Hezbollah all talk?

Without a doubt Hamas and their fans throughout the region are  a little disappointed with Hezbollah, a fellow member of the Resistance.  Remember back in 2006 – the Party of God picks a fight with Israel, and what does Hamas do?  They open up a Southern front, kidnapping the IDF oldier Galad Shalit, theoretically relieving pressure on Hezbollah up North.   I don’t have any specific quotes but I am sure Hamas is wondering where’s the payback?  “There is none” taunts Tariq Al-Homayed, editor of fiercely anti-Hamas and HB Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in this  article: 

Hamas rushed to Hezbollah’s rescue in 2006 [Israel-Hezbollah summer war] following the abduction of two Israeli soldiers at the hands of Hezbollah, and even opened up another battlefront by abducting Gilad Shalit themselves, so why has Nasrallah not come to Hamas’s rescue today, especially considering that Khalid Meshal said that Hamas was awaiting action, not words, from Hezbollah?

Hezbollah is not likely to provide anything more than words or supports- it’s not in their interest to do more than that.  Still, Hassan Nasrallah’s 28 December speech did give some pretty strong moral support to their comrades in Gaza and came   close to calling for the people of Egypt to rise up against their regime, highly inflammatory rhetoric.  Read Egyptian Chronicles comments on the speech.

4 Responses

  1. I dont think that Mr Homayed is right in his analysis. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped BEFORE Hizbollah abducted Regev and Goldwasser. Check the dates. So basically it was Hizbollah that openend a second front in the north back in 2006.

  2. good point. you are correct. I just looked it up Hamas kidnapped Shalit on 25 June. The war between Hezbollah and Israel started on July 12. very good point actually, because this raises a bunch of other questions…..

  3. For the past two years, Lebanon’s Hizbollah Party of God has basked in its status as the only Arab military force to have stood up to Israeli military superiority and foiled Israeli military attempts to defeat it on the battle field. This week Hizbollah exploited its status to organize the Arab world’s largest protest against the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah urged Muslims across the Arab and Islamic world to rise in support of the Palestinians.

    Yet, as Israeli air strikes on Gaza continue and Israeli ground troops mass along Israel’s border with the Strip, Nasrallah risks looking like other Arab leaders unable and/or unwilling to do more for the Palestinians than employ rhetoric and verbal protests and organize political rallies. Recent studies have concluded that Hizbollah remains a considerable military force capable of pouring rockets and missiles into northern Israel

    It cannot be very long before Hizbollah will have to explain what makes it different from Arab states fearful that the confrontation in Gaza could escalate into wider regional conflict and therefore unwilling to grant Palestinians more than moral and humanitarian support? Hizbollah’s dilemma is likely to be increasingly highlighted as Arab leaders fail to effectively respond to the Gaza crisis. Obviously, neither Lebanon, Hizbollah’s home base, nor Syria, together with Iran Hizbollah’s main backer, want to be drawn into military confrontation with Israel and Hizbollah may not want to risk being blamed for an all-out regional war. Moreover, Syria, for much of this year, has been engaged in indirect peace talks with Israel mediated by Turkey. Already, Gaza puts those talks in jeopardy.

    Iran like many Arab states is not holding its breath for a substantial change in US policy when President-elect Barak Obama takes office next month, but may hope that Obama will be more inclined to lower tensions and seek a resolution to the region’s multiple conflicts. So far Iran’s response has been at best symbolic, only outdoing the Arabs in the shrillness of its rhetoric. Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported that hard line clerics were signing up volunteers to fight in Gaza. But with Israel and Egypt controlling all access to Gaza, those volunteers were unlikely to see action any time soon. Hizbollah leader Nasrallah seemed to suggest in his speech to the Beirut rally that his organization had no immediate intention of becoming embroiled in renewed military confrontation with Israel. Nasrallah went out of his way to deny knowledge of eight rockets aimed at Israel that were discovered in southern Lebanon last week.

    Islamist leaders meanwhile walk a tightrope, seeking to exploit the Gaza conflict to their political advantage, while not upsetting a fragile political balance. While Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo called yesterday for continued peaceful demonstrations in support of the Palestinians, but many in the crowd demanded that Arab armies come to the aid of the Palestinians. Hizbollah, with the exception of Palestinian Islamists like Hamas, is the region’s only non-state actor with a military capability of its own. Channeling and exploiting public anger while doing little to put its money where its mouth is, could well put a dent in its claim to the mantle of resistance against the Israelis, a mantle that now could well be inherited by Hamas. If anything, Hizbollah’s caution proves that Islamists like all political players are mindful of circumstance and operate within the parameters of political realities.

  4. well said, thanks for your comment

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