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When the Resistance Passes It's Expiry Date - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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At the UNESCO palace in Beirut, Arab resistance groups were reunited, and each resistance leader was able to recall his heroism [during the Forum of Arab and International Support for the Resistance]. The leader of Lebanese resistance, [Hezbollah chief] Hassan Nasrallah attended the conference via a video-link, while Iraqi resistance leader Sheikh Harith al-Dari, and Palestinian resistance leader Khalid Mishal attended in person, along with other figures such as [Lebanese politician] Selim al-Hoss, whose resistance affiliated is not yet known.

The word resistance has become obsolete with time and as a result of misuse, and so this word has lost its sanctity. How can someone respect the resistance in Iraq when witnessing thousands of innocent victims killed as a result of the deliberate targeting of schools, markets, residential areas, and civilian and governmental areas? How can the resistance be sacred in Palestine when on the one hand the Palestinians are fighting against one another, whilst at the same time [one Palestinian faction] is guarding the Israeli borer against infiltration by other resistance elements? Why is it that today in Lebanon, the resistance is not playing this role, but is ruling the people of Lebanon by force, and this is almost nine years after Israeli troops withdrew from the country?

This is the state of the resistance today. This is the state of any type of resistance that passes its expiry date, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon whose resistance became an internal problem after the movement was practically transformed into a local militia [following the Israeli withdrawal]. The resistance is just a title, and it seems that its real job is to dominate the internal situation through force of arms and by silencing the opposition in the name of confronting the enemy. In Palestine, where there is occupation and an armed enemy, some resistance factions have become foreign tools.

They now seem to epitomize retired war generals in their military uniform and with their medals. Those active in the resistance know that this word lost its sanctity after it lost its job. In fact the meaning of this word had reversed and now has bad connotations when it is purposefully imposed as is the case with Hezbollah today which has become a movement that signifies sectarianism, or the Senior Council of Islamic Scholars, which is not a Council and has no scholars, but in fact is a façade to justify violence in Iraq.

Let’s take the Algerian resistance for example, this ended in all practicality in 1962 after a ceasefire agreement was signed with the French, however the resistance leaders considered themselves to be above the fray. The resistance continued to remind the public of its efforts to win them liberation, therefore allowing it to rule the country and enjoy special privileges even 30 years after the country was liberated from French colonial rule. Nobody dared to voice opposition to this until the early 90s following the initiation of a political open-door policy. I have heard criticism against the privileges enjoyed by resistance members, such as a monopoly on certain jobs, like taxi driving, as well as monthly expenses between $80 and $800. Criticism of this reached the point that doubts were cast on the veracity of resistance members and it was rumored that some resistance members only entered the records [as being resistance fighters] after the war ended. After this, resistance fighters had to have three witnesses if they wanted to be included on the governmental list, which is an attractive prospect due to the financial privileges offered to resistance members.

The Palestinian resistance in Lebanon, like Hezbollah today, was also like something sacred that could not be criticized. However the opposite applies today and the Lebanese leadership raced to warn against the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, regardless of whether these Palestinians are armed or unarmed.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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