In 2009 Swedish Zionist security analyst Magnus Norell published a book analyzing the July war against Lebanon from a Zionist perspective. What did Israel do wrong? What should it do now? What did Hezbollah do right? The title of the book was “The Triumph of Islamism” (Islamismens seger) since Norell considered the Islamist, patriotic organization Hezbollah to be the winner.
Islamism is not homogenous – neither as an ideology nor as a movement. Therefore one should rather speak of Islamist ideologies and Islamist movements in the plural. When Norell describes the July war as a triumph of Islamism he does not mean all types of Islamisms, rather he is referring to the specific type of Islamism espoused by Hezbollah.
It is important to distinguish between national resistance movements like Hezbollah and global, Wahhabi terrorist groups of the Al-Qaida brand. Even though both trends are labeled “Islamist” by Western media they hardly have anything in common.
Any why what concerns us now is the crucial role Norell gives Syria in the resistance against the Zionist regime. Syria, he writes, contributed to the victory of Hezbollah in 2006 and thus “the triumph of Islamism”, and, it is the link between Hezbollah and Iran. In order to safeguard the interests of Israel a rift must be created between Syria and Iran, Norell argues.
After the July war Syria emerged as a leader of the Arab resistance against Israel. Norell quotes Bashar al-Assad who in August 2006 said that the victory of Hezbollah was the beginning of a new era in the Middle East and paved the way for the final dismantling of the Zionist regime. He further describes Assad’s stance towards Israel as a continuation of the anti-Zionism of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The war proved that it was possible to militarily withstand Israel and thus increased the confidence of Arab and Islamic resistance and made it less willing to compromise. A new spirit of resistance was born and Iran, Syria and Hezbollah were, writes Norell, it’s very “cornerstones”.
Norell argues that Iran-Syria-Lebanon block has practically inherited the role of Egypt during Nasser as leader of Arab and Islamic resistance in the region. He defines these states as “radical” as opposed to Saudi Arabia which he defines as “moderate”. Bashar al-Assad, he notes, is one of the leaders of “the radical camp”.
It is interesting to note that in the vocabulary of Norell and many other Zionist analysts and propagandists “moderate” actually means submitting to Israel, while “radical” means resisting it. That is why a Wahhhabi dictatorship like Saudi Arabia, where fanatics rule unbridled, can be defined as a “moderate” state. In Saudi Arabia Israel is hardly ever criticized officially, instead the focus is on demonizing Iran and Hezbollah. During the war of 2006 Saudi citizens were jailed for waiving Hezbollah flags.
The message of the book is quite clear: the 34 days war of the Summer of 2006 was a victory for Hezbollah and the anti-Zionist resistance. Syria is a cornerstone in this new “radical camp” and therefore has to be dealt with. And that is exactly what America, Israel and their Arab “moderate” allies are doing right now.
Let me remind you that the author of the book is a dear friend of Israel associated with the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington DC, which was established by the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 1985. By reading this analysis by a devout Zionist and friend of Israel we get a much clearer picture of the reasons behind the current unrest. The book is written with the well being of Israel in mind and it is obvious that this aim is not compatible with a strong, stable and “radical” Syria