We Lebanese want Life
By:  Majed Daher


The destruction taking place for the two weeks in Lebanon are very disheartening. Lebanon is suffering from a total destruction of infrastructure, economy
and more importantly innocent civilians. However, these events, as tragic as they appear, pale in comparison to the way Lebanon and its freedom and
democracy loving people have been held hostage since the end of the civil war. The Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Saniora, recently proclaimed, “we the
Lebanese want life. We have chosen life.” Hezbollah however has not made the same proclamation. They chose death, death to Lebanon and the Lebanese.

Hezbollah has held an entire country and its citizen’s hostage in order to fight a war on behalf other countries. Hezbollah’s actions have clearly displayed
that its agenda does not have the well being of Lebanon in mind. Hezbollah's actions during the height of tourism season are meant to sabotage the
economy and make those reliant on tourism suffer.  Hezbollah is not affected by negative economic effects as they are sponsored and funded by Iran and Syria. Hezbollah has made a mockery of the Lebanese constitution. Although they have 2 cabinet ministers and a number of Parliamentarians, they do not consult with the government and in fact act above the Constitution. Hezbollah’s mob like activities within Lebanon has caused a great deal of angst. They are
armed and control areas within Lebanon that are off limits to police and internal security. Their intimidation tactics in the south have forced people
to leave their ancestral homes and villages for more secure settings.

Hezbollah tactics are also placing civilians at risk. Hezbollah is locating missiles and armed personnel among the civilian population and in essence turning
innocent civilians into human shields. This is a barbaric act and is done for two reasons; first, to discourage Israel from attacking them in these sites
so as not to risk civilian casualties. Second, if they are attacked in these area and innocent civilians are harmed they call their enemies barbaric and
butchers when they are the ones responsible to putting them in harms way.

Hezbollah calls itself a resistance. It resisted the Israeli occupation, however Israel left Lebanon and the UN has certified its departure from Lebanese Land.
The remaining point of contention regarding Shebaa can be solved diplomatically. Hezbollah has been called an Islamic resistance, an Arab Resistance and a
Lebanese Resistance, Which is it? Many Arab and Islamic countries have signed peace accords with Israel. Syria and Lebanon are Israel’s only neighbors
that have not done so. Syria however has a non aggression agreement with regards to the Golan, the common border with Israel. If it is an Islamic
resistance, what are its views of the Christians in Lebanon? If it is truly a Lebanese resistance, it has to respect Lebanon, its constitution and its people
and not subject them to terror. It appears that Hezbollah is only resisting Peace. It does not suit Hezbollah to have peace in Lebanon and the region.

On the other side of the border, Israel is punishing the entire Lebanese population and the entire infrastructure for the actions of one group. This is
both unfair and unjust. Lebanon is being destroyed and there is no let up in sight. Israel needs to fully disclose its objectives, are they truly for
peace or for destruction? If they truly want peace, this will not be the way to go about achieve it. If they are committed to peace, they need to work, with
the UN and the international community, to identify the best course of action to achieve that peace. Hezbollah must do the same.

We the Lebanese want life. We have chosen life. We want full implementation of UN Resolution 1559. We want Hezbollah to disarm. We want the UN and international community to pressure involved parties for a ceasefire. We want a viable plan for peace in the region. We want all armed militias disarmed and disbanded. We need immediate aid. We yearn for Peace, Sovereignty, Independence. We demand a strong government that will provide security for the entire country as well as act on behalf of all its citizens. These are our demands and we will not accept anything less. We have compromised too much in the
past and we have paid a heavy price time and time again. No longer will we let thugs govern our lives.