February 22, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11142

Lebanese Journalist: Hizbullah Is Dragging Lebanon Into A War With Israel And Endangering The Lives Of The Lebanese With The Government's Cooperation

February 22, 2024
Lebanon | Special Dispatch No. 11142

Against the backdrop of the ongoing fighting between Hizbullah and Israel, which broke out following Hamas' October 7, 2023 attack and which escalated in the last few weeks, many politicians, journalists and Christian clerics have been increasingly critical of Hizbullah.[1] They accuse it of dragging Lebanon into a war with Israel in the service of Iran's and Hamas' interests while endangering the lives of the Lebanese and causing severe harm to the country as a whole. This criticism intensified recently, inter alia following the visit of Iran's foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, to Lebanon on February 9, 2024, during which he met with Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and other Lebanese officials, praised Hizbullah for fighting Israel and said that "Lebanon's security is [part of] the security of Iran and the region."[2]

One of the critical articles, titled "The Paradox: Lebanon Is Hurtling Towards War with Israel," was published by Lebanese journalist Ali Hamada, a regular contributor to the Al-Nahar Al-Arabi website. Likening Hizbullah to a driver who decides to commit suicide by driving his vehicle, crowded with passengers, into a wall, Hamada laments the fact that Lebanon's fate is in the hands of an armed militia. He directs his criticism also at the Lebanese government and Lebanese officials who, he says, collaborate with Hizbullah, justify its fighting with Israel and ignore the numerous casualties and extensive damage suffered by villages and towns in South Lebanon. Hamada adds that Hizbullah's skirmishes with Israel, aimed at aiding Hamas by engaging Israel's armed forces on the northern front, does not actually help Hamas.

Ali Hamada (Image:

The following are translated excerpts from Ali Hamada's article: [3]

"…The one holding the reins of the country, on all levels, is Hizbullah, which imposed and is still imposing its agenda on all Lebanese. For more than four months, this country has been in a state of ongoing war, and its top officials compete with one another in legitimizing Hizbullah's war on the border. The damage caused by the war is not confined to its consequences in the south of the country, of course. The damage transcends this area, and encompasses the entire country by undermining the security of all its regions, sects and cultural [sectors]. Most [of the Lebanese] object to the fact that their fate is in the hands of an armed organization that has not been authorized by either the law or the people to start wars in the name of Lebanon and the Lebanese.  It's enough for us that Hizbullah involved itself in the war in Syria and sank to the ears in the blood-soaked game [there]. It's enough for us that, prior to this, it was involved in [spilling] the blood of Lebanese who opposed it. The terroristic assassination of the martyred prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri, whose anniversary we mark [today], is the best example of how Hizbullah deals with domestic [opponents].

"When Hizbullah first became entangled in the war in the south, [intended] to 'engage' [Israel in fighting on a second front], observers assessed that Israel wanted a war with Lebanon in order to change the reality there, and that it was trying to drag Lebanon into an all-out war. But over time it became clear that Hizbullah was the one who was rushing headlong into war, taking all of Lebanon with it, like a driver of a vehicle full of passengers who decides to crash into a cement wall and commit suicide together with all of them!

"This is a bitter reality, especially since the Lebanese government, including its highest echelons, is cooperating [with Hizbullah] and is not questioning why over 250 people have been killed so far in the south, in addition to the extensive damage sustained by the villages and towns on the border, which has caused over 100,000 Lebanese to be displaced from the south. And let us not forget that the [state of] immediate danger that has prevailed for over four months has started to affect the Lebanese economy in every region, even [in regions] far from the battlefront. The fate of the country and the people thus depends on the decisions of an armed militia that is placing over six million Lebanese in danger. 

"Yesterday [on February 13], in a speech on the occasion of 'Day of the Wounded,' Hizbullah Secretary-General [Hassan Nasrallah] said that 'opening the Lebanese front [against Israel] was a supreme national interest, so as to prevent an Israeli victory. The problem is that some people think that what we are doing is useless – and that is a disaster.'

"In response, we ask, as observers: Now that the most we can hope for is that the Israelis will refrain from attacking the last piece of territory [still held] by Hamas and the factions in Rafah, an area of no more than 16 square kilometers, [can we really say] that the hostilities from Lebanon, [meant to] engage [the Israeli forces], have really prevented an Israeli victory and eased the pressure on Gaza?"


[1] On criticism directed at Hizbullah since the beginning of the war, see MEMRI reports: Special Dispatch No. 10852 - Lebanese Politicians To Hizbullah: Don't Involve Lebanon In A War Against Israel – October 11, 2023; Special Dispatch No. 10891 - Criticism In Lebanon: The Government Has No Authority; Iran And Hizbullah Decide On Matters Of War And Peace – October 20, 2023; Special Dispatch No. 10969 - Lebanese Journalists: Hizbullah Is Dragging Lebanon Into A Devastating War With Israel – November 21, 2023; Special Dispatch No. 11014 - Lebanese Shi'ites: War With Israel Will Destroy Lebanon, Serve Iran – December 13, 2023; Special Dispatch No. 11053 - Hizbullah Facing Criticism In Lebanon For Firing Rockets From South Lebanon Villages, Thus Endangering Their Residents And Forcing Them To Leave – January 2, 2024.

[2]  Al-Nahhar (Lebanon),,  February 9, 2024;, February 10, 2024; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), February 11, 2024.

[3], February 14, 2024.

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