December 13, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 11014

Lebanese Shi'ites: War With Israel Will Destroy Lebanon, Serve Iran

December 13, 2023
Iran, Lebanon, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 11014

Recently, some Shi'ite voices have joined others in Lebanon expressing opposition to the country's involvement in the war between Hamas and Israel.[1] Prominent among these Shi'ite voices is the "Taharror" movement, which was established in October as a "Shi'ite protest movement for Lebanon" that opposes Hizbullah and the Amal movement, both of which belong to Iran's resistance axis. Another notable Shi'ite voice in this context is the "Shi'ites Against the War" Facebook page, which was opened on October 31, 2023.

The above image appears on the "Shi'ites Against the War" Facebook page.

The following are excerpts from statements made recently by these elements against the anti-Israel operations taking place from Lebanese territory.

Taharror Movement: We Don't Want Lebanon To Be Dragged Into War With Israel In Service Of Iran's Agenda

One of the founders of the Taharror movement is Ali Khalifa, who has previously contended for the Shi'ite seat in the local council of Deir Al-Zahrani, a village in South Lebanon's Al-Nabatiya Governorate. In an interview with the Kuwaiti Al-Anba journal on October 22, 2023, Khalifa said: "[The Taharror movement] completely opposes exposing Lebanon to uncalculated risks on the border with Palestine and thus involving it in a futile war that will have outcomes and consequences that are too great for it to bear – particularly since the goal of the escalation between Hizbullah and Israel is not to help Hamas in the name of 'the unity of fronts,' but rather to serve Iran's strategy and agenda in the Arab world, at the cost of destroying Lebanon."[2]

Khalifa also criticized Hizbullah in a December 3, 2023 post he shared on his Facebook account, in which he wrote: "Will dragging Lebanon and the Lebanese people into a war help Gaza? Will damaging the crops and livelihood of the people of the South [of Lebanon] help the Palestinians? Will the victims [of Israeli strikes] on the roads in Itani, Hula, Wadi Al-Salouki, and elsewhere [in South Lebanon] be considered 'martyrs on the path to Jerusalem'? Will those expelled from their homes or whose homes are destroyed receive compensation from a bankrupt state that didn't even make the decision to join the war?... Where is Hizbullah taking Lebanon, and how does everything I mentioned fit into the state's plans for the citizenry, for rehabilitation and for growth?!"[3]

These arguments are consistently raised by members of the Taharror movement in meetings with Lebanese politicians and groups that are known for opposing Hizbullah. According to the movement's Facebook page, such meetings have taken place with Kataeb Party (Phalanges) leader Samy Gemayel, with former Lebanese minister Ashraf Rifi and with members of the Lebanese Forces Party.

"Shi'ites Against The War" Facebook Page: 50% Of Shi'ites Oppose The War

The Taharror movement is also affiliated with the "Shi'ites Against the War" Facebook page, which as of this writing has approximately 10,000 followers. The account publishes videos expressing opposition to Lebanon joining the current war in Israel by showing footage of the destruction caused by Israeli strikes in South Lebanon in response to the attacks being carried out against Israel from that region by Hizbullah and its affiliated militant groups. Many of the posts on the page emphasize that not all Shi'ites support Hizbullah and Amal, and demand that Lebanon not be dragged into war.

The following are some examples of the posts on the page:

A post from November 1, 2023, said: "Please, Sayyed [Nasrallah], don't drag Lebanon into destruction."

A post from November 15, 2023, read: "Not all Shi'ites belong to Hizbullah; not all Shi'ites belong to Amal; 50% of Shi'ites are free and oppose the war."

Another post, from November 26, 2023, said: "We want to go back to our homes; we have become refugees [due to the fighting]."

On November 29, 2023, the page posted: "The price of war is ultimately paid by the civilians!!!"


[2] Al-Anba (Kuwait), October 22, 2023.

[3], December 3, 2023.

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