After conventional Arab armies failed to deter Israeli invasions, Lebanese and Palestinian volunteers have changed the strategic balance in the Middle East, writes As`ad AbuKhalil.
2006 Lebanese War Changed Power Calculus
By As`ad AbuKhalil
Special to Consortium News
In South Lebanon, the Museum for Resistance, also known as the Mlita Museum, for the town in which it is located, is a wildly popular tourist attraction and a place where you can run into Arabs visiting from around the region.
In it, Hizbullah—the political party with an armed wing that, with Iranian assistance, emerged in response to the Israeli invasion of 1982—celebrates its military successes, displaying weapons captured from the occupation army and replicas of some of its military tunnels.
The museum enshrines an important realization for the country: that while conventional Arab armies failed to deter Israeli invasions, Lebanese and Palestinian volunteers succeeded in holding the mighty Israeli army at bay and have become the real defenders against Israeli attacks and occupation. As such, the museum offers testimony to the current nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The U.S. and other Western powers want to disarm Hizbullah while denying the Lebanese Army the weapons to deter Israel. In other words, they want to return Lebanon to its former state of weakness.
For Israel, the problems with this situation are often overlooked in what appears to be the country’s clear strategic advantage.
Israel’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is still being protected by Western countries from scrutiny or even criticism. The Obama administration guaranteed Israel a most generous financial assistance program for the next decade. Israeli’s 100-percent occupation of Palestine remains immune from U.N. or other international condemnation. Israeli citizens’ settlement building in Palestine territories—despite violating international law—has not caused a rift between Israel and either the European Union or the U.S.
Egypt, meanwhile, remains committed to the peace treaty with Israel and to security coordination with the occupation…