Israeli calculations don’t always meet their goals. In 1982, the Israeli army invaded Lebanon and killed more than 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians — mostly civilians, as usual — in the hope of ridding Lebanon of the Israeli occupation’s enemies. The results of that invasion are well-known, but let’s just say that Israel never had more formidable opponents and resisters than the ones that its own brutality and savagery produced in Lebanon. Furthermore, Israel often casually invades and bombs for electoral benefit. Shimon Peres could never run a campaign without engaging in a massacre or bombing campaign. Crimes and massacres are part of Israel’s electoral politics.
It’s unclear what Israel’s motives are in this campaign. Typically, Western media and Arab oil media volunteer that those who were killed were planning an attack on Israel. No one asks how the Israeli military is able to read Arab minds and predict what every Arab is up to at any point of their existence. It can thus tell when an Arab considers engaging in a “terrorist” attack, and kills him before he acts. This gives Israel the right to kill any Arab anywhere.
It’s possible that Israel was testing the readiness and vigilance of its enemy, Hezbollah. It is also possible that Israel has assumed that Hezbollah is too distracted to respond to Israeli attacks. On both counts, Israel was wrong. Israel does not understand Hezbollah, and has a long history of misunderstanding its enemies. Israel (like the Saudi clients in Lebanon) assumes wrongly that Hizbullah is no more than a client of the Iranian regime and that it has no domestic home-grown basis. In fact, Hizbullah’s roots in Lebanon are now more entrenched than ever, and it has succeeded in equipping the population (even beyond its constituency) with a culture of resistance to Israel and its aggression. Continue reading Hizbullah and the New Rules of Engagement
by Jean Aziz, Al-Monitor
Two events marked the Lebanese political scene during the last days of January 2015. The repercussions of these events are expected to extend over more than a month. The first event, leaked through the media, was the visit to Beirut on Jan. 29 by Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a shadowy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force — as described by some in the West.
The second was the content of the speech delivered the next day after the visit by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, in particular regarding the party’s stance on Israel and the new and developing confrontation. Continue reading Qassem Suleimani in Beirut: An Exceptional Event
Iran’s Supreme Leader has permitted a limited group of Iranian youth to fight along with “Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese brothers,” according to Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammed Ali Jafari.
Jafari, while addressing a ceremony in Tehran last Friday, mentioned discussions he had with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, saying that “despite the number of youth who are permitted to join the fighting (outside Iran), no one else should leave the country” for resistance abroad, the Iranian Mashregh news agency reported.
Jafari hailed Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement for taking “revenge” for the recent Israeli air raid on the Syrian Golan Heights. Jafari said that “Hezbollah’s recent attack on Israel was a response with the lowest degree of severity and we hope that they take the lesson not to repeat such mistakes (in future).” Continue reading Iran Revolutionary Guard: Khamenei Limited Number of Youth Allowed to Fight Abroad
by Jamal Ghosn, Al-Akhbar English
The dominant media narrative of the “Middle East Conflict,” with its accompanying “peace process,” has a hard time contextualizing today’s developments in the Shebaa Farms of the Golan Heights. According to that pro-Israeli narrative, the status quo in Palestine — and around it — is perfectly fine and any deviation from it must be rectified.
While the Israeli military was bombarding the besieged Gaza Strip last summer, even the most radical global protests only called for a stop to the bloodshed, and thus for a return to the pre-war status. Following the same logic, any “recognition” of the status quo is celebrated as progress towards ending the conflict. That is what happens when symbolic votes are held in European parliaments recognizing a Palestinian state. The implication of this is that the Palestinians have no qualms about the occupation they endure, and all they really want is for it to be administered by Abu Mazen instead of the Israeli generals. Continue reading On Hizbullah’s Shebaa Farms Operation: This is not the War
by Arash Karami, Al-Monitor
Mohammad Ali Jaffari, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has said that the attack by Hezbollah that killed two Israeli soldiers was the “minimum” response to Israeli strike that killed an Iranian and six Hezbollah fighters.
At a conference today called “Jihad Will Continue,” Jaffari told reporters, “Hezbollah’s response to Israel was a minimum response that was given to the Israelis, and I hope this response will be a lesson not to make these mistakes anymore.” He continued, “The response the tyrant Israelis received for their ugly actions, which our brothers in Hezbollah gave them along the Lebanese-Syrian border, was a minimum response.”
Jaffari said that the Israelis knew their “idiotic” actions would be answered and that the Israelis “should await a stronger response not only around their borders but anywhere in the world where Zionist Israelis are.” Continue reading Hizbullah strike was ‘minimum response,’ warns IRGC commander
Commander of the Iranian Al-Quds Brigades, Major General Qassem Suleimani paid tribute to Hezbollah martyrs who fell in the Israeli aerial aggression on Syria’s Quneitra. Continue reading Iran’s Suleimani Pays Tribute to Hizbullah’s Quneitra Martyrs
by Ibrahim al-Amin, Al-Akhbar English
It is possible now to talk about the “next day” in the struggle against Israel. The Resistance’s daring attack in the Shebaa Farms was a result of the enemy’s miscalculation in assessing the reality of the Resistance.
By doing so, the enemy gave Hezbollah the cue to engage in its favorite “hobby,” namely to turn threats into opportunities. This is what made the Resistance’s military response, and its political and operational implications, akin to turning a new page.
Fundamentally, the Resistance has had its say. Now it’s Israel’s turn. Continue reading The Resistance’s New Equation: Deterrence by Punishment
(photo above of the occupied Golan Heights by Mouqawamah Music Managing Editor Assad al-Liftawi)
by Hassan Illeik and Firas Choufi, Al-Akhbar English
The latest battles on the southern front in Syria fall within the context of the escalation with Israel in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. Although coordination between Israel and armed opposition groups preceded the attack in Quneitra, the surge in fighters along the Daraa, Quneitra and Zabadani fronts suggests, according to some, a clear Israeli message — namely, that they are able to engage on more than one front.
Even before the latest snowstorm, most Syrian fronts were relatively calm compared to the situation in recent weeks and months, from Aleppo and Idlib in the north to Daraa and Quneitra in the south, including the Hama, Homs and Damascus countrysides. The only exceptions were ISIS’s battles with Kurdish forces in Kobane (Ain al-Arab), and with the Syrian army in Deir Ezzor. Continue reading Syria: Israeli Hands Meddling On The Southern Front
by Qassem Qassem, Al-Akhbar English
The “beautiful era” is back, the era of qualitative resistance operations against the Israeli enemy. “Abu Ali” could not contain his joy. He distributed cups of juice to pedestrians, as he does every time an operation is carried out in the Palestinian interior. Over the past 10 days, residents of the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp had eagerly waited for Hezbollah’s response to the Quneitra operation. As soon as news about the Shebaa attack started to make the rounds, shots of jubilation were fired into the air. A supporter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) says: “The body of the resistance is one, from Beirut to Gaza.”
The camp’s alleys are lined with pictures of martyrs from the recent war in Gaza, and others of the perpetrators of the stabbing attacks in Jerusalem. These replaced pictures of Palestinians who were killed in the war in Syria, which indicates a change in the general mood of the camp. Interest in news about Syrian affairs has declined, and the attention has re-shifted to Palestine, most recently the occupied Golan Heights. Continue reading Palestinian Refugee Camps Celebrate Shebaa Retaliation
“Don’t try us,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah told Israel in a televised speech Friday broadcast during a memorial ceremony to honor the six Hezbollah fighters and the Iranian general killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria earlier this month.
On January 18, an Israeli helicopter airstrike on the Syrian city of Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights killed six fighters of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah, including a commander, Mohammed Abu Issa, and the son of assassinated senior commander Imad Mughniyeh, as well as Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Mohammed Ali Allahdadi. Continue reading Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: The Rules of Engagement with Israel Are Over