Last week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivered a long speech of no real value. He admitted that within his party there are spies for Israel and that he is in support of the repression of the Assad regime and supports the Shia of Bahrain. He also expressed that he considers the international tribunal on Rafik Hariri worthless.
On Saturday, one week after his previous speech, Mr. Nasrallah came out once again with another long speech in which he made numerous accusations against everyone in defense of his party after the International Criminal Court called on the government of Najib Mikati to hand over four members of Hezbollah.
Despite that Mr. Nasrallah himself said last week that the international tribunal is worthless and that he would not talk about it, Hezbollah’s initial reaction to the tribunal’s indictment was that the accused come from low levels among the party’s cadres and that they are of no value. This, of course, is not true, as Mr. Nasrallah himself, in his last speech, came out in defense of the accused and warned that the goal of the international tribunal is to create sectarian unrest between the Shia and Sunnis and this is where the story begins.
If Hassan Nasrallah really does fear sectarian unrest then somebody should answer several pressing questions here; firstly, with regards to Lebanon, why did Hezbollah take up arms against the Sunnis in Beirut in 2007? Why is Hassan Nasrallah supporting the Shia in Bahrain against the ruling Sunni regime despite the call for declaring an Islamic Republic of Bahrain like the Islamic Republic of Iran? Why is Hassan Nasrallah defending the regime of Bashar Al Assad, a member of the minority in Syria, despite the large number of Syrians killed not to mention those arrested, displaced and of course missing?
That’s not all. If Hassan Nasrallah truly fears sectarian unrest then why isn’t he among the most cooperative with the international tribunal in Lebanon today to prove that his party and his men are innocent of the murder of a Lebanese, not just Sunni, symbol, namely former Prime Minister Mr. Hariri? Why isn’t Mr. Nasrallah as cooperative in the same manner as he defends the Mikati government and the Hezbollah members who are wanted by the International Tribunal as they are accused of being implicated in the assassination of the late Mr. Hariri?
Of course, the story doesn’t end here. Why does Hassan Nasrallah consider the investigation into Mr. Hariri’s assassination an invitation for sectarian unrest between the Sunnis and the Shia whilst at the same time he does not consider the wish to discover what happened to Musa Sadr an invitation for sectarian unrest between the Sunnis and Shia? If the answer regarding Musa Sadr is that the case relates to Libya and not Lebanon then we reject this because if Hezbollah really did carry out Mr. Hariri’s assassination then this does not only affect Lebanon but everyone who supports Iranian Hezbollah in Lebanon and on all levels, including the media.
Therefore, what Hassan Nasrallah and those who support him do not want to comprehend is that he and his party are one of the main causes of sectarian unrest in our region and this is the truth no matter how it is dressed up.
(Tariq Alhomayed is Editor-in-Chief of the London based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat where this article first appeared on July 4, 2011.)