Hezbollah will remain armed, so says Lebanon much to the chagrin of Israel
By Iqbal Jassat
Exactly 66 years since Lebanon gained it’s independence from French colonialism, the war-torn country took another major leap worthy of celebration.
President Michel Suleiman’s government of Lebanon issued a policy declaration on November 26th, 2009 that has been described as the most important decision the new unity government has taken since coming to power.
The declaration, not surprisingly, has rocked the American/Israel axis of power for it categorically affirms the right of Hezbollah to remain armed.
It reads: “It is the right of the Lebanese people, Army and the Hezbollah led resistance to liberate the Shebaa Farms, the Kfar Shuba Hills and the northern part of the village of Ghajar as well as to defend Lebanon and it’s territorial waters in the face of the enemy by all available and legal means”.
In an article published on al-Manar’s news site, Franklin Lamb correctly points out that the declaration signals to the Israelis that Hezbollah – which since 2006 has enjoyed majority popular support – and the State of Lebanon are inseparable and indivisible with respect to defending the country from foreign interference and occupation. While this exciting development has received a muted response in many Western capitals and their media houses, it’s been embraced in Beirut and many Arab streets. The message from Lebanon’s new government to the Obama administration is clear according to Lebanese Human Rights Ambassador Ali Khalil: “You can have very friendly relations with Lebanon but that means dealing with Lebanon and our new government as a whole, not cherry picking certain ministries or parties in parliament. Aid, defensive arms and equipment, economy, trade, should be negotiated with equality – not the US Embassy’s color-coded pushpin political affiliation map used previously. Hezbollah is Lebanon and Lebanon is Hezbollah”. Lamb explains that people’s love for Hezbollah has little to do with being pro-Shia or anti-Sunni. On the contrary it’s based on the realization that 18 years of a fake ‘peace process’ has brought nothing but misery to the Palestinians and Lebanon, whereas 18 years of Resistance has freed most of Israel occupied Lebanese territory. Following Israel’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Hezbollah during 2006, the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington, AIPAC, has condemned this new resolute position as Lebanon “capitulating to terrorism”. AIPAC’s desperation to reverse this can be gauged by the fact that it has mobilized what is referred to as “Israel’s Firewall” – 11 Chairman, all Jewish or ardent Zionists of key US Congressional committees including Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Appropriations, Banking, Homeland Security, Environment and Rules. An alarming weapons programme that the “Firewall” is campaigning for is the deployment to Israel of the so-called “Iron Dome” weapon that can unleash a metallic cloud to theoretically bring down incoming rockets in the skies over Gaza or Lebanon. Expect that Zionist lobbies –whether in America or South Africa – will apply every trick from their arsenal of “dirty tricks” to tarnish Lebanon as “untrustworthy” and “dangerous”. They will seek to influence public opinion by retaining a discourse belonging to the apartheid-era whereby Hezbollah will be smeared as a “terrorist” organization in much the same way the ANC was branded. This will be futile for what matters are that the Lebanese think otherwise. For instance, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri stressed that Hezbollah’s arms belong to all Lebanese and linked their existence to Israel’s withdrawal from all Lebanese territory. Iqbal Jassat Chairman: Media Review Network South Africa www.mediareviewnet.com