Israel has Lifted its Blockade. When will Hezbollah Lift its Own?
By: Elias Bejjani
The lifting of the Israeli air, land and sea blockade over Lebanon will certainly please and calm the Lebanese people who, alone, had to pay the price for the fundamentalist Hezbollah’s monopoly over the decision to launch a futile war against Israel on behalf of Iran and Syria. The Lebanese people alone will, for years to come, bear the consequences of this destructive and inane war that turned the clock back 20 years on the Land of the Cedars and forced a quarter of a million Lebanese to leave their country for greener pastures.
Neither the Lebanese people nor their government had any say in the start of the war or its end. They had no say in the blockade or in its lifting, nor did they have a say in the drafting of UN resolution 1701 according to which the fighting stopped. This resolution which, unfortunately, was not passed under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, did not fulfill the dire need for imposing a complete and lasting peace.
It is true that the war has stopped and the blockade has been lifted, and it is true that the Lebanese Army has deployed in the South and along the borders with Israel with the support of the Blue Helmets. But it is even more true that all the root causes of the war and the blockade – namely the anarchy of the status quo of freely operating militias, their weapons and their mini-states, the porous borders with Syria, and the Jihadi culture of hatred and rejection of others – all remain extant, and in some cases have become more exacerbated.
The dangerous and worrisome in all that has happened is that Hezbollah remains stubbornly insistent on not surrendering its weapons under any circumstance, and Hassan Nasrallah has concocted yet another Jihadi mission for those weapons, which is that of “defending” Lebanon. Which means that the weapons have become, until further notice, preventive and not offensive. The Hezbollah Members of Parliament have officially confirmed that there is a binding understanding between the Siniora government and Hezbollah that the Lebanese Army will not interfere with the weapons of the party as long as these weapons remain hidden, inconspicuous and stored at sites known only to the Party’s leaders, and over which the State has no oversight or authority.
Therefore, the joy at the lifting of the blockade, like the joy at the truce and the cessation of hostilities, remains truncated. This joy can, at any moment, turn into sorrow, crying and teeth gnashing because all the causes of the war remain in place, particularly since the issue of Hezbollah’s security and military presence inside Beirut Airport, at the ports and border crossings of Lebanon has not been dealt with.
The strong Lebanese State which Hassan Nasrallah is calling for with mere words, since in reality he is dedicated to weakening and dominating it, cannot rise to exercise its authority and obligations, enforce the law and dispense justice, while there continue to exist on Lebanese soil mini-states and security islands for Hezbollah and the armed Palestinian organizations, decision centers receiving their orders from abroad, and schools disseminating the culture of Jihad, death, and hatred. Similarly, the legitimate security forces of the Lebanese State cannot maintain order and stability and effectively protect the borders with fundamentalist militias and Jihadi armies in their back.
We In the LCCC and all the Lebanese Christian Diaspora NGO,s demand the entire spectrum of Lebanese leadership to clearly and unambiguously declare their positions without equivocation and mercantile Byzantine arguments, without liberationist-Jihadi hot-headedness, without Quixotic victories against hypothetical enemies, without exploiting people’s base instincts and fears, and more importantly, without greed for dirty money. We demand the Lebanese leadership to put an end to Arabist and fundamentalist fascist slogans from Middle Ages vintage that time has transcended and which most Arabists themselves have abandoned. Slogans which, for the past four decades, have prevented Lebanon from moving from political and social anachronism into the contemporary modern world. Amidst all this aimlessness and confusion, the Lebanese people are asking: Are the country’s leaders genuinely standing by a strong Lebanese State unconditionally and unreservedly, or are they with the mini-states, the militias and specifically, with Hezbollah’s weapons?
There is no room for the duality of a strong Lebanese State with the Hezbollah State on the same soil of Lebanon. There will be no security, no justice, and no effective central authority on the basis of diluted compromises and wheeling-dealing. Until then, all offers on the table today are patching-ups, making-dos and highfalutin qualified deception
Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
LCCC Web Site http://www.10452lccc.com
CLHRF Website http://www.clhrf.com
*The lccc (Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council) is a Federal umbrella for the following nonprofit municipal, provincial and federal Canadian registered groups: Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation, (CLHRF), Canadian Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement (FPM-Canada), Phoenician Club of Mississauga (PCOM),/Canadian Phoenician Community Services Club (CPCSC),Canadian Lebanese Christian Heritage Club (CLCHC),World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU)-Canadian Chapter.