Hezbollah, the cancer that kills Lebanon | Fred maroun
My homeland, Lebanon, was once called the âSwitzerland of the Middle Eastâ and its capital Beirut was nicknamed the âParis of the Middle Eastâ. Those days are long gone.
Lebanon is currently going through a deep financial and political crisis and its people are starving. They barely survive thanks to outside support from relatives or charities. Yet Hezbollah finds the need to attack and threaten Israel, adding the threat of war to whatever the Lebanese people are suffering from.
How did Lebanon get there? If you ask a Lebanese this question, you will most likely hear that corrupt Lebanese politicians have brought Lebanon to this point. It is a sure answer. There are indeed corrupt Lebanese politicians. They are probably all corrupt to some extent. The Lebanese economy relies heavily on clientelism. It is almost impossible to go far in politics or in business without him. But Lebanese politics have been corrupt for decades, but Lebanon more or less survived. The total collapse of Lebanon today is due to more than political corruption. It is due to a cancer that is eating away at the country from the inside, Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese political party and terrorist organization that appears to have been founded in the early 1980s in response to the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon, which was a response to Lebanon’s terrorist attacks against Israel and which began in June 1982 and ended in June 1985. In one of its first terrorist activities, Hezbollah was allegedly involved in the attack on the US Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983.
But after Israel’s withdrawal, far from disappearing, Hezbollah only grew stronger and continued to use Israel as the justification for its existence. In July 2006, this sparked another war with Israel, causing hundreds of deaths among Lebanese civilians and considerable damage to Lebanon’s economy and tourism industry. Since then it has threatened Israel on numerous occasions, and recently, as Lebanon starved to death, Hezbollah launched rockets against Israel, sparking the fury of some. Lebanese villager.
But Hezbollah no longer needs Israel to justify its existence. It is now a formidable organization and a regional power that has tentacles all over the world.
Hezbollah is an international criminal organization that began its criminal activities as early as the 80s. He is heavily involved in Drug traffic, human trafficking, money laundering, cybercriminality, and other criminal activities, in cooperation with the Latin American drug cartels and other criminals around the world. Illicit drugs trafficked by Hezbollah have been grasped in Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Italy, but drug trafficking is so lucrative for Hezbollah that its trafficking continues anyway, becoming more and more sophisticated. Hezbollah’s international criminal activities have even reached Canada, which Hezbollah has already used as a base for operations against the United States. Hezbollah’s criminal activities also include threats and violence against Lebanese living abroad in order to extort money from them.
Hezbollah is believed to be responsible for a series of assassinations (this list does not include assassination attempts), including, but not limited to:
- February 2005: Rafik Hariri, Lebanese Prime Minister.
- June 2005: Samir Kassir, influential journalist and columnist for the Lebanese daily An Nahar.
- december 2005: Gebran Tueni, journalist and member of the Lebanese parliament.
- November 2006: Pierre Amine Gemayel, cabinet minister.
- june 2007: Walid Eido, member of the Lebanese parliament.
- september 2007: Antoine Ghanem, member of the Lebanese parliament.
- december 2007: Michel Suleiman, general in the Lebanese army.
- January 2008: Wissam Eid, Computer Engineer and Principal Investigator on Terrorism at the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.
- October 2012: Wissam al-Hassan, head of the information branch of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.
- December 2013: Mohamad Chatah, former Lebanese cabinet minister.
- 2017: Joseph Skaf, colonel of the Lebanese army.
- march 2020: Antoine al-Hayek, retired from the Lebanese security forces.
- july 2020: Hisham al-Hashimi, Counterterrorism Advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister.
- december 2020: Joseph Bejjani, former photographer of the Lebanese army.
- december 2020: Mounir Abu Rjeily, a retired Lebanese customs officer.
- February 2021: Lokman Slim, a prominent Lebanese journalist.
Hezbollah is also accused of having perpetrated AMIA / DAIA terrorist attack in Argentina in July 1994 which left 85 dead and hundreds injured.
Hezbollah portrays himself as an enemy of corruption in Lebanese politics, but far from being honest, the party itself is deeply corrupt. Under the Lebanese corruption system, Hezbollah is partly responsible for Lebanon’s economic collapse, but its impact is much more pronounced than other political parties because unlike other political parties, Hezbollah has its own army and by therefore a huge influence on Lebanese politics. Hezbollah’s corruption extends to the Lebanese financial system, transport and health care from where it is embezzle funds. Nothing happens in Lebanese politics without the approval of Hezbollah, and in particular Hezbollah stands on the way reforms that could help Lebanon to recover.
The collapse of Lebanon should have come as no surprise to anyone who has observed the behavior of Hezbollah over the past four decades. There were numerous warnings including the giant explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020, after which John Daniel Davidson wrote, “If there is one group that bears primary responsibility for the situation in Lebanon that led to the explosion in Beirut, it is Hezbollah.” August 2020 looked like Lebanon’s lowest point at the time, even worse than the Lebanese civil war, but Lebanon has only crumbled since then. A month ago, the Globe and Mail of Canada warned that “Lebanon is dying”, but the descent still continues.
Baria Alamuddin, award-winning journalist and broadcaster in the Middle East and UK, wrote in december 2020âI have always been proud to be Lebanese, but it is a source of intense shame when the world sees our beautiful nation hijacked by Hezbollah’s corruption, crime and terrorism.
But not only is the collapse of Lebanon the fault of Hezbollah, it was also its objective because like Avi Issacharoff wrote, “The weaker the country, the easier it will be to influence and control what happens there.” Hezbollah, using Iran’s aid and its own formidable income from its criminal activities, can now control Lebanon more than ever, providing its own social services and health facilities to gain the trust and support of a Lebanese population exhausted and frightened.
Like cancer that weakens and ultimately kills a body, Hezbollah has slowly emptied Lebanon and emptied its institutions of all meaning. Lebanese billionaire Najib mikati is still trying to form a government a month after being appointed to this task. Before him, Saad Hariri tried for nine months to accomplish the same task but failed. After giving up, Hariri called it moment a “moment of truth”, but what truth? The truth that forming a government no longer matters because the power is in the hands of Hezbollah anyway? Maybe Hariri would have said so if he hadn’t been afraid to suffer the same fate as his father.
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab descent who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the right of Palestinians to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can coexist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal and an advocate for equal rights for LGBT people all over the world.