by Yusuf Dhia-Allah (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 39, No. 9, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1431)
Some Canadian media outlets have become conduits for Israeli propaganda. The latest in this series were “leaked” United Nations documents about the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination in Beirut. The report was aired on Canada’s CBC television on November 21. The documents shown on CBC program allegedly pointed the finger at members of Hizbullah implicating them in Hariri’s assassination. Informed observers im-mediately saw this as an attempt to instigate civil war in Lebanon, a development that would serve US-Israeli interests in the region. This, according to the same observers, would facilitate Israel’s invasion of Lebanon to “finish” Hizbullah off.
This is not mere conjecture. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan, during a two-day visit to Lebanon (November 25–26) warned Israel against launching an offensive. Describing Israel as full of “uncertainities”, the Anatolia News Agency quoted him on November 25 as saying: “Does (Israel) think it can enter Lebanon with the most modern aircraft and tanks to kill women and children, and destroy schools and hospitals, and then expect us to remain silent?” The Turkish Prime Minister went on: “We will not be silent and we will support justice by all means available to us.” Prime Minister Erdogan warned: “In the event of war, the citizens of Israel will also be losers.” Hizbullah has publicly announced it has the capability to hit targets deep inside Israel and to strike Israeli navy vessels even before they reach Lebanese waters.
The threats and counter-threats in Lebanon are part of a wider regional struggle in which the US and its protégé Israel want to undermine movements and governments supporting the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US-Zionist aim is to attack and destroy, or at the very least undermine Islamic Iran. So far, all such machinations have come to naught but Uncle Sam and his Zionist protégé are not at the point of giving up yet. The assault on Hizbullah through the CBC and then picked up by other media outlets is part of this wider war.
How the CBC came in possession of these documents is subject to speculation but those familiar with the ongoing saga of allegations against Hizbullah point to both a Canadian official — Daniel Bellemare, who heads the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon — as well as the Israelis themselves for being the source of the leaked documents. It would serve Israel’s interests to implicate Hizbullah. Following Israel’s murderous but ultimately unsuccessful attempt during the 33-day war in summer 2006 to destroy Hizbullah, it has been itching to undermine the Lebanese resistance movement. Israel got a bloody nose in that conflict and has had little success since then. Instead, emboldened by Hizbullah’s example, Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement in Palestine, refused to surrender when Israeli forces attacked the tiny Gaza Strip in December 2008-January 2009. Israel murdered 1,400 Palestinian civilians, one-third of them children, during the 23-day onslaught but failed to crush Hamas.
Soon after Hariri’s assassination, informed observers saw Israel’s hand all over, with good reason. Hariri was planning to visit Damascus soon to mend fences with the Syrian government. Instead, his killing paved the way for the removal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, a long-cherished Israeli objective, and Lebanon came to the brink of a civil war. After Israel’s 2006 failed onslaught, attempts were made to disarm Hizbullah, a move strongly rejected by the Islamic resistance. Additional pressure was exerted to remove the security chief at Beirut airport and for Hizbullah to bring its telecommunications network under government control.
With the Lebanese state institutions infested with Zionist agents, many of whom have since been exposed and arrested, it would have been suicidal for Hizbullah to accede to such a demand. It strongly resisted it and succeeded. Soon thereafter, Hizbullah was able to expose scores of Lebanese working as Zionist agents in sensitive posts within the state machinery, especially in the intelligence agencies. The arrest of Zionist agents in Lebanon has blindsided Israel that is now desperate to target and undermine Hizbullah by other means. The leaked UN documents are part of this conspiracy.
The CBC report also placed much emphasis on a complex analysis of Lebanese phone records that allegedly pinpointed the phones used by Hariri’s killers in the early months of the investigation. The CBC alleged that a key Lebanese officer, Captain (Colonel or even major general, according to the CBC, take your pick) Wissam Eid, a former student of computer engineering, had conducted a review of the “call records of all cellphones” that had been used in the vicinity of the Hotel St. George, where Hariri’s convoy was bombed. It is alleged that he quickly established a network of “red” phones that had been used by the hit squad. He then allegedly established links with other small phone networks he suspected of being involved in planning the operation. He traced all the networks back to a landline at Hizbullah’s Great Prophet Hospital in South Beirut, and a handful of government-issued cell phones set aside for Hizbullah. “The Eid report was entered into the UN’s database by someone who either didn’t understand it or didn’t care enough to bring it forward,” we are told by the CBC.
It would be another year and a half before a team of British investigators, working for the UN, discovered Eid’s paper and contacted him, according to CBC. Only the British had enough sense to decipher Eid’s papers! Eight days later, Eid was killed in a car bomb. Dead men cannot verify what they have or have not said or done. You can attribute anything to them. Besides, there is the troubling aspect of Israeli penetration of the Lebanese telecom infrastructure.
This compromise is especially affecting the cellular network and is continuing to this date. Numerous arrests have been made by the Lebanese security forces of individuals working as Israeli agents monitoring, modifying, impersonating, and spoofing phone records and communication material. This compromise is fully documented by the Lebanese authorities and the In-ternational Telecommunications Union (ITU), the foremost international body regulating and standardizing telecommunications technologies and policies.
At its conference in Guadalajara, Mexico in October, the ITU condemned Israel’s violation of Lebanon’s telecommunications sector, saying the sector has and is still being subject to Israeli interference. The ITU said that Leb-anon’s “mobile phone and land lines are being subject to Israeli piracy, interference, and obstruction.” The conference stressed Lebanon’s “complete right” to be compensated for the harm that has been inflicted on its telecommunications network. The CBC report failed to mention the conference or Israel’s breach of the Lebanese telecom sector.
The UN inquiry has also been tainted by extensive use of false witnesses in the early days of the inquiry, throwing the whole investigation off track. Currently, there is intense debate in Lebanon over false witnesses, how to prosecute them and investigate who is behind them. The first tribunal prosecutor, Detlev Mehlis, made major decisions based on the testimony of false witnesses. The arrest of four high ranking Lebanese security officials had to be reversed and much time and resources were wasted and leads had vanished because of false witnesses. Any investigation that continues work based on flawed and even dishonest findings built on false testimony will lack credibility.
To use such findings and then project them as the basis for pointing a finger at Hizbullah is more than dishonorable, as the CBC has done. It is peddling Zionist propaganda that will have far-reaching consequences if war should again break out in Lebanon. The UN tribunal also ignored evidence presented by Hizbullah about how Israel had aerially mapped the entire route of Hariri’s travel on that fateful day. While the UN eagerly lapped up the testimony of false witnesses because it already had a pre-conceived notion of what it wanted to believe (or what it was told to believe by its masters in Washington and Tel Aviv), it ignored the more credible evidence presented by Hizbullah.
If another war should break out in Lebanon, chances are it may spread to other parts of the Middle East. Zionist militarism knows no bounds; it is a shame that a public-funded body like the CBC would become a propaganda tool of the Zionists and aid Israeli war crimes.