The Mideastwire Blog

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

Why Israeli analysis of the inner thinking of Hezbollah is so thin, and very often wrong: Ben Caspit in Al-Monitor

Like many Israeli analysts, you cant really use their work seriously when analyzing Hezbollah’s inner workings (the strategic game with Israel is a different matter, as is the history of conflict etc). Indeed, most of these specific pieces are interesting for understanding how such analysts mis-perceive and where.

Ben Caspit in Al-Monitor does this just now and the result is that one usually stops reading, even though the narrative is often riviting! He writes:

“…On the night of Jan. 28, bitter internal complaints were heard in Lebanon even among Shiite politicians (Lebanese Option Party leader Ahmed al-Asaad, for example, who was interviewed on local television stations), and not only from the Christians, Druze and Sunnis…”

Now this was really funny because I just got in my inbox from MEMRI.ORG, the Israeli translation shop in DC, … a translation of …. Ahmed Asaad – the great shiite anti-hzibullah hope in Lebanon!

Now this person who got 0.00000000000001% of the vote last time and who is un-serious to the extreme had this very funny thing to say that Memri translated:

Ahmed Al-Asaad: “…Most of the people who join Hizbullah today do so out of necessity. They have nothing else to do. A young man of 15, 16, 17, 18, who sits in his village, has no profession, and cannot go to university – what prospects does he have? How is he going to make a living? Joining Hizbullah is his only way to make $400 or $500.
“We used to say that the Shi’ite sect suffered deprivation. Today, it suffers starvation.”

TV host: “Really?!”
Ahmed Al-Asaad: “Yes, starvation.”

— Now for Hizbullah’s opponents here, and for the more serious Hizbullah analysts in Israel and beyond who have a better grasp of the party and its members etc…this is pretty funny. In any case, Ben Caspit needs to lay off the MEMRI translations and stop extrapolating from statements where he does not understand the context etc. Talk about what you do know – it’s much stronger!


Written by nickbiddlenoe

January 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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