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Liberals, Labor, ABC unite against Hezbollah but are they telling the truth?
People carrying Hezbollah flags have been among the disruptive elements in pro-Palestinian and other demonstrations I have attended in Melbourne, and seen on television in Sydney. I do not have a particular sympathy to Hezbollah's political views, on the contrary I loathe them, but I see no reason to approve of lies being told to endanger their civil liberties and intimidate a much larger Arab/Muslim population in Australia.
By Sol Salbe
The Federal Attorney General Daryl Williams wants to proscribe the Lebanese organisation Hezbollah (Party of God). The rubric of 'terrorist organisation" has been attached not only by the Australian government, but by the Labor opposition and every single media organisation in the country.
The situation is far from clear. Hezbollah has not been engaged in attacks on civilians in Israel. (It is however engaged in tit-for-tat shelling of villages and town with Israel's armed forces.) It has been alleged to have been involved in attacks on the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish community Centre in Argentina (that view was not endorsed by the Argentine authorities). The Israelis have also reported that they captured a senior Hezbollah whom they say was on his way to train terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
But certain Australian political parties and the media do not seem to be disturbed by lack of evidence (a la Weapons of Mass Destruction?).
Consider the following:
ABC reporter Peter Cave, who said: "Sworn enemies of the state of Israel, they regularly shell Israel across its northern border with Lebanon, and in turn they become targets of Israeli air attacks and cross-border raids since Israel abandoned its occupation of Southern Lebanon three years ago," should hang his head in shame. (For the record supporters of the state Israel should also complain. Israel has not, to best of my recollection, conducted a cross-border raid in the last three years.)
Northern towns leaders' plea: Air Force planes hurt our livelihood
Einyan Merkazi, news-israel.net
GOC Northern Command has admitted that the Air Force is breaking an agreement not overfly Lebanon on market days to avoid Hezbollah's counter response.
Israel is systematically breaching the agreement it had signed with Lebanon during the withdrawal. Under the agreement, Israel undertook not to violate Lebanon's sovereignty in the air. Hezbollah responds with anti-aircraft fire at General Dan Halutz's planes. Some of the shells have been falling on northern villages and towns.
Einyan Merakazi had originally revealed that it was the northern towns that operated behind the scenes to restrain Commander Dan Halutz and his Air Force. Their approach was to the Prime Minister. The provocative flights, which had resulted in harsh International, including US, rebukes did cease during the [Jewish] holiday season.
The leaders of the northern towns met recently with the GOC Northern Command and obtained agreement that the planes would refrain from the provocative flights on market days, generally Thursdays.
Recently, however, the Air Force under General Halutz has reneged even on this agreement, resulting in antiaircraft shells falling in many townships. So far there have been no casualties or significant damage.
It was unofficially disclosed that Northern Command has failed to restrain Dan Halutz's planes. Senior officers in Northern Command do not accept claims of operational requirement. "It is possible that there are exceptional requirements on market days but you can turn our life into a living hell and systematically affect our livelihood, said sources that requested to remain anonymous at this stage. They believe that they have enough political muscle to restrain Dan Halutz's planes.
"If we have no choice we'll act against him in public," they said.Translated by Sol Salbe from News-Israel.net
Since October 17, 2003