OPED - DEAL WITH HIZB'ALLAH! ARE SOME ISRAELIS HALLUCINATING?

BY WALID PHARES
What do they mean a "deal with Hizb'Allah"? Hizb'Allah has just published several communiqués declaring that they will never guarantee Israel's security after its withdrawal from southern Lebanon. Hizb'Allah's commentators have just declared last night that the closer they'll be to the "Zionist entity", the faster they'll merge their struggle with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

"We will hit Lebanon's infrastructure," say Jerusalem strategists. But this infrastructure was hit many times since 1982. Arab money rebuilt it. Besides, the Hariri regime lives off "reconstruction". The more you destroy the more they make money. The more you bomb, the more hatred you create among the poor people, creating more and more suicide bombers.

Israel's finest analysts of the various research centres aren't getting it yet: Lebanon's challenge cannot be solved from the air. Lebanon is a landmass that will remain to the north of Israel for the next tectonic age.

It's who lives in Lebanon and how do they feel about Israel. It's not the stone, the warehouses, the electrical plants. What can Israel do more than in 1982? Perhaps "smarter bombs"!

Can't they see the political ambience changing in the world? How would a Minister Cook react to the "infrastructure bombing"? How would a Chirac and a White House President, react? At the seventh day of future Israeli retaliation, there will be a UN resolution - another one - and a Kofi Annan to mediate between southern Lebanon and northern Israel. How about deploying the UN troops on both sides of the border this time? Or maybe a "security zone" inside the Galilee?

Some of Israel's optimist generals are talking about going back if Hizb'Allah reactivates its Katyusha ballad. Going back where? To a Muslim-dominated Marjeyun, a Shi'ite-controlled Jezzine? And from there on doing what? A "security zone II"? With whom? With the Christians of Ain Ebel, Qolaia and Rmeich, who fought twenty years with their "allies" the Israelis? You'll have to bring them back from Beirut and Damascus jails, from Montreal and Sydney, or back from their graves.

A deal with Hizb'Allah? Hopefully some of our Israeli friends will wake up from their delirium tremens, before hallucination destroys the Judeo-Christian culture of the Middle East.

PROFESSOR WALID PHARES IS CHAIRMAN OF THE WORLD LEBANON ORGANISATION
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