Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant Shi’ite Hizballah, vowed Saturday that members of his organization indicted last week for assassinating a former Lebanese prime minister would never be turned over to an international tribunal.
South Lebanon Sunday witnessed its deadliest day since the month-long Israel-Hizballah 2006 war when 10 Palestinian demonstrators were reported shot dead and another 112 wounded as Israeli troops opened fire on protests along the border fence. The casualties came as a massive crowd of Palestinians gathered at Maroun er Ras, a small hilltop village overlooking the border with Israel, to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe, when the state of Israel was established.
To understand Barack Obama’s Afghanistan decision, it’s instructive to go back to one history-shifting sentence, uttered by his predecessor more than eight years ago. It was Sept
Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the influential Qatar-based Islamic scholar, recently preached that the “train of the Arab revolution” had arrived in Syria. Syria could well be ripe for upheaval
For most countries, the existence of a massive fossil-fuel deposit within its sovereign territory would be gratefully welcomed as an economic windfall. But the delight in Israel at the recent giant gas discovery off its northern coastline is tempered by the knowledge that it could provide the spark to ignite the next war between the Jewish state and its mortal foe to the north, Lebanon’s militant Shi’ite Hizballah.
The recent abduction of seven Estonian tourists on a cycling holiday has revived memories of darker times and stirred fears that the unrest sweeping the Arab world may be spilling into Lebanon. Neighboring Syria is experiencing its most serious bout of internal unrest in decades, spurring a violent crackdown by the authorities who blame the anti-regime protests on “foreign conspirators.” The abduction of the Estonian tourists has left many Lebanese gloomily predicting that Lebanon cannot avoid being sucked into the vortex of its influential neighbor’s domestic crisis.
Whi le it’s not surprising that Lebanese have sought refuge in cinema from the country’s sectarian tensions, it does seem strange that many of them are going to see a movie about, at least in part, sectarian tension in the United States. When it opened on Thanksgiving, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was the third most watched movie in Lebanon, trailing only such blockbuster fare as Casino Royale.
The temptation to make too much of Hizballah’s failure to unseat Lebanon’s Western-backed government in Sunday’s election is obvious. For past three years, the Shi’ite Islamist movement has been on a roll, withstanding an Israeli invasion, then paralyzing the U.S.-backed government, eventually humiliating its militias in a street confrontation, in the process winning veto power over cabinet decisions. Many had feared that the election would see the Iran-backed movement lead an opposition coalition to victory.