Mustafa Badreddine and the road to Jerusalem

After Mustafa Badreddine was killed, Hezbollah’s media department distributed his biography and released photos and videos of him. It was the first time we saw them. Before that there were only rare photos of him, while records about his life were barely enough to know anything about him.

Badreddine was shrouded in mystery, especially during the past decade, despite being in the limelight for being wanted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Hezbollah refused to turn him in to the STL, which indicted him for the killing of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The distributed photos showed Badreddine outside in broad daylight speaking with companions, smiling and enjoying his freedom. He seemed comfortable, not like he was being pursued by the Lebanese judicial authorities.

The photos did not suggest he was serious about remaining in hiding, or concerned about only moving at night. Far from living a secret life - as we assume wanted men do - he lived an ordinary one, to the point where we might have run into him on the streets of Beirut.

Badreddine was shrouded in mystery, especially during the past decade, despite being in the limelight for being wanted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Diana Moukalled

The photos and biography that Hezbollah disseminated showed him as a man who lived and died as a fighter against Israel. His biography ended with a statement that he was murdered in Syria, where he was fighting jihadists. It did not mention the death sentence issued against him in Kuwait in the 1980s for his role in bomb attacks. It did not mention the international accusations against him, such as those related to Hariri’s assassination.

The STL accused Badreddine of masterminding the assassination, buying the truck of explosives, and fabricating the video of a man called Abu Adas claiming responsibility. The biography did not mention Badreddine’s role in solidifying the authority of the criminal Syrian regime. We are required to believe only his heroism and alleged struggle against Israel.


Those who repeat allegations that he was a hero do so automatically, as seen in the reactions of media outlets affiliated with the ‘axis of resistance.’ Hezbollah supporters who always bring up Israel as such do so to negate the role of politics and logic, and to portray him as innocent of the hideous crime of assassinating Hariri and other Lebanese, and of the even more hideous crime of supporting the Syrian regime, which is murdering its own people.

Similarly, the experience of late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad has taught us that he could not have governed the country without spreading the illusion of the Palestinian cause in order to deprive people of their rights. We are supposed to continue believing this illusion.

The circumstances of Badreddine’s murder remain mysterious, like his story. Syrian opposition factions and Israel deny involvement in his murder.

Badreddine was one of Hezbollah’s top military commanders, and he was wanted on several charges. He is the fourth Hezbollah official to be killed in Syria, and we are supposed to believe that this happened while he was on his way to Jerusalem!

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on May. 16, 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 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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