Uri Avnery is a journalist, peace activist, former member of the Knesset, and leader of Gush Shalom
Can Hizbullah be pushed out of the border area?
The question is based on a misunderstanding of the essence of Hizbullah.
Not by accident is the organization call Hizb-Allah ("Party of Allah") and not Jeish-Allah ("Army of Allah"). It is a political organization, with deep roots in the Shiite population of South Lebanon. For all practical purposes, it represents this community. The Shiites are 40% of the Lebanese population, and together with the other Muslims they form the majority.
Hizbullah can be "moved" only if the whole Shiite population is moved - an ethnic cleansing that (I hope) no one is thinking about. After the war the population will return to their towns and villages, and Hizbullah will continue to flourish...
Olmert has said that we will not negotiate with Syria. Is that practical?
So he said. He has said a lot of things, and his tongue is still wagging.
Syria is a central player in this field. No real settlement in Lebanon will succeed without the participation - direct or indirect- of Syria.
True, Hizbullah was created by us. When the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in 1982, the Shiites received the soldiers with rice and sweets. They hoped that we would evict the PLO forces, who were in control of the area. But when they realized that our army was there to stay, they started a guerilla war that lasted for 18 years. In this war, Hizbullah was born and grew, until it became the strongest organization in all Lebanon...
Olmert has promised that after the war the situation in the region will be different from what it was before. Is there a chance of this?
Absolutely. But the new situation will be very much worse for us.
One of Hassan Nasrallah's aims is to unite Shiites and Sunnis in a common fight against Israel.
One has to realize that for centuries Sunnis and Shiites were mortal enemies. Many orthodox Sunnis consider the Shiites heretics. By coming to the aid of the Palestinians, who are Sunnis, Nasrallah hopes, among other aims, to forge a new alliance.
In the Middle East, a new axis may be coming into being, one that includes Hizbullah, the Palestinians, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Syria is a Sunni country. Iraq is now controlled by the Shiites, who wholeheartedly support Hizbullah. But the Iraqi Sunnis, who are waging a tough guerilla war against the Americans, also support Hizbullah.
Qana falls victim of another savage war crime by the Israeli War Machine.
10 years after the first Qana massacre, and as part of their ethnic cleansing practices in the South, Israel hit a shelter in the Southern Village of Qana before dawn.
55+ dead, 21+ children.
Must be those precision Smart bombs that Condy Rice rushed to Israel.