Yes, Mr. Saniora, Hezbollah Has Committed War Crimes
By: Elias Bejjani
We denounce the hysterical outcry in Lebanon against the “Human Rights Watch" report which discussed with objectivity, transparency, and total neutrality Hezbollah’s military actions which violated international law during the destructive war it started last year at the behest of Iran and Syria. These actions were defined as war crimes against civilians. The report stated that during the 2006 war Hezbollah launched thousands of missiles indiscrimately, and sometimes in a premeditated manner, against civilian areas in Northern Israel killing at least 39 Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel. Hezbollah’s justification that it was retaliating against Israel's indiscriminate shelling of South Lebanon and to entice Israel to enter a land war is illegitimate and unfounded, according to international conventions on wars. All Hezbollah’s explanations regarding its bombardments of Israeli civilians have failed and are completely groundless.
The report stressed that Hezbollah's leaders had threatened repeatedly in statements and communiqués to attack Israeli towns and villages "in revenge to Israel’s attacks against Lebanese villages”. The report stated that this does not justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians, according to international and humanitarian laws in this arena. The Hezbollah leadership’s public declarations and actions in attacking civilians are proof that it committed war crimes.
In addition, Hezbollah and its allies made threats to the Human Rights Watch organization and forced it to cancel the press conference it was slated to hold in
Beirut on the publication of its report. Also, dozens of supporting communiqués were issued against the organization, including the strangest of them all which came from the office of Prime Minister Saniora. It reminded us of the era of the Syrian occupation when the Syrian Intelligence Chief would snap a finger triggering a flood of similarly worded positions from Syria's Lebanese collaborators and mercenaries.
For Hezbollah and other pro-Syrian agents to protest such a report is expected, but for Lebanese Prime Minister Saniora to join them with an official statement from his office can only be described as self-debasement and a harmful cowing to criminal elements. Has Mr. Saniora forgotten that his cabinet has been described by Hezbollah as the "Olmert and Feltman" cabinet (in reference to the Israeli Prime Minister and the US Ambassador to Lebanon, respectively)? Is the Lebanese Prime Minister ignoring the fact that the “Party of God” continues to accuse it daily of treason, conspiracy, and of obeying the American Satan?
We ask PM Saniora to explain to us the problem he sees with the Human Rights Watch report. Can he contest any of its documented facts and research pertaining to Hezbollah’s violation of international laws and its war crimes? Is it reasonable to reward Hezbollah’s crimes by continuing to support it so that it destroys what is left of our institutions and force our people and homeland into exodus and return us to the dark ages and barbarism?
No, and a thousand no to self-debasement, fear, lies, dhimmitude and catering to this Iranian fundamentalist group.
Of course Hezbollah is a terrorist organization according to all humanitarian norms of justice, laws, and principles. And yes, it has certainly committed war crimes, not only against Israelis last year, but also against Americans, French and other Westerners in the 1980s, and against thousands of Lebanese citizens who are still refugees in Israel today due to Hezbollah's rule of terror in South Lebanon in the 1990s. Through its war last summer, Hezbollah has caused the death of 1,500 Lebanese citizens, 25 billion dollars of destruction and damages, and the dislocation of a quarter million of our citizens. These actions are certainly war crimes and Hezbollah should be banned and its leadership tried for treason and for each and every crime they committed.
Therefore, the Prime Minster's communiqué criticizing Human Rights Watch is highly objectionable. Our PM has been overwhelmed by his “Arabism” and has forgotten that he is the PM of a cabinet that is supported by all the free world nations. Those nations provide aid to him and his cabinet for the simple reason that he
opposes the Syria-Iran-Hezbollah terrorism which is attacking our freedom and democracy in Lebanon and are trying to force us to join their axis of evil and terrorism.
We ask PM Saniora: Shouldn't he consider as terrorism and criminal the possession of 40,000 missiles, the creation of private security zones to which the government has no access, the establishment of unauthorized telecommunication networks and underground financial networks, the occupation of downtown Beirut, the arming of a 20,000-men private army, the opposition to international resolutions, and the refusal to recognize Lebanon’s civil society?
Isn’t Hezbollah’s attempt to control all Lebanon by military force terrorism? If this is not terrorism, what is?
Lebanon's Prime Minister has no right to cover up and justify Hezbollah’s
actions, and it is becoming clear daily that he has not learned and that he
cajole the snake that will soon bite him.
Our criticism of PM Saniora’s actions is intended to correct the course and to avoid falling again in the trap of Dhimmitude. It is not a criticism that is meant to bolster Hezbollah or the Syrian-Iranian “coup d’état” in Lebanon. We therefore renew our support to this 100% legitimate government, but Mr. Saniora’s mistakes, or near sins, are unacceptable. They escalated from his opposition to enact Security Council Resolution 1701 under Chapter 7, then his rejection of the deployment of UN troops along the Lebanese-Syrian border, then to his cajoling of Parliament Speaker Berry and of Hezbollah, and his laughable criticism of US aid to Israel, and ended with a number of bad decisions his cabinet took such as the elimination of Holy Friday as an official holiday, and the adoption of the Muslim Child rights
We hope PM Saniora treats Hezbollah for what it is: A deadly cancer attacking everything Lebanese, as well as our existence, our freedoms, our way of coexistence, our democracy, and our civil society. It is time for PM Saniora to stop cajoling fake “Arabism”, and start being proud of being “Lebanese First”.
Finally, we wish that PM Saniora remember, before making debasing statements,
that he is no more “Arab” than the Egyptian president, the Jordanian and
Moroccan kings, and the rulers of the Arab Gulf countries, whose nations all recognized Israel and signed peace treaties with it, and ended the state of
war, and even conduct diplomatic, economic, and intelligence relations with Israel.
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