11 thoughts on “Hezbollah’s Coup ‘On the Ground’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. There is no democratic Lebanon, and that is why I think it is important not to look at this situation in terms of states/governments and their “rights.” Every party, including what is called the government, is partisan in Lebanon. The “government” here represents most Sunnis and Christians, while the “opposition” represents overwhelmingly the Shia communities as well as some Christian ones. While the situation is serious, especially for those who are immobilized and are hiding in their homes in order not to become casualties in the cross-fire, I’m not sure that the loss of anything can really be lamented. Given that each “sect” is “reserved” spots in the parliament and government regardless of the actual numbers of people said to belong to their “sect,” the system is highly undemocratic and inherently tints any legitimacy that the government tries to claim with a sectarian color. Basically, I just want to point out in my comment that the analysis of “state authority” is just not going to cut it in this situation (not that you invoked it–but a lot of other people are).

  2. “if Ariel Sharon or Ehud Olmert had responded positively to Alon Liel’s negotiating track with Syria over the past year or so”

    Editing alert – you didn’t really mean Ariel Sharon should have responded in the last year to the peace track, did you? Because Sharon has been in a coma for years. You must have meant some other Israeli leader, or you were talking about a peace overture several years in the past?

  3. Liel’s initiative began when Sharon was PM (I think around 2006 or so if I’m not mistaken). Sharon essentially allowed Liel to do it w/o commiting to how he would respond once the initiative was completed. Sharon passed on politically & Olmert was PM when Liel’s initiative was publicly announced. It was Olmert who dissed the results & recently has tentatively embraced them.

    I only hope that had he lived Sharon would’ve been wise enough to embrace them more forthrightly & energetically than Olmert did. But we’ll never know.

  4. Richard – are you saying that Israel is responsible for the Hizbollah decision to launch the first stages of a coup against the elected government?

  5. @Alex Stein: Not at all. I’m saying that if Sharon (or Olmert) had pursued Liel’s initiative & begun intensive negotiations with Syria that led to an easing of hostility if not an outright peace agreement, then Syria might’ve backed off its support for Hezbollah, which in turn might’ve been less emboldened to take such bellicose political positions in Lebanese politics. Hezbollah takes such maximalist positions because it knows it has its “back” covered by its sponors. W/o those sponsors it would behave differently.

  6. While I understand the point about the Americans, I think much of the analysis of the Syrian/Israeli track is built on the assumption that Assad just wants the Golan for piece. I think it’s unclear that Syria is willing to give up on its Iranian patronage (and all that goes with it), even if it could get the Golan in return. We shall see…

  7. @Alex Stein: I’ve been following this pretty intensively ever since Liel’s initiative was announced & reading everything I can find fr. both Syrians & Israelis. My sense is that Syria would far prefer to be at peace w. Israel and at least a nominal ally of the U.S., EU and the west than its current crop of allies including Iran & N. Korea.

    And the only way to test Syria’s sincerity is to actually sit down & negotiate, which so far Israel has been unwilling to do. I hope to God if Livni becomes the next PM she moves quickly on the Syrian & Palestinian fronts–that is, if she can build a stable coalition.

  8. @Einstein: You’re being banned from commenting for violating 4 provisions of my comment rules. First you’re commenting WAY OFF TOPIC. Second, I’ve asked you 3 times NOT to publish more than 2 comments on any given day. You publish so many comments here that responding to yr distortions & lies interferes with my own blog posting. Today, you’ve published six 7 comments. Third, you’ve linked to three hard-right sites just today in yr comments. I don’t promote right-wing sites & don’t allow commenters to do so either. Fourth, you insist on using a small “p” when writing the word “Palestinians” which is a ploy of the miltant anti-Palestinian right. Since you appear to deny the existence of a Palestinian people, that’s reason #4. You will be banned from commenting until you can undertake to promise you will honor all my comment rules.

    And btw, we’ve discovered that you are Chuck Diesel who posts at Pro Semite Undercover. You were also banned at my discussion forum for being a demagogue-brawler. I don’t mind people commenting here who oppose my views. But if they can’t obey the rules they don’t get to play.

    It may tickle some of my readers to know that Einstein/Chuck Diesel wrote at PSU about his delightful frolic at this site:

    ‘When I post at Silverstein’s blog, he constantly accuses me of having right-wing ideology, even though my views on I/P are 100% the views of…Dershowitz.’

    Gee, how could I have mistakenly thought Einstein was right-wing when he endorses the I-P views of that flaming progressive, Alan Dershowitz?

  9. Why dont we recognize the Syrian conquest of Lebanon, and Israel keeps the Golan? Lebanon has never functioned like a real country, and Lebanon offers larger territory and seacoast that the Golan doesnt have

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