A propagandist-in-chief's war on intellectual imperialism and pursuit of a resistance episteme

Posts Tagged: Israel

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Reuters reports that Britain’s Foreign Secretary basically urges Israel to act more like a liberal imperialist than a histrionic Zionist nut-case which is alienating a once sympathetic western public: "I am appealing to my Israeli counterparts, to their Western values, to do everything they can in exercising their legitimate right to self defense to minimize the casualties that are caused….As this campaign goes on and the civilian casualties in Gaza mount, Western public opinion is becoming more and more concerned and less and less sympathetic to Israel.” 
Apprently, the daily massacres of women and children holed up inside their homes with nowhere to run, the bombing of hospitals and UNRWA schools, the deliberate targeting of children playing football, the calls for the “extermination” of Gazans by Zionist rabbis, Zionist politicians’ and academics’ calls for the killing and rape of Palestinian mothers, the depiction of Israel’s war crimes as [Palestinian] “self-genocide”, the reference to Palestinian child victims as “telegenically dead”, the Israeli public’s macabre rejoicing over the slaying of Palestinians (AP reports that those who oppose the invasion are a “minority”), the bloodthirsty social media campaigns launched by Israeli teenagers and youths, all this has started to embarass Israel’s western liberal allies. The Zionist regime’s denunciation of the United Nations Human Rights Council as a “kangaroo court” and its portrayal of Brazil as an “irrelevant” “diplomatic dwarf” have only reinforced the world’s growing awareness that Israel is bat-shit crazy. 

Full report here

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If the 2006 July War shattered the myth of Israel’s invincibility, this latest war on Gaza has shattered the myth of Israel’s sustainability. I am not just referring here to the military performance of Hamas, IJ and other groups, or to the demonstrable failure of Iron Dome, but to the ultimately self-destructive nature of Israel’s military strategy of genocide. When a people have been subjected to such relentless barbarity, there is no worst case scenario that the oppressor can threaten them with. They have everything to gain and nothing left to lose from resisting to the end. The more ground troops Israel sends into Gaza, the more opportunities it presents the Resistance with to abduct and kill them. The only thing that is now preventing a cease-fire is Israel’s inability to find a face-saving exit strategy. Israel’s identity as an invicible power and its physical security are entirely dependent on its ability to commit genocide at minimum human and economic cost, and that is no longer possible. Israel is on its death-bed, regardless of what a long miserable death it will be.

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The deputy-speaker of the Israeli Knesset calls for the occupation of Gaza and the expulsion of all its inhabitants, using the following measures:
1) Don’t spare any civilian lives: “Attack the entire ‘target bank’ throughout Gaza with the IDF’s maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal. All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. It is enough that we are hitting exact targets and that we gave them advance warning.”
2) Starve and strangulate the Palestinian population: “a total siege on Gaza. Nothing will enter the area. Israel, however, will allow exit from Gaza.”
3) Repeat, don’t spare any civilian lives: “attack with full force and no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’.”
4) Conquer Gaza with no mercy for civilian lives :”the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations”
5) All supporters of the Resistance should be killed, including children related to Resistance fighters and kids who throw stones: ” ..eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave.” 
6) Palestinians will be denied even this open-air prison because every inch of historic Palestine must be usurped: “Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews.” 
It’s important to bear in mind that this is not a minority view but represents the aspirations of the political mainstream and the majority of Zionist “civilians”, all of whom would be actively pursuing this were it not for the heroic Resistance and the resilient Palestinian people.

Full op-ed here

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Children aside, the concept of “Israeli civilians” is an oxymoron. This meme created by Israelis is circulating on Twitter, depicting Gaza as a woman waiting to be raped by the Zionist army. The meme reads: ” “Bibi, finish inside this time! Signed, citizens in favor of a ground assault”. 
Well before the dissemination of memes like this, not to mention selfies of Israeli teenage girls calling for the death of Palestinians, and images of Israelis relaxing atop hilltops as they eat popcorn and cheer on their invading army massacre Palestinians, Hizbullah was well aware of the Zionist aggressor identity of Israeli “civilians”. In chapter 7 of my book on Hizbullah (2002) I write: “In principle, the party maintains that it ‘prefers to deem Israeli civilians neutral’….[Sheikh Naim] Qasim admits that this is virtually impossible to maintain in reality…Hizbullah rationalizes that it is not killing innocent Israeli civilians, but hostile militant Zionists…[it] perceives Israeli society as an essentially Zionist and ideological monolith, characterized by an inveterate animosity towards the Arab Muslims….Nasrallah’s reference to dead and wounded Israelis as “Zionist” [casualties] implies that Hizbullah does perceive Israeli civilians as detached from the Zionist project, and therefore ‘innocent’, but as co-conspirators in this malevolent scheme…”

We are not beasts like them, so we do not call for their deaths, only that they leave historic Palestine as all occupying armies are eventually forced to do.

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Given Arab outrage at Israel’s latest round of aggression against the Palestinian people, some Arab leftists and Palestine solidarity activists have been attacking Hizbullah for fighting jihadis in Syria while abstaining from intervening militarily in Palestine. Aside from ignoring the existential nature of the far less manageable conflict with the takfiris (who are accountable to no one), such accusations ignore the fact that Hizbullah has never directly intervened in Palestine. 
In 2009, I wrote this piece explaining why Hizbullah couldn’t militarily intervene in the 2008/2009 war on Gaza. I think the excerpts below are even more relevant now, considering Hizbullah is currently fighting on 2 other fronts, over and above its deterrent strategy vis-a-vis Israel: 
"While Israel fervently attempts to terrorize the Palestinians into submission in Gaza, many observers have started to wonder why Hizballah has refrained from stepping in militarily to assist its brothers-in-arms, Hamas. Such musings fail to take account of the constraints on Hizballah’s room for action, as well as the circumstances under which Hizballah would ignore such constraints. The question that should be posed is not so much if Hizballah will act, but when.
As things currently stand, Hizballah is not in a position to directly help Hamas militarily by opening a new front with Israel. In the first place, Hizballah and its supporters have only recently recovered from the devastating impact of Israel’s war against them in July 2006. A Hizballah offensive against northern Israel would surely be met with “disproportionate” force on Israel’s part, which Israel has been threatening as much for several months now. Mass destruction and devastation aside, Hizballah would once again be faced with intense domestic pressures to disarm, and possibly, more externally manufactured, locally-executed conspiracies hatched against it that could drag it into the kind of civil warfare that the movement found itself in during May 2008.
Armed action by Hizballah would not only hurt the movement but would also harm Hamas whose status as a nationalist resistance movement, capable of defending its own people, would be greatly undermined and its raison d’etre called into question. Furthermore, since Hamas has thus far managed to withstand the Israeli onslaught on its own without suffering any significant damage to its organizational hierarchy or military infrastructure, Hizballah does not regard an intervention on its part as an exigent need…..
Hamas’ fighting style also seems to bear the hallmarks of the military tactics Hizballah used during the July War such as its use of underground bunkers and tunnel networks, as well as adopting similar rocket tactics, all of which suggest Hizballah’s extensive training of Hamas’ military forces. Nasrallah came close to admitting as much when he claimed on 31 December that “the resistance in Gaza benefitted more from these lessons [from the July War] than the Israelis.” More than simply receiving military training, Hamas’s military strategy appears to conform to the “new school of fighting” founded by Hizballah’s assassinated military leader, Imad Mughniyeh (himself rumored to have personally trained and equipped several Palestinian groups over the years), which combines conventional and non-conventional, guerilla warfare that functions not only to liberate occupied territory, but to defend it from aggression.”

Full article here

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Seyyid Hassan Nasrallah introduced a new strategic and political motivation behind Hizbullah’s involvement in the war on Syria, which goes beyond its defense of Syria’s territorial integrity and the Syrian state’s support for resistance movements, and even beyond the existential threat takfiri-jihadis pose to Syria and Lebanon; Hizbullah’s defense of the Syrian Arab Republic today aims at preventing a repetition of the imperialists’ creation of Israel, only this time in Syria and the region as a whole: “the spectre of Palestine’s usurpation is being repeated today”. By arming and supporting takfiri groups (Nasrallah even drew parallels between their deployment and mobilization throughout the region and the mass migration of Jews to historic Palestine) the imperialists seek to fragment Syria and destroy the Resistance Axis, and in so doing, protect Israel. Basically, Hizbullah will never allow Syria to become a second Israel or a neo-colonialist outpost in the region designed to protect the first Israel.

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Cool. A French-Algerian reader kindly informed me that I have the dubious honour of being quoted by the IDF’s French website (http://tsahal.fr/2013/07/15/hezbollah-parti-politique-ou-organisation-terroriste), and also on the IDF’s special English language website for Hizbullah linked below: 
"As explained by Lebanese writer Dr. Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, these efforts may strengthen the social contract between Hezbollah and its followers, though “it would be a mistake, however, to think this is the main reason why Hezbollah’s followers are attracted to [the movement].” The organization’s message of resistance against Israel is what resonates the most among Hezbollah’s supporters." In other news, death to Israel soon Inshallah.

full article: http://www.idfblog.com/hezbollah/2013/07/10/hezbollah-political-party-or-terrorist-organization/

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I am copy-pasting this very important Haaretz analysis  since it is protected by a firewall. Here is the full piece:

The “room for denial” doctrine — under which SyriaHezbollah and Israel all deny that Israeli attacks have occurred so as to avoid the need to respond — was dealt a blow on Wednesday. Hezbollah’s announcement that one of its bases in Lebanon was hit by Israeli jets and that the organization will respond when and where it sees fit, attests to a tactical shift, and perhaps even a new strategy.

This doesn’t mean that from now on, either Hezbollah or Syria is going to make a public announcement every time Israel attacks. But the “open account” between Israel and Hezbollah has now become public, and that grants the Lebanese organization double legitimacy.

First, if it decides to attack Israel, it will no longer be accused of starting a war; it can defend the attack as merely “settling accounts.” Second, it can parlay the Israeli strike into official government support for it to retain its arms, which have come under increasing criticism within Lebanon due to the organization’s participation in the Syrian civil war. On Tuesday, for instance, Nabil Kaouk, deputy chairman of Hezbollah’s executive committee, demanded that the newly formed Lebanese government offer support to the “resistance” and declare this a fundamental principle of its policy.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s statement that the attack was not on Hezbollah alone, but on all of Lebanon, poses a dilemma for the new government. The organization is trying to force the government into responding to an attack that at least some ministers see as a punishment aimed solely at Hezbollah, not the country. And for Israel, Hezbollah’s new tactic means the “room for denial” policy no longer provides an umbrella under which it can attack without claiming responsibility, and to a large extent, without fearing a response.

From a military standpoint, Hezbollah has not lost its ability to respond. It can still launch just as many rockets and missiles at Israel as it could before. But domestic political considerations, as well as strategic considerations related to the war in Syria, are dictating its moves these days. Hezbollah’s desire to keep Israel from expanding its military operations in a way that would aid the Syrian rebels — who are now waging fierce battles in Syria’s Qalamoun Hills, near the border with Lebanon — could be outweighing its fear of an Israeli attack on its bases in Lebanon.

In this context, the statement put out by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is interesting. The group, which is considered close to the rebels, said that Israel struck a Hezbollah missile base near Baalbek from which missiles had been fired at the Qalamoun Hills. That statement was denied by Hezbollah, but it portrays Israel as having become an active player in Syria’s civil war, on the rebels’ side.

This isn’t the first time rebel spokesmen have reported on “Israeli military aid” for their cause. A few months ago, for instance, they reported that Israel had helped a rebel force entering Syria from Jordan by disrupting the Syrian army’s communications system, thereby making it impossible for the local field headquarters to communicate with the Syrian high command. On another occasion, rebel representatives voiced hope that Israel would continue to attack Syria, saying its previous attacks had helped the rebel forces.

What does Israel really want?

Publicly, Israel insists it isn’t involved in the rebels’ military operations. The only aid it acknowledges openly is the humanitarian aid it gives the rebels — medical treatment for the wounded and limited amounts of food. But according to Jordanian sources, Israel is briefed on the coordination between the United States and Jordan, where soldiers and officers of the Free Syrian Army are being trained.

At the same time, some Syrian opposition representatives continue to accuse Israel of wanting Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power. Assad’s regime, for its part, accuses Israel of aiding the rebels, seeking thereby to undermine the opposition’s legitimacy.

The uncertainty over Israel’s strategy on Syria has so far served to keep the radical Islamist groups, including those affiliated with Al-Qaida, from opening another front against Israel. Their fear is that any attack on Israel, even an unintentional one, could grant Israel license to expand its military operations in Syria beyond attacking missile convoys and Hezbollah bases.

So far, this fragile balance has been strictly maintained, and aside from occasional errant shelling in the Golan Heights, Israel is considered off-limits for attacks. But the key word in that sentence is “fragile.” The balance could be broken at any moment.

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I was just reading some of the reactions on Twitter to Hizbullah’s latest statement in which it confirmed that Israel had struck a Hizbullah base in the Bekaa on Monday, while denying the strike had caused any casualties or targeted any weapons’ caches. The problem with dismissing Hizbullah’s threat to respond at “a time and place of its own choosing” as empty rhetoric is part and parcel of the wider problem of all-purpose punditry and the industry of self-styled Hizbullah “experts” . This phenomenon has become all the more acute in the wake of the war on Syria, whereby  Western pundits and Arab social media activists, emboldened by the mainstreaming of “citizen journalism”, have become overnight “experts” on Syria, Hizbullah and the Resistance Axis.

As someone who has been studying and writing about Hizbullah for the past 18 years, I have always been particularly wary of the western journalist or pundit who claims to have spoken to Hizbullah officials, let alone Resistance commanders. Not only are such claims usually flagrant  lies, but the notion that Hizbullah trusts these people and is so eager to please the white man that its officials will gladly bypass the Hizbullah Media Office (which, incidentally has not granted a single interview to western journalists in years) and divulge the movement’s strategic plans in Syria and Lebanon, is both incredibly condescending and insulting to the intelligence. 

I am equally skeptical of western “expert” claims of any special insights on Hizbullah, not least because THEY NEVER GET IT RIGHT. The depth of expert knowledge is not hard to measure, for as in the natural sciences, knowledge in the social sciences is gauged by its predictive value. And the fact is that the overwhelming majority of Western, Israeli , and colonized Arab “experts” just haven’t been able to reliably predict Hizbullah’s future actions. There are many reasons for this intelligence gap but the principal one is that they are outside observers who view Hizbullah from a western-centric lens. Their understanding of concepts like power and interest emanate from a Euro-American dominated political science tradition that is peculiar to western historical experiences.

As one of the more colonial disciplines, Western anthropology introduced the role of the “participant-observer” who both observes and participates in the life of the group she is studying . Despite the scientific and ethical shortcomings of this colonial “going native” approach, it did signal a recognition of the western observer’s limitations in understanding non-western cultures from a geographic and social distance.  Unfortunately, today’s epistemic community of academics, policy wonks and journalists are far less cognizant of these limitations than some of their old-school colonialist predecessors.

Any meaningful insights into the mind of Hizbullah will continue to elude all those who do not share its worldview. By that I don’t simply mean the Hizbullah supporter in the abstract sense, but those who view political reality through the same lens, share the same purpose, and are deeply committed to the same cause. Only “committed-observers” can understand Hizbullah and predict its future actions because they do not have to second-guess its intent and motives, or make assumptions about its priorities; they know them because they live them.

They do not view Hizbullah as an organization that is external to them, nor do they support it on a partisan “Team Hizbullah” basis. Hizbullah is synonymous with Resistance which belongs to all its adherents. Supporters of Hariri don’t know the Future Movement in the same way that Hizbullah’s committed-observers know Hizbullah, and that is because the former are not bound by any shared cause, beyond a reactivity to Hizbullah cemented by sectarianism. In this sense, Hizbullah is a culture not a party with card-carrying members. And as a political culture it has its own unique mindset and rationality.

 It is precisely this rationality that I invoke whenever I am interviewed by media on Hizbullah. Of course, as an analyst my knowledge of the movement is based on empirical evidence I have observed, but my assessment of Hizbullah’s actions and intentions, my prognostications of its future actions come from this resistance rationality that I share with it. When I am asked “how will Hizbullah respond” I essentially ask myself “how should we [who are committed to the Resistance project] respond?”  And I am usually able to provide an accurate response or prediction, not because I possess any superior intellectual abilities, but because I, like many others in Lebanon and beyond, share the Resistance’s priorities and concerns, and my analysis is guided by the same political values and rationality as them. In fact, I am very confident that a committed 18 year old Hizbullah supporter would yield more valuable insights on the movement and offer more reliable predictions of its behavior than a western academic or journalist who claims expert knowledge.

And I am equally confident that if any committed observer is asked “will Hizbullah really respond to Israel’s attacks on Monday?” he or she will tell you that as the first such attack since the end of the July War in 2006, Hizbullah has no choice but to respond, irrespective of how deeply mired it is in the Syrian conflict and in safeguarding Lebanon from terrorist infiltration. It has to respond because confronting Israel will always constitute the larger part of its raison d’etre, even if its mission has expanded over the years. And it will respond because to not respond would upset its doctrine of deterrence and “balance-of-terror” with Israel which it painfully earned after two decades of blood and sacrifice. Hizbullah will respond because there is no precedent of Hizbullah not retaliating for an Israeli attack (I am not including assassinations here) and it is highly unlikely that it would want to set a new precedent for its enemies. We just have to wait and see when and how it will do so, because no matter how committed we are as observers we are not privy to Hizbullah’s military strategy.

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Israel Welcomes Sunni-Shia Conflict

By Israeli officials’ own accounts, the Syrian uprising/war and even the rise of al-Qaeda on Israel’s doorstep have generally boosted Israel’s position in the region: “an increase in terrorist activity on Israel’s borders by terrorist groups … has thus far not materialized into a strategic threat….the opportunities presented by the upheavals in the Arab world outweigh the risks they incur. Foremost among these opportunities is the worsening relations between the Sunni axis led by Saudi Arabia and the Shia axis led by Iran. The weakening of the Shia axis, primarily as a result of the civil war in Syria, has broadened Israel’s room to maneuver in the Middle East and created an opportunity to expand its cooperation with the Sunni axis countries.”

Read al-Akhbar’s summary of Israeli Major General Amos Yadlin’s conclusion for the “Strategic Survey for Israel 2013-2014” here

 

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Don’t get me wrong, I am all for celebrating the death of Sharon, but so long as we remain mindful of mainstream media’s attempt to draw a false distinction between good and bad (using the euphemism “controversial” as an epithet to Sharon for example) Zionist leaders. Yes Sharon was responsible for heinous crimes against humanity, but as a “soldier-politican” and a war criminal, he embodied the very ethos of that military-state project we call Israel whose very existence is an act of aggression in itself. Nor should we forget the countless massacres and invasions into Palestinian and Lebanese territories which Labour “doves” like Barak can take credit for. Every Zionist official and every Zionist occupier is an Ariel Sharon, who in turn, was nothing but a personification of the evils of the Zionist regime, aka “Israel”.

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It is beyond the realms of irony and symbolism that a Saudi-backed takfiri suicide-bomber targetted Ahmad Kassir Street in Dahyeh today, a street dedicated to the resistance fighter, Ahmad Kassir who carried out the first martyrdom operation against Israeli soliders in South Lebanon in November 1982. Nor is it a coincidence that the bomb was detonated in front of the Kazma building, the first building Hizbullah’s reconstruction company, Waad, rebuilt after the Zionists flattened Dahyeh in 2006. These syncronicities epitomize the takfiri-Saudi-Zionist nexus and aptly illustrate how al-Qaeda’s affiliates are serving Israel’s interests, irrespective of their intent. Hizbullah is neither “fighting fellow Muslims” as claimed by its enemies, nor merely “defending the Shia” from annihilation as argued by some of its supporters. In fighting the takfiris and their backers, who are attempting to achieve what Israel failed to accomplish in 2006 , only with new means, Hizbullah is continuing to resist Israel as part of its expanded concept of Resistance.

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Fuck any journalist or observer who calls today’s bombing in Dahyeh a “spillover” effect of Syria’s war on Lebanon, as though the violence is a spontaneous and local reaction to Hizbullah’s role in Syria which would never have occurred otherwise.. This misnomer is a gross distortion of reality given that Hizbullah’s involvement in Syria was triggered by the presence of takfiri and Syrian rebels in Lebanon, and attacks on Lebanese Shi’a in Syria and on Lebanese territory. It also ignores the targetting of Sunni areas and officials, like Mohammad Chatah last week. This is nothing less than a Saudi-Zionist plot which aims at replicating the Iraqi and Syrian template by sowing sectarian strife in Lebanon, and at eliminating/wearing out the Resistance by opening multiple battle fronts and overextending its security and military forces.

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The following assertion Nasrallah made in today’s speech, probably won’t be reported in mainstream media, but it is extremely important as it is one of the rare occasions when Hizbullah has described the war in Syria in similar language to its war with Israel: “No amount of pressure can change our position on Syria because it is an existential battle for us; I don’t just mean for Hizbullah, but for Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and for the entire resistance project in the region.” 
Nasrallah’s deputy, Sheikh Naim Qassem elaborated on this point last week when he said: “Wherever our resistance is, it is ultimately a resistance to the Israeli enemy, because our enemy fights us directly in some places and it fights us indirectly in others with groups and proxies who either serve its agenda or are controlled without knowing it, which is an even greater calamity.”

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I have been trying to hold back on deconstructing mainstream media reports on Syria and Hizbullah, mainly because it is just too time consuming in light of the constant supply of glaring inaccuracies and fabrications. But this piece in AP today “Car Bomb Hits Hizbullah Stronghold in Lebanon”, was just too much. Excerpts and my commentary below:

"Hezbollah’s participation in the civil war in Syria is highly divisive and unpopular in Lebanon, where many feel it has deviated from its original purpose of fighting Israel and that it has exposed the Shiite community to retaliation."

Note the term “highly unpopular” which falsely indicates that an overwhelming majority of Lebanese oppose Hizbullah’s role in Syria. This connotation is further corroborated by the allusion to Hizbullah’s  Shia supporters as turning away from it: “many feel….it has exposed the Shiite community to retaliation.” The first insinuation is misleading as the same polarization and antipathy towards Hizbullah has been in place since February 2005 in the wake of Hariri’s assassination—a good 8 years before the movement’s participation in the Syrian war. The very same March 14 supporters who decried Hizbullah’s alliance with Syria which was initially blamed for the assassination, continue to oppose it today for siding with the Syrian government and fighting alongside it. Nothing new there. Implying that Hizbullah has lost support among its core Shia constituency is a gross fabrication of reality and even lacks the anecdotal “evidence” mainstream media customarily uses as the basis for its Hizbullah narratives.

My argument is based on easily observed indicators such as the massive turnout for the Ashura commemoration it organized this year, as well as the unprecedented number of secular and non-observant Shia who partook in the event and campaigned for it on social media. As a longtime participant observer of the resistance movement and its supporters, I can confidently say that while Hizbullah has lost Arab Sunni support in the region as whole, it has not suffered any loss of Shia support in Lebanon. In fact, one of the unfortunate consequences of the war on Syria is that the Shia have increasingly come to view themselves as an embattled sect facing an existential threat and have rallied in even greater numbers behind Hizbullah for that reason. Moreover, the notion that the Shia feel Hizbullah has “deviated from its original purpose of fighting Israel” is an outright lie as they do not extricate the Saudi-Takfiri onslaught against the Resistance from the US-Israeli Zionist project to eliminate it; Hizbullah’s constituency is very much aware of the Saudi regime’s open alliance with Israel, and of the direct or indirect collusion between the takfiri fighters and the Zionist enemy, as the bombing of the Iranian embassy and Hassan Lakkis’s assassination demonstrate. The downfall of the Syrian government, the defeat of the Syrian Arab Army and the wholesale destruction of Syria are viewed as serving Israel and furthering the Empire’s divide- and- rule strategy. For Hizbullah’s supporters, the loss of Syria and its government not only poses an existential threat to them personally, but to the Resistance and by extension, the Palestinian cause.  

"The group’s open support of Assad has enraged Sunnis and left it with no shortage of enemies eager to strike at its strongholds and leadership. Dozens of people have been killed in deadly car bombings claimed by radical Sunni groups."

While it is true that Lebanon’s Sunnis are indeed virulently opposed to Hizbullah’s alliance with the Assad government and the Syrian Army, AP’s attempt to translate this public animosity into Sunni militancy against Hizbullah and the Shia in general (note that the concept of the Hizbullah “stronghold” is information warrior shorthand for Shia civilian areas which have been repeatedly targeted) is nothing less than sectarian agitation. As the author admits herself, the bombings have been the work of “radical” not mainstream Sunni groups; asserting that angry Sunnis have left Hizbullah with no shortage of enemies eager to strike at its strongholds and leadership” suggests that Lebanon’s Sunnis are all potential car and suicide bombers.

"Most recently, on Dec. 4, gunmen assassinated a senior Hezbollah commander, Hassan al-Laqees, in the garage of his building in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut. And last month, two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, killing 23 people. An al-Qaida-affiliated group claimed responsibility, saying it was payback for Hezbollah’s support of Assad."

This backgrounder is intended to obfuscate Israel’s continued intelligence war on Hizbullah as it completely ignores the Zionist regime’s very obvious culpability in the Lakkis killing and its highly probable collaboration with the Saudis and their jihadi agents  in masterminding the embassy bombing, especially considering it occurred days before the imminent US-Iranian nuclear agreement which both parties were trying to sabotage for months. Also noteworthy is how AP completely ignores the two suicide attacks on Lebanese Army posts in Sidon and Majdalyoun on Sunday night, which, like the Bekaa car/suicide bomb against Hizbullah today, were also carried out by takfiri groups. The failure to contextualize today’s bombing with events that occurred just a day earlier by the same type of perpetrator is not only sloppy journalism or omissive reporting, it is a crude propagandistic attempt to portray takfiri groups in a purely reactive light—  Hizbullah is a target solely because of its participation in the Syrian war. If the reader is reminded of the attacks on the Lebanese Army, which is obviously not party to the Syrian war, then Hizbullah cannot be blamed for terrorist acts committed against it and its supporters. 

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