For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Mark Silverberg Hudson New York 13 August '10 Posted before Shabbat
With each passing day, it is becoming increasing difficult to determine where Hezbollah's control of Lebanon ends and where the Lebanese government's control begins. The terrorist organization now dictates Iranian decrees to Lebanese officials and institutions; manipulates their activities; and greatly influences the country's decision-making processes through infiltration, intimidation, and terrorism. No decision can be made by the Lebanese government or any of its institutions including its military forces without Hezbollah's approval.
The deadly clash in early August along the Lebanon-Israel border that left a senior IDF officer dead and another seriously wounded highlighted the problem, and has raised questions about future U.S. government funding of advanced weaponry and equipment for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) -- a policy which, until now, has represented the cornerstone of U.S. efforts to stabilize Lebanon. Evidence indicates that the LAF sniper (a Shiite) was closely associated with Hezbollah (a Shiite terrorist organization); and many in Congress fear that such associations between the LAF and Hezbollah go far deeper than meets the eye.
Hezbollah's influence has gradually seeped into state institutions, especially the Lebanese army. The LAF's profound weaknesses, and the level of penetration by Hezbollah, is one of the main reasons why the LAF seeks to avoid a confrontation. There is a very real danger that, in such an eventuality, the LAF's Shiite contingent (numbering approximately a third of the Lebanese army) would desert and join the terrorist group, leading to another Lebanese civil war.
Of concern to members of Congress is the knowledge that the LAF not only provides Hezbollah with intelligence information gathered through the use of U.S. and French high-tech signals equipment (as noted below), but that it has high-ranking LAF officers closely associated with Hezbollah.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"