Saturday, August 19, 2006

Why America Needs "Terrorists" Like Hezbollah

Why America Needs Hezbollah

By Ted Rall

08/18/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- Hours after a ceasefire halted a five-week war between Israel and Iranian-backed Islamic militias in Lebanon, reported the New York Times, "hundreds of Hezbollah members spread over dozens of villages across southern Lebanon began cleaning, organizing and surveying damage. Men on bulldozers were busy cutting lanes through giant piles of rubble. Roads blocked with the remnants of buildings are now, just a day after a ceasefire began, fully passable." Who cares if Hezbollah is a State Department-designated terrorist organization? Unlike our worthless government, it gets things done!

The citizens of New Orleans desperately need Hezbollah's can-do terrorist spirit. Outside the French Quarter tourist zone, writes Jed Horne in The New Republic, what was until 2005 our nation's most charming city and cultural center remains "a disaster zone, an area five times the size of Manhattan."

One year after the routine matter of a Gulf Coast hurricane, half the city's population remains refugees--screwed over by a government that hasn't lifted a finger to pretend that it cares. Horne describes "Vast swaths of a city emptied as if by a neutron bomb, with only the fecal brown floodline up under the eaves to suggest what went so very wrong--that, and the ghostly dried brine still coating the dead lawns and landscaping."

New Orleans is a dead city. Incredibly, the politicians don't give a damn. "Now most of the water has gone," the British Daily Mirror newspaper informed readers on the storm's anniversary, "but little else has changed. Driving through the streets, it is shocking to see how much devastation remains and how little rebuilding has taken place."

Americans watched incredulously as their government responded to the desperate pleas of sick and starving Katrina victims by herding them into internment camps, and then issued them $2000 debit cards--an insulting pittance--to compensate them for losing everything they owned. Anyone could see that the federal government had failed its obligation to protect its citizens. Not only had officials refused to shore up crumbling levies, they didn't even try to send in relief after the long-predicted flood. The United States of America, however, is led by men who see things very differently from, well, everyone else. They actually think that Hurricane Katrina victims received too much.

"If you put $2,000 in someone's hands, that's a lot of money," Federal Emergency Management Agency Director David Paulison explained during a July 23 announcement. Due to Bush Administration budget cuts, the victims of future disasters will have to make do with a mere $500.

You know the U.S. has gone Third World when bombed-out Lebanese get a better deal than we do. Remember how hurricane victims couldn't get through to FEMA's perpetually busy hotline? Promising that Hezbollah personnel "in the towns and villages will turn to those whose homes are badly damaged and help rebuild them," Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah ordered Hezbollah militants to canvass damaged neighborhoods and begin repairs at once. Hezbollah gives out "decent and suitable furniture" and a year's free rent to all Lebanese who lost their homes. Unlike the racist government officials who managed the botched response along the Gulf Coast last year, where whites were rescued while blacks were shot, the Shiite terrorist group's offer also applies to Sunnis, Christians and even Jews.

"Hezbollah's reputation as an efficient grass-roots social service network," reported the Times, "was in evidence everywhere. Young men with walkie-talkies and clipboards were in the battered Shiite neighborhoods on the southern edge of Bint Jbail, taking notes on the extent of the damage. Hezbollah men also traveled door to door checking on residents and asking them what help they needed." With terrorists like that, who needs FEMA?

A year after Katrina, officials are still pulling bodies out of the rubble. Dozens of corpses remain unidentified; the president, governor and mayor continue to pass the blame for their willful inaction. George W. Bush still refuses to accept responsibility. Just one day after the Lebanese ceasefire, however, Sheikh Nasrallah had already delivered a thorough accounting of the damage caused by Israel's bombing campaign and launched a comprehensive rebuilding program. "So far," said the Hezbollah leader, "the initial count available to us on completely demolished houses exceeds 15,000 residential units. We cannot of course wait for the government and its heavy vehicles and machinery because they could be a while."

As often occurs during emergencies in the U.S., price gouging for housing, water, gasoline and other essentials was rampant during and after Katrina. Bush did nothing. Nasrallah, by contrast, warned businesses not to exploit the situation: "No one should raise prices due to a surge in demand."

Never argue with a man who buys AK-47s by the boxcar.

"Hezbollah's strength," says Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a professor at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and an expert on the organization, in large part derives from "the gross vacuum left by the state."

Sound familiar? It does to the people of Ladysmith, Wisconsin. The rural town, destroyed by a tornado in 2002, has been abandoned by the government to whom its people paid taxes all their lives.

Maybe we can commission Hezbollah to rebuild the World Trade Center.

Ted Rall is the author of the new book "Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?," an in-depth prose and graphic novel analysis of America's next big foreign policy challenge. Visit his website

Jason Miller Revealed The Distortions

Why Do We Hate Them?

Fear and Loathing in the Occident
By Jason Miller

08/18/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- Islamophobia is a mental and spiritual affliction. And our Western ruling elites bear the responsibility for inflicting it upon the psyches of the masses.

Now that the Stalinist/Maoist regimes have collapsed or evolved toward capitalism and no fascist states with imperial ambitions exist (besides the United States and its few allies), the American Empire needed to find a new "enemy” to replace Stalinists and Nazis. Much of the soft power employed by the leaders of America’s “top down democracy” stems from psychological manipulation of “the mob”. Mobilization of the masses against a common enemy “threatening the very existence of the American Way” has long been a staple in the United States’ ruling elites’ ongoing push to monopolize the world’s wealth, power, and prestige.

And who better to vilify than Islamic people? Many are dark-skinned and live in developing nations, meaning their lives are inconsequential in the prevailing moral calculus of the West. The Middle East is predominately Islamic, its sands are oozing with crude oil, and it is home to Israel. From the perspective of the Empire, what better region to target than the Middle East?

And whether one believes that 9/11 was a false flag operation perpetrated by the US government or the work of radical Islamic Fundamentalists, the members of the Bush Regime obviously shed their crocodile tears publicly while privately celebrating the event as their Pearl Harbor. 3,000 civilian deaths and the demolition of a powerful symbol of the Western “value” of avaricious Capitalism whipped the American public into a furor against the “evil Muslims” who “hate our freedoms”.

Never mind the fact that the United States and Israel have undertaken a nearly unparalleled program of military aggression and ethnic cleansing throughout the Middle East since the formation of the illegitimate colonial nation in Palestine. Given the premises for founding Israel, someone needs to remind Great Britain and the United States that it is incumbent upon them to create a homeland for homosexuals and Romani people. After all, they were also Holocaust victims and are people without a nation. And like the Palestinians, the other inhabitants of the Middle East are more akin to animals than human beings. So why not establish two more colonies on their land?

On August 13, Sixty Minutes aired a segment that revealed a great deal about Islamophobia and the role the corporate media plays in its proliferation.

In his recent open letter to Mike Wallace, Michael K. Smith declared:

Your interview with Iranian Prime Minister Ahmadinejad was a disgrace to the journalistic profession. You began with the condescending manner of a school principal lecturing the class clown for immature behavior and squandered the entire interview on hypocritically accusatory questions. If gall were an Olympic sport, you'd take the Gold Medal.

Michael made some fine points throughout his letter. However, I opine that he was too generous when he called Wallace’s vituperative verbal assault an interview. What I witnessed was Mike Wallace, the Ugly American. Brimming with contempt, impatience, hubris, and belligerence, he more closely resembled the Grand Inquisitor than a journalist.

Did Wallace truly fail to grasp that he was acting as an apologist and cheerleader for bellicose, heartless, and ruthless perpetrators of war crimes on behalf of Israel, and thus is a Zionist (as Ahmadinejad suggested)? Through its grossly biased coverage of the “War on Terrorism” and mindless perpetuation of the inane myth that Israel has the right to annihilate an unlimited number of civilians to protect its “right to exist”, CBS News has joined the squad of corporate media cheerleaders which has been shamelessly complicit in the Empire’s egregious crimes against humanity. I submit that one can be a Zionist and a journalist. Mike Wallace is living proof.

Yet in spite of Wallace’s tenacious efforts, the “devil incarnate”, Ahmadinejad, remained composed. At times Ahmadinejad seemed to thoroughly enjoy Wallace’s obvious “flustration” in attacking him from what has become an absurdly untenable position, both morally and logically. For those of us who don’t believe the Western media fairy tale that the United States is a force for good engaged in a noble struggle in its bid to rid the world of the evil of Islam and defend Israel’s “right to exist”, Wallace’s ill-fated attempt to expose the malevolence of the “enemy” was quite entertaining.

Just as Wallace scrambled madly in a hopeless attempt to prevail intellectually in his interrogation of Ahmadinejad, the debt-ridden, aging American Empire and its allies are flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to claim military victory in the Middle East. And like Ahmadinejad, those who comprise the resistance to occupation and exploitation in the Middle East are facing down their occupiers with a deft persistence, filled with a confidence born from the knowledge that recent history has not been kind to imperial invaders facing a people determined to expel them (i.e. Vietnam, Lebanon, and Iraq).

In the perverse worldview of the Neocons, Israel, and AIPAC, Iran is considered to be a part of the “Axis of Evil”. Since Wallace championed the cause of the “benevolent” United States in his Sixty Minutes interrogation of the leader of one of the members of the “Axis”, it is instructive to consider the “evils” Iran and resistance groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have perpetrated.

While various resistance groups in the Middle East have certainly committed war crimes by killing civilians, the “leader of the free world” and its counterpart in Palestine have annihilated hundreds of thousands more civilians than have the so-called “terrorists”.

Yes, militant Fundamentalist Islamic individuals wield much of the power in Iran. But let’s put on our thinking caps to discern how that situation evolved. In 1979 hard-line anti-American Islamic clerics assumed control of the Iranian government when they ousted the Shah (the corrupt US puppet who tortured and killed tens of thousands of Iranian “dissidents” during his reign of terror). Ironically, the Iranian government the United States loves to hate exists because the CIA and MI6 facilitated the Shah taking power from Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. The significance? Mossadegh was a democratically-elected secular prime minister who had had the audacity to nationalize the oil industry because the British oil companies were grossly exploiting the Iranian people. By acting in typical fashion (by taking out a populist leader and replacing him with a vicious tyrant), the United States provided an incubator for powerful anti-American sentiment. Thus the United States and Great Britain are responsible for the theocracy in Iran which they fear and despise.

Corporate media pundits like Michelle Malkin and Anne Coulter are the vanguards in spreading pernicious distortions which fan the rapidly spreading emotional flames of fear, prejudice, and hatred comprising Islamophobia. Two of the most disturbing and inflammatory perversions of the truth the Western media entities disseminate are that all adherents of the Islamic faith are radical fundamentalists and that Sharia Law is universally harsh and grossly inferior to the Empire’s system (which provides “liberty and justice for all”).

Just as Christianity encompasses a broad spectrum of people with varying ways of practicing and expressing their faith, the Islamic world is filled with human beings who have diverse ways of expressing their religious beliefs. There are liberal, moderate, and Fundamentalist Muslims. And surprising as it may seem, most practitioners of Fundamentalist Islam, like most Fundamentalist Christians, are essentially peaceful individuals. In fact, a Muslim truly following the tenets of Islam practices moderation and tolerance. Many Muslims are no more willing to strap plastic explosives to their belts for a suicide mission than most Christians would be to bomb an abortion clinic. There are radicals from both religions, but they are very much in the minority.

Another lie deeply embedded in the barrage of communications we receive from the Western corporate media is that the United States and its allies are morally superior to the “evil Muslims”. One aspect of Islam they offer as “proof” of this faulty conclusion is that many Islamic nations incorporate Sharia into their legal systems. While Sharia can involve harsh and rigid forms of justice, it exists to varying degrees in the many Muslim nations around the globe. Judiciaries in Islamic nations manifest the influence of Sharia in ways that span the spectrum from extremely dogmatic to highly secular and liberal.

While the Western media’s blistering criticism of the more draconian actions of some Islamic nations (i.e. Iran’s execution of teenagers) is definitely warranted, the Empire has a great deal of house-cleaning to do before it is in a position to preach to other nations on human rights issues.

Here are but a few recent examples of the United States’ own flagrant human rights abuses:

1. carrying out quite a number of its own executions in a manner recently discovered to inflict a great deal of suffering on the victim

2. routinely torturing and suspending justice for suspected “enemy combatants”

3. funding the Israeli Apartheid and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians

4. occupying a nation where it has killed over a million Iraqi civilians since the Gulf War invasion (through brutal economic sanctions and military actions).

5. funding the Israeli devastation of Lebanon

6. supporting numerous ruthless and murderous regimes (as long as they are friendly to US corporations)

7. having cynically embraced Saddam Hussein as an ally (knowing of his crimes against humanity) when it furthered US interests and invading Iraq preemptively to topple him when he ceased to be useful.

8. having kept the House of Saud in power for years despite its harsh practice of Sharia (i.e. thieves’ hands are severed and adulterers are stoned).

9. maintaining the largest prison population in the world through a legal system so unjust that 50% of those incarcerated are Black when Blacks comprise 14% of the general population.

10. engaging in numerous outright massacres of civilians (i.e. Haditha, Fallujah)

In light of the above, how long will it be before a significant portion of the Muslim population falls prey to an extreme prejudice against all Westerners called Anglo-Christophobia? Let’s hope it does not happen any time soon.

Speaking of Christians (at least the Fundamentalist ones), their demonization of Islam is actually rather amusing. Christian Fundamentalists share more common ground with the extreme members of the Islamic faith than they perhaps realize. Some Muslim nations treat homosexuality as a crime. Abortion is illegal in virtually every circumstance throughout much of the Middle East. Separation of church and state does not exist in nations like Iran. Implementation of the death penalty is common in the Middle East. How can men like John Hagee reconcile their cognitive dissonance in advocating war against Iran, a model of the theocracy they strive to implement in the United States?

CBS, Mike Wallace and the rest of the United States’ corporate media can continue to do the Empire’s bidding from now until the world comes to an end (which may not be as far away as I make it sound if sanity and humanity do not prevail over greed, ignorance, and hatred). However, their nearly endless bombardment of intelligently crafted lies readily distributed to nearly every corner of the globe are powerless to alter the truth.

In truth, Israeli and American lives are no more precious than those of the Arab and Persian human beings populating the Middle East. And neither the United States/Israel/Great Britain nor the nations and groups comprising the resistance in the Middle East are innocent of the deep transgression of murdering innocents. Each nation or group also commits human rights abuses against its own people in some fashion. However, Western exploiters and invaders are culpable of far more frequent and grievous war crimes than the Middle Easterners who are defending themselves, their resources, and their people.

If the majority of the human beings controlling the corporate media had a shred of moral decency they would focus their efforts on informing their viewers, listeners, and readers of the vast number of war crimes committed by Israel and the United States. They would start portraying the “terrorists” as the resistors of oppression they truly are. They would make a distinction between the various Middle Eastern resistance groups’ legitimate attacks on their occupiers’ militaries and the war crimes they commit against civilians. And they would devote most of their remaining substantial resources to the inundation of news consumers with stories, photos and video footage depicting the tragic and gruesome civilian suffering and death.

As it is, the Western corporate media shamelessly serve the Neocons by perpetuating a virtually endless cycle of hatred and violence. They incite and feed Islamophobia and they fabricate a plethora of false justifications for the malevolent actions of Israel and the United States. But then in a fascist nation, corporations are wedded with the state, militarism is the state’s primary focus, scapegoats and enemies are essential, and the function of the Fourth Estate is to provide the propaganda to control the masses.

Just imagine if the mainstream media in the United States actually began fulfilling its role (in what is ostensibly a free society) and acted as a check on our government rather than its accomplice. If more Americans knew more truth, instead of hating Islamic people and pushing to intensify the war in the Middle East, the masses would be demanding that reason, justice, and peace prevail. They would demand that the United States completely withdraw its military from the Middle East and leave Israel to stand on its own, which would force the Israelis to finally settle the Palestinian issue in a just manner and to cooperate with their neighbors as equals.

If the major media entities of the West were living up to their responsibilities as members of the Fourth Estate, perhaps 3 year old Ali Ahmad Hashim of Qana would not have been bombed to death, the members of the Ghalia family would not have been obliterated on a Gaza beach, 76 year old wheel-chair bound amputee Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali would not have been massacred at Haditha, Cindy Sheehan would not be grieving for a son lost to a war of imperial aggression, and Reuven Levy of Haifa would not have been annihilated by a rocket attack as he was doing his job for Israel Railways.

I am not holding my breath waiting for money-driven enablers of war like Rupert Murdoch to start heeding the advice of Jiminy Cricket. However, I will not succumb to their assault of malicious distortions. I refuse to fear, hate, or consider myself at war with 20% of the world’s population simply because they choose to follow the teachings of the Qur’an.

Islamophobia is an intellectual and spiritual malignancy. Reason and humanity are the cures.

Jason Miller is a 39 year old sociopolitical essayist with a degree in liberal arts and an extensive self-education (derived from an insatiable appetite for reading). He welcomes responses at or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at

Friday, August 18, 2006

Perangkap Murtad

Mail yang saya terima ini sengaja disiarkan tanpa apa-apa penyuntingan.

Forwarded message ----------
From: Wan Munirah

Risaulah sal anak2 nie.... Fobia nak lepas.


Pada hari Sabtu (22/07/2006) yang lalu, saya telah berkesempatan mengikuti
satu sessi "Ceramah Keibubapaan" di sekolah menengah agama berasrama penuh
dimana dua orang anak perempuan saya bersekolah. Penceramah jemputan yang
pihak PIBG sekolah jemput adalah Dr. Rubiah Kulup Hamzah. Selain menjadi
penceramah motivasi, Dr. Rubiah juga adalah pensyarah part-time di UM,
UiTM, UKM dan OUM serta amat bergiat aktif dalam pergerakkan NGO Islam.

Disini, saya ingin berkongsi dengan anda sedikit maklumat yang disampaikan
oleh Dr. Rubiah mengenai isu yang sedang hangat
diperkatakan, iaitu isu "Murtad" dan "Artikel 11 Perlembagaan Persekutuan"

Berdasarkan penyelidikan beliau serta anggota NGO Islam yang
lain,pihak-pihak yang memusuhi Islam, terutamanya pihak Kristian telah
lama membuat perancangan rapi untuk menjadikan remaja-remaja Islam sebagai
sasaran untuk dikristiankan. Umumnya, kita mengetahui bahawa mereka telah
berjaya menjadikan "Dunia Hiburan" dan "Dunia Sukan" sebagai senjata untuk
menjauhkan remaja-remaja kita dari agama Islam. Namun, satu pendedahan
yang dibuat oleh Dr. Rubiah mengenai "Perangkap" yang digunakan oleh pihak
kristian ini amat membimbangkan kami yang hadir semua. Berikut adalah
kronologi bagaimana mereka memerangkap anak-anak gadis kita untuk
dijadikan mangsa.

Untuk makluman semua, pertubuhan-pertubuhan kristian telah bersepakat
untuk memberi satu bentuk skim galakan kepada para jejaka kristian serta
diberi tunjuk-ajar mengenai teknik untuk memikat gadis-gadis melayu Islam
untuk dijadikan pasangan mereka. Berbagai-bagi teknik memikat akan
digunakan dan ia bergantung kepada latar belakang gadis yang disasarkan.
Tapi, apa yang membimbangkan kami semua adalah,sasaran utama mereka kini
adalah gadis-gadis bertudung labuh yang berpendidikan agama. Teknik yang
mereka gunakan adalah lebih kurang sama sahaja. Pada peringkat awal mereka
akan mencari jalan untuk berkenalan dengan anak-anak gadis kita, samada
melalui hubungan kerja, hubungan sesama pelajar mahu pun hubungan jiran

Kemudian,mereka akan berlakun seolah-olahnya mereka telah tertarik dengan
kesopanan, cara berpakaian serta kelembuatan tingkah laku anak-anak gadis
kita ini. Antara ungkapan yang sering digunakan adakah
"Adakah semua anak-anak gadis melayu begitu ayu dan sopan?",
"Didalam masyarakat saya, tidak pernah saya bergaul dengan gadis yang
begitu berakhlak",
"Saya tertarik dengan tingkah laku awak".
"Saya ingin mengenali awak dan agama awak dengan lebih dekat lagi"

Biasanya, anak-anak gadis yang berpendidikan agama kita ini akan terbuka
hatinya untuk menerima kehadiran jejaka kristian ini apabila sijejaka mula
menyatakan keinginan untuk mengenali agama Islam dengan lebih dekat lagi.

Apabila sijejaka merasakan anak gadis kita telah menerima kehadiran
mereka, mereka akan menjalinkan persahabatan mereka dengan jujur,ikhlas,
bersopan dan begitu "gentleman" sekali. Mereka akan ke perpustakaan, minum
serta beriadah bersama dengan rakan-rakan yang lain Pendek kata, sepanjang
persabatan mereka, cubaan "ringan-ringan" pun tidak ada. Tetapi AWAS, para

Satelah kian lama bersama serta mendapati sigadis telah mula ada perasaan
cinta, sijejaka akan menunggu dengan sabarnya ketika untuk memulakan
"langkah sebenarnya" yang pertama. Apabila sigadis didapatinya mula
terleka,mereka akan digambarkan
seolah-olah mereka terbawa-bawa oleh perasan cinta sehingga sigadis
TerNODA. Ketika inilah, perangkap mereka sudah mula mengena.

Perlakuan noda ini boleh berlaku mungkin sekali, dua, tiga atau
seterusnya. Sebab bagi sejejaka, perangkapnya hanya dikira benar-benar
mengena apabila sigadis didapati berbadan dua. Pada ketika ini, sijejaka
akan menunjukkan kekesalannya yang tidak terhingga. Sejejaka kononnya akan
bertanggungjawap diatas perbuatan mereka seraya berkata "Agama kita
melarang kita
menggugurkannya, maka terpaksa kita berkahwin, tetapi kita berlainan

Seterusnya kata sijejaka "Kalau kita ingin berkahwin secara Islam, saya
sanggup memeluk Islam, tetapi kita terpaksa berhadapan dengan dua perkara.
Pertama, mengikut hukum Islam, kita boleh dikenakan 100 sebatan sebagai
balasan dosa.
Kedua, masyarakat Islam akan mencemuh dan meminggirkan kita kerana
mempunyai anak diluar nikah yang kita hasilkan bersama.
Kita akan berasa amat malu, lebih-lebih lagi awak yang berpendidikan
agama. Sanggup kah kita? Saya rasa, saya tidak sanggup menghadapinya"

Kata sijejaka lagi "Kalau kita berkahwin secara agama saya, awak hanya
perlu untuk menukar agama, dan kita akan terlepas dari dua seksa.
Pertama, mengikut agama saya, kita hanya perlu untuk membuat pengakuan
dihadapan paderi digereja untuk menghapuskan segala dosa.
Kedua, masyarakat agama saya akan menganggap anak kita ini senasib dengan
Jesus (Nabi Isa)yang dilahirkan tanpa bapa. Mereka juga akan menganggap
awak senasib dengan Mary (Mariam)yang melahirkan Nabi Isa. Maka, kita
pasti tidak akan dipersia. Saya rasa ini option terbaik buat kita"

Untuk makluman semua,mereka hanya merancang agar anak jejaka mereka
memikat anak gadis kita. Tetapi mereka tidak akan mencuba agar anak gadis
mereka untuk mendampingi anak jejaka kita kerana mereka sedar bahawa
perangkap mereka yang ini tidak akan mengena.

Mengikut penyelidikan Dr. Rubiah serta rakan-rakan dalam NGO Islam yang
lain, amat ramai gadis-gadis melayu Islam yang memilih option kedua
walaupun ada segelintir yang berjaya diselamatkan dan terpaksa
disembunyikan demi maruah agama & bangsa. Mereka seterusnya mengemukakan
permohonan untuk menukar agama (murtad) dipejabat agama. Namun Artikel 11
Perlembagaan Persekutuan menjadi penghalang utama rancangan mereka.

Menurut Dr. Rubiah lagi, pihak IFC (Inter-Faith Council) telah berjaya
mendapat 2 juta tanda tangan sokongan agar Artikel 11 Perlembagaan
Persekutuan ini dapat dipinda. Tetapi katanya lagi, untuk mendapatkan 1
juta tanda tangan umat melayu Islam bagi menghalang usaha mereka, adalah
sesuatu yang teramat seksa. Ramai yang terlalu merasa curiga dengan alasan
mereka khuatir tanda tangan mereka akan disalahgunakan untuk menyatakan
sokongan atau bantahan terhadap usaha yang lain pula. Alasan demi alasan
diterima.........hinggalah satu masa nanti saudara mara terdekat kita
tiba-tiba menjadi sebahagian dari statistik puluhan ribu mangsa.

Adalah diharap, satelah perhimpunan di Masjid Wilayah, Ahad yang lalu
(23/07/06), lebih 2 juta tanda tangan telah berjaya diterima. Dimanakah
semangat kita? Kita belum lagi diperlukan untuk mengangkat senjata. Maka,
marilah kita bersama-sama berusaha dan mengembeling tenaga agar gejala ini
tidak terus melanda agama dan negara.

"Doa adalah senjata para mukmin". Satelah kita berusaha, marilah kita
bersama-sama berdoa agar anak-anak gadis kita akan terhindar dari menjadi
mangsa. Doa juga dipanjatkan agar umat Islam di Palestin, di Lubnan, di
Iraq dan seluruh dunia dihindari dari segala bencana.
Amin......Ya Rabbil A'lamin.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gubra lagi

Oleh Faisal Tehrani

ubra ialah sebuah filem bancuhan beberapa kerat mesej iklan Hari Raya Petronas, lawak yang meraban merapek, pembelaan terhadap inter-faith commission, geng sister in Islam, Islam ala Islam Hadhari, dan penyelewengan ajaran Maulana Rumi yang ramai orang mahu percaya diri mereka memahami sebahagian aspek kesufian tetapi berada di dalam kurungan istidraj yang sesat lagi menyesatkan.

Sesungguhnya hak dan batil dalam filem ini dibaur-baurkan hingga kita akhirnya tahu bahawa inilah jenis Islam yang ditolak oleh Nabi Muhammad S.A.W ketika ditawarkan oleh kafir musyrikin, Islam jenis inilah yang membawa Rasulullah berhijrah ke Madinah. Islam jenis inilah yang baginda telah menegaskan andai bulan dan matahari pun diletakkan di kiri kanan baginda, tidak ada apa yang dapat merubah baginda dari menolak Islam jenis ini. Islam jenis gubra.

Inilah sebuah filem untuk meraikan sekularisme dalam kehidupan rakyat Malaysia.

Kos pembikinan Gubra ialah RM 1 juta, jenis filem 35 mm berwarna dengan lokasi sekitar Ipoh di mana gubra kononnya bermakna gugup atau gelabah.

Menurut pengarah dan penulis filem ini, Yasmin Ahmad: Saya mahu paparkan tentang kisah dan sikap manusia yang biasanya selalu berada dalam keadaan gubra. Kerana gubra ramai di antara kita tidak reti untuk menghargai kasih sayang. Selain itu, mesej yang ingin saya sampaikan melalui Gubra ialah tentang kemaafan (Utusan Malaysia, 9 Ogos 2005).

Kos pembikinan Gubra ialah RM 1 juta, jenis filem 35 mm berwarna dengan lokasi sekitar Ipoh di mana gubra kononnya bermakna gugup atau gelabah
Saya tidak memahami apa yang indah dan gelap atau lucunya Gubra. Saya tahu filem, mise en scene dan segalanya. Saya tak pandang semua itu. Sesekali saya malah berasa terhina dengan adengan-adengan filem ini.

Lakonan sehebat mana sekalipun telah dimualkan dengan inti yang sungguh menyesak lagi menyesatkan ini. Kerja cahaya atau sinematografi yang handal sekalipun tak dapat menenggelamkan kelucahan dan kekeliruan yang diutarakan.

Saya tidak mahu memanjangkan isu Bilal Li memegang anjing sebelum melaungkan azan Subuh. Diskusinya boleh sahaja panjang memasuki sekian mazhab dan takrif najis mughalazah. Meski sesungguhnya tidak ada keperluan untuk Bilal memegang anjing (dan ya, semua orang dapat menangkap kiasan yang ingin dihantar. Saya juga tidak bodoh).

Tetapi juga, saya kira, tanpa apa alasan sekalipun filem yang dipenuhi dengan ciuman, pelukan, dakapan, elusan, gentelan, pautan, gomolan, belaian, pegangan, ramasan, picitan, urutan, hempukan, goyangan, dukungan, kucupan, rabaan, geleman dan yang seumpama dengannya, konon untuk menggambarkan kasih sayang ini adalah sebuah filem yang meremehkan malah menghina persoalan amar makruf nahi mungkar. Peluk sana cium sini seolah-olah tema kasih sayang ialah peluk cium sesuka hati tanpa batas dan garis panduan.

Ukurlah skala iman anda. Filem ini bukan sahaja mencabar budaya tetapi mencabar duduk letak syariat dengan mempersendakannya.

Rasulullah s.a.w. bersabda, "Siapa di antara kamu melihat suatu kemungkaran, hendaklah mengubahnya dengan tindakan, jika tak sanggup maka dengan teguran, jika dengan itu tak sanggup maka dengan hatinya, yang demikian itu selemah-lemahnya iman."

Hadis tersebut terang lagi bersuluh menjelaskan bahawa aspek amar makruf nahi mungkar merupakan hal yang wajib bagi setiap Muslim. Apatah pula berada di pihak seorang Bilal yang mewakili institusi keagamaan.

Amar makruf nahi mungkar adalah wajib berdasarkan banyaknya ketentuan hukum dalam kesepakatan para ulama, berdasarkan Alquran, hadis, ijma, dan akhlak yang mulia.

Lihat sahaja ayat 71 surat At-taubah, ayat 104 dan 110 surat Ali 'Imran, Allah jelasnya telah mensyariatkan amar makruf nahi mungkar. Justeru para ulama bersepakat tentang wajibnya amar makruf nahi mungkar, cuna ia berbeza dalam tingkatan wajibnya samada wajib 'ain dan wajib kifayah.

Ukurlah skala iman anda. Filem ini bukan sahaja mencabar budaya tetapi mencabar duduk letak syariat dengan mempersendakannya.
Andai kata wajib 'ain, maka setiap Muslim harus melaksanakan amar makruf nahi mungkar, akan tetapi dengan wajib kifayah, jika ada segelintir melakukannya maka terpenuhlah kewajiban tersebut walau hanya dilakukan oleh sebagian umat Islam.

Tetapi semuanya berdosa bila tidak ada seorang pun yang melakukannya. Dalam urusan kemasyarakatan, amar makruf nahi mungkar adalah satu hal yang digalakkan dan keperluan yang luar biasa signifikan supaya keseluruhan kehidupan dapat berjalan dengan baik.

Apakah yang makruf itu? Makruf adalah segala sesuatu yang dipandang baik oleh manusia dan diredhai oleh Allah SWT, samada ia perbuatan yang wajib maupun sunat, seperti mana ketaatan kepada Allah dan pengamalan perintah Allah.

Sebagai contoh menegakkan solat, melakukan puasa, menolong orang yang kesusahan, memberikan derma atau melakukan kebajikan dan lain-lain lagi.

Pun ada bahagian yang sangat penting sebagai kembarnya iaitu hal yang mungkar itu perlu ditegah. Mungkar adalah setiap yang dipandang tidak baik oleh manusia dan tidak dibenarkan oleh Allah SWT. seperti maksiat, menyekutukan Allah, juga melakukan larangan Allah, seperti penzinaan (iya 8 kali, dalam Gubra lapan kali adalah angka ajaib untuk satu penzinaan berulang) makan rasuah, menipu rakyat, dan sebagainya.

Perlaksanaan amar makruf nahi mungkar harus dilaksanakan dengan apa jua cara, ini disesuaikan dengan banyak mana kuasa anda ada.Jika anda bapa dalam keluarga ya ahli keluarga yang melakukan mungkar harus ditegur dan digalakkan melakukan makruf.

Jika pemerintah urusan makruf adalah sama pentingnya dengan pencegahan kemungkaran. Secara fitrah manusia tertarik dengan musuh abadinya iaitu iblis. Dan iblis akan bijak sekali memusing-musing kepala kita hingga kita akan mencari jalan sendiri untuk mengatakan ia benar.

Penegahan mungkar dilakukan dengan kekuatan fizik, juga dengan lidah yang sopan dan bijaksana, atau hanya dengan diam dalam penyesalan terjadinya kemungkaran, atau tidak terwujudnya hal yang makruf.

Hal ini tidak terjadi dalam Gubra, Bilal sebagai satu entiti yang mewakili institusi keagamaan meredhai jiran-jirannya duduk dalam maksiat. Betul Bilal Li tak perlu memulau Temah atau Kiah tetapi Bilal Li juga tidak boleh meredhainya dengan ikhlas tanpa rasa sesal sedikit pun.

Tidak pernah dalam filem ini, walau sekali ada gambaran pencegahan di dalam hati yang paling rendah tingkatannya dilakukan. Perhatikan dialog di hadapan rumah pelacuran yang wajar dicemuh ini:

Bilal Li: Assalamualaikum, awal balik pagi ini (nota pengarang: dari melacur). Temah : Esok pagi nak hantar Shahrin pergi sekolah. Ada pelanggan nak pun terpaksa tolak. Hai abang lambat pergi surau pagi ini? Hah rambut basah tu... Bilal Li: (Gubra) Ah mana ada... Temah: Kami balik dulu.

Pelaksanaan amar makruf nahi mungkar diberikan syarat:

(1) Bahawa jelas kemakrufan yang tidak dilaksanakan orang dan kemungkaran pula jelas dilakukan,

(2) Bahawa pendakwah sedar dengan diri dan jatidirinya sebagai orang yang alim dan sesuai dengan misi amar makruf nahi mungkar yang hendak ditunaikan,

(3) Pendakwah dengan itu tahu benar bahwa amar makruf nahi mungkar tersebut membawa manfaat, maslahat, serta tidak membawa madarat

(4) Amar makruf nahi mungkar ditegakkan dengan bijaksana, berterusan dan penuh kesabaran, serta

(5) Hal amar makruf nahi mungkar itu ditunaikan dengan ikhlas berorientasi pada keredhaan Allah SWT. Ini dilakukan demi mempertahankan keluhuran Islam dan menegakkan kalimah Allah.

Temah barangkali bernasib baik kerana mendapat hidayah dan kejutan Tuhan kerana disapa penyakit (kemungkinan HIV). Temah mencari Maz, belajar al-Quran, belajar solat dan menginsafi diri tetapi itu semua datang dari Temah. Dan ilham untuk bertaubat tentulah datang dari Allah.

Manusia yang diberi hidayah seperti Temah tidak ramai, dia mencari hidayah datang. Tetapi di pihak Maz dan Bilal Li yang tahu agama, tidak ada secuit pun rasa kesal rasa mahu mendorong dan rasa nahi mungkar tersebut ditonjolkan sebelumnya.

Tidak ada. Tidak, saya tak minta mereka mengherdik pelacur-pelacur yang baik itu. Mereka agaknya memang terpaksa melacur sebab tak pas SPM atau tak ada modal untuk berniaga nasi lemak bungkus. Iyalah, kita mahu percaya mereka melacur kerana tiada pilihan lain.

Tetapi sebagai sebuah naratif yang bermula dengan Bismillahhirahmanirrahim kita dikejutkan kerana Bilal Li dan isterinya bersikap tak apa dengan kerja maksiat jiran itu.

Bukan sahaja tidak menegah tetapi meraikannya.Kita faham sisi kemanusiaan yang ingin disogokkan tetapi fahami pula sisi kemanusiaan yang Islam tawarkan. Ada rangka dan konsepnya. Kenapa merendahkan ayat Dengan Nama Allah Tuhan Yang Maha Pengasih dan Penyayang ini?

Ya Islam memang luhur agamanya, mak cik bertudung labuh boleh menawarkan rendang ayam buat pesakit sebelah katilnya yang muak mengunyah daging babi seperti di dalam Gubra. Siapa nafikan?

Ya Malaysia memang indah kerana kita dibina dengan berbagai warna, bangsa, bahasa, masakan dan lain-lain lagi. Tetapi memaksakan Islam memahami semua persoalan itu seumpama Islam sebuah agama yang tidak cukup adalah sesuatu yang salah. Islam yang harus difahami, dihayati dan diamalkan.

Islam turun untuk kita, kita yang mesti fahamkan Islam bukan menceramahkan pula Islam yang mesti memahami kita.

Sungguh ini sebuah filem yang kacau dan sungguh kerana Yasmin serta pelbagai lagi manusia karyawan filem kita terperangkap oleh definisi Barat. Kononnya filem hanyalah gambar bergerak. Dan elemen-elemen kekaguman (untuk gubra) yang penuh kepalsuan ditawarkan juga seperti pesakit yang nampak punggungnya, atau Orked yang selamba meraba puting tetek Alan yang berbulu, atau watak Arif lakonan Adlin Aman Ramli menari dengan hanya memakai tuala hampir terlucut, atau pujian jururawat India bahawa alat kelakian Pak Atan sungguh utuh dan gemilang.Ini filem Malaysia, relaks, cool...itulah yang hebatnya, agaknya?

Tidak, filem lebih dari itu. Filem bukan cuma naratif, bukan cuma gambar yang bergerak. Filem adalah ar-Risalah seperti yang dinukilkan oleh Dr Abu Hassan dari Universiti Malaya dalam bukunya yang akan diterbitkan tidak lama lagi. Filem haruslah kembali ke jati diri kita, kepada tradisi penceritaan yang berakar pada bangsa. Bukan caca marba tidak ketentuan bahasa.

Kasihan, dalam Gubra mereka mahu percaya mereka hidup dalam kebenaran tetapi orang yang berilmu melihat mereka dalam kebodohan. Seperti mana kumpulan Sisters In Islam terpekik setiap kali apabila timbul segala isu yang mereka rasa harus dimanfaatkan untuk kepentingan diri.

Kita tahu mereka bahlol lagi jahil tetapi mereka rasa mereka maju, moden dan Tuhan memang memandang mereka mulia, oh ya dan mereka percaya bisikan iblis: Tuhan memandang semua orang sama.

Dan tepekkan satu kata-kata Maulana Rumi yang lari konteks setelah dikerat-kerat bait-bait terdahulunya yang lebih enam ribu itu iaitu lampu ada pelbagai tetapi cahayanya sama. Ya, gereja, masjid dan tokong ialah rumah ibadat yang sama. Tuhan satu. Tuhan sama sahaja.

Begitu? Bagaimana dengan konteks ayat Quran, untuk Kamu agama kamu untuk kami agama kami? Cuba buka tafsir terlebih dahulu dan fahami surah al-Kafirun. Inilah asas jati diri orang Islam yang telah diterap dan diturunkan awal sejak di Mekah lagi.

Surah dengan 6 ayat ini adalah surah mengenai jati diri.Dan ya, boleh juga buka surah Taubah kerana ada juga jati diri orang munafik untuk kita lebih berwaspada dan hati-hati supaya tidak jadi seperti mereka.

Kalau tak reti agama jangan syarahkan agama dalam filem.Jangan rosakkan orang.

Gubra seperti tajuknya. Filem yang kacau, gugup dan ketidaktentuan hala seperti mana kefahaman dan diri pembikinnya.Dan memang ramai pengekor dan orang yang tak ketentuan jiwa menyokongnya.

Saya tidak hairan, bila pengarahnya ditanya wartawan tentang adengan Bilal memegang anjing, "Entah, tawakal sahajalah."

Ya konsep tawakalnya begitu.Tawakal gubra.

Allah memang pengasih dan penyayang. Tetapi Allah juga ada nama-nama lain, ada sifat-sifat lain yang Allah boleh sahaja menghukum, baran dan mengingatkan dengan keras. Allah memang Maha Pengampun tetapi Dia juga tidak memberi belas kasihan.

Kerana itu ada neraka sebagai tempat diazabkan. Baca asmaul husna biar habis, faham Islam biar selesai, bukan satu bahagian sahaja. Amar makruf tetapi nahi mungkar diabaikan.

Justeru, kalian memang Gubra. Janganlah membaca Rumi untuk satu bait, kemudian mendabik dada, khatamlah dahulu Mathnawi dan Diwan, dan fahamilah hubungannya dengan Tabrizi baru boleh mengeluarkan hujah di dalam filem anda. Jangan cemari ajaran kesufian dengan pendirian sesat anda ini.

Hayy Allah !

Wallahu'Alam, moga kita dikurniakan Jalan Yang Lurus yang selalu kita minta dalam solat kita itu. Moga kita dilindungi oleh sebarang kesesatan yang nyata dan juga tidak nyata.

My Jr.

This is how I was supposed to look like more than 40 years ago. But this is not me. My Dad did not have the facility to have a picture of mine when I was 1.5 years old. Time is running so fast. Except for the the date of birth recorded on my MyKad and some acheing joints from my gouty arthritis,slight wrinkles in some part of my skin, most of the time I feel that I am still in my 20s. Hope that I am granted that strength to do more to spread the goodness of Islam to those looking souls.

Hizbullah in Focus

Hezbollah was formed to combat the Israeli occupation following the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and opposes the Israeli state.[5] It was officially founded on the 16th of February, 1985 when Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin declared the group's manifesto. It follows a distinct version of Islamic Shia ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.[8] Hezbollah is one of the two main organizations representing the Shia community, Lebanon's largest religious bloc, but the only militant one.[9] It is also a recognised political party in Lebanon, where it participates in government.[10] Hezbollah's civilian wing participates in the Parliament of Lebanon, taking just over 10% of the seats (14 out of 128) and the bloc it forms with others, the Resistance and Development Bloc, 27.3% (see Lebanese general election, 2005). Hezbollah organises an extensive social development programme. This civilian wing runs hospitals, news services, and educational facilities. Its Reconstruction Campaign ('Jihad al-Bina') is responsible for numerous economic and infrastructure development projects in Lebanon.[11]

Russia, the European Union, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia among others do not consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The United States, Canada, and Israel consider Hezbollah a full terrorist organization while the Australians and Dutch only view Hezbollah's external Security Organization as a terrorist Group. [5][12][13]

Main article: History of Hezbollah
Hezbollah was formed to combat the Israeli occupation following the 1982 invasion of Lebanon[citation needed]. Initially, it aimed to transform Lebanon into an Islamic republic, though it has since abandoned this goal in favor of a more inclusive platform.[5] It was officially founded on February 16, 1985 when Sheik Ibrahim al-Amin declared the group's manifesto. The publication of the manifesto was timed to coincide with the anniversary of Ragheb Harb's death.[14]

Scholars differ as to when Hezbollah came to be a distinct entity. Some organizations list the official formation of the group as early as 1982 [15] whereas Diaz and Newman maintain that Hezbollah remained an amalgamation of various violent Shi’a extremists until as late as 1985[16]. Regardless of when the name came into official use, a number of Shi’a groups were slowly assimilated into the organization, such as Islamic Jihad, Organization of the Oppressed on Earth and the Revolutionary Justice Organization.[citation needed] These designations are considered to be synonymous with Hezbollah by the US,[17] Israel[18] and Canada.[19]

Hezbollah's strength was enhanced by the dispatching of one thousand[20] to fifteen hundred[21] members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the financial backing of Iran. It became the main politico-military force among the Shi'a community in Lebanon and the main arm of what became known later as the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon.[20] Hezbollah follows a Shiite Islamist ideology shared by the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini[5].

It was largely formed with the aid of the Ayatollah Khomeini's followers in the early eighties in order to spread Shia revolution.[22] Hezbollah views Israel as a whole as "an illegal usurper entity, which is based on falsehood, massacres, and illusions,"[23] and follows a distinct version of Islamic Shi'a ideology developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.[24]

Hezbollah's ideology is rooted in the Shi’a tradition of Islam, specifically in the concept of “Willayat Al-Faqih” put forth by Ayatollah Khomeini and other Islamic scholars in Iran. In an early August speech, Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai, and former commander of the Revolutionary Guards said, "Iran is a model and example for Hizbullah. The Iranian faith, tactics and experience are being put to practice in Lebanon... Hizbullah looks to Iran for tactics and moral [support], and we are proud that our experience [serves] other Muslim countries."[25][26]

In a 1999 interview, Nasrallah outlined the group’s three “minimal demand[s]: an [Israeli] withdrawal from South Lebanon and the Western Bqa’ Valley, a withdrawal from the Golan, and the return of the Palestinian refugees.”[27] An additional objective is the freeing of prisoners held in Israeli jails[28][29][5], some of whom have been imprisoned for eighteen years.[30]

Position on Israel
In its public rhetoric, Hezbollah supports the destruction of the state of Israel.[31][7][32] Secretary-General Nasrallah’s official stance is that “Israel is an illegal usurper entity, which is based on falsehood, massacres, and illusions, and there is no chance for its survival.”[33] The Age quotes him as saying: "There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel."[34]

Despite the strident rhetoric, in recent interviews Nasrallah has answered questions concerning the establishment of a Palestinian state established alongside an Israeli state in a way which suggested that the organization no longer has the intent to destroy the state of Israel. . Hezbollah’s present leadership disclaims any interest in contesting Israel’s right to exist outside of disputed territories.[4] In a 2003 interview, Nasrallah stated that "at the end of the road no one can go to war on behalf of the Palestinians, even if that one is not in agreement with what the Palestinians agreed on."[35] "Of course, it would bother us that Jerusalem goes to Israel... [but] let it happen. I would not say O.K. I would say nothing."[35]

In 2004, when asked whether he was prepared to live with a two-state settlement between Israel and Palestine, Nasrallah said he would not sabotage what is a Palestinian matter.[4] He also clarified that outside of Lebanon, Hezbollah will act only in a defensive manner towards Israeli forces, and that Hezbollah's missiles were acquired to deter attacks on Lebanon.[36]

Nasrallah has a history of making anti-Semitic statements (most infamously “if they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide”[37]). Hezbollah's website, however, marks a distinction between "Zionist ideology" and Judaism. It sees the rejection of Zionism as an attitude hold across "races, religions, and nationalities". It likens Zionism to "the concept of creating 'Israel' by the use of force and violence, by stealing the Arabs’ lands and killing Palestinians". "[O]pposing the Zionists ideology is not opposing setting a home for Jews".[38]

Women’s rights
In keeping with Lebanon’s generally secular and egalitarian culture, Hezbollah recognizes and promotes women’s rights (in the mold of the Western liberal tradition) somewhat more strongly than do other groups associated with Islamic jihad, or for that matter than does Iran, Hezbollah’s self-proclaimed “model and example”[25] (see Women in Muslim societies).[39]

One member of the Hezbollah Political Council, speaking to an Online Journal correspondent in July 2006, claimed that “Hezbollah differs from many Islamic groups in our treatment of women. We believe women have the ability like men to participate in all parts of life.”[39] The Online Journal correspondent writes,

From its founding in the 1980s, Hezbollah women have headed education, medical and social service organizations. Most recently Hezbollah nominated several women to run in the Lebanese elections. It named Wafa Hoteit as a chief of Al Noor Radio (also recently bombed), and promoted 37-year-old Rima Fakhry to its highest ruling body, the Hezbollah Political Council. Part of Fakhry's duties include interpreting Islamic feminism in Sharia law for the Committee for Political Analysis.[39]
Hezbollah’s inclination towards secular liberal values should not be overstated, however. For example, its official stance on homosexuality hews close to traditional religious teachings (see Gay rights in Lebanon: Politics).

Civilian activities

Lebanon’s majority Shi’a areas, where Hezbollah is most prominentHezbollah not only has armed and political wings but also organises an extensive social development programme. This civilian wing runs hospitals, news services, and educational facilities. Its Reconstruction Campaign ('Jihad al-Bina') is responsible for numerous economic and infrastructure development projects in Lebanon.[11][40] The group currently operates at least four hospitals, 12 clinics, 12 schools, and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training. It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance programme. Medical care provided through Hezbollah is also less expensive than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members.[13] Most experts believe that Hezbollah's social and health programmes are worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.[13]

Along with the Amal Movement, Hezbollah is one of the two main organizations representing the Shia community, Lebanon's largest religious bloc, but the only militant one (Amal is a political party).[41]

Hezbollah's civilian wing participates in the Parliament of Lebanon[42].In 1992, it participated in Lebanese elections for the first time, winning 12 out of 128 seats in parliament. It won 10 seats in 1996, and 8 in 2000. In the general election of 2005, it won 14 seats nationwide (of 128 total), and an Amal-Hezbollah alliance won all 23 seats in Southern Lebanon. The bloc it forms with others, the Resistance and Development Bloc, took 27.3% of the seats (see Lebanese general election, 2005).

Hezbollah is a minority partner in the current Cabinet, holding two (and endorsing a third) cabinet positions[43] [44] in the Lebanese government of July 2005.

Mohamed Fneish was appointed Energy and Water Minister in the cabinet and has been quoted as saying "We are a political force that took part in the polls under the banner of defending the resistance and protecting Lebanon and got among the highest level of popular backing ... Hezbollah’s resistance (against Israel) does not in any way contradict its political role. If joining the government and parliament is a national duty, then so is defending the country.”[45]

Social services
Hezbollah provides many social services in Lebanon.[40][46] According to CNN: "Hezbollah did everything that a government should do, from collecting the garbage to running hospitals and repairing schools."[47]

In 1996’s “The Electoral Program of Hizbullah,” the organization declared its wish to improve educational and health system.[48] Then on May 2006 as UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published: "Hezbollah not only has armed and political wings - it also boasts an extensive social development programme. The group currently operates at least four hospitals, 12 clinics, 12 schools and two agricultural centres that provide farmers with technical assistance and training. It also has an environmental department and an extensive social assistance programme. Medical care is also cheaper than in most of the country's private hospitals and free for Hezbollah members."[13]

Now Hezbollah social service agencies provide health care and schooling for poor farmers. [49] Even during the war with Israel during July 2006 when there is no running water in Beirut, Hezbollah is arranging supplies all around the city. "People here [in South Beirut] see Hezbollah as a political movement and a social service provider as much as it is a militia that delivers the goods for its followers, in this traditionally poor and dispossessed Shiite community."[47]

Hezbollah also engages in organizing youths in the universities in other activities, such as promoting recycling on campus. [50]

Media operations
Hezbollah operates a satellite television station from Lebanon, Al-Manar TV ("the Lighthouse") as well as a radio station, al-Nour ("the Light"). Kabdat Alla ("The Fist of God") is the monthly magazine of Hezbollah's paramilitary wing.

Al Manar broadcasts news in Arabic, English, French and Hebrew and is widely watched both in Lebanon and in other Arab countries. Its transmission in France (even via satellite, not by any station based on French territory) is controversial. It has been accused of promoting religious and racial hatred (against Jews), which is a criminal offense in France. On December 13, 2004, the French Conseil d'√Čtat, acting on the request of the French TV authorities, issued an injunction to Eutelsat to cease the broadcasting of Al Manar in France.[51]

The Hezbollah Central Internet Bureau in 2003 released a Video Game[52] titled Special Force, intended to simulate Arab-Israeli conflicts from an Arab perspective.

Military activities
Hezbollah has a military branch known as Al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya ("The Islamic Resistance"), and is the possible sponsor of a number of lesser-known militant organizations, some of which may be little more than fronts for Hezbollah itself. These organizations include the Organization of the Oppressed, the Revolutionary Justice Organization, the Organization of Right Against Wrong, and Followers of the Prophet Muhammad.[53][54][55].

Armed strength

Recruts being sworn in - Beirut, November 11, 2001See also: Hezbollah rocket force
The strength of Hezbollah's forces are disputed, and has been variously estimated as "several thousand"[56] and several thousand supporters and a few hundred devotee operatives.[57] The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates Hezbollah forces to 600-1000 active fighters (with 3,000 - 5,000 available and 10,000 reservists), 10,000 - 15,000 rockets of the Katyusha, Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 type. They also estimate a stockpile of 30 missiles of the Zelzal type.[58] According to Haaretz Hezbollah is not a small guerrilla organization. Israel faces a trained, skilled, well-organized, highly motivated infantry that is equipped with the cream of the crop of modern weaponry from the arsenals of Syria, Iran, Russia and China, and which is very familiar with the territory on which it is fighting.[59]

The military wing of Hezbollah is considered to be the most capable non-state armed group in the Middle East. "Islamic Resistance guerrillas are reckoned to be amongst the most dedicated, motivated and highly trained of their kind. Any Hezbollah member receiving military training is likely to do so at the hands of IRGC [the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps], either in southern Lebanon or in camps in Iran. The increasingly sophisticated methods used by IRGC members indicates that they are trained using Israeli and US military manuals; the emphasis of this training is on the tactics of attrition, mobility, intelligence gathering and night-time manoeuvres."[60]

Intelligence capabilities
According to Israeli and American sources, Hezbollah has three units charged with intelligence operations.

One unit is responsible for intelligence activities against Israel, primarily by recruiting and running agents in order to gather information about Israeli military bases and other potential targets. It is claimed that this unit also gathers information on behalf of Iran [citation needed], and is also known to conduct SIGINT operations against IDF communications [61].

Preventive Security is the organization's internal security formation, and is responsible for counter-intelligence and communication security, as well as operating its prisons and interrogation centers.

According to Michael Eisenstadt, of the pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hezbollah also has a unit called Unit 1800 which aids Palestinians engaged in their operations, by providing funding, direction, weapons, and bomb-building instructions[62].

Stance on the use of 'terrorist' tactics
Hezbollah has disclaimed the use of some 'terrorist' tactics, particularly those that result in the deaths of innocent people. For example, although the group first became known for pioneering the use of suicide bombings in the region, its clerics have never been entirely comfortable with the tactic,[63] and it has not been directly involved in a suicide bombing since 1999.[64]

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Hezbollah condemned Al Qaeda for targeting the civilian World Trade Center, though it remained silent on the attack on the Pentagon, presumably considering it a legitimate military target.[65] It denounced the Armed Islamic Group massacres in Algeria, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya attacks on tourists in Egypt,[66] and the murder of Nick Berg.[67] Nasrallah, in a 2006 interview with the Washington Post, condemned violence against innocent civilians: “[I]f there are American tourists, or intellectuals, doctors, or professors who have nothing to do with this war, they are innocent, even though they are Americans, and it is forbidden. It is not acceptable to harm them.”[65]

Foreign and domestic relations

The former head of the German intelligence service BND, August Hanning, during the press conference in Beirut, regarding the German negotiated prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah. January 30, 2004 see also Elchanan Tenenbaum.[citation needed]Hezbollah claims that it forbids its fighters entry into Iraq for any reason, and that no Hezbollah units or individual fighters have entered Iraq to support any Iraqi faction fighting the United States. However, on April 2, 2004, Muqtada al-Sadr announced his intention to form chapters of Hezbollah and Hamas in Iraq.[68] He is not known to have consulted Hezbollah or Hamas before making this statement.[citation needed]

It is widely believed that Hafez al-Assad, who was president of Syria from 1971 to 2000, and Hezbollah were closely linked; this did not significantly affect his relations with the rest of the world. Bashar al-Assad, his son and successor, has been subjected to sanctions by the U.S. due to (among other things, such as occupying Lebanon) his continued support for Hezbollah, which it views as a terrorist organization. However, on March 3, 2005, United States President George W. Bush and his administration stated that it would consider Hezbollah legitimate if it disarmed, but also said that this did not represent a change in their view of the organization, which is unlikely to do so.[citation needed]

In an interview on Al-Arabiya TV in Dubai, former Hezbollah Secretary-General Subhi Al-Tufeili said [69] Hezbollah definitely fosters its relations with the Syrians, but Hezbollah's real leadership is 'the rule of the jurisprudence'.

Alleged links to al-Qaeda
United States intelligence officials and other observers believe there has been contact between Hezbollah and low-level al-Qaeda figures who fled Afghanistan for Lebanon.[70][71][72][73][74] Some have suggested a broader alliance between Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.[75]

On the other hand, others point out that al-Qaeda’s Sunni Wahhabist ideology is largely incompatible with Hezbollah’s relatively liberal brand of Shia Islam; in fact, some Sunni leaders consider Hezbollah to be apostate.[76] Al-Qaeda has demonstrated its distaste for Shi’as in suicide bombings and attacks on Shi’a civilian targets in Iraq.[77] Hezbollah denies any ties to al-Qaeda,[78] and many reliable sources report that there exists no evidence of a connection between Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.[79][80] Zarqawi has issued an audio recording in which he called Hezbollah an “enemy of Sunnis” and a “shield” for Israel,[81] for protecting Israel by preventing Palestinian attacks from Lebanon.

Nasrallah denies links to al-Qaeda, present or past, stating in a 2002 interview that the two organizations work in different areas and face different enemies. Hezbollah’s aim has been the “confrontation of the Zionist plan,” said Nasrallah, while bin Laden has focused on Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Chechnya. “So we are talking about two different areas and battles facing two completely different enemies. This was the reason why there wasn’t any contact.”[82]

As part of a surge of intersectarian support for Lebanon’s Muslims during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, called for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Zionists and join the fighting in Lebanon.[83]

Position of the UN
UN Security Council Resolution 1559, calls for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia", echoing the Taif Agreement that ended the Lebanese Civil War, but does not explicitly include Hezbollah[84][85] although Kofi Annan has advanced this interpretation[86][87]. The Lebanese Government[88] and Hezbollah dispute the application of this resolution to Hezbollah, referring to it as a "resistance movement" and not a militia. Hezbollah's deputy leader Naim Qassem has said that its forces might become a "reservist army" within the Lebanese army, though this suggestion is not universally supported within the organisation.[89]

The UN’s Deputy Secretary-General, Mark Malloch Brown, contests characterisations of the Lebanese militia as a terrorist organisation in the mould of al-Qaeda.[90] While acknowledging that “Hezbollah employs terrorist tactics,”[91] he says that it is unhelpful to call it a terrorist organization; the United States and the international community, in his view, would do well to respect it as a legitimate political party. Brown also criticized Hizbullah, "It is making no effort to hit military targets; it's just a broadside against civilian targets," [92].

Relationship to the Lebanese government
The government of Lebanon has accepted Al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya as a legitimate resistance organisation[88]. The Prime Minister of Lebanon said that "the continued presence of Israeli occupation of Lebanese lands in the Shebaa Farms region is what contributes to the presence of Hezbollah weapons. The international community must help us in (getting) an Israeli withdrawal from Shebaa Farms so we can solve the problem of Hezbollah's arms." [93].

UN Security Council Resolution 1559 calls for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias."[94] Israel has lodged continual complaints about Hezbollah's actions.[95]

Relationship to Hamas and Palestinian national movement
According to CRS report for U.S. congress "Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, suggested that the Hezbollah operation might provide a way out of the crisis in Gaza because Israel had negotiated with Hezbollah indirectly in the past although it is refusing to negotiate with Hamas now. He said that the only way the soldiers would be returned would be through a prisoner exchange. Although Hezbollah and Hamas are not organizationally linked, Hezbollah has acted in some ways as a mentor or role model for Hamas, which has sought to emulate the Lebanese group’s political and media success. Hamas’s kidnaping of the Israeli soldier follows a different Hezbollah example. Hezbollah has been claimed to provide terrorist training for Hamas, and the two groups share the goal of driving Israel from occupied territories and ultimately from Israel proper; both maintain close ties with Iran."[96]

According to an Israeli military source, Hezbollah assists Hamas with bomb production: "They know how to make them more concentrated, what kind of screw to use, how to pack more explosives into less space."[97]

Nasrallah has declared his support for the ongoing al-Aqsa intifada.[98]

Hezbollah has engaged in joint operations with the Sunni[99] Palestinian militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement.[100]

Assistance from abroad
Hezbollah allegedly receives financial and political assistance, as well as weapons and training, from the Islamic Republic of Iran[101]. The US estimates that Iran was giving Hezbollah about $60-$100 million per year in financial assistance but that assistance declined as other funding was secured, primarily from South America [102] [103]. Some estimates of Iran's aid are as high as $200-million annually.[104]

Mohammed Raad, at one time leader of Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, said money from Iran came only through private charities to be used for health care, education and the support of war widows. Hezbollah's main sources of income, he said, are the party's investment portfolios and wealthy Shiites.[104]

Hezbollah has also received Iranian-supplied weaponry, including 11,500 missiles already in place in southern Lebanon. Three thousand Hezbollah militants have undergone training in Iran, which included guerilla warfare, firing missiles and rocket artillery, operating unmanned drones, marine warfare and conventional war operations. Finally, 50 pilots have been trained in Iran in the past two years.[105]

Mahmoud Ali Suleiman, the Hezbollah operative captured in August 2006 by the IDF for his role in the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12, admitted during his interrogation that he received weapons-training and religious instruction in Iran.[citation needed] He told his interrogators that he rode in a civilian car to Damascus, from where he flew to Iran. Other than the Russian-made Katyusha, Hezbollah's reported artillery cache is entirely Iranian-made.[citation needed]

On August 4, 2006, Jane's Defense Weekly, a defense industry magazine, reported that Hezbollah asked Iran for "a constant supply of weapons to support its operations against Israel" in the Israel-Lebanon conflict. The report cited Western diplomatic sources as saying that Iranian authorities promised Hezbollah a steady supply of weapons `"for the next stage of the confrontation". [106]

Iran long denied supplying Hezbollah with weapons[5][107], despite persistent reports to the contrary[108][109][106][110] However, "Mohtashami Pur, a one-time ambassador to Lebanon who currently holds the title of secretary-general of the 'Intifada conference,' told an Iranian newspaper that Iran transferred the missiles to the Shi'ite militia, adding that the organization has his country's blessing to use the weapons in defense of Lebanon".[111] The Israel Defence Forces regard Hezbollah as virtually an arm of the Iranian armed forces; a senior Israeli defence official told Jane's Defence Weekly that "we should consider that what we are facing in Lebanon is not a militia but rather a special forces brigade of the Iranian Army." [112]

Similar claims and denials regarding supply of weapons have been made with respect to Syria[113][5] [114][115] [116]

The U.S. Treasury Department has also accused Hezbollah of raising funds by counterfeiting U.S. currency.[117] Researchers at the American Naval War College claimed that Hezbollah raises $10-million annually in Paraguay,[118] which may, in some cases, be extorted.[117] Dr. Matthew Levitt told a committee of the US Senate that Hezbollah engages in a "wide variety of criminal enterprises" worldwide in order to raise funds.[119]

Money is also received from supporters abroad. Mohammed Hammoud was convicted in the United States for "violating a ban on material support of groups designated as terrorist organizations". The amount was USD 3,500, which Hammoud claimed was to "support Hezbollah's efforts to distribute books at schools and improve public water systems."[120]

Hezbollah claims to raise most of its money from donations. "It's no secret that Hezbollah receives financial help from Iran, but not from Syria," said Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Nabulsi.[13]

Current Relationship with Iran
In a July 20, 2006 article, the widely respected Iran and Middle East scholar, Fred Halliday, wrote that Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy leader of Hizbollah under Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, told him Hizbollah follows Iran's leadership as a matter of principle:

"On the matter of political relations with Iran, the sheikh was absolutely clear. Hizbollah regards the Iranian supreme leader, in this case Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as its ultimate authority; all major political decisions regarding Hizbollah are referred to – when not actually taken in – Iran. He gave the example of the decision taken in 1992 to enter Lebanese national politics: Hizbollah set up a commission, which prepared a report, with various options; this report was sent to Iran; it was Ayatollah Khamenei himself who took the final decision, in favour of participation."

Outside views of Hezbollah
Governments disagree on Hezbollah’s status as a legitimate political entity, a terrorist organization, or both.

Within Lebanon, popular support for Hezbollah’s military actions had been waning since Israel’s withdrawal in 2000. Since the start of the present conflict with Israel, however, that has changed. Public opinion has swung dramatically in Hezbollah’s favor, with one poll in late July showing an overwhelming majority of Lebanese, across sectarian lines, now backing the group’s “confrontation.”[121][122]

While the Hezbollah is considered by the US, Israel, Canada and Australia to be a terrorist organization, the governments of many Muslim and Arab nations regard Hezbollah as a legitimate resistance movement.[5]

Public opinion
According to a poll released by the "Beirut Center for Research and Information" on 26 July during 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hezbollah's fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hezbollah's resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hezbollah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.[121], while according to another poll, from July 2005, 74 percent of Christian Lebanese viewed Hezbollah as a resistance organization[123].

Just dropping by

Just dropping by

Cut the Israeli Financial Resources to End the Terrorism

“Get hold of fifty of the wealthiest Jewish financiers and you will put an end to all wars”

By Michael Santomauro
August 11th, 2006

“The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” — Mel Gibson

Was He Drinking?

“Get hold of fifty of the wealthiest Jewish financiers, the men who are interested in making wars for their own profit. Control them, and you will put an end to it all.” — Henry Ford, father of the automobile industry, the Cleveland News, 20th September 1923.

Are These Jews Anti-Semitic?

“We are at the bottom, not merely of the latest Great War, but of nearly all your wars; not only of the Russian, but of every other major Revolution in, your history . . . We did it solely with the irresistible might of our spirit, with ideas and propaganda.” — A Real Case Against the Jews by the Jewish writer and Rothschild biographer, Marcus Eli Ravage, Century Magazine, January 1928, Volume 115, Number 3, pages 346-350.

‘There is scarcely an event in modern Europe that cannot be traced back to the Jews. We Jews are today nothing else but the World’s seducers, its destroyers, its incendiaries, its executioners.’ — By the Jewish scholar, Oscar Levy; in his preface to G. Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers, The World Significance of the Russian Revolution.

‘Thanks to the terrible power of our International Banks, we have forced the Christians into wars without number. Wars have a special value for Jews, since Christians massacre each other and make more room for us Jews. Wars are the Jews’ Harvest: The Jew banks grow fat on Christian wars. Over 100-million Christians have been swept off the face of the earth by wars, and the end is not yet.’ (Rabbi Reichorn, speaking at the funeral of Grand Rabbi Simeon Ben-Iudah, 1869, Henry Ford also noted that: ‘It was a Jew who said, ‘Wars are the Jews’ harvest’; but no harvest is so rich as civil wars.’)

SOMBART, WERNER. 20th century German economist:

“Capitalism was born from the money loan. Money lending contains the root idea of capitalism. Turn to the pages of the TALMUD and you will find that the Jews made an art of lending money. They were taught early to look for their chief happiness in the possession of money. They fathomed all the secrets that lay hid in money. They became Lords of Money and Lords of the World…”

Sombart, not Marx, coined the term Capitalism. He wrote many books, including The Jews and Modern Capitalism. President Bill Clinton’s mentor, Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University, whose magnum opus Tragedy and Hope (1966) praises the New World Order and it’s Dark Lords:

“There does exist and has existed for a generation, an international … network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies… but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.”

Sombart admired the Jews and their relentless drive for political and economic hegemony and his works were first praised as philo-semitic and Jewish students flocked to his classes. But later when they realized the facts exposed their schemes, Sombart was labeled “pro-Nazi” and forgotten down the Memory Hole.

“It is useless to insist upon the differences which proceed from this opposition between the two different views in the respective attitudes of the pious Jew and the pious Christian regarding the acquisition of wealth. While the pious Christian, who had been guilty of usury, was tormented on his death-bed by the tortures of repentance and was ready to give up all that he owned, for the possessions unjustly acquired were scorching his soul, the pious Jews, at the end of his days looked with affection upon his coffers and chests filled to the top with the accumulated sequins taken during his long life from poor Christians and even from poor Moslems; a sight which could cause his impious heart to rejoice, for every penny of interest enclosed therein was like a sacrifice offered to his God.” (Werner Sombart, Les Juifs et la vie economique, p. 286; Cited in The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon De Poncins, p. 164)

‘The principal characteristic of the Jewish religion consists in its being alien to the Hereafter, a religion, as it were, solely and essentially worldly.’ (Werner Sombart, Les Juifs et la vie economique, p. 286; Cited in The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon De Poncins, p. 164)

‘It is really time to give up once and for all the legend according to which the Jews were obliged during the European middle ages, and above all ’since the Crusades,’ to devote themselves to usury because all others professions were closed to them. The 2000 year old history of Jewish usury previous to the Middle ages suffices to indicate the falseness of this historic conclusion. But even in that which concerns the Middle Ages and modern times the statements of official historiography are far from agreeing with the reality of the facts. It is not true that all careers in general were closed to the Jews during the middle ages and modern times, but they preferred to apply themselves to the lending of money on security. This is what Bucher has proved for the town of Frankfort on- the-Maine, and it is easy to prove it for many other towns and other countries. Here is irrefutable proof of the natural tendencies of the Jews for the trade of money-lenders; in the Middle ages and later we particularly see governments striving to direct the Jews towards other careers without succeeding.’ (Warner Sombart, Les Juifs et la vie economique, p. 401; The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon De Poncins, p. 167-168)

‘Man can only experience good or evil in this world; if God wishes to punish or reward he can only do so during the life of man. It is therefore here below that the just must prosper and the impious suffer.’ (Kadmi Kohen: Nomades, F. Alcan, Paris, 1929 p. 277; The Secret Powers Behind Revolution, by Vicomte Leon De Poncins, p. 164)


Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Yoke of Zion

Boy faces down an Israeli TankThe Yoke of Zion

By Israel Shamir

August 6th, 2006

A small band of determined warriors takes on and fights off the mightiest army of the region: this is the stuff history is made of. Thermopylae, move over, Bint Jbeil is coming in! Bishop Philip of Antioch compared the levelling of this small Lebanese town with the destruction of Stalingrad, but these cities are also comparable by courage of their defenders. Seldom is a generation able to witness such a shining example of valour: for three long weeks a handful of Hezbollah warriors – two thousand by the most optimistic count – fought to standstill ten, twenty, thirty times more numerous Israeli troops. Forty years ago, Israelis defeated three armies in one week, but now the invader’s charm has worn off, or it has passed over to the vanquished. In today’s somewhat feminine victim-centred narrative, suffering attracts more attention than masculine gallantry. Thus Qana massacre has overshadowed a greater going-on, and that is the steadfast resistance of the Lebanese fighters. But Andromache’s sorrow should not obscure Hector’s courage: Hezbollah’s deeds deserve to be immortalised by poets.

Why the war? Leave small details to a future Plutarch; this is another round of battle for Palestine. Supported and supplied by their captive empire, the US, the Jews had all the weapons, all the ammunition, all the diplomatic support, when hubris-drunk they drove into disarmed and starved Gaza to kill off its last resisters and impose the Yoke of Zion. Their invasion was prepared by a year-long siege and incessant shelling; they were cock-sure they could devour Gaza at will. And indeed, everyone kept mum: the Egyptians traded the glory of the Ramadan War for greenbacks, sons of Hejaz and Nejd were too busy serving oil at the pump, and the princes of the Gulf cared only for their falcons. The Jews felt secure as they stooped to finish off Gaza: who would disturb the lion of Judah roaring at his prey? And a tiny force from the Mount Lebanon said: we will. They attacked the all-powerful Jews; the hobbit pierced the sinew of Nazgul as he stooped to kill. The Israeli army roused from its prey turned north and lashed with all its might at the Hezbollah fighters. But they stood fast.

This was most unexpected. The Israelis were used to killing – or dispersing - weaponless untrained Palestinians. Instead, the fighters of Sayyed Nasrallah dug their heels into the bare hills of Bint Jbeil and gave battle. If they were destroyed quickly, Israeli generals would lead their victorious troops to Damascus and Teheran before turning back and despoiling Palestine of its priceless jewel, Haram al Sharif. It still could happen, but the chances were diminished by the steadfastness of Hezbollah.

More importantly, Hezbollah refused to cease fire as long as Israel occupies the land of Lebanon. This daring step undermined the whole strategy of Zionists. They planned to occupy the South and wait there until an international (or NATO) force entered to do their job for them. Hezbollah’s decision lacks one detail: any cease fire must extend to Palestine, as well. It is inconceivable that Lebanon will lay down its arms, while Gaza is besieged and Nablus is ravished.

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert said: “We have changed the Middle East”. I do not know whether all the Middle East has changed, but in Israel we witness a great change. Until now, only a few just men and women of Israel called their government to desist in their aggression against Gaza and Lebanon. But the Katyusha rain changed minds of many. At first carried away by the arrogance of their generals, Israelis have now discovered the heavy price of war. Early complaints about the army’s failure to deliver have given place to critique of the policy itself. They have begun to understand that time is not on their side.

The now-subservient regimes of neighbouring countries can fall any minute or remove the Yoke of Zion. Their rulers were led to believe in Jewish superiority, and that is why they chose to condemn ‘imprudent Hezbollah’. But now that their people see that even a small force of determined fighters can beat the enemy, they find no justification for the cowardly behaviour of their rulers. It can lead to revolution, for King Faruk was removed by young officers of Falujah fame disappointed by his weakness in 1948.

Neil MacFarquhar reports in the NYT (28.7.06): “At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war, providing what the United States and Israel took as a wink and a nod to continue the fight.

Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements. The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran, Hezbollah’s main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington.”

The report sees the popular opinion, “the Arab street” as the vehicle for change; but the change can come from above, too. The cruel bombardment of Beirut and of all Lebanon was supposed to frighten the Arab nations into obedience; instead, it convinced the rich and powerful Arabs that as long as the Jews run the writ in the Middle East, their own riches and power can be taken from them anytime by will of a Jewish general. Beirut was peaceful, Beirut agreed to expel Syrians, Beirut was the capital of the most pro-Western state, and yet it did not save the city from Jewish – not even vengeance for there was nothing to avenge – but arbitrary heavy-handedness. The Arabs in power ask, whether the Jewish state can be a peaceful neighbour at all, or whether (as the Iranian President Ahmadinejad says) it is bellicose by its nature and must be dealt with as the Crusader Kingdom once was.

Indeed, the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem existed longer than the Jewish state, and probably would have lasted for centuries, but for its innate aggressiveness and its preparedness to serve as bridgehead for European invasions. The turning point in the Crusaders’ fortunes took place some 850 years ago during the Second Crusade, which bore an uncanny resemblance to the Second Lebanese War. By that time, the Arab nations were inured to the invincibility of the Crusaders; sheer arrogance of power led the Crusaders to march on Damascus, their peaceful, complacent and hedonist neighbour, the least belligerent among small independent and much-divided Arab states, a “Lebanon of 12th century”. At first, the Crusaders ran into guerrilla resistance of the then-Hezbollah, and lost a lot of soldiers. When they besieged the city, the ruler of Damascus was forced to ask for help of his neighbour Nureddin, “the Ahmadinejad of his day”; an army of Nureddin drew close and the Franks had to retreat in haste.

The Arab neighbours learned two things: (1) submission and complacency can’t guarantee their peace for the Crusader state is a Damocles’ Sword forever hanging above their heads; and (2) Crusaders can be defeated. Out of the Second Crusade, came Saladin, a nephew of Nureddin, who united Syria and Egypt and eventually defeated the Crusaders at Qurn Hittin. Now the same two lessons have been delivered to the Arabs, courtesy of the IDF. Is a new Saladin on the way?


But the Jews may yet face another danger caused by their assertiveness. They relate to themselves the fiery prophesy of Rev. 19: 15 “Out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, with it he should smite the goyim, and he shall shepherd them with a rod of iron; and he is crushing with his feet the grapes of God’s wrath”. They take it so seriously that their massacre of Qana (120 butchered refugees) was named “the Grapes of Wrath”. These features are not the most endearing; and not only Arabs object to being shepherded by an iron rod.

The US pays heavily for this Jewish fun. A poor American may hate to think about the fact that while he has no medical insurance, his government has to pay tribute to rich Israel. The average American filling his average car may dislike paying for support of the Jewish state since before the Neo-Cohns got into power in the Administration, gas was much, much cheaper. A wealthy and worldly American may feel vexed that he is not welcome wherever he goes – from Paris to Istanbul - as he was before the Yoke of Zion.

An easy-going American may dislike the fact that he can’t cuss a Jewish cop without reading about it in the New York Times. A believing American may be upset that he can’t mention Christ unless he is ready to be summoned to a court hearing. An honest American – or European – may be annoyed by their hypocrisy. It is not enough that they push for war, they also blame others for it. It is not enough that they kill children in droves, they also preach about immense value of human life.

A religious Bible-thumping American may remember the prophecy of Ezekiel, 22 who said to the leaders of Israel in the name of the Lord: “You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed; everyone among you, putting out his full force to shed blood” – that is the blood of innocent Palestinians and Lebanese; Ezekiel also prophesied the Zionist Gathering of Jews, and that it will lead to a major disaster to Zionists: “the house of Israel has become dross to me; therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst, and you shall know that I, the Lord, have poured out my fury upon you. The Israelis have used oppression, and committed robbery, and have wronged the poor and needy; indeed, they have oppressed the gentiles wrongfully, and therefore I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath; their own way have I rewarded upon their heads, said the Lord God.”

An American politician, maybe even an American president may get tired by the Jewish Lobby’s endless need to demand sympathy or to protest an outrage; by necessity to watch out, by ideological censorship and party discipline, by their blackmailing habits, by their fat pockets and grip on media, by the Damocles Sword they hanged above his head.

Moreover, an American or a European who today calls himself “a Jew” may wonder whether he has much in common with the people whose poets call upon their soldiers to: “Storm on Lebanon and Gaza, and plow it and sow it with salt, raze it down, let no human being remain alive/ Turn them into a desert, rubble, a valley of mess, unpopulated/ Save your nation and drop bombs / On villages and cities, their collapsing houses do shell / Kill them, shed their blood, turn their lives into living hell /”.

He may give a thought as to whether he wishes to be a secret weapon of Israel in words of Prime Minister Olmert who said: “Arab weapons, even when they hurt us, are nothing like the powerful, secret weapon we possess: The Jewish people… across the world, and the special feeling of love and mutual commitment that prevails between all Jews, regardless of where they are”. Instead, he might just stop considering himself a Jew and melt into the general populace, as millions have done before him.

A Jewish friend of mine wrote: “I have asked a number of my friends in the US whether they think the Zionist mantra retains its power, and they agree it does not. The lobby does not, I think, have a bright future - that is why its agents have faced prosecution.   Even if their lock on Congress persists for some time, their hold on American opinion must now diminish. I believe Lenny Brenner when he argues that young Jews are deserting Judaism and Zionism in droves.”

Israelis, i.e. dwellers of Palestine who consider themselves Jewish, may also contemplate whether they want to fight and support the ideological Yoke of Zion which brings them only hatred outside and poverty within. Instead of living in economic prosperity and in harmony with our neighbours, the Yoke of Zion turns us into impoverished cannon fodder.

And after all, Americans and Europeans may just get bored with the guys that endlessly preach to others and are never willing to hearken to others’ views. Even Germans may one day kick their masochist habit of endless repentance. And then the Yoke of Zion will be gone, for this Yoke is nothing but shared belief in Jewish superiority. And then, the perfectly harmless Jews will have to learn and be ordinary citizens of their countries, without special access to presidents, bank coffers and TV screens.