Op Ed: Hezbollah is eating itself

By RAGHIDA BAHNAM *

It was once the symbol of resistance for many in the Middle East. Not anymore.

Hezbollah’s reputation as an honest defender of the weak is being destroyed, ironically not by Israel but by the party itself.

It is not just Hezbollah’s attitude towards the Syrian revolution and its unrelenting support to the murderous regime that is damaging the party’s reputation, but the whiff of corruption that keeps hanging about them.

The latest accusation of graft surrounds the Hezbollah minister of State for Administrative Reform Muhammad Fneish. His brother is accused of forging the signature of the Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil to allow for the hugely profitable import of untested pharmaceuticals into Lebanon.

The scandal doesn’t stop here. As some media outlets are reporting links between Hezbollah and the companies involved in importing the drugs.

In most countries stories like this could cause the fall of a government. But not so in Lebanon, where scandals this size have become so common people just shrug.

What is causing outrage this time though is Hezbollah’s involvement.

Minister of State for Administrative Reform MP Mohammad Fneish (L) and MP Hussein Moussawi. Both are key members of Hezbollah. Fneish's brother is reportedly involved in a pharmaceutical scandal while Moussawi's brother Jihad was accused accused of manufacturing and dealing in the drug Captagon pills

It all started in June last year when the party decided to take power after withdrawing from the national unity government.

It is the first time a Lebanese government is dominated by Hezbollah.

Before that the party leaders could sit in the opposition ranks and assign blame of corruption on March 14th, the western backed alliance led by former PM Saad Hariri.

But then they came to power.

They couldn’t anymore blame March 14 for the lack of electricity supply, which got much worse under their government.

They had to stay quiet over the growing security concerns, and the rise of theft and kidnapping crimes.

So many Lebanese started to slowly discover that Hezbollah in power doesn’t equal openness and transparency, but instead the same old corruption stories.

A central plank of their appeal is now gone.

What is most worrying for Hezbollah is that it is losing ground within its traditional supporters.

Reports emerged few months ago of Iran investigating fraud allegations within Hezbollah. It was related to large cash donations alleged to have been embezzled by a Hezbollah member.

Many high-ranking members in the party have long lost their sense of modesty, which has given them legitimacy in the eyes of their supporters.

The sight of party big wigs showing off fancy cars in poor Shia neighborhoods isn’t going down well with fighters’ families. Many do genuinely believe that their sons have joined the “resistance” to free the country from Israel and fight for the Palestinians’ rights.

But they are finding themselves now receiving the bodies of their sons in boxes, at a time of no war with Israel, but an ongoing war in Syria where reports of Hezbollah fighters dying next to the regime soldiers keep emerging.

And many families can’t help but wonder, even in whispers, if this is the “resistance” they signed up for.

*Raghida Bahnam is a Lebanese reporter at Al Arabiya in Dubai. She has covered international affairs, including Lebanon, from both Beirut and London and now Dubai.

Al Arabiya

  • Hannibal

    tut tut tut… Damn Israelis they sold them the drugs… Another Zionist conspiracy against ashrafou el naas…
    Funny how HA supporters conveniently disappear from the forum the minute they find it is business as usual in Hashish Associates (HA) muqaawama ranks…

    • husseinbazzi

      I cant help thinking that going by your name your disappointment in HEZBOLLAH supporters conveniently disappearing from the forum is due to you wanting to have them for breakfast,lunch or dinner.

      • Hannibal

        But Hussein I am Hannibal Barca Not Hannibal Lecter… lol

        • http://yalibnan.com/ geo metro

          yu jefrey dahmer mr? a1 sauce mr

      • Prophettttt

        Ya Bazzawi, Rouekaa shwai ,lol

  • Hannibal

    tut tut tut… Damn Israelis they sold them the drugs… Another Zionist conspiracy against ashrafou el naas…
    Funny how HA supporters conveniently disappear from the forum the minute they find it is business as usual in Hashish Associates (HA) muqaawama ranks…

    • husseinbazzi

      I cant help thinking that going by your name your disappointment in HEZBOLLAH supporters conveniently disappearing from the forum is due to you wanting to have them for breakfast,lunch or dinner.

      • Hannibal

        But Hussein I am Hannibal Barca Not Hannibal Lecter… lol

        • http://yalibnan.com geo metro

          yu jefrey dahmer mr? a1 sauce mr

      • Prophettttt

        Ya Bazzawi, Rouekaa shwai ,lol

  • Fauzia45

    It is known that ¨power tends to corrupt ¨!

    • Andre

      and Greed

  • Fauzia45

    It is known that ¨power tends to corrupt ¨!

    • Andre

      and Greed

  • nagy_michael2

    Of course Hezbollah will deny all that and we run along home like nothing happen.. or we should pretend nothing really happened.. its the holy resistance and nothing else matters.. good article and I wish hezbollah supporters and those christians who are blindly following Aoun and the clown hezbollah in girly gown should really stop allowing these monkeys to act if they’re above God allmighty. I am not supporter of March 14th but at least they didn’t have assasins killing people everytime someone investigated them..

    • husseinbazzi

      You are probably rite about march 14 not having assasins killing people everytime someone investigates them they just call on ISREAL,USA, SAUDI ARABIA,QATAR,ENGLAND,FRANCE ETC.TO DO THE WORK FOR THEM.

      • 5thDrawer

        Which is a good thing …. ;-)

      • Patience2

         The things you are saying really epitomize the Bzzz … Bzzz … Bzzz of the ‘fruit-flies’, Bazzi.

  • nagy_michael2

    Of course Hezbollah will deny all that and we run along home like nothing happen.. or we should pretend nothing really happened.. its the holy resistance and nothing else matters.. good article and I wish hezbollah supporters and those christians who are blindly following Aoun and the clown hezbollah in girly gown should really stop allowing these monkeys to act if they’re above God allmighty. I am not supporter of March 14th but at least they didn’t have assasins killing people everytime someone investigated them..

    • husseinbazzi

      You are probably rite about march 14 not having assasins killing people everytime someone investigates them they just call on ISREAL,USA, SAUDI ARABIA,QATAR,ENGLAND,FRANCE ETC.TO DO THE WORK FOR THEM.

      • 5thDrawer

        Which is a good thing …. ;-)

      • Patience2

         The things you are saying really epitomize the Bzzz … Bzzz … Bzzz of the ‘fruit-flies’, Bazzi.

  • Moe2000

     LMAOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! What a Biased story trying to push for the fall of the government for some guy related to a Hezbollah member!!!!

    • master09

      Read this article ‘WAR OF THE CAMPS’ and how the Shiites where getting help from Isreal in 1985 to rid of the Palestinians but that is crap as well.. Yes we all sleep with our enemy at some part of the journey…. 

  • Moe2000

     LMAOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! What a Biased story trying to push for the fall of the government for some guy related to a Hezbollah member!!!!

    • master09

      Read this article ‘WAR OF THE CAMPS’ and how the Shiites where getting help from Isreal in 1985 to rid of the Palestinians but that is crap as well.. Yes we all sleep with our enemy at some part of the journey…. 

  • Moe2000

    I have still yet to see 1 Hezbollah soldier captured in Syria! Not the pilgrims nor the people fighting for there homes in half Syria half Lebanese towns on the border, But full fledged Hezbollah in Aleppo Hama etc etc…. YaLibnan stop the garbage accusations please!!!

    • Hannibal

      They are dying from the drugs that their leaders are dealing…

  • Moe2000

    I have still yet to see 1 Hezbollah soldier captured in Syria! Not the pilgrims nor the people fighting for there homes in half Syria half Lebanese towns on the border, But full fledged Hezbollah in Aleppo Hama etc etc…. YaLibnan stop the garbage accusations please!!!

    • Hannibal

      They are dying from the drugs that their leaders are dealing…

    • Hannibal

      They are dying from the drugs that their leaders are dealing…

  • Patience2

     “In most countries stories like this could cause the fall of a government.”  Can’t happen here, of course!  Why, you ask?  Because the Lebanese government ‘fell’ a long time ago.

  • Patience2

     “In most countries stories like this could cause the fall of a government.”  Can’t happen here, of course!  Why, you ask?  Because the Lebanese government ‘fell’ a long time ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zubi-Ganubi/100001929974686 Zubi Ganubi

    Hizbala is not relevant any more, and his leader seating in his bunker peeing in is pants
    every time he hears a plane flying above.
    he will disappear together with Assad in very near future. i hope the Lebanese
    will find the way to overcome the internal conflicts kick out Iran/Syria and
    become a normal country.

     

    • husseinbazzi

      You poor person is that your name how sad.If HEZBOLLAH is not relevant any more then why is so much attention around it?????????

      • Hannibal

        They will always be relevant as long as they keep their weapons… Once they relinquish the weapons neither camps will stay relevant… A new fed up generation of Lebanese will emerge despising both numbers ;)

        • husseinbazzi

          As you have responded on behalf of someone else JUST REMEMBER HEZBOLLAH WILL NEVER DIE JUST MULTIPLY.Not sure which part of the world you live in but you have no clue of the peoples thoughts.No Shia generation will be fed up with HEZBOLLAH.Maybe for the SUNNI generation to come maybe they might finally wake up and join forces i hope GOD WILLING.Once again my point of the question is If HEZBOLLAH is not relevant any more then why is so much attention around it???????????

      • Patience2

         You know … when a dog poops in an inappropriate place, attention focuses until the noxious substance is removed.  You either smell the hezbians, or maybe step on them(like when Nasty opens the door to his hole?)

        • Salitizi

          Then I suggest you stop doing it Patience

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zubi-Ganubi/100001929974686 Zubi Ganubi

    Hizbala is not relevant any more, and his leader seating in his bunker peeing in is pants
    every time he hears a plane flying above.
    he will disappear together with Assad in very near future. i hope the Lebanese
    will find the way to overcome the internal conflicts kick out Iran/Syria and
    become a normal country.

     

    • husseinbazzi

      You poor person is that your name how sad.If HEZBOLLAH is not relevant any more then why is so much attention around it?????????

      • Hannibal

        They will always be relevant as long as they keep their weapons… Once they relinquish the weapons neither camps will stay relevant… A new fed up generation of Lebanese will emerge despising both numbers ;)

        • husseinbazzi

          As you have responded on behalf of someone else JUST REMEMBER HEZBOLLAH WILL NEVER DIE JUST MULTIPLY.Not sure which part of the world you live in but you have no clue of the peoples thoughts.No Shia generation will be fed up with HEZBOLLAH.Maybe for the SUNNI generation to come maybe they might finally wake up and join forces i hope GOD WILLING.Once again my point of the question is If HEZBOLLAH is not relevant any more then why is so much attention around it???????????

      • Patience2

         You know … when a dog poops in an inappropriate place, attention focuses until the noxious substance is removed.  You either smell the hezbians, or maybe step on them(like when Nasty opens the door to his hole?)

        • Salitizi

          Then I suggest you stop doing it Patience

  • Moe2000

    LOL  Copy and Paste Saud Al Arabiya articles.

  • Moe2000

    LOL  Copy and Paste Saud Al Arabiya stories.

  • husseinbazzi

    No matter what you print and what BS is circulating nothing will be WORSE than the FACTS

    GEMAYEL INVITED ISREAL TO INVADE LEBANON IN 1982
    THE MASSACRE OF SABRA AND SHATILA. COMMITED BY GEAGEA.
    THE SINORA GOVERNMENT CONSPIRED ALONG WITH HIS MARCH 14 PUPPETS FOR ISREAL TO ATTACK LEBANON IN 2006 EVEN SHOOK RICES HANDS AND GREETED HER WITH A SMILE AS BIG AS IF SHE JUST SAID YES TO HIM ASKING HER TO MARRY HIM.
    So taking all these facts into account i think HEZBOLLAH has alot of catching up to do:)

    • Hannibal

      1. Bashir used the Israelis and had no choice with 2 foreign armies occupying Lebanon…
      2. The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila was planned and executed by Sharon and Hobeyka because the Saddem brigade was under Hobeyka’s control while Geagea was in Barbara in the North
      3.Siniora tried to stop the Israeli aggression to an unauthorized kidnapping by HA of Israeli soldiers
      4. State protocols demand you do so despite that I despise both Rice and Siniora
      How about tackling the problem at hand: Drug and Hash trafficking…

      • husseinbazzi

        Firstly i highly doubt you are Lebanese.
        By your own admittance you despise both RICE and SINIORA and yet you try to find a justification.At the time he should have declared HER NOT WELCOME.And how did he try and stop the aggression by TRYING TO TAKE THE WEAPONS OF HEZBOLLAH.HE IS A PUPPET LIKE MANY OTHER SUNNI LEADERS.
        It is really convenient that Gegea was in Barbara in the North.NO STL set up for that MASSACRE.
        Since when do KIDNAPPINGS get authorization.Lets not forget how many KIDNAPPINGS where so called AUTHORIZED by ISREAL.LEBANON AND ISREAL ARE A A STAE OF WAR.
        Which brings me to GEMAYEL he invited an ENEMY OF THE STATE WHICH UNTIL THIS DAY IS STILL UNDER YOUR SO CALLED STATE PROTOCOLS.
        HANNIBAL their are 2 types of HYPORCITES 1 THAT KNOWS OF THE LYING AND 1 THAT DOESNT.

        Regarding the problem at hand drug trafficking by the way hash would fall under drug so no need to say twice.Where the hell is the STATE to tackle THIS.Now i remember we DONT have 1.

        Which brings me to my point i was trying to make and yet you like many others always try and steer clear of a point trying to be made.
        No matter what you print and what BS is circulating nothing will be WORSE than the FACTS.
        So taking all these FACTS into account i think HEZBOLLAH has alot of catching up to do:)

        • Hannibal

          Yes I am Lebanese abban 3ann jedd… Not Persian that is for sure.
          Regarding the massacres isn’t Hezbollah now in the middle of a massacre in Syria? Have you seen the images of the slaughtered kids? Have you seen the multitude of HA fighters coffins coming from Syria? AND for God’s sake spare me your faked crocodile tears about the Palestinians… Have you forgotten what the Shia did in 7arb el moukhayamaat? Have you forgotten Damour? The Palestinians and Sunnis and Shia waltzed in and slaughtered unarmed men and women elderlies and kids in cold blood and then defecated in the churches… Was that an act of love? So spare me your crocodile tears and stop doubting my citizenship because at least I know who my father is and his father and his father’s father all the way to thousand years in our church’s records… Let me see if you can prove as much.

        • Salitizi

          Brother, Hezbollah is more relevant now than when they first started. They are stronger, more united, and more organized than any army as far as I concerned. Not only are they loved by almost every Shiite in the world, But every Alawite, a lot of Jews, Christians, Sunni’s and the list goes on and on. I know this through various conversation with all types of different people from all types of different religions.. Why, because unlike most leaders in the world, Sayyed Hassan is not full of Shit. Most bloggers on this site really haven’t got a real reason to dislike Hezbollah. AND THAT IS FACT. .

        • master09

          I would recommend you read WAR OF THE CAMPS MORE SO 1985..

          .In terms of sheer numbers, the Shi’ites outnumbered the Palestinians 5:1. Amal was heavily backed by Syria and indirectly supported by Israel, whereas the PLO did not enjoy much  outside support.
           You see we all sleep with our enemy at one time or another.. but we forget very fast….we blame Isreal for all our problems but never see that no Arab man or government give a hootttt about the Palestinians…..and I mite be Japanese but….Facts,  facts who has all the FACTS…lol

      • williamgel

        2. Both an external investigation and US diplomatic cables recently released showed the Israelis never took part in planning or committing the actions in sabra and Shatilla. The Israelis knew nothing about what was to transpire there by the Phalangists, which is what they were eventually faulted for.

        • Hannibal

          If you know the area, and I do really well, you must know that there was no way in hell the phalangists could get there without Israelis’ facilitating it unless of course they were beamed there by Star Trek technology.

        • 5thDrawer

          Something about ‘turning a blind eye’ …..

    • williamgel

      Atleast you got most of your facts straight on issues alot of people are mis-informed about.

      But as a Lebanese, you need to know the scourge the PLO had on Lebanon and the region. 

      Israel entered Lebanon in 1982 because of the growing cross-border attacks from an enclave in Lebanon which the PLO carved out for itself. Sabra and Shatila was a very sad response to growing PLO attacks and torture of Lebanese Christians and finally the assassination of the Phalangist leader.

      In 2006, Hizbullah committed the entire Lebanese nation in an attack on Israel which was unprovoked, including crossing into Israel to kidnap soldiers. Investigations afterwards found bunkers and tunnels dug inside Israel so the intl border was already violated. What was Sinora to do in response to an IDF retaliation exactly? Nasrallah himself apologized for the folly that brought destruction on Lebanon.

      In suggesting that hizbullah has a lot of catching up to do…you mean in level of deaths and atrocities of Phalangists? I don’t understand your point.

    • 5thDrawer

      Why would you want them to ‘catch up’ instead of being peaceful, or to be better in their despotism?
      Trying to ‘right the wrongs’ of past ‘massacres’ by creating ever-new massacres is NOT going forward or guiding people into a better world for humans in general. If body-counts are a criteria, then ‘after Assad’ will be another thousand years of the same thing.

  • husseinbazzi

    No matter what you print and what BS is circulating nothing will be WORSE than the FACTS

    GEMAYEL INVITED ISREAL TO INVADE LEBANON IN 1982
    THE MASSACRE OF SABRA AND SHATILA. COMMITED BY GEAGEA.
    THE SINORA GOVERNMENT CONSPIRED ALONG WITH HIS MARCH 14 PUPPETS FOR ISREAL TO ATTACK LEBANON IN 2006 EVEN SHOOK RICES HANDS AND GREETED HER WITH A SMILE AS BIG AS SHE JUST SAID YES TO HIM ASKING HER TO MARRY HIM.
    So taking all these facts into account i think HEZBOLLAH has alot of catching up to do:)

    • Hannibal

      1. Bashir used the Israelis and had no choice with 2 foreign armies occupying Lebanon…
      2. The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila was planned and executed by Sharon and Hobeyka because the Saddem brigade was under Hobeyka’s control while Geagea was in Barbara in the North
      3.Siniora tried to stop the Israeli aggression to an unauthorized kidnapping by HA of Israeli soldiers
      4. State protocols demand you do so despite that I despise both Rice and Siniora
      How about tackling the problem at hand: Drug and Hash trafficking…

      • husseinbazzi

        Firstly i highly doubt you are Lebanese.
        By your own admittance you despise both RICE and SINIORA and yet you try to find a justification.At the time he should have declared HER NOT WELCOME.And how did he try and stop the aggression by TRYING TO TAKE THE WEAPONS OF HEZBOLLAH.HE IS A PUPPET LIKE MANY OTHER SUNNI LEADERS.
        It is really convenient that Gegea was in Barbara in the North.NO STL set up for that MASSACRE.
        Since when do KIDNAPPINGS get authorization.Lets not forget how many KIDNAPPINGS where so called AUTHORIZED by ISREAL.LEBANON AND ISREAL ARE A A STAE OF WAR.
        Which brings me to GEMAYEL he invited an ENEMY OF THE STATE WHICH UNTIL THIS DAY IS STILL UNDER YOUR SO CALLED STATE PROTOCOLS.
        HANNIBAL their are 2 types of HYPORCITES 1 THAT KNOWS OF THE LYING AND 1 THAT DOESNT.

        Regarding the problem at hand drug trafficking by the way hash would fall under drug so no need to say twice.Where the hell is the STATE to tackle THIS.Now i remember we DONT have 1.

        • Hannibal

          Yes I am Lebanese abban 3ann jedd… Not Persian that is for sure.
          Regarding the massacres isn’t Hezbollah now in the middle of a massacre in Syria? Have you seen the images of the slaughtered kids? Have you seen the multitude of HA fighters coffins coming from Syria? AND for God’s sake spare me your faked crocodile tears about the Palestinians… Have you forgotten what the Shia did in 7arb el moukhayamaat? Have you forgotten Damour? The Palestinians and Sunnis and Shia waltzed in and slaughtered unarmed men and women elderlies and kids in cold blood and then defecated in the churches… Was that an act of love? So spare me your crocodile tears and stop doubting my citizenship because at least I know who my father is and his father and his father’s father all the way to thousand years in our church’s records… Let me see if you can prove as much.

        • Salitizi

          Brother, Hezbollah is more relevant now than when they first started. They are stronger, more united, and more organized than any army as far as I concerned. Not only are they loved by almost every Shiite in the world, But every Alawite, a lot of Jews, Christians, Sunni’s and the list goes on and on. I know this through various conversation with all types of different people from all types of different religions.. Why, because unlike most leaders in the world, Sayyed Hassan is not full of Shit. Most bloggers on this site really haven’t got a real reason to dislike Hezbollah. AND THAT IS FACT. .

        • master09

          I would recommend you read WAR OF THE CAMPS MORE SO 1985..

          .In terms of sheer numbers, the Shi’ites outnumbered the Palestinians 5:1. Amal was heavily backed by Syria and indirectly supported by Israel, whereas the PLO did not enjoy much  outside support.
           You see we all sleep with our enemy at one time or another.. but we forget very fast….we blame Isreal for all our problems but never see that no Arab man or government give a hootttt about the Palestinians…..and I mite be Japanese but….Facts,  facts who has all the FACTS…lol

      • williamgel

        2. Both an external investigation and US diplomatic cables recently released showed the Israelis never took part in planning or committing the actions in sabra and Shatilla. The Israelis knew nothing about what was to transpire there by the Phalangists, which is what they were eventually faulted for.

        • Hannibal

          If you know the area, and I do really well, you must know that there was no way in hell the phalangists could get there without Israelis’ facilitating it unless of course they were beamed there by Star Trek technology.

        • 5thDrawer

          Something about ‘turning a blind eye’ …..

    • williamgel

      Atleast you got most of your facts straight on issues alot of people are mis-informed about.

      But as a Lebanese, you need to know the scourge the PLO had on Lebanon and the region. 

      Israel entered Lebanon in 1982 because of the growing cross-border attacks from an enclave in Lebanon which the PLO carved out for itself. Sabra and Shatila was a very sad response to growing PLO attacks and torture of Lebanese Christians and finally the assassination of the Phalangist leader.

      In 2006, Hizbullah committed the entire Lebanese nation in an attack on Israel which was unprovoked, including crossing into Israel to kidnap soldiers. Investigations afterwards found bunkers and tunnels dug inside Israel so the intl border was already violated. What was Sinora to do in response to an IDF retaliation exactly? Nasrallah himself apologized for the folly that brought destruction on Lebanon.

      In suggesting that hizbullah has a lot of catching up to do…you mean in level of deaths and atrocities of Phalangists? I don’t understand your point.

    • 5thDrawer

      Why would you want them to ‘catch up’ instead of being peaceful, or to be better in their despotism?
      Trying to ‘right the wrongs’ of past ‘massacres’ by creating ever-new massacres is NOT going forward or guiding people into a better world for humans in general. If body-counts are a criteria, then ‘after Assad’ will be another thousand years of the same thing.

  • Btru2u

    Israel’s false flag attacks have now given them the green light to continue the extermination of the rightful inhabitants of the Holy land. Arabs are feuding amongst themselves in distraction. Arabs must wake up,This is a perfect window of opportunity to redirect the focus of Arab uprisings ,immediately and collectively towards the elimination of the terrorist Zionist regime. IInshallah,The reppercussions of That single action will change the world as we know it in the best way possible

  • Btru2u

    Israel’s false flag attacks have now given them the green light to continue the extermination of the rightful inhabitants of the Holy land. Arabs are feuding amongst themselves in distraction. Arabs must wake up,This is a perfect window of opportunity to redirect the focus of Arab uprisings ,immediately and collectively towards the elimination of the terrorist Zionist regime. IInshallah,The reppercussions of That single action will change the world as we know it in the best way possible

  • Btru2u

    Israel looks mercifully, compared to Bashar and his cronies hezboshaiateen

  • Btru2u

    Israel looks mercifully, compared to Bashar and his cronies hezboshaiateen

  • http://www.brooklynartproject.com/profiles/blog/list?tag=JFLivingFashion NMIW

    High time for Lebanon to live free from so-called “resistance”, militias, armed Palestinian camps and from all their armed allies combined. Lebanon is to have a state ruled only by transparent constitutional state that would allow its citizens to live in security, peace and prosperity.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jflivingfashion NMIW

    High time for Lebanon to live free from so-called “resistance”, militias, armed Palestinian camps and from all their armed allies combined. Lebanon is to have a state ruled only by transparent constitutional state that would allow its citizens to live in security, peace and prosperity.