In the Orwellian media world we now live in, words are whatever you want them to mean. Since the war between Israel and Hezbollah started Sheikh Nasrallah has used the word “resistance” repeatedly in all his public comments. As might be expected, the press has followed suit.
Yet it is interesting to explore what Hezbollah is resisting. Israel voluntarily and unilaterally left southern Lebanon in conjunction with a U.N. accord. Israel did not respond in force to literally hundreds of rocket attacks against its northern territory until its soldiers were wantonly killed and three were kidnapped. And Israel did not challenge the U.N. when it didn’t enforce Resolution 1559 which specifically called for the diarmament of Hezbollah.
What Hezbollah appears to be resisting is the very existence of Israel. There are two theoretical observations that make this case. If tomorrow Hezbollah gave up its weapons, peace in Lebanon would follow. Even detractors of Israel would admit this result. If tomorrow Israel gave up its weapons, Israel would cease to exist. That too is indisputable. Therefore who is resisting whom?
When Sakarov and Scharansky were dissidents opposed to the tyranny of the Soviet leadership, it was clear who they were resisting. When Jews fought Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto, it was clear who they were resisting. Who precisely is Hezbollah resisting?
If I were to ask, who is Lebanon resisting, the answer is apparent – Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. Lebanon is an occupied country that no longer represents the will of its five million residents. It is and has been a client state of Syria for years and the Cedar revolution notwithstanding, either Syrian secret police, Hezbollah forces or Iranian Revolutionary Guard pull the political strings. To argue, as our State Department does, that the Lebanese government must be propped up is an exercise in self delusion.
In the media universe where ignorance prevails, the word “resistance” has meaning as a cause. It reverberates with the echo of freedom fighters and nation builders. Now, of course, the word has been preempted, a casualty of double-speak.
“Resistance” is not alone in this preemption category; it is merely the latest example. In the last few years the word “occupation” was the Orwellian word of choice; it too was used by the PLO and Hamas to argue for their resistance against Israel. In this case the world seemed to buy the line since an entity called Palestine and a people called Palestinians were invented and given legitimacy.
What the West doesn’t understand is that the Koran and the Islamic faith countenances “teqiya,” or lying, that promotes the religion and is consistent with Allah’s will. Since Allah’s will cannot be determined and designs on caliphates can be contemplated, teqiya is a useful method for promoting Islamic expansion.
The part that is infuriating about this state of affairs is that American journalists are often persuaded lies are true and truth is lies. How does one know? If you start with the Chomskyan supposition that the American government always lies, you may be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the Islamists.
However, there is a simple test for truth detection. Whenever Hezbollah spokesmen use the word “resistance,” and whenever Hamas uses the word “occupation,” you can be sure lies are forthcoming. Now, if only the American press corps would adopt this simple litmus test.
Herbert London is president of Hudson Institute and professor emeritus of New York University. He is the author of Decade of Denial (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2001). London maintains a website, www.herblondon.org.