Hizbullah's Delusions

(Ha'aretz) Jonathan Spyer - The Iranian-backed Shi'ite Islamist movement Hizbullah is pursuing a long-term strategy intended to eventually deliver Lebanon into its hands. But at the core of its strategic thinking lies a series of delusions which are likely to bring about its defeat over time. Senior Israeli officials note the growing strength of Shi'ite officers in the Lebanese Armed Forces, particularly at mid-level. This development, alongside political moves that enable the Hizbullah-led opposition to block any legislation not to its liking, is slowly blurring the borders between the official Lebanese state and the parallel state maintained by Hizbullah - representing the slow, full-spectrum advance of the Shi'ite Islamist camp in Lebanon. Hizbullah's new manifesto condemns the U.S. as the "root of all terror," and a "danger that threatens the whole world." It also reiterates the call for the destruction of Israel, describing the need to "liberate Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa" as a "religious duty" for all Muslims. Recent visitors to Lebanon speak of a high, almost delusional state of morale among circles affiliated with Hizbullah. Inside its closed world, it is sincerely believed that the next war between Israel and Hizbullah will be part of a greater conflict in which Israel will be destroyed. The true balance of power is rather different, of course. And as Hizbullah slowly swallows other elements of the Lebanese system, the conclusion being reached in Israel is that any differentiation between the movement and the nest it has taken over is increasingly artificial - and will not be maintained in a future conflict. The recent history of the Middle East indicates that gaps between reality and ideological perceptions tend to be decided - eventually - in favor of the former. The writer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.

2009-12-04 07:51:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive