Far-right conference calls for Israeli settlement of southern Lebanon, or ‘northern Galilee’

A group of fringe far-right Israelis have held an online conference today, advocating the idea of occupying areas of southern Lebanon as a solution for ongoing daily Hezbollah attacks on Israel’s north.

The conference was broadcast live on YouTube, allowing participants to watch but not take part otherwise. A couple of hundred people watched the conference, and around 800 participated in a WhatsApp group in preparation for the event, though some of them were curious journalists.

One of the speakers is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s estranged brother-in-law, Hagi Ben Artzi.

The first part of the presentation focuses on the geopolitical situation in Lebanon, mentioning how it is a “failed state” due to a large number of sectarian groups.

“There is no such thing as the State of Lebanon, just a group of tribes,” says Eliyahu Ben-Asher, an activist.

Another activist, Prof. Yoel Elitzur, a Bible and Hebrew linguistic researcher, explains that there is no other way to win the war with Hezbollah other than Jews settling the “northern part of the Galilee”; i.e., southern Lebanon. He refers to bible inscriptions as proof of the necessity of such an act.

“We have to ask ourselves what is the proper way to assist God in fulfilling its intentions,” he says.

Ben Artzi, an educator and lecturer on Jewish thought, the Bible and the Talmud, suggests a change in the way Israelis refer to the area: “We must stop using the term south Lebanon or the security zone, because from a geographical viewpoint, the Galilee [in northern Israel] extends to the Litani River, it is a single mountainous mass within which no dividing line can be separated. It is an artificial border, it has no natural geographic basis, and terminology is important.”

He says this is similar to the way “we stopped using the term ‘West Bank’ and called it Judea and Samaria” — the territory’s biblical name, which is its default name for most Hebrew speakers.

Ben Artzi also tells the crowd how he was able to convince his brother-in-law, Netanyahu, to oppose the Israeli military’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon back in 1999, during an election campaign.

“Unfortunately, he lost the election to Ehud Barak at the time,” Ben Artzi reminiscences. A year later, Barak oversaw the withdrawal from southern Lebanon.

Original article

See also:

Israelis Dream to Colonize Lebanon, 12 April 2024

Photo: Hagi Ben Artzi speaks at the First Lebanon Conference, advocating the occupying and settling areas of southern Lebanon, June 17, 2024. Source: YouTube.