At the conclusion of the speech by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah today, various Lebanese and other Arab analysts and politicians were responding with commentaries that are rarely heard by Arabs these days: the language of victory - Arab victory. This is the same language observers world-wide are using these days to discuss the outcome of the Israeli invasion: Israeli defeat & Arab victory. Even Israeli press is discussing the possibilities.
This reminds one of few years ago when South Lebanon also recorded in the history books a stunning Israeli defeat.
Let us review:
1. Israel wanted to crush the resistance - Failed.
2. Israel wanted to guarantee that northern areas in Palestine are not attacked - Failed, the opposite is taking place.
3. Israel wanted to establish military dominance - Failed, the Israeli losses are massive.
4. Israel wanted to turn Lebanon into an internal strife - Failed.
5. Israel wanted to create a southern security zone - Failed, even deploying an international force is an indication of Israeli failure.
6. Israel wanted to find the captured soldiers - Failed. It is very likely that an exchange will take place.
7. Israel wanted to destroy resistance leadership - Failed. In fact the resistance forces are enjoying a high level of support in both Lebanon and Palestine, and now Arab wide.
What did Israel achieve:
1. Massive death and destruction in Lebanon. But this is not a political achievement in any sense.
2. Additional opposition by the Lebanese and Palestinian people against Israeli brutality.
3. Renewed public Arab and Muslim opposition.
So what did Israel achieve militarily and politically thus far: Nothing.
Also, let us look at the Israeli simultaneous campaign in Southern Palestine:
1. Israel wanted to destroy the Palestinian resistance - Failed.
2. Israel wanted to find the captured soldier - Failed.
3. Israel wanted to destroy the newly-elected legislature and newly-formed government - Failed.
4. Israel wanted the Palestinian people to capitulate - Failed.
At this point, a military and political victory for Israel is, therefore, not attainable. The only way Israel can turn a defeat into semi-victory is if Arab regimes, particularly Saudi Arabia and Egypt, provide Israel the cover and face saving it needs. This can be done as follows:
1. Delinking Palestine from Lebanon, hence giving Israel a breathing room.
2. Pressuring the resistance in both Palestine and Lebanon to accept a less favorable deal.
3. Bringing in the US as a power broker, hence giving US proxy forces the ability to be actors in the political arena during a time they are being dealt a significant blow.
4. Forcing the disarming of resistance in Palestine and Lebanon.
I wonder how will this evolving new political reality impact the various Arab governments, political parties, and movements - particularly in Palestine. The next few days will be critical on various levels.