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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah’

Hezbollah Most Heavily Armed Force in Region Besides Israel

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrilla fighting force is among the most heavily armed in the region, according to IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who told the 2014 IDC Herzliya Conference on Monday that Israel is facing a lethal threat.

Israel’s military chief said just Israel and the top five nations of the world currently have more firepower today than Hezbollah. According to Gantz, the only nations more heavily armed than Hezbollah – which is supplied by Iran – are “the U.S., China, Russia, Israel, France, [and] the UK.”

It was a sobering moment for the audience at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, who heard that Israel is facing a new type of threat, one that originates from underground. Terrorists in Lebanon and in Gaza use bunkers, where they store their arms – in much the same way Israelis used underground facilities to produce bullets during the British Mandate to prepare for the 1948 War of Independence.

Attendees also heard the army chief explain that Israel’s neighbor to the north, Syria, is disintegrating. Regardless of what happens on the other side of the border, none of the options will be particularly good for Israel, Gantz explained. He added that “decades of conflict” are likely to continue in Syria, “perhaps more.” Hezbollah is actively involved in that war, fighting to defend President Bashar al-Assad; the experience gained in that fight may well aid the terrorist organization later in a future war against Israel, Gantz warned.

Moreover, a second front is again developing in the south with Gaza, where mid-to-long range missiles have again been stockpiled for a future war with Israel as well. Both the ruling Hamas terror organization and its allied Islamic Jihad terrorist group are fully backed by Iran, as is Hezbollah. All three would function as proxies for Iran, which has not given up its dream of annihilating Israel.

Nor has Iran abandoned its goal of developing a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, Gantz said.

Israel will take whatever action is deemed appropriate to neutralize that existential threat against the Jewish State, he said.

John Kerry Visits Hezbollah’s Lebanon, Sends Message to Israel

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

US Secretary of State made an unexpected visit to Beirut, Lebanon on Wednesday calling on the country to pick a president and end the political stalemate.

Kerry also spoke about the Syrian refugees, pledging more US money to help them, and addressed the Hezbollah terror group as a legitimate player in Lebanon and Syria.

And I particularly call on those nations directly supporting the Assad regime – in what has become a grotesque display of modern warfare by a state against its own people – I call on them – Iran, Russia, and I call on Hezbollah, based right here in Lebanon – to engage in the legitimate effort to bring this war to an end.

According to Lebanese law, the Lebanese president needs to be a Maronite Christian based on the fragile agreement that keeps the country from falling back into civil war.

But a new president hasn’t been chosen because Hezbollah either doesn’t like the candidates or simply wants to remind everyone of who is really in charge, so their associated lawmakers have been boycotting the meetings.

But to some it appears that Kerry’s visit went beyond the political push for stability in Lebanon or helping Syrian refugees, and it was actually a message to Israel.

By Hamas’s own admission, the formation of the Palestinian Unity Government (PUG) between Hamas and Fatah, is based on Hezbollah’s model in Lebanon.

In that model, Hezbollah terrorists participate in the government, while still getting to run their own very large and independent army. In reality, Hezbollah controls most of Lebanon.

Hilal Khashan, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut, write in Middle East Forum:

Hezbollah has indeed gone a long way to achieving its objective of controlling Lebanon since its humble 1985 beginnings. It dominates the country’s domestic and foreign policy and operates a military machine superior to the national army. It has the final say on making governmental, administrative, and judicial appointments, and its interaction with Lebanese political groups has shown that it has no intention of truly assimilating into Lebanese political practices, not least since its Islamist Shiite orientation precludes its ability for a meaningful dialogue (as opposed to tactical alliances) with the Sunnis. Moreover, the Iranian paradigm of wilayat al-faqih, to which Hezbollah subscribes, baffles many critical-minded Shiites. Not surprisingly, Ahmad al-Asaad, leader of the fledgling Shiite party, the Lebanese New Option Gathering, believes that “we must get rid of Hezbollah in order to build a viable state.”

In the PUG model, like the Hezbollah model, Hamas will run much of the show behind the scenes and also get to keep its independent army and weapons.

Lee Smith points out that:

Hamas officials boast that they are now employing the “Hezbollah model”—i.e., becoming a political party that avoids responsibility for governance, while also maintaining an independent military organization that engages in terrorism. In other words, the PA will serve as legitimate cover while the Islamic resistance continues to wage its war of liberation against Israel. After all, Washington continues to fund the Lebanese Armed Forces, even as it is common knowledge that the LAF is under Hezbollah control. So, why wouldn’t the White House fund the PA?

Kerry appears to have been sending a message to Israel, that just like the US can work with Lebanon, pretending that Hezbollah terrorists are not in charge, the US can also work with the PUG, also pretending that the Hamas terrorists are not in charge.

Lebanon is in an official state of war with Israel.

FBI ‘Wanted’ Hezbollah Commander Killed in Syria

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

A guerrilla commander in the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist organization, an Iranian proxy group, was killed Monday in Syria fighting rebels for President Bashar al-Assad.

The death of Fawzi Ayoub in the southern Syrian town of Nawa, located in the province of Dera’a, was confirmed by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Ayoub is listed on the FBI’s “most wanted” list for attempting to carry out a bombing attack in Israel. A veteran of the Jewish State’s prison system, Ayoub spent four years in jail (2000-2004) before he was freed as part of an early-release deal for a prisoner swap, sources told the Al Arabiya website Tuesday.

Although he was a resident of the southern Lebanese village of Ein Qa’ana, Ayoub also held Canadian citizenship and lived in the United States as well.

Historic Visit to Israel by Lebanon’s Courageous Maronite Patriarch

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In honor of Pope Francis, the head of Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic Church defied threats to his life this week and came to Israel.

Cardinal Beshara Ra’i is the first Lebanese cleric to arrive in the Jewish State since 1948. Having arrived on Saturday to begin a week-long visit, he joined the pontiff Sunday for the first leg of his two-day tour of the Holy Land in Bethlehem. Much of the weekend, however, he spent traveling around Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem’s Old City and surrounds.

But on Monday he took what critics saw as an irrevocable political step by crossing into “pre-1967″ Israel — arriving at a Maronite community in the ancient port city of Jaffa (Yafo), next to Tel Aviv. There are numerous Lebanese Christians living in Israel, many of whom emigrated in order to stay alive after the IDF withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Lebanese media called the cleric’s visit a “historic sin,” though he was greeted by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with a medal, the ‘Star of Jerusalem’ for his efforts.

“We came here for the goal of strengthening our belief,” he told journalists when asked why he had taken the risk.

Sources aligned to the Hezbollah terrorist organization warned last week the Cardinal’s visit “cannot not pass quietly,” the Times of Israel reported. Likewise the Lebanese As-Safir quoted unnamed sources who said, “The patriarch’s move puts the Christian existence in the east in danger at a time when their presence is being increasingly targeted in the entire region.”

Christians have long been tormented by various Islamist groups, not only in Lebanon but also in Egypt. They have also been harassed in Palestinian Authority-controlled Bethlehem, where the city’s former Christian majority has now dwindled to a bare ten percent of its current Muslim majority population.

The pro-Hezbollah daily Al-Akhbar ran a fiery op-ed against the visit one week ago, warning, “When Beshara Ra’i travels to ‘Israel’ with the knowledge and consent of the occupation authorities, he creates a dangerous precedent . . . he humanizes the enemy, breaking the taboo and opening the door to all the believers eager to visit the holy sites. When will organized tours begin, guarded by Tzahal (the Israeli army) and hosted by Israeli companies eager to smuggle their products into Lebanon for years?”

The Cardinal responded with an interview in the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, pointing out, “His Holiness the Pope will grace the patriarchate with his visit and it would be inappropriate for us not to welcome him in our lands Jordan and Palestine, which is Israel today. I know full well that Israel is an enemy state which occupies Lebanese land as well, and I respect Lebanese law [banning visits to Israel.] We have no meetings with Israeli officials and I am sorry that some Lebanese wish to create problems where there are none.”

Pope Francis, who began his visit to the region in Amman, pointed out before leaving Jordan that the freedom of worship is an essential human right, and expressed the hope of seeing that upheld throughout the Middle East.

It would appear that only in Israel are members of all three monotheistic faiths assured of their rights to worship.

Senior Maronite Archbishop Paul Sayah added the Cardinal’s visit was purely religious and not linked to the “regrettable situation that exists between Lebanon and Israel.”

Hezbollah Celebrates Anniversary of Israeli Withdrawal; Barak Silent

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah celebrated the 14th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from the south Lebanon security zone Sunday with a warning that the terror group’s operatives are, “active day and night to improve our deterrence capabilities,” and that this progress “worries the Israeli enemy.” Since Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew from Lebanon against the advice of IDF and civilian security officials, six IDF soldiers have been kidnapped across the international border. The second kidnapping incident, in 2006, led to the Second Lebanon War.

Former Prime Minister Barak did not real ease any statement about the anniversary.

Lebanon Jews Denounce Israel as Beirut Synagogue Reopens

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

The Jewish community in Lebanon has officially denounced the State of Israel as the country’s sole synagogue prepares to reopen in Beirut.

“We have no connection to those who wanted to live in Palestine and kill innocent people,” Isaac Arazi, head of Lebanon’s dwindling Jewish community, announced to a reporter.

He spoke with the London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper in an interview this week ahead of the impending reopening of Magen Avraham, the only remaining synagogue in Lebanon.

Founded in 1925, Magen Avraham was one of 16 synagogues in Beirut, named for the son of Abraham Sassoon, Moise Abraham Sassoon of Calcutta, and built on land donated by Isaac Mann. The synagogue is located in the former Jewish district of Wadi Abu Jamil in Beirut and was allegedly abandoned after shelling destroyed the building during the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s.

During the 1982 Lebanon War with Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization forces headed by terrorist Yasser Arafat holed up in the Jewish neighborhood. They used the synagogue as a shield, forcing Israeli pilots to attempt a surgical air strike that failed, further damaging the building.

Renovations in process since May 2009 were estimated at approximately $1 million. “We even raised money from Lebanese Jews outside the country – but Christians and Muslims have also helped us renovate,” Arazi noted. “Even the company that is responsible for development and rehabilitation of Beirut helped us in accordance with the law that the state should help to renovate houses of worship.”

Arazi said as head of the community, he spoke for all of the remaining few dozen Jews who are left in the country north of Israel, home also to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Although the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization, an Iranian proxy, is committed to Israel’s destruction, the group claimed it has no problem with the Jews in its midst. “We respect the Jewish religion just like we do Christianity,” a spokesman for the terrorist organization told the newspaper. “The Jews have always lived among us. We have an issue with Israel’s occupation of land.”

The sectarian fighting that takes place between Hezbollah and other groups within Lebanon and in Syria seems to belie the statement, however. Likewise, the massive flight of Jews from Lebanon that left the community almost entirely bare leaves one to wonder why, if conditions among the Lebanese are so convivial, so many other Jews found it necessary to flee.

“Not all Jews are Zionists. We identify as Lebanese and we belong in Lebanon 100 percent,” Arazi told the Arabic newspaper. “Our condition is just like that of the rest of Lebanon. We suffer just as they do from politicians and officials whose only worry is how to put our money in their pockets.”

The majority of Lebanon’s population is Muslim, although there is a significant Christian minority. The newspaper did indeed also report that Gentile in-laws of intermarried Jews are not as likely to ignore the differences between them as the Lebanese Jews are.

One woman who was interviewed, “Sonia,” age 60, said that although she stayed with her Gentile husband and children when the rest of her family made aliyah, her in-laws nevertheless were opposed to her because of her faith.

Still, she told the newspaper, “There’s no such thing as Zionist or Jewish. The Jews are all one, and there’s no way to run from their identity.”

Always First: the Story of Lt. Tzachi Mizrachi

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Even as a child, Lt. Tzachi Mizrachi aspired to succeed in everything he did. Throughout his life, his determination and commitment to others resulted in outstanding accomplishments. Tragically, these same qualities led to his unexpected death at age 20, when he was killed while trying to assist his fellow soldiers.

“He was always an amazing kid,” says Sima Mizrachi, the mother of fallen IDF soldier Tzachi Mizrachi.  “He was always willing to help others, to volunteer. It started when he joined the [Israel] Scouts and became a counselor. He loved it there, and it became his second home. He also volunteered in the community’s civil police force and at Hadassah Hospital.”

By the time he was a teenager, Tzachi was already self sufficient. He spent his summers selling school books and investing his profits in the stock market. As he balanced work with school and helping others, Tzachi also found time for sports. He was a very gifted basketball player, and even considered a professional career. But among all of his interests, there was one that was especially important to him: his service in the Israeli military.

Tzachi wanted to serve as a commando in the Israeli Navy, but joined an elite intelligence unit specializing in combat missions along the Lebanon border. In this unit, he met Col. Tal Braun, a commander who would accompany Tzachi throughout his IDF service.

Tzachi with the red car he bought at age 18

Tzachi with the red car he bought at age 18

Before His Time

Col. Braun, who today serves in the Intelligence Corps, remembers the day when the worst happened. “There is always a risk,” he explains. “When you experience the reality of being near the border of Lebanon every day, you understand your life is at risk.”

Tzachi was on his way back from visiting soldiers on the road leading from Marj Aiyun to the Israeli side of Metula, where Hezbollah terrorists had placed explosives. There were serious injuries after the first vehicle in Tzachi’s convoy was hit. Tzachi ran to the vehicle to rescue his friends, but the terrorists suddenly activated a second explosive, killing Tzachi along with three other soldiers and officers.

“Even in his final act, he demonstrated values of friendship and commitment,” Col. Braun says of Tzachi. “He was always first, even this time.”

Col. Tal Braun with Tzachi's parents

“As a commander, I was struck. I still remember arriving at the family’s house. The very first thing that Jacob [Tzachi’s father] told me was to sit down and eat.” Col. Braun says. “From that moment, it was clear to me that Sima and Jacob would become like parents to me,” he continues.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/always-first-the-story-of-lt-tzachi-mizrachi/2014/05/05/

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