Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Nasrallah’s Participation in the Beirut Marathon! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The pictures that came out of Beirut on Sunday evening showed the Lebanese leadership represented by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Saad al Hariri as they led thousands of Lebanese participating in the Beirut marathon. Of course let us not forget that Haifa Wehbi was also there. Both Suleiman and al Hariri expressed that sport is important to the Lebanese and that Lebanon can benefit from sportsmanship to overcome its problems as Suleiman stated that participants “came to meet one another. They teach us and have sent us a message that confirms the necessity of sticking together.” Whilst on his part, al Hariri stressed the necessity of “bringing the Lebanese together” and that “sport is a very important event that can bring them together.”

This is the crux of the matter; in order for sports to contribute to creating sportsmanship amongst all Lebanese, if I were in Saad al Hariri’s place I would have taken the initiative to talk to the Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah days before the marathon and I would have said to him: “Your problem Sayyed is with the Lebanese government and in particular Article 6 of the Ministerial Statement relating to the party’s weapons and the expression “right to resistance.” I will solve it for you, no problem, as I will issue the Ministerial Statement including your right to possess weapons and your right to resistance even if this does anger my allies. I will do this all on one very simple condition; that you take part in the Beirut Marathon with us.” So this means resistance in exchange for taking part in the Marathon. You participate with us in the race; we support the resistance. As simple as that!

If Nasrallah starts to give excuses then Hariri should elaborate further and say: “The issue is simple Sayyed, firstly all that is required of you is that you jog with us in the open air in front of all the Lebanese and you can’t tell me that you can’t jog…even Haifa Wehbi is running with us. You must remember that all that is required of you is to take part in the ten-kilometre race in the streets of Beirut. As for me when I issue the resolution in support of resistance, I will be running with you into the unknown in a race that only God knows the length of…therefore you cannot make excuses about security precautions as you always say you seek martyrdom. Whoever wants martyrdom does not hide, especially as those who will target you will be targeting [me] al Hariri, Suleiman and the Interior Minister. Besides death as part of a group is a mercy Sayyed!”

And of course it would be easy to answer Nasrallah’s questions – if he asks any –about the non-participation of Nabih Berri, Michel Aoun, and Walid Jumblatt as age has its limits, never mind the fact that Mr. Berri is already out of breath from running in an insincere project to get rid of sectarianism. Therefore there is no real reason for the Hezbollah leader not to partake in the Marathon celebration with the people of Beirut.

Anyway, all that is mentioned above is not a joke; rather it is very simple evidence that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah cannot be with Lebanon as a whole as Nasrallah wants Lebanon, with all its diversity, to stand with him, or behind him, in the trench of “resistance” and nobody knows where this will lead. Whilst Hassan Nasrallah himself cannot even stand with thousands of Lebanese of different backgrounds in the Marathon!