May 25, 2000 is when Arab dignity was carved anew in the hearts and minds of the free.
May 25, 2000 is the date that soothed a somber month plagued with Nakbas (May 15) and disgraceful agreements (May 17) for over 60 years.
May 25, 2000 is when history embarked on a new journey into a tough, yet shining future; one in which defeat no longer has a place.
Call it an event or a set of circumstances, but what happened that day was nothing less than a miracle. May 25, 2000 was the day Lebanon shook the ground underneath the “invincible” army of the zionist state and forced it to crawfish out of most occupied territories.
What we are celebrating today is the result of 22 years of an armed resistance, popular steadfastness and efforts to transform the Quds (Jerusalem) cause from a pan-Arab issue into one with an Islamic dimension, mainly by Iran under the Islamic Revolution .
22 years of fighting a superior and aggressive force that defeated Arab armies in days was about belief and commitment to a just cause.
The Hezbollah made gradual progress since the larger-than-life battle of Khalde (south of Beirut) in 1982. From modest capabilities, to martyrdom operations, to an organized body with highly trained fighters executing perfectly planned operation, Hezbollah was destined to make history. Significant losses in Israeli ranks, the targeting of senior collaborators in Antoine Lahd’s South Lebanon Army and the unique operations deep inside the so called security zone gave then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak no other alternative than to cut the losses and flee. It was Israel’s first defeat that exposed the comb web.
“Israel may own nuclear weapons and heavy weaponry, but I swear by Almighty Allah , it is weaker than a spider’s web,” Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said during the liberation speech in Bint Jbeil in 2000.
The star of Hezbollah went on rising as the resistance party now enjoyed unprecedented support in ‘most’ of the world. The same party that defeated Israel imposed its own conditions to set free hundreds of Lebanese and Arab detainees from Israeli jails as well as the remains of dozens of Islamic Resistance martyrs.
How Hezbollah dealt with the collaborators during the liberation process, gave it the respect it deserved.
“Months after liberation was achieved, I told the French Ambassador: Relay my greetings to your Prime Minister and tell him that our resistance is more civilized and more ethical than the French resistance, because you executed ten thousand agents, some of which never had a trial, whereas we have not killed ‘a chicken’ that belonged to (chief collaborator)Antoine Lahed,” the Hezbollah chief revealed.
During the next six years, and after ridding itself of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat as well as the second Intifada, Israel sought to restore the broken image of the ‘invincible army’. A US-Israeli-Arab scheme was in the making and it was meant to crush Hezbollah once and for all. But the plot backlashed.
“Harsh day of battles claims lives of nine soldiers in two incidents. At 5 a.m., dozens of terrorists wait for IDF troops at entrance to village of Bint Jbeil,” a Yediot Aharonot news report said on the 27th of June 2006; the fifteenth day of the 33-day war against Lebanon.
In this war, Islamic Resistance fighters killed dozens of soldiers, destroyed the pride of Israel – the Merkavas and the Saar vessels – and nearly bombed Tel Aviv. Eventually, Israel was dealt the second most severe blow since its creation.
“The Second Lebanon War constituted a great and dangerous missed opportunity,” this is how the head of the Winograd Committee summarized the conclusion of its 600-page final Report on Israel’s failure in the war.
“Israel embarked on a prolonged war, which it initiated itself and which ended without it winning a clear military victory. A quasi-military organization numbering some thousands of fighters withstood for several weeks the strongest army in the Middle East, an army which enjoyed absolute aerial supremacy and advantages in size and technology,” the report said.
There was nothing that can possibly restore Israel’s already broken image; nothing but attempting to escape forward, not knowing what lies ahead.
The Israeli Mossad assassinated Islamic Resistance commander Imad Moghnieh in 2008. Hajj Redwan played a major role in Israel’s double defeat. His assassination and the five-day large scale maneuvers (Turning Point 3) scheduled for May 31 suggest Israel is planning another round of confrontation.
“The first (assumption) is to say that the top priority goal of these maneuvers is of a psychological and moral nature…The second assumption is that Israel is really worried about its existence…The third probability, let us put it in the framework of intimidation, is aimed at sending a strong message to the whole region, the Palestinians, Lebanon, Syria, Arab peoples and Arab governments, Iran and the rest of the world, that Israel is not weak, broken or hesitant as you think it is… The fourth and last assumption which we cannot ignore is that Israel is planning a new blitzkrieg,” Sayyed Nasrallah said Monday, May 17.
In the worst case scenario, Israel might go for another and probably last round.
“Listen to what Ben Gurion says. He says that Israel would fall…. Yes, fall…, not withdraw from the South or the Golan or Sinai or the West Bank, no. He says that Israel, this artificial entity, will fall after losing its first war…and Israel had its war in July 2006. Some of the zionists called it the sixth war as did most of the world, but the leading strategists in Israel have called it the first war,” Sayyed Nasrallah said during the funeral of martyr Hajj Redwan in February, 2008.
Religiously speaking, Jews say that the first ‘destruction of the temple’ was at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. The second destruction of the temple was at the hands of the Roman Emperor. After the May and the July defeats, many Ultra-Orthodox Jews have expressed belief that the third promised destruction of the temple was about to take place with which the state of Israel will cease to exist.
In politics, Israel’s double defeat in Lebanon has not affected this malicious entity alone. It main backer, the United States has also suffered setback.
The Americans had thought that by invading Iraq unilaterally would demonstrate the US might that would dread Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah into compliance with the American project in the region, known as the New Middle East. The failure of American policies in the region, particularly its war on Iraq, in fact, constitute another factor for the fall of Israel; a factor neither Ben Gurion had in mind nor Ultra-Orthodox Jews had cited in their books.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former US national security adviser explained in one of his post 2006 war interviews that “neocon prescriptions of which Israel has its equivalents, are fatal for America and ultimately for Israel. They will totally turn the overwhelming majority of the Middle East’s population against the United States. The lessons of Iraq speak for themselves. Eventually, if neocon policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well.”
Aware of Israel’s inherent aggressive nature, Washington under new President Barack Obama is seeking a different approach in the region, particularly with regards to Syria and Iran; yet not a necessarily a reassuring approach. The US openness to Syria and Iran can be understood in two contradicting ways: First, Washington is willing to soften its Mideast policy probably because of its inability to wage more wars amid a staggering economic crisis plaguing the world, inability to stretch its already exhausted armies and inability to endanger its interests in oil-rich Gulf states. Second, Washington is leading a delusive campaign to gain time and sooth the region, mainly Iran, by propagating its intention to hold talks with the Islamic Republic while its proxy, Israel, is carrying out maneuvers and exercises in Gibraltar simulating an aerial attack on Iranian nuclear facilities and amid reports that Obama has ordered updates to the US attack plan on Iran. After all, the US fears it will not be able to convince the international community of the feasibility of such an attack after its argument, six years ago at the UN Security Council, about WMDs in Iraq was proven to have been baseless.
In either case, Israel seems more than determined to attack Iran knowing that such a move would put the whole region on fire. Suicidal as it may seem, Israel might go for that option even without Washington’s consent.
It goes without saying that it is difficult to separate the Israeli-Arab conflict mainly in occupied Palestine, the US quagmire in Iraq and Iran from each other. Perhaps there are some people who would deceive themselves into believing that Washington or Tel Aviv has the capacity to impose a unilateral solution tailored for the region. Brzezinski believes that if a solution to the Palestinian question was not found and if Iran is not politically and diplomatically engaged then the day will come when the whole region would explode. Israel, according to the veteran politician, would be in great jeopardy.