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Lebanon: The Perfect Little War

Aug 17, 2006

With the present truce in place between Israel and Hezbollah, everyone is claiming victory. Is it not a perfect war when everyone can claim victory? If we had a few more wars like that, it would not be long before we would have world peace!

Perhaps this recent conflict cannot technically be called a war, because a war is an armed conflict between two nations. Hezbollah is not a nation, but an organization within Lebanon. Nonetheless, it has been called "a state within a state," sort of like the Federal Reserve System in America.

Hezbollah was created as a backlash against the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in 1982, and it was empowered by the people the longer they stayed. By the time the Israelis pulled back a few years ago, Hezbollah was the most popular and powerful organization in Lebanon. It was the expression of the Lebanese people's resentment and anger at the Israeli occupation.

At the same time, the Lebanese government itself was greatly weakened by the Israeli occupation. It could do nothing without Israeli permission. Since power is all relative, this made Hezbollah the real power base in Lebanon, thanks to the Israeli occupation.

The present situation, then, cannot be understood apart from understanding the bigger picture, for only then can we understand its roots and causes. Back in 1982 Lebanon provided the headquarters for Yassir Arafat and his PLO. That situation, of course, was rooted in the dispute over whose land this was and goes back to the early 1900's.

The Palestinians had owned the land for centuries, but the Zionists wanted it and claimed it on a religious, biblical basis. That claim assumed that the Jews are Israel, which, as I have shown many times in past web logs, is simply not true. The promises to Israel in the Bible are to the so-called "lost tribes of Israel," not to Judah ("Jews"). Furthermore, the Jews today could not claim the land biblically without repenting of their "hostility" to Jesus Christ (Lev. 26:40-42, NASB). Thus, they got around this provision by coming in as Edom, rather than as Judah. I have also told that history in past web logs.

The bottom line is that the Jews, as Edom, did have a right to come back to the land of Palestine, in order to rectify the wrong that Jacob did to him in the book of Genesis. But what they do not know is that God will hold them accountable as if they were "chosen," to be a blessing to all families of the earth. When they have proven themselves sufficiently to be unworthy of Sonship, then they will be disinherited according to the law and prophecy.

The Zionists took the land of Palestine by violence, terrorism, and manipulation. Menachem Begin's own biography, The Revolt: Story of the Irgun, tells the whole story of how he was the primary "terrorist" of the 1940's, and that without his terrorism, the State of Israel would never have been founded in 1948. This lesson was not lost on a young man named Yassir Arafat, who then founded the PLO in the early 1960's, based upon the same successful principles that motivated Menachem Begin.

Paul says in 2 Tim. 2:5 that when a man is running a race, even if he wins, he is not crowned unless he has competed lawfully (according to the rules). Terrorism is a tactic that works--that is why it is used. But it is against the rules of conduct for anyone striving to be "chosen" as an overcomer. Menachem Begin will not be a ruler in the Kingdom of God, regardless of how much he is deified by Christian leaders. He is not "chosen," regardless of his genealogy. For the full account of how the Israeli state came into being, see my book, The Struggle for the Birthright.

Getting back to 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon began to plan an invasion of Lebanon long before the pretext for war arrived. This is recorded in the biography of Yitzhak Rabin, Soldier of Peace, by Dan Kurzman. He writes on page 381,

"Rabin was dismayed to hear Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon talk of war. Israel's security lay in peace, not war. But the two Likud leaders were adamant as they briefed Laborites Rabin, Perez, and Bar-Lev in May 1982 on their plan to invade southern Lebanon and destroy the PLO forces entrenched there. The next terrorist act against Israel would trigger the plan. . .

"It seemed clear that Begin and Sharon were simply waiting for a pretext to launch the attack. Yet Rabin, as well as the general staff, was convinced that Yasir Arafat did not wish to provoke Israel into massive retaliation and would probably avoid violence."

Kurzman goes on to relate how, on June 3, 1982, Israel's ambassador to Britain was shot and critically wounded by a Palestinian terrorist. Kurzman says on page 384,

"Actually, the assailant belonged to a radical Palestinian group that had threatened to kill Yasir Arafat for agreeing to a cease-fire with Israel. But to Sharon, he had the pretext he needed to launch Operation Peace for Galilee--and Begin agreed, though apparently in the belief that the Israelis would not advance farther than twenty-five miles into Lebanon. . .

"On June 6, 1982, six Israeli divisions smashed into Lebanon. In a few days, Begin's trust in Sharon, it seems, proved to be misplaced. For Sharon, eagerly supported by Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, pushed his troops to the outskirts of Beirut on the heels of fleeing PLO forces. Dodging artillery shells, these forces scrambled into the city to join a panicky civilian population bloodied with casualties."

On page 385 and 386, Kurzman writes,

"Not surprisingly, then, Rabin was sympathetic to a brigade commander who came to him and said that he had been ordered to take his men into Beirut but that he couldn't obey in good conscience. 'Hundreds of Israelis and thousands of civilians will die,' the commander said.

"Still the consummate soldier, Rabin advised the man, 'You can't refuse a command--not without resigning from the service.'

"The officer then went to Begin and resigned.

"With good reason, it seemed. As Abba Eban would describe the barbarity of this war after six weeks of battle: 'The shattered bodies in the Beirut hospitals, the buildings fallen on scores of mangled corpses, the piled-up garbage breeding rats, the children with amputated limbs, above all the Israeli soldiers on their endless stretchers and funeral biers. These six weeks have been a dark age in the moral history of the Jewish people'."

This sounds a lot like the recent war. The only serious difference is that Prime Minister Olmert wanted to keep Israeli casualties to a minimum, so he made more use of bombs, rather than soldiers. Bombs destroy and kill indiscriminately, but they could not win a war against an organization that is popularly entrenched among the civilians.

Thus, the result of the war was that both sides won! Hezbollah was not destroyed by all the bombs, but the Israelis succeeded in "weakening" Hezbollah for a season. Of course, Lebanon itself is now a wreck, having been bombed back to the Stone Age. It has no more infrastructure, no communications, no roads or bridges, no power, no oil tanks, no trash collection, but there will soon be plenty of rats. The real casualty is the government of Lebanon itself, because it is stuck with the bill.

Once again, power is all relative. Hezbollah can easily re-arm and rebuild. The Lebanese government, however, will be held responsible to rebuild all that has been destroyed. They will be blamed when it does not happen. And Hezbollah will be seen as the heroes for helping to rebuild where the government fails. Hezbollah will become relatively stronger as the result of this conflict. And this will set the stage for the next conflict.

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Category: Commentary
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones