'Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization'
Bradley Burston i Ha'aretz:
Predictably, in the electronic struggle for hearts and minds, there is no overlap between the way Hezbollah is pictured in Israel and in the Muslim world.Et tanke- og indsigtsfuldt indspark fra den israelske side af konflikten - go read!
In Israeli media, even in ostensibly left-leaning outlets, Hezbollah men are with rare exceptions referred to as M'chablim, or terrorists. Hezbollah and Hamas are routinely described as Islamic terrorist organizations bent on Israel's destruction, just as they always have been - and which the Knee-Jerk Right insists they always must be.
In much of the foreign media - in particular among the acrobatic apologists of the Lawrence of Arabia Left - Hezbollah is identified variously as a guerrilla organization, a group of farmer-by-day resistance fighters, a political party and coalition partner in the ruling Lebanese cabinet, or a vast and vital social welfare network for the poorest of Lebanon's citizens.
All of this is true, and the terrorism as well. That is precisely the problem with the facile label. Hezbollah is all of these at once, and thus, no single one of these labels is accurate.
We don't know what to call them, because we don't really know what they are.
Because we dismissed them as terrorists, we didn't know how to fight them.
And because we didn't know how to fight them, we used sledgehammers instead of scalpels in areas where hundreds of thousands of Lebanese civilians lived.
And we are helping them. By dismissing them as terrorists, and by playing directly into their hands, by undermining governments, like that of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, that actually want to see peace come between our peoples, before radical Islam rings down a curtain on all of us.
If the Israeli and Jewish fossil right are to be believed, all this talk about peace is self-destructive. All that matters is to hang onto all the land we have, and blast away at everything that moves across the border. To Finish the Job.
If the right are to be believed, all the Arabs want to see Israel dead, and despotic Islamic regimes reign supreme. If the fossil right is to be believed, then, there's no hope for any of us. If what we are facing 200 million terrorists, as the fossil right would have us believe, there's no hope for the right, either.
There is another possibility, of course. That is, that something about terrorists changes over time when they actually are faced with the real challenges of governance. When they are faced with actual constituents, with diverse needs and diverse belief systems, and little real taste for the iron fist and the religion of rifles and explosives.
It is too convenient for many of us, rightists here and abroad, to dismiss the Arabs as terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.