Original Thinking: Good Hezbollah, bad Hezbollah

The West has to wake up and smell the Middle Eastern coffee. Not the mild, fruity taste of a Starbucks mix. It has a far more pungent aroma.

June 10, 2013 21:42
3 minute read.
Lebanese Hezbollah supporters chant slogans and hold flags

Hezbollah supporters. (photo credit: Reuters/Khalil Hassan)

There is no such thing as a “good Hezbollah” and a “bad Hezbollah.”

The absurdity of the notion was plain for all to see in Afghanistan. The plan for Afghanistan was to divide the Taliban into “moderates” willing to engage in a democratic political process, and the “extremists,” who would be defeated and isolated. America has lost over 3,000 of its soldiers trying to divide the Taliban and destroy the “terrorist” part. Now that it is withdrawing from Afghanistan does anyone, any of the diplomatic experts, really believe that the Taliban will not, again, reunite into one body sharing a united political/religious/ military (read “terror”) agenda? An essential ingredient of any terror regime is winning the hearts and minds of its people, without which it cannot function in its militant form. It needs their moral and physical support. It needs them for logistical reasons, including weapons storage, intelligence, nourishment and shelter. Many of the local population among whom they operate are family and close friends. They often share a tribal, ethnic and religious base. The local population supports their terror brethren. They share the same political and religious goals.

We were witness to this with the murder of Yossi Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhitz in a most gruesome mass lynching in Ramallah on October 12, 2000. It was not a terror organization that killed these two Israelis. It was the people, the mob, the ones nurtured by “the political and charity wings” of Palestinian society, incited by the PLO terror regime of Yasser Arafat, courted, fed and funded by altruistic Western governments, especially those in Europe sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, that butchered these two men.

Funding, therefore, for the “non-military” wing of a terror organization plays into the hands of a leadership united in a violent cause that is practiced both politically, religiously and militarily by its people.

The doctrine, used by President Barack Obama in Afghanistan and by the EU with Hezbollah, that appeases one part of a violent, non-democratic body in the vain hope that this will result in a Scandinavian- type society that turns away from hideous and unacceptable violence against a civilian population not to their liking, has been repeatedly proven patently false.

There are those who have advocated contacts with the non-military (read “non-terrorist”) wing of Hamas. There is no such division. All members of Hamas share the belief enshrined in their charter, which states that Muslims should kill Jews. They do not perceive any division.

Why does the European Union? Hezbollah is no different. Their chief may not carry a weapon. He may pose as a religious leader. But he has said that it’s good for all the Jews to gather in Israel, because it saves him the trouble of hunting for them throughout the world – in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Argentina, for example.

Organizations and regimes whose soul is “Allah is our objective, the Koran is our law, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations,” cannot be divided up into parts you can talk to and parts that you cannot. This type of entity has to be defeated in its entirety.

The West has to wake up and smell the Middle Eastern coffee. Not the mild, fruity taste of a Starbucks mix. It has a far more pungent aroma.

With a rampant Islamist shift across the region, it is plain that the extremist and violent political/religious firebrands will carry the people with them. It doesn’t matter whether it is out of fear or out of fondness, they are all part of the whirlwind that endangers those who do not share their agenda. When they strike on your soil, or on your street, the position you take will decide your future fate. There is no moderation in the seriousness of their mission.

There is no such thing as a benign sect of Hezbollah, or Hamas, or Islamic Jihad, or the Salafists, or al-Qaida. Their mission and their aim are plain for all to see. It’s just a question of who can face the truth.

The author is the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative, and the special consultant on delegitimization issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.


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