Hezbollah hastens to defend the indefensible

Hezbollah did not hesitate to voice support for Lebanese military court’s shameful decision to release ex-minister Michel Samaha. It did not even wait for the people’s anger and shock to subside over the release of Samaha against whom there was purported to be video evidence showing his involvement in smuggling of explosives into Lebanon from Syria and planning attacks.

Hezbollah’s response has been as strange as the court’s decision. The anger against the decision was described by them as “malicious” and “temperamental”. That’s how Mohammad Raad, the leader of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, put it. True, how can we get angry!

Raad is right in accusing us of being malicious, considering the situation we live through in Lebanon. How ill-tempered we are! How can we condemn the release of a Lebanese politician, who is among the top ranks of the “Axis of the Resistance”, just because he participated in the scheme to assassinate religious and political figures and carry out attacks?

Why accept one siege and reject another? You must therefore accept all forms of siege and starvation!

Diana Moukalled

What madness has struck us when we voice surprise that Samaha was released despite evidence against him in this case? This has been as clear an evidence as any we have seen in Lebanon and the region?

Hezbollah and Raad have the right to describe the reaction of many Lebanese people as “temperamental”, and Hezbollah’s miserable media can go on generalizing this rhetoric. In other words, they can downplay the decision to release Samaha and call it a judicial matter.

This must be accepted just the way previous judicial violations have been accepted and thus it must be concluded that all this anger over the release of the ex-minister is nothing more than bad temper.

Vulgar rhetoric

This rhetoric is all Hezbollah has left when it comes to defending its tasks and positions. It justifies violations by referring to other violations, which they say are nothing compared to the acts of Hezbollah and its media. Hasn’t Hezbollah voiced surprise over our shock because it is besieging the Syrian town of Madaya, and starving its people, and accuse us of remaining silent over the siege of al-Foua and Kefraya?

Why accept one siege and reject another? You must therefore accept all forms of siege and starvation!

Hezbollah has used this kind of vulgar rhetoric to defend a practice which even former head of general security Jamil as-Sayyed could not defend. He clearly stated his discontent over Samaha’s release. So why condemn Samaha’s release when other convicted men have been released in the past? We must not differentiate between criminals and accept them all. This is the logic Hezbollah is confronting us with.

The “Axis of the Resistance” media could not defend the Lebanese military court’s decision as the scandal could not be concealed. All they could do was draw up comparisons with other cases whose evidence and gravity are nothing compared to those related to the Samaha scandal.

The decision to release Samaha finds no precedence in Lebanon’s history. It resembles incidents that happen in North Korea or in dictatorships of the 1970s and in Latin America’s banana republics. This happened in Lebanon at a time when it is no longer possible to cover the scandal of a magnitude of Michel Samaha.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Jan. 18, 2016.
Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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