Lebanese journalist Tony Abi Najem slammed Hizbullah and its active military conflict with Israel in a December 20, 2023, show on Lebanon On (YouTube), saying it has no authority to open a front with Israel in south Lebanon. He said that Hizbullah are experts in destruction and that it is the Lebanese taxpayers who must pay to cover the damage done in south Lebanon, which is detrimental to Lebanon's economy. Abi Najem said that he has no duty to be in solidarity with Hizbullah, which gets the country into "one catastrophe after another." He continued to say that Hizbullah operatives who were killed in battle with Israel are not martyrs, "they are fighters who followed non-Lebanese orders […] what is it to us?"
Tony Abi Najem: "The big question is what's the reason for what is happening in south Lebanon. Who gave Hizbullah the authority to tell the people of south Lebanon—and I am one of them—that we are about to start [fighting] on our front in order to ease the pressure on Hamas and Gaza? Who told Hizbullah they could do this?
"You and I and anyone paying taxes are supposed to pay compensations for what is happening there, for the destruction cause by Hizbullah, just because, as Nasrallah says, he learned about the Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7, and decided, the following day, to support [Hamas], without consulting anyone, and we are expected to follow him, running. Unfortunately, the destruction in south Lebanon is great, and it is reflected in Lebanon's economy, which is in bad shape to begin with. Simply put, there is someone telling us to follow him running.
"What if Israel decides to do something? Practically speaking, I do not feel that I have any duty of solidarity with... I am not talking about the Shi'ites or the people of south Lebanon. I do not feel I have a duty of solidarity with Hizbullah and its followers, who decide, each time, to get us into one catastrophe after another, and are experts in destruction. Mark my words: The people who live in this [pro-Hizbullah] atmosphere... If God forbid, Israel invades [Lebanon], and they feel that Hizbullah is breaking down, you will see them cheering on top of Merkava tanks. They are the same people who, in 1982, threw rice on the Israelis, so that they would save them from the PLO in south Lebanon. It is the same people."
Interviewer: "The martyrs who fell in south Lebanon—were they killed defending Lebanon?"
Abi Najem: "Even Hassan Nasrallah does not say this. He sent them 'on the way to Jerusalem.' They have nothing to do with Lebanon. He says so himself. Is he lying? He says they have nothing to do with Lebanon. As far as I am concerned, they are not martyrs. They are fighters who followed non-Lebanese orders, and died on their way to Jerusalem. What is it to us?