Whoever breaks the taboos in holding the condemned Hezbollah accountable |


Beirut – The ruling of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon carried a political accusation against Hezbollah in the case of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and the circle of popular anger against him expanded. Despite this, experts and activists are unlikely to weaken the greater political and military power in Lebanon.

Days after the horrific explosion at the port, protesters were suspended, angry at the neglect of the political class and its corruption of the hangers’ bodies. The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, was not spared, in a scene that has long been considered a “taboo”.

In 2006, a television channel broadcast a satirical program that criticized Nasrallah. Several Lebanese regions were incensed with the anger of his supporters, who took to the streets, burned tires, and blocked roads, refusing to attack the “master of resistance.”

In the summer of the same year, Hezbollah confirmed the aura in which it surrounded itself, as a “leader of the resistance” against Israel among all Arabs, following the July war between it and Israel, a war that destroyed Lebanon, but during which the Hebrew state did not succeed in achieving its declared goal, which is the judiciary. On the party.

Sami Atallah: Hezbollah is playing the role of the protector of an incompetent political class

Since then, Hezbollah, which has a military arsenal larger than the army, has continued to consolidate its influence on the Lebanese arena, although it lost popularity on the road due to its immersion in narrow local politics, and more so after its involvement in the Syrian conflict in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad as of 2011. .

Faris al-Halabi, an activist who has participated since October in organizing demonstrations against the ruling class in Lebanon, told AFP, “At the beginning, there was an implicit agreement between the revolutionaries to neutralize the issue of Hezbollah and its weapons,” which has always been a controversial heading in the country. The protesters wanted to present a scene of national unity and focus on what unites them, i.e. demanding solutions to the dire economic and living situation and holding corrupt officials accountable.

Al-Halabi says that the scene began to change when it became clear that the party was “the first party to attack the people,” who were chanting in the squares, “Everyone means everyone.” This contributed to “breaking the image of Hezbollah … which was subjected to insults and there are no longer any taboos.”

The squares of Riyadh Al-Solh and Al-Shuhada, where the demonstrators gathered in the center of the capital, have repeatedly witnessed tensions and confrontations as a result of youths loyal to Hezbollah attacking the protesters, beating them and destroying their sit-in tents.

Hezbollah was one of the strongest supporters of the downfall of the government at the time, but it resigned under the pressure of the protests. A new government was formed, with his blessing, headed by Hassan Diab, which lasted only a few months, and fell under the pressure of the street after the horrific Beirut explosion, which killed 181 people, injured more than 6,500 and destroyed large areas of the capital.

While communications are currently active, and international pressure has entered their path to form a new government, analysts rule out a radical change in the political scene.

Political activist Naji Abu Khalil believes that “the image of Hezbollah as a party in the government, like all other parties, now dominates the image of the resistance party.”

“Hezbollah is the actual ruler and everything that happens under its watch, and the actual ruler is always the one who bears responsibility for any negative consequences that occur,” Al-Halabi said.

The conviction by the International Tribunal of one of the four accused members of Hezbollah in the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005, constituted a new setback for the party, despite the coldness with which most of the Lebanese, mired in their worries and economic problems, received the verdict.

Hezbollah has plunged into narrow local politics
Hezbollah has plunged into narrow local politics

The court did not rule out that Hezbollah and its ally Syria might have “motives to assassinate” Hariri, even if it did not have evidence of a “role” for the party leadership and “Syria’s involvement in the matter.”

On Twitter, and despite the disappointment expressed by some of Hezbollah’s opponents who were expecting a stronger rule, the hashtag spread “Hezbollah is terrorist”In parallel with the continuing circulation of reports and rumors of the party bringing in the huge amount of ammonium nitrate that caused the explosion of the port.

Hezbollah has yet to comment on the ruling. And he had announced in advance that he would consider the decision “as if it had not been issued.”

Hezbollah and its allies, most notably President Michel Aoun’s current and the Amal Movement headed by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, form a parliamentary majority.

Reports indicate that he controls the crossings and facilities through officials within the administration, or through a direct presence that remains out of the limelight.

Hassan Fadlallah: The protesters cannot determine the fate of Lebanon
Hassan Fadlallah: The protesters cannot determine the fate of Lebanon

Analysts are unlikely to weaken its position, especially in light of the stability of the regional scene where Iran, the most prominent supporter of Hezbollah, remains an influential player despite all the sanctions and blockades imposed on it.

Nasrallah appeared firm in rejecting the demand to bring down the traditional political forces, despite popular demands.

In his Friday speech, he warned that the “ceiling” of any “political movement” is “preventing the fall of the state.” He affirmed his rejection of a neutral government or an independent government, as the protesters demand.

The Executive Director of the Lebanese Center for Studies, Sami Atallah, believes that Hezbollah plays the role of “protector” of an “incompetent” political class.

“He chose to protect the house that is crumbling, this sectarian system responsible for the economic and social ills that led to the financial collapse and then the explosion of the port,” he says.

He adds that Hezbollah “knows how to work better (…) in such a failed state,” and therefore chose to “preserve the existing status quo.”

Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said in an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV Wednesday, “We and our allies today have a parliamentary majority,” adding, “Some in Lebanon should allow us, if they see how many demonstrators around them, do not mean that they can determine the fate of Lebanon.” .


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