Israel And The Arab Fifth Column [Archives:2006/967/Opinion]

July 27 2006

By: Abdullah Al Rahim
I guess the title for this article would have been enough without adding anything more. Indeed, the comments of the Arab fifth column about who is responsible speaks volumes about who is really responsible!

I am not interested in going through the boring details of why Israel, America and the Arab fifth column have decided to wage this war now. That's all clear. I am more interested in the future.

Israel, America and their supporters are living under the illusion that this war, if Hezbollah and Hamas are defeated, will be the last war Arabs will ever wage. Because thereafter, the Arab fifth column will be totally free to surrender the rest of the Arab world to America and Israel.

We have no illusions about the strength of Israel's war machinery and we have, yet again, seen the brutality with which Israel is willing to strike civilian populations. This was confirmed by Hassan Nasrullah, Hezbollah's leader himself, who, contrary to the usual Arab style, admitted that the militarily balance of power is in favour of Israel, and that he expects the war to be painful and devastating, despite Hezbollah military strikes deep in Israel. However, he also spoke the truth when he said, ” But we have our resolve, our faith in God and justice, and that too is an imbalance, but in our favour”. How true, yet how sad. All those hundreds of billions spent on military hardware by Arab leaders, hardware that is rusting away or waiting to be used against their masses, all those military bases and airports which are made available only to American forces, yet resistance movements like Hezbollah and Hamas must depend only on their limited hardware and the unlimited reserve of their faith and their resolve.

Indeed, this is a military war against Israel and America, but it is also a struggle against the forces that have kept the Arabs unable to rise up to their potential, forces that continue to squander not only Arab wealth but Arab resolve too. As we fight our external enemies, we must not forget the dangers paused by the fifth column within our midst.

And yes, we have the right to join hands with our Iranian brothers. No one should make us believe that an alliance with Iran is devilish. Arab Iranian alliance is the most natural and legitimate thing in the world. This is our common cause. Iran is under threat and the Arabs are under threat and our enemies are the same. Look at who is attacking the Arabs and who is occupying Arab lands and who is targeting Iran and threatening Iran. It is the very same people. Yet if you are to believe the Arab fifth column then you must believe that America is our friend even as its forces occupy two Muslim countries, even as America supports Israel's war machine which is killing Arabs, even as America vetoes all Security Council resolution that criticize Israel ! While Iran, our neighbour, with the same religion and exposed to the same threats that we are exposed to from the same people, is our enemy. If you are to believe Israel, America and the Arab fifth column, then the capture of three Israeli [armed and trained to kill] soldier's by Hezbollah and Hamas is a crime but the kidnapping of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, inside Lebanese and Palestinian territories, by Israel, is an issue that we can chat about over a cup of coffee! Some of these Palestinians and Lebanese have been held captive by Israel for more than 20 years. And since when did the capture of an armed soldier in a war zone become 'kidnap'? I guess the spin doctors of Israel and America have introduced a new word in our military vocabulary, which unfortunately is being copied by some of our 'accomplished' journalists.

If you are to believe Israel, America and the Arab fifth column, all military occupation of our lands are legitimate and all Arab and Muslim acts of resistance are acts of terrorism. You must also believe that American and British forces occupying Iraq are not foreign but those fighting them are foreigners. Possession of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, are legitimate only to Israel and its western supporters and Muslim countries must stand down on nuclear weapons' possession and allow ourselves to be blackmailed by the nuclear powers.

If we are still prepared to accept this nonsense then we deserve not only our fifth column, but the next attack that is sure to come.

Israel must be reminded that its survival and peaceful co-existence with us cannot be guaranteed by the logic of power but by the power of logic. Every missile Israel launches upon Arab towns and villages, every civilian it kills and others it kidnaps and throws in its prisons, every Arab house Israel demolishes and every olive farm it destroys makes Israel's future existence not less but more questionable.

In 1967 Israel's victory over the Arabs was swift and decisive. In 1973 things were different. In 1982 it swiftly occupied Lebanon. In 2000 Hezbollah defeated Israel and forced it out of Lebanon. In this war Hezbollah, which is only a resistance movement, managed to strike deep into Israel. Although Israel still has overall military advantage, every war it has fought with Arabs was more difficult than the previous.

Even if it wins this round of war with the Arabs, Israel must ask itself, does it really believe it can only depend on its temporary military might to continue existing among 300 million Arabs it makes hostile and whose hatred it provokes everyday? For how long does Israel think it will continue to have a monopoly of military and technological superiority over the Arabs? For how long will Israel rely on the weakness of Arab leadership? Does Israel believe the current incompetent leadership in the Arab world to be eternal? Doesn't Israel see for itself the change taking place in the Arab world?

Israel's future depends more on its ability to be a good regional citizen rather than on its behaviour as the neigbourhood thug.

Meanwhile, for both, the Arab fifth column and Israel, this war might prove to be more decisive than they bargained for.

Abdullah Al Rahim is a Yemeni political writer.