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Refraining from Standing Againt Hezbollah is the Real Danger

Refraining from Standing Againt Hezbollah is the Real Danger

Sunday, 24 March, 2019 - 09:15
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

For many years, Hezbollah thought it enjoyed a level of immunity and impunity and believed it had the freedom to act as it wanted without repercussions or taking responsibility for the hostile behavior and terrorist acts.

The party exploits differences in the positions of major powers hesitating to hold it responsible for its actions as a party closer to a terrorist group rather than a political one, and that is due to its unprecedented position within the political system in Lebanon.

However, facing Hezbollah does not bear evidence that refers to the party’s criminal activities within Lebanon and abroad. European countries are gradually classifying Hezbollah as a terrorist party after the United States had done that long ago.

The “political situation” pretext and the nature of Hezbollah’s participation in the Lebanese government had collapsed and the party came into an open confrontation with the world. It is no longer possible to deceive the world that it is a political component which the Lebanese political system can’t proceed without.

Hezbollah has an undeniable presence in Lebanon's political arena. It is the only Shiite group in Lebanon that has not handed over its arms to the authorities after the end of the civil war.

This significance is not derived from internal popular support, rather from Iran. It allowed the party to have a huge military force that it uses either to intimidate its opponents from political parties in Lebanon or provide substantial field support to the regime in Syria.

In both cases, this is not the task of a political group in any country in the world. So today, Lebanon faces an inevitable fate in the face of a real international confrontation with Hezbollah, hoping the country will become a natural state once again.

This scenario could not have come from within, so it became inevitable for pressures to be exerted from outside the country.

Hezbollah’s duality of a party with military power and illegal actions and a partner within the government cannot co-exist. This resulted in a growing snowball effect coming from outside the country.

On Friday, and right from Beirut, Washington increased its pressure on Hezbollah, with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing the party of robbing Lebanese resources, which belong to the people. Pompeo called on all Lebanese to stand up to Hezbollah, which he accused of “criminality, terror, and threats.”

Lebanon's national debt is 141 percent of its gross domestic product, one of the highest in the world.

In January, Moody's downgraded Lebanon's rating, citing “fears of a significant rise in debt”, and probably the Lebanese economy.

If no one can stand up against the party from within, external confrontation is the only available option to preserve the stability of Lebanon as well as that of the region and the world.

The real danger can be seen as a reluctance to confront Hezbollah. The party, as the Lebanese themselves claim, is no longer a state within the Lebanese state. The situation is even worse as Lebanon heads to become a small state within the state of Hezbollah.

The evidence goes that this false equation, which lasted for decades, can no longer go on indefinitely, and standing against Hezbollah has become a necessity that cannot be ignored.

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