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The Ultimatum Needed For Hezbollah By: Sheikh Sami el Khoury
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, October 07, 2005

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayid Hassan Nasrallah hase been attacking the Lebanese Christians in particular and all Lebanese who wants freedom, democracy and pluralism to spread in Lebanon in general. His campaign of intimidation aims at obstructing the fulfilment of Lebanon's liberation and the implemetation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which affirms Lebanese sovereignty and calls for the disbanding of "all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias."

We have reviewed the several statements made by the secretary general of Hizbollah in which he attacked the Lebanese Christians and all those in support of democracy in Lebanon. We have also reviewed the statements made by a number of high-ranking officials of Hezbollah, particularly during the visit of the speaker of the Iranian regime while visiting Lebanon lately. In response to their attacks against the Maronite Union and the Lebanese Diaspora here are our answers:


1. Nasrallah continues to act and speak as the head of a regime in Lebanon. He and his party address the rest of the Lebanese as second class citizens who are at his service and the service of the Iranian regime which supports him and funds him. Nasrallah, who represents Tehran’s mullah in Lebanon, acts as Iran’s high commissary in the country, deciding matters of war and peace, deciding when Lebanon should send the army to the south or to the Bekaa valley, determining the identity of Lebanon, and deciding by himself if and when Lebanese should receive help from foreign countries to assist against terrorism and Syrian interference in Lebanon. It is time for Nasrallah to understand that the majority of Lebanese inside the country are not his slaves or his functionaries. It is time for him and his organization to accept the will of the majority, which was materialized on the Cedars Revolution on March 14, 2005, with one-and-a-half million people demonstrating against the Syrian occupation, under which controls half of the country. It is time for Nasrallah to understand that the overwhelming majority of Lebanese around the world, who number more than 14 million, are against Syrian intelligence, against the interference of the Iranian regime in Lebanon, and are against the terrorist networks in the country.


2. Nasrallah and his organization continue to flee the realities that have developed since the passage of UNSCR 1559. There is a new international reality: Terrorism is rejected by the international community, and there are no exceptions. Democracy is making progress in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in Lebanon. Nasrallah cannot hide from these facts by accusing those who remind him of this reality of being allies of Israel. Nasrallah has no defense aside from accusing everyone of serving the interests of Israel. The Lebanese Diaspora and the majority of Lebanese inside the country are smarter than Nasrallah thinks. The days of covering up for the Syrian occupation and the mayhem of Lebanon under the slogan of steadfastness against Israel are gone. The Lebanese around the world and in Lebanon do not need Israel or anyone to remind them of who they are and of their basic rights or freedom. But Nasrallah and his organization are in bad need of having Israel always in the picture, so that their control of the country continues unsanctioned. It is Nasrallah who needs Israel everyday, and in every speech, not the independent Lebanese people.


3. His party's claim to represent the Shi'ite community and Shi'ite interests in Lebanon is false. Had it not been for Hezbollah's arms, militiamen, and the hundred million dollars they receive from Iran and millions they receive from the Lebanese government, he wouldn’t have had representatives in the parliament. What the party has are the representatives of a dominant terrorist network. We challenge Nasrallah to a referendum inside the Shi'ite community after he disarms his militia. Let him put his anti-Israeli umbrella on the side, and his Iranian alliance too, and let’s see what the Shi'ites of Lebanon think of that representation. If the interest of the Shi'ites were on their minds, he and his commanders would have been siding with the Shi'ites of Iraq who have been the victims of genocide. Why doesn’t Hezbollah come to the rescue of the Shi'ites of Iraq? They are so busy encircling the Shebaa farms? Or are they busy protecting their control of Lebanon?


4. While Nasrallah attacks the Maronite Union, we never heard him saying one word about his alliance with the Syrian occupation and its abuse of human rights. He should be reminded of his speeches in support of those who massacred Lebanese innocents, and tortured them in Syrian jail. He should be reminded of the fact that the Syrian regime has supplied Hezbollah with weapons and logistical support while abusing the Lebanese people for 30 years. Hezbollah is the ally of a regime which was, and continues to be, involved in massacres against their own people and our people in Lebanon. Nasrallah didn’t utter one single word in solidarity with the Lebanese detainee in Syria. Until his organization severs its ties to the Syrian regime, Nasrallah will be considered as a participant in what the Syrian regime has done and continues to do in Lebanon, with all the legal and political consequences.


5. Nasrallah and his lieutenants think that they can crumble the achievements of the Cedars revolution and of the intifada for independence by playing politics with Lebanese politicians and promising them benefits and dividends. Let it be clear that Hezbollah will not undermine the Lebanese people’s will to disarm the militias and put an end to terrorism. When Hezbollah tries to maneuver with Lebanese politicians, particularly Christian politicians, they won’t be making any progress with the Lebanese masses, especially the Christian masses. Just the opposite. Those politicians will be losing their credibility and influence with their own constituents and certainly throughout the Diaspora. The times of cutting deals over behind the public's back is gone: Whoever, among Lebanon’s political class, wants to venture with Hezbollah and build strategic relations with this organization, will do it on their own responsibility risking a political isolation both inside the country and worldwide. And let us be direct with Nasrallah: If you think you are going to undermine the determination of the international community, the United Nations, the United States, France, and the Lebanese Diaspora by sending your representatives to meet with Christian politicians or by holding so-called summits, you are dead wrong. The road to Washington, Paris, and New York doesn’t go through photo opportunities with politicians in Lebanon but through disarming, self-criticism, and reaching out to the majority of the Lebanese citizens. So, don’t waste your time on theatrical shows. The Lebanese within the country and overseas aren’t the flocks that follow blindly anymore.


6 As long as Hezbollah has weapons and refuses to distance itself from the Syrian regime, we will hold it responsible for all security crises in the country.


And while we respond firmly and clearly to the attacks by Hezbollah, we call on all Lebanese politicians not to break away from the Lebanese consensus of March 14 and the international consensus of UNSCR 1559. If Hezbollah wishes to join that consensus, they need to make that clear, and the road to inclusion can be traced through the implementation of the international decision. We warn Lebanese politicians not to open a breach in the Lebanese consensus, bringing back the country to its past miseries.


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Sheikh Sami el Khoury is the president of the World Maronite Union, which represent more than 7 million Maronites around the world.

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