Sometime in the early 1980s, a large group of Palestinian school girls in the West Bank, who wanted to avoid exams, claimed that they had been "poisoned" by Israeli authorities. The girls said that Israel had put poison in the tanks that supply drinking water to their school. One after the other, the teenage girls started "fainting" in the school yard, especially as photographers and TV crews showed up.
The girls were all released from the hospital after medical tests refuted their claim. But at the end of the day the girls and their families had good reason to be happy. The exams were postponed indefinitely and Israeli "occupation" was once again blamed for perpetrating a "new crime" against Palestinians.
Last week, we heard Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah accuse Israel of standing behind the assassination five years ago of Lebanon's Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri.
Nasrallah has even expressed his willingness to hand over the evidence he has against Israel to the Lebanese authorities, and the international court that was formed to investigate the assassination of Hariri. So far, however, the only proof he has in his hands are pictures of Israeli reconnaissance planes hovering over Beirut and other parts of Lebanon many years before the assassination.
Nasrallah, who has been in hiding since he instigated the 2006 war that wrought massive destruction and disaster on his fellow citizens, is doing exactly what the school girls in the West Bank: When you experience stress, and you wish to avoid a hard test, you rush to blame Israel and Jews for the miseries of your people.
By accusing Israel of poisoning their drinking water, the school girls managed to force their teachers to call off the exams. The hoax was uncovered only when someone noticed that none of the teachers working in the same school had fallen ill after drinking from the same water tanks.
Nasrallah is under pressure because the international court, according to confirmed reports, is about to hold his fundamentalist organization responsible for the Hariri assassination. These reports have prompted Nasrallah to shoot in all directions to distract attention from the court's expected ruling.
Nasrallah and Hizbullah are now waging a propaganda campaign aimed at discrediting the court by depicting its members as Mossad and Zionist agents. Moreover, Nasrallah is now telling his supporters that Hizbullah is the victim of an Israeli-American-Arab conspiracy to eliminate it. His argument is that Israel and the Americans, aided by some Arab governments and anti-Hizbullah parties, are trying to destroy Hizbullah through the courts after failing to wipe it off the map during the 2006 war.
But Nasrallah's "evidence," allegedly linking Israel to the assassination, appears so far to have convinced only a small number of Arabs and Muslims. Many newspaper editors, political analysts and columnists throughout the Arab world have been quick to scoff at Nasrallah's charges, saying that he has failed to fulfill his promise to provide clear-cut evidence regarding Israel's alleged involvement in the assassination.
Yet the biggest question remains: Why did the Hizbullah chief wait five years before coming out with the charges against Israel? If the man had all this "evidence" that incriminates Israel in his safe box all these years, how come he waited until now?
One would expect Nasrallah to make these charges in public immediately after the assassination. Why is he accusing Israel only now that the court is about to hold Hizbullah responsible for the Hariri assassination?
Nasrallah's supporters claim he had refrained from blaming Israel because the "political climate was inappropriate all those years."
In any case, the Lebanese security authorities are strongly advised to question Nasrallah on suspicion he may be an Israeli spy. Otherwise, how does one explain the fact that the man knew all these years that Israel had killed the Lebanese prime minister and never said a word?
Hasn't it occurred to anyone in Lebanon that Nasrallah might be on the payroll of Mossad? Nasrallah should be detained immediately and accused of "covering up" for Israel's alleged role in the assassination of Hariri. Or perhaps the Lebanese authorities should wait until the court publishes its findings and take the brave step of arresting Nasrallah on charges of assassinating Hariri.
When will the Lebanese people wake up and realize that Hizbullah is destroying their country the same way the PLO did in the 1970's and 1980's? Like the PLO back then, Hizbullah has created a state-within-a-state in Lebanon - a move that is threatening to re-ignite civil war.