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Hizbullah TV Presents: ‘The Return To Palestine’

When Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, it stayed in the region Arabs call the Shib’a farms and Israelis Har Dov.

Israel does not see the area as Lebanese territory, and the United Nations often repeats that Israel fulfilled its obligation to fully withdraw from Lebanon.

However, the Hizbullah terror organization exploited Israel’s presence on “occupied land” to continue its attacks on Israel, announcing these won’t stop until Israel withdraws from all of southern Lebanon.

But nobody in Israel is living in cloud-cuckoo-land. Israel knows the main justification for the existence of Hizbullah, which operates from South Lebanon, is the fight against Israel’s very existence. The organization’s TV station Al-Manar is airing video-clips day and night depicting the fight against Israel and the aspiration to correct what it sees as the historic injustice done to the Palestinians. In other words: the complete destruction of the state of Israel.

(Hizbullah)

A recent video clip [1] aired on Al-Manar depicts just this aspiration. It shows pictures of a little village in the Galilee, in northern Israel, which was populated by Palestinians before the 1948 War. The clip is accompanied by English and Arabic subtitles, and explains how the Palestinians were deported from their village, Rafadiyya, during the war.

Three words at the end of the clip make the organization’s aim clear: “We shall return.” But these words do not refer only to Rafadiyya. At the beginning of the clip, names of Palestinian cities such as Hebron and Nablus appear on the screen, side-by-side with cities which became Jewish (or mixed) after 1948, such as Beer Sheva and Tiberius. The message is clear – we shall return to all of Palestine.

Hizbullah’s activity after Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon has seen many changes. It is now concentrating on attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers, and more important, supporting and planning terror attacks from within Israel, in cooperation with Palestinian terror groups.

Unlike Hamas, which today is considered the most powerful Palestinian terror organization, Hizbullah has never agreed to moderate its demands from Israel. Hamas leaders have announced several times they will consider a cease-fire if Israel withdraws from territories it occupied in 1967. Hizbullah, for its part, advocates the total eradication of Israel.

(Al-Manar)

The complete destruction of the state of Israel and the establishment of Islamic rule over Jerusalem was an expressed goal in the organization’s political platform in February 1985. It still is.

It appears as if Israel is dealing with an uncompromising enemy. But one must not forget, that while the various Palestinian terror organizations stubbornly resist any kind of direct or indirect negotiation with Israel, Hizbullah was involved in the successful negotiations that made the prisoner exchange [3] possible earlier this year.

Nevertheless, one cannot conclude that Hizbullah would agree to compromise in the future and accept Israel’s mere existence. It seems this swap was made first and foremost in order to further establish the organization’s prestige in the Arab world. Hundreds of Arab prisoners were released from Israeli prisons in the deal, in return for one kidnapped citizen and three bodies of dead soldiers.

Right after the above-mentioned clip, another one is aired, depicting young boys fighting Israeli tanks. The children are using a primitive, though photogenic, weapon: the rock. International media loves the picture of a boy standing against a tank, holding only a rock in his hand. But Hizbullah is not a ‘little boy’ anymore. It is using rifles, machine-guns, rockets, and explosives, handled by thousands of trained warriors starring daily on Al-Manar TV.

This station is increasingly addressing its broadcasts to the West as well the Arab world. It airs clips with English subtitles, and a daily half-hour English news edition. With funding and assistance from Iran, Syria, and more recently from Al-Qa’ida, Hizbullah has turned into a leading force in the Arab and Muslim world. And Al-Manar – a professional TV station – is used successfully to express this.