Hizbullah on the homefront

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Last week Lebanese commentator Tony Badran published an article on the Now Lebanon Web site discussing the Iranian way of war. In “The shape of things to come,” he discussed the significance of the breakup of a Hizbullah cell in Kuwait and the deportation of Hizbullah agents from Bahrain. Badran explained that like the Hizbullah ring arrested last year in Egypt, the Hizbullah cells in Persian Gulf states demonstrate how Iran uses Hizbullah to extend its regional power.

 

Badran noted that Iran’s cultivation of fifth columnists in target countries through Hizbullah puts paid to the notion that it will be possible to contain a nuclear Iran. Armed with both nuclear weapons and armed agents in states throughout the region, Iran will be well positioned to bend all regional states to its will.

 

US security guarantees will be worthless. Living under the threat of the Iranian bomb, neighboring states will be unable to take steps to curb Iranian agents subverting their governments from within their sovereign territory.

 

For Israel, the threat is obviously more acute. Whereas states like Kuwait and Bahrain will be able to suffer through an Iranian Middle Eastern hegemony, Israel will have no such luxury. Iran has made clear that in an Iranian-ruled Middle East, there will be no room for Israel. And so Israel must act soon to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

 

But then there is the homefront.

 

With each passing day, it becomes more and more apparent that as is the case in Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt, through Hizbullah, Iran has established cells of sympathizers among Israeli Arabs. This means that as Israel prepares to strike Iran, it must minimize Iran’s ability to retaliate from fifth column bases inside the country.

 

According to Badran, among the Hizbullah agents rounded up in Kuwait were several officers in the Kuwaiti military. This means that Iran/Hizbullah is not operating at the margins of Kuwaiti society. They are part of the Kuwaiti mainstream.

 

ISRAEL FACES a similar situation. Indeed, in many ways it is worse. Here Hizbullah agents are found in the top echelons of Israeli Arab society. Last week’s announcement that Ameer Makhoul and Omar Said Abdo are under arrest for allegedly serving as Hizbullah agents is a case in point.

 

Until his arrest, Makhoul served as head of Ittijah, the umbrella organization of Israeli Arab NGOs. His brother Issam Makhoul is a former member of Knesset. Abdo is a professional organizer for the Balad political party. These men are not just leading members of the local Arab hierarchy. They are tightly connected to the Israeli and international Left as well.

 

Makhoul and Abdo are not unique. Former MK and Balad leader Azmi Bishara fled the country in 2007 to avoid being arrested for serving as a Hizbullah spy in the 2006 war. Bishara is suspected of transferring targeting information to Hizbullah officers.

 

Since the Second Lebanon War, a number of Israeli Arabs have been arrested and convicted of spying for Hizbullah. All of them were accomplished individuals from respected families.

 

Last month Rawi Sultani, the son of a prominent Israeli Arab attorney, was convicted of collecting intelligence information for Hizbullah concerning the whereabouts of Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. Sultani was a member of Ashkenazi’s health club in Kfar Saba.

 

Sultani was drafted into the service of Hizbullah while he participated in a pan-Arab youth conference in Morocco organized by Balad.

 

Khaled Kashkoush was a student in Germany who promised his Hizbullah handler that he would get a job at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Kashkoush’s plan was to develop relations with wounded soldiers hospitalized there and transfer information he gained to Hizbullah.

 

In 2008 Sgt.-Maj. Louai Balut, the first Christian Arab tracker to serve in the IDF, was sentenced to 11 years in jail for transferring information about troop deployments in the North to Hizbullah.

 

Earlier this month, MK Massoud Ghanem of the United Arab-Ta’al party gave an interview to the Nazareth newspaper Kul el-Arab in which he expressed his hope to one day see Israel destroyed and replaced with an Islamic caliphate.

 

Ghanem also said that in the event of war between Israel and the Iran-Syria-Hizbullah-Hamas axis, he would side with the axis. As he put it, “The Iran-Hizbullah-Syria axis represents the line of resistance and refusal to surrender, and naturally, I support this axis.”

 

Hizbullah’s popularity among Israeli Arabs has grown immensely since the Second Lebanon War. Whereas before the war, one would rarely see public displays of support, since the war Hizbullah flags are routinely flown at Israeli Arab political events and protests. Hizbullah’s growing popularity goes hand in hand with a deep radicalization of Israeli Arab society that has gone largely unaddressed by state authorities.

 

OVER THE weekend, thousands of Israeli Arabs participated in so-called Nakba rallies. The Nakba, or “catastrophe,” is how the Arab world refers to Israel’s establishment on May 15, 1948.

 

Until the onset of the Oslo peace process with the PLO in 1993, May 15 was generally overlooked by Israeli Arabs. But since then, each year, commemorations of the so-called Nakba have steadily increased in scope and radicalism.

 

This year, the central demonstration was held in Kafr Kanna, the same Galilee town Abdo calls home. The keynote speaker at the event was Islamic Movement leader Raed Salah. His speech could easily have been given by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

 

Speaking to a crowd of thousands, Salah threatened Israel with war if it dares to take action against Arabs like Abdo and Makhoul. In his words, “If you think that with this arrest you will take revenge against political groups in our society like Balad, you are wrong. Balad, the Islamic Movement, Hadash and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee – all share one hope, one pain, one future, and one present. Those who go against one of us, go against everyone. We are all Omar Said, we are all Ameer Makhoul.”

 

He went on to promise that all the descendents of Arabs who left in 1948 would return. He called Israeli communities “cancers” that will be removed.

 

Finally, Salah called on Fatah and Hamas to unite in war against Israel: “From here, from the Galilee, we call on you to unite against the occupation until the state of Palestine is established with Jerusalem as its capital.” 

 

Ahead of his Nakba day diatribe, last week Salah was acquitted of rioting charges. The indictment was filed against him in 2007 following a speech he gave at a demonstration in Jerusalem in which he accused Israel of seeking to destroy the Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

 

As he waved a Syrian flag, in that speech Salah proclaimed “it is now the duty of every Arab and Muslim to launch an intifada from one end to another to save Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque. We are not the ones who allowed ourselves to eat a meal of bread and cheese soaked in children’s blood.” 

 

He was acquitted due to what Jerusalem District Court claimed were contradictions in the prosecution’s testimony.

 

Salah’s statements, like those of his colleagues in Israeli
Arab leadership echelons invariably provoke angry responses from politicians. Indeed, in response to Salah’s Nakba speech, on Sunday Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz called for his citizenship to be revoked.

 

But headline-generating statements aside, politicians and the rest of the country’s leadership – including the police and the courts – have refused to actually do anything. Our leaders have failed to adopt any consistent measures to counteract the fact that today there are no Israeli Arab leaders who do not routinely make statements either rejecting the country’s right to exist or inciting treason against the state, or both. Similarly, they have taken no effective measures against reports of massive arms caches in Arab villages.

 

In March, the sensationalist Debkafile Web site published a hair-raising report claiming that Hizbullah has raised five brigades – all trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps – whose mission is to invade northern Israel in the next war. According to the report, one of the brigades is tasked with invading three Arab villages along the Acre-Safed highway and using them as a bridgehead to spark an armed insurrection in Arab towns throughout the North.

 

Debkafile’s report was not sourced and was widely ignored as a consequence. But in recent weeks, several IDF sources have confirmed the gist of the story.

 

Over the weekend Channel 1 military correspondent Yoav Limor reported that heightened concern about war has brought near unanimity in the defense community that Israel should make a last ditch effort to negotiate the surrender of the Golan Heights to Syria in the hope of cajoling it out of the Iranian axis. If true, this position indicates that the top echelons of the security establishment are in a state of panic.

 

If Limor’s report is accurate, our leaders need to get a hold of themselves. The times are dire, but they are not hopeless. There is no reason for anyone to lose his head.

 

To prevail, our leaders and security authorities need to stop talking and start acting. They need to move now to break up enemy organizations like Balad and the Islamic Movement, arrest their leaders and seize their assets. There are laws already on the books to enact such policies.

 

So too, the police, with assistance from the IDF if necessary, needs to uncover and seize illegal arms caches. Hostile villages like Kafr Kanna and Umm el-Fahm, and border towns like Deir el-Asad and Majd el-Kurum should be rigorously patrolled.

 

There is very little good news coming out of neighboring states these days. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Syria last week raised the threat level against Israel to soaring heights amid reports that he has agreed to sell massive quantities of advanced weapons to Iran’s Arab client state.

 

But Israel can handle this situation. We just need to start acting and stop talking.

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnayUgsHsuQX34qJoZ5j4CRyD4xUbGr1fs 05/17/2010 at 17:37

    Israel can ill afford to wait any longer. Iran is not going to back down and the US (read BO) will do nothing to prevent Iran’s nuclear advancements. Israel has the most to lose as well as being the most directly impacted. If Bibi has a plan, he needs to act on it soon. George Mitchell is nothing more than an impediment to what needs to be done.

    Reply
  • Marcel 05/17/2010 at 18:08

    While Israel was busy on her knees with the Road Map her enemies have been on their feet busily working to achieve their goal.
    Unlike Israel they have an unshakable,unmovable goal which they truly believe in.
    The problem with Israel is it believes in fairy tales and myths.
    As you point out so well the leadership is paralyzed unable to act in any strong way to defent the nation.
    The Road Map myth has contributed to the national insanity where thoughts of surrendering the Golan,E.Jerusalem,Judea & Samaria are seen as an answer to appease evil forces.
    A little more on the solution your close neighbors are working on.
    http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=136
    ‘Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem!
    …your covenant with death ( ROAD MAP ) shall be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol (the place of the dead)( ROAD MAP ) shall not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, then you will be trodden down by it.’
    Isaiah 28

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  • Geoffrey Britain 05/17/2010 at 19:36

    My God. Does Israel have a death wish?
    It certainly appears so. Where does Israel’s leaders and the public that elects those leaders, think this will end?
    It’s bad enough to fight against a fanatical enemy who only wants to destroy you but to allow this kind of cancer to metastasize is quite simply suicidal.
    If Ms Glick is describing the situation accurately and it’s hard to mischaracterize the assertion that “today there are no Israeli Arab leaders who do not routinely make statements either rejecting the country’s right to exist or inciting treason against the state, or both” then Israel is way past the point where every Israeli Arab should be escorted out of the country.
    Pay them reparations and move them out. Move ALL of them out. Leaders give voice to public sentiments, if the public doesn’t like those sentiments, leaders don’t stay leaders long. They’ve made the decision by declaring themselves enemies of the state. A state that offers them greater freedom, rights and benefits than any Islamic nation…
    This is gratitude and loyalty? This is even-handed consideration of the issues?
    No, this is betrayal, this is Israeli Arabs choosing Islam and religious hatred in a hypocritical, two-faced denial of their own standards.
    Islam supports the ancient ‘right by way of conquest’ for themselves, so to deny it to ones opponent is the height of hypocrisy.
    As Ms Glick pointed out in her last post, the Ottoman Empire lost WWI and as the victors, England had every right to dispose of Palestine as she pleased. In the peace treaty the Ottomans agreed to that. Israel was but a small piece of Palestine and yet the Arabs whine about it, lost multiple wars over it and still can’t abide by their own rules.
    There is no honor in this, only the shame of the morally corrupt.
    It’s the Muslims that should be hanging their heads in shame, not the Jews. When will the sons of Joshua stand tall and unashamed and unafraid?
    It’s clear that Israel’s very survival is at stake and the self-hatred of too many Israeli’s is Israel’s real difficulty. Until that’s addressed, Israel is simply delaying the inevitable and living on borrowed time.
    What ever happened to ‘never again’? Since when do Israeli’s offer their children’s throats up to be cut from ear to ear, by scum not worthy of being called human?
    Sorry, there’s no other way to characterize this, it’s literally asking for another holocaust. But this time, Israeli’s will be complicit in their own murder.

    Reply
  • Joe in LA 05/17/2010 at 19:56

    It is appalling that Israeli authorities bury their heads in the sand and refuse to deal with this increasingly serious situation, all the while mouthing ineffective platitudes about these traitorous Arab citizens of Israel. I couldn’t agree with you more that the time for action is now, not after the inevitable war with Iran/Hizbullah is under way.

    Reply
  • Marc Handelsman, USA 05/17/2010 at 20:05

    Yes, Israel can handle the situation provided there are courageous men willing to enforce existing laws against sedition. Israel needs a return to its vigilant strategic deterrence where enemies are swiftly punished. Homes of terrorists need to be razed and reprisals should be swift. Israeli-Arabs, who incite rebellion, should be stripped of their citizenship and deported. If post-Zionist officials will not deal with traitors, then a new group of Zionist leaders need to take charge. And Israel is quickly running out of time, and must confront its growing fifth column.

    Reply
  • Anonymous 05/17/2010 at 20:29

    Quote: This means that as Israel prepares to strike Iran, it must minimize Iran’s ability to retaliate from fifth column bases inside the country.
    This can be considered as a potential opportunity for Israel.
    What really threatens Israel from within, is the demographic Jihad. A huge fifth column within Israel, which of course could exist only with the help of those who wish to see the demise of Israel, allows Israel to arrest and deport all those involved.

    Reply
  • DR WILLS 05/18/2010 at 0:28

    Caroline, why, do you suppose, the Israeli government, led by PM Netanyahu, is apparently doing so very little to take any meaningful action to thwart these multifarious threats?

    Reply
  • Polymath 05/18/2010 at 2:59

    The picture looks like Dearborn,Michigan, the home of the new Miss USA. Hizbollah is 15-20 minutes from the majority of Jewish synagogues, temples, and neighborhoods with Jewish Day Schools and Hebrew Schools.It seems only the ex-pat Israelis and police departments are aware of the situation.The Jewish Community,in the Greater Metropolitan Detroit Area, is quite oblivious.The Jewish caterers of these shuls, also, hire the Arabs from the Community.While if you go to Dearborn, the hostility and hate one receives upon entering their stores isn’t a overt.
    The S.Lebanese town, run and populated by Hizbollah, almost in its entirety, apparently, has homes in Dearborn, and regularly, those citizens come to visit relatives.The Mayor of this town, owns a home, there.The claim is there are 60,000 Hizbollah in Dearborn with innumerable Hamas members.No one is covert about it. They have marched in support of the terrorist attacks,calling for death to America and Israel and Jews.Sadly, this all started with Bush.

    Reply
  • beniyyar 05/18/2010 at 4:59

    I find the suggestion that surrendering the Golan Heights to Syria as a way of blunting their aggression against Israel to be rather childish and very dangerous. If this were proposed by a Left wing Israeli intellectual, I would simply attribute it to this group’s moral or intellectual blindness and ignore it. But this absurd idea that the surrender of the Heights will wean Syria away from Iran and guarantee Syria’s peaceful intentions towards Israel is being proposed by the highest echelons of the Israel Defence Forces, by the Generals, Colonels, and their deputies, people who should know better, indeed they were chosen and paid to know better.
    Thankfully the Israeli public and most of our government is fully aware of the silliness of this approach and will never allow it. But it should deeply concern every Israeli that our top brass is so shallow, unthinking, and out of touch with reality.
    Personally I would suggest that this ridiculous brainstorm is probably the product of our Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, one of the worst political figures and military thinkers ever inflicted on our long suffering state. And what is worse, Ehud Barak probably thinks the idea is brilliant!

    Reply
  • Steve 05/18/2010 at 10:00

    It doesn’t look like the law forbidding arab MKs from visiting states like Lybia or any prosecution of arab rioters will be made since Bibi the Dhimmi is afraid of another arab pogrom. What really stabs Israel in the back is Peres offering Syria the Golan and Bibi the Dhimmi offering Fatah, East Jerusalem. Of course the cabal of Netanyahu, Peres, and Barak makes sure that Israeli policemen, the IDF, and Israeli bureaucrats arrest, beat, and deport Jews only. They are happy to release arab murderers so that they can kill more Jews, allow arabs to stone and shoot Jews, and open roads so that Jews are driven off them. The rest of the ruling coalition has been paid off with ministries and is unwilling to challenge the leadership. The moral and physical cowardice of Jewish leaders throughout Jewish history undercut Israel’s ability to defend herself against the Romans and in the exile encouraged Christians and Muslims to murder Jews repeatedly and finally encouraged the Nazis to exterminate European Jewry. There’s no guarantee that a Gidyon or Yehuda the Hammer will come along to undo the damage Bibi the Dhimmi has and will do.

    Reply
  • US citizen 05/18/2010 at 11:08

    Fear not The Creator is quite accomplished at foisting our enemies upon their own pitards.

    Reply
  • Anonymous 05/18/2010 at 22:10

    George Bush said “You are either for us or you are against us”. Words to live by.
    Any other words are words to die for.

    Reply
  • Jana Rene Funkhouser 05/18/2010 at 23:39

    Does Israel have a modern-day Golda Meir,someone who is willing to go to their grave in defending and protecting Israel? Israel’s politicians have traded Israeli strength and sovereignty for political favors and personal gain.
    Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (Isaiah 59:1)
    But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
    Israel, return to the LORD your God with all your heart, soul and mind for His hand is mighty to save.

    Reply
  • Terry, Eilat - Israel 05/19/2010 at 3:11

    You don’t have to print this, I understand that my criticism of the JPost would be awkward for you – I’ll post another comment later (after my coffee when my head is working better).
    At the same time as your article appeared in the JPost, what do I find? A really stupid article, an editorial no less, I think titled, ”The Alienated Minority” or something similar. I don’t remember exactly because I barely pay attention to the JPost these days.
    In any case, the gist of this wishful-thinking, self-deceiving, head-in-the-sand, exercise in denial was that the solution to our ”Arab problem” was economic integration – basically, that we can pay them to become loyal citizens of Israel. This is the usual politically correct liberal crap that seeks to brainwash us into a coma.
    I have to say that the JPost is quite a disappointment these days. It’s not just that the news itself is rather depressing – the articles themselves are written in an unprofessional, dumbed-down, amateurish fashion.
    The liberal bias is so pronounced it’s become laughable.
    It seems that political correctness has numbed the critical faculties of Israeli journalists just as it’s done all over the Western world.

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  • Terry, Eilat - Israel 05/19/2010 at 4:47

    All I can say is that if we allow political correctness to tie our hands, it will be the end of us. The Arabs are the enemy, they are not nor will they ever be ”Israelis” – they have never reconciled themselves to the existence of a Jewish state. There is nothing we can do about this except throw them out. This is not racism, it is common sense. If they were nice peaceful Buddhists, the question would never arise.
    We have been making the same mistake since 1948. The very idea of giving them citizenship was stupid, the product of idiot Leftist ideology. They should have been expelled. We made the same mistake in 1967. And who had the brilliant idea to give Israeli ID’s to Arab inhabitants of Jerusalem? In 1967, we should have expelled the Arabs to Jordan & blown up that damn mosque that sits on OUR Temple Mount.
    Today, we continue the same policy of appeasement, of cowardice, of denial, that we followed in the past. Any by so doing, we endanger the survival of our country.

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  • Ron Grandinetti 05/19/2010 at 8:50

    Caroline, I must say this is a very depressing article to say the least.
    Bottom line, the Israeli government has to stop squabbling like a bunch of politicians more interested in serving themselves rather than Israel, all while the enemy is working endlessly to eventually destroy Israel.
    Time for the PM to take charge, bring everyone to the table as this is a national crisis requiring immediate attention.
    Iran and her proxies are not sleeping, they fear not since they recognize the US president is an anti-Semite and his administration is weak and Israel may not be able to count on this present group for assistance, if any.
    Again I say, time to take out the Hizbullah missiles in Southern Lebanon; this is a definite threat to Israel.
    Iran’s proxies need to be dealt with and Israel should not worry about winning any popularity contest with the world.
    Geoffrey Britain is right “Pay them reparations and move them out”. Like cancer, when all treatment fails it’s time to surgically cut it out.

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  • Ronald Ribman 05/19/2010 at 12:50

    What Israel needs is a good full time PR staff working to present its case to the world. The Arabs are masters of publicity and are using it to beat the Israelis into the ground. Not only is Obama by natural inclination on the Muslim side, they also have most of the rest of the world in their pocket. And the horrible irony is that Israel has the best case for justice and truth! But if it’s not presented, it might as well not exist.

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  • Steve 05/20/2010 at 9:02

    The very opposite is happening, Ehud Barak is building roads through Jewish communities and exploiting 13 year old demolition orders to move the Jews out. Obama finally must have spoken in a language Bibi the Dhimmi understands, “JUDEN RAUS!”

    Reply
  • adamh1997 05/20/2010 at 23:34

    Caroline, you are one amazing woman. I love your articles and as to the latest one, I couldn’t agree more.
    I find the lack of action in Israel and America very alarming. Being an African-American, I am frankly disgusted and ashamed as to what Obama has done and is doing. He is a typical leftist. He has no idea what he is doing.
    It is really important that Israel NOT listen to Obama and simply do what needs to be done to prevent another holocaust.

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  • Geoffrey Britain 05/21/2010 at 2:22

    “What Israel needs is a good full time PR staff working to present its case to the world. “
    You’ve got the cart before the horse. Israel doesn’t need spin, it needs backbone. That will lead to Israel stating the unequivocal truth. Which will change the paradigm.
    Everyone already knows that the Muslims are homicidal maniacs, the West is just pretending otherwise, deep in denial and the left is actively pursuing the West’s destruction.
    No more whining and adopting the posture of a beta-male, metro-sexual; “please like us, we’re the good guys”
    The Ottoman Empire fought a war. They lost. They signed a peace treaty agreeing that Britain had won by right-of-conquest Palestine and they surrendered.
    The British gave a small piece of Palestine to the Jews. The Arabs didn’t like it and attacked Israel. They lost. Israel needs to, (with contempt dripping off their voices) tell the Muslims to suck it up and get over it.
    It’s way past time to take the kid gloves off, if Israel is attacked again, that countries major cities should be leveled and if the US and Europe don’t like it, tough shit.
    Next time there’s an intifada, forced migrations should result. Their choice, intifada = no more Gaza, no more West Bank.
    Since the ‘Palestinians’ and Islam insist upon barbarism, Israel will play by their rules and the world be damned. Just like we did with the Nazi’s.
    Obama won’t do jack, because nukes make all the difference when the other guy is afraid you might use them.
    When the UN screams accusations, tell them that wars end when one side gives up, and that as soon as the aggressor nation surrenders, Israel will stop and not a minute before that.

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  • Marcel 05/21/2010 at 7:04

    We in Lebanon who hide under the dirt and behind our wives and children waiting to exterminate Israel are troubled to see Jews defend themselves.
    We would have hoped that the West would have restrained and constrained them more to make it easier for us to kill them as was the case in Europe not long ago.
    We are forever grateful to President Bush who called PM Olmert and told hiom to stop and retreat before the IDF could defeat us in 2006.
    The same of my Hamas brothers in Gaza who were rescued by the US from a certain IDF defeat.
    We are so happy that the Israeli’s listen to their god so religiously.
    We only hope it works again this time.
    With love of jihad,
    Hassan Nasrallah

    Reply

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