Inside Hezbollah

Monday, November 29, 2010

Veteran Middle East correspondent Thanassis Cambanis discusses the cross section of people that make up Hezbollah—part standing army, part political party, and part theological movement. A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah's Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel looks at the organization and the people it includes, and Cambanis follows a few Hezbollah families through the 2006 war with Israel in order to get a fuller understanding of the ideological and religious roots of the conflict in the Middle East.


Thanassis Cambanis

Comments [9]



Dec. 07 2010 08:40 PM
Elaine from Baltimore MD

Gee, I wonder why Mr. Sansom might be inclined to blame Israel?

Could it be that he doesn't remember the Arab leaders refusal to accept the partition plan in 1948 creating a Palestinian & Jewish State?

Could it be he forgot the aftermath of the 1967 war in which the three no's of Khartoum were iterated by Arab leaders in response to the Israeli's overtures of peace negotiations which could have led to a Palestinian state?

Could it be he is unaware that the Israeli military operations in 2006 in Lebanon were the response for an unprovoked border attack which left 8 Israeli soldiers dead and 2 kidnapped by the Hezbollah not to mention the over 700 katyusha missiles and mortars that had rained down on Israel's northern cities, including as far south as Haifa and Tiberias?

Could it be that Mr. Sansom is unaware the Lebanese government did not disarm Hezbollah nor did it send its armed forces to secure southern Lebanon and the border with Israel, which it was required to do?

What army, other than Israel, would drop leaflets on Beirut suburbs calling on civilians to stay away from Hezbollah strongholds to avoid being caught up in the fighting.

Mr. Sansom vividly illustrates a lopsided morality.

Nov. 29 2010 12:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Hugh

What has Christian Arabs killing of Muslim Arabs have to do with Israel? Some estimates are that 40,000 to 150,000 dead in the long civil war in Lebanon that had nothing directly to do with Israel. Massacres on both sides of the Christian-Muslim divide had been going on before 1982. If the Phalange chose to go into Sabra and Shatilla to seek out hiding PLO terrorists, and get out of control, what has that to do with Israel?

Nov. 29 2010 12:39 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Although Lebanon has been at war with Israel since 1948, there was no hostility, and indeed even cordial relations until around 1970 when the PLO was allowed in and began sporadic infiltrations and mortar attacks since 1970. Finally, in 1978 Israel made a limited incursion and created a "security belt" just north of the Armistice line. Finally, in 1982 Sharon decided, and was unrestrained to invade. The Christian and Shia communities even showered flowers on the IDF troops. Alas, Israel tried to interfere in the wild Lebanese politics, and so soon got bogged down in a Vietnam-style war, from which Israel eventually withdrew after suffering about 600 dead. But the success in driving Arafat and the PLO out to Tunis is undeniable.

Nov. 29 2010 12:36 PM
jane from brooklyn

This really is a one sided conversation, isn't it?

Nov. 29 2010 12:32 PM

"Every time Hezbollah provokes a war with Israel...." So is Thanassis Cambanis claiming that every Israeli attack is "provoked"? That's the standard Israeli and US government line. It's also the standard line of New York Times editors.

How were the Sabra and Shatila massacres (overseen and allowed by Israel, with full, prior knowledge of Ariel Sharon) provoked? How was Operation Grapes of Wrath provoked?

Nov. 29 2010 12:31 PM
john from office

I thought Islam was a religion of peace?

I am so confused

Nov. 29 2010 12:21 PM
Hugh Sansom

Thanassis Cambanis conveniently leaves out that the key reason Palestinians could use Lebanon as a base at all was because hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were violently forced out of Israel into refugee camps by the noble-minded, humanitarian Israelis.

Nov. 29 2010 12:16 PM
Hugh Sansom

Gee, I wonder why Lebanese might be inclined to blame Israel? Could it have something to do with 2006 Israeli war crimes in Lebanon? Or Operation Grapes of Wrath? Or the Israeli invasion and occupation? Or Sabra and Shatila?

Nov. 29 2010 12:13 PM

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