Lebanon: Ceasefire and beyond….

Finally the guns are showing signs of falling silent in Southern Lebanon. On Tuesday, Israel began to pull many of its reserve troops out of southern Lebanon, and its military chief of staff said all of the soldiers could be back across the border within 10 days. While the Israelis began their withdrawal, hundreds of Hezbollah members spread over dozens of villages across southern Lebanon began cleaning, organizing and surveying damage. Men on bulldozers were busy cutting lanes through giant piles of rubble. Roads blocked with the remnants of buildings are now, just a day after a cease-fire began, fully passable.

If there is something that should boost Hizbollah’s standing this should be it. Israel’s cause has been actually harmed though it should be agreed that it was a tough option in the face of what hizbollah had perpetrated by the kidnapping. Al Jazeera showed in Bint Jbail, Hezbollah ambulances ,large, new cars with flashing lights on the top  ferrying bodies of fighters to graves out of mountains of rubble. Hezbollah’s reputation as an efficient grass-roots social service network ,as opposed to the Lebanese government, regarded by many here as sleek men in suits doing well was in evidence everywhere. Nasrallah has been quoted as saying “Today is the day to keep up our promises,” He had added “All our brothers will be in your service starting tomorrow.”

Hezbollah men also traveled door to door checking on residents and asking them what help they needed. Although Hezbollah is a Shiite organization, Sheik Nasrallah’s message has resounded even with  Sunni Muslims who have vouched for Hizbollah’s credibility, “The government may do some work on bridges and roads, but when it comes to rebuilding houses, Hezbollah will have a big role to play,” a sunni villager has been quoted saying by the NY times. “Nasrallah said yesterday he would rebuild, and he will come through.” Sheik Nasrallah’s speech is a  watershed in Lebanese politics, establishing his group on an equal footing with the official government. Sheik Nasrallah has taken on the veneer of a national leader rather than the head of one group in Lebanon’s political parties. According to the NY times  In tone and content, Nasrallah’s remarks seemed more like those of a president or a prime minister should be making while addressing the nation after a terrible month of destruction and human suffering. Cannot dispute that 😦

Support for Hezbollah was likely to become stronger. Hezbollah has two pillars of support, the resistance and the social services. What this war has illustrated is that it is best at both. Israel has played into the hands of the Hizbollah.

Securing a peaceful future has sadly got harder for a gritty bunch of people (Israelis) and poor innocent arab civilians…..

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Published in: Uncategorized on August 16, 2006 at 5:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Of impotence, the arab world and Israel

I was reading Ha’aretz recently, it described the lebanese crisis in the following vein , ”This mortifying war” was supposed to destroy Hezbollah quickly. But it has now entered its fourth week and far from being destroyed Hezbollah is proving more than a match for the Israeli army. The Arab street is electrified, Arab leaders, emasculated vassals of the United States, look on despondently. Nothing has made them look more impotent than the current bout of fighting.

While Israel’s difficulties are understandable, this move has just played into the hands of the Hezbollah. While it is imperative for the Arab nations to recognise Israel’s right to exist, Israel should show some flexibility in return. This policy of a overwhelming response is of no use as the current cycle has clearly showed. The lack of able administrators in the arab world is evident more than ever before. It is such a shame that the arab leaders refuse to accept the existence of the jewish state after 60 years. However,

Compromise means Israel has an obligation, too. Israel must acknowledge its role in the refugee problem and stop blaming others. It means compensating the Palestinian refugees for lost property with the same vigor of Jews seeking compensation and a restoration of dignity from governments and businesses that cooperated with the Nazis during World War II. It also means the Arab world must compensate Jews who left Arab countries to immigrate to Israel. Arguing about whether any of these Jewish or Palestinian refugees were forced to leave or fled is irrelevant.A compromise needs to come forth from both the sides. it is an incredibly compicated mess, god forbid should nasrallah fire on telaviv, the middle east might well descend into chaos. this bombing will simply provide radical islam the impetus it could have never got on its own and yes hezbollah and co get new sets of suicide bombers too. In that sense Mr.Olmert has unwittingly played into nasrallah’s hands…..

At last, perhaps it would also help if the ‘distingushed leaders’ of the arab world could pull themselves up. Starting to act like real men is definitely not a bad idea to start with…. 

Published in: Uncategorized on August 5, 2006 at 6:08 am  Comments (1)