The so-called spiritual guides, who ultimately overlook most political and military activities while blessing acts of terrorism, can be found in almost all religious terrorist groups: Examples include Hizb'allah's Sheikh Fadlallah, Hamas' Sheikh Yassin, the militant Sikh leader Sant Bhindranwale and Aum Shinrikyo's leader, Shoko Asahara.
The latter is evident in the growth and increased activism of doomsday cults, awaiting the imminent apocalypse, whose self-prophetic visions about the future have triggered them to hasten the new millenium.(29) This messianic anticipation, for example, was clearly evident in the attack on the Grand Mosque of Mecca in 1979 (the Islamic year 1400) by armed Muslim militants from al-Ikhwan, who expected the return of their Madhi.(30) The formation of Lebanese Hizb'allah can be attributed to the context of the civil war and the inspiring example of Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution in Iran.
This is most effectively illustrated by the 1985 Sikh in-flight bombing of an Air India airliner, causing 328 deaths, as well as by Hizb'allah's twin suicide bombings of the U.S.
Additionally, the internationalization of Muslim terrorist violence against the West and Israel during the 1980s supported Iran's efforts to export the revolution abroad and was a cost-effective instrument to change the foreign policies of western states hostile toward the Islamic Republic.(56) The Lebanese Hizb'allah movement in particular, was very useful to the Iranian regime in achieving these ends.
The first time this tactic was employed by the Hizb'allah was against the American, French and later Israeli military contingents present in Lebanon in 1983.
I have no doubt that the Israel Defence Forces, founded in 1948 amid simultaneous attacks from five Arab armies, will take careful stock of the problems thrown up during the recent battle with Hizb'allah
, learn from those problems and emerge as strong as is needed to defend the territorial integrity of Israel, and to ward off external enemies.