You were wrong to support Hezbollah

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Abdulrahman al-Rashed
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Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign affairs minister, is not the only one who said: We supported Hezbollah when it fought Israel but we are now against it because it’s fighting the Syrian people. Many are today justifying their past stances using this same excuse. With all my respect to what Sheikh Hamad said and others repeated, I ask: How many times has Hezbollah fought Israel in a decade and a half? Only twice, in 1997 and in 2006.

Other than that, the front with Israel remained guarded by Hezbollah fighters. In the past ten years, most of Hezbollah’s heroic acts were criminal ones that destabilized their country and obstructed political life. Was Hezbollah fighting Israel when assassins killed Lebanon’s Rafiq Hariri in 2005? Was it fighting Israel when, for two continuous years, it resumed implementing assassinations against its political, media and military rivals - whose number exceed 20 - upon orders from Bashar al-Assad’s regime? Was it fighting Israel when it occupied west Beirut, attacked Mount Lebanon and killed around 70 people in 2008? Was it fighting Israel when it obstructed public interests, blocked roads and stirred a state of fear that forced most March 14 leaders to hide at the Phoenicia Hotel for several months because they were afraid of Hezbollah’s gangs?

Many have politically and financially supported Hezbollah, even when it committed unforgivable crimes

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Hezbollah confronted Israel once in an operation in 2006 that aimed to launch a battle that served Iranian aims and had nothing to do with Palestine or the Shebaa Farms. The battle destroyed Lebanon’s infrastructure. Back then, Hezbollah militias hid behind the excuse that they were fighting an unbalanced war with the enemy’s forces and that they will save their power to confront the Israelis later. Of course, everyone can see that Hezbollah saved its men to involve them in the fighting against the Syrians. Hezbollah has never dragged its men into war with Israel with so much courage.

Many have politically and financially supported Hezbollah, even when it committed unforgivable crimes. Since it’s all history now, we hoped they would stand up and admit “we made a mistake” or at least say “we were deceived” instead of granting Hezbollah a testimony it does not deserve. Unfortunately, due to regional disputes, many have supported Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Nasrallah at a time when they committed hideous crimes against Lebanon and the region. Confronting Israel was nothing more than a propaganda campaign aiming to justify attempts to dominate Lebanon and be the sole decision makers in the country. Hezbollah is almost the only party that has arsenal and a trained army, and it is almost the only party that refuses to be submissive to the state’s authority alleging its power aims to confront Israel. As you see, it’s now spending your money and support to committing massacres in Syria.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on June 24, 2013.

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Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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