Lebanon MP Antoine Zahra, a key member of the Lebanese Forces said that Hezbollah’s stances on minorities are more destructive than the actions of jihadist group the Islamic State (IS), and accused the party of threatening Lebanese coexistence and the structure of the state.
“It is the Lebanese who are afraid, not the Christians,” Zahra told Lebanese broadcaster MTV in an interview on Saturday.
“The attempt to push [Christians] into fear is a deceptive strategy [used by] the March 8 alliance and in the region [in general].” Zahra said
The purpose, he added, was “to turn back the clock and convince Christians that they are a target” in order to create an “alliance of the minorities.”
“The enemies of extremism are first [and foremost] moderate and open-minded Sunnis. The attempt to portray the danger of takfiri terrorism as a danger to other sects, and that it is fostered by the Sunnis, is a big deception.” Zahra stressed.
Hezbollah changed course
Hezbollah, which was credited with the liberation of Lebanese territories from Israel in 2000 was a very popular organization in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world. Back then pictures of the Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah were posted everywhere here in Lebanon and the Arab and Muslim countries.
But according to analysts ever since its 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah has become a huge liability for Lebanon.
Despite the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure and the great loss of lives during that war Hezbollah claimed victory and used its arms to try and bring down the democratically elected government of former PM Fouad Siniora, who helped in ending that war which ended up costing Lebanon in excess of $15 billion.
In 2008 Hezbollah pointed its guns against the Lebanese people when it occupied more than half of Beirut and tried but failed with a great loss of lives to occupy Mt Lebanon .
In 2011 Hezbollah brought down the democratically elected government of former PM Saad Hariri and reportedly used its arms to force progressive socialist party leader MP Walid Jumblatt and his parliamentary bloc to vote for its candidate Nagib Mikati as the new premier .
Hezbollah which was established by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in 1982 was also accused of being behind the attack against the Baabda presidential palace last August following president Suleiman’s speech on Army day in which he criticized Hezbollah’s role in Syrian civil war .
“The army’s mission would be impossible if a party or more from Lebanese people get involved in wars outside Lebanon ”, Suleiman stressed in another reference to the tens of thousands of Hezbollah fighters who have been trying to prevent the collapse of Syrian regime .
Tens of thousands of Hezbollah fighters are reportedly fighting alongside the forces loyal to president Assad against the Syrian rebels who are seeking to overthrow the 40 year old dictatorship despite the Baabda agreement that calls for distancing Lebanon from regional and international conflicts.
According to a lebanese analyst: “The party is willing to risk the foundations on which the entire Lebanese political system was built in order to prevent the collapse of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and impede the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon that is probing the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.”
Five members of Hezbollah have been indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Hariri , but Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called the suspects brothers and refused to hand them over to the international court.
Lebanon Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said last month that Hezbollah’s links with Iran and the way it deals with other political forces in Lebanon makes it similar to the Islamic State jihadist group , which has set up a “caliphate” across areas of Northern Syria and Iraq in recent months.
“Hezbollah and IS are similar,” Rifi said in an interview on LBC TV on August 21, 2014.
“Hezbollah [tries to] eliminate [its rivals.] Its project is Iranian and it wants hegemony over Lebanon. It follows that any group which tries to eliminate its rivals is like IS. ”
Rifi was the general director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces from 2005 to 2013. He has been serving as minister of justice since February 15, 2014.