Als Hamas de strijd militair dreigt te verliezen of als Hamas wordt gedwongen het – eenzijdig Israel bevorderende – Egyptisch-Franse voorstel voor een staakt-het-vuren te accepteren, zal Hezbollah Israel aanvallen. Dat is de evaluatie in dit artikel.
Indien de Israelische strategische planners eenzelfde visie hebben en (toch) hun oorlog gericht op het militair uitschakelen van Hamas voortzetten, dan moet men concluderen dat Israel bewust een oorlog met Hezbollah wil uitlokken – en waarschijnlijk ook een oorlog met Iran.
Hiermee zou Israel president Obama voor het blok zetten, hetgeen Israel goed zou uitkomen.
While Israel fervently attempts to terrorize the Palestinians into submission in Gaza, many observers have started to wonder why Hizballah has refrained from stepping in militarily to assist its brothers-in-arms, Hamas. Such musings fail to take account of the constraints on Hizballah’s room for action, as well as the circumstances under which Hizballah would ignore such constraints. The question that should be posed is not so much if Hizballah will act, but when…
The preconditions for Hizballah’s active engagement in the conflict are two. First, if Hamas is left bleeding to death on the battlefield, either due to the decapitation of its leadership ranks or if its military infrastructure suffers a significant blow, drastically impairing its military performance and leading to its eventual collapse, Hizballah would likely step in. Second, if the organization is forced to accept a conditional ceasefire along the lines of the current French-Egyptian proposal that meets all of Israel’s key demands while weakening Hamas militarily and politically, Hizballah would feel compelled to come to its rescue. For Hizballah, the need to act under such circumstances would override all the attendant costs that come with such action — a calculation which takes as its basis Hizballah’s moral responsibility towards the Palestinians and the shared strategic fate between the two resistance movements. As expressed by Hizballah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on 16 July 2008: "[the resistance] is one project and the resistance movement is one movement and has one course, one destiny, one goal, despite its different parties, factions, beliefs, sects and intellectual and political trends … Resistance movements in this region, especially in Lebanon and Palestine, complement one another and are contiguous groups …" The reason then for Hizballah’s constructive ambiguity, whereby it neither confirms nor denies its intent to join the conflict, is clear: although its resistance has so far remained on the sidelines of the conflict, it is highly improbable that it would continue to do so if Hamas were on the verge of collapse. Based on the centrality of the Palestinian cause to Hizballah and its strategic role in confronting the US-Israeli project, it cannot allow Hamas to be crushed militarily on the battlefield or politically, by means of a humiliating ceasefire arrangement that would weaken the movement. It is in this context that we should read Hizballah’s recent pledges to "never abandon" the Palestinian cause. In another indication of the resistance movement’s readiness to militarily support Hamas, Nasrallah made an underreported request to his followers in one of his addresses on 29 December marking the Muslim holy day of Ashura: "I hope that you who gather in this place … will always be ready to respond to any call, position and decision." While this can be construed to mean that Hizballah’s followers were merely being asked to support its right to defend itself in case of an Israeli attack on Lebanon, it could be argued that Hizballah hardly needs to ask the party faithful who have more than proven their loyalty to the resistance movement to support its right to self-defense. Besides, Hizballah does not formulate positions or decisions on self-defense, which is considered not merely a non-negotiable right but a duty that is incumbent upon it….
Regardless of Hizballah’s readiness for war, and its potential to destroy Israel’s military deterrence, what is certain is that for the movement and many of its supporters and allies, destroying the Zionist regime in Israel is no longer confined to the ideological realm but has entered the realm of strategic interests as well. Regional security requires that the perpetual threat that Israel poses to its neighbors be neutralized once and for all. While such logic may seem like a throw back to the 1950s and 1960s, the new thinking shares more in common with the American notion of "regime change" and one-state solution proposals rather than with "throwing the Jews into the sea." If the war against Gaza has achieved anything, it is that it has succeeded in drumming this logic in the Arab and Muslim political consciousness.
(Amal Saad-Ghorayeb is a Lebanese political scientist, scholar and analyst who teaches at Lebanese American University, and author of book Hizbullah: Politics and Religion. She is currently working on a book on Iran’s regional alliances with Hizballah, Hamas and Syria for IB Taurus which is due to be published in 2010.) Will Hizballah intervene in the Gaza conflict? (Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, The Electronic Intifada)
In hoeverre houdt Israel rekening met een uitbreiding van de strijd met Hamas tot een oorlog met Hezbollah en mogelijk ook Iran – of wil zij die zelfs uitlokken? Dat is een vitale vraag die moet worden gesteld door eenieder die zich afvraagt wat voor een soort ‘overwinning’ Israel eigenlijk nastreeft in Gaza – en wat de consequenties kunnen zijn van verdere escalatie van dit conflict.