Sumayyah Meehan, Muslim Media News Service Middle Eastern Correspondent
This past week marked the 1-year anniversary of the Israeli strike on Hezbollah in Lebanon last summer. And even up until this day no one can truly say just what the war was about in the first place. The Israelis first claimed that it was about the 2 kidnapped soldiers that Hezbollah held as captives. Then they claimed it was about their security because they had to protect themselves from Hezbollah in a war that they themselves started!
There have been rumors abounding in the news media that Israel has been waiting for a chance to attack Lebanon for years and was only looking for an opportunity. Well, they found a golden opportunity when their soldiers were kidnapped and a willing collaborator in George Bush. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is a reason that America refused to issue an immediate ceasefire when Israel attacked Lebanon without warning. Condoleeza Rice, herself, acted like a child when she said that a ceasefire would not work so why bother trying. She never wanted to try. The Americans and Israelis were buying time. Time for what? The official claim was that they wanted to create a buffer zone (i.e. steal land) between Israel and Lebanon. If you believe that, then I have a bridge I want to sell you in Brooklyn!
Forget about the buffer zone lie, Israel wants to clear a path for annexation. Israel wants a big fat piece of Lebanon. They have been bloodthirsty for it for years. The part they want is in southern Lebanon and that piece of land holds the Litani River. This river is essential to the future of Israel and they want it so badly that they will kill for it. Israel has suffered from mass water shortages for years. The economic development of Israel depends on water. The acquisition of the Litani River would increase Isrealâ€™s water supply by 50%.
You only have to take a brief look back in history to understand why Israel needs so much water. Since Israel is an â€œoccupierâ€ they must sustain themselves within their own country. Ever since they formed the illegal country in 1948, they have known that trade with their Arab neighbors would be impossible. They adopted massive agricultural policies in order to create a continued and sustainable food source. So, the majority of Zionists are farmers. The Zionist Movement itself encourages newcomers to plant crops and harvest fields. This takes a huge chunk of the Israelis yearly water allocations and the rest is used for home water usage, which includes swimming pools and perfectly manicured lawns.
This is not the first time that Israelis have tried to annex southern Lebanon. The Israeli designs on acquiring the Litani River go way back. In 1954, Moshe Dayan (Israelâ€™s Chief of Staff) was quoted as saying this: â€œ … the only thing thatâ€™s necessary is to find an Lebanese officer, even just a Major. We should either win his heart or buy him with money, to make him agree to declare himself the savior of the Maronite (Christian) population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will occupy the necessary territory, and will create a Christian regime, which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel and everything will be all right.â€ (Rokach, 1986; 26). In 78 the plan was achieved. Israel created a supposed â€œsecurity bufferâ€ between Lebanon and Israel. It was under the control of a Christian-Lebanese army major named Saâ€™ad Haddad. He formed the Southern Lebanese Army (SLA) and declared the area a Maronite-Christian area (I wonder what the price of his heart was?). The SLA and Israeliâ€™s still coordinate today and even possess a tiny strip of the Litani River.
Even before I could complete this article about last yearâ€™s atrocities in Lebanon, I received a Breaking News report on my cell phone that yet again Lebanon is under fire. This time Israel claims it is attacking Muslim militants holed up in Nahr al-Bared. This area has been under attack off and on for the past 8 weeks but the Israelis recently increased their bombardment in an attempt to drive out the supposed militants. This most recent Israeli assault is just another excuse for the Israelis to acquire more land and get closer to their agenda of seizing a viable water source. Rest assured this battle is not about terrorism or security. Those are only buzzwords that are used as excuses. This fight is about water. And I doubt the Israelis will stop attacking Lebanon, at will, until they get it all.