26 thoughts on “Nasrallah Acknowledges for First Time Israel May Have Attacked Beirut – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. You keep using the vague term “bombed”. Can you find out more details?
    on a bomb planted on the ground? Was it ground to ground missile? Or was the attack done by IAF planes?
    any details on the “how” would be nice.

  2. The Canceling Out Vision of a New Lebanon


    … the price of western-led ‘IMF-reforms’ – austerity, higher taxes, the end to subsidies, and the expulsion of Hizbullah from all positions of responsibility – will amount to a cost impossible for any government to bear –

    A policy which resulted in unrelentless suffering for its citizens … a push towards chaos and a mission. Latest UNSC vote illustrated the position of isolation of the US. Only other ‘yes’ vote came from the Dominican Republic. A sound diplomatic support abd win for Iran and the JCPOA Treaty, or shreds left of it.

    1. @ Jeal: My source tells me either what he knows or what he wants to tell me of what he knows. If he doesn’t offer information I want, I ask and he either amplifies or doesn’t. In this case, he didn’t. But the preponderance of evidence points to an explosive device.

  3. “If” is all around here. This is calculated late response by Nasrallah for reasons not clear or maybe all too clear. Surely Israel or someone in Israel must respond enough to clear itself or leave it simply denied.The drum will keep beating as surely as Hezbollah/ Nasrallah will deflect from certain facts.This might amount to accusations only, therefore no action to retaliate is required.
    The horrific tragedy asks for blaming in the meantime.There is enough plausibility to go around to feed the blaming. To my mind there are biases and interests everywhere. We might never know. We end up thinking what we want to unless we know more for sure. I doubt that is going to happen but I like to think my mind is open at this point. This could have been intended action but horrific unintended results, could have been an accident (unless this has already been ruled out).

  4. Can you give me one RATIONAL reason why Hzb would store their expensive weapons a) in urban Beirut far from where they are needed and where they NORMALLY hide them in the mountains and hilsl b) in a port which for DECADES is controlled by Saad Hariri appointees, their political rivals c) on top of near a huge pile of ammonium nitrate d) leave it unguarded e) if there were weapons why do they have to belong to Hzb and not being shipped to moderate rebels. Here’s the thing EVEN if there were somebody’s weapons stored underground according to the latest theory AN still would not have exploded in one instant and neither would a weapons cache. At this very minute there are millions of tons of AN sitting in ports and warehouses all over the world. There is nothing weird about it. But let’s say the AN didn’t exist or Israel didn’t know

    What are you saying: that Israel would actually have IN SOME MANNER made a weapons cache explode IN THE MIDDLE OF BEIRUT just because it’s the only one they knew of?

    Are you really saying that HZB has nowhere better in the WHOLE OF LEBANON to store its weapons than a busy port controlled by its rivals and frequented by every intelligence agency on the planet?

    It seems to me that Israel knows its going to be discovered sooner or later so the narrative is shifting (based on fabricated information) to: we had to do it to them before they did it to us. It’s being fed to certain bloggers to get the public accustomed to the idea.

    Since when are international investigations objective btw?

    1. @ sdg:

      why Hzb would store their expensive weapons a) in urban Beirut far from where they are needed and where they NORMALLY hide them in the mountains and hilsl b) in a port which for DECADES is controlled by Saad Hariri appointees, their political rivals

      I urge you to read all six of my posts about the Beirut attack. They answer many of your questions. I don’t like repeating myself. But in summary:

      We don’t know what sort of weapons were storied there other than that they were likely rockets and rocket propellant. Could be expensive, maybe not. No one can say where Hezbollah ihdes its weapons. But one thing is for sure, it stores them everywhere they’re needed. And it would disperse them throughout any areas it needed to defend or from which it needed to fire them at Israel. That could be anywhere: a port, southern Lebanon, etc. The port, like the country is a patchwork of fiefdoms controlled by various parties. There is no reason Hezbollah couldn’t have stored weapons in the port. A Lebanese journalist told me that undoubtedly Hezbollah has a presence at the port. Not to mention the weapons may have been stored in underground bunkers and no one above ground would have known what was down there.

      As for storing it above ammonium nitrate, are you saying that Hezbollah tunnel engineers wouldn’t ever make a mistake? As for the weapons cache being unguarded: as I’ve written, Israel has spies and assets throughout Lebanon, possibly inside Hezbollah as well. If it did, it wouldn’t have been terribly difficult for an insider to plant an explosive device there.

      As for shipping weapons to “moderate rebels,” I have no idea what or who you’re talking about.

      As for how the weapons exploded: my posts indicate that the cache didn’t explode in “one instant.” There were a series of timed explosions inside the cache according to seismic date published by an Israeli publication.

      As for Israel’s motivation in destroying the weapons cache: again, I dealt with this in an earlier post. Given the extreme tension between Israel and Hezbollah and a possible infiltration by the latter into northern Israel, it was seeking to make a statement and escalating the fight. That’s why it deliberately chose to attack Beirut: to send a message to Nasrallah that if he escalates the conflict, Israel will too.

      I do not permit commenters to claim that I am bamboozled by Israeli sources feeding me false information. I am a journalist. I publish accurate information. My record of accuracy speaks for itself. I do not publish information offered to me that is false. I have not done so in this case. DO not make such a claim again here.

  5. Hezbollah, I read, is not very popular lately, at a low. They have to make the case that they are defending Lebanon from Israel. This is their raison d’être. That could excuse them for a lot in the minds of some Lebanese and free them somewhat to blame Israel. The level of devastation forces them to defend themselves.

    This seems like bravado on the part of Nasrallah:https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/beirut-explosions-rescue-victims/2020/08/07/5c78297e-d819-11ea-a788-2ce86ce81129_story.html

  6. How the Israeli military censor killed a story about ‘terrorist’ bombing campaign in Lebanon in 1980s | Mondoweiss |

    Before the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, military correspondent Amir Oren reported, an officer who served under Dagan “claimed that on orders from the IDF, under cover of the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners (FLLF), deadly strikes were being carried out against Palestinian targets, and the casualties included innocent civilians.” That anonymous complaint “reached the press,” he said, “and from there – even though the military censor forbade publication – it reached Begin.”
    The complaint named four senior Israeli officials: Raphael Eitan, the IDF Chief of Staff; Meir Dagan, the commander of the South Lebanon Region; head of Northern Command Avigdor Ben-Gal; and Shlomo Ilya, an intelligence officer. Yehoshua Saguy, the head of Military Intelligence, looked into the allegations and concluded that they were accurate.
    It is well known Mossad in Operation Avner used logistics of the Baader-Meinhof gang to eliminate Palestinians responsible for the 1972 Munich Massacre. I used the term “piggy-back” for such covert acts of terror.

  7. @Potter
    Don’t quote the Western press. There are plenty of analysis that neoconservative US policy for two decades have tried to eliminate Hezbollah from Lebanon/Syria politics at any cost. The only deterrence to Israel’s Armed Forces is the military arm of Hezbollah. US sanctions, France and the IMF have succeeded to destroy the economy of Lebanon by their interventionist demands on domestic politics. The war in Syria did much damage. Failures of Obama/Clinton decisions and foreign policy in MENA.
    Lebanon would become the “Singapore of the Middle East” Rafiq Hariri (1992-98)

    Was ‘Beirut’ a Botched Act of Deterrence?

  8. Oui… I don’t have such a blanket opinion about “the Western press”. A quote from Nasrallah is a quote I take from WAPO. But when you say “The only deterrence to Israel’s Armed Forces is the military arm of Hezbollah.” This was exactly my point: Hezbollah has to make the case it is defending Lebanon. To my mind, from abroad, both parties Israel and Hezbollah are off the deep end mad into forever wars and not protecting their sides at all. It’s political, cruel, and the people suffer. This is why they are out in the streets in Beirut from the sheer pain. Are they demanding that Hezbollah retaliate? No!

  9. Hzb is not nearly as popular in the Arab world as in 2001/2006 when they expelled Israel from southern Lebanon, etc. Their dirty involvement in Syria on the side of butcher Assad has greatly tarnished their reputation. I find your reporting quite plausible. I am however baffled by the mute Aljazeera response to this, given its very extensive coverage of the event, and given what Aljazeera represents.

    1. @ Mostafa: Even progressive publications have been leery of reporting this. I pitched Al Jazeera and heard no response. Everyone is waiting for someone else to report the story enough so they can start reporting it. Which is chicken shit in a way. But what can you do….

  10. Richard Silverstein, you seem to boast that you came up with this “story”. Unfortunately this is really not about Richard Silverstein’s journalism career.

    This is actually a very serious accusation and from my admittedly limited understanding of exactly what took place – still seems highly implausible. It appears rather that a much more banal explanation is more likely having to do with everyday maintenance work that was being done next to the port that caused this tragedy. In fact if you look at the video there appears to be fireworks that was set off just before the explosion – (also reported by news outlets btw) that likely was a major factor that led to this tragedy.

    Furthermore if Israel had actually been responsible; the reaction would not likely have been the type of reaction that it actually was ( which was a complete denial in this case).

    IMHO Your lack of professional journalistic demeanor and boasting does not add any credence to this very dubious claim that Israel was somehow responsible. And I also add that conjecture is not the quality of a good journalist as well. You are basically repeating what is most likely a fabricated story invented by conspiracy theorists and repeated for the sake of their own agenda by the likes of Hezbollah

    And if I can bring up my own theory ( yes conjecture – but then again I am not a journalist). Hezbollah is much more likely directly or indirectly responsible for this tragedy than Israel I would think..

    1. @ Jon:

      you seem to boast

      No, “boast” is your demeaning term, not mine. I am demanding that my reporting be acknowledged. That not boasting.

      from my admittedly limited understanding of exactly what took place – still seems highly implausible.

      I’m glad you admit your “limited understanding” of the issues. So we’ll credit your opinions as highly as you yourself credit them–which is not very much.

      I have a cardinal comment rule: don’t conjecture over issues which are contentious. I have absolutely no interested in your theories unless you can support them with credible evidence. If you have an opinion back it up, or don’t offer it at all.

      Also, read all six of my posts about this before repeating arguments I’ve rebuted before. The fireworks claim and the maintenance claim have all been soundly refuted.

      I also dealt with the reason Israel denied accountability in one of those six posts. By not reading them you’re repeating arguments already refuted and forcing me to waste my time once again addressing them.

      As for my purported “lack of journalistic demeanor,” this is a meaningless phrase. there is no such thing.

      Conjecture is not what I do as a journalist. Having a source is not conjecture. It is reporting.

      You are basically repeating what is most likely a fabricated story invented by conspiracy theorists

      I take my reporting extremely seriously and do not permit anyone to call it “conspiracy theories.” YOu are now moderated and will only publish comments here which respect the comment rules. Read them if you ever post another comment.

      Hezbollah is much more likely directly or indirectly responsible for this tragedy than Israel I would think..

      Again, I’ve reported that Hezbollah was indirectly responsible for the explosion since its weapons were stored at the port. You’re wasting my time and everyone’s time. I dealt with this issue as well.

  11. Richard said:

    “There were a series of timed explosions inside the cache according to seismic date published by an Israeli publication.”

    The ‘series of timed explosions’, had nothing to do with Israel, and was probably the result seismic oil exploration currently underway in the Med.

    “I do not believe that they are associated with the large explosion in Beirut,” Jerry Carter, director of IRIS data services, told Reuters. 
    “They could be from a seismic survey,” he added, referring to geologists carrying out airgun bursts for underwater mapping.

    A typical seismic air gun array pulled by a ship might fire its compressed air bubbles into the ocean FIVE OR SIX TIMES A MINUTE — more than 7,000 shots in 24 hours. 

    Because sound can travel hundreds or even thousands of miles under water, it’s not surprising that seismic airguns can be heard at great distances.


    Five or six times a minute equals 11 second intervals, if my basic math serves me.

    1. @ Scarabian: I”m not getting into the weeds with you on this. But I do note your source says the seismic evidence “probably” doesn’t relate to the bombing. Even he isn’t certain of it.

      Even if the seismic data is not relevant (and I’m by no means conceding it isn’t) it has little bearing on the fact that Israel Bombed Beirut. Whether there is seismic evidence to support the claim is secondary. There is plenty of other supporting evidence which I’ve provided in my six posts on the disaster.

      Do you post any further comments in this thread.

  12. Richard – you shot the arrow and now you are drawing the board around it.

    To sum your articles – an Israeli source told you israel ‘bombed’ (no details of how) Beirut and it didn’t know of the AN.

    Since then, any word that any Israeli said is a clear evidence to the above. It isn’t. It is a possibility in an infinite number of possibilities. You cherry-pick part of experts opinion that ‘prove’ your narrative and discard/ignore whatever does not fit.

    You should ask yourself, is there any information that will make you reconsider. At the moment, it seems like you are the only person in the world that knows with absolute certainty what happened.

    1. @ Jeal:

      you shot the arrow and now you are drawing the board around it.

      No, Israel shot the arrow. My source identified the target (not “board” as you wrote). I had nothing to do with either other than reporting what one did and the other said.

      To sum your articles

      “Summarize,” not “sum.” Do not summarize my views. If you wish to refer to them quote them verbatim. People like you invariably distort my views while claiming to summarize them.

      Another mischaracterization: I specifically said that either Israel knew of the ammonium nitrate and didn’t care; or that it didn’t know. Another option is that it may have known of the ammonium nitrate but thought it could sabotage the Hezbollah cache without igniting the ammonium nitrate.

      In fact, I do not “disregard” whatever does not fit. I have endlessly addressed claims and theories which contradict mine; and refuted them. What I haven’t done is gotten down in the weeds like 9/11 conspiracists arguing minutiae that is largely irrelevant to the broader issues I’ve outlined.

      You should ask yourself…

      Thanks but I don’t need any advice from you on what I should ask myself.

      I am certainly not the only person in the world who maintains the reporting I’ve published. Both Pres. Aoun and Nasrallah have conceded the possibility that Israel caused the explosion. Virtually every senior member of the Mossad and Israeli military knows the truth of what I know. Nasrallah knows. Gideon Levy knows. Aoun knows. And half the reporters in Israel know. They just can’t report it due to military censorship.

      You are done in this thread.

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