May 31, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 511

Editor of Lebanese Daily Newspaper Attacks Hizbullah's Secretary General

May 31, 2003
Lebanon | Special Dispatch No. 511

An editorial by Jubran Tweini, the senior editor of the Christian Lebanese daily Al-Nahar, strongly criticized Hizbullah's Secretary General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah for his call to continue the armed conflict with Israel across Lebanon's southern border and through a Palestinian-type Intifada. [1] The following are excerpts from the editorial:

"What does Hizbullah want? Does it want to drag Lebanon and the [whole] region into an all-out suicidal war? Does it want Lebanon to commit suicide, or get slaughtered? We demand, as is our right - and based on the Taif agreement - to dissolve all the armed militias in Lebanon and to disarm Hizbullah, because these are illegal weapons."

"[But] Nassrallah is demanding to arm those who do not have arms as yet, or at least those he considers his allies. It. means that Hizbullah wants to keep its own weapons by hiding behind other people's arms and by justifying its demand with claims about dangers that loom over Lebanon and the region."

"The real danger [though] for Lebanon may be giving the Israeli enemy an excuse to start a war against Syria and Lebanon. [Such] an excuse will result only from carrying out military operations across the Lebanese border. Those who can carry out such operations, i.e. those who can give the Israeli enemy an excuse, are those who have weapons, and who seem to be hurt by any peace process in the region, and they are Hizbullah - Nassrallah's party - and the Palestinian rejectionists [sic] in the [refugee] camps [in Lebanon]."

"The danger that the secretary general of Hizbullah is talking about emanates directly from the weapons that he and his party possess. Therefore, in order not to serve [the interests of] Israel, we must disarm all those who are armed…"

"The first option that Hassan Nassrallah wants as a solution for the region - and we do not know what kind of a solution he means… is to bet on the resistance [movement] and on weapons. Nassrallah urged [people] to follow this path in Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon. In other words, Nassrallah is urging [people to launch] an Iraqi Intifada against the American presence in Iraq, to continue the Palestinian Intifada, and to continue the armed resistance in southern Lebanon."

"[Nassrallah] is meddling in Iraq's domestic affairs without consulting the Iraqi people, who prefer the option of construction, development, and progress especially now after the suffering that they had endured at the hands of Saddam's regime. He also demands that the Palestinian people keep on using the language of war, and continue with the Intifada and suicide operations. This is also meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians and an affront to the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, which has not decided as yet whether to rely on Hizbullah's way, since it is still walking on the road to negotiations."

"The demand of Hizbullah's secretary general to continue the military operations may serve Sharon, who was forced to accept the Road Map and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Doesn't Hizbullah's secretary general see that this in itself is a significant accomplishment that may lead to the renewal of comprehensive negotiations and onward to a just solution? Who told Nasrallah that Lebanon as a whole agrees with his politics and with his demand to set fire [to] the Iraqi and Palestinian fronts, while there is a need to calm them down?"

"Who authorized Nassrallah to represent all the Lebanese, to make decisions for them, and to embroil them in something they don't want to be embroiled in? Did Nassrallah appoint himself secretary general of all the Lebanese and the whole Arab world? Isn't it time that he understands that the Lebanese regional and international policies, war and peace decisions, and incitement for war are all decisions that should not be made by one party, even if it is Hizbullah?"

[1] Al-Nahar (Lebanon), May 29, 2003.

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