Is Lebanon's PM Embracing Terrorism
By: Elias Bejjani

February 11/2010

Lebanon's Prime Minister Mr. Saad Al Hariri has allowed our country, Lebanon, to be hijacked by the thugs of terrorism and Iranian-Syrian fundamentalism. Power has slipped through his fingers. He has bizarrely and naively embraced the very same people who murdered his father, invaded the Sunni southern Beirut and Mount Lebanon in 2008 and massacred more than 150 unarmed civilians in cold blood.  He is embracing the same proxy Iranian army in Lebanon, Hezbollah, which is actually dictating Hariri's government what it should say and do.
In a BBC interview broadcast Wednesday, Hariri voiced concern about Israeli threats and escalating military activity. Israeli officials have warned repeatedly in recent weeks that any attack by Lebanon’s Shiite terrorist group Hizbullah would spark a tough response, and have been locked in a war of words with Syrian leaders. “We hear a lot of Israeli threats day in and day out, and not only threats,” Hariri told the British broadcaster. “We see what’s happening on the ground and in our airspace and what’s happening all the time during the past two months – every day we have Israeli planes entering Lebanese airspace. “This is something that is escalating and something that is really dangerous,”  He described his fear of a war with Israel, yet, he said “I think they [the Israeli government] are betting that there might be some division in Lebanon, if there is a war against us…well, there won’t be a division in Lebanon. We will stand against Israel. We will stand with our own people.” Hariri said.

Simply put, Hariri has just sealed Lebanon’s fate. His words have not only brought war and devastation on the majority of the Lebanese people who are not Hezbollah supporters, but they have given Hezbollah’s Iranian-Syrian army the legitimacy it needed to continue its course of terrorism against not only Israel, the Arab and the free world countries, but against the Lebanese people themselves. This political novice has single-handedly destroyed any chance of a civil Lebanese society in the near future and the March 14 alliance has been shattered.

Mr. Hariri in his capacity as PM should have simply expressed his growing concern over Israeli’s escalating violations. It is one thing to voice concern over escalating Israeli sovereignty violations, but it is another thing to involve an entire nation in an unnecessary and crazy war by supporting a terrorist organization that is hindering the Lebanese people by force and intimidation from reclaiming their country's sovereignty, freedom and independence.
It is worth reminding Mr. Hariri that it is Hezbollah, Iran and Syria, and not Israel which  did not allow him for six months to form his current government. Hezbollah, which fully dominates Lebanon's peace and war decisions, also manipulates the country's whole decision making process on all levels. It fully controls the government against the will of the majority of the Lebanese people who last year gave Hariri and his coalition a parliamentary majority and did not vote for Hezbollah's 8th of March coalition.
If Hariri had the sincerity and courage to ask himself why the Israelis continue to violate his country's airspace, and not that of Syria, Jordan, Egypt, or any other Arabic county, he would have found the right answer, the one that all the Lebanese people know very well.  Hariri is fully aware that the Israelis are threatened by Hezbollah and not vice versa. Hezbollah and its two terrorist masters, Syria and Iran, are openly vowing to destroy the Jewish state and kill her people.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad does not allow one day to pass without threatening Israel with annihilation. Hezbollah, not Israel, started the war in 2006.
Mr. Hariri is well informed that Israel is not threatening Lebanon or the Lebanese people, but simply is responding to Hezbollah's hostile schemes that aim to start a war against her on behalf of Iran and Syria. Israel started to threaten Lebanon after Hezbollah joined the government and got a blocking third of its portfolios through which it can abort any decision that is not in its favor.
Mr. Hariri definitely understands that the Lebanese people are not united when it comes to Hezbollah and it is not true that all the Lebanese will fight Israel if a war breaks out. This is a mere falsehood and wishful thinking because the majority of the Lebanese are peace lovers and have been longing for years to forge a peace treaty with Israel as the Jordanians and Egyptians did. But Hezbollah, Syria and Iran are blocking this wish and keep on using Lebanon as a battlefield for their schemes of expansionism, terrorism and murder.
Mr. Hariri knows very well that the majority of his Sunni community considers Hezbollah a threat for them and not Israel. But the problem in the Arab countries lies in the fact that politicians and rulers have two rhetorics. One they use behind closed doors with other Arab and other countries; and the second in the media and with the people. In the first one they speak the truth while in the second they say what the terrorists, fanatics and fundamentalists want to hear. It is pity that Hariri has used this second rhetoric In his BBC interview. This emotional and arrogant rhetoric that is detached from reality, has been behind all the Arabs' failures and disasters and sadly continues to be the trend.
Israel and Lebanon are still in a state of war that has been governed since 1946 by the Armistice Accord. This Accord forbids all the acts that Hezbollah is forcing on Lebanon and the Lebanese. At the same time, the "Taef Accord" and the UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701 do not recognize any armed bodies in Lebanon except the country's legitimate armed forces. These three accords call for the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, including Hezbollah. Sadly, the Lebanese government is crippled and helpless, while Hezbollah is actually the real military power in the country.

This, mixed with the growing hostility from Syria, and Iranian escalations in their nuclear facilities, have made the Lebanese fear that there may be war very soon. This is not the time to give up. This is the time for diplomacy and dialogue. It is highly favorable to see Christian, Druze and Sunni leaders like Patriarch Sfeir, Amin Gemayel and Samir Geagea, and Hariri himself going to the United States and France and voicing their concerns freely and openly.

They must call for the immediate implementation of the UN Resolutions 1559 and 1701 and ask the UN Security Council to put the UN Resolutions under Chapter VII and give the UNIFIL forces deployed in south Lebanon jointly with the Lebanese army the mandate to disarm Hezbollah and the other Lebanese and Palestinian militias and dismantle Hezbollah's ministate. They should tell the whole world that Lebanon alone cannot disarm Hezbollah and that there is a need for the international community to take the lead and execute this task.
This is not the time for Christians, Sunnis or Druze to sit and do nothing.

We have to stand up for what is right and decent: we must unite against this coming devastating war. When the dust settles and the stacks of dead on both sides are counted, we have to be the ones to say: we never wanted this war in the first place.
Our advice to Mr. Hariri is to speak the truth loudly and vigorously and to stop using the two fold rhetoric that fouls the Lebanese people, underestimates their intelligence and leads to disasters. 

Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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