This Is How the “Israeli” Intelligence Apparatus Studies Sayyed Nasrallah’s Personality
By Jihad Haidar
“Israel’s” military intelligence Aman takes a unique interest in the personality of the Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. It goes beyond the agency’s traditional role in surveilling the leaders of the hostile camp, and evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, ideology, thought process, and factors affecting their decisions and choices.
According to the Yedioth Ahronoth Newspaper’s revelations last year, the agency has a team of 15 researchers affiliated with Aman’s research division, tasked with following everything related to Sayyed Nasrallah and using this to understand and estimate Hezbollah’s options as well as its responses to any moves by “Israel”.
This team reports directly to Aman’s current head of the Military Intelligence Research Division Gen. Amit Saar and belongs to the so-called "Lebanon arena" within the intelligence apparatus. It works all the time on updating its information about Sayyed Nasrallah using public sources and secret intelligence assets.
The researchers are compiling the "Nasrallah File". In the same context, they are trying to work on forming a psychological profile and how it affects the way Hezbollah operates. The special team following Sayyed Nasrallah records, translates, and analyzes his speeches, focusing on the smallest details, including the expressions he uses and body language. They also attempt to get a sense of his health status by observing the state of his breathing during his speeches.
Based on the summary of the special team’s studies, the head of the Military Intelligence Research Division Gen. Amit Saar said that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah’s relationship with Iran is not a subordinate relationship, as is the case with many Lebanese leaders.
In an interview with the “Israel” Hayom newspaper, he indicated that Sayyed Nasrallah “is not subject to Iranian tutelage. He does not receive directions, but he is a partner in the decision-making process in Iran. He is the second figure in the Shiite system after Khamenei."
It is noteworthy that this assessment contradicts the policy that "Israel" and the propaganda agencies at home and abroad that are hostile to Hezbollah, including high-ranking “Israeli” officials, work to promote when the purpose is to incite.
One of the most notable examples of this are the words of the commander of the northern region of the “Israeli” army, Major General Amir Baram, who addressed the Lebanese people in Arabic. Although the speech was in Hebrew he said "Hezbollah is an Iranian occupation of Lebanon, [and Sayyed Hassan] "Nasrallah does not care about you!" [Al-Akhbar / May 6, 2021].
There is another conclusion that many officials and experts, including Saar repeated. It constitutes a focal point from an “Israeli” perspective in understanding the personality of Hezbollah’s Secretary General. It also constitutes an explanatory framework for understanding his positions and foreseeing his options and future steps. This conclusion states that Sayyed Nasrallah “is not Iranian or Lebanese. He is both. He is Iranian and Shiite, and also Lebanese."
If we take into account that the one who is expressing these positions is the head of a hostile apparatus whose vocabulary is derived from his ideological and political cache and is trying to form a picture closer to the reality of his enemy – that is, Hezbollah and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah – then, the meaning of his words is that "Israel" realizes that Hezbollah is working in the interest of the Shiites and Lebanon, as well as being part of the resistance axis that extends from Lebanon to Tehran. These are concepts that Hezbollah does not deny. Rather, the party sees strength for Lebanon and the resistance in its regional alliances. Through these alliances, it was able to confront existential risks to Lebanon and the resistance and face the challenges and predicaments Lebanon is facing.
An additional conclusion is that Hezbollah, under the leadership of Sayyed Nasrallah, has turned into a major actor in the Lebanese and regional arenas. This is a departure from Lebanon’s historic role of being a mere arena that reflects regional developments. It absorbed their repercussions without having an active role in shaping its future, even though it is an integral part of the region, as its future depends on regional developments.
What is also noticeable about Saar's words is that after 16 years, the intelligence is still exerting efforts to limit Sayyed Nasrallah's influence on “Israel”. Since the 2006 war, “Israel” has adopted a different approach in dealing with his speeches and positions. This option crystallized as part of the lessons learned from that war.
"There is an insane and exaggerated glorification of Nasrallah. They say that he does not lie or make mistakes," Brigadier General Saar says about the Secretary General of Hezbollah. This reveals that the results of the efforts exerted by the “Israeli” intelligence and propaganda apparatus were limited and unable to change that image and dimmish its impact on their morale and choices.