Nasrallah back to the language of threats
Hezbollah SG’s statements go against efforts to reduce tensions and calm down the situation at the domestic level
Lebanon’s best efforts to reassure people over its push for national unity, call for talks to decrease Sunni-Shiite tension and calm down the domestic situation appear to have been contradicted by Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s recent statements, which seem to be pushing in the opposite direction.
The stance on Bahrain does not harm the brotherly country alone but the entire Gulf Cooperation Council. This is especially the case with Saudi Arabia, which has always supported Lebanon as an official state and not as parties or groups – and which recently granted the Lebanese Army $3 billion to arm, increase its emergency readiness and move forward in solidifying the state’s control over all Lebanese territories.
This $3 billion is in addition to the $1 billion placed under the disposal of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to help security forces.
Lebanese expats exposed
Exposing the regime in Bahrain and those who stand behind it among Gulf countries has repercussions that impact Lebanese citizens in GCC countries. These people are a source of income for many Lebanese people, particularly fresh graduates who seek job opportunities in Arab countries.
A ban on Lebanese citizens or the placing of restrictions on them would not be limited to Hezbollah’s supporters but would extend to include all the Lebanese people. This is an additional catastrophe for our country, which is suffering from a severe economic crisis and where no one appears to be seeking solutions. Not to mention that we’ve never heard of Lebanese youths heading to Iran seeking available opportunities or jobs.
The increased act of threatening Israel in these circumstances may intimidate the Jewish state and cause it to worry about an increase in arms that Hezbollah may have attained or developed itself.
Risk of aggression
However, making these threats may lead to wars and pre-emptive strikes and attacks on infrastructure in an attempt to pressure Hezbollah. Lebanon does not currently have the energy to tolerate this.
Making these threats may lead to wars and pre-emptive strikes and attacks on infrastructure in an attempt to pressure Hezbollah.Nayla Tueni
Possessing arms represents power for Hezbollah and not Lebanon. And bragging about these weapons harms Lebanon in all international arenas.
As for the stance regarding the presidency, it’s based on an absolute superiority that tends to impose the fait accompli authority by naming Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun as a candidate to whom there’s no alternative.
Election delay risks
This means that the other party’s rejection of Aoun will postpone the election of a president for a long time – until the other party accepts Hezbollah’s and Nasrallah's candidate. Such a stance does not encourage the dialogue needed to tackle all national concerns.
Dialogue must not aim to specify a ceiling or call for negotiating to reach this ceiling as this will not be a real dialogue.
In an analysis to Sayyed Nasrallah’s recent stances, it seems he’s begun to destroy what he himself has called for. His stances may have contradicted with some Iranian interests, and Syrians ones, and he is thus back to square one and to the stances made before the National Dialogue sessions were held and he is once again adopting the language of threats – even if softly.
This article was first published in Annahar newspaper on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni