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Hezbollah pulled out of the government in expectation of indictment by the Hariri tribunal. The move only confirms that Hezbollah has transformed itself from a terrorist group into a political party. For a militant group, it would have made sense to remain in the government and disregard the tribunal’s verdict. A political group, on the other hand, cares about its image more than power or money, so Hezbollah prevented PR fallout from the verdict by staging a PR coup of its own. And so Hezbollah the political party brought down Hariri’s government to deflect the upcoming indictment.

We reiterate our view that a Hezbollah coup is unlikely. Nasrallah knows that Israel would be only too happy to use that as a pretext to bomb his arsenal of 60,000 rockets.

More likely, the Lebanese government will follow the path of Fatah: a technically illegitimate government continues to operate as long as a new government cannot be formed.

With much fanfare, Barak promised to find a solution to prevent the eviction of Eliraz Peretz’s family. The major was killed in Gaza, and the court ordered that his house, one of many unauthorized structures in the West Bank, be demolished.

Barak’s position is decidedly immoral. If there is rule of law, then the state has to demolish that house, though it may pay a grant to enable Peretz’s family to buy a new house. Or the ‘illegal’ building can be issued a construction permit.

But more importantly, why is Barak concerned about the court’s demolition order? Police ignore thousands of such court orders against illegal Arab houses. But it is different when courts target Jews.

Eliraz Peretz

January 2011
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