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Opinion: Hezbollah’s True Colors Revealed | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this November 12, 2010 file photo, Hezbollah fighters hold their party flags, as they parade during the opening of new cemetery for colleagues who died in fighting against Israel, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon.AP Photo/Hussein Malla

In Syria, what was hidden has been revealed.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah has cemented the image that some of its supporters in the Islamic world have tried so hard to deny, namely that of Hezbollah as Khomeinist Iran’s iron fist. We are talking about the image of Hezbollah as the obedient lap-dog of velayat-e faqih Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rather than the symbol of Lebanese “resistance.” This is no longer the party that would cross swords with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Arab nationalists, particularly the Nasserites, from the Red Sea to the Arab Gulf.

Every critic of Hezbollah, particularly over the group’s ties to the Khomeinist Iranian project, would face counter-accusations of being “agents of the Americans and Zionists.”

Hezbollah is blatantly interfering in the war currently raging in Syria, particularly the battles taking place in border villages in the Al-Qusayr region. In fact, former Hezbollah secretary-general Subhi Al-Tufayli acknowledged that the group is involved throughout Syria. This is something that Moaz Al-Khatib has brought to the attention of current Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah, emphasizing the deceit of the “resistance.” He stressed that the “resistance” slogan is nothing more than an empty political mantra that is used for propaganda purposes and to manipulate Arab and Islamic sentiments.

The “resistance” slogan truly is nothing more than a deceit, not just today with the revelation that Hezbollah is following the orders of the velayat-e faqih and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), but rather this has been used as a false slogan for more than ten years.

Do you recall how Arab television channels and writers rushed to condemn all those who criticized Hezbollah’s actions in dragging Lebanon into its military adventures with Israel? Do you recall how the Hezbollah media, along with the pro-Assad media in Lebanon, and so-called pro-resistance satellite channels, seemed to join forces to oppose the Arab moderate camp? Of course, this is something that was completely wiped out by the rising wave of the Arab Spring.

Figures like Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal expressed their “understanding” of Hezbollah’s takeover of western Beirut. In addition to this, Islamic figures like Salim Al-Awa in Egypt attempted to promote ties between the Iran–Hams–Hezbollah camp and the rest of the Arab world. Meanwhile, Hamas chief Khaled Mishal bit his tongue and did not issue any statements about Hezbollah’s campaign to intimidate and suppress its political opponents.

It is ironic that Hezbollah, along with the Bashar Al-Assad regime, claim to stand against sectarianism, when in reality they are the ones stoking the sectarian fire. The question that must be asked here is whether they doing this accidentally or if there deeper factors at play.

According to a Lebanese friend who lives in the southern suburbs and who has a good understanding of Lebanon’s Shi’ite community, Hezbollah is using the pretext of “protecting Shi’ite shrines in Syria” to mobilize and incite fighters against the rebel forces. They are particularly making reference to the shrine of Sayida Zeinab in Damascus. This is a tactic that is succeeding in mobilizing the Shi’ites, while it also represents a form of political–religious opportunism. As Al-Tufayli himself said that the shrine of Sayida Zeinab was safe for more than 1,400 years under a Sunni state. It did not survive for all this time waiting for the protection of Naim Qassem, Hashim Safi Al-Din and Hassan Nasrallah!

In any case, it is not for Hezbollah to make such claims, for the false religious aspect of the party has been exposed. Hezbollah has been shown to be nothing more than a mere tool of the mullahs in Tehran, promoting the lies of the “resistance” while condemning all those who have refused to fall for this charade. Indeed, this is an approach that Hezbollah continues to follow today.