June 6, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11381

Editor Of Lebanese Daily: No Point In Celebrating South Lebanon Liberation Day As Long As Hizbullah Is Monopolizing The Country's Decision-Making In Service Of Iran's Expansionist Agenda

June 6, 2024
Iran, Lebanon | Special Dispatch No. 11381

On May 25 Lebanon celebrates "Resistance and Liberation Day," marking the anniversary of the Israeli army's withdrawal from South Lebanon on May 25, 2000.  On this year's Resistance and Liberation Day, Bechara Charbel, editor of the Lebanese daily Nidaa Al-Watan, wrote that the Lebanese no longer have any reason to celebrate this anniversary, because over the years Hizbullah has appropriated this historic milestone, which used to be part of the general Lebanese heritage, and turned it into a tool for taking over the country, paralyzing its institutions and accusing the rest of the Lebanese of treason. Hizbullah, said Charbel, uses the liberation of South Lebanon as a fig leaf to hide the fact that it has completely taken over of Lebanon's decision-making on behalf of the resistance axis. As a result, this anniversary, which is supposed to be a day of  pride and national honor, "has become burdensome for most of the [Lebanese] people." Charbel therefore called to suspend the celebration of this anniversary until Lebanon regains its status as a "land of citizenship, freedoms and institutions."

Cartoon in Nidaa Al-Watan: May 25 is no longer "Resistance and Liberation Day" but only "Resistance Day" (Nidaa Al-Watan, Lebanon, May 25, 2024)

The following are translated excerpts from Charbel's article: [1]

"If Hizbullah thinks that most of the Lebanese anticipate Resistance and Liberation Day with pride and joy,… it fails to appreciate what has happened to this happy historic anniversary. No decent [Lebanese] citizen denies that Hizbullah made great sacrifices… in order to break the power of the [Israeli] occupation until [Israel] was forced to withdraw from South Lebanon and the Western Lebanon Valley. But Hizbullah must recognize that it has failed to capitalize on this achievement. It has destroyed its significance and turned it into the exclusive property of a single group and current [i.e., Hizbullah and the Shi'ites], when it supposed to be an asset and part of the heritage of all the Lebanese people and a cornerstone for a bright future.

"Everyone knows that this anniversary has lost its noble meaning over the years, especially since the assassination of president Rafiq Al-Hariri [in 2005] and the events that followed it, in which Hizbullah used its weapons [against the Lebanese]. [This anniversary] became part of the controversy, because Hizbullah monopolized it from the beginning, and because, instead of using it to become part of the program of the [Lebanese] state, it turned it into a platform for accusing the rest of the Lebanese people of treason and looking down on them.  Instead of following the example of the French Resistance, which, after defeating the Nazi occupation, placed itself and its weapons at the service of the [French] republic, Hizbullah subordinated the [Lebanese] republic to its political and ideological plan, whose most recent expression was the summit of the Iranian-axis militias, held in Tehran on the periphery of the funerals of [Iranian president Ebrahim] Raisi and [foreign minister Hossein Amir-]Abdollahian.

"There is no need to explain the events of the last two decades, in which Hizbullah took over the country… and employed a policy of erosion and destruction. [Hizbullah] lives in luxury while [the state] has atrophied… The result is as clear as day: We live among the ruins of a state that was neglected, whose borders are unguarded and whose institutions are paralyzed. [A state] whose people emigrate voluntarily in order to live in dignity, after finding themselves in an impasse in their stolen homeland whose doors have been removed so it is flooded with our brothers, the immigrants [from Syria]. This would not have become an existential threat were it not for [Hizbullah's] policy of paralyzing [the state institutions]… Moreover, [Hizbullah] is implementing the agenda of the [Iran-led resistance] axis, which sees Lebanon as nothing more than an arena for an imperialist plan whose only achievement so far has been to destabilize the capitals [Iran] has overtaken and to destroy the [social] fabric of the countries it has put its hands on.

"[Hizbullah's current] war of attrition [against Israel] was the only thing Lebanon still needed in order to complete its tragedy and understand that the achievement [of liberating South Lebanon] has become a fig leaf for [Hizbullah's] exclusive control of the [country's] decision-making. Whether [Hamas leader] Yahya's Sinwar's decision [to carry out the October 7, 2023 attack]  was a costly adventure or a necessary sacrifice on the path to liberating the Palestinians from the yoke of the occupation, embroiling Lebanon [in the war] is patently absurd and disastrous, and is another blow to any hope of preserving [Lebanon] as a state of all its citizens that seeks to live in honor and peace.

"Every year, Resistance and Liberation Day looks more and more like something that is forced [on the Lebanese] and which aggravates the domestic conflicts… It's a pity that this day, which is supposed to be a day of pride and national honor, has become burdensome for most of the people…

"The anniversary of the liberation will regain its true meaning only when [Lebanon] is once more a land of citizenship, freedoms and institutions. Until that dream comes true, it would be better to suspend this celebration."


[1] Nidaa Al-Watan (Lebanon), May 25, 2024.

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