Building bridges in Lebanon

By: Nayla Tueni


What good is talking, writing and analyzing if those with whom the real power lies have turned a deaf ear to people’s pains and have become linked to a foreign party that controls them, one which they die to defend?

The point of this discussion is Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed ’s insistence to go on with his policy of  participation in others’ wars – that is the Syrian war – that backfire on us in forms of terrorism which target his people before anyone else. If his recent media appearance attempted to provide moral support to the victims’ families, this wasn’t enough and it won’t be as long as this series of terrorist activities continues to target the country. Internal terrorism is more threatening than Israel’s attacks which united the Lebanese and which led one group to find refuge with another, thus uniting people to live through the 33 days of the July 2006 War.

A rift

In Lebanon, the rift is huge, and an internal war is more threatening than a war with Israel, as Sayyed Nasrallah himself told as-Safir few days ago. If Nasrallah is well aware of that, then why the enmity with most of the Lebanese who agree that the dissociation policy must be fully implemented in an attempt to save the country from the destructive repercussions of the ongoing war in Syria?

Most Lebanese find that Hezbollah’s participation in the war is a mere implementation of the policy of Iran which does not want to lose influence in the region, whether in Lebanon, Iraq or Syria. Perhaps, Syria with its Assad regime is the basis of the link of the Shiite Crescent project which King Abdullah II of Jordan talked about few years ago. The collapse of the Syrian regime would thus serve as a drawback to this link and project. This means that participation in the war is more Iranian than Lebanese. This is unfortunate and frustrating for the Lebanese, especially if they looked around them yesterday to realize that Hezbollah is reverting to self-security measures to protect its supporters. This means that in addition to the terrorism that has begun to target them, the logic of the state is falling apart.

Our colleague Mohamed Safa fell victim to the explosion. He didn’t fall victim of a cause but he died because he paid the price of Hezbollah’s participation in the war in Syria. Mohamed wasn’t the only victim. Around 30 people were also killed, most of whom are not members of the party. They too were the party’s victims. Fear is that others will also die in more than one area. And we do not know who will bear the moral responsibility for their deaths.

Hezbollah’s opportunity for national dialogue and for helping to form a cabinet is currently available to them. If taken up, this chance would come as a merit of bearing responsibility to save what can be saved. Involving itself further in the Syrian conflict will only drag Lebanon further into a series of woes. These woes will be the harvest of foreign dependence.


Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar.

This article was first published in Lebanon-based annahar on August 19.


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