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We disagree with Hussein Ibish on most of the particulars in the Middle East, but he is no terrorist apologist and his viewpoint is usually worth a look – especially when he isn’t talking about Israel or the United States. Here, Ibish dissects the debilitating impact that Bashar al-Assad’s Syria and the terrorists of Hezbollah have had on Lebanon:
In fact the Lebanese political crisis – fuelled, if not created, by the Syrian conflict – is perhaps even more alarming than the spillover of physical violence seen thus far. The Lebanese state is experiencing a degree of fragmentation and disarray that is, for its institutions, at least as severe as what happened in the worst periods of the civil war. The spillover thus threatening the equilibrium of unstable elements that has held Lebanon together, more or less, in recent years.
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Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Stand For Israel
In response to yesterday’s rocket fire into northern Israel, early Friday morning the IAF struck terrorist targets north of Beirut:
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The Israeli Air Force struck a “terrorist” target 7 kilometers south of Beirut early on Friday morning, the IDF said in a statement.
The airstrike was carried out in response to four rockets being fired from Lebanon into northern Israel on Thursday.
“Yesterday’s attack is a blatant breach on Israeli sovereignty that jeopardized Israeli civilian life. Israel will not tolerate terrorist aggression originating from Lebanese territory,” the IDF said in a statement.
The IDF Spokesman Brig-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that the Israel Air Force struck targets a few kilometers from Beirut, and that “echoes of the blasts could be heard in Beirut.”
“The strike forms a clear message by the IDF and Israel to decision makers in Lebanon whom we see as responsible for yesterday’s rocket attack,” Mordechai said.
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 8:15 AM | Stand For Israel
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A car bomb killed at least 22 people and wounded over 150 in the southern suburb of Beirut Thursday, a stronghold of Hezbollah, security sources told The Daily Star.
The evening attack, which the Lebanese Army confirmed was a car bomb, occurred on the main road between Ruwaiss and Bir al-Abed, a neighborhood of the southern suburb that in July was the target of a similar explosion, the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
Lebanon has seen a spike of security incidents linked to the crisis in neighboring Syria, particularly after Hezbollah announced in May it was fighting alongside forces loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebels in Syria.
The car bombing Thursday occurred around sunset as residents returned home from work.
Thursday, August 15th, 2013 at 1:28 PM | Stand For Israel
Four Israeli Defense Soldiers were injured this morning by a blast near the Lebanese border. Though the injuries were not life-threatening, the soldiers were airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment. JPost reports:
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For most of Wednesday, security officials declined to comment on the incident, until Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon broke the official silence to say that the soldiers were on a routine mission to ensure quiet along the border “for northern residents” and “the residents of Israel in general.”
“During the operational activity, the force went over an explosive device. We are of course investigating the incident, [and seeking to verify] if this is an old or new device,” the defense minister added.
The IDF said it was monitoring developments on the northern border.
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 at 3:56 PM | Stand For Israel
The Europeans aren’t confused about European terror groups like the Red Brigade or the Irish Republican Army. So Emanuele Ottolenghi, writing at Commentary Magazine, wonders why there’s so much confusion about Hezbollah. Yes, the E.U. finally decided to place them on their terror list – but only the “armed wing” of Hezbollah!
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But the E.U. sticks to its own imagined distinction when it comes to radical Islamic groups engaged in terrorist activities. Though you will be hard pressed to find reference to an armed wing of Hezbollah within Hezbollah, such references abound in the Western press. It is a convenient way to avoid having to tackle the problem of Hezbollah–a proxy of the Iranian regime whose ideology justifies the use of violence for political ends and whose entire structure thus serves the purpose of carrying out such violence.
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 at 7:58 AM | Stand For Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu applauds the European Union’s decision to include Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations:
“I welcome the fact that the EU has also declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and I thank the leaders of its member states. In recent years, the State of Israel has invested great effort in explaining to all EU member states that Hezbollah is the terrorist arm of the Iranian regime and perpetrates attacks around the world. For years, the organization has carried out attacks against innocent civilians across the globe. Recently, it has sought to perpetrate dozens of attacks, some of which were actually carried out, in Asia, Africa, America and Europe, including the reprehensible murder in Bulgaria and an attack that was foiled in Cyprus.”
It’s a good decision by the E.U.; it’s a bit difficult to combat a threat if you can’t call a foe by its rightful name. Still, it’s worth noting that the move comes only after months of prolonged debate, and intense diplomatic pressure from the U.S. and Israel. Which begs the question: what took you so long, E.U.? We don’t expect a reply, of course. Instead we’ll give the last word to journalist Michael Totten, who knows Lebanon and Hezbollah better than most, and narrows the field of plausible answers to the question of why the E.U. dragged its feet for so long by telling us what the answer surely isn’t:
[Hezbollah's] first act of terrorism was the destruction of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983. I could sit here all day and list all the incidents between then and now, but I won’t. European officials know perfectly well what Hezbollah has done. Their refusal to blacklist it has nothing to do with their ignorance or with Hezbollah’s innocence.
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Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 2:11 PM | Stand For Israel
Nineteen years ago today, a terrorist drove a van filled with explosives up to the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (also known as the AMIA, or Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and detonated the charge, killing 85 people, and injuring 300. It is also the one-year anniversary of the bombing of a bus filled with Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria. That attack killed six people, and injured 32.
The culprit in both of these attacks was the same: Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based terrorist group that has proven, with these and other attacks on Jewish, Israeli, and western targets, that its deadly reach extends far beyond the Middle East. While it has taken the European Union months of deliberation to decide whether to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization, the victims of any of Hezbollah’s murderous attacks undoubtedly wouldn’t hesitate to do so.
Today, please take a moment to remember in your prayers the victims of the terrible attacks in Buenos Aires and Burgas. And give thanks, too, for the men and women who put their lives on the line fighting terrorism around the globe.Comments (0) »
Thursday, July 18th, 2013 at 12:51 PM | Stand For Israel
Lebanon is a mess and has been for decades. David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has written an excellent piece describing the current circumstances in the country which revolves around three groups all of which constitute essentially a third of the population: Christians, Shiite Muslims, and Sunni Muslims.
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Yet given Hezbollah’s deteriorating regional stature, stubborn commitment to Assad, and dominant military posture in Lebanon, the militia may believe it no longer requires Aoun’s Christian cover, particularly if a sympathetic Kahwaji becomes the presidential frontrunner. Hezbollah also likely calculates that if Assad wins, its prospects will be buoyed, while if the rebels triumph, Aoun and Lebanon’s other Christians will be predisposed to pursue an alliance of minorities with the Shiites against the Sunnis.
Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 at 8:01 AM | Stand For Israel
Ronen Bergman writes that one silver lining to be found among the slaughter in Syria is the negative impact the conflict has had on Hezbollah’s leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. Having now outed himself as nothing more than an Iranian stooge and having spent precious Hezbollah resources on Syria, Nasrallah now finds himself in real trouble.
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Nasrallah would certainly be happy if the past two years in his career could be erased, a period in which he either came to the rescue of his ally in Damascus or was dragged into the conflict. If, initially, Nasrallah believed it was possible to save Assad’s regime, he hasn’t been convinced of this for a while, according to intelligence sources. Nevertheless, he followed Iran’s orders in full and sent thousands of his best fighters to assist Syria’s Alawite regime.
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 8:03 AM | Stand For Israel
On July 18, 1994, a 29-year-old Hezbollah operative named Ibrahim Hussein Berro drove his Renault Trafic van loaded with more than 600 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil into Buenos Aires’ Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA). Despite having “Israelite” in the name, AMIA is not affiliated with Israel; it’s a Jewish Community Center – a place where people come to work out or participate in cultural programs.
The blast practically leveled the building, killing 85 people and injuring more than 300. While Argentina botched the investigation (no one has ever been brought to trial for the crime), international arrest warrants were issued for six people: Imad Mugniyeh, Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, Ahmad Vahidi, and Mohsen Rezaee. All but Mugniyeh are Iranian and are closely associated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Mugniyeh, a Hezbollah terrorist leader, died in February of 2008 when the headrest of his car “mysteriously” exploded. Of note, Ahmad Vahidi – a wanted international terrorist – is currently Iran’s Defense Minister. It’s also worth noting that a street in Beirut, Lebanon, bears the name of Ibrahim Hussein Berro, and a plaque marking the street praises his “martyrdom” operation.
Reports indicate that Iran’s President-elect Hasan Rouhani is implicated in the planning of this vicious, cold-blooded assault on innocent civilians, including many women and children. Rouhani was, at the time, secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council. According to a 2006 indictment handed down by the Argentine Attorney General, Rouhani was present during planning and was part of the panel that green-lighted the attack.
As the media continue to tell Americans and others that the new President of Iran is a moderate, those of us who know better will need to make sure we tell the truth: Mr. Rouhani is, in fact, a callous and unrepentant terrorist.Comments (10) »
Friday, June 21st, 2013 at 6:40 AM | Stand For Israel