Between murder and resistance

The young men of the Lebanese “Islamic Resistance”, who today participate – based on the confirmation of their leader Hassan Nasrallah – in the Syrian massacres, are not aware of what recent history holds of shelter offered, hospitality, and the sharing of pain and dreams.

In 2006, following the Israeli attack on Lebanon, specifically in the south, and as a result of the devastating bombings to which numerous cities and villages were exposed, thousands of inhabitants of the most targeted areas in Lebanon fled to Syria. Refuge mostly concentrated on the central part of the capital, Homs, and spread outwards from there to include its nearby and distant countryside, and particularly the area of Qusayr.   

The vast majority of the immigrant families differed in ideology from the inhabitants of the areas of refuge; this difference, however, had no impact on the hospitality and open arms and doors they were met with, nor on the sustenance shared with them by poor families who had no access to the state’s reforms and modernization in Damascus – a support which had not reached Syrians of various faiths in other areas, except for those who clung to the multiple tails of the regime.

In 2013, the city of Qusayr and the general province of Homs – where a large number of neighbourhoods have been destroyed since the start of the Syrian Revolution – was subjected to a brutal and devastating attack by local and regional forces. In addition to the daily shelling and repeated incursions by the Syrian authorities, Hezbollah’s forces joined the killing machine, taking advantage of the proximity to the Lebanese border and the intersecting location of a few villages between Syria and Lebanon. 

It seems that the young men of the Lebanese “Islamic Resistance”, who today participate – based on the confirmation of their leader Hassan Nasrallah – in the Syrian massacres, have lost the compass meant to guide them to the Israeli enemy border and make them rise above killing their Syrian brothers. Perhaps they are not aware of what recent history holds of shelter offered, hospitality, and sharing of pain and dreams between the people of these areas and their families. Maybe one of their “heroes” slaughtered a young man that they had once played with in the courtyard of the home that sheltered them during their plight in 2006. Maybe they also bombed a clinic where they were once treated, or a school that was turned into a reception center as part of the humanitarian aid campaigns that roamed Syria and all its areas at that time in support of the Lebanese refugees, with no assistance from the regime for which they are committing these killings today.

Today, the lies of media outlets are exposed, which continue to deny Hezbollah's involvement in the killing of Syrians, despite all evidence of this dishonourable practise by those who once claimed they were defending Lebanese and Palestinian rights. Perhaps many of the “intellectuals” who allied themselves in an incomplete marriage of convenience with criminals will clear their homes of mirrors so as not to see their own monstrosity.  

Days ago, one of them – an “intellectual” of Hezbollah, challenged an appeal which the former President of the Syrian Coalition, Moaz El Khateeb, openly and calmly addressed to Hassan Nasrallah. The “researcher” strongly denied the human and national shame involved here. His response to El Khateeb's emotional appeal, which had called for the protection of the lives of the Syrians and the Lebanese, and the warding off of conflicts which are the goal of the enemies of these two peoples – was sarcastic. 

In recent history, many have sought to forget or bury Hezbollah’s “occupation” of the scene of resistance in the eighties of the past century, and the sidelining of all the national and leftist forces in confronting the Israeli enemy. Many closed their eyes at the bulk of assassinations that the party targeted at people of national and intellectual stature. Many forgave the party’s genocidal and destructive politics toward a good portion of the Lebanese people. Many stood by the party’s “resistance” against the Israeli occupation, and rejoiced at its victory in 2000, expecting it to move on to represent the political and economic aspirations of a category of the Lebanese people that had long suffered from deprivation across the decades. Many forgave the party’s occupation of the streets of Beirut and its parades of military intimidation in 2008, giving notice that the rifle’s point would be turned from outwardlooking inwards. Many justified the party’s subservience to Iran’s mullahs, considering it a political strategy based on an ideological consensus that would clearly be for the benefit of the greater cause. But the delusion has become clear today.

It has now become clear that this adherent armed group has distanced itself – if we assume that it was close, to the “Resistance”, and has engaged in a war against the Syrians who were once its most important supporters, in word and in deed. 

Numerous analyses will emerge around Nasrallah’s declaration, and radicals from each end will interpret it with their partial vision. Insults will blend with morally worn justifications. Extremists will take advantage of the situation to express their views of the revolution. Death will score point in souls and values, at the expense of civilians' blood – but history will not forget the resistance movement that has turned into a murderer.

 

For translation from the Arabic, thanks go to Amy Arif.

About the author

Salam Kawakibi is deputy director of the Arab Reform Initiative