[News] No escaping the consequences of this war

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 9 11:30:36 EDT 2006


No escaping the consequences of this war
Hasan Abu Nimah, Electronic Lebanon, 9 August 2006

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article5460.shtml

[]

Christian Palestinians demonstrate after the Sunday mass in the West 
Bank town of Beit Sahour against the Israeli invasions to Lebanon and 
Gaza by performing a mock funeral with three coffins marked as United 
Nations, Arab League and International Conscience, 6 August 2006. The 
procession marched quietly through the streets and at the city center 
the coffins were buried as priest held a mass. 
(<http://www.maannews.net/en/>MaanImages/Magnus Johansson)

When the orgy of destruction stops and the dust of battle settles, 
leaders in most countries of the region and worldwide will retreat 
behind safe doors to assess the outcome. Israel's latest war has 
placed the region at the doorstep of a new, and a totally different 
era. Hardly any country will escape the consequences.

Israel may have the most on its post-war menu. The war has shaken the 
foundations of matters once taken for granted. It has underlined that 
Israel's security cannot be guaranteed by military superiority alone, 
even with unlimited support from a superpower. Even the growing 
trend, over recent decades, of Arab recognition of the Jewish state 
and the formal agreements with a few Arab states may now have to be 
gradually downgraded. Israel cannot expect the so-called peace 
process to move any further with so much more innocent Arab blood 
spilled by its new massacres in Palestine and Lebanon. The Israeli 
apartheid system has totally and finally disqualified itself from 
ever becoming part of this region.

Israel intended its Lebanon war, as well as its constant bombardment 
of defenceless people in Gaza, to be a way to reassert its military 
superiority and rebuild its army's self-esteem after they were shaken 
by military attacks from Hamas and Hizbollah. But it achieved the 
opposite: Whatever confidence existed has now been lost as Israel's 
army has emerged as nothing more than a cowardly bunch that drops 
bombs on apartment blocks and refugee camps from great heights, and 
even when engaged in ground battles can be defeated by sophisticated, 
modern and determined resistance forces. Although it has killed a 
thousand people and destroyed almost every road bridge in Lebanon, 
the Israeli army has not dented the ability of Hizbollah to launch 
retaliatory ballistic missiles at Israeli cities, causing significant 
losses and paralyzing a million Israelis in shelters. Israeli 
planners will now likely choose between two options, either deceptive 
or difficult.

One is to continue to blame the alleged inherent wickedness and 
anti-Semitism of Arabs and Muslims, whom Israel views as uncivilized 
and inferior to its "Western civilization" and "Jewish values" for 
the increased resistance it is facing, and therefore respond with 
increased force and brutality, higher walls or more complex and 
expensive weapons. This is the choice Israel has always taken, and it 
has never done anything to improve Israel's security. The current war 
is no more than a re-run of similar attempts by Israel to destroy the 
resistance in Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and 1996. Like those attempts, it 
will also fail.

The second choice for Israel is to finally recognize a very simple 
principle: Peace cannot be built on injustice. Israel has been trying 
to invent an environment of peace and security for itself and its 
people in the midst of an ocean of anger, rejection, turmoil, 
injustice, and lawlessness caused by its aggression, colonialism and 
unrestricted violence against the people of the region, including the 
assassination and kidnapping of their elected political 
representatives. All these "extremist movements," Hamas and 
Hizbollah, and we will witness the rise of others soon, are the 
natural outcome of decades of misreading the region and mistreating 
its people. There is no prerequisite for putting an end to the raging 
cycle of violence, the mounting loss of life, the endless suffering 
and the mad destruction, other than Israel abandoning the mentality 
of expansionism and colonization and denying all the rights of 
others. Israel cannot be secure as long as it chooses to rob the 
region's people of their land and rights and subject them to total 
humiliation. The more Israel continues to deceive itself that it is 
an innocent victim surrounded by uncivilized savages who deserve 
nothing but its bombs, the harder it will be to break out of this 
impasse. Time is definitely not in Israel's favour, and if there is a 
bit of opportunity left for it to make up for decades of blunder, in 
fact a whole history of blood, crime, abuse and shame, it will soon 
be lost if not quickly seized.

[]
What is the point of keeping the Arab League when it failed to even 
hold a high level meeting to discuss a major aggression and total 
destruction of a member state?
[]


Members of the Arab League also have much to consider. The Lebanon 
war has further exposed the lack of unity prevailing among Arab 
states. What is the point of keeping the Arab League when it failed 
to even hold a high level meeting to discuss a major aggression and 
total destruction of a member state? What is the meaning of the Arab 
Common Defence Pact when Arab leaders rushed to declare their 
opposition to risking their own tranquillity by helping other Arab 
countries under attack? It is an utter shame that the Arab foreign 
ministers waited for nearly a month before agreeing to meet in 
Beirut, the capital of a besieged and destroyed Lebanon to offer 
support. What kind of "support" is that after so much destruction? 
What dignity and honor do they have, when their journey could only be 
possible with permission from Israel, which controls the skies over 
Lebanon? Is it not proof of the worthlessness of such a feeble 
demonstration of failure that Israel permitted it to go ahead?

Watching the veil of embarrassment and shame covering the faces of 
the Arab foreign ministers as they watched the prime minister of 
Lebanon sobbing and wiping his tears while delivering his opening 
speech, I wondered if he was mourning the destruction and death in 
his country, or of the Arab League. Elsewhere, as far away as 
Casablanca, demonstrators held mock funerals for the organization, 
displaying just how much public confidence is left in it.

Time is also running out for the Arab regimes who have for so long 
ignored the feelings of their people, building up layers of 
humiliation, anger and disgust as a result of defeatism, corruption, 
incompetence, hypocrisy and oppression. If they have managed so far 
to dismiss the rising forces of resistance and rejection as extremist 
trends of terrorism, this may not be possible any more. The victory 
of the resistance in Lebanon is going to change the equation 
drastically and it will gradually weaken Arab officialdom as outdated 
and defeated.

And for the so-called "international community," which trailed 
blindly behind the forces led by US and Israeli thinking, justifying 
all their injustices and rationalizations of lawlessness, it is time 
to realize that the victims of the prevailing chaos will not for long 
remain restricted to Arabs and Muslims, so easily demonised as 
"terrorists." The precedents tested on Arab and Muslim peoples and 
countries will soon be used elsewhere, and no one will be spared the 
consequences of America and Israel's, with European collaboration, 
undoing of all the achievements in international law and human rights 
since World War II. All of us must stand up to the horrors being 
committed in the name of this "war on terror," a war of the rich 
against the poor, of the privileged against the disenfranchised, of 
the white North against people of color in the global south, if we 
are to stop the flames from leaping higher and engulfing us all.


EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah is the former permanent representative 
of Jordan at the United Nations.


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