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There’s a lot not to like about this article in The New Yorker by Dexter Filkins – for example, the author seems to think that Lebanon is an “established democracy” – but it’s a fascinating, if a little too New Yorker-ish, look at what’s happening in Lebanon and why we should all be paying more attention.
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If Lebanon’s President, Michel Suleiman, accepts Mikati’s resignation, as he seems likely to do, the country could be entering a protracted political crisis, without a functional government. That kind of power vacuum, in a country as fragile as Lebanon, could lead to sectarian violence. Mikati himself, in his televised statement on Friday, seemed to hint at just such a possibility. “The region is heading toward the unknown,’’ he said.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Stand For Israel
Matthew Levitt and Magnus Norell of the Washington Institute on Near East Policy write that the attack on a group of Jewish tourists in Bulgaria last year has Hezbollah on the verge of being added to the European Union’s terrorist list – a long overdue step that will deprive them of significant funding and will probably expose Europe to greater Hezbollah attack.
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In a speech timed to mark the anniversaries of famous slain Hezbollah militants, Nasrallah’s only comment on the Burgas investigation was a passing non-comment: “I don’t want to comment on the Bulgarian accusation. This issue is being looked at in a patient and calm manner and we will see later how to deal with it depending on the outcome.” His only substantive comment was to warn of Hezbollah’s capabilities to strike at Israel should Jerusalem choose to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon in retaliation.
Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at 8:34 AM | Stand For Israel
Shlomi Eldar, writing in al-Monitor, points out that since Israel assassinated his predecessor, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s favorite pastime – and, seemingly, the only thing he leaves the safety of his underground lair for – is to issue threats against the Jewish state. He did it again last week. Check out Eldar’s take on what the arch-terrorist had to say.
There’s no need for any in-depth analysis to realize that Hassan Nasrallah’s bluster and threats are inversely proportional to his dwindling strength and the troubling situation in which he finds himself. It is a classic example of lashing out defensively out of fear for his future.
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Friday, February 22nd, 2013 at 8:32 AM | Stand For Israel
The Council on Foreign Relations blog runs an interview with Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Levitt says that Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, are laying the groundwork to capitalize on the end of the Assad regime – even while doing their best to help Assad kill his way to stability:
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People tend to misunderstand the relationship between Hezbollah and Iran, which has changed over time but is now extremely close. The U.S. intelligence community has publicly described this as a “strategic partnership.” But people don’t fully appreciate Hezbollah’s ideological commitment to the concept of “velayat-e faqih,” or guardianship of the jurists, which holds that a Shiite Islamic cleric should also serve as supreme head of government. For Hezbollah, this means the Iranian leadership is also their leader — not for every foot soldier, but for Hezbollah’s senior leaders absolutely.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 9:15 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday, we posted a Lee Smith piece on the assassination of a Lebanese general. Today, Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi explores whether that assassination might lead Lebanon to civil war – further destabilizing Israel’s northern neighbor and, possibly, bringing Hezbollah to even greater power.
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Undoubtedly, the weakening or fall of the Assad regime translates to a weakening of Hezbollah’s position in Lebanon, and it is notable how muted the group’s response has been to the al-Hassan affair, which indicates that the organization certainly does feel under pressure over the growing perception of its role as a pro-Assad partisan force in Syria.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 8:37 AM | Stand For Israel
Hard to believe we missed this Lee Smith piece from a few days ago. Smith, one of the sharpest observers of Middle East affairs, writes about the murder of General Wissam al-Hassan and the larger stakes for the futures of Lebanon and Syria. A great read.
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The current campaign may turn out to be even bloodier for the stakes are higher—to ensure not only the continuation of Hezbollah’s hegemony, but also the Syrian regime’s survival. Assad is counting on the international community, led by the White House, to rescue him from the twenty-month long uprising that seeks to bring his regime down on his head.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 at 9:14 AM | Stand For Israel