[Freemanlist2] CAROLINE B. GLICK - Hizbullah on the homefront +Dr. Aaron Lerner Note

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Tue May 18 02:22:47 CDT 2010


 

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[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:  the support of the "security establishment" for 
"land for piece of paper" is hardly a new development. They "security 
establishment" has traditionally held the belief that if Syria was given the 
Golan that they would never ever ever attack Israel because they would then 
have no claim or reason to attack.  Yes, it sounds silly, naive - ok - just 
plain stupid.  But as the they say, "military intelligence" is a 
contradiction in terms.]

Hizbullah on the homefront
By CAROLINE B. GLICK The Jerusalem Post 17/05/2010 22:52
www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=175821

Since the Second Lebanon War, a number of Israeli Arabs have been arrested 
and convicted of spying for Hizbullah.

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

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

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

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

But then there is the homefront.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since the Second Lebanon War, a number of Israeli Arabs have been arrested 
and convicted of spying for Hizbullah. All of them were accomplished 
individuals from respected families. Khaled Kashkoush was a student in 
Germany who promised his Hizbullah handler that he would get a job at Rambam 
Medical Center in Haifa. Kashkoush’s plan was to develop relations with 
wounded soldiers hospitalized there and transfer information he gained to 
Hizbullah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

caroline at carolineglick.com 
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