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Hezbollah In The Eye Of The Storm

Hezbollah In The Eye Of The Storm

Sunday, 27 October, 2019 - 09:00
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
Following all political forces, Hezbollah has faced the popular protests in Lebanon, and considered them directed against it. Ten days ago, the Lebanese people of all sects with no exception, took to the streets after the situation reached unprecedented levels.

They did not target certain political forces, did not raise slogans against Hezbollah or others, they held only their Lebanese flag, carried only their concerns, and rebelled against their tragedies.

But Nasrallah understood very well that it was his party and his allies who caused the unparalleled protest movement.

With two speeches, Nasrallah rushed to justify his position and to threaten his opponents. He moved from self-defense to the attack, before he finds himself alone in the eye of the storm.

Nasrallah used his political weight to preserve what he called the “present tenure”, calling it a red line. He is in fact the godfather of the political settlement that made the militia leader the first decision-maker in Lebanon. He has engineered the arrival of a pro-Hezbollah president to power; he has also designed the first-time 30-minister-government, including 18 ministers from his own party and allies.

He did not realize that today, he is confronting people whose energy is greater than his - and who are more powerful than his threats. Today, he is facing the Lebanese people of all sects, Christians and Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites, Maronite, Orthodox and Druze.

The problem is more complicated than Hezbollah’s attempts, over the past decades, to buy time under the threat of weapons. Angry Lebanese have recently declared that their country’s sectarian and quota-based system, which is hindering development process, has to change.

It seems that Prime Minister Saad Hariri is convinced that the change of government is coming, albeit delayed, after he became alone, without allies within his government, following the resignation of the Lebanese Forces ministers. But Hezbollah firmly rejects this option.

Not only did Nasrallah regard the present tenure as a red line, threatening everyone not to touch it, as if it were a holy book, but he also mocked the protesters’ demands to form a technocratic government. He is well aware that he is the biggest loser in any future changes to the political system that is currently burdening the Lebanese.

So Nasrallah not only warned the protesters, but threatened them with a “civil war.” He, alone, possesses the tools of this war, not the unarmed people.

The annihilation of political considerations, no matter how necessary for the Lebanese people, is merely an inherent habit of Hassan Nasrallah, who has never been known to consider the interests of the Lebanese, given his continued religious and political subordination to the Supreme Leader who is based in Iran.

However, the Iranian project, which Nasrallah is fighting to adhere to, is contrary to the nature of Lebanon.

Hezbollah and its leader have openly declared that they are confronting everyone and that they continue to use Lebanon, with its people and state, as human and economic shields to protect their interests.

The lie of the present tenure has expired irrevocably. This is no longer a purely Lebanese tenure, but the “Hezbollah era” that Nasrallah defends.

The Lebanese roaring voice cannot be stopped by Hezbollah, neither by threat nor by intimidation, nor by the militias that Nasrallah boasts as the strongest on the ground.

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