An Israeli armored personnel carrier team shows a Hezbollah and Lebanese flag as they return from fighting near the Israeli village of Avivim, July 25, 2006.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dear Israel, If you are thinking of attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon, please do not repeat the mistake you made in 2006 when you attacked all of Lebanon, and not just Hezbollah and its strongholds. That was a strategic error, and we are all still paying the price, as it made Hezbollah stronger, not weaker.
In 2006, the majority of Lebanese hated Hezbollah. They had no doubt Hezbollah was a cancer.
When that war started and was originally confined to South Lebanon, many other parts of Lebanon began to rejoice and dream of the possibility that if Israel were to weaken Hezbollah there, the rest of the country could squeeze it from the other side, and finish it.
But that fantasy didn’t last too long, as Israel started bombing other areas of Lebanon, deep into Christian regions, the northern regions, mountains, bridges, factories, oil refineries and power plants. By doing so, Israel made just about everybody in Lebanon its victim, and that turned popular opinion against it, while giving more sympathy to Hezbollah. In essence, Israel fell into the geopolitical trap Hezbollah set for it. By weakening Lebanon, Israel made Hezbollah stronger, and allowed it to continue consolidating and expanding its powers, which it has been doing ever since.
You might wonder why Lebanese politicians aren’t more strongly opposed to Hezbollah, and why there isn’t an effective desire to stop them.
The reason is that most Lebanese politicians fear for their lives. The reality is that Hezbollah is terrorizing not just Israel, but also Lebanon and its population. We are hostages in our own country, and have become subservient to Hezbollah’s foolish political, ideological and military ambitions, which the vast majority in Lebanon want nothing to do with.
Of course, Iran is the root of all of this, so if you must strike, maybe consider starting where the problem is.
But if you must strike within Lebanon, please spare it from total destruction and collateral damage, so you end up with an ally, and not an apocalypse. Make an effort to preserve Lebanon and its institutions, so we can end up as partners for a long-lasting peace, just as it was many years ago.
If you destroy Lebanon, it will become even more infested with rogue groups, terrorists and extremists; you might even have Islamic State at your doors. If you destroy Lebanon, you will certainly make all of Lebanon and its strong diaspora your enemies for life.
I belong to no political party, and my religion is irrelevant. I’m saying what millions of Lebanese do not dare say in public, but it is what’s in our minds.
The time has come to free Lebanon from the grip of Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. The time has come for a long-lasting peace, with prosperity and dividends for everybody in the region. Just as the US and Canada came to finally help the Jewish people from the Holocaust atrocities of World War II; and just as you have earned their respect and alliances for life, I’m hopeful that Israel will do the right thing and destroy the Nazi-style movements that are currently at its doors, while sparing the good people (and innocent civilians) in the process.
Thank you, A concerned Lebanese