Israel: Success Is Guaranteed


July 20, 2008: Hizbollah is trying to turn its popularity, for the recent corpse and prisoner swap with Israel, into a firm control over the Lebanese government. But all politics is local, and most Lebanese hate and resent Hizbollah, not just because it's an attempt by the Shia Arab minority to take over the country by force, but because Hizbollah is seen as the puppet of Iran, a nation run by a religious dictatorship. Religion is a touchy subject in Lebanon, the Arab nation with the largest Christian minority (about a third of the population.) Half a century ago, Christians were a majority (just barely), but in a centuries old trend, Arab Christians keep leaving the Middle East. Islam is hostile to other religions, and tolerant to corruption and despotism. Arab Christians see better opportunities, personally and economically, in the West.

Most Lebanese do not want to go through another civil war. The last one went on for fifteen years, ended with a brokered (by Saudi Arabia) peace in 1990, and left Hizbollah and most Shia Arabs as a autonomous state-within-a-state. Hizbollah was subsidized by Iran, and resented by most Lebanese. Hizbollah is not afraid to take chances, and feels that it is on a Mission From God and has nothing to fear. Success is guaranteed. Most other Lebanese are more pragmatic about this, and fear that another war between Hizbollah and Israel will bring even more damage to Lebanon. The more thoughtful Lebanese know that, while the Israelis can be beaten every once and a while, the victories are small, and the Israelis are quick to change their tactics and come back again much stronger. Hizbollah can ignore history, but the smart money won't.

Israel continues going after Palestinian terrorist groups in the West Bank. This includes nearly all Hamas operatives (some of whom are more concerned with defeating Fatah, which runs the West Bank). Israel deliberately left out anything about the West Bank, when they negotiated the Gaza ceasefire with Hamas. That's because the security fence between Gaza and Israel has kept Palestinian terrorists out of Israel. That's mainly because southern Israel is thinly populated, mostly desert and heavily patrolled. Even if a terrorist got through the fence (which is covered by multiple types of sensors), he would not get far into Israel. But the West Bank is more heavily populated and right next to large Israeli urban areas. A security fence here helps, but what really works is an informant network inside the West Bank, and police and troops who can quickly take advantage of information to arrest or kill new terrorist cells. This has reduced successful terror attacks inside Israel over 90 percent. The Israelis want to keep it that way.

July 19, 2008: The largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, near the city of Sidon, has become the scene of escalating violence. A new Palestinian terror group, Jund Al Sham, is trying to intimidate the camp administration into providing more support for radical activities. These negotiations turned to gunfire, when shooting broke out during a negotiation session. There were two dead and several woundd. There are believed to be about fifty armed Jund Al Sham followers in the camp (actually a town of 45,000, with a fence around it.) Meanwhile, on the Syrian border with Israel, two Syrian drug smugglers were caught. One was killed, the other wounded, when they resisted. Two Israeli associates of the smugglers were also arrested.

July 18, 2008: Police arrested six Israeli Arabs who had plotted, unsuccessfully, to kill the U.S. president during a recent visit. The six were also trying to organize an al Qaeda cell. Earlier this month, two other Israeli Arabs (Bedouins) were also arrested for trying to establish an al Qaeda presence in Israel. Traitorous Israeli Arabs are a growing problem, although most of those who back terrorism, are all talk and no action. Israeli intelligence agencies monitor most pro-terrorist websites, and keep an eye on thousands of pro-terrorist Israeli Arabs.

July 16, 2008: Former British prime minister Blair cancelled a trip to Gaza, because of convincing evidence of a Palestinian terrorist faction planning an assassination attempt. Hamas insisted Blair would be safe, but British security officials were not convinced. Blair now serves as a British diplomat assigned to an effort to work out a long term peace deal with Hamas.

After months of negotiations, Israel carried out a swap with Hizbollah. Most of what was swapped were the bones of the dead, and most of the bones were Arab. But Israel also released live prisoners, including, for the first time, one with "blood on his hands" (a terrorist who killed a four year old child, and two adults, in 1979). In return, Hizbollah returned the remains of the two soldiers it grabbed in a cross border raid in 2006, which caused the war that year. Hizbollah always hinted that the soldiers were alive, and did not reveal they were dead until the swap took place.

July 12, 2008: In Jerusalem, a Palestinian terrorist shot and wounded two policemen at night, then escaped through a cemetery. About a third of Jerusalem's 750,000 residents are Palestinians. This is the sixth such attack this year. Further south, in Gaza, Palestinian terrorists broke the June 19th ceasefire again by firing another rocket into southern Israel. Hamas admits that it cannot control all the terrorist factions in Gaza.

July 11, 2008: In Gaza, for the first time since the June 19th ceasefire with Israel went into effect, Hamas arrested seven Palestinians for breaking the ceasefire by firing rockets and mortar shells. Hamas does not want to antagonize the smaller terrorist groups in Gaza, so it will handle a crackdown carefully. This has happened before, when Palestinians went through the motions of trying to control Palestinian terrorists. The jail will be comfortable, and the prisoners will eventually just walk out. Meanwhile, a more serious, and fatal, battle goes on between Hamas and Gaza followers in both Gaza and the West Bank. This is a war of ambushes and assassinations.




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