Monday, July 17, 2006

Ouch!

Arab world fed up with Hizbullah

With the exception of the Palestinians, the Arab world appears to be united in blaming Iran and Syria for the fighting in Lebanon. Until last week, Arab political analysts and government officials were reluctant to criticize Hizbullah in public. But now that Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and his top aides are in hiding, an anti-Hizbullah coalition is emerging not only in Lebanon, but in several other Arab countries as well.

The Palestinians and Hizbullah feel that their Arab brethren have once again turned their backs on them. On Monday, hundreds of Palestinians who marched in downtown Ramallah in support of Hizbullah chanted: "Hassan Nasrallah is our hero, the rest of the Arab leaders are cowards" and "O beloved Abu Hadi [Nasrallah's nickname], bomb, bomb Tel Aviv." The second battle cry is reminiscent of the famous slogan the Palestinians used during the first Gulf War: "O beloved Saddam, bomb, bomb Tel Aviv."

Hizbullah and their supporters were hoping that the massive Israeli military operation in Lebanon would trigger large-scale protests throughout the Arab world, creating instability and threatening to bring down some of the Arab regimes.

But the response on the Arab street has been so disappointing for Hizbullah that its leaders are now openly talking about an Arab "conspiracy" to liquidate the Shi'ite organization. The few Hizbullah supporters in Ramallah, the Gaza Strip and some Arab capitals have therefore been directing most of their criticism against the Arab presidents and monarchs, accusing them of serving the interests of the US and Israel.

It IS from the Jerusalem Post, but still... it may explain some things that are not immediately visible.

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