Slogans are the quickest way to defeat Lebanon

Nasrallah is not doing Lebanon and the Lebanese a service by threatening to call in Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani and Yemeni fighters.


2017/07/02 Issue: 113 Page: 11


The Arab Weekly
Khairallah Khairallah



It is not the missiles of the so-called resistance or its Iran-instigated participation in the war on the Syrian people or the words of Hezbollah Secretary-Gen­eral Hassan Nasrallah that are going to protect Lebanon. Nasrallah recently said: “The Israeli enemy knows that if it attacks Syria or Lebanon, it’s not sure that the conflict will remain between Lebanon and Israel or between Syria and Israel."

He added: “I’m not saying that there are countries that will get directly involved in the conflict but the events will draw tens of thousands, nay hundreds of thousands of jihadists and fighters from the four corners of the Muslim and Arab worlds, from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghani­stan and Pakistan.”

Nothing really explains this type of discourse except the desire to escape reality. Reality says that, since 2006, southern Lebanon has been living in horrible conditions under the mandate of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. This talk about Israel’s probable intentions does not hide the fact that Iran has failed to do anything regarding the Jewish state since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s declaration of July 1979. All we have seen and heard since that day has been shameless political profiteering from the cause and lots of talk aimed at embarrassing the Arabs.

Led by its most ultra-right-wing government, Israel has always known what it wants. It wants to create a new reality on Palestin­ian land and legitimise its occupation of part of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. What concrete steps has Iran taken to halt this Machiavellian plan? The answer is none. More than 650,000 Israeli settlers live in various parts of the West Bank.

Israel could not be happier to have the southern Lebanon front remain open and alive so it can exchange services with both the Syrian regime and the Iranian regime. Resolution 1701 had closed the front. It had stopped military operations and spared the area and its people from destruction and dislocation.

Had the war of 2006 continued, Israel would have inflicted greater damage and misery. So, to protect Lebanon and its people, the international community decided to end the war. A new reality has thus been created and the rules of the game have changed.

What Nasrallah needs to realise is that he is not doing Lebanon and the Lebanese a service by threatening to call in Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani and Yemeni fighters. These people have enough problems to deal with in their own countries. The only service he can offer Lebanon and the Lebanese is closing off Lebanese space to those who wish to turn it into a jousting ground. This includes some Hamas leaders who are believed to have moved from Doha to Beirut.

Since when has Hezbollah been appointed controller of Lebanese space? Then again, Hezbollah has always considered ideological and sectarian ties stronger than national borders.

Lebanon’s only real protection comes from Resolution 1701. Hezbollah consented to every single word in that resolution even before it was adopted in August 2006. If Hezbollah is serious about doing Lebanon a service, it should refrain from giving unrealistic speeches and from jumping on Quds Day celebrations to attack Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. I guess Hezbollah has forgotten about the Lebanese who are living and working in those countries.

What the Lebanese people want is to see their country returned to the Lebanese state, not for it to continue to be used as a drop box for messages between Iran and Israel.

The population of southern Lebanon is living in peace and quiet thanks to Resolution 1701. That resolution was the result of certain circumstances. Why the excessive pride in refusing to accept reality as it is? Why should we have Iranians, Iraqis, Paki­stanis and Afghanis defend Lebanon? How does the local population in southern Lebanon feel about bringing the Afghan Fatimid Brigade to their land? Wouldn’t that remind them of the different nationalities brought in by Palestinian factions at some point in history?

As to the Yemenis, they have a lot to do in their country, not least of all is fighting cholera. The Palestinians are the least of their worries these days. For them, Palestine exists only in speeches by Houthi leader Abdelmalik al-Houthi, who should be more focused on making life easier for Sana’a’s inhabitants by removing his militia than on mouthing slogans about liberating the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.

Slogans will not return hope to the Yemenis nor liberate Jerusa­lem. Slogans are the quickest way to defeat Lebanon instead of defeating Israel.


Khairallah Khairallah is a Lebanese writer.


As Printed
MENA Now
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar

Correspondents

Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

Designers

Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

www.alarab.co.uk

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved