, another soldier was killed and two were lightly wounded.”

The abductions marked the beginning of a series of IDF blunders that were compounded by commanders who acted outside of their normal border procedures. Members of the patrol were on the last days of their deployment in the north and their guard was down. Nor is it the case that Hezbollah fighters killed the eight Israelis during their abduction of the two. The eight died when an IDF border commander, apparently embarrassed by his abrogation of standing procedures, ordered armored vehicles to pursue the kidnappers. The two armored vehicles ran into a network of Hezbollah anti-tank mines and were destroyed. The eight IDF soldiers died during this operation or as a result of combat actions that immediately followed it.

That an IDF unit could wander so close to the border without being covered by fire and could leave itself open to a Hezbollah attack has led Israeli officers to question whether the unit was acting outside the chain of command. An internal commission of inquiry was apparently convened by senior IDF commanders in the immediate aftermath of the incident to determine the facts in the matter and to review IDF procedures governing units acting along Israel’s northern border. The results of that commission’s findings have not yet been reported.

Despite being surprised by the Israeli response, Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon were placed on full alert within minutes of the kidnappings and arsenal commanders were alerted by their superiors. Hezbollah’s robust and hardened defenses were the result of six years of diligent work, beginning with the Israeli withdrawal from the region in 2000. Many of the command bunkers designed and built by Hezbollah engineers were fortified, and a few were even air-conditioned.

The digging of the arsenals over the previous years had been accompanied by a program of deception, with some bunkers being constructed in the open and often under the eyes of Israeli drone vehicles or under the observation of Lebanese citizens with close ties to the Israelis. With few exceptions, these bunkers were decoys. The building of other bunkers went forward in areas kept hidden from the Lebanese population. The most important command bunkers and weapons-arsenal bunkers were dug deeply into Lebanon’s rocky hills – to a depth of 40 meters. Nearly 600 separate ammunition and weapons bunkers were strategically placed in the region south of the Litani.

For security reasons, no single commander knew the location of each bunker and each distinct Hezbollah militia unit was assigned access to three bunkers only – a primary munitions bunker and two reserve bunkers, in case the primary bunker was destroyed. Separate primary and backup marshaling points were also designated for distinct combat units, which were tasked to arm and fight within specific combat areas. The security protocols for the marshaling of troops was diligently maintained. No single Hezbollah member had knowledge of the militia’s entire bunker structure.

Hezbollah’s primary arsenals and marshaling points were targeted by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in the first 72 hours of the war. Israel’s commanders had identified these bunkers through a mix of intelligence reports – signals intercepts from Hezbollah communications, satellite-reconnaissance photos gleaned from cooperative arrangements with the US military, photos analyzed as a result of IAF overflights of the region, photos from drone aircraft deployed over southern Lebanon and, most important, a network of trusted human-intelligence sources recruited by Israeli intelligence officers living in southern Lebanon, including a large number of foreign (non-Lebanese) nationals registered as guest workers in the country.

The initial attack on Hezbollah’s marshaling points and major bunker complexes, which took place in the first 72 hours of the war, failed. On July 15, the IAF targeted Hezbollah’s leadership in Beirut. This attack also failed. At no point during the war was any major Hezbollah political figure killed, despite Israel’s constant insistence that the organization’s senior leadership had suffered losses.

According to one US official who observed the war closely, the IAF’s air offensive degraded “perhaps only 7%” of the total military resource assets available to Hezbollah’s fighters in the first three days of fighting and added that, in his opinion, Israeli air attacks on the Hezbollah leadership were “absolutely futile”.

Reports that the Hezbollah senior leadership had taken refuge in the Iranian Embassy in Beirut (untouched during Israel’s aerial offensive) are not true, though it is not known precisely where the Hezbollah leadership did take shelter. “Not even I knew where I was,” Hezbollah leader Nasrallah told one of his associates. Even with all of this, it is not the case that the Israeli military’s plans to destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure resulted from the IAF’s inability to degrade Hezbollah’s military capacity in the war’s first days.

The Israeli military’s plans called for an early and sustained bombardment of Lebanon’s major highways and ports in addition to its plans to destroy Hezbollah military and political assets. The Israeli government made no secret of its intent – to undercut Hezbollah’s support in the Christian, Sunni and Druze communities. That idea, to punish Lebanon for harboring Hezbollah and so turn the people against the militia, had been a part of Israel’s plan since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

While IDF officials confidently and publicly announced success in their offensive, their commanders recommended that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approve increased air sorties against potential Hezbollah caches in marginal target areas at the end of the first week of the bombing. Olmert approved these attacks, while knowing that in making such a request his senior officers had all but admitted that their initial assessment of the damage inflicted on Hezbollah was exaggerated.

Qana was the result of Olmert’s agreement to “stretch the target envelope”. One US military expert who monitored the conflict closely had this to say of the Qana bombing: “This isn’t really that complicated. After the failure of the initial campaign, IAF planning officers went back through their target folders to see if they had missed anything. When they decided they hadn’t, someone probably stood up and went into the other room and returned with a set of new envelopes of targets in densely populated areas and said, ‘Hey, what about these target envelopes?’ And so they did it.” That is, the bombing of targets “close in” to southern Lebanon population areas was the result of Israel’s failure in the war – not its success.

The “target stretching” escalated throughout the conflict; frustrated by their inability to identify and destroy major Hezbollah military assets, the IAF began targeting schools, community centers and mosques – under the belief that their inability to identify and interdict Hezbollah bunkers signaled Hezbollah’s willingness to hide their major assets inside civilian centers.

IAF officers also argued that Hezbollah’s ability to continue its rocket attacks on Israel meant that its militia was being continually resupplied. Qana is a crossroads, the junction of five separate highways, and in the heart of Hezbollah territory. Interdicting the Qana supply chain provided the IAF the opportunity to prove that Hezbollah was only capable of sustaining its operations because of its supply-dependence on the crossroads town. In truth, however, IDF senior commanders knew that expanding the number of targets in Lebanon would probably do little to degrade Hezbollah capabilities because Hezbollah was maintaining its attacks without any hope of resupply and because of its dependence on weapons and rocket caches that had been hardened against Israeli interdiction. In the wake of Qana, in which 28 civilians were killed, Israel agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire.

The ceasefire provided the first evidence that Hezbollah had successfully withstood Israeli air attacks and was planning a sustained and prolonged defense of southern Lebanon. Hezbollah commanders honored the ceasefire at the orders of their political superiors. With one or two lone exceptions, no rockets were fired into Israel during this ceasefire period. While Hezbollah’s capacity actually to “cease fire” was otherwise ignored by Israeli and Western intelligence experts, Hezbollah’s ability to enforce discipline on its field commanders came as a distinctly unwanted shock to IDF senior commanders, who concluded that Hezbollah’s communication’s capabilities had survived Israel’s air onslaught, that the Hezbollah leadership was in touch with its commanders on the ground, and that those commanders were able to maintain a robust communications network despite Israeli interdiction.

More simply, Hezbollah’s ability to cease fire meant that Israel’s goal of separating Hezbollah fighters from their command structure (considered a necessity by modern armies in waging a war on a sophisticated technological battlefield) had failed. The IDF’s senior commanders could only come to one conclusion – its prewar information on Hezbollah military assets was, at best, woefully incomplete or, at worst, fatally wrong.

In fact, over a period of two years, Hezbollah intelligence officials had built a significant signals-counterintelligence capability. Throughout the war, Hezbollah commanders were able to predict when and where Israeli fighters and bombers would strike. Moreover, Hezbollah had identified key Israeli human-intelligence assets in Lebanon. One month prior to the abduction of the IDF border patrol and the subsequent Israeli attack, Lebanese intelligence officials had broken up an Israeli spy ring operating inside the country.

Lebanese (and Hezbollah) intelligence officials arrested at least 16 Israeli spies in Lebanon, though they failed to find or arrest the leader of the ring. Moreover, during two years from 2004 until the eve of the war, Hezbollah had successfully “turned” a number of Lebanese civilian assets reporting on the location of major Hezbollah military caches in southern Lebanon to Israeli intelligence officers. In some small number of crucially important cases, Hezbollah senior intelligence officials were able to “feed back” false information on their militia’s most important emplacements to Israel – with the result that Israel target folders identified key emplacements that did not, in fact, exist.

Finally, Hezbollah’s ability to intercept and “read” Israeli actions had a decisive impact on the coming ground war. Hezbollah intelligence officials had perfected their signals-intelligence capability to such an extent that they could intercept Israeli ground communications between Israeli military commanders. Israel, which depended on a highly sophisticated set of “frequency hopping” techniques that would allow their commanders to communicate with one another, underestimated Hezbollah’s ability to master counter-signals technology. The result would have a crucial impact on Israel’s calculation that surprise alone would provide the margin of victory for its soldiers.

It now is clear that the Israeli political establishment was shocked by the failure of its forces to accomplish its first military goals in the war – including the degradation of a significant number of Hezbollah arsenals and the destruction of Hezbollah’s command capabilities.

But the Israeli political establishment had done almost nothing to prepare for the worst: the first meeting of the Israeli security cabinet in the wake of the July 12 abduction lasted only three hours. And while Olmert and his security cabinet demanded minute details of the IDF’s plan for the first three days of the war, they failed to articulate clear political goals in the aftermath of the conflict or sketch out a political exit strategy should the offensive fail.

Olmert and the security cabinet violated the first principle of war – they showed contempt for their enemy. In many respects, Olmert and his cabinet were captives of an unquestioned belief in the efficacy of Israeli deterrence. Like the Israeli public, they viewed any questioning of IDF capabilities as sacrilege.

The Israeli intelligence failure during the conflict was catastrophic. It meant that, after the failure of Israel’s air campaign to degrade Hezbollah assets significantly in the first 72 hours of the war, Israel’s chance of winning a decisive victory against Hezbollah was increasingly, and highly, unlikely.

“Israel lost the war in the first three days,” one US military expert said. “If you have that kind of surprise and you have that kind of firepower, you had better win. Otherwise, you’re in for the long haul.”

IDF senior officers concluded that, given the failure of the air campaign, they had only one choice – to invade Lebanon with ground troops in the hopes of destroying Hezbollah’s will to prevail.

Next: Winning the ground war

PART 2: Winning the ground war
By Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry

(For Part 1 in this three-part series, Winning the intelligence war, click here.)

Israel’s decision to launch a ground war to accomplish what its air force had failed to do was made hesitantly and haphazardly. While Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) units had been making forays into southern Lebanon during the second week of the conflict, the Israeli military leadership remained undecided over when and where – even whether – to deploy their ground units.

In part, the army’s indecisiveness over when, where and whether to deploy its major ground units was a function of the air force’s claims to victory. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) kept claiming that it would succeed from the air – in just one more day, and then another. This indecision was mirrored by the Western media’suncertainty about when a ground campaign would take place – or whether in fact it had already occurred.

Senior Israeli officers continued to tell their press contacts that the timing of a ground offensive was a tightly kept secret when, in fact, they didn’t know themselves. The hesitation was also the result of the experience of small IDF units that had already penetrated beyond the border. Special IDF units operating in southern Lebanon were reporting to their commanders as early as July 18 that Hezbollah units were fighting tenaciously to hold their positions on the first ridgeline overlooking Israel.

At this point, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a political decision: he would deploy the full might of the IDF to defeat Hezbollah at the same time that his top aides signaled Israel’s willingness to accept a ceasefire and the deployment of an international force. Olmert determined that Israel should not tip its hand – it would accept the deployment of a United Nations force, but only as a last resort.

First, he decided, Israel would say that it would accept a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) force. In keeping with this strategy, Israeli reserve forces were called to the front on July 21. The surprise call-up (the IDF was to defeat Hezbollah first from the air, and then – if that failed – use its regular forces, with no reserve forces to be called) made the initial deployment of the reserves hurried and uncoordinated. (It is, to repeat, likely that Israel did not believe it would have to call on its reserves during the conflict, or it would have called them much earlier.)

Moreover, the decision to call the reserves took key senior reserve officers, usually the first to be notified of a pending call-up, by surprise. The reserve call-up was handled chaotically – with the reserve “tail” of logistical support lagging some 24-48 hours behind the deployment of reserve forces.

The July 21 call-up was a clear sign to military strategists in the Pentagon that Israel’s war was not going well. It also helps to explain why Israeli reserve troops arrived at the front without the necessary equipment, without a coherent battle plan, and without the munitions necessary to carry on the fight. (Throughout the conflict, Israel struggled to provide adequate support to its reserve forces: food, ammunition and even water supplies reached units a full 24-48 hours behind a unit’s appearance at its assigned northern deployment zones.)

The effect of this was immediately perceived by military observers. “Israeli troops looked unprepared, sloppy and demoralized,” one former senior US commander noted. “This wasn’t the vaunted IDF that we saw in previous wars.”

In keeping with Olmert’s political ploy, the IDF’s goal of the total destruction of Hezbollah was also being markedly scaled back. “There is one line between our military objectives and our political objectives,” Brigadier-General Ido Nehushtan, a member of Israel’s general staff, said on the day after the reserve call-up. “The goal is not necessarily to eliminate every Hezbollah rocket. What we must do is disrupt the military logic of Hezbollah. I would say that this is still not a matter of days away.”

This was a decidedly strange way of presenting a military strategy – to conduct a war to “disrupt the military logic” of an enemy. Nehushtan’s statement had a chilling effect on IDF ground commanders, who wondered exactly what the war’s goals were. But other IDF commanders were upbeat – while the IAF had failed to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli cities, fewer rockets were fired at Israel from July 19-21 than at any other time (a very small number on July 19, perhaps as few as 40 on July 20 and 50 on July 22).

July 22 also marks the first time that the United States responded militarily to the conflict. Late on the day of the 21st, the White House received a request from Olmert and the IDF for the provision of large amounts of precision-guided munitions – another telltale sign that the IAF had failed in its mission to degrade Hezbollah military assets significantly during the opening rounds of the war.

The request was quickly approved and the munitions were shipped to Israel beginning on the morning of July 22. Senior Pentagon officials were dismayed by the shipment, as it meant that Israel had expended most of its munitions in the war’s first 10 days – an enormous targeting expenditure that suggested Israel had abandoned tactical bombing of Hezbollah assets and was poised for an onslaught on what remained of Lebanon’s infrastructure, a strategy that had not worked during World War II, when the United States and Britain destroyed Germany’s 66 major population centers without any discernable impact either on German morale or military capabilities.

But there was little grumbling in the Pentagon, though one former serving officer observed that the deployment of US munitions to Israel was reminiscent of a similar request made by Israel in 1973 – at the height of the Yom Kippur War. “This can only mean one thing,” this officer said at the time. “They’re on the ropes.”

In spite of its deep misgivings about the Israeli response (and the misgivings, though unreported, were deep and significant – and extended even into the upper echelons of the US Air Force), senior US military officers kept their views out of public view. And for good reason: criticism of Israel for requesting a shipment of arms during the 1973 war led to the resignation of then Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) chairman General George Brown. Brown was enraged that US weapons and munitions were being sent to Israel at the same time that American commanders in Vietnam were protesting a lack of supplies in their war in Southeast Asia.

The current JCS chairman, Peter Pace, who remained notably silent during the Israeli-Hezbollah war, understood history, saluted, and remained silent. But the JCS and senior military commanders were not the only US officials who were worried about Israel’s performance. While the new US munitions were winging their way to Israel (via Prestwick, Scotland), intelligence officials were conducting initial assessments of the war’s opening days, including one noting that in spite of the sustained Israeli air offensive, Al-Manar was still broadcasting in Beirut, though the IAF had destroyed the broadcast bands of Lebanon’s other major networks. (This would remain true throughout the war – Al-Manar never went off the air.) How effective could the Israeli air campaign have been if they couldn’t even knock out a television station’s transmissions?

The call-up of Israel’s reserves was meant to buttress forces already fighting in southern Lebanon, and to add weight to the ground assault. On July 22, Hezbollah units of the Nasr Brigade fought the IDF street-to-street in Maroun al-Ras. While the IDF claimed at the end of the day that it had taken the town, it had not. The fighting had been bloody, but Hezbollah fighters had not been dislodged. Many of the Nasr Brigade’s soldiers had spent countless days waiting for the Israeli assault and, because of Hezbollah’s ability to intercept IDF military communications, Israeli soldiers bumped up against units that were well entrenched.

IDF detachments continually failed to flank the defenders, meeting counterpunches toward the west of the city. Special three-man hunter-killer teams from the Nasr Brigade destroyed several Israeli armored vehicles during the fight with light man-made anti-tank missiles. “We knew they were going to do this,” Ilay Talmor, an exhausted Israeli second lieutenant, said at the time. “This is territory they say is theirs. We would do the same thing if someone came into our country.”

While the IDF continued to insist that its incursions would be “limited in scope”, despite the recall of thousands of reserve troops, IDF battalions began to form south of the border. “We are not preparing for an invasion of Lebanon,” said Avi Pazner, a senior Israeli government spokesman. The IDF then called Maroun al-Ras its “first foothold” in southern Lebanon. “A combination of air force, artillery and ground-force pressure will push Hezbollah out without arriving at the point where we have to invade and occupy,” Pazner said.

The difference between “pushing” out a force and invading and occupying a town was thereby set, another clear signal to US military experts that the IDF could enter a town but could not occupy it. One US officer schooled in US military history compared the IDF’s foray into southern Lebanon to Robert E Lee’s bloody attack on Union positions at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War. “Oh I can get there, all right,” Lee’s lieutenant said during that war, “it’s staying there that’s the problem.”

After-battle reports of Hezbollah commanders now confirm that IDF troops never fully secured the border area and Maroun al-Ras was never fully taken. Nor did Hezbollah ever feel the need to call up its reserves, as Israel had done. “The entire war was fought by one Hezbollah brigade of 3,000 troops, and no more,” one military expert in the region said. “The Nasr Brigade fought the entire war. Hezbollah never felt the need to reinforce it.”

Reports from Lebanon underscore this point. Much to their surprise, Hezbollah commanders found that Israeli troops were poorly organized and disciplined. The only Israeli unit that performed up to standards was the Golani Brigade, according to Lebanese observers. The IDF was “a motley assortment”, one official with a deep knowledge of US slang reported. “But that’s what happens when you have spent four decades firing rubber bullets at women and children in the West Bank and Gaza.”

IDF commanders were also disturbed by the performance of their troops, noting a signal lack of discipline even among its best-trained regular soldiers. The reserves were worse, and IDF commanders hesitated to put them into battle.

On July 25, Olmert’s strategy of backing down from a claimed goal to destroy Hezbollah was in full force. The Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz was the bearer of these tidings, saying that Israel’s current goal was to create a “security zone” in southern Lebanon. His words were accompanied by a threat: “If there is not a multinational force that will get in to control the fences, we will continue to control with our fire towards anyone that gets close to the defined security zone, and they will know that they can be hurt.”

Gone quite suddenly was a claim that Israel would destroy Hezbollah; gone too was a claim that only NATO would be acceptable as a peacekeeping unit on the border. On July 25, Israel also reported that Abu Jaafar, a commander of Hezbollah’s “central sector” on the Lebanese border, was killed “in an exchange of fire” with Israeli troops near the border village of Maroun al-Ras – which had not yet been taken. The report was not true. Abu Jaafar made public comments after the end of the war.

Later on July 25, during US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Jerusalem, the Israeli military fought its way into Bint Jbeil, calling it “Hezbollah’s terror capital”. The fight for Bint Jbeil went on for nine days. But it remained in Hezbollah hands until the end of the conflict. By then, the town had been destroyed, as Hezbollah fighters were able to survive repeated air and artillery shellings, retreating into their bunkers during the worst of the air and artillery campaign, and only emerging when IDF troops in follow-on operations tried to claim the city.

The Hezbollah tactics were reminiscent of those followed by the North Vietnamese Army during the opening days of the Vietnam conflict – when NVA commanders told their troops that they needed to “ride out the bombs” and then fight the Americans in small unit actions. “You must grab them by their belt buckles,” a Vietnamese commander said in describing these tactics.

On July 24, as yet another sign of its looming failure in Lebanon, Israel deployed the first of thousands of cluster munitions against what it called “Hezbollah emplacements” in southern Lebanon. Cluster munitions are an effective, if vicious, combat tool and those nations that use them, including every single member of NATO (as well as Russia and China), have consistently refused to enter an international agreement banning their use.

The most responsible nation-states that use them, however, “double fuse” their munitions to cut down on the failure rate of the “bomblets” after they have been deployed. During the administration of US president Bill Clinton, defense secretary William Cohen agreed to the double-fusing of US cluster munitions and a phase-out of the “high dud rate” munitions in the US stockpile, which was intended to cut the failure rate of these munitions from 14% (some estimates are higher) to less than 3% (though some estimates are lower).

While investigations into Israel’s use of these munitions is not yet complete, it now appears that the IDF deployed single-fused munitions. Recent reports in the Israeli press indicate that artillery officers carpeted dozens of Lebanese villages with the bomblets – as close to the definition of the “indiscriminate” use of firepower as one can get.

The Israeli munitions may well have been purchased from aging US stockpiles that were not double-fused, making the United States complicit in this indiscriminate targeting. Such a conclusion seems to fit with the time-line of the resupply of munitions to Israel on July 22. The IDF may well have been able to offload these munitions and deploy them quickly enough to have created the cluster-munitions crisis in Lebanon that plagues that nation still – and that started on July 24.

On July 26, IDF officials conceded that the previous 24 hours in their fight for Bint Jbail was “the hardest day of fighting in southern Lebanon”. After failing to take the town from Hezbollah in the morning, IDF commanders decided to send in their elite Golani Brigade. In two hours in the afternoon, nine Golani Brigade soldiers were killed and 22 were wounded. Late in the afternoon, the IDF deployed its elite Paratroopers Brigade to Maroun al-Ras, where fighting with elements of the Nasr Brigade was in its third day.

On July 27, in response to the failure of its units to take these cities, the Israeli government agreed to a call-up of three more reserve divisions – a full 15,000 troops. By July 28, however, it was becoming clear just how severe the failure of the IAF had been in its attempts to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks. On that day, Hezbollah deployed a new rocket, the Khaibar-1, which hit Afula.

On July 28, the severity of Israel’s intelligence failures finally reached the Israeli public. On that day, Mossad officials leaked information that, by their estimate, Hezbollah had not suffered a significant degradation in its military capabilities, and that the organization might be able to carry on the conflict for several more months. The IDF disagreed, stating that Hezbollah had been severely damaged. The first cracks in the Israeli intelligence community were beginning to show.

Experts in the US were also beginning to question Israel’s strategy and capability. The conservative Brookings Institution published a commentary by Philip H Gordon (who blamed Hezbollah for the crisis) advising, “The issue is not whether Hezbollah is responsible for this crisis – it is – or whether Israel has the right to defend itself – it does – but whether this particular strategy [of a sustained air campaign] will work. It will not. It will not render Hezbollah powerless, because it is simply impossible to eliminate thousands of small, mobile, hidden and easily resupplied rockets via an air campaign.”

Gordan’s commentary reflected the views of an increasing number of military officers, who were scrambling to dust off their own air plans in the case of a White House order targeting Iranian nuclear sites. “There is a common misperception that the [US] Air Force was thrilled by the Israeli war against Lebanon,” one Middle East expert with access to senior Pentagon officials told us. “They were aghast. They well know the limits of their own power and they know how it can be abused.

“It seemed to them [USAF officers] that Israel threw away the book in Lebanon. This wasn’t surgical, it wasn’t precise, and it certainly wasn’t smart. You can’t just coat a country in iron and hope to win.”

The cold, harsh numbers of the war point up the fallacy of the Israeli air and ground campaign. Hezbollah had secreted upwards of 18,000 rockets in its arsenals prior to the conflict. These sites were hardened against Israeli air strikes and easily survived the air campaign. Hezbollah officials calculated that from the time of firing until the IAF was able to identify and deploy fighters to take out the mobile rockets was 90 seconds. Through years of diligent training, Hezbollah rocket teams had learned to deploy, fire and safely cover their mobile launchers in less than 60 seconds, with the result that IAF planes and helicopters (which Israel has in much fewer numbers than it boasts) could not stop Hezbollah’s continued rocket fire at Israel (“Israel is about three helicopters away from a total disaster,” one US military officer commented).

Hezbollah fired about 4,000 rockets at Israel (a more precise, though uncertain, figure calculates the firing of 4,180 rockets), bringing its stockpiles down to 14,000 rockets – enough to prosecute the war for at least three more months.

Moreover, and more significant, Hezbollah’s fighters proved to be dedicated and disciplined. Using intelligence assets to pinpoint Israeli infantry penetrations, they proved the equal of Israel’s best fighting units. In some cases, Israeli units were defeated on the field of battle, forced into sudden retreats or forced to rely on air cover to save elements from being overrun. Even toward the end of the war, on August 9, the IDF announced that 15 of its reserve soldiers were killed and 40 wounded in fighting in the villages of Marjayoun, Khiam and Kila – a stunning casualty rate for a marginal piece of real estate.

The robust Hezbollah defense was also taking its toll on Israeli armor. When Israel finally agreed to a ceasefire and began its withdrawal from the border area, it left behind upwards of 40 armored vehicles, nearly all of them destroyed by expertly deployed AT-3 “Sagger” anti-tank missiles – which is the NATO name for the Russian-made vehicle- or man-deployed, wire-guided, second-generation 9M14 Malyutka – or “Little Baby”.

With a range of 3 kilometers, the Sagger proved enormously successful in taking on Israeli tanks, a fact that must have given Israeli armor commanders fits, in large part because the Sagger missile deployed by Hezbollah is an older version (developed and deployed in 1973) of a more modern version that is more easily hidden and deployed and has a larger warhead. If the IDF could not protect its armor against the 1973 “second generation” version, IDF commanders must now be wondering how it can possibly protect itself against a version that is more modern, more sophisticated, and more deadly.

Prior to the implementation of the ceasefire, the Israeli political establishment decided that it would “clear drop” Israeli paratroopers in key areas along the Litani River. The decision was apparently made to convince the international community that the rules of engagement for a UN force should extend from the Litani south. Such a claim could not be made unless Israel could credibly claim to have cleared that part of Lebanon to the Litani.

A significant number of Israeli forces were airlifted into key areas just south of the Litani to accomplish this goal. The decision might well have led to a disaster. Most of the Israeli forces airlifted to these sites were immediately surrounded by Hezbollah units and may well have been decisively mauled had a ceasefire not gone into effect. The political decision angered retired IDF officers, one of whom accused Olmert of “spinning the military” – using the military for public relations purposes.

Perhaps the most telling sign of Israel’s military failure comes in counting the dead and wounded. Israel now claims that it killed about 400-500 Hezbollah fighters, while its own losses were significantly less. But a more precise accounting shows that Israeli and Hezbollah casualties were nearly even. It is impossible for Shi’ites (and Hezbollah) not to allow an honorable burial for its martyrs, so in this case it is simply a matter of counting funerals. Fewer than 180 funerals have been held for Hezbollah fighters – nearly equal to the number killed on the Israeli side. That number may be revised upward: our most recent information from Lebanon says the number of Shi’ite martyr funerals in the south can now be precisely tabulated at 184.

But by any accounting – whether in rockets, armored vehicles or numbers of dead and wounded – Hezbollah’s fight against Israel must be accorded a decisive military and political victory. Even if it were otherwise (and it is clearly not), the full impact of Hezbollah’s war with Israel over a period of 34 days in July and August has caused a political earthquake in the region.

Hezbollah’s military defeat of Israel was decisive, but its political defeat of the United States – which unquestioningly sided with Israel during the conflict and refused to bring it to an end – was catastrophic and has had a lasting impact on US prestige in the region.

Next: How Hezbollah won the political war

PART 3: The political war
By Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry

(For Part 1 in this three-part series, Winning the intelligence war, click here.
For Part 2, The ground war, please click here.)

In the wake of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, a public poll in Egypt asked a cross-section of that country’s citizenry to name the two political leaders they most admired. An overwhelming number
named Hassan Nasrallah. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad finished second.

The poll was a clear repudiation not only of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had made his views against Hezbollah known at the outset of the conflict, but of those Sunni leaders, including Saudi King Abdullah and Jordan’s Abdullah II, who criticized the Shi’ite group in an avowed attempt to turn the Sunni world away from support of Iran.

“By the end of the war these guys were scrambling for the exits,” one US diplomat from the region said in late August. “You haven’t heard much from them lately, have you?”

Mubarak and the two Abdullahs are not the only ones scrambling for the exits – the United States’ foreign policy in the region, even in light of its increasingly dire deployment in Iraq, is in a shambles. “What that means is that all the doors are closed to us, in Cairo, in Amman, in Saudi Arabia,” another diplomat averred. “Our access has been curtailed. No one will see us. When we call no one picks up the phone.”

A talisman of this collapse can be seen in the itinerary of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose inability to persuade President George W Bush to halt the fighting and her remark about the conflict as marking “the birth pangs” of a new Middle East in effect destroyed her credibility.

The US has made it clear that it will attempt to retrieve its position by backing a yet-to-be-announced Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, but America’s continued strangulation of the democratically constituted government of the Palestinian Authority has transformed that pledge into a stillborn political program. The reason for this is now eminently clear. In the midst of the war, a European official in Cairo had this to say about the emotions roiling the Egyptian political environment: “The Egyptian leadership is walking down one side of the street,” he said, “and the Egyptian people are walking down the other.”

The catastrophic failure of Israeli arms has buoyed Iran’s claim to leadership of the Muslim world in several critical areas.

First, the Hezbollah victory has shown that Israel – and any modern and technologically sophisticated Western military force – can be defeated in open battle, if the proper military tactics are employed and if they are sustained over a prolonged period. Hezbollah has provided the model for the defeat of a modern army. The tactics are simple: ride out the first wave of a Western air campaign, then deploy rocket forces targeting key military and economic assets of the enemy, then ride out a second and more critical air campaign, and then prolong the conflict for an extended period. At some point, as in the case of Israel’s attack on Hezbollah, the enemy will be forced to commit ground troops to accomplish what its air forces could not. It is in this last, and critical, phase that a dedicated, well-trained and well-led force can exact enormous pain on a modern military establishment and defeat it.

Second, the Hezbollah victory has shown the people of the Muslim world that the strategy employed by Western-allied Arab and Muslim governments – a policy of appeasing US interests in the hopes of gaining substantive political rewards (a recognition of Palestinian rights, fair pricing for Middle Eastern resources, non-interference in the region’s political structures, and free, fair and open elections) – cannot and will not work. The Hezbollah victory provides another and different model, of shattering US hegemony and destroying its stature in the region. Of the two most recent events in the Middle East, the invasion of Iraq and the Hezbollah victory over Israel, the latter is by far the most important. Even otherwise anti-Hezbollah groups, including those associated with revolutionary Sunni resistance movements who look on Shi’ites as apostates, have been humbled.

Third, the Hezbollah victory has had a shattering impact on America’s allies in the region. Israeli intelligence officials calculated that Hezbollah could carry on its war for upwards of three months after its end in the middle of August. Hezbollah’s calculations reflected Israel’s findings, with the caveat that neither the Hezbollah nor Iranian leadership could predict what course to follow after a Hezbollah victory. While Jordan’s intelligence services locked down any pro-Hezbollah demonstrations, Egypt’s intelligence services were struggling to monitor the growing public dismay over the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon.

Open support for Hezbollah across the Arab world (including, strangely, portraits of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah carried in the midst of Christian celebrations) has put those Arab rulers closest to the United States on notice: a further erosion in their status could loosen their hold on their own nations. It seems likely that as a result, Mubarak and the two Abdullahs are very unlikely to support any US program calling for economic, political or military pressures on Iran. A future war – perhaps a US military campaign against Iran’s nuclear sites – might not unseat the government in Tehran, but it could well unseat the governments of Egypt, Jordan and perhaps Saudi Arabia.

At a key point in the Israel-Hezbollah contest, toward the end of the war, Islamist party leaders in a number of countries wondered whether they would be able to continue their control over their movements or whether, as they feared, political action would be ceded to street captains and revolutionaries. The singular notion, now common in intelligence circles in the United States, is that it was Israel (and not Hezbollah) that, as of August 10, was looking for a way out of the conflict.

Fourth, the Hezbollah victory has dangerously weakened the Israeli government. In the wake of Israel’s last lost war, in 1973, prime minister Menachem Begin decided to accept a peace proposal from Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. The breakthrough was, in fact, rather modest – as both parties were allies of the United States. No such breakthrough will take place in the wake of the Israel-Hezbollah war.

Israel believes that it has lost its deterrent capabilities and that they must be retrieved. Some Israeli officials in Washington now confirm that it is not a matter of “if” but of “when” Israel goes to war again. Yet it is difficult to determine how Israel can do that. To fight and win against Hezbollah, Israel will need to retrain and refit its army. Like the United States after the Vietnam debacle, Israel will have to restructure its military leadership and rebuild its intelligence assets. That will take years, not months.

It may be that Israel will opt, in future operations, for the deployment of ever bigger weapons against ever larger targets. Considering its performance in Lebanon, such uses of ever larger weapons could spell an even more robust response. This is not out of the question. A US attack on Iranian nuclear installations would likely be answered by an Iranian missile attack on Israel’s nuclear installations – and on Israeli population centers. No one can predict how Israel would react to such an attack, but it is clear that (given Bush’s stance in the recent conflict) the United States would do nothing to stop it. The “glass house” of the Persian Gulf region, targeted by Iranian missiles, would then assuredly come crashing down.

Fifth, the Hezbollah victory spells the end of any hope of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at least in the short and medium terms. Even normally “progressive” Israeli political figures undermined their political position with strident calls for more force, more troops and more bombs. In private meetings with his political allies, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas castigated those who cheered on Hezbollah’s victory, calling them “Hamas supporters” and “enemies of Israel”. Abbas is in a far more tenuous position than Mubarak or the two Abdullahs – his people’s support for Hamas continues, as does his slavish agreement with George W Bush, who told him on the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council meeting that he was to end all attempts to form a unity government with his fellow citizens.

Sixth, the Hezbollah victory has had the very unfortunate consequence of blinding Israel’s political leadership to the realities of their geostrategic position. In the midst of the war with Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert adopted Bush’s language on the “war on terrorism”, reminding his citizenry that Hezbollah was a part of “the axis of evil”. His remarks have been reinforced by Bush, whose comments during his address before the UN General Assembly mentioned al-Qaeda once – and Hezbollah and Hamas five times each. The United States and Israel have now lumped Islamist groups willing to participate in the political processes in their own nations with those takfiris and Salafists who are bent on setting the region on fire.

Nor can Israel now count on its strongest US supporters, that network of neo-conservatives for whom Israel is an island of stability and democracy in the region. These neo-conservatives’ disapproval of Israel’s performance is almost palpable. With friends like these, who needs enemies? That is to say, the Israeli conflict in Lebanon reflects accurately those experts who see the Israel-Hezbollah conflict as a proxy war. Our colleague Jeff Aronson noted that “if it were up to the US, Israel would still be fighting”, and he added: “The United States will fight the war on terrorism to the last drop of Israeli blood.”

The continued weakness of the Israeli political leadership and the fact that it is in denial about the depth of its defeat should be a deep concern for the United States and for every Arab nation. Israel has proved that in times of crisis, it can shape a creative diplomatic strategy and maneuver deftly to retrieve its position. It has also proved that in the wake of a military defeat, it is capable of honest and transparent self-examination. Israel’s strength has always been its capacity for public debate, even if such debate questions the most sacrosanct institution – the Israel Defense Forces. At key moments in Israel’s history, defeat has led to reflection and not, as now seems likely, an increasingly escalating military offensive against Hamas – the red-headed stepchild of the Middle East – to show just how tough it is.

“The fact that the Middle East has been radicalized by the Hezbollah victory presents a good case for killing more of them,” one Israeli official recently said. That path will lead to disaster. In light of America’s inability to pull the levers of change in the Middle East, there is hope among some in Washington that Olmert will show the political courage to begin the long process of finding peace. That process will be painful, it will involve long and difficult discussions, it may mean a break with the US program for the region. But the US does not live in the region, and Israel does. While conducting a political dialogue with its neighbors might be painful, it will prove far less painful than losing a war in Lebanon.
Seventh, Hezbollah’s position in Lebanon has been immeasurably strengthened, as has the position of its most important ally. At the height of the conflict, Lebanese Christians took Hezbollah refugees into their homes. The Christian leader Michel Aoun openly supported Hezbollah’s fight. One Hezbollah leader said: “We will never forget what that man did for us, not for an entire generation.” Aoun’s position is celebrated among the Shi’ites, and his own political position has been enhanced.

The Sunni leadership, on the other hand, fatally undermined itself with its uncertain stance and its absentee landlord approach to its own community. In the first week of the war, Hezbollah’s actions were greeted with widespread skepticism. At the end of the war its support was solid and stretched across Lebanon’s political and sectarian divides. The Sunni leadership now has a choice: it can form a unity government with new leaders that will create a more representative government or they can stand for elections. It doesn’t take a political genius to understand which choice Saad Hariri, the majority leader in the Lebanese parliament, will make.

Eighth, Iran’s position in Iraq has been significantly enhanced. In the midst of the Lebanon conflict, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld privately worried that the Israeli offensive would have dire consequences for the US military in Iraq, who faced increasing hostility from Shi’ite political leaders and the Shi’ite population. Rice’s statement that the pro-Hezbollah demonstrations in Baghdad were planned by Tehran revealed her ignorance of the most fundamental political facts of the region. The US secretaries of state and of defense were simply and unaccountably unaware that the Sadrs of Baghdad bore any relationship to the Sadrs of Lebanon. That Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would not castigate Hezbollah and side with Israel during the conflict – and in the midst of an official visit to Washington – was viewed as shocking by Washington’s political establishment, even though “Hezbollah in Iraq” is one of the parties in the current Iraqi coalition government.

We have been told that neither the Pentagon nor the State Department understood how the war in Lebanon might effect America’s position in Iraq because neither the Pentagon nor the State Department asked for a briefing on the issue from the US intelligence services. The United States spends billions of dollars each year on its intelligence collection and analysis activities. It is money wasted.

Ninth, Syria’s position has been strengthened and the US-French program for Lebanon has failed. There is no prospect that Lebanon will form a government that is avowedly pro-American or anti-Syrian. That Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could, in the wake of the war, suggest a political arrangement with Israel shows his strength, not his weakness. That he might draw the correct conclusions from the conflict and believe that he too might successfully oppose Israel is also possible.

But aside from these possibilities, recent history shows that those thousands of students and Lebanese patriots who protested Syria’s involvement in Lebanon after the death of Rafiq Hariri found it ironic that they took refuge from the Israeli bombing in tent cities established by the Syrian government. Rice is correct on one thing: Syria’s willingness to provide refuge for Lebanese refugees was a pure act of political cynicism – and one that the United States seems incapable of replicating. Syria now is confident of its political position. In a previous era, such confidence allowed Israel to shape a political opening with its most intransigent political enemies.

Tenth, and perhaps most important, it now is clear that a US attack on Iranian nuclear installations would be met with little support in the Muslim world. It would also be met by a military response that would collapse the last vestiges of America’s political power in the region. What was thought to be a “given” just a few short weeks ago has been shown to be unlikely. Iran will not be cowed. If the United States launches a military campaign against the Tehran government, it is likely that America’s friends will fall by the wayside, the Gulf Arab states will tremble in fear, the 138,000 US soldiers in Iraq will be held hostage by an angered Shi’ite population, and Iran will respond by an attack on Israel. We would now dare say the obvious – if and when such an attack comes, the United States will be defeated.

The victory of Hezbollah in its recent conflict with Israel is far more significant than many analysts in the United States and Europe realize. The Hezbollah victory reverses the tide of 1967 – a shattering defeat of Egypt, Syria and Jordan that shifted the region’s political plates, putting in place regimes that were bent on recasting their own foreign policy to reflect Israeli and US power. That power now has been sullied and reversed, and a new leadership is emerging in the region.

The singular lesson of the conflict may well be lost on the upper echelons of Washington’s and London’s pro-Israel, pro-values, we-are-fighting-for-civilization political elites, but it is not lost in the streets of Cairo, Amman, Ramallah, Baghdad, Damascus or Tehran. It should not be lost among the Israeli political leadership in Jerusalem. The Arab armies of 1967 fought for six days and were defeated. The Hezbollah militia in Lebanon fought for 34 days and won. We saw this with our own eyes when we looked into the cafes of Cairo and Amman, where simple shopkeepers, farmers and workers gazed at television reports, sipped their tea, and silently mouthed the numbers to themselves: “seven”, “eight”, “nine” …

Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry are the co-directors of Conflicts Forum, a London-based group dedicated to providing an opening to political Islam. Crooke is the former Middle East adviser to European Union High Representative Javier Solana and served as a staff member of the Mitchell Commission investigating the causes of the second intifada. Perry is a Washington, DC-based political consultant, author of six books on US history, and a former personal adviser to the late Yasser Arafat.

(Research for this article was provided by Madeleine Perry.)

(Copyright 2006 Asia Times Online Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing .)

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كيف هَزَمَ حزبُ الله «إسرائيل»؟

آب 10, 2016 

ترجمة وإعداد: ليلى زيدان عبد الخالق

لا شكّ في أنّ الانتصار الكبير الذي حقّقته المقاومة على الجيش الصهيوني في تمّوز 2006، ملأ الدنيا وشغل الناس، وحيّر الدول العظمى، وأصاب بعضها بإحباطٍ ما بعده أحباط، وجعل بعض الدول العربية المتعاونة حتى النخاع مع الكيان الصهيوني تشعر بذلّ ما بعده ذلّ، خصوصاً بعدما وصفت قتال حزب الله ضدّ الصهاينة بـ«المغامرة». وفي المقابل، شعرت قلوب جمهور المقاومة والشعوب العربية المتحرّرة من قيد الاستزلام للصهاينة، بمشاعر العزّ والإباء والبطولة.

ولا شكّ في أنّ هذا الانتصار الكبير، شغل المحلّلين العسكريين، محليّين وعالميين، فكيف لمقاومة أن تكسر شوكة «الجيش الذي لا يُقهَر»، لتتحوّل الضمّة على الياء في «يقهر» إلى فتحة ، فيصبح هذا الجيش ـ الجيش الصهيوني ـ جيشاً لا يَقهر، ولا قوّة لديه لأن يَقهر، إذ إنّ الذلّ سيلحق به حتى اضمحلاله.

كثرت التحليلات العسكرية، وكثرت المقالات الصحافية، والمقابلات التلفزيونية التي حاولت تفنيد هذا الانتصار وتحليله وفكّ عقده. وفي ما يلي، قراءة من ثلاث حلقات، ننشرها تباعاً، قدّمها كل من آلاستير كروك ومارك بيري لصحيفة «آسيا تايمز».

وتجدر الإشارة إلى أنّ الكاتبين آلاستير كروك ومارك بيري، شاركا في إدارة منتدى النزاعات، وهي مجموعة مقرّها لندن تكرّس عملها للانفتاح على الإسلام السياسي. وكروك هو المستشار السابق للممثل السامي للأمم المتحدة في الشرق الأوسط خافيير سولانا، كما شغل منصب موظف في لجنة «ميتشيل» للتحقيق في الأسباب التي أدّت إلى الانتفاضة الفلسطينية الثانية. أما بيري فهو سياسيّ ومستشار في واشنطن وألّف ستة كتب عن تاريخ الولايات المتحدة، فضلاً عن أنه عمل سابقاً كمستشار شخصيّ للرئيس الفلسطيني الراحل ياسر عرفات.

الحلقة الأولى من هذا التقرير، تتناول تفوّق حزب الله استخبارياً على الكيان الصهيوني.

كسب المعركة الاستخبارية

بعد مرور خمس سنوات على هجمات 11 أيلول 2001، نشر الخبير العسكري الأميركي أنتوني كوردسمان دراسةً حول صراع «إسرائيل» ـ حزب الله، بعنوان «الدروس الأولية المستقاة من حرب إسرائيل حزب الله». وقد حازت هذه الدراسة على اهتمام كبير في البنتاغون، إذ خضعت للتدقيق من قبل المخطّطين في هيئة الأركان المشتركة في واشنطن. غير أنّ هذا لم يمنع كوردسمان من التأكيد على أن استنتاجاته المتواضعة كانت محقّة للغاية.

ومع اعترافه بأن دراسته ليست فقط «أوّلية»، أقرّ كوردسمان أنها لم تأخذ في الحسبان قتال حزب الله في هذا الصراع، أو الحكم على نتائجه.

«إن هذا التحليل… محدود»، يشير كوردسمان، «لأنني لم أزر لبنان أو حزب الله». وعلى رغم كون هذه الدراسة غير مكتملة، غير أنها نجحت في تحقيق هدفين اثنين: تزويد المؤسسة بفهم جيد للحرب من وجهة نظر «إسرائيلية»، وإثارتها تساؤلات كثيرة عن كيفية قتال حزب الله في هذه المعركة ومداه. وعليه، فسنحاول في ما يلي ملء بعض الفراغات في دراسة كوردسمان هذه.

كذلك، فإن الصورة التي سنقدّمها هنا، ستكون محدودة. فمسؤولو حزب الله لن يتحدّثوا في العلن ولا للتسجيل حول كيفية قتالهم، لن يقدّموا أيّ تفصيل عن انتشارهم، فضلاً عن أنهم لن يناقشوا استراتيجيتهم المستقبلية. ومع ذلك، فإن الدروس المستقاة من الحرب ـ من وجهة نظر حزب الله ـ قد بدأت للتوّ بالاستفادة من بعض الدروس الصغيرة من قبل المخطّطين والاستراتيجيين الأميركيين و«الإسرائيليين». وتستند ملاحظاتنا هذه إلى: التقييمات على أرض الواقع، والتي أُجريت خلال الحرب، المقابلات التي أُجريت مع الخبراء العسكريين «الإسرائيليين»، الأميركيين والأوروبيين، وعلى تعزيز فهم الصراع الناشئ من النقاشات مع الاستراتيجيين العسكريين، فضلاً عن شهادات شبكة من كبار المسؤولين في الشرق الأوسط، ممّن أبدوا اهتماماً مكثّفاً بنتائج الحرب.

يعارض استنتاجنا العام وجهة النظر الحالية للبيت الأبيض والمسؤولين «الإسرائيليين»: من أن الهجوم «الإسرائيلي» على لبنان قد أضرّ كثيراً بقدرة حزب الله القتالية، ومن أنّ «إسرائيل» قد نجحت فعلاً في الحدّ من قدرة حزب الله على الانتصار في الصراعات المستقبلية، ومن أن نشر عناصر من جيش الدفاع «الإسرائيلي» في الجنوب اللبناني، من شأنه تحقيق الغلبة على الخصوم، وإملاء التسويات المواتية للمؤسسة السياسية «الإسرائيلية».

والعكس هو الصحيح تماماً. منذ بداية الصراع إلى العمليات العسكرية الأخيرة، استطاع قادة حزب الله ـ بنجاح ـ اختراق دورة القرارات «الإسرائيلية» الاستراتيجية والتكتيكية، ما مكّن الحزب من إحراز نصر حاسم وكامل في حربه مع «إسرائيل».

حرب الاستخبارات

في أعقاب الصراع، اعترف أمين عام حزب الله السيّد حسن نصر الله أن الردّ «الإسرائيلي» على خطف اثنين من جنود الجيش «الإسرائيلي» وقتل ثمانية آخرين في تمام الساعة 9:04 من صباح 12 تموز عام 2006، جاء مفاجئاً لقيادة الحزب. أنهى تصريح نصر الله التعليقات الصحافية القائلة إن حزب الله قد تعمّد إشعال فتيل الحرب مع «إسرائيل»، ومن أن عملية الخطف جاءت جزءاً من مخطّط مرسوم مسبقاً من قبل حزب الله وإيران. وبينما أوضح حزب الله عن نيّته منذ سنوات عدّة خطف جنود «إسرائيليين»، فيبدو أن هذا لم يكن متوقّعاً حدوثه خلال شهور الصيف. أي إبان زيارة عدد من العائلات الشيعية الثرية لبنان وصرف معظم أموالها في المجتمعات الشيعية ، وأثناء توافد الخليجيين العرب إلى لبنان بأعداد كبيرة.

كما أن حزب الله لم يقم بتنسيق نشاطاته هذه مع «حماس». فقد دُهشت هذه الأخيرة أيضاً بعملية الخطف. وبينما انبرى قادة «حماس» إلى الدفاع عن تصرّفات حزب الله، فإنه لمن السهل أن نرى لِمَ لم يسرّهم هذا الأمر كثيراً: فعلى مدار أيام الصراع، شنّت «إسرائيل» عدداً من العمليات العسكرية ضدّ «حماس» في غزّة، وقتلت العشرات من المقاتلين فضلاً عن المدنيين. وبالكاد تمكّن أحدٌ في الغرب من ملاحظة هذا الاعتداء، وبالتالي أُعيد إحياء القول المأثور أنه «عند اشتعال الشرق الأوسط، فإن الفلسطينيين يصبحون طيّ النسيان».

وفي الحقيقة، فإن خطف اثنين وقتل ثمانية آخرين من قبل عناصر حزب الله، فاجأ عدداً من القياديين في الحزب، الذين كانوا يدركون جيداً أن عناصرهم متواجدون على التخوم مع «إسرائيل» بهدف كشف مواطن الضعف العسكرية «الإسرائيلية» هناك. علماً أن نصر الله نفسه، كان قد أعلن مراراً عن نيّته خطف جنود «إسرائيليين»، بعدما نكث آرييل شارون وعده بالإفراج عن الأسرى المنتمين إلى حزب الله، بعد عملية التبادل الأخيرة التي حصلت بين الطرفين.

وفي الواقع، فإن عمليات الاختطاف كانت سهلة للغاية: فالجنود «الإسرائيليون» قرب الحدود ينتهكون الإجراءات التنفيذية، وآلياتهم التي تتمركز حولها وفيها قيادات عسكرية «إسرائيلية» على مستوى رفيع، جميعها على مرأى مواقع حزب الله وتشكّل هدفاً لنيرانها. ونشير هنا، إلى أن وسائل الإعلام الغربية تسيء دوماً فهم الأحداث المتعلقة بـ«الحدود الإسرائيلية» ـ اللبنانية وتغطيتها. فصحيفة «هاآرتس» العبرية أكدت هذا الواقع عندما ذكرت «أن قوةً من الدبابات وناقلات الجند المدرّعة، أُرسلت على الفور إلى لبنان في مطاردة ساخنة، وذلك حوالى الساعة 11 صباحاً… دبابة ميركافا تحتوي على قنبلة تزن من 200 300 كلغ من المتفجرات، لتمشّط نحو 70 متراً من السياج الحدودي الشمالي. وقد دُمّرت هذه الدبابة على الفور وقُتل أفراد طاقمها الأربعة. وعلى مدى الساعات القادمة، شنّ جيش الدفاع الإسرائيلي معركةً شرسةً ضدّ مقاتلي حزب الله… وأثناء هذه المعركة، وحوالى الساعة 3:00، قُتل جنديّ آخر وأُصيب اثنان بجروح طفيفة».

جاءت عملية الاختطاف كبداية لسلسلة من الأخطاء الفادحة التي ارتكبها الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، والذي كان يُضاعف من عديد قادته وعناصره خارج حدوده الطبيعية. وكان عدد من أفراد دورياته يُمضون أيامهم الأخيرة لانتشارهم في الشمال، مقلّلاً من ساعات حراسته. ولم يكن فعل حزب الله في قتل ثمانية جنود «إسرائيليين» وخطف اثنين هو السبب. فهؤلاء الثمانية قتلوا عندما أمر قائد الحدود «الإسرائيلي»، والذي يبدو أنه أُحرج كثيراً بسبب خطف الجنديين، بملاحقة المركبات المدرّعة للخاطفين. حيث انتشرت هذه العربات المدرّعة في شبكة ألغام مضادّة للدبابات ودمرتها. فقُتل الجنود الثمانية خلال هذه العملية، أو نتيجة للأعمال القتالية الفورية التي تلت حدوث ذلك.

يمكن لوحدة من الجيش «الإسرائيلي» أن تهيم على وجهها قرب الحدود من دون أن تغطيها النيران «الإسرائيلية»، وأن تكون هدفاً سهلاً لهجمات حزب الله. ما دفع المسؤولين «الإسرائيليين» إلى التساؤل حول إمكانية أن تكون تلك الدورية قد تصرّفت خارج نطاق سلسلة القيادة. ويبدو أن لجنة تحقيق داخلية، قد عقدت، في أعقاب الحادث، اجتماعاً لقادة جيش الدفاع «الإسرائيلي»، للتحقيق وتحديد الوقائع في هذه المسألة، وطالبت بمراجعة إجراءات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» لجميع الوحدات التي تعمل على طول «الحدود الشمالية لإسرائيل». ولم يُبلّغ إلى الآن عن أيّ نتائج توصّلت إليها اللجنة.

وعلى رغم تفاجئهم بردّ الفعل «الإسرائيلي»، فقد وُضع مقاتلو حزب الله في الجنوب اللبناني على أهبة الاستعداد الفوري بعد مرور دقائق فقط من اختطاف الجنديين. وهذا التأهب الدائم لمقاتلي حزب الله، جاء نتيجة ستّ سنوات من العمل الدؤوب، الذي بدأ مع الانسحاب «الإسرائيلي» من المنطقة عام 2000. حيث صُمّمت مبان كثيرة ومخابئ القيادة من قبل مهندسي حزب الله بطريقة هندسية محصّنة، حتى أن بعضها كان مزوّداً بمكيفات للهواء. وقد رافق حفر الترسانات خلال السنوات السابقة، استخدام برامج للخداع، كمثل إنشاء المخابئ في العراء، وغالباً تحت أعين الطائرات «الإسرائيلية» من دون طيّار، أو على مرأى من المواطنين اللبنانيين ممّن لهم صلات وثيقة مع «الإسرائيليين». ومع وجود بعض الاستثناءات، فإن جميع هذه المخابئ كانت شراكاً خداعية. بينما جاء بناء المخابئ الأخرى في مناطق خفيّاً عن السكان اللبنانيين. حيث حُفرت أهمّ مخابئ القيادة ومستودعات الأسلحة في مكان ما بعمق 40 متراً في التلال الصخرية. وقد وُضع ما يقارب 600 مخبأ للذخيرة في أماكن منفصلة في المنطقة الكائنة جنوب الليطاني.

ولأسباب أمنية، لا يعرف أيّ قائد مكان أيّ مخبأ، أو حتى الموقع الذي يقع فيه هذا المخبأ، كما يُسمح لكلّ وحدة من مليشيات حزب الله بالدخول إلى ثلاثة مخابئ فقط ـ أي مخبأ أساسي ومستودعان للذخيرة ـ في حال دُمّر المخبأ الأساسي. كما تمّ تعيين الجهات الأساسية والاحتياطية المنفصلة أيضاً عن الوحدات القتالية المتميزة، والتي تنحصر مهمتها في التسليح والمحاربة داخل مناطق القتال المحدّدة. كما يجري الحفاظ على البروتوكولات الأمنية لتعبئة القوات. واللافت أنه ما من أحد من عناصر حزب الله يدرك هيكل المخبأ العسكري أو تصميمه بشكل كامل.

استُهدفت الترسانات ونقاط التعبئة في حزب الله من قبل القوّات الجوّية «الإسرائيلية» في الساعات الـ72 الأولى لبدء الحرب. وكان القادة «الإسرائيليون» قد تمكّنوا من تحديد مواقع هذه المخابئ من خلال التقارير الاستخبارية كمثل إشارات الاعتراض لاتصالات حزب الله وصوَر الأقمار الصناعية الاستطلاعية، والتي تمكّنوا من التقاطها بفضل التعاون مع الجيش الأميركي وتحليل الصوَر نتيجة لتحليق الجبهة في المنطقة، وصور من طائرات من دون طيار نُشرت فوق الجنوب اللبناني. والأهم من هذا كلّه، شبكة من المصادر البشرية الموثوقة والتي تمّ تجنيدها من قبل ضباط استخبارات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» الذين يعيشون في جنوب لبنان، بما في ذلك عدد كبير من الأجانب غير اللبنانيين المسجّلين كعمّال أجانب في البلاد.

فشل الهجوم الأوّلي على نقاط التعبئة ومخابئ الأسلحة المتعدّدة، والتي شنّتها «إسرائيل» خلال الساعات الـ72 الأولى. وفي 15 تموز، استهدف القوّات الجوّية «الإسرائيلية» مواقع حزب الله القيادية في بيروت. أيضاً وأيضاً فشل هذا الهجوم في تحقيق أهدافه. لم تُقتل أيّ شخصية سياسية قيادية من حزب الله، على رغم إصرار «إسرائيل» المستمرّ على أن القيادة العليا للحزب تعاني من خسائر فادحة.

ووفقاً لمسؤول أميركي واحد، ممن راقبوا الحرب عن كثب، فإن الهجوم الجوّي «الإسرائيلي» قد أثّر على الموارد العسكرية لحزب الله فقط بنسبة 7 في المئة في الأيام الثلاثة الأولى من القتال، مؤكداً على أن الهجمات الجوية على مواقع حزب الله كانت غير مجدية على الإطلاق.

وتفيد التقارير بأن القيادة العليا لحزب الله، كانت قد لجأت إلى السفارة الإيرانية في بيروت والتي لم تمسّها الهجمات «الإسرائيلية» بأيّ أذى ، وهذ الأخبار اتّضح أنها ملفّقة وغير صحيحة، علماً، أنه من غير المعروف بتاتاً مكان احتماء قيادات حزب الله. «حتى أنا لم أكن أعرف أين أنا»، هذا ما كان قد أسرّ به أمين عام حزب الله السيّد حسن نصر الله لأحد مساعديه. ومع ذلك، فهذا لا يبرّر تدمير القوات الجوية «الإسرائيلية» البنيةَ التحتية في لبنان، بهدف إضعاف قدرة حزب الله العسكرية في الأيام القليلة الأولى منا لحرب.

دعت المخطّطات العسكرية «الإسرائيلية» إلى قصف مبكر ومتواصل للطرقات السريعة والموانئ الرئيسة في لبنان، فضلاً عن خطّتها تدمير الأصول العسكرية والسياسية لحزب الله. لم تخفِ الحكومة «الإسرائيلية» نواياها تقويض دعم حزب الله في المناطق المسيحية، السنيّة والدرزية. وذلك، لمعاقبة لبنان على إيوائه حزب الله وتحويل نظرة الشعب اللبناني إليه على أنه مليشيا، وهذا كان مخطّط «إسرائيل» منذ اندحارها من الجنوب اللبناني عام 2000.

وبينما أعلن مسؤولو الجيش «الإسرائيلي» بثقة كاملة عن نجاحهم في هذا الهجوم، أوصى قادتهم رئيس الوزراء إيهود أولمرت الموافقة على زيادة الطلعات الجوية ضدّ المخابئ المحتملة لقيادات وأسلحة حزب الله في المناطق التي استُهدفت هامشياً في الأيام الأولى للحرب. وافق أولمرت على هذه الهجمات، مدركاً في قرارة نفسه أنه عند اتخاذه مثل هذا القرار، أنه وجميع عناصر قيادته يعترفون بمدى المبالغة في نسبة الأضرار التي يدّعون أنهم ألحقوها بحزب الله.

وجاءت مجزرة قانا نتيجةً طبيعيّة لموافقة أولمرت على توسيع الأهداف العسكرية. وقد صرّح أحد المسؤولين العسكريين الأميركين ممّن رصدوا هذا الصراع، حول استهداف قانا: «لم يكن الأمر بهذا التعقيد. فبعد الفشل الذريع الذي مُني به الإسرائيليون في الهجوم الأوّلي، خطّطت القوات الإسرائيلية الجوّية، العودة إلى حيث بدأت ضرباتها خوفاً من أن تكون قد نسيت شيئاً. وعندما قرّروا أنهم لم ينسوا، قد يكون أحدهم خرج من الغرفة وما لبث أن عاد محمّلاً بقائمةٍ من الأهداف الجديدة للمناطق المكتظة بالسكان، وأعلن: لكن مهلاً، وماذا عن هذه الأهداف؟ وهكذا فعلوها». إذاً، إن قصف الأهداف القريبة جداً من المناطق السكنية في الجنوب اللبناني هي التي نتج عنها الفشل «الإسرائيلي» في الحرب، لا النجاح من دون أدنى شك.

إن توسيع رقعة الأهداف صعّد إلى حدّ كبير من الصراع فبعد شعورها بالإحباط بسبب عدم قدرتها على تحديد مواقع حزب الله الرئيسة وتدميرها، بدأت القوات الجوّية «الإسرائيلية» بقصف المدارس، التجمّعات السكنية والجوامع بذريعة وجود مخابئ لحزب الله داخل هذه التجمّعات المدنية أو تحتها.

تساءل ضباط الجيش الجوّي كثيراً عن مدى قدرة حزب الله على استكمال الهجمات الصاروخية على «إسرائيل»، ما يعني استمرار إمداد مليشياته بشكل دائم. قانا هي مفترق طرق، تتقاطع فيها خمس طرق سريعة منفصلة، وتقع في قلب مناطق حزب الله. لذا، جاء قصف قانا تأكيداً على أن حزب الله، بقي مستكملاً عملياته بسبب الإمدادات التي يحصل عليها من تقاطع الطرق هذا في البلدة.

وفي الحقيقة، فإن كبار قادة الجيش «الإسرائيلي» كانوا مدركين تماماً أن توسيع رقعة الأهداف في لبنان من شأنه أن يضعف إلى حدّ ضئيل فقط من قدرة حزب الله العسكرية، لأن الحزب كان يحافظ على القيام بهجماته من دون أدنى أمل باستمرار التمويل والتسليح، وبسبب اعتماده على مخابئ الأسلحة والصواريخ التي بُنيت لهذا الغرض. وفي أعقاب مجزرة قانا، التي راح ضحيتها 28 مدنياً، وافقت «إسرائيل» على وقف لإطلاق النار مدّته 48 ساعة.

قدّم وقف إطلاق النار الدليل الأول على أن حزب الله قد صمد بنجاح أمام الضربات الجوية «الإسرائيلية» المكثّفة، وأنه كان يخطّط لدفاع متواصل وطويل الأمد في الجنوب اللبناني. رحّب قادة حزب الله بقرار وقف إطلاق النار، ووافقوا على عدم استهداف الأراضي التي تحتلها «إسرائيل» خلال هذه الفترة. وبينما تجاهل «الإسرائيليون» وخبراء الاستخبارات في الغرب أهمية قبول حزب الله بهذا الشرط خلال الهدنة، فإن قدرة الحزب على فرض الانضباط على قادته الميدانيين، جاء صادماً، غير متوقع، وغير مرغوب فيه من قبل كبار قادة الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، الذين خلصوا إلى أن قدرات اتصالات حزب الله تمكنت ـ وبنجاح ـ من تجاوز الهجمات الجوّية «الإسرائيلية»، وأن هؤلاء القادة قادرون فعلاً على الحفاظ على شبكة اتصالات قوّية على رغم الحظر «الإسرائيلي».

وببساطة أكثر، فإن قدرة حزب الله على إيقاف إطلاق النار تعني أن هدف «إسرائيل» من فصل مقاتلي حزب الله عن هيكل قيادتهم والذي يُعتبر ضرورياً من قبل الجيوش الحديثة التي تشنّ حرباً تكنولوجية متطورة على الأرض قد باء بالفشل. واستطاع قائد القوات الجوية التوصّل إلى استنتاج واحد: أنّ معلومات ما قبل الحرب والتي تؤكد على قدرات حزب الله العسكرية، كانت في أفضل أحوالها، ناقصة بحالة يُرثى لها، أو في أسوأ حالاتها مخطئة بشكل قاتل.

وفي الواقع، وعلى مدى سنتين من الزمن، أظهر مسؤولو الاستخبارات في حزب الله قدرات كبيرة لناحية مكافحة التجسّس. فهم كانوا قادرين طوال فترة الحرب على التنبّؤ بالوقت والمكان اللذين ستضرب فيهما الصواريخ «الإسرائيلية». وعلاوةً على ذلك، تمكّن حزب الله من تحديد الأصول البشرية للاستخبارات «الإسرائيلية» الرئيسة في لبنان. وقبل شهر واحد من اختطاف حرس حدود الجيش «الإسرائيلي» والهجوم «الإسرائيلي» اللاحق، كان مسؤولو الاستخبارات اللبنانية قد فكّكوا شبكة تجسّس «إسرائيلية» كانتن تعمل داخل البلاد.

اعتقلت الاستخبارات اللبنانية بالتعاون مع استخبارات حزب الله 16 جاسوساً «إسرائيلياً» على الأقلّ في لبنان، علماً أنهم فشلوا في إيجاد المسؤول عن هذه المجموعة أو اعتقاله. كذلك، وعلى مدى سنتين أي منذ 2004 وحتى عشيّة الحرب، نجح حزب الله في تحويل أنظار الاستخبارات «الإسرائيلية» عن عدد من الأصول المدنية اللبنانية والمواقع أو المخابئ العسكرية الكبيرة للحزب في جنوب لبنان. وفي بعض الحالات القليلة الأهمية، تمكّن كبار مسؤولي الاستخبارات في حزب الله من تضليل «إسرائيل» وإرسال معلومات خاطئة، على أنها تدلّل على أهم مواقع مليشياتهم، ما نتج عنه أن بنك الأهداف «الإسرائيلية» في الحرب لم يكن بمعظمه موجوداً أصلاً.

وأخيراً، فإن قدرات حزب الله على اعتراض تصرّفات «إسرائيل» وقراءتها، كان لها تأثيراً قوياً وحاسماً على الحرب البريّة المقبلة. وكان مسؤولو الاستخبارات في حزب الله قد طوّروا من قدرات إشاراتهم الذكية إلى حدّ استطاعت معه اعتراض الاتصالات البرّية «الإسرائيلية» بين القادة العسكريين «الإسرائيليين». والمعروف أنّ «إسرائيل» تعتمد على مجموعة متطوّرة للغاية من التردّدات والتقنيات التي من شأنها السماح لقادتها التواصل مع بعضهم للتقليل من قدرة حزب الله في تكنولوجيا مكافحة الإشارات. وسيكون لهذه النتيجة تأثير حاسم على التكهّنات «الإسرائيلية» بأن عنصر المفاجأة وحده كان يمكن أن يوفّر هامشَ الفوز لجنودها.

ومن الواضح الآن، أن السياسة «الإسرائيلية» قد صُعقت بسبب فشل قوّاتها في تحقيق أول الأهداف العسكرية في الحرب ـ بما فيها تهتّك ترسانة حزب الله وتدمير قدراته القيادية. غير أن المؤسسة «الإسرائيلية» لم تفعل شيئاً لتتحضّر للأسوأ القادم: الاجتماع الأول لمجلس الوزراء الأمني القومي في أعقاب اختطاف الجنديين في 12 تموز، والذي استمرّ ثلاث ساعات. وبينما أصدر أولمرت ومجلس وزرائه المصغّر تفاصيل دقيقة لخطة الجيش «الإسرائيلي» في الأيام الثلاثة الأولى من الحرب، إلا أنهم فشلوا في توضيح الأهداف السياسية في أعقاب الصراع أو رسم استراتيجية للخروج السياسي من الحرب في حال الفشل.

انتهك أولمرت ومجلس وزرائه المصغّر المبدأ الأول للحرب ـ وأظهروا ازدراءً واضحاً لعدوّهم. ففي نواحٍ كثيرة، وقع أولمرت وحكومته أسرى الاعتقاد عديم الجدوى في فعالية الردع «الإسرائيلي». كما نظروا ـ كما فعل الرأي العام «الإسرائيلي» ـ إلى أيّ تشكيك في قدرات الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، على أنه تدنيس للمقدّسات.

كان فشل الاستخبارات «الإسرائيلية» أثناء الصراع كارثياً. وقد عنى ذلك أنه بعد فشل الحملة الجوّية «الإسرائيلية» في ضرب ترسانة حزب الله، وتحديداً خلال الساعات الـ72 الأولى من الحرب، أنها كانت فرصة لـ«إسرائيل» تمكّنها من تحقيق نصرٍ حاسم ضدّ حزب الله على نحو متزايد وغير متوقّع.

«خسرت إسرائيل الحرب في الأيام الثلاثة الأولى»، يصرّح أحد الخبراء العسكريين الأميركيين. «فإذا ما كنتَ تملك هذه القدرة على إحداث المفاجآت، وذلك النوع من القوة التسلّحية، فكان بإمكانك أن تربح. وإلّا فأنتَ تعيش وهماً وضياعاً».

وما لبث أن استنتج كبار ضباط الجيش «الإسرائيلي» أنه بالنظر إلى فشل الحملة الجوّية، فهناك خيارٌ واحدٌ آخر متاح، ألا وهو اجتياح لبنان برّياً، على أمل النجاح في تدمير إرادة حزب الله وقدرته من خلال هذا الاجتياح.

التالي: كسب المعركة البرّية

كيف هَزَمَ حزبُ الله «إسرائيل»؟ ٣/٢

ترجمة وإعداد: ليلى زيدان عبد الخالق

الحلقة الثانية من هذا التقرير، تتناول تفوّق حزب الله برّياً على جيش الكيان الصهيوني.

كسب المعركة البرّية

جاء قرار «إسرائيل» شنّ حربٍ برّية لإتمام ما فشلت قوّاتها الجوّية القيام به متردّداً وعشوائياً. وبينما كانت وحدات قوات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» تقوم بغزواتها في الجنوب اللبناني في الأسبوع الثاني من الحرب، لم تتمكّن القيادة العسكرية «الإسرائيلية» من اتخاذ قرار في شأن متى وأين تنشر وحداتها ميدانياً.

تردّد الجيش إلى حدّ كبير حول متى وأين وعمّا إذا كان نشر وحداته البرّية الرئيسة سيحقّق الوظيفة المفترضة لسلاح الجوّ لتحقيق النصر. فقد ادّعت وحدات دفاع الجوّ «الإسرائيلي» ـ يومياً ـ قدرتها على تحقيق النجاح. وقد رصدت وسائل الإعلام الغربية عدم الثبات هذا في القرار «الإسرائيلي» حول توقيت الحملة البرّية، أو في ما إذا كانت ستحدث بالفعل.

واصل الضباط «الإسرائيليون» الكبار التصريح أمام وسائل إعلامهم حول توقيت الهجوم البرّي الذي أصرّوا على إبقائه سرّاً في الوقت الذي كانوا هم أنفسهم لا يعرفونه. وجاء هذا التردّد أيضاً نتيجة لتجربة وحدات الجش «الإسرائيلي» الصغيرة التي نجحت في اختراق الحدود. فقد عملت وحدات الدفاع الخاصة هذه في الجنوب اللبناني على رفع تقارير لرؤسائها منذ 18 تموز حول خوض وحدات حزب الله قتالاً شرساً بهدف الاحتفاظ بمواقعها على خطّ الحافة الأول المطلّ على «إسرائيل».

وعند هذا الحدّ، اتخذ رئيس الوزراء «الإسرائيلي» إيهود أولمرت قراراً سياسياً: نشر قوة كاملة من الجيش «الإسرائيلي» لهزيمة حزب الله في الوقت نفسه الذي أبدى فيه كبار مساعديه استعداد «إسرائيل» لقبول وقف إطلاق النار ونشر القوات الدولية على الحدود. صمّم أولمرت على تنفيذ هذا القرار، باعتباره الملاذ الأخير لحفظ ماء الوجه مع قبوله فكرة نشر قوات دولية.

قرّر ـ للمرّة الأولى ـ أن «إسرائيل» سوف تقبل بقوة منظمة من حلف شمال الأطلسي الناتو . وتماشياً مع هذه الاستراتيجية، تمّ استدعاء قوات الاحتياط «الإسرائيلية» إلى الجبهة في 21 تموز. وجاء هذا الاستدعاء المفاجئ بعد نية الجيش «الإسرائيلي» هزيمة حزب الله من الجوّ، ثمّ ـ في حال الفشل ـ يستخدم قواته النظامية، بعيداً من إمكانية استدعاء قوات احتياطية بمثابة قرار نشر أولي سريع وغير منسّق.

قدّم استدعاء 21 تموز إشارة واضحة للاستراتيجيات العسكرية في البنتاغون من أن الحرب «الإسرائيلية» لا تسير على ما يُرام. وقد ساعد في بلوغ هذا الاستنتاج أيضاً وصول قوات الاحتياط «الإسرائيلية» إلى الجبهة من دون المعدّات الضرورية ومن دون خطة حربية متماسكة أو حتى ذخائر لازمة لمواصلة القتال.

أما تأثير ذلك، فكان يُنظر اليه على الفور من قبل الخبراء العسكريين. «بدت القوات الإسرائيلية غير مستعدّة البتة، قذرة، ومعنوياتها متدنّية»، كما ألمح إليه أحد القادة الأميركيين السابقين. «لم يكن هذا الجيش الإسرائيلي هو نفسه ذلك الجيش المتبجّح الذي شهدنا أداءه في الحروب السابقة».

وتماشياً مع خطة أولمرت السياسية، فإن هدف الجيش «الإسرائيلي» بالقضاء على كامل قوة حزب الله، تراجع بصورة ملحوظة. «هناك خط واحد يفصل بين أهدافنا العسكرية وتلك السياسية»، وكما صرّح عضو قيادة الأركان «الإسرائيلية»: إن الهدف هو الإطاحة بالمنطق العسكري لحزب الله، وليس بالضرورة بكلّ صاروخ يمتلكه حزب الله. ولا يفصلنا عن تحقيق هذا الهدف سوى بضعة أيام.

وكانت هذه فعلاً طريقة عجيبة لعرض الاستراتيجية العسكرية: شنّ حربٍ بهدف «الإطاحة بالمنطق العسكري للعدوّ». تفاءل بعض القادة الميدانيين في الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، في وقت فشل سلاح الجوّ «الإسرائيلي» في إيقاف هجمات حزب الله الصاروخية على المدن «الإسرائيلية»، التي تلقّت وابلاً من الصواريخ بين 19 و21 تموز أكثر من أيّ وقتٍ مضى.

أما في 22 تموز، فقد كانت المرة الأولى التي تجاوبت فيها الولايات المتحدة عسكرياً في الصراع. حيث أعلن البيت الأبيض في وقت متأخر من ذلك النهار أنه تلقى طلباً من أولمرت ومن الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، توفير كميات كبيرة من الذخائر الموجهة بدقة ـ وهذا يدلّل مرة أخرى على مدى فشل سلاح الجوّ «الإسرائيلي» في النيل من قدرات حزب الله العسكرية وتحديداً في الجولات المفتوحة من الحروب.

تمّت الموافقة على هذا الطلب فوراً، وشُحنت الذخائر إلى «إسرائيل» صباح اليوم التالي. واعتبر مسؤولون كبار في البنتاغون أن شحن الذخائر لا يعني بالضرورة أن «إسرائيل» قد استهلكت كلّ مخزونها في الأيام العشرة الأولى للحرب ـ بعد الاستهداف الهائل لمواقع حزب الله، واقتراح «إسرائيل» خيار التخلّي عن القصف الاستراتيجي لهذه المواقع، حيث كان متوقعاً الانقضاض على ما تبقى من البنية التحتية في لبنان، استراتيجية لم تنجح خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، عندما دمّرت كلّ من الولايات المتحدة وبريطانيا 66 في المئة من المراكز السكنية الرئيسة في ألمانيا من دون أن يؤثر ذلك على الروح المعنوية للألمان أو حتى على قدراتها العسكرية.

لكن هناك قليل من التذمر في وزارة الدفاع الأميركية، وكان أحد الضباط المسؤولين قد ألمح إلى أن نشر الذخيرة الأميركية، يذكرنا بطلب مماثل كانت قد تقدّمت به «إسرائيل» عام 1973 ـ إبان ذروة «حرب الغفران»، وهذا يعني شيئاً واحداً فقط: أنهم يتأرجحون على الحبال.

التزم رئيس هيئة الأركان المشتركة الحالي، بيتر بايس، الصمت خلال الحرب بين «إسرائيل» وحزب الله، وهو شخصية تفهم التاريخ جيداً. لكن كبار القادة العسكريين في هيئة الأركان المشتركة لم يكونوا هم المسؤولين الوحيدين الذين شعروا بالقلق حيال أداء «إسرائيل». وبينما كانت الذخائر الأميركية تحلّق فوق اسكتلندا في طريقها إلى «إسرائيل»، كان مسؤولو الاستخبارات «الإسرائيليون» يقومون بإجراء تقييمات أولية للأيام الأولى من الحرب، بما في ذلك تقييم الهجمات الجوية العنيفة المتواصلة. كانت قناة «المنار» لا تزال تبثّ من بيروت، على رغم تدمير سلاح الجوّ «الإسرائيلي» شبكاتها الرئيسة الأخرى في لبنان. إذاً، ما مدى فعالية الحرب الجوية «الإسرائيلية» ما دامت لم تنجح في إيقاف بثّ محطة تلفزيونية؟

أما الغرض من استدعاء احتياطي «إسرائيل» لدعم القوات المقاتلة في جنوب لبنان، فكان إضافة وزنٍ إلى الهجوم البرّي. وفي 22 تموز، خاضت وحدة من وحدات القتال في حزب الله تدعى «لواء النصر» حرب شوارع مع «الإسرائيليين» في بلدة مارون الراس. وبينما ادّعت قوات الجيش «الإسرائيلية» نهاية ذلك اليوم أنها تمكنت من السيطرة على البلدة، غير أنها فعلياً لم تنجح في ذلك. القتال كان دامياً، لكن مقاتلي حزب الله لم يستسلموا ولم يتخاذلوا. وكان جنود «لواء النصر» قد قضوا أياماً عدّة ينتظرون بدء القتال مع الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، وبسبب قدرة حزب الله على اعتراض الاتصالات العسكرية للجيش «الإسرائيلي»، فقد صُعق الجنود «الإسرائيليون» بمدى فعالية تحصين هؤلاء.

وفي حين واصل الجيش «الإسرائيلي» تأكيده على أن توغلاته التي ستبقى محدودة المدى، على رغم استدعاء الآلاف من قوات الاحتياط، بدأت كتائب من الجيش «الإسرائيلي» في التشكّل جنوب الحدود. «نحن لا نستعدّ لغزو لبنان»، قال آفي بازنر، وهو المتحدّث بِاسم الحكومة «الإسرائيلية» العليا. وما لبث أن دعا الجيش «الإسرائيلي» إلى أن يكون له أول موطأ قدم في الجنوب اللبناني، حيث أن دفع المزيد من قوات الدفاع الجوّية والبرّية سوف يجبر حزب الله على التراجع، من دون الدخول في معمعة الغزو والاحتلال.

وفي المقابل، لم يحتج حزب الله إلى استدعاء احتياطه من المقاتلين على غرار «إسرائيل». فقد خاض كامل هذه المعركة بـ«لواء النصر» فقط، المكوّن من 3000 مقاتل لا أكثر. وقد أكدت التقارير الواردة من البنان هذا الواقع. وما يثير الدهشة، أن مسؤولي حزب الله قد وجدوا أن القوات «الإسرائيلية» غير منظمة وغير منضبطة، وأن تشكيلة الجيش «الإسرائيلي» متنافرة. في حين أشار مسؤول مطّلع في الولايات المتحدة، أنّ هذا ما سيكون الوضع عليه بعد مضيّ أربعة عقود من إطلاق الرصاص المطاطي على النساء والإطفال في الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة.

وفي 25 تموز، تراجع أولمرت عن استراتيجيته القاضية بتدمير كامل لقوات حزب الله. وكان وزير الدفاع «الإسرائيلي» عمير بيريز قد حمل هذا الأنباء، معلناً أن هدف «إسرائيل» الحالي إنشاء «منطقة أمنية» في الجنوب اللبناني. وقد ترافق إعلانه هذا مع إرسال تهديد مفاده: «إذا لم تكن هناك قوة متعدّدة الجنسيات تستطيع السيطرة على الحدود، فإننا سنستمرّ في إطلاق النار نحو أيّ شخص قد يقترب من المنطقة الأمنية الحدودية، وهم يدركون جيداً أنهم سوف يتضرّرون».

إذاً، فجأة، ومن دون سابق إنذار، ذهب إصرار «إسرائيل» على تدمير حزب الله كما ذهب أيضاً ادّعاء الناتو قبولها تواجد وحداتها كقوات حفظ السلام على الحدود. وفي 25 تموز، أعلنت «إسرائيل» مقتل أبي جعفر، وهو قائد «القطاع الأوسط» في حزب الله على الحدود اللبنانية، وذلك خلال تبادلٍ لإطلاق النار مع القوات «الإسرائيلية» قرب قرية مارون الراس، ليتبين بعد ذلك أن التقرير غير صحيح، وهذا ما أعلنه أبو جعفر رسمياً بعد الحرب.

وفي وقت لاحق من 25 تموز، وأثناء زيارة وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية كونداليزا رايس القدس، خاض الجيش «الإسرائيلي» معركة شرسة في بلدة بنت جبيل استمرّت لتسعة أيام، تلك البلدة التي أطلقت عليها «إسرائيل» «عاصمة إرهاب حزب الله». لم تسقط البلدة في أيدي «الإسرائيليين» بل تمكن هؤلاء من تدميرها بالكامل، وتمكن مقاتلو حزب الله من الصمود على رغم القصف الجوّي والمدفعي المتكرّر.

ذكرتنا تكتيكات حزب الله بتلك التي اتبعها الجيش الفييتنامي الشمالي خلال الأيام الأولى للحرب هناك، حين أمر قائد قواتهم الخاصة بالحاجة إلى التخلّص من القنابل، ثمّ محاربة الأميركيين في وحدات صغيرة. وأخبرهم حينذاك أنه عليهم الاستيلاء على الأميركيين من خلال أبازيم أحزمتهم.

في 24 تموز، بدأت تلوح في الأفق بوادر خسارة أخرى في لبنان، فقد نشرت «إسرائيل» آلافها الأولى من القنابل العنقودية ضدّ ما وصفوه بـ«مواقع حزب الله» في الجنوب اللبناني. تشكل الذخائر العنقودية أداةً فعّالةً في القتال، وقد رفضت الدول الأعضاء في حلف الناتو، وكذلك روسيا والصين ـ باستمرار ـ الدخول في معاهدة تقضي بحظر استخدام هذا النوع من الأسلحة.

وبينما لم تنته بعد التحقيقات في شأن استخدام «إسرائيل» هذه الذخائر، يبدو واضحاً الآن أن الجيش «الإسرائيلي» استخدم ذخائر منصهرة. وتشير التقارير الأخيرة في الصحافة «الإسرائيلية» إلى أن ضباط المدفعية قد أغرقوا عشرات القرى اللبنانية بالقنابل العنقودية، وذلك من خلال أسوأ استخدام عشوائي للنيران والقذائف يمكن أن يحصل.

وربما تكون الولايات المتحدة قد باعت «إسرائيل» هذه الذخائر من مخزونها القديم ما يجعلها متواطئة مع تلك الأخيرة في هذا الاستهداف العشوائي. ومثل هذا الاستنتاج قد يبدو متناسباً مع خط إمداد الذخائر إلى «إسرائيل» يوم 22 تموز. قد يكون الجيش «الإسرائيلي» قادراً على تفريغ هذه الذخائر ونشرها بسرعة كافية لخلق أزمة القنابل العنقودية وأوبئتها في لبنان، ابتداءً من ذلك التاريخ.

وفي 26 تموز أقرّ المسؤولون في الجيش «الإسرائيلي» أن الساعات الـ24 الماضية للقتال في بنت جبيل كانت من أصعب ساعات القتال في الجنوب اللبناني. وبعد الفشل في الاستيلاء على البلدة من قبل حزب الله في الصباح، قرّر قادة الجيش «الإسرائيلي» إرسال «لواء غولاني للنخبة» إلى المنطقة. وبعد ساعتين من ظهر ذلك اليوم، قُتل تسعة من جنود هذا اللواء وجُرح 22 آخرون. وفي وقت متأخر من اليوم نفسه، أرسل الجيش «الإسرائيلي» «لواء النخبة» من قوّاته المظلية إلى مارون الراس، حيث دخل في القتال مع عناصر «لواء نصر» في اليوم الثالث.

في 27 تموز، وردّاً على فشل وحداتها في السيطرة على هاتين المدينتين، وافقت الحكومة «الإسرائيلية» على استدعاء ثلاث فِرق أخرى من الاحتياطي أي بمعدّل 15000 جندياً. وفي 28 تموز، أصبح جلياً مدى فداحة فشل سلاح الجوّ «الإسرائيلي» في محاولاته وقف هجمات حزب الله الصاروخية. وفي ذلك اليوم نفسه، نشر حزب الله صاروخاً جديداً ـ «خيبر 1» ـ الذي ضرب منطقة العفولة.

في 28 تموز، وبسبب الفشل الذريع للعمل الاستخباري «الإسرائيلي» والذي بلغت أصداؤه الجمهور «الإسرائيلي». سرّب «الموساد» بعض المعلومات التي كانت في تقديرهم تدلّل على أن وحدات حزب الله لم تتعرّض إلى إصابات فادحة أو تدهوراً كبيراً في قدراتها العسكرية، وأن المنظمة قد تكون قادرةً على الاستمرار في القتال لعدّة أشهر أخرى. اختلف الجيش «الإسرائيلي» مشيراً إلى التضرّر الكبير الذي لحق بحزب الله وبدأت تظهر للعلن الشقوق الكبيرة في مجتمع الاستخبارات «الإسرائيلية».

وعلاوةً على ذلك، والأمر الأكثر أهمية من كل هذا، إثبات مقاتلي حزب الله مدى تفانيهم وانضباطهم. تمكّنت الاستخبارات من تحديد اختراقات المشاة «الإسرائيلية»، وبرهنت أن الوحدات القتالية «الإسرائيلية» هي الأفضل. وفي بعض الحالات، أُلحقت الهزيمة ببعض الوحدات القتالية على أرض المعركة، ما أجبرهم على تنفيذ الانسحابات المفاجئة أو الاضطرار إلى الاعتماد على الغطاء الجوّي لإنقاذ العناصر من التعرّض للإطاحة. وحتى مع اقتراب نهاية الحرب في 9 آب، فقد أعلنت قوات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» عن مقتل 15 من جنودها الاحتياطيين وجرح 40 آخرين أثناء جولات القتال في قرى مرجعيون، الخيام، وكفركلا، ما أشار إلى معدّل إصابات مرتفع ومذهل على قطعة عقار هامشية في المنطقة.

وقد كان لدفاع حزب الله القوي آثاره التدميرية أيضاً على المدرّعات «الإسرائيلية». فعندما وافقت «إسرائيل» أخيراً على وقفٍ لإطلاق النار وبدأت تحقق انسحاباتها من المنطقة الحدودية، تركت وراءها أكثر من 40 عربة مدرّعة مختلفة من أمثال «ساغر» و«سلكيا».

وقبل تنفيذ وقف إطلاق النار، قرّرت مؤسسة السياسة «الإسرائيلية» القيام بإنزال مظلّي على طول المناطق الواقعة على نهر الليطاني. وجاء هذا القرار بمثابة وسيلة أو حجة منطقية لإقناع المجتمع الدولي أن قواعد الاشتباك لقوات الأمم المتحدة، ينبغي أن تمتدّ نحو الليطاني جنوباً.

نُقل عدد كبير من القوات «الإسرائيلية» إلى مناطق رئيسة جنوب الليطاني لتحقيق هذا الهدف، وقد جاء هذا القرار كارثياً، حيث أن معظم القوات الجوّية «الإسرائيلية» كانت مُحاطة بوحدات حزب الله. وقد أغضب هذا القرار السياسي الضباط المتقاعدين في الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، إلى حدّ اتهام أولمرت بمغازلة الجيش «الإسرائيلي» واستخدامه لتحقيق أغراض وأهداف العلاقات العامة.

ولعلّ أكثر علامات الفشل «الإسرائيلي» وضوحاً، جاءت في أعداد القتلى والجرحى. تدّعي «إسرائيل» إلى الآن أنها قتلت 400 500 مقاتلاً من حزب الله، في حين كانت خسائره أقلّ بكثير. غير أن المحاسبة الأكثر دقة تشير إلى أن خسائر حزب الله و«إسرائيل» متساوية تقريباً. ومن المستحيل على الشيعة وحزب الله ألا يقوموا بتشييع مشرّف لشهدائهم. ولم تكن هذه التشييعات بأقلّ من 180 تشييعاً، وهو رقم تقريبي جداً للجنازات التي أُقيمت في الجانب «الإسرائيلي». لا يجوز لنا أن ننقح هذا الرقم بشكل تصاعدي: فأحدث المعلومات التي لدينا من لبنان تقول أن عدد الشهداء المشيعون في الجنوب هو على وجه التحديد 184 جنازةً.

لكن، وقبل أيّ محاسبة، سواء على صعيد الصورايخ، المدرّعات أو عدد القتلى والجرحى ـ فإن قتال حزب الله ضدّ «إسرائيل»، يُفترض أن يُمنح نصراً عسكرياً وسياسياً حاسماً. وحتى لو كان الأمر غير ذلك، وهذا ما ليس واضحاً إلى الآن، وقد أدّى إلى تأثير قوي وشامل لحرب «إسرائيل» مع حزب الله والتي دامت 34 يوماً في تموز وآب، وسبّبت زلازل وارتدادات عدّة في المنطقة بأسرها.

إن الهزيمة العسكرية التي ألحقتها قوات حزب الله بـ«إسرائيل» كانت حاسمة وساطعة، غير أن الهزيمة السياسية للولايات كانت كارثية للغاية، وأدّت إلى كسر هيبتها في المنطقة، هي التي انحازت بلا حدود إلى «إسرائيل» خلال الحرب، ورفضت السماح ببلوغها خواتيمها.

الجزء الثالث والأخير: حزب الله يكسب المعركة السياسية


Nasrallah 8-13-16

by Jonathan Azaziah

Nasrallah 8-13-16 2Thank you Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Watching the Hizbullah Secretary-General deliver yet another classic speech yesterday, I was reminded of “Spider’s Web”, the 25th and final song of my 2015 album “Son of Kufa Vol. 1: Rise Of The Anomaly”. I wrote the joint out of incredible inspiration after reading the Sayyed’s famous May 26th, 2000 speech in the legendary Southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil for the billionth time. Those seven little words, “‘Israel’ is weaker than a spider’s web”, have resonated with me for as long as I can remember and they represent the very cornerstone of my worldview when it comes to the cancerous existence of ‘Israel’ and International Zionism generally. Those seven little words represent hope, truth and victory all at once. Those seven little words are our comfort in times of what can feel like overwhelming gloaming. Because if Hizbullah could prevail then, and if Hizbullah could prevail again in the 2006 July War, and if Hizbullah and its allies can prevail today in Syria against Zio-Takfirism, then Palestine, ALL OF PALESTINE, can and will prevail tomorrow.

Why? Because as Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah noted in his latest speech, commemorating 10 years since the Divine Victory, the usurping Zionist entity as of right now remains weaker than a spider’s web. Even weaker than that in fact! This putrefying tumor, with its illegal nuclear weapons, stranglehold over Imperialist regimes, influence in the upper echelons of every Western sphere of power, the most advanced technology in our region, and, allegedly, the “fourth strongest army in the world”, remains on its deathbed. ‘Tis only a matter of time ’till its last breath. US and EU geopolitical analysts, long in the pay of the Zionist Power Configuration, now openly question if ‘Israel’ can last as an entity. So declared Sayyed Abou Hadi, the most luminous revolutionary of our time, that the “spirit” of the Zionist entity was broken by Hizbullah’s mighty, heavenly moujahideen in 2006, and thus, ‘Israeli’ commanders, politicians, strategists and rank-and-file occupation soldiers also question how much longer their genocidal Jewish supremacist project will continue to exist.

Hizbullah didn’t just defeat ‘Israel’ 10 years ago, it permanently branded the enemy as the “entity of the spider’s web”, and on the day that we march into Al-Quds and kiss its hallowed ground when this entity ceases to be, Sayyed Abou Hadi’s seven little words will be ringing out like Eastern Orthodox church bells and the Fajr Adhan combined, only twice as beautiful. Thank you Sayyed Hassan, I rhyme what I rhyme, write what I write, do what I do and believe in our inevitable final triumph because of you.

#LabaykahYaNasrallah #LongLiveHizbullah #DeathToIsrael #EntityOfTheSpidersWebWillFall


«Israel» from the Inside … at a Crossroads

Jihad Haidar

“Israel” is at a crossroads. This is not the analytical point of view from anyone in the axis of resistance…or its supporters. It is not a report from those that are unfamiliar with the actual situation in the “Israeli” entity. But it is rather a cry launched by [“Israeli”] President Reuven Rivlin during the Herzliya Conference, a repetition of a similar warning during the course of the past year.

Jewish settlers

Indeed, his tone and the logic upon which he based his speech were overwhelmed by pessimism, even though he stressed that it was possible to avoid the worst-case scenario if a deliberate plan with a specified target was introduced.

What is the data that the “President” of the “Israeli” entity relied on, and what are the prospects and repercussions of this path, which he feared?

Analysts and those who follow “Israeli” affairs are accustomed to focusing their approaches on the political and security situations. But the domestic political scene in “Israel” has now become the focus of that analysis.

In “Israel” there is a parallel movement no less important, even though it does not receive the attention of many in the outside world, but it substantially affects “Israel’s” future especially since it affects the national immunity and economic and social realities of the entity.

Talking about ethnic, religious, and ideological diversity in “Israeli” society may not be new. But this situation has persisted in “Israeli” society since the beginning of its formation and transformation into a ‘state’. The origins of the changes taking place in “Israel” revolve around this fact, but with a unique addition that changed every equation inside “Israel.”

Previously, secularists dominated the political and social reality in “Israel,” reflected in all [of the entity’s] political, security and judicial institutions and even the social and economic spheres.

In addition to the majority, there were minorities, represented by the Zionist Religious party, the Haredi Judaism party [ultra-Orthodox], and of course, along with the Palestinian minority that remained in “Israel” since its declaration of independence in 1948. Based on this background, there was no sense of threat to the social reality in “Israel.”

What is new now, according to Rivlin is that a “new order” is being formed in “Israel.” He stresses that it is not in anticipation of the future but is a reality “Israel” is living, better reflected in the selection of first year students within the “Israeli” education system.

The [“Israeli”] “President” cited official and accurate statistics, concluding that about 38% of the students are secular, nearly 15% are religious Zionists, and about 25% are Palestinian students, with roughly the same number of ultra-orthodox religious people [religious Haredis].

As a result of this formation, it seems clear that in Israel there is no longer a clear majority and a clear minority, but a reality that is composed – according to the “Israeli” “president” – of “four tribes” similar in terms of size.

However, a problem emerges in that the bulk of this diversity exists within the Jewish community, making them the clear majority and decisive with respect to the Palestinians, and this is true. But this diversity has its repercussions on the social and economic reality and this was the reason for the cry and warnings of the [“Israeli”] “President” and the recent Herzliya Conference. This issue was the central focus of the meetings in an attempt to look for solutions to avoid the worst-case scenario, which worries the “Israeli” leaders.

First of all, it should be emphasized that this diversity is one of the fundamental contributions to the right wing’s domination of the political arena. This is because the Zionist and Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] parties are automatically part of the right-wing camp. Added on top comes the hard core from the secular right wing, which leads to the preponderance of the right in the elections. In addition, the bulk of the changes in the polls are largely the result of shifts within the right-wing camp itself, from this party to that.

Furthermore, it should be recalled that the recruitment of the army does not include “the Palestinian sector”, which is understandable… also the sons of the Haredi party reject enlistment in the army for ideological and “legitimate” reasons. Attempts – under the banner of equality in bearing the burden of responsibility, through the enactment of a law – to impose conscription on them failed.

Coalition accounts imposed on Netanyahu were designed to undo this law. The Haredi parties did not agree to join the government before the decision to re-amend the [conscription] law and that is what happened…

Given the percentages of the ultra-Orthodox and the Palestinian [who hold “Israeli” citizenship] sectors, it is clear that half the population of the “Israeli” entity will not enlist in the army after several years…

Also, the most important implications of this social reality are connected to “Israel’s” economic future. This is what the [“Israeli”] President has repeatedly warned about,

“if we do not reduce the existing gaps between the ratios of involvement in the labor market and the levels of wage for the Arab and Haredi groups which are expected to represent half the workforce in the future,
“Israel” cannot maintain being a nation with an advanced economy, but the harsh and painful pandemic of poverty will increase, which has already hit the “Israeli” entity and is spreading.”

In light of the above, the clear fact is that “Israel” is now positioned at a historic juncture, on the social level, and according to Rivlin, it stands at a “crossroads” that will determine its current options and social, economic and political future…

Source: Al-Ahed News, Translated and Edited by website team

08-08-2016 | 10:41

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