Speaker Events - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Cambanis: “Hezbollah's Top Choice is a War with Israel”
"Hezbollah's top choice is a war with Israel they can blame on Israel at the best time for Hezbollah," said Thanassis Cambanis, reporter and author of the book A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah's Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel. His statement came in response to a question put to him on whether Hezbollah wants to provoke an attack by Israel or if it would rather avoid it.
"I think that's what they’re planning for, and, in the worst-case scenario for Hezbollah, they just have to outright provoke a war," he said at an IPI event on January 18th. “And that’s bad in a number of ways. That’s just bad, and it’s bad for the world."
Mr. Cambanis also said that all of Hezbollah is "wedded to a war against Israel," in contrast to Hamas, where some “aren’t necessarily interested in fighting."
To do his reporting, Mr. Cambanis told the IPI audience he sought out Hezbollah fighters by driving as close to the Israeli border as possible looking for "people with beards and cargo pants."
"No one in Lebanon wanted to join me in this, because they thought it was a completely suicidal approach," he said.
His approach worked, however, and Mr. Cambanis obtained an interview with Hezbollah fighter Rani Bazzi, who he describes as a “fanatic" who also had a "human mode."
"How could someone be eager to die and also appear to be so constructive?" he said. "This is the mystery that Hezbollah has resolved for itself, and it’s the reason why their society is so dynamic."
"The Israeli military can go in and kill every single Hezbollah fighter and destroy every single rocket in Lebanon, and unless Israel decides to occupy all of Lebanon for the foreseeable future after that, they’ll go back to Israel, and Hezbollah will still be there as the dominant force with more sympathy than ever before, and just like after the last war," he said.
"If there's a war, they win," he said, "and that's the thing that Americans and Israelis often don’t understand."
The event was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President for External Relations.
To listen to the podcast, click the "play" button:
The Global Observatory
New Prospects for a Peace Process in Afghanistan?
One of the priorities for President Ashraf Ghani will be to restore dialogue with the Taliban. Will he succeed where Karzai arguably failed?
Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.
November 03, 2014
Apakan on Ukraine: "To Be Present Is Important"
On November 3rd, IPI’s Vienna office hosted Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
November 03, 2014
Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security
“We did not want to make war safe for women; we wanted to end war for everyone,” Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury said, recalling the goal of a new resolution he introduced as president of the Security Council in the year 2000.
September 25, 2014
IPI Remembers Margaret Vogt