Wednesday, August 6, 2008

When the Tough Gets Going

The Israeli politicians and propagandists who dominate mainstream media coverage of the Middle East conflict are fond of rationalising Israel's barbarous behaviour* by claiming that the Middle East is a tough neighbourhood. Their supposed streetwise rationale is often taken at face value by gullible Western politicians and media practitioners. That Israel is far and away the biggest tough in the Middle East neighbourhood never seems to occur to them.

And whenever the tough gets going, no people, apart from the Palestinians, suffer as much as the Lebanese. That they have the true measure of their neighbour from Hell, emerges from the results of an opinion poll of 800 Lebanese (Sunni, Shi'a, Druze & Christian) on the subject of last month's Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap and the role of armed resistance in defending Lebanon from the bully boy south of the border. The poll, undertaken by the Beirut Centre for Research & Information from 20-24 July, was reported in Lebanon's Al-Akhbar (The News) of 29/7/08. The translation is mine:-

1) Would it have been possible to obtain the release of our prisoners without the capture of Israeli soldiers in July 2006? [75% answered No (62% Sunni, 97% Shi'a, 65% Druze, 75% Christian)]

2) If the Lebanese government had undertaken to negotiate the prisoner release, would it have yielded the same result? [62% answered No (40% Sunni, 93% Shi'a, 46% Druze, 58% Christian)]

3) Do you believe that because some of the prisoners, such as Quntar and most of the remains, were not Shi'a, indicates that Hezbollah is non-sectarian? [59% answered Yes (38% Sunni, 94% Shi'a, 39% Druze, 52% Christians)]

4) Do you believe that diplomacy alone, not backed by military force, will enable us to reclaim from Israel that which is our right? [66% answered No (59% Sunni, 93% Shi'a, 57% Druze, 54% Christians]

5) Disregarding what you think of Hezbollah's internal politics, do you consider the armed resistance to be Lebanon's protector until such time as the army is ready to take over? [69% answered Yes (51% Sunni, 96% Shi'a, 52% Druze, 65% Christian)]

6) Has Hezbollah regained its image as a resistance organization following the success of the prisoner exchange? [77% answered Yes (54% Sunni, 99% Shi'a, 61% Druze, 79% Christian)]

7) Do you believe that confronting the ongoing Zionist project requires an ongoing resistance project? [75% answered Yes (64% Sunni, 97% Shi'a, 66% Druze, 68% Christian]

8) Do you support what Hasan Nasrallah said regarding the duty of all Lebanese to participate in the resistance? [79% answered Yes ( 71% Sunni, 97% Shi'a, 73% Druze, 74% Christian)]

9) Do you believe that closing the prisoner and Shab'aa Farms file will eliminate the Israeli threat to Lebanon? [70% answered No (61% Sunni, 87% Shi'a, 61% Druze, 67% Christian)]

And, in a reference to Lebanon's other neighbour from Hell:

10) Have Hezbollah and the opposition done enough to investigate the fate of the missing in Syria? [67% answered No ( 81% Sunni, 43% Shi'a, 84% Druze, 72% Christian)]

[*To quote the late Israel Shahak: "I don't like to discuss Israeli policies in terms of 'settler states', or 'colonial rule', since I regard Israeli policies as being much worse than those applied by other colonial regimes." (Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear & Foreign Policies, 1997, p 7)]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey I was thinking those brave Palestinians that ran for their lives to get the hell out of Gaza [ you know that tough neighborhood we keep hearing about] into Israel begging for a safe haven in their underpants may be possible models for 'Bonds'' here in Oz.. no doubt all those human rights activists may demand these Palestinians that are having their human rights abused by ''other ' Palestinians should be allowed to come in live here and collect welfare.