Hezbollah’s aggression in the eyes of the growing Lebanese opposition

Hezbollah’s aggression in the eyes of the growing Lebanese opposition

Ever since the start of the escalation in South Lebanon last October, with the harsh destruction and the dire economic situation of the residents of South and Central Lebanon, we have witnessed a significant rise of voices criticizing Hezbollah’s conduct.

It appears that Lebanon is being hijacked by foreign interests, utilizing Hezbollah, leading the beautiful and multicultural country into disaster.

We will add these opinions as they appear in the future.

Lebanese Forces Party (LF)Samir GeageaSamir Geagea, chairman of the Lebanese Forces Party, said Hezbollah had taken over all the decisions in Lebanon, making the country the only one of the 22 member states of the Arab League and the only one of the 57 countries in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation paying the price for regional events, except for Palestine. He said that if an all-out war broke out, he and his people would stand by the country, but wondered why Lebanon should bear the cost of the losses, which he estimated at between 400 and 500 dead and enormous material damage when all the solutions to the problems already existed, starting with the deployment of military forces in south Lebanon (MTV Lebanon, July 4, 2024).

Samir Geagea stated that the statements [by implication, made by Hezbollah] that the Church and its believers “work in the service of Zionist terrorism” were completely invalid. He said that “the one who serves Zionist terrorism is the one who by his actions caused Zionist terrorism to operate in south Lebanon [i.e., Hezbollah]” (Lebanese Forces Party X account, June 26, 2024).

Samir Geagea, the chairman of the Lebanese Forces Party, accused Hezbollah of dragging all of Lebanon into alignment with Iranian interests and criticized the “official surrender” of the state institutions to Hezbollah. According to Geagea, many current government members belong to or support the “resistance axis,” and therefore are happy about the situation. He added that the government was also responsible for the destruction taking place in Lebanon and that if Prime Minister Mikati saw himself as having no power, he should resign. Geagea warned that the situation in south Lebanon could further deteriorate towards a major escalation, and because the legitimate government was “absent,” Lebanon was marching towards the “unknown” (al-Sharq al-Awsat, June 23, 2024).
Lebanese Forces Party (LF)Ghayat YazbekGhayath Yazbak accused Nasrallah of “humiliating the Lebanese foreign ministry, government, and state, Cyprus and the European Union, of which it is a member” (Ghayath Yazbek’s X account, June 19, 2024) Ghayat Yazbek, a member of the Lebanese Parliament representing the Lebanese Forces Party, criticized Hezbollah’s threats against Israel. He said that Hezbollah had admitted to itself that its capabilities were limited and that although the organization was capable of causing heavy damage to Israel, it could not change the fact that Israel was a strong country that was also supported by the United States, and was capable of returning Lebanon to the Stone Age (al-Arabiya, June 20, 2024).
Lebanese Forces Party (LF)Ghada AyoubGhada Ayoub, a member of the Lebanese parliament from Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces Party, said for 30 years Hezbollah had been occupying 20 million square meters of land in south Lebanon and preventing the owners from entering or approaching their property. She expressed her displeasure at the proposal to exempt the residents of south Lebanon from paying taxes and electricity and telephone bills. She stated that the choice was between one country or a “state” [i.e., south Lebanon, controlled by Hezbollah] which would rule Lebanon. She also said that her party had sent a letter to the Lebanese government questioning its decision to compensate each family of a Hezbollah casualty with $20,000, warning that it was contrary to the constitution, which states that compensation will only be awarded to innocent citizens (MesbarChannel YouTube channel, June 9, 2024). It was reported that of the first 52 names of people eligible for compensation, only three were civilians and the other 49 were “martyrs of the resistance,” i.e. Hezbollah operatives (MTV Lebanon News, June 10, 2024).
Kataeb PartySamy GemayelSamy Gemayel, chairman of the Phalanges Party, said international effort had to be invested to extricate Lebanon from its current situation. He said the problem in Lebanon was not local and therefore international solutions were necessary. He said the international community had to exert pressure for international decisions to be implemented, starting with Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 1559,[3]according to which “armed militias” [Hezbollah] had to be disarmed (Kon Mowaten, April 3, 2024). 2024). He added that the Lebanese army should be deployed and allowed to ensure security along the border (Phalanges website, April 5, 2024).
Free Patriotic Movement (FPM)Gebran BasilGebran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement Party in Lebanon, called for separating events on the Lebanese front from events in the Gaza Strip since Lebanon could not depend on Yahya Sinwar’s decision regarding the future of the war. He added that the decision to enter the war should remain in Lebanon’s hands, but he was not prepared for his country to enter a war it had not decided to start and for which it was paying the price with its economy, property, and the lives of Lebanese victims who should not have to die because of an ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians (Sky News in Arabic, July 4, 2024).

Gebran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement in the Lebanese parliament, gave a speech in Jbeil in which he said he did not know how Israel could be defeated when Lebanon was collapsing, its economic situation was terrible, government institutions were crumbling and national unity was threatened. He stated that the Lebanese did not want a war, and neither did the United States or Iran [sic], the only party that did want war was the Israeli government, and there was no reason to allow it to kill and destroy. He could not understand, he said, a situation in which Lebanon conducted a war that was not in its own interest (Gebran Bassil’s X account, April 6, 2024; Lebanese News Agency, April 6, 2024).
Free Patriotic Movement (FPM)Wadih AklThe fear is not about failing to defeat Israel in war, but about failing to defeat it in the economy and Lebanese culture… This is where our real problem with Hezbollah lies, in that we are unable to build a state, nor is building one a priority… Our problem is not about Israel, as it unites us, even against our will, when it attacks… But what about the day after? ( June 30, 2024, quoted Jebran Basil)

“ Resistance against oppression is a right for Lebanon and Palestine, each from its own land. However, the use of southern Lebanon’s land by foreign fighters is unacceptable”. ( October 10, 2024, Wadih Akl X account)
Free Patriotic MovementGhassan Atallah ( Parliament member)Ghassan Atallah, a Free Patriotic Movement Party member of the Lebanese Parliament said his party opposed any attack on Lebanon and did not want Hezbollah to continue supporting the Gaza Strip through in Lebanon. He added that Hezbollah had imposed excellent equations on the front, but the price was very high and the damage was great. He said the dispute between the Free National Movement and Hezbollah began after the re-appointment of Najib Mikati as prime minister of the transitional government, however, after October 7, 2023, the movement tried to rebuild bridges with all parties (Voice of Lebanon Radio, July 6, 2024)
Maronite ChurchPatriarch Bechara Boutros al-RahiPatriarch Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi condemned Hezbollah’s operations against Israel while pleading for Lebanon’s neutrality. He spoke on behalf of the residents of Lebanon’s south and “conveyed their rejection of being used as “hostages, human shields, and scapegoats for failed Lebanese policies and the culture of death that has brought nothing to our country except imaginary victories and shameful defeats.” ( Arab News, January 29, 2024)
Future MovementFuad SinioraSeniora referred to the Arab League’s refraining from designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization: “In response to the Arab League’s decision to refrain from designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora: The decision is like a free gift.” (June 30, 2024, Al-Hadath Channel )
Independence MovementMichel MoawadWe continue our struggle to liberate Lebanon from the axis’s hegemony [i.e. from the hegemony of the Iranian axis of resistance], and in rejection of the approach of killing, elimination, and any weapons outside legitimacy. We persist, today and every day, in our struggle to restore Lebanon’s sovereignty and build a state of institutions that protects everyone. ( June 13, 2024, Michel Moawad’s Twitter account)
Ronnie Chatah ( journalist, son of the Minister of Finance Mohammad Chatah, who was assassinated by Hezbollah in 2013)On 4 July Ronnie Chatah tweeted “With their intelligentsia in mind: When it comes to sonic booms & psychological warfare, rightly point the finger at Israel. But when it comes to assassinations that target HA’s political opponents, blame the US & Israel. And when sovereignty is discussed, blame everyone but Iran. ( Ronnie Chatah X account, July 4, originally in English)

“41 months later & the obvious remains clear… There is no independent judiciary, no state agency & no respite for the friends, allies & loved ones who suffer in silence. Watching this country fracture further while Lokman Slim’s killers fight for Iran on Lebanon’s battlefield”.( Ronnie Chattah X account, July 4)
Jean Ferghali (Journalist)On July, 9, Jean Ferghali share an X post:
“Nasrallah, the Iranian agent in# Lebanon, poses a danger to #Lebanon and all Lebanese! Unfortunately, #Hezbollah occupies #Lebanon and drags it into a destructive war for the benefit of #Iran in the region. If Nasrallah is not a terrorist, then who is the terrorist in Lebanon? This danger shows no mercy to anyone!” ( Jean Ferghali X account, July 9. One can see a mocking footage of Nasrallah).
Bahaa Hariri (son of Rafiq Hariri)“We must remember that Hezbollah has been responsible for many crises in Lebanon which have led to a major economic meltdown. With the help of international cooperation we can see an end to this regime”.) Bahaa Hariri’s Instagram account, September 2020)
Paula Yacoubian (independent MP and journalist)On June 27, 2024, Yacoubian wrote some words of warmhearted support for the journalist Dima Sadeq who has been harassed by Hezbollah supporters for several months “ Your patriotism and honorable stance are unmatched, especially compared to worthless scum like this one. All respect to you” ( Paula Yacoubian Twitter account)
On July 1, 2023, representatives of the opposition parties in Lebanon held a press conference where they warned of the danger of the situation in Lebanon deteriorating into a comprehensive war that is none of Lebanon; and made it clear that Lebanon should not pay the price for any new equations. They presented a road map that called to disengage Lebanon from the Palestinian issue and opposed support for armed groups, local or foreign, that operate in Lebanese territory and impose the logic of the unity of the arenas in the service of the regional resistance. They also called on the Lebanese government to stop all military operations that were not within the framework of the official Lebanese security forces, to declare a state of emergency in south Lebanon, transfer security control of the area to the Lebanese army, and implement Resolution 1701 (al-Nashra, July 1, 2024).
Lebanon Uprising MovementAshraf Rifi( former Justice minister)“ We say directly to Hezbollah: Enough with besieging our areas, and enough with disregarding our rights. There’s no president for Christians except by your choice, no formation of governments for Sunnis in their natural time, and no dialogue or consultation with other Lebanese in decisions of war and peace. What kind of national partnership is this?” ( June 30, 2024, Ashraf Rifi X account)
Free Nationalist PartyKamil ShamounThe Maronite Christian politician, Kamil Chamoun, who heads the Free Nationalist Party, warned that if Hezbollah tried to attack the Christian areas, there were “twenty thousand armed and trained fighters ready for zero hour,” and the Druze and Sunnis would stand by the Christians. He accused Hezbollah of trying to divide Lebanon and demanded that the organization compensate the residents of south Lebanon for its decision to start a war against Israel (al-Mashhad, June 12, 2024).
Taqaddom PartyMark DaouMark Daou, a member of the Lebanese Parliament from the Taqaddom Party, accused Hezbollah of harming the entire Lebanese people and destroying the south of the country. He stated that if Hezbollah had money, it should donate it to the state (MTV Lebanon News, June 9, 2024).
Independent journalistGhassan Hasbani“ Nasrallah’s threatening Cyprus is very dangerous” ( June 20, 2024, Ghassan Hasbani X account)
Former politician, 14 March movementFares Souaid“The Arab league stays as it used to be after Iran’s entry to control four Arab capitals is unacceptable:
1. It has lost its Arab identity in the face of fear from Iran
2. It has allowed Iran to outbid Arabs on the Palestinian issue
3. It has abandoned its role in preserving the independence of each member
4. It does not define Arab identity in a way that suits the current era” ( June 30, Fares Souaid’s X account)

Dissolving it and reforming it is a necessity.

Journalist (Al-Arabiya)Layal AlekhtiyarLayal Alekhtiyar is wanted by the military for interviewing an Israeli army spokesperson. This action comes in response to her interview with Avichay Adraee, the Arabic-speaking spokesman for the Israeli army on October 07 ( L’orient le Jour, November 17, 2024)
Journalist (MTV)Dima Sadeq (MTV)Dima Sadeq has always criticized Hezbollah. “ we became hostages not only of the [ hezbollah] weapons but also of the insanity” ( June 26, 2024, Dima Sadeq, X account & Elhawiya TV channel)
Journalist (Sky News)Nadim Koteiche“The Israelis know that Lebanon is the most fragile of their neighboring territories, and it won’t be difficult for them to destroy it, nor will it be easy for its people to rebuild it. Returning it to the Stone Age, meaning destroying power stations, water facilities, roads, communications, and the airport, only harms countries with centralized systems. Lebanon, however, has been a divided country since the 1970s, with external forces like the Palestinians, then the Syrians, and now Hezbollah and the Iranians.

The destruction of Lebanon will not significantly harm Hezbollah; on the contrary, it will help them tighten their control over it. The party is only responsible for its areas in terms of living conditions and services. They will easily obtain multiple payments from Iran and Iraq to finance their damaged areas

The rest of the Lebanese, like the rest of the Yemenis, Iraqis, and Syrians, have no power or authority in the face of a heavily armed force that has killed their presidents, ministers, parliamentarians, intellectuals, and passersby. The destruction of Lebanon would be a service to Iran.” ( June 27, Kuteich shared a tweet by the Saudi journalist Abdurrahman Al-Rashid)
Journalist (Jooussour newspaper)Tony Boulos“The dialogue of Western envoys and diplomats with Hezbollah as an alternative to the Lebanese state keeps matters on the southern front in the hands of Arab Iran”. ( 26 June, an interview to al-Arabiya)
Journalist (Elsiyasa newspaper)Rami NaïmThe Journalist Rami Naim known for his criticism of Hezbollah was assaulted and beaten by 20 armed men in Beirut on June 18. ( l’Orient le jour. June 19, 2024)

“A gang of thugs attacked the president of the association Journalists for Freedom,” Assaad Béchara, asking him to leave Beirut, considering that the city is an area reserved for people who are with Hezbollah It seems that the intimidation series began with me, then with Youssef Diab, to now target Assaad, and who else tomorrow? To the judges and security forces: what are you waiting for?” ( Rami Naim’s X account. June 27, 2024)
Academic scholar (History) ( American University of Beirut)Makram Rabah“If one rises up and fights against tyranny and occupation, seeking to liberate their land, they do so with the intention of living a better life, not dying for the sake of dying only, nor serving the goals of a similar hegemonic project led by “Hezbollah” and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Levant and beyond”.( June 30, Makram Rabah X account)
Journalist and historianIyad Abu ShaqraAbu Shaqra shared an interview of the former Lebanon PM Fuad Seniora to the Al-Hadeth channel. Seniora referred to the Arab League’s refraining from designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization: “In response to the Arab League’s decision to refrain from designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora: The decision is like a free gift.” (June 30, 2024, Abu Shaqra Twitter account)
JournalistPaola IstihPaola Istih writes at al-Sharq al-Awsat and is critical of Hezbollah. ( al-Sharq al-Awsat)
Independent political activist and influentialRaymond HakimRaymond Hakim shared a pinned message on Twitter with a picture of Nasrallah. the wording reads his weapons are from Iran, his money is from Iran, and his loyalty is to Iran. Question: What is he still doing here in Lebanon?! (Raymond Hakim’s X account)