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Egypt's Hezbollah Wake-Up Call By: Elias Bejjani
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, April 24, 2009


How superficial, naive, and childish are those Lebanese and Arab officials, clergymen and politicians who voiced their surprise and shock after the recent unveiling of a terrorist Hezbollah cell in Egypt? They are either deceiving themselves and their people, or are totally detached from reality, residing on Mars. and not in the Middle East in general, and in Lebanon in particular.

For heaven's sake, whom are these officials, clergymen and politicians fooling? Is there no concerned individual in the whole Middle East, and in the free world countries who is not yet aware of the fact that Hezbollah is merely an Iranian militant brigade connected directly, and on level to the Iran's notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Who in Lebanon and in its neighboring countries does not know that Syria during its occupation era of Lebanon (1976-2005), had forced the armed Hezbollah organization on both the Shiite community, and the Lebanese people under the false disguise of resistance against Israel? Syria and Iran jointly orchestrated, by brutal and criminal means, the erection of a mini Hezbollah state in the Shiite suburbs of Beirut, South and Bekaa, and accordingly exempted it from being disarmed in 1990, after all other Christian, Druze and Sunni Lebanese militias were disarmed in accordance with the "Taef Accord," that put an end to the civil war in Lebanon. 

Hezbollah from day one of its formation by the Iranian Mullah's in 1982 was, and is still being used by its two masters, Syria and Iran, to destabilize peace, democracy and freedoms in Lebanon, to carry against the Lebanese and the Arab countries all Iran's and Syria's dirty jobs of assassinations, kidnapping, smuggling, intimidation, drug trafficking and havoc.  

Hezbollah, is not a Lebanese party by any means, but a mere Iranian armed proxy occupying by force and against the will of the Lebanese people, a big portion of Lebanon, and at the same time crippling its central government and destroying all its institutions, on all levels and in all domains. 

Hezbollah's terrorism is now targeting the biggest and mightiest Arab country, Egypt. According to the Egyptian judiciary, government, security authorities, and media, a Hezbollah cell was uncovered. It was planning to execute very serious sabotage attacks in both Egypt and Israel.   

Egyptian official reports stated that Hezbollah's General Secretary Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy Sheik Naiem Qssiem were personally directing, monitoring and supervising the cell's activities that included also extensive campaigns to convert Sunni Egyptians to Shiite denomination, and smuggling of weapons, money and men to the Palestinian Gaza Strip in a bid to support their ally, Hamas.  

According to Egyptian police, the Hezbollah cell is headed by Sami Shihab, a prominent Hezbollah militant. and a Lebanese Shiite national. Egypt has been detaining Shihab for the last six months, and recently arrested 49 nationals of various Arab countries on suspicion of being members of a terrorist network on behalf of Hezbollah. The accused have allegedly planned to carry out attacks inside Egypt, including tourist sites frequented by Israelis.  

Hezbollah's Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah admitted publicly that Sami Shihab is a member in his organization, and that he was assigned by its leadership, "to help the resistance of Palestine,"  and, "to move military equipment and members to help the resistance" in Gaza. During his live television address, two days after the cell was uncovered, Nasrallah denied accusations that his group is trying to harm Egyptian security, or is planning attacks on Egyptian targets, saying such claims, "are meant to sully the image of Hezbollah among the Egyptian people."  

Nasrallah portrayed Hezbollah's actions as meant solely to aid the Palestinian people, saying; "if helping our occupied, battered, and hungry Palestinian brothers is a crime, than I confess to this crime." During the last Hamas-Israel war Nasrallah had called publicly on the Egyptian armed forces and on the Egyptian people to topple the regime. 

Since its formation in 1982, Hezbollah has carried several deadly attacks in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestinian West Bank, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Turkey, Argentina, and South America. The bloodiest attacks against the USA and French troops were executed in Beirut by Hezbollah in 1982.

One wonders why it took Egypt, whose intelligence services are so efficient, so long to uncover Hezbollah's cell?  Definitely, no one will believe the Egyptian authorities' claim that they did not learn for years that all Iranian weapons smuggled to the Gaza strip (to Hamas) are funneled through the underground secretive tunnels digged by the Gaza Palestinians on the Egyptian-Gaza joined borders.  

There is also no slightest doubt that Egypt knew for years that Hezbollah men have been in charge of the Iranian smuggling of weapons to Gaza, via Sudan-Egypt, in cooperation with the Sinai Bedouin smugglers and drug traffickers, and at times through the Egyptian sea territorial waters.  

The basic and actual problem for the increase of terrorism and terrorists in the Middle East lies in the "Ostrich" policy that the Arabic regimes have been adopting since the early fifties. The rulers of these regimes have been practically burying their heads in the sand and keeping a blind eye on the terrorists' activities as long as they did not target directly their countries.   

Sadly, even the U.S. and Europe followed the same "Ostrich" policy, and watched from far away terrorism influence grow and spread in many countries, especially in Lebanon. The USA and many European countries even traded with Syria and Iran intelligence information and expertise, in spite of the fact that these two oppressive regimes sponsor, finance, harbor, train and use most of the terrorist organizations among which are, Hamas, Hezbollah, Fateh Al Eslam, Jond Al Eslam,  Al Qaeda, and many other Palestinian and Muslim extremists and fanatics. 

The USA took terrorism threats seriously only after Al Qaeda's September 11 attacks. Meanwhile Europe is still indecisive, and mostly cajoling and appeasing the terrorists. In the Middle East, the majority of the Arab countries still do not only have an actual anti-terrorism policies, but finance, glorify, harbor and support the most lethal terrorism groups, Hamas and Hezbollah.

It is worth reminding the Arabs and the Western countries with the wise warning that was uttered in the late fifties by Lebanon's famous politician, thinker and philosopher, Charles Malek, at a time when Lebanon was being devoured by terrorists and extremists, while the whole world stood idly watching. Malek cautioned the western world saying:  "Help Lebanon defeat the terrorists, extremists and fanatics while you can, because if you don't now, they will soon attack Europe and after that target the USA itself."

Hezbollah would not have dared to send his terrorist cell to Egypt or to threaten another Arab country if the Arab regimes did not help to keep Lebanon a battle field and an arena for their own wars, or if the Arab countries had helped in the liberation of Lebanon and not sided with its occupier, the Syrian Baathist regime for 28 years, or if the Arabs had not cowardly cajoled and appeased Hezbollah and glorified its big fabricated delusion and lie of liberating south Lebanon in year 2000, or if the Arabs had stood openly against Hezbollah in year 2006 after instigated a devastating war with Israel, and if the Arabs had seriously pressured Syria not to supply Hezbollah with 50 thousand missiles and had stopped the smuggling of men and weaponry through its boarders to Lebanon, and if the Arabs had faced steadfastly the Iranian expansionism schemes with unity and decisiveness.

The time has come for the Arab countries to stand firmly against terrorism and to eradicate its Iranian-Syrian tools, Hezbollah and Hamas, once and forever. To effectively do so they should first stop appeasing, protecting and financing Syria.

At the same time they should unite together to fight and abort the Iranian expansionism's vicious scheme that is targeting all their countries.

The Syrian regime must be given two options, either to cut all its terrorism ties with Iran and stop harboring and exporting terrorism, or face very strict Arab economic sanctions plus complete political isolation and severing of diplomatic ties.

It is time also for the Arab countries to put Hezbollah, Hamas and all other terrorist organizations on their terrorist lists, and deal with them accordingly, like the USA, Canada, Australia and some of the European countries.

Arabic laissez-faire and avoidance attitudes in the face of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas did not work and never will. The Arab countries should talk with the Axis of evil countries and organizations the only language that they are able to comprehend, force and deterrence.

Elias Bejjani is a human rights activist, journalist and political commentator.


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