DEBKAfile Special Report
June 7, 2009, 12:50 PM (GMT+02:00)
Hizballah adopts Obama's campaign slogan: Vote for Change.
If Lebanon's March 8 bloc headed by Hizballah wins Lebanon's election Sunday, June 7, as it fully expects, its sponsors in Tehran have big plans for Hizballah's leader, the fiery Hassan Narallah, to become strongman, charged with establishing a second Iran and remodeling Hizballah on the lines of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
The two candidates for prime minister are Parliament Speaker Nabih Beri, leader of the Shiite Amal movement, and Abdullah Miqtay, a very good friend of Syrian president, Bashar Assad, with whom Tehran will share the spoils of defeating the pro-Western bloc led by Saad Hariri and incumbent prime minister Nouri Siniora.
Whichever wins to job, the prime minister, government and its ruling mechanisms will all be reduced to rubber stamps for the will of the new national overlord, Hassan Nasrallah, and ultimately Tehran.
Their putsch, executed in the guise of a democratic election, will gradually force Lebanon, in all its walks of life - government, army, police, intelligence, education, religion and civil rights - into the molds of their counterparts in the Revolutionary Republic of Iran. In time, the large and vibrant pro-Western Christian community, which gives Lebanon its multi-religious, cosmopolitan character, will emigrate leaving behind a tame satellite of the ferociously radical Iran.
The Christian community is alive to the threat. Saturday, June 6, in an effort to rally Christian voters to turn out in force, the Maronite Christian Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir warned that Lebanon faces a threat to its very existence as an Arab entity.
DEBKAfile's Middle East sources dismiss the predictions in Riyadh, Cairo, Washington and Paris that the election will produce a national unity government. They are offering castles in the air to distract attention from their failure to halt the galloping Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah momentum for seizing control of Lebanon.
It is too late now to stop Nasrallah's rise to the top or Lebanon's decline as the first Arab country to have fallen in the hands of Iran and a terrorist organization because none of Iran's opponents were determined enough to stop this happening.
Hizbullah election victory will worsen group’s strategic position
|Published:||06.07.09, 18:14 / Israel Opinion|
Lebanon’s residents are casting their ballots Sunday in the framework of complex election system, which weighs in the relative status of the various sects in the country, in order to grant all of them parliament representation. The elections are to a large extent slanted because of several influential families such as Jumblatt, Hariri, Gemayel, and others. However, despite this, Lebanon is closer to democracy than any other Arab state. That’s why the results are still unclear and the Hizbullah-led Shiite bloc may ultimately win. Yet this could be a positive development for Israel.
Ahead of the election we saw the emergence of two blocs of ethnic parties, one headed by (the Sunni) Saad Hariri and comprising Christian and Druze parties, and the other headed by (the Shiite) Hassan Nasrallah and comprising Shiite parties, alongside the party of (the Christian) Michel Aoun and other Christian groups, which may tip the scale in Hizbullah’s favor.
In other words, next week we may wake up to a reality whereby Lebanon is controlled by a coalition that is dominated by Hizbullah. Seemingly, this is an Israeli nightmare. As if it isn’t enough that on our northern border there is an organization that is not controlled by the local government and is equipped by the best Iranian weapons, this underground force will now become the state’s government. Local strategists must be calculating the implication of such political situation in the event of a war erupting between Israel and Iran. After all, we can assume that under such circumstances, Lebanon would powerfully attack Israel.
There is no doubt that if all hope is lost, such war will break out. Hizbullah will attack, whether it is part of the government or not. There is also no doubt that most arms used in such war would in any event be taken out of Hizbullah’s arms warehouses, rather than from the Lebanese army, which mostly possesses defensive equipment and does not threaten Israel in any way.
The possibility of Hizbullah taking power does not change the threat against Israel to a large extent. Yet it critically changes the organization’s strategic position – for the worse. Until today, most of its power was premised on what it refers to as “al-Muqama,” or “the resistance.” Naturally, the resistance is based on guerilla warfare and is a tactic adopted yb organizations, rather than by sovereign governments.
To a certain extent, this was also the difference between our relative failure in Lebanon and our relative success in Gaza. When we are dealing with an underground group, it can distinguish itself from the state in which it acts, and when it attacks there is a moral problem with striking at a government that is not responsible for such group’s actions, even if it lacks the power to restrain it. There is no real justification in attacking the Lebanese army, the presidential palace, or the country’s infrastructure as long as they are not part of Hizbullah and do not support it.
However, the moment the Hizbullah-Eon coalition takes power, Hizbullah would no longer be able to hide behind the Lebanese state’s apron, and would no longer be able to claim that hitting state infrastructure or fighting the Lebanese army are not part of the war. This burden, which from now on would be placed on Hizbullah’s shoulders, would force the organization to carefully weigh its offensive moves.
The complete identification of Hizbullah with the Lebanese state may be depressing in terms of regional peace prospects, and it is certainly no great pleasure for many Lebanese who aspire for peaceful lives and fear an Iran-style state. However, such move would improve Israel’s security.
Prof. Dror Ze'evi, the Department for Middle Eastern Studies, Ben-Gurion University