Middle East: Shattering the myth of Israeli might

By Manzoor Chandio
Written on August 17, 2006

WHEN there is an indivisible unity of people and a profound oneness of purpose, you can overcome an adversary thousand times mightier.
There might be several elements that led Israel to declare ceasefire but the solidarity shown by the people of Lebanon to withstand its aggression can be the foremost reason for its first defeat in history.
There is no civil war in Lebanon which was a hallmark of the country during the 1980s and 1990s.
We used to read in newspapers about several Lebanese groups fighting each other and as proxy of Israel.
Mercenaries are the best toll to be used. For that purpose Israel had created the South Lebanon Army. This time Amal and Druze militias were out of newspaper reports and instead Amal fought against Israel.
Founded in 1976, the SLA mainly comprised Christians who were opposed to armed PLO fighters which at that time used Lebanese soil for attacks on Israel.
Initially, Shias and Druzes joined the SLA but when it was solely financed, trained and given military paraphernalia by Israel as a proxy force, they left it.
During the Lebanese civil war, Amal militia, mainly comprising Shias, entangled itself in camp wars killing thousands of Palestinians.
It fought against Hezbollah for Beirut’s control and its support for the Palestinian cause. It was Hezbollah and Amal fight which invited the Syrian intervention in the country.
Now the situation was different altogether.
A New York Times contributor quoted a car mechanic in Lebanon as saying: “The trees in the south say we are Hezbollah. The stones say we are Hezbollah. If the people cannot talk, the stones will say it.”
It was oneness of purpose that Israel suffered a humiliating defeat and displacement of its population.
Associated Press reported that “the conflict left nearly 950 people dead — 791 in Lebanon and 155 on the Israeli side. An estimated 500,000 Israelis and about one million Lebanese had been displaced”.
In future, Israel would think many times before invading Lebanon, the country it invaded as weak.
Israel also declared that it would negotiate to exchange 13 Hezbollah prisoners and the bodies of several others for two Israeli soldiers after whose capture it had started the war.
Any victory on Israel’s part is zero.


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