The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Why Thanassis Cambanis’s book is so reckless

This is precisely why I told Thanasis that I simply could not take the time to read his book – the title alone (plus the reviews, his writings on the book, and the excerpts) is founded on a key fallacy that I think is the height of recklessness for both a journalist and someone who cares about the fate of the people in the mideast: INSIDE HIZBULLAH’S ENDLESS WAR AGAINST ISRAEL.

This title ONLY reinforces the self-defeating, and wrong idea that hizbullah will always want to/be able to fight a violent war against Israel.

How could he not have at least tried to read a bit more widely and come across the translation of nasrallah’s March 2000 interview with al-hayat: here is the key excerpt which used in the National Interest last week here. Not so endless a war after all, huh?


  • There is a belief that peace is inevitable. It might be delayed by a year or two, but it is coming. How would you feel seeing the flag of Israel raised over an Israeli embassy in Beirut? What would you say to Hizbollah, its martyrs and their families?
  • I want to take issue with the first part of your question. A settlement might be achieved. When the Arabs sent their delegations to Madrid in 1991, we adopted a different position, dictated by our ideology, vis-a-vis the whole peace process. But even politically and on a national level — leaving ideology aside — what would Lebanon have done at Madrid? Lebanon didn’t have anything to negotiate. The Lebanese government only wanted the implementation of Security Council Resolution 425. When the Arabs went to Madrid, it was said that the matter would be over in three months, that everything was settled beforehand and the only thing left was to prepare public opinion to accept what was about to be signed. We are now in the year 2000. So you see, things aren’t always as simple as they are made out to be.It is true that the Americans want a settlement. We don’t underestimate the extent of America’s influence on events. But America is not God. It can’t just will things for them to happen. American policy has failed many times and in different parts of the world. That is why we don’t believe that matters are going the way the Americans want them to.The Israelis are not prepared to accept a settlement in which they have to make concessions. They want a settlement on their terms, and not all Arabs — especially Syria — are prepared to accept that.A short while ago, you mentioned the Palestinian issue, which is the root cause of the whole conflict in the Middle East. Even if a settlement was achieved with Syria and Lebanon, we can’t say the conflict has been settled so long as the Palestinian problem hasn’t been solved.I happen to be among those who believe that the Palestine Question can’t be settled in the way matters are being dealt with at the moment. Perhaps Arafat and others in the PLO really think that they can tell the Palestinian people one day that Jerusalem is gone forever and that’s it. We know the Palestinian people well. We know what Palestinian youth is made of. Such issues can’t just be swept under the carpet. It’s not that simple for Arafat to convince the Palestinian people that four million of their number should go on living in refugee camps and forget they ever had a homeland — especially at a time when Barak opens the doors for millions of Jews to come to Palestine. If they kept quiet, then we can safely assume that the Palestinian people is dead; that the Palestinians have lost their will, their honor, their faith, their chivalry, and their manhood. In other words, that the Palestinians have surrendered.
  • The struggle of the Palestinian people has been going on for more than 50 years. Fifty years is a long time; leaderships may grow tired. If so, they must stand aside. But only yesterday we saw on TV how the youths of Palestine were confronting the Israeli soldiers with stones. This is a generation that is prepared for sacrifice; a generation that has not been exhausted despite the difficult and harsh conditions it is living under.
  • I believe — and history will prove me right — that matters are not going the way the Israelis want them to. But even if they did, then we have to prepare ourselves for a battle not less important than armed struggle: the battle for normalization. How to confront normalization with our Israeli enemies.
  • A while back I read about a conference held in Kuwait to discuss ways to confront normalization. The conference formed committees in the Gulf states, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. These committees will do all they can to fight normalization. I believe that just as the armed resistance succeeded in aborting Israel’s schemes for military and geographic expansion, we can — by fighting normalization — limit the Greater Israel project, which is no less important.
  • What will I tell our fighters and the families of our martyrs?
  • First, that the martyrs achieved the liberation of the homeland. This is a source of pride to all those families who gave their sons to this cause. Of course, should the day come when the Lebanese state makes peace with Israel and an Israeli embassy is opened in Beirut, it would not be me who makes that peace. I would tell my fighters that the fight goes on. We succeeded in liberating our land and now we must continue the battle against normalization.
  • This concern is not mine alone: many parties, individuals, and organizations in the Arab world are prepared to join this fight. We are represented in the Lebanese parliament as well as in many other arenas. We will do our best to prevent any sort of normalization between Lebanon and Israel.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

July 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm


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