Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Debate: Hezbollah is not obstructing the Lebanese government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Protesters loyal to the Shi’ite Muslim Al-Houthi group, also known as Ansarullah, hold posters of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (R) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during a demonstration to show their support to al-Assad, in Sanaa September 13, 2013. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah (YEMEN – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

It has been repeatedly asked whether Hezbollah and the Amal Movement will allow the Lebanese government to enter their areas following the explosions that hit the Dahieh district of Beirut.

Asking this question amounts to questioning the resistant groups’ sense of belonging towards the country. Those asking this question are overlooking the security chaos and the violation of sovereignty committed by the Israeli enemy, the Syrian opposition and allies, and some Palestinian and Takfirist groups.

It is better to ask the following questions:

Is the government able to establish security? Is it allowed to carry out its responsibilities towards its citizens and residents? Does it want to?

Are there not autonomous security zones in the Palestinian refugee camps—there are more than 12 Palestinian camps in Lebanon? Are some of these not training and arming camps for the Syrian opposition, such as the camps in Arsal, Tripoli and Akkar, among others? Is the Lebanese government not prevented from entering these areas and arresting outlaws residing there who have killed military personnel?

Can the government ensure the security of its citizens when the number of Palestinian and Syrian refugees constitute half of the population in Lebanon, not to mention the multi-national intelligence agents and allies in Lebanon?

Did Hezbollah and the Amal Movement protect their areas before the explosions that happened and the rockets fired?

Hezbollah and its supporters are asking the government to shoulder its responsibilities following the rockets attacks, the Dahieh explosions, the shelling of Hermel, and the abduction of visitors before Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria. What could the government do to confront the Syrian opposition militants and their Lebanese backers, who have appealed to Obama to direct a strike on Syria, just as they did with the resistance during 2006 Lebanon war?

The Lebanese people do not want to accept reality, making accusations due to the political division. To clarify things, I present the following facts:

First, the political division, the governmental paralysis and the ineffective institutions had the government sink into a political and administrative coma, thus suspending it from fulfilling its duties. This has allowed others, be they Lebanese, Palestinians or Syrians, to fill in this gap.

Second, security duties in Lebanon are beyond the capabilities of the military and the security forces because of it being depleted on the borders and the Lebanese interior, lacking a political umbrella, and questioning its sense of patriotism.

The interior minister announced a severe personnel shortage, demanding that the protection elements be returned, as well as suggesting that the municipal police be formed in the manner of popular committees in Egypt or the national defense forces in Syria, thus legislating autonomous security in the guise of police, rather than political parties. It seems that the resistance was born as a result of the weakness of the government and its inability to protect citizens from Israeli attacks. The resistance liberated the land in 2000. Resistance came to compensate for the government’s negligence rather than to replace it.

Military and security forces are not prevented from entering and raiding areas held by Hezbollah. Coordination between Hezbollah and the military and security forces protects all of Lebanon, not only the Dahieh district. What is being targeted is the stability of Lebanon. Certain groups are trying to provoke religious strife in the country. This is evidenced by the explosions in Tripoli and the bombs discovered in Naameh.

Hezbollah and Amal Movement call on the Lebanese government to shoulder their responsibilities and give any group or region in Lebanon—be that a Palestinian refugee camp or the Syrian opposition—security immunity. All citizens and residents have to abide by the law. No immunity should be given to terrorists; we must prevent the government from collapsing and the division of our homeland into sectarian and religious zones.

The government is required to take the initiative and perform its role.

The right to self-defense is both a religious and legal duty. And when the government becomes capable, the “guardians of civilians” will return to civilian life.

We call on the state to shoulder its responsibilities and form a national salvation government and that state institutions return to support the military so as to protect the country from the storms ravaging the region.

As we say, ‘Let he who is without a sin cast the first stone,’ and let he who is without autonomous security declare so, especially since the government does not provide us with 50 policemen to save a political figure, as it did with the March 14 Alliance.

We, the people of resistance, have been victimized by the government since 1948. We dream of spending the night with our families and kids, like everybody else, without having to carry our guns with us. We dream of keeping our jobs and tending our fields. When the government shirks responsibility, we will defend ourselves. How can the others demand that we go to sleep, rather than that the government wake up?

The counterpoint to this article can be read here.