Hezbollah, Iran ,Israel and the Gulf States Geopolitical Puzzle

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is following Washington, Paris and Tel Aviv by declaring that a political and military force that resists Israeli aggression in Southern Lebanon known as ‘Hezbollah’ a terrorist organization. The U.S., France, Israel, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The European Union, the United Kingdom and New Zealand declared that only Hezbollah’s military division, is a terrorist organization.

The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is dominated by Sunni’s now classify Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization” that participated in “hostile actions” according to a recent Al Jazeera report.
Hezbollah, a Shia political organisation with an armed wing, fights in neighbouring Syria to support the government of President Bashar al-Assad. 
lebanon hezbollah map
The Sunni-dominated GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Gulf nations have taken a series of measures against Hezbollah since Saudi Arabia last month halted a $4bn programme funding French military supplies to Beirut.

Meanwhile,some lebanese pro-Hezbollah’s media report, several GCC member States, most prominently Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Israel use Jabhat Al-Nusrah to weaken Hezbollah in Lebanon and they prepare to attack Lebanon.

Last week, a mysterious meet took place in Bahrain. The meeting between Rabbi Marc Schneier and King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa took place at the Royal Palace in Manama, Bahrain on Wednesday March 2, 2016 in order to discuss regional concerns in the Middle East, according to JPost.com.

“Regional concerns?” This could mean a united plan of Saudi Arabia’s Gulf coalition in order to fight Hezbollah in Lebanon, an ally of Iran with some israeli help? Bahrain acts as a “satellite ” of Saudi Arabia especially when it comes to which nation is going to be the superpower in the Middle East and the Shia-Sunni coflict taking place accordingly. Iran is predominantly a Shia nation (and Lebanon’s Hezbollah as well) while Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE are predominantly Sunni- Islam nations.

“Iran is not only an obstacle but an opportunity for peace between Israel and Arab nations,” Schneier told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday after his meeting on Wednesday with Khalifa.

“Both Israel and the Gulf states share a common enemy, so it’s the makings of a natural alliance, in terms of joining forces against the evil of terrorism, religious extremism and fanaticism.

“It’s a real opportunity and a silver lining in the dark cloud of terrorism. The Gulf states recognize Israel as an ally against Iran, and its ability to stabilize the region and support moderate Arab countries, so this could be a game changer in the geopolitical climate of the Middle East.”

Schneier added that Khalifa has also said during their meeting that in his opinion it is just a matter of time before some Arab countries begin opening diplomatic ties with Israel.

  • But what about Palestine, the Israeli Occupation and the settlements there?

Israel and Bahrain do not maintain diplomatic relations, but in 2005 King Hamad told the US ambassador that his state has contacts with Israel “at the intelligence/security level (i.e., with Mossad),” according to a secret US diplomatic cable published two years ago by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. He also indicated willingness “to move forward in other areas, although it will be difficult for Bahrain to be the first.” The development of “trade contacts,” though, would have to wait for the implementation of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the king told the ambassador.

Other WikiLeaks documents show that senior officials from both countries have spoken in recent years, such as a 2007 meeting between then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni and Bahraini foreign minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa in New York. The Bahraini foreign minister in 2009 also signaled that he was willing to meet Netanyahu to try to advance the peace process, but ultimately decided not to go ahead with the plan.

  • The conflict between Hezbollah and the Gulf countries

For Lebanon, Hezbollah is a lawfully registered political party  that maintains a militia that is lawful according to Lebanese law. Hezbollah is operating in parts of the Syrian Arab Republic with the permission of the Syrian government. It coordinates its military operations in the Syrian Arab Republic with the lawful government, with the Syrian Arab Army and with the Syrian National Self Defense Forces. It does so, arguably, not because Hezbollah or Iran necessarily endorse a secular government in Syria, but because Syria constitutes an important strategic ally for Hezbollah and for Iran.

Hezbollah is being threatened by the Qatari and Saudi Arabia sponsored Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat Al-Nusrah, which has been declared as a terrorist organization by the UN Security Council. Jabhat Al Nusrah is also being supported by Israel, which facilitates Jabhat Al-Nusrah’s access to the Lebanese Bekaa Valley via the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Saudi Arabia intensified its support of Jabhat Al-Nusrah’s presence in Lebanon in 2013. On Monday, October 14, 2013, the Chairman of the Lebanese Arab Democratic Party, Rifaat Eid, warned that Saudi Arabia was planning to “burn Lebanon in retaliation is Hezbollah intervened in the battle for the Qalamoun region”.

  • Israel” puts oil on the current Middle East fire” for its own interests?

Israel, even if Israeli officials  they denied it,  also chose to  support  Jabhat Al-Nusrah in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights under humanitarian cover, designating them as Syrian freedom fighters. Tel Aviv pursues three strategic goals with the support of Jabhat Al-Nusrah via the Golan Heights. To weaken Syria, Hezbollah and Iran designated by Israel as its biggest threats .

In 2014, the Times of  Israel published a report titled ‘Israel preparing for ‘very violent’ war against Hezbollah, TV report says’. The report said that the IDF is “making plans and training” for “a very violent war” against Hezbollah in south Lebanon”. According to the Times of Israel:

The report, for which the army gave Israel’s Channel 2 access to several of its positions along the border with Lebanon, featured an IDF brigade commander warning that such a conflict “will be a whole different story” from the Israel-Hamas conflict in which over 2,000 Gazans (half of them gunmen according to Israel) and 72 Israelis were killed. “We will have to use considerable force” to quickly prevail over the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, “to act more decisively, more drastically,” said Colonel Dan Goldfus, commander of the 769th Hiram Infantry Brigade 

The report also mentioned what Colonel Goldfus had said that Hezbollah has the experience and the military capabilities to deal with the IDF:

He said that anyone who thought Hezbollah was in difficulties because it has sustained losses fighting with President Bashar Assad in Syria is mistaken. The report noted, indeed, that Hezbollah has now accumulated three years of battlefield experience, and has greater military capabilities and considerable confidence as a consequence.

Hezbollah has been fighting in Syria against the Western created ISIS and Al-Nusra terrorist groups. In an interesting turn of events, Mintpressnews.com reported how Hezbollah and Christians (who have been terrorized by ISIS) are united in the fight against ISIS or any other terror group in Lebanon’s southern border:

Citing Lebanese sources, Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin says Christian villages in the Bekaa Valley area of Lebanon are forming militias to join Hezbollah fighters already engaging ISIS and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nursa Front in the Syrian Qalamoun mountains opposite villages in central and eastern Bekaa. Rifit Nasrallah, a Catholic businessman who is part of the militias fighting ISIS in Ras Baalbek, discussed the alliance with Hezbollah in an International Business Times report last month. “We’re in a very dangerous situation,” he said. “The only people who are protecting us are the resistance of Hezbollah. The only one standing with the army is Hezbollah. Let’s not hide it anymore.

In an editorial by www.gulfnews.com titled ‘Hezbollah Pays the Price for Backing Iran’ which claims that Iran is interfering with the Arab world:

Iran has been guilty of gross interference throughout the Arab world, against which the Saudis have finally taken a firm stand. They are fighting in Yemen to stop the disintegration of the country under the Iran-backed Al Houthi rebels, they have already backed the Bahraini government in stopping Iranian destabilisation moves and they have resisted the Iran-backed regime in Syria, not to mention their attempts to limit Iran’s overweening influence in Iraq. It is time all Arabs recognise their Arab identity and stop working for Iranian forces. By being declared a terrorist organisation, Hezbollah is paying the price for supporting Iran’s malignancy

Other Sources not mentionned: Times of Israel, JPost.com, SilentCrow news.

*The statements, views, and opinions from sources expressed in this article may not necessarily represent those of Eyes on Europe and The Middle East



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