Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some Initial Implications of the Hezbollah Attack on Israel

Hezbollah's attack on Israel is being treated not as some cross-border spat, but rather as a regional battle. There are a few initial regional angles that are appearing via Naharnet, not known for being either pro-Israel or anti-Hezbollah:

Iran celebrating the attack

Lebanese anger over Hezbollah endangering Lebanon on behalf of Iran

Hezbollah trying to use the attack to claim regional leadership among Palestinians

Overall regional implications

Note that Lebanon has claimed Hezbollah's attack did not violate international law because the attack targeted the Shebba Farms/Har Dov area, which they claim is actually Lebanese territory. In fact, Israel captured the area from Syria in 1967, but Damascus symbolically 'ceded' it to Lebanon during the 2000's after Israel withdrew from Lebanon. This allowed Hezbollah to pretend Israel was occupying Lebanese territory.

The US has mocked the idea. In 2006, during an outreach call to the Arab-American community, Alberto Fernandez -- then the Director of Public Diplomacy at State's NEA Bureau --- mocked the claim that Shebaa Farms belongs to Lebanon:
"Oh come on, the 'Lebanese Resistance', if I may use that term sarcastically, didn't know the Shebaa Farms was occupied until the Syrians told them so. That is just ridiculous"

Hat tip: The Israel Project

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