Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hezbollah's Adapted Resistance


Hezbollah's Adapted Resistance



Hezbollah has adjusted its definition of "resistance" by claiming that fighting in Syria is part of its war on Israel


BACKGAMMON blog: A board game played in smoky cafes from Beirut to Baghdad.

Backgammon's earliest ancestor is five thousand years old and was unearthed

in southern Iraq. 'Backgammon' covers the state of play in the countries

spanning the Fertile Crescent: Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan,

and Iraq.

In this picture taken on Friday, February 14, 2014, Hezbollah fighters march

in a parade during the memorial of their slain leader Sheik Abbas

al-Mousawi, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike in 1992, in Tefahta

village, south Lebanon. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)


In this picture taken on Friday, February 14, 2014, Hezbollah fighters march

in a parade during the memorial of their slain leader Sheik Abbas

al-Mousawi, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike in 1992, in Tefahta

village, south Lebanon. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)


"Our intervention in Syria has confused Israel and caused it a strategic

setback, because they were betting on the toppling of the regime in Syria

and the weakening of the resistance in Lebanon after the Arab armies from

Egypt to Iraq have been weakened, strengthening the power of the

resistance," said the deputy chief of Hezbollah's Executive Council, Nabil

Qawook, in late February. "These takfirists and terrorists have endorsed all

of Israel's goals."


Hezbollah, through its various patrons, has made similar arguments in the

past. Last spring, during the battle of Al-Qusayr, when Hezbollah and Assad

forces swept the Syrian town, the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV channel, which

is said to be funded by Syria and Iran, aired footage of what it said was an

Israeli army vehicle that had been captured from the rebels.


That report later became the laughing stock of many Lebanese and Syrians,

forcing Hezbollah and its loyalists to largely abandon the idea that Israel

was directly involved in the fight against Assad in Syria. At least, that

was true until last week, when Israeli fighter jets hit a Hezbollah target

along Lebanon's eastern border with Syria.


While Israel has not officially acknowledged the attack, it is believed to

be the seventh Israeli air strike targeting weapons bound for Hezbollah from

Syria. The big difference this time was that the Israeli raid hit the

Lebanese, not the Syrian, side of the border, making it the first reported

Israeli strike on Lebanese soil since the 2006 war.


For all of its bravado, Hezbollah had to do, or at least say, something in

response. For years, the party sent out messages to Israel that aggression

of any kind against Lebanon would not be tolerated. After the Israelis hit

Lebanon, Hezbollah was expected to retaliate.


But Hezbollah is bogged down in Syria, fighting alongside Assad, and is in

the middle of invading Yabroud, a Syrian town close to the border with

Lebanon that is believed to be a hotbed of rebels. So, in the middle of its

war in Syria, the last thing Hezbollah needs is to open a front with Israel.


To avoid embarrassment, Hezbollah eventually issued a statement-thirty-six

hours after the attack: "We will retaliate for this Israeli aggression, and

the resistance will choose the appropriate time and place, as well as

appropriate means, to respond." But it looks as though one of the main ways

in which Hezbollah will retaliate is by expanding its operations in Syria,

instead of directly targeting Israel.


According to the Lebanon Debate website, a Hezbollah source said that the

target was not an arms shipment, but rather the site of heavy artillery that

was bombing Yabroud. "This [strike] was a message that Israel wanted to send

that the fall of Yabroud is a red line," he said. The source added that he

thinks that in retaliation for the Israeli airstrike on Lebanese territory,

Hezbollah will amend its previous war plan. Instead of occupying the hills

surrounding Yabroud, the plan will be to seize towns and cities in Qalamoun,

a mountainous stretch of land just north of Damascus, like it did in



In its new role, Hezbollah now argues that its fight in Syria is at the

heart of its "resistance" against Israel, a logic that doesn't make sense to



Hezbollah's latest change in strategy comes at a time when Lebanon's new

cabinet is struggling to draft a platform that all parties agree to. That

ministerial statement is required by the constitution for a confidence vote

in parliament.


While the anti-Hezbollah March 14 alliance and President Michel Suleiman

insist on including the Baabda Declaration-an agreement that stipulates

Lebanon remain neutral on the Syrian crisis-Hezbollah and its allies have

opposed such a step and have requested the renewal of a clause included in

previous platforms that stated Lebanon's right to liberate any of its

territories occupied by Israel under the "army, people and resistance"

formula. Now that the "resistance" also includes fighting in Syria, cabinet

endorsement of such a position has proven to be more controversial than



The cabinet has thirty days to present its platform before parliament or it

risks being dissolved, returning Lebanon to a political vacuum.


This article was originally published in The Majalla.



(F)AIR USE NOTICE: All original content and/or articles and graphics in this

message are copyrighted, unless specifically noted otherwise. All rights to

these copyrighted items are reserved. Articles and graphics have been placed

within for educational and discussion purposes only, in compliance with

"Fair Use" criteria established in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.

The principle of "Fair Use" was established as law by Section 107 of The

Copyright Act of 1976. "Fair Use" legally eliminates the need to obtain

permission or pay royalties for the use of previously copyrighted materials

if the purposes of display include "criticism, comment, news reporting,

teaching, scholarship, and research." Section 107 establishes four criteria

for determining whether the use of a work in any particular case qualifies

as a "fair use". A work used does not necessarily have to satisfy all four

criteria to qualify as an instance of "fair use". Rather, "fair use" is

determined by the overall extent to which the cited work does or does not

substantially satisfy the criteria in their totality. If you wish to use

copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you

must obtain permission from the copyright owner. For more information go to:










No comments:

Post a Comment