Israel defends its right to exist as a regional superpower Ruthless Criticism

Translated from GegenStandpunkt 3-06

34-day war in Lebanon

Israel defends its right to exist as a regional superpower

I. Israel’s war purpose and reasons

The war aims

According to official Israeli information, the “Summer Rains” operation in the Gaza Strip and the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon have two indisputably good and just reasons: They serve to free three kidnapped soldiers – one in the hands of Hamas, two abducted by Hezbollah – and are intended to put an end to the shelling of Israel with small rockets from Gaza and southern Lebanon. The actual actions of the Israeli army – the IDF – provide practical information about more far-reaching war aims. [1]

Israel wants to wipe out organized resistance in the occupied territories and southern Lebanon to its expansive security interests; in particular, Hamas and Hezbollah must be destroyed: the two quasi-governmental organizations make no secret of their hostility to the Jewish state, refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as long as it does not recognize “the rights of Arabs,” and wage an armed struggle against the occupying power. Israel puts these organizations in the category of terrorists, thereby a priori denying them any political purpose, disqualifying them from negotiation, and discrediting their struggle, which is carried out by means of terrorism, as “violence for the sake of violence” that must be stopped with superior force. The IDF is therefore tasked with killing as many fighters as possible and arresting and locking up every suspect it can get hold of. Not only is every weapon that can be found destroyed, but real and potential weapons, hiding places, including the bunkers, olive groves or homes from which the guerrilla fighters carry out their attacks, as well as the communication networks and transportation routes they use. In order to prevent the resistance fighters from acting, especially from firing rockets, killing zones are created and security zones – about 20 percent of the Gaza Strip and in the south of Lebanon – are set up on the borders with Israel which make it impossible for the local population to use the land. The extensive extermination program inevitably, gradually, and systematically destroys the livelihoods of the entire population because the infrastructure, settlements, and sources of income can all somehow benefit the guerrilla fighters, and consequently end up in the line of fire during combat. In the end, the distinction between combatants and the civilian population disappears: everyone is potentially an accomplice and part of the recruiting base.[2]

In its fight against terrorism, Israel takes its security interests in its own hands and at the same time executes its judgment on those who are actually responsible for controlling the militias: the Palestinian presidency and the Lebanese government. They are not only incapable, but also unwilling to stop the militant groups; Israel accuses them of sinister intentions, of refusing to carry out their most important task: ensuring Israel’s security. Both Palestinian President Abbas’s efforts to agree on a common Palestinian line with Hamas[3] and Prime Minister Siniora’s attempt to find a common line for all Lebanese parties in a “national dialogue”[4] are proof for the Olmert government that neither of them wants to hunt down terrorists because they see a political cause in them that they also consider politically respectable. Both are de facto terrorist supporters because one accepts Hamas forming a government after its election victory and the other allows Hezbollah to build itself into a “state within a state”: blocking unpopular decisions in parliament and maintaining its own militia which is militarily superior to the Lebanese army. Both Abbas and Siniora tolerate the Palestinian and Lebanese communities being safe havens, operational bases, resource and recruiting grounds for the resistance against Israel. Hence the Palestinian Authority and the Lebanese government are themselves held responsible for the actions of the militant groups, and consequently the ‘war on terror,’ which Israel adopts from the USA as a standard, extends to the entire Palestinian territory and the entire Lebanese state. Both the rulers and the population are taught a “lesson” about what it means to have the wrong people involved as leaders of the country.

With its ‘war on two fronts,’ Israel also targets its arch-enemies Syria and Iran. The political supporters of the resistance organizations and the military suppliers and trainers of Hezbollah are directly harmed: their foreign “outposts” are significantly weakened and thus devalued. For Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah have so far had a double meaning: they are capable of disrupting normal life in Israel at any time with guerrilla actions without the “backers” having to risk a direct confrontation with Israel; they are therefore a means of exerting pressure, an item in the outstanding score that Syria still has to settle with the occupier of its Golan Heights, and a bargaining chip for possible future peace talks. Hezbollah, with its massive military equipment, is also a military factor that should not be underestimated in a possible conflict between Syria and Iran and Israel, and an instrument for deterring Israel to a certain extent. With its bombings, including some demonstratively close to the Syrian border, the IDF destroys much of this and also demonstrates how limited the deterrent effect of the militias and the power of their “masterminds” is. The message is unmistakable: Syria and Iran have nothing with which to adequately counter Israel’s military strength; they are useless as protectors of the Palestinian cause or the Arab-Islamic cause in general. At the same time, with its acts of war, which are classified by the international community at least in principle as legitimate self-defense against terrorist groups, and with its constant references to the origin of its enemies’ weapons in Syria and Iran, to their allegedly continuous supply of missiles, and to their alleged participation in elite units as trainers, Israel pushes for the ostracism of these states as “terrorist supporters.”

Against the EU, Russia and the UN, Israel insists on the non-negotiability of its sovereign, self-defined security needs and its unconditional autonomy in enforcing them. In the conduct of its war, the Olmert government is impressed neither by accusations of “disproportionality” nor by mediation efforts – for example, in the matter of prisoner exchanges – nor by demands for a ceasefire. It rejects such interventions as inadmissible interferences and “one-sided statements”: Israel alone can judge for itself and has to decide entirely on its own what is necessary for its self-defense. Under no circumstances will it ever make itself dependent on the protection of other powers. In negotiations on the UN resolution to end the war, the diplomats in Jerusalem strictly refuse to accommodate the demands of the Lebanese side – which concern the Israeli occupation of Shebaa Farms and the Lebanese imprisoned in Israel – even a little; in the ceasefire agreement, they insist on treating Hezbollah as the aggressor who must immediately cease its hostilities; and they insist on the recognition of their own right to continue to defend themselves as massively and extensively as they have just done. Between the adoption of the resolution and its implementation, the IDF triples its invasion forces, advances approximately 30 km deep into Lebanon as far as the Litani, thereby making it clear that it will not allow the ‘international community’ to dictate an end to its fighting before it has achieved the goal it has set for itself, and at the same time defines the area in which an international combat force will in the future have to ensure nothing else but the protection of Israel’s northern border – otherwise it will turn it back.

The reasons for war

Israel claims a special position for itself in the world of states, uses the moral bludgeon of the “Holocaust” as an argument to claim a very special right to not only defend its right to exist, but to have it protected and enforced by all other states in the world, and therefore demands a special “sensitivity” from the rest of the world with regard to its security – and is also largely granted this by the democratic world public. The real peculiarity that justifies Israel’s claim to a morally exceptional position is that the state has spread itself out in a hostile environment, has brought its people there from all over the world, and has not finished either with this or expanding its national borders, something that malicious and sometimes benevolent critics accuse it of. Both sides easily overlook the fact that there is not much that is different about the state rationale with which Israel proceeds and realizes its special national concern at the expense of a national population defined as foreign to the people and against the resistance of its neighbors: a modern capitalist state power that executes its exclusive claim to sovereignty over the country and its people. It executes it as mercilessly as any sovereign of this type considers to be its inalienable right and practices it as best it can. Israel is extremely good at doing just that. As far as its human maneuverable mass is concerned, it has always proven itself to be a modern state people: familiar with both sides of capitalist exploitation and accustomed to earning money for a livelihood, patriotically politicized, and in this respect superior to all its original local tribal brethren. Nor does the state lack the material means to live far beyond its limited means – in this respect, it is even more superior to all its Arab neighbors: as the home of the Jews, it has had a capitalistically and politically potent worldwide community of sympathizers as its constant economic and moral support since its foundation. As a military power, it has succeeded in catching up with the most potent war powers of the modern world: throughout a decades-long Cold War, Israel was economically, militarily, and politically developed by the West as an outpost in the region; today it is used and supported as the most important ally in the USA’s war on terror and with its machinery of violence, it is far superior to all other states in the region – Israel has nuclear warheads; the arms industry produces the latest high-tech weapons, including for export; the army is war-tested and has been deployed continuously since the founding of the state; the entire people serves as a reserve army in the literal sense.

And the Jewish state is completely normal, almost a model of modern statehood, especially in the fact that what it has achieved is no reason at all for it to be satisfied, but, on the contrary, a single objective constraint and incentive to confront its surroundings with increasingly far-reaching and massive demands. It has long since outgrown the status of having to assert itself against hostile states in its neighborhood; it deters its competitors and opponents to such an extent that at best they can only afford to support foreign guerrilla groups hostile to Israel. And this means only one thing for Israel: the path from a regional power to a regional superpower that imposes its will on the surrounding world of states, including its Muslim arch-enemies, is open and is pursued. If this means that it has to fight lots of preventive wars with resistance groups in its own country and with enemies of the caliber of Syria and Iran, then that is the way it has to be be: Israel operates as an apparatus of violence to intimidate the Arab world and as a subcontractor in America’s ‘anti-terrorist world war.’

II. The USA’s war interest

Israel’s enemies are also those of the USA

The USA allows Israel to fight – and to get something done. Israel has a free hand for its war on terror because it is functional for the American “future-oriented strategy of freedom in the Middle East” (Bush). Hezbollah and Hamas have long been on the relevant US list because, with their resistance to Israel’s claims to power, which are supported by the US, they act as enemies of the American order and therefore as terrorists.[5] Their “masterminds,” Syria and Iran, are declared opponents of American sovereignty over the Middle East and “undermine” the US government’s “freedom agenda,” which has already shown such hopeful progress “in the young democracies” (Bush) of Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. The terrorist NGOs and the remaining terror-supporting states in the region represent a security threat to Washington that must be eliminated.

The US understood from the very beginning and assured Israel that the upcoming violence would not just be about getting three kidnapped Israeli soldiers back and preventing rocket fire into Israel. Secretary of State Rice classified the bombings by the Israeli Air Force as the “birth pangs of a new Middle East” and encouraged the state to create a situation from which there will be no return to the “status quo ante”: A “lasting solution will have to involve the entire region” (Rice at the Lebanon conference in Rome). Accordingly, the USA uses its veto to prevent all resolutions in the Security Council aimed at stopping the war of annihilation against Hamas and Hezbollah – the “mishap” of Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections should never be repeated, and Hezbollah should be prevented once and for all from acting “like a state within a state” (Bush). On behalf of the USA, Israel should eliminate the powerful positions of these groups that oppose America’s “freedom agenda.”

With UN Security Council Resolution 1701, Washington creates a new basis for establishing sovereignty in Lebanon that meets the strategic needs of the USA. The central goal is to remove Hezbollah from power and to implement the program adopted almost two years ago (Resolution 1559): namely, “the restoration of the authority of the democratic government over the entire Lebanese territory” and the “disarmament of the militias.” The work that began with the “Cedar Revolution” and continued with the investigation into the Hariri murder is taking a decisive step forward: the expansion of the Lebanese state into an anti-Syrian outpost of the USA is being tackled.

The damage to Syria and Iran, the loss of their foreign auxiliary troops, is a contribution to the regime change that the USA is pursuing in both countries.[6] It refuses to negotiate with the Syrian government on the release of the kidnapped Israelis and on a “moderation” of Hezbollah; it rejects the offer from Damascus to enter into peace negotiations with Israel – especially about the withdrawal from the Golan – and insists on isolating this state. The Bush administration aims to overthrow the Assad regime because it is still unwilling to give up its security interests and capitulate to the superior power of Israel and the USA. Israel’s war in Lebanon is also intended to be a clear threat to Iran, which seeks “the destruction of Israel and the possession of nuclear weapons” (Bush): President Ahmadinejad’s threat that his country will counter sanctions by increasing chaos in the region is answered with actions that demonstrate who is capable of plunging who into “chaos” here, and that gives the necessary credibility to Israel’s announcements that it will stop Iran’s nuclear program militarily by itself if necessary.

Israel’s double service to American world order imperialism

On the one hand, Israel ensures the destruction of anti-American activities and damages Syrian and Iranian positions of power, while on the other hand, the Jewish state puts the USA – once again – in the position of being the only power that can really determine war and peace in the region. This is the decisive guideline for the politics of all neighboring countries and at the same time a very desirable practical downgrading of the EU and Russia.

Efforts by Russia and Europe to enforce a ceasefire quickly fail because the USA explicitly gives Israel license to continue its military actions for as long as it deems necessary. The USA will accept no other interpretation than that Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorists and Israel has an indisputable right to self-defense, thereby discrediting any attempt to mediate between the warring parties as inadmissible support for the aggressors. Russia therefore ceases its initial contacts with Hamas and Hezbollah representatives, but continues to face American and Israeli criticism for supporting terrorism in the Middle East with its arms deliveries to Iran and Syria. The EU representatives suffer a double rebuff on their trips to the region: Olmert makes it clear that only instructions from Washington are relevant for Israel; and the Arab interlocutors have come to the conclusion that the Europeans can’t achieve anything to oppose Israel and the USA anyway.

The US government considers the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1701 as a great success. Even if China and Russia complain again afterwards and announce that they only agreed to the “unbalanced” resolution so that the killings could end, they actually signed on to the American-Israeli position. Motions from the Lebanese government, which Russia and France had expressly supported, are only mentioned in the resolution; their treatment will be postponed to the future.[7] Israel gets justice in every respect; the disarmament of Hezbollah is stipulated, a security zone is established between the “Blue Line” and the Litani, and the world of states is committed to helping stop the supply of weapons to Hezbollah.[8]

The “moderate” Arab states have long understood that the USA is the power that sovereignly decides who is allowed to use violence against whom in the Middle East and who is not. That’s why, in the first days of the war, the Saudi king turned to Washington to put an end to “the Israeli bloodshed” as quickly as possible. At the same time, King Abdullah and President Mubarak agreed to accuse Hezbollah of “irresponsible adventurism” and to support the demand for the Lebanese government’s monopoly on violence to be extended across the entire country. Out of consideration for their own populations, many of whom revere the Hamas and Hezbollah fighters as martyrs and heroes, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt refuse to send troops to Lebanon to ensure Israel’s security. This makes them all the more willing to offer help to repair the damage caused by the IDF; to this end, they urgently call on their masses to donate.

But the USA demands more from its Arab allies, namely a decisive stance against the anti-Israel terrorist groups and their state sponsors Syria and Iran. The fact that the Abdullahs and Mubarak themselves have reservations about Hamas and Hezbollah because the opposition in their own countries shares their ideas is all very well, and their opposition to Syria’s and especially Iran’s claims to power can be taken up; but that is not enough for the Bush administration. It demands that the “moderates” actively close ranks with Israel and join the front that America is opening up against the two remaining “rogue states” in the region: They should kindly use their relationships with Assad and Ahmadinejad to exert pressure so that they meet the demands of the ‘international community.’ They should re-educate their own populations and refrain from any critical tones against Israel and the USA that are considered populist. And finally, they should prepare themselves as allies of the USA for the next stages of the war on terror.[9]

III. The militance of the militias

Terrorism as a weapon of an impotent, combative Arab-Islamic state will

The goal with which the Palestinian liberation movements and Hezbollah have set out is to establish a state that not only asserts itself as an Arab or Islamic nation in the competition of the world of states, but also assumes a leading role in the Middle East. They take their measure from a world of states whose most important criterion for success is the successful capitalist management of a politicized people and, having learned in their own way from the failure of all state attempts in their region to meet this standard under modern world market conditions and its control by the united West, they turn against the prevailing world order which assigns their home countries and all Arab states to the status of maneuverable masses of foreign interests in need of use and direction. Hamas and the “Party of Allah” acknowledge the great failure by mobilizing a resistance to the superior power of imperialism – represented in their immediate vicinity by America’s protégé Israel – , one which increasingly places the morality of militant endurance and self-sacrificing steadfastness, fueled by pious sentiments, above all calculatingly violent state founding and development programs that have become illusory. In doing so, Hezbollah emulates Iran,[10] where a pious anti-Western state, ironically thanks to a lot of world money for oil, maintains an important place in the competition between nations; Hamas wants to eliminate the Jewish state and establish a theocracy throughout Palestine.[11]

Hezbollah wants to destroy the “hegemony of the USA in our country, put an end to the oppressive Israeli occupation and break the dominance of the Christian, more or less decidedly pro-Western parties in Lebanon.” Hamas sees itself as an alternative to the PLO’s state project, which it regards as a “national disgrace,”[12] and propagates jihad to save Arab honor: “Nothing is more sublime or deeper in nationalism than jihad against the enemy and resistance against him when he sets foot on the land of the Muslims” (Charter, Art. 12). Both reject “peace initiatives, so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences” because they “recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of Palestine” (Hezbollah)[13] and rely on armed struggle.

They are financed primarily by donations from the “global Muslim community,” which they describe themselves as the “spearhead” of, and by grants from foreign countries, currently Iran in particular, after the Arab Gulf states’ willingness to donate waned due to pressure from the USA. They use this money not only to pay for their weapons, but also for numerous social services. In contrast to those who are actually responsible for these peoples, they provide a reasonably functioning education, health and housing system. In other words, they take on state tasks and thus pursue the same calculations that lead all modern state leaders to care for the living conditions of their masses: They ensure a people who are available to them as maneuverable masses and who volunteer for this function.

Lacking state power, the militias wage a guerrilla war against Western dominance in the region, now almost exclusively in the form of attacks on the Israeli occupying forces. The way they wage war depends on the means they have: from suicide bombings to launching self-made rockets to using more complicated technical equipment, provided that friendly foreign countries donate it. This impotent fight against the high-tech military power of Israel is based on the following twofold calculation: the enemy is to be worn down so that it comes to the realization that a final victory is not in sight and that the burden of war will become unbearable in the long run. The Arab and Islamic world is to be impressed and persuaded to participate in the resistance, both by the plight of the “brothers” suffering under Israel’s state terror and by the heroic struggle of the jihadists who prove resistance is possible.

Contradictions of a path between resistance and adaptation under the condition of the war on terror

The conditions for the militias’ national awakening program have continuously deteriorated over the last twenty years. There is no place in the prevailing world order for the anti-imperialist emancipation of their countries, and the national liberation struggle, which idealizes itself as a higher, divine mission and asserts itself by force, has long been outlawed as terrorism. Hamas and Hezbollah are faced with the alternative of either submitting to US strategic interests in the region – including Israel’s security needs – i.e. surrendering or being destroyed.

The radical groups do not accept this alternative and choose to save as much of their political program as possible by compromising the original goal and conditionally foregoing militancy. They make the transition from their status as a militia to that of a democratic party, winning elections and assuming government responsibility. By participating in power, they want to effect political course corrections in the leadership of their countries: Hamas wants to stop the previous policy of Palestinian concessions without Israeli reciprocity, and Hezbollah wants to curb the pro-American and anti-Syrian course of the leading Lebanese politicians Hariri and Jumblatt. At the same time, taking over government offices is intended to free them from political ostracism as “terrorist groups.” Hamas agrees to recognize Israel’s right to exist if it withdraws to its 1967 borders and declares a unilateral ceasefire in exchange for a halt to the IDF’s liquidation operations and raids. Hezbollah agrees to disband its militia if Israel meets its two conditions: release the Lebanese prisoners and withdraw from Shebaa Farms.

The USA and Israel reject these offers. They stick to their position: Hezbollah must fulfill Resolution 1559 without anything in return and Hamas must unconditionally recognize Israel’s right to exist and the road map and declare a renunciation of violence,[14] which they in turn refuse to do: In addition to taking on government responsibility, both movements reserve the option of armed struggle.[15] This makes them an unbearable national burden for the political leaders recognized by the West – Abbas and Siniora – who want to get rid of them; but they can’t do it without risking civil war. The opposing lines within the political leaderships of Lebanon and the Palestinian autonomous government – adapting to the line demanded by the USA (Siniora/Abbas) and opposing it (Hezbollah and Hamas ministers) – block each other; compromises to resolve this national dilemma, such as the “Prisoner Document” or the diplomatic offensive by the Lebanese Prime Minister to resolve the dispute over Shebaa Farms, fail due to the intransigence of Washington and the Olmert government.

However, their “two-front war” does not cause the militias to capitulate. They persevere and find themselves strengthened in their political will and the course they have chosen. Sheikh Nasrallah is celebrated as a victor[16] because the IDF does not manage to completely destroy and disarm Hezbollah or even to politically isolate it as the culprit behind the war devastation in Lebanon. He agrees to implement Resolution 1701, but at the same time refuses to voluntarily surrender his weapons and reserves the right to defend Lebanon’s sovereignty with his militia again “if the Lebanese government proves too weak to do so.” And Palestinian Prime Minister Hanijah by no means gives up; he demands that Israel release his party’s arrested ministers and claims leadership in a “government of national unity” that he agrees to with President Abbas. Nevertheless, despite all the triumph and ongoing tactics, the alternative that both organizations are faced with – submission or annihilation – is not out of the question. Either they become “politically sensible,” transform themselves into “real parties,” give up their previous national goals, submit to the demands made on them and allow themselves to be functionalized for the demands of the USA and Israel in the region; or they continue to insist on their Arab honor and their sacred rights, wage a heroic, impotent struggle, do not allow themselves to be shaken by any defeat because even death is still a victory for them, becoming and functioning as victims. In any case, Israel and the USA leave them no other choice.

[1] The analysis of the objectives does not suggest that Israel had already achieved them with its previous operations. Assessments of success can safely be left to the politicians concerned and partisan journalists. For nations, successes and failures are only an opportunity to further advance their cause.

[2] The repeated accusation that Israel’s war conduct is “disproportionate” is as cynical as the ideal of a “proportionate” war on which it is based, and also silly because it condones war in principle, but does not want to know anything about its end, which justifies the means used. The readily positioned demand to spare the civilian population is of the same nature: this means that one subscribes to the good military purpose of war on the sole condition that it only hurts the right victims. Incidentally, the majority of the Israeli public agrees with the latter, albeit in the sense that Olmert’s war against the terrorists would have been too gentle, half-hearted, amateurish and ultimately ineffective; the head of government would have restricted the freedom of the army too much and had too many scruples about possible foreign reactions, which is why he was even being asked to resign.

[3] Immediately before Operation “Summer Rain,” Fatah and Hamas had agreed on the “Prisoner’s Document,” which sets the goal of establishing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and obliges the signatories to pursue this only “by peaceful means.”

[4] Instead of unconditionally implementing Resolution 1559, which calls for the disarmament of Hezbollah, Siniora wanted to persuade the party to voluntarily disband its militia. He offered to intercede for their key demands with the USA; in return, Hezbollah should integrate its fighters into the Lebanese army. As a condition for giving up its armed resistance against Israel, Hezbollah demands that the Jewish state must fully complete the end of the occupation of Lebanon that began in 2000, that is, release the Lebanese fighters still held in its prisons and vacate Shebaa Farms – a militarily not unimportant territory on the border between Syria, Lebanon and Israel whose status is disputed under international law: While Lebanon claims that Syria gave it over to it, from which Hezbollah derives a justification for its ‘liberation struggle,’ Israel – and so far also the UN – takes the view that it is Syrian and that its occupation is only of concern to Damascus.

[5] “Hezbollah and Hamas reject the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Both groups want to disrupt the progress that Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas and others in the region are making toward this vision. We cannot allow terrorists to prevent elected officials from working together toward a complete peace agreement in the Middle East.” (Bush, America Service, August 14) Given America’s noble intentions, the accusation of terrorism against Hezbollah and Hamas for wanting to destroy everything positive must be immediately obvious.

[6] “In a Middle East that thrives freely and democratically, terrorists will lose their recruits and sponsors, as well as their safe havens from which to launch new attacks. In a Middle East that thrives free;y and democratically, there will be no place for tyranny and terror, so the United States and other free nations will be safer.” (Bush, ibid.)

[7] On the Shebaa Farms issue, Secretary of State Rice expressly assured Olmert in an exchange of diplomatic letters that the resolution should be interpreted in such a way that nothing can be decided against Israel’s will.

[8] Ms. Rice explicitly excluded the war against the Palestinians during her visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah: Only after the fighting in northern Israel has ended can further work be done on this issue. Until then, Israel will continue to have a free hand.

[9] “As the Pentagon announced om the weekend, Saudi Arabia is to receive spare parts and equipment for previously delivered tanks and armored vehicles worth $276 million. The Kingdom of Bahrain on the Persian Gulf is to receive 180 warheads and launchers for Javelin missiles at a total cost of up to $42 million. The Pentagon justified its approval of the arms deliveries by arguing that strengthening allies would advance the military and political interests of the United States in the region.” (FAZ, 7/24/06) “Washington said Thursday it had approved the sale of 24 UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters, radios, armored vehicles and other military equipment worth more than $6 billion. On Friday, France and Saudi Arabia also signed an arms cooperation treaty; French government circles reported that the sale of helicopters and tanker aircraft was nearing completion. Riyadh is also in the process of finalizing a deal with Britain to purchase up to 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets – a purchase price of approximately $10 billion.” (Jordan Times, 7/24/06)

[10] “We are the sons of the ‘umma’ (community of Muslims) – the party of God (Hizb Allah), the vanguard of what was victorious through God in Iran. There the avant-garde successfully laid the basis for a Muslim state that plays a central role in the world.” (Hezbollah program from 1985)

[11] “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf (religious donation) consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up.” (Hamas Charter of 1988, Article 11)

[12] Under Arafat, the Palestine Liberation Organization resigned itself to the partition of Palestine and entered into negotiations with Israel and the USA in order to achieve a sovereign Palestine. Fatah, the leading group in the PLO, strived and continues to strive for a modern Arab state with a society that can be exploited for national growth, which gains respect externally and frees itself from Israel’s tutelage. Israel has boycotted and fought this project with all its might, to the point that now the Palestinian Authority’s only US-approved task, and therefore the only way for it to stay afloat, is to act as a stooge for Israeli security interests and to deny its own nationalism.

[13] “These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitrates. When did the infidels do justice to the believers?” (Charter, Art. 13)

[14] Because Hamas is not willing to do this, Haniyah’s government is being boycotted diplomatically under pressure from the USA and the donor countries have cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority.

[15] This dual strategy leads to constant disputes within Hamas about the appropriateness and correct dosage of violent action, not only between the leadership in Syrian exile and Prime Minister Haniyah, but also within the individual local chapters.

[16] “’We stand today – without exaggeration – on the verge of a strategic, historic victory,’ Nasrallah said in a speech on Hezbollah-owned al-Manar TV channel, a few hours after the UN-brokered ceasefire came into force. ‘We have emerged victorious from a war in which large Arab armies were previously defeated,’ he said. Shortly after the end of his speech, gunfire was fired all over the Lebanese capital to celebrate the victory.” (Haaretz, August 15, 2006)