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The Fern Sidman Commentaries:
August 21st, 2006: "IN THE SPIRIT OF PEACE..."

It has now been an entire week since the UN mandated cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah terorists went into effect. Not ones for wasting time, Hezbollah has already been receiving arms shipments through Syria, courtesy of the Iranian government.

According to Arutz Sheva, 8/19/06, "Israeli forces carried out a riad deep in southern Lebanon Saturday morning, disrupting Syrian arms shipments to Hezbollah terrorists. One IDF officer, Lt. Col. Emmanuel Moreno died in the operation. Lebanese officials confirmed that three Hezbollah members were killed in the confrontation.

Unofficial sources report that two Hizbullah terrorists were captured by IDF troops during the operation, which took place near Baalbek in eastern Lebanon. About 97 kilometers (60 miles) north of the Israel-Lebanon border, Baalbek was the scene of previous IDF strikes against Syrian arms shipments to the Hizbullah.

Two IDF soldiers were also reportedly injured during the mission. They were flown to a hospital in Israel.

The air force flew drones and warplanes across eastern Lebanon early Saturday in order to cover up the comando attack in Baalbek. A special forces unit unloaded army vehicles from a helicopter and headed toward the city, but Hezbollah terrorist guerillas intercepted them. The operation in Lebanon was apparently exposed, military sources said, when IDF planes had been identified; however, the mission went ahead as planned."

The report goes on to say that, "The UNSC resolution establishing the ceasefire prohibits foreign weapons from reaching Lebanon without authorization of the Lebanese government. Israel considered the continuing arms shipments to Hezbollah to be a violation of the ceasefire." As Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said on Saturday, "Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo."

And what is the reaction of the United Nations? What is the reaction of the international body dedicated to peace? It is of no surprise that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has blamed Israel for violating the cease fire and has unequivocally condemed its actions. This cease fire agreement does not call upon the Lebanese army or the international peacekeepers to disarm Hezbollah. This cease fire agreement does not call for the immediate return of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. This cease fire agreement does not even call for Hezbollah forces to remain outside of southern Lebanon. It has been reported that if Hezbollah does dispays its arms, the army and the "robust" international peacekeeping force comprised of armies from pro-Muslim countries can confiscate such weapons.

It is clear that this cease fire, whose main objective is to allow Hezbollah to rearm and thus place Israel in even greater danger, will be short lived. The Lebanese army will be as effective at reigning in Hezbollah terrorists as a squadron of Keystone cops would be. They are an army whose membership is composed of fifty percent Shiite Muslims who are avowed Hezbollah supporters. It is an army without a proven track record in its ability to stop Hezbollah forces from entering southern Lebanon. It is an impotent army, an army who is not trained to handle this kind of guerilla warfare and above all, it is an army that lacks the resolve to defeat Hezbollah.

According to the UK based Guardian newspaper, 8/19/06, "An internal Lebanese army statement, circulated among forces in the past week, has called for troops to stand 'alongside your resistance and your people who astonished the world with its steadfastness and destroyed the prestige of the so-called invincible army after it was defeated'".

The report goes on to say that, "According to sources close to the army command, there has been a tacit agreement between Hizbullah and the army that those fighters who hail from the south will return to their villages and all arms will be put out of sight. Publicly displayed weapons will be seized but any further attempt to disarm the group has been ruled out for the time being."

Retired general Nizar Abdel-Kader, a former deputy chief of staff for army personnel who is in close communication with the army command, told the Guardian: "The army knows there is a gun in every household, they are not going to go out and look for them … What we are concerned about is the launchers. There is an agreement with Hizbullah that any weapons that are found will be handed over." A mutual respect and cooperation exists between the army and Hizbullah, according to Gen Kader. "They are two very separate entities but they cooperate on security issues," he said, adding that many of the army’s troops were from southern Lebanon.

One defence analyst who asked not to be named said that, in the south, the army often acted as a subordinate to Hizbullah’s military apparatus. "All intelligence gathered by the army is put at the disposal of Hizbullah but Hizbullah does not offer the same transparency to the army," he said. "In a sense, military intelligence in the south is operating on Hizbullah’s behalf."

Another retired general, Amin Hoteit, now a professor at the Lebanese University, said: "The army sees Hizbullah as a group that is defending the country and so assists them as best it can."

Speaking last year, the Lebanese army chief of staff, General Michel Suleiman, said: "Support for the resistance is one of the fundamental national principles in Lebanon and one of the foundations on which the military doctrine is based. Protection of the resistance is the army’s basic task."

The relationship had been strong for many years, Gen Kader said. "From 1996 onwards there has been a consensus in the army command that Hizbullah was a legitimate national defence force and that the government should extend its umbrella to protect the resistance." He said most army officials viewed the deployment primarily as a "counter-penetration force" working to prevent the infiltration of Israeli intelligence and military patrols.

Hizbullah’s top official in south Lebanon, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, told reporters in Tyre this week that the group welcomed the Lebanese army’s additional deployment in the south. "Just like in the past, Hizbullah had no visible military presence and there will not be any visible presence now," he said. "We are helping them with our experience by advising them on the best strategic areas to deploy and the best means of protecting this land from Israeli and US violations."

This reports spells out the truth concerning the intention of the Lebanese government. It is as clear as day, yet we can expect no condemnations from the United Nations and we will hear no concerns being voiced from the international community. It is clear the Hezbollah terrorism is alive and well and is being buttressed and actively supported by the Lebanese governrment.

It is imperative that we know that good and evil cannot co-exist in one place. The government of Lebanon, the UN and the world cannot make us believe that true and lasting peace will ensured between Israel and Hezbollah while no enforcment of a true disarmament is going to take place. The UN can no longer speak of the "spirit of peace in the region" while it clearly sides with those whose objective is to thwart any real vestige of peace and whose main objective is to destroy the State of Israel.

No international peacekeeping force can deter Hezbollah from its agenda and no force in the world can fight to protect the Jewish State. Today, it is Katyusha rockets that are aimed at our cities and towns. Tomorrow and in the future it will be more sophisticated weaponry, more longer range missiles with the capacity to destroy major population centers in Israel, with the result being mass genocide. With each passing moment, Hezbollah has a free ride to receive more weapons, to re-arm and re-group and to place themselves in a position to be even more dug in than before. More tunnels and passageways will be built and a more effective military strategy will be developed.

There will be no worldwide condemnations and denunciations of Syria and Iran’s role is funding Hezbollah terrorists. There will be no outcry of indignation when other Arab countries join the bandwagon and begin to lend support to Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a well organized and highly skilled band of militias who have been thoroughly trained for warfare and they are being funded to the tune of billions. Very soon they will be capable of launching a global campaign of terror, the likes of which we have never seen before.

The State of Israel, the people of Israel stand alone. If the Jewish State will not protect itself from its enemies, we can not expect that the UN orn the world will do so. We must develop the strength and resolve to destroy our enemies and we must demand that the government of Israel protect its citizens. Our very lives and the lives of future generations are at stake. Our only salvation must be our reliance on the Almighty G-d of Israel. Our only true defense will come through our collective acknowledgement of the Creator of the Universe, as our salvation and our strength.

It is incumbent on us to remember the words of King David, those words that we say from the beginning of the month of Elul until after the holiday of Succot. These words can be found in Psalm 27 which says, "Hashem is my light, and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Hashem is my life’s strength, whom shall I dread? When evildoers approach me to devour my flesh, my tormentors and my foes against me — it is they who will stumble and fall."

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