August 13, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1246

Hamas Columnist: Hizbullah's Victory in Lebanon Opens the Door for a Third Intifada

August 13, 2006
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 1246

In an article published on August 7, 2006, in the Hamas semiweekly Al-Risala titled "Victory in Lebanon - towards a Third Intifada," columnist Ibrahim Abu Heija' encourages Hamas to use what he sees as Hizbullah's victory as a springboard for a third Palestinian intifada. In the same issue, a cartoon (shown below) was published depicting Hassan Nasrallah as a general with dead Israeli soldiers hanging as tassels on his epaulettes.

The following are excerpts from the article: [1]

"The Greatest Beneficiary [of the Victory in Lebanon] Will Ultimately Be the Palestinian Resistance"

"What has become evident from the ongoing battles in the proud and resistant south of Lebanon is the confirmation of Israel's failure in achieving its goals and the confirmation of the decline in its deterrence capability in comparison with what it was before it got embroiled in the Lebanese quagmire - despite the bloody slaughters that Israel committed against unarmed civilians...

"What is noteworthy here is not only the collapse of the Israeli defense doctrine in the face of a well-organized community possessed of faith and will, such as Hizbullah, but what is more important in the Israeli loss is to examine the consequences of the victory and its implications on additional levels.

"Hizbullah, which achieved the victory, will be the least of those who benefit from this victory, due to certain considerations relevant to the Lebanese arena, which is based on sectarian division. This does not mean that it will not gain greater strength and legitimacy than it had before, particularly since the Israeli aggression, as is evident, proceeds without direction and without any reckoning of consequences, and therefore gets itself entangled in guerilla warfare, in which Hizbullah is unsurpassed in its skill, and has a Syrian and Iranian backing that denies it nothing in terms of arms, money, support, and protection.

"It detracts nothing from Hizbullah's standing, nor from its right to enjoy the honor of victory, that it is a shield protecting Syria and Lebanon from breaking apart, and is a shield for Iran against an attack on its nuclear reactor.

"However, the greatest beneficiary will ultimately be the Palestinian resistance, because all of the Arab, regional, and international equations, whether they are at variance or in agreement, revolve around the Palestinian cause, either in order to liquidate it or to defend it."

"This is an Important Moment That the Palestinian Resistance Must Seize"

"This is an important moment that the Palestinian resistance must seize. It benefited from [a similar moment] at the beginning of the Al-Aqsa [Intifada], when the West Bank and Gaza spoke the Lebanese language, after they had long been immersed in American and Israeli illusions. And following [the Al-Aqsa Intifada], the incomplete [Israeli] withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was carried out.

"And now, after the cease-fire [hudna] has been tried and the experience of changing the [Palestinian] Authority reached its peak, the door will be opened for a third Palestinian intifada that will transform the resistance from the stage of reaction [to Israeli] actions to [resistance] that is carried out at our initiative."

"The Arab Regimes... Showed Solidarity With Israel... and Placed their Bets on an Old Horse and a Losing Card"

"The intifada will be honed on four sides: [1] The victory in southern Lebanon [underlines] the necessity of elites and Islamic and [pan-Arab] nationalist movements enhancing their service to the masses. This is especially true after the Arab regimes have lost the thin patriotic coating under which they hid and openly showed solidarity with Israel and manifested their dissatisfaction with the resistance [i.e. Hizbullah], and it did not occur to them that they had placed their bets on an old horse and a losing card.

"This will fling the door wide open for the strong elites and movements to [make] radical changes in the structures of Arab [society], and the Palestinian resistance will benefit from this, anyway you look at it.

"On the [second] side, the spectacle of failure in Lebanon will increase the bungling of the American administration in Iraq, and will expose its selective method of reform. This will affect America's Mediterranean plans, and will lead it either to recoil and flee, or else will lead it to measures and solutions which aim to patch together the Palestinian issue through fragile regional and international coalitions. Neither course will save the United State's standing and will not turn back the clock.

"The Victory in Lebanon Will Weaken Those Palestinian Voices that [Call] for Making Concessions... and Cease-Fires"

"The [third] side is this: the victory in Lebanon will weaken those Palestinian voices that are heard from time to time, sometimes calling for making concessions, at other times calling for fortuitous cease-fires. Hamas will be given a significant margin to gain legitimacy for carrying out [armed] resistance on various fronts where [at present] the Palestinian Authority objects and the resistance desists.

"The Israeli Defeat in Lebanon Will Force Israel to Move towards Partial Withdrawals from the Shab'a Farms, the West Bank, and Perhaps the Golan Heights..."

"The [fourth] side: the Israeli defeat in Lebanon will force Israel to move towards partial withdrawals from the Shab'a Farms, the West Bank, and perhaps the Golan Heights, in order to diminish the effects of its defeat, but this will in no way deceive the Palestinians, the Syrians, or the Lebanese; rather, it will push them all to make yet another move towards achieving their rights.

"In general, it is important for the Palestinian resistance to exploit the effects of the victory in Lebanon for its own interests in order to achieve its rights and move forwards towards its objectives, and to encourage the whole public to unite behind its program.

"The growing aggression in the Gaza Strip against children and women will be the most important incentive for accomplishing the equation of the new resistance and taking it beyond the implications of the prisoners' document and the consideration of being in power to activating all the components of deterrence and counter-deterrence - namely, taking it from considerations of defense and reticence to the elements of attack and advance. That is, towards a third intifada.

[1] Al-Risala (Gaza), August 7, 2006.

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