Photo Credit: Ahmad Khateib/Flash 90

The Lebanese political arena is divided into two parts – the supporters of Hizbollah and its opponents; those who gambled on their success and joined them, against those who are trying to save themselves from the Shia-Iranian-Syrian hegemony. The disturbances in Tripoli are the direct result of this rivalry: the Alawites are an inseparable part of the Hizbollah coalition, while the Sunnis are not interested in being under the wings of the Nasrallah-Khamenei-Asad hegemony.

The support that Iran gives to Hizbollah and its friends is not the only instance of external involvement in Lebanon, as the weapons and the ammunition that the Sunnis in Syria and in Lebanon receive, by way of boats like “Lotf Allah 2”, are paid for by funds from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Emirates in the Gulf. The skirmishes in Tripoli, even if they will be forgotten as they were in the past, will break out again as long as the situation in Lebanon between Hizbollah and its opponents continues, and as long as Iran and Saudia Arabia do battle with each other, until the last drop of blood of the last Lebanese person.

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From the tragedy of Tripoli and Lebanon we can draw several conclusions: in the Middle East it is not possible to establish a state with an Arab society and Western political characteristics; Iranian involvement – even the economic and cultural – will ultimately undermine Western cultural and political influence in the Middle East; and whoever legitimizes jihad against Israel receives terror in his own streets in return.

The question that remains unanswered is whether the West will continue to abandon its Sunni friends in Lebanon and Syria, and leave them to the tender mercies of the unholy trinity – Iran-Syria-Hizbollah – to subordinate them. Perhaps the West will wake up and understand that failure in Damascus and Tripoli could bring the Iranians to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, whose waves will carry them from the port of Tripoli straight to Europe.

Originally published at http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2012/05/mordechai-kedar-syrian-crisis-spills.html

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Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He served for 25 years in IDF military intelligence specializing in Syria, Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups, and Israeli Arabs, and is an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.
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