Monday, August 07, 2006

Iraq Dispatches: Hezbollah Rides a New Popularity

In this latest dispatch from Lebanon, independent journalist Dahr Jamail writes about the growing popularity of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Arab world. Israel's aim of widespread bombing of Lebanese infrastructure - and the rising civilian deaths - in order to create resentment against Hezbollah seems to have backfired, creating the opposite.

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website **
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Hezbollah Rides a New Popularity

*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail

*BEIRUT, Aug 7 (IPS) - As the war in Lebanon approaches the one-month mark, and amid the destruction of much of Lebanon, Hezbollah appears to be gaining strength within the country and around the Arab world.*

The Israeli aim of widespread bombing of the Lebanese infrastructure in order to create resentment against Hezbollah seems to have played into the strengths of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah, known in many western countries as a "terrorist organisation", is widely seen in Lebanon as a legitimate political and social power.

One reason for this, according to an official representative of Hezbollah and member of the Lebanese Parliament, is that Hezbollah has never aimed to turn Lebanon into an Islamic state.

"Hezbollah is a democratic party whose principles are based on the Lebanese constitution," Tarad Hamade told IPS. "This means we have to respect the cultural and religious diversity in the country. We have never intended to establish an Islamic state."

Hamade, who is also labour minister, said: "Israel wants to terrorise the country and inflict as much damage as possible. They call us terrorists, at the same time as they are exercising state terrorism. Are they not terrorists?"

More and more Lebanese are beginning to hold this view.

Lebanese see the destruction by Israelis all around them. The damage to the civilian infrastructure will cost billions of dollars to fix.

All three of Lebanon's airports and all four of its ports have been bombed. Damage done to houses and businesses is estimated at above a billion dollars. At least 22 fuel and gas stations have been bombed. Scores of factories have been damaged or destroyed.

Red Cross ambulances, government emergency centres, UN peacekeeping forces and observers, media outlets and mobile phone towers have been bombed -- all in violation of international law.

Mosques and churches have been bombed, and illegal weapons such as cluster bombs and white phosphorous used. More than 90 percent of those killed, close to 1,000 according to official estimates, are civilians.

The result is that rather than pressuring Hezbollah by destroying Lebanon, Israel has increased popular support for the group, and brought the wishes of most Lebanese more in line with the stated goals of Hezbollah to keep Israel at bay.

With Hezbollah engaged in at least 60 percent of the relief efforts in Lebanon, the kind of work that gave it power in the first place is now only increasing its popularity.

Israel could also have fallen for the military strategy of Hezbollah. Hezbollah would like nothing more than to engage the Israeli military in a guerrilla war in southern Lebanon - and this has begun already now that Israeli troops are in the south, and suffering casualties.

Hamade says Hezbollah's stated demands for a ceasefire are simple and have remained unchanged since the beginning of the conflict.

"There can only be ceasefire if Israel stops firing as soon as possible, accepts an exchange of prisoners and leaves Lebanon." But more than 10,000 Israeli troops now occupy parts of southern Lebanon, widespread air strikes continue, and Israel refuses a prisoner exchange.

IPS recently interviewed a Hezbollah fighter who asked to be called "Ahmed". The Israeli aggression has only made him a more determined fighter.

"I care about my people, my country, and I'm defending them from the aggression," he said. "My home now in Dahaya (southern Beirut) is in ruins. Everything in my life is destroyed now, so I will fight them."

Like most followers of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Ahmed said: "We are all with him. He has given us belief and hope that we can push the Zionists out of Lebanon, and keep them out forever. He has given me purpose."

He added: "We are like the French resistance against the Nazis."

Mohamed Slaibi, a 21-year-old business student at the American University of Beirut (AUB), said that he has never supported Hezbollah, but he now feels it is their right to defend Lebanon.

"And now I feel betrayed by America," Slaibi said. "The U.S. supports Israel 100 percent in everything they do. Even though my dream was to go to the U.S., and I study at AUB, now I hate the Americans for supporting Israel."

This is just the kind of sentiment that Israel did not want to provoke. And it has been caused by the extent of the Israeli aggression. In the past Israeli attacks were aimed primarily at Hezbollah, but now all Lebanese people are suffering.

It is well known that Hezbollah enjoys strong political support from Syria and Iran, and likely receives arms and munitions from those countries, but more than ever it is enjoying the support of the Lebanese people.

And it certainly seems to have resources. "Some of it is donations from the Lebanese people," Hamade said. "Some of it is revenues from companies established by Hezbollah. In addition, Muslims pay 'Zaqaat' (a voluntary donation for the cause of religion). The arms we can buy on the market. There is an endless supply of arms."

Hezbollah can of course not match Israel in weaponry. "We might not be as powerful as the Israeli army but we will fight until we die," Hamade said.

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the DahrJamailIraq website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media. Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.

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(Dahr Jamail's dispatches from the Middle East are republished on this site with the kind permission of the journalist.)

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10 comment(s):

Hizballah's propaganda arm falls on hard times. "Reuters withdraws all photos by Lebanese freelance," from Reuters:

LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Reuters withdrew all 920 photographs by a freelance Lebanese photographer from its database on Monday after an urgent review of his work showed he had altered two images from the conflict between Israel and the armed group Hizbollah.

By Blogger PeaceMan, at 8:08 PM  

PeaceMan, you have posted on my site as well. You seem very angry, I guess I don't blame you. I don't blame the other side for being angry either.

But we cannot let the hate consume us...own us.

The entire Christian New Testament can be summed up in one phrase spoken by Jesus:

"Love one another!"

Peace my brother.
Let go the hate...

-- FreeCyprus

By Blogger FreeCyprus, at 12:37 AM  

PeaceMan, I checked out those links and visited your site. And I suggest you listen to the kind, sage advice of FreeCyprus and let go of all that hate you harbour...

FreeCyprus, thank you...

By Blogger Annamarie, at 1:40 AM  

P.S. to PeaceMan: Until you let go of all that hate, perhaps you should not use the "Peace" moniker. A hate-filled person cannot be a peaceful person...(it's an oxymoron)... If you allow hate into your heart, it will consume you, and own you, like FreeCyprus so kindly pointed out.

"AngryMan" may be more befitting...

By Blogger Annamarie, at 1:49 AM  

perhaps 'angry young man' would best fit.

peaceman, propoganda is doesn't matter which 'side' it is coming from. and you have to admit by the post here that lebanon is getting pretty darned good at it. the question comes as when, where and how much of it to buy.

in this case the 10,000 israeli troops is what is undeniable....and that's a hell of a lot of troops for the taking of two soldiers who were on lebanese soil.

i think if you check around some more blogs you'll find the majority do not support war....what they are getting at is that there is war, it's cause and cessation, buildup, defiance of u.n. security code, and humanitarian issues are the main concerns.

By Blogger Scout, at 2:58 AM  

God bless. Thank you annamarie for leaving your comments on my website. I truly appreciate all of your comments. If there is anything on my website that you or others wish to address, then feel free to do so.

I wish to point out that Zionisim teaches hate and fear. Hezbollahs, Hamas, and all other anti-occupation movements existance is a natural reply to the racist, ill-fated Zionist entity.

Yet, I stand strong that I will fight and will not allow any more injustice from the Zionist illegal colony.

Most Israelis are brain washed with Zionist propaganda. The world need to realize the extreme similarity between Zionisim and Nazism.

Any human being will get shocked, with very real high risk of heart attack, on how those Israelis treat the Palestinians.

Those Israelis believe that they are commisioned by God and that they are the chosen ones and everyone else are like animals who's lives are not to be considered anything important.

You might be thinking what kind of justification suck sick ideology is supported with?


It is called Al-Talmud. One wicked devilish book written by Rabbis. Which in contradication of what main stream Jews claim. Here are some sick stuff from that book sited by that site that I don't know if it truthful or not, but it explaines the utter hate and racisim the Zionist colony harbors:

Moed Kattan 17a: If a Jew is tempted to do evil he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there.

Erubin 21b. Whosoever disobeys the rabbis deserves death and will be punished by being boiled in hot excrement in hell.

Sanhedrin 58b. If a heathen (gentile) hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.

Sanhedrin 57a . A Jew need not pay a gentile ("Cuthean") the wages owed him for work.

Baba Kamma 37b. "If an ox of an Israelite gores an ox of a Canaanite there is no liability; but if an ox of a Canaanite gores an ox of an Israelite...the payment is to be in full."

Baba Mezia 24a . If a Jew finds an object lost by a gentile ("heathen") it does not have to be returned. (Affirmed also in Baba Kamma 113b). Sanhedrin 76a. God will not spare a Jew who "marries his daughter to an old man or takes a wife for his infant son or returns a lost article to a Cuthean..."

Sanhedrin 57a . When a Jew murders a gentile ("Cuthean"), there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.

Baba Kamma 37b. The gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has "exposed their money to Israel."

Baba Kamma 113a. Jews may use lies ("subterfuges") to circumvent a Gentile.

Yebamoth 98a. All gentile children are animals.

Abodah Zarah 36b. Gentile girls are in a state of niddah (filth) from birth.

Abodah Zarah 22a-22b . Gentiles prefer sex with cows.

Sanhedrin 106a . Says Jesus' mother was a whore: "She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters." Also in footnote #2 to Shabbath 104b of the Soncino edition, it is stated that in the "uncensored" text of the Talmud it is written that Jesus mother, "Miriam the hairdresser," had sex with many men.

A passage from Sanhedrin 106 gloats over the early age at which Jesus died: "Hast thou heard how old Balaam (Jesus) was?--He replied: It is not actually stated but since it is written, Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days it follows that he was thirty-three or thirty-four years old."

Also, follow the link and read the Horrible Blasphemies Against Jesus Christ.

Tell me how you feel about Jews after you read that Devilish text. Pure evil. Pure. It is ill and sicking. These people exist few hours drive from my beloved home Damascus.

By Blogger NoFearNoHateNoGreed, at 4:03 AM  

Ιmpressed by your Story....

I think Canadian think
more politically than American
didn't they?


By Blogger Ergotelina, at 7:09 AM  

Breaking news:

Hizbollah fighter tells Israel he trained in Iran

fact or fiction?

By Blogger FreeCyprus, at 1:42 PM  

Here, I had not read the Talmud, so was not aware of this.

Ergo te Lina, Yes, maybe Canadians do think a little more about politics than our southern neighbours. Although I can't be certain... :)

FreeCyprus, that is likely the case, but it has nothing to do with Israel killing hundreds upon hundreds of innocent civilians and attempting to wipe Lebanon off the face of the Earth. Thanks for the link, though! :)

By Blogger Annamarie, at 7:54 PM  

NoFearNoHateNoGreed, that first comment was meant for you. Sorry for my error. And thank you for your comments. I feel deeply troubled by your situation, and that of all Arabs who are occupied by Israel and feeling its wrath. I pray so much for Peace.

By Blogger Annamarie, at 8:05 PM  

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