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Ana Maria Luca

Resistance…What Resistance?

(Source: Presstv.com)

Tomorrow, Hezbollah will celebrate Lebanon’s Liberation Day to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from South Lebanon. Hezbollah’s so-called victory was more a question of money, really: the Israeli government realized it was simply too costly to keep its armed forces in Lebanon.

 

Indeed, those who lost their lives defending Lebanon’s South during the 18 years of Israeli occupation deserve to be honored. But Hezbollah’s festive gatherings to celebrate victory over Israel gives me goose bumps. They remind me of the forced celebrations of prosperity in North Korea, and of the former Soviet Union communist parades that celebrated world peace and accused the West of imperialism; where chosen people recited ‘patriotic poems’ and sang programmatic songs. And if they didn’t, there was always an “or else.”

In North Korea, having a different opinion means getting sent to prison or even death. In the USSR or its communist satellite countries, it meant “re-education” in a dungeon, getting sent to a labor camp or Siberia. But Hezbollah can’t afford to do that. The party can’t afford to allow free speech, either. In Lebanon, if you don’t sing the party’s tune, you’re automatically accused of being an Israeli agent. In Hezbollah-land, it means that your family will be harassed until they’re too afraid to admit that they know you; it means that you would be accused of any illegality just to send you to prison and silence you.

 

It’s the Resistance propaganda that Hezbollah is spreading that is very bothersome lately. The idea of ‘Lebanese Resistance’ has become a generic term associated with Hezbollah. But is it? Where is the Lebanese Resistance? Fighting in Syria, killing fellow Arabs and practically inviting al-Qaeda to target the Shiite community in Lebanon? Resisting what? The Sunni community it helped radicalize?

 

An old Western diplomat once told me that whenever you find yourself in a place where everybody tells you the same thing, there is definitely something wrong going on. After a series of bombings that killed scores of civilians in a Hezbollah controlled neighborhood, the residents recited the same statement “we’re not afraid, we’re going to resist till the end.” That’s when I realized that something  was definitely wrong. No human being in their right mind would willingly exposes himself and his family to a mortal danger for the sake of a political party. But what if it was done unwillingly: for fear of being called a traitor; or fearing that social aid might not come anymore, that your family might be harassed and be obliged to harass you into behaving.

 

Hezbollah stopped being the Lebanese Resistance when the spirit of resistance itself was buried under the expensive SUVs with black windows, under the villas that sprang like mushrooms after rain in South Lebanon after the July 2006 war – as hundreds of bombed houses waited for international aid to be reconstructed.

 

It doesn’t really sound like a Resistance, does it? Resistances are short lived, because their purpose ends at the end of the actual occupation.  If they survive beyond that, they often turn into monsters. Resistances don’t invade other countries and don’t terrorize and censor their own supporters.

 

The Lebanese Resistance belongs to the Lebanese people in South Lebanon who began fighting the occupation with no sectarian affiliation and no purpose of taking over the country. Back in the day there was the Lebanese National Resistance Front, which had Syrian backing (because of its Marxist-Leninist inclinations). Many of them did not survive the operations against the Israeli army, others did not survive Hezbollah. Those who managed to survive are now silent, self-censored, and pressured.

 

When Hezbollah opened its Resistance Park in Melita, one of the communist fighters who survived the war looked at me and only asked me this: “where is OUR museum?” He couldn’t say more. He was afraid some Hezbollah agent might hear him and his family might have problems in the village. His wife was not veiled anyway, and that didn’t please Hezbollah officials.

 

The truth is Hezbollah is not the Resistance anymore. Hezbollah was part of the Lebanese Resistance for a long time, but now it’s just part of something monstrous: an apparatus of oppression. 

 

Editor's note: This piece has been amended to remove a comment that contradicts NOW's editorial policy. NOW regrets any offense the original statement may have caused.

 

Author's note: I used a bad joke at the beginning of this blog post on purpose. Were it not there, I would have been accused of being a Zionist. I have been accused of it in the past. Therefore I decided to include in this piece an anti-Jewish comment. Now, surprisingly, the same people who have accused me of being a Zionist or even a Mossad agent are accusing me of anti-Semitism. I am neither a Zionist nor an anti-Semite. I just hate occupation forces of all kinds.

 

(Source: Presstv.com)

The truth is Hezbollah is not the Resistance anymore. Hezbollah was part of the Lebanese Resistance for a long time, but now it’s just part of something monstrous"

  • Ali_kh

    Very well said. People here agree with you but are too scared to even comment in support. You're very brave. Samir Kassir's assassination memorial is in less than a week.

    May 27, 2014

  • tk2014

    Cont from previous Please review and cite Anti Defamation League and other sources for as to why Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon. They didn't save anyone money by having Hezbollah a few meters away from the border, they withdrew to put it in layman's terms because the human cost was too high for Israel. They didn't withdraw to save money, they withdrew to save lives (...)

    May 27, 2014

  • tk2014

    Your author's note is a bold faced lie, besides the fact that the thesis of your piece is a fabrication but I'll get into that later 1) So you included a joke in order to placate people who would invariably accuse you of being a zionist. The definition of a joke is 'a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline." So if you were going to fool those people who would call you a zionist as you say why would your try to fool them with a joke? Basically you state that you included a racist "joke" in order to appease the Anti Zionist audience. That doesn't make sense, you think a Hezbollah sympathizer is going to give you more credibility for being insensitive? You deserve to write fiction. Your thesis is a bold face lie. You make the assertion that Israel withdrew in order to save some dollars, shekels and to balance their budget. A complete bold faced lie. Who do you think you are fooling? It seems you need to research the reason as to why Ehud Barak got elected in 1999. What was his platform and what was a major reason for the Israeli public to vote for him. Better yet, I'll do the research for you since you are too busy writing comedy for the likes Russel Peters rather than providing truthful, honest objective journalism. I'll even do you one better, here is a very Pro Israeli source explaining the "background to withdrawal" The journalistic standards of this news outfit are no better than PressTV, just on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

    May 27, 2014

  • farah.alhashim

    !!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2014

  • rob.mosrie

    The author should resign and the editors should be reprimanded. We just got over NOW's claims that only Christians can save Lebanon. You're angering people for no reason.

    May 26, 2014

  • Thezuman

    Nothing here more than a no name journalist writing a very biased article that is published by a biased publication all paid for by Hatiri money.

    May 26, 2014

  • slickleb

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. If Hezbollah is what you say it is, Lebanon would not be quite it is nor have the political system ot does. Furthermore, Hezbollah has many adversaries in Lebanon, not least from the Shia community where Amal poses a secular counter to Hezbollah's religious make-up. There is no parallel between Hezbollah and N. Korea (!) And it is just silly to insist so. Really is an insight into your own ignorance as opposed to an insight into Hezbollah. Finally, Hezbollah is openly critiqued among its own constituents and this will not land you in 'trouble' or prison, nor is not attending a ceremony hosted by Hezbollah. Remember, the litmus test for Hezbollah came when Israel abandoned thousands of SLA fightets when it withdrew. You may remember that there were fears they would all be executed by Hezbollah, who defied the idiots who said so by handing them all to the state with most receiving symbolic sentenses of 1 or 2 years. Finally, why is Hezbollah not allowed to secure its community from the Jihadi threat along its border but the US and allies are allowed to lawlunch attacks thousands of miles away from their borders for "national security"? This is a cynical article which ignores the fact that Hezbollah is the last actor to get involved in the Syrian conflict (March 14 were at the forefront from the very beginning, something you ignore) nor the terror campaigns by "rebels" and Islamists from way before Hezbollah got involved. You need a reality check because your smear campaign doesn't fool anyone.

    May 26, 2014

  • Alia al-Qudsyeh

    I read the remark that you've now erased, and read now the excuse that you post about it... and find it quite pathetic to say the least. If you don't want to be called a Zionist, then do not play into the hands of Zionists. By equating the categories "Jewish"="Israeli"="Zionist" you are paying an excellent service to the Zionist and Israeli establishments who claim the legitimacy to speak in the name of a whole religious and cultural traditions and of the many people who identify with it at some level. To the sick extent, of even branding as a "self-hating jew" anyone who happens to identify as a jew but dissents, criticizes of openly speaks and works against these establishments' criminal policies. So get your vocabulary straight because not every Zionist is a Jew (if you doubt it check the opinions of some hard-line United States Evangelical Christians or some of the Fox news staff, just as a sample), and luckily, not every Jew is a Zionist and everyone who believes in justice and a sustainable peace in this area, should not dismiss this small albeit important group of non or directly anti-Zionist jews, and should endeavor to contribute to make their number larger and larger each day, because they have a stake in influencing their community that probably no outsider has. You don't make the case for Lebanon or Palestine making racist remarks, there are plenty of great, valid arguments as it is. Those of us who oppose Zionism and everything it entails because of its inherent nature as an exclusive, colonial, unjust, criminal and racist proyect; know we have a moral ground, we don't want to lose it because of careless people like you. Care more about what is important and less about what anyone says.

    May 26, 2014

  • Phil؟

    Well said Ana Maria. I couldn't agree more.

    May 26, 2014

  • Beeg

    Dear ana maria, i respect ur name, and as a lebanese christian from the deep south of the beloved Lebanon, i advise u either to apologize of what u said and learn of what we have or shift ur jornalist interest to other countries maybe Ukraine, it took me to read just the first 2 paragraphes to notice that u dont know the meaning of loyaty and the bitter taste of occupation. so stay on vodka is better for u. Dazdarovia

    May 26, 2014

  • saad.bleik

    Well said!

    May 26, 2014

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    Ana Maria Luca was born and bred in Romania. She still has the reflexes and knowledge she garnered from dictatorial Orthodox racist rants of a former satellite of the Soviet Union. I fundamentally agree with her thesis that Hezbollah was never a Lebanese Resistance; in fact Narsallah himself said it the very next day when he said "This is an Islamic resistance". Yet, Ana Maria has her facts all wrong, and displays a disgusting cheapness, particularly when she blathers stupid and rancid anti-semitic stereotypes common among the chauvinistic eastern European peasants from whence she hails, namely that Israel withdrew from the south to "save on cost". Yeah, great rookie journalism worthy of a sophomoric campus newspaper of the American south. But who cares? She is being paid by the Hariri empire to say stuff in direct proportion to her salary, i.e. her discourse is as pathetic as the few dollars she makes.

    May 25, 2014

  • Charbel Christian

    Who are you to teach us you ignorant foreigner?

    May 25, 2014

  • houssak

    Who the hell are you to come and speak on behalf and about our resistance??!! It is not your fault in the end. This is what happens to stateless countries like Lebanon without real sovereignty. Any untalented who pretends to be a journalist come from all over the world and arrogantly lecture us about our pain, our miseries, our fight and our liberation and victory

    May 25, 2014

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    You can take "your resistance" and shove it all the way to your Tehran. Your resistance was bred by Iran, it was beast-fed by Syria during years of collaboration and treason, and now it is choking in its own vomit of liberation verbal garbage. Do not forget that all the Hezbollah heroes and Shiites - before Iran enlightened them - were throwing rice and jasmin flowers at the Israeli invading army in 1982 because it was liberating them from the very Palestinian criminals you and Hezbollah claim to day to want to help liberate their pathetic Palestine. Your resistance is false and fake. All that you and Hezbollah want to do is fight Israel on behalf of Iran and over the remains and bodies of the Lebanese people. If Lebanon is stateless, it is because you and Hezbollah chose to kill Lebanon in order to better serve Iran and Syria. You are traitors and mercenaries. You are no resistors.

    May 25, 2014

  • ghi

    You think Israel can't afford to keep its armed forces in Lebanon? they did not leave because they don't have enough money, it's not that simple

    May 25, 2014

  • Ilija

    "typically Jewish"? That is blatantly derogatory. "One old diplomat once told me"? Dismal journalism, you need to say who. And lastly - even though i can dissect this farce of a piece sentence-by-sentence - you mention that in Lebanon there is only one voice? Have you ever even lived in Lebanon? This piece has to be the worst analysis piece written on Hezbollah I've ever read. It was a very tough having to go all the way through with it, but thankfully it was a short piece.

    May 25, 2014

  • LebEzz

    Like you'd know anything about it? Where you part of it? Where you living in any of the villages in the south of Lebanon? Or did you have any family that lost their houses? Or did you loose any of your brothers or sisters?? We grew up upon the Israeli soldiers and we know them better than anyone there is nothing called "too costly" for them. Money is never and never will be the problem. They were being defeated and loosing lives that was "too costly" for them and that is why they returned. And that IS victory cause no arab force has even been able to achieve even that little of power over the Israelis. So it is a victory and it is a resistance. Try to catch a more objective view if you want to become a journalist.

    May 25, 2014

  • ramzi.yassine

    Very well put . Couldn't have said it better myself .

    May 25, 2014

  • AboudDandachi

    Very brave article,thank you for having the courage to say what millions of Lebanese undoubtedly feel but are too intimidated to say themselves.

    May 24, 2014

  • Zeitoun

    " Typically Jewish, I’d say " ??? Well that little moment of antisemitism helps a lot as an intro to a Hezb bashing article, doesn't it ? Typically Lebanese ? No, personally I wouldn't say so. Anyway you're still courageous,..

    May 24, 2014

  • saad.bleik

    The jews turned to be more merciful than Hizbullah (...)!

    May 26, 2014

  • lebcan

    O

    May 24, 2014

  • lebcan

    Ana Maria Luca ... Beautifully said. Thank you

    May 24, 2014

  • keti.raicheva

    Our European Bulgarian Citizen, INNOCENT, 63 YEARS OLD, VERY ILL TALAL MOHAMED KHALIL STAY WITHOUT EVIDENCE OF CRIME ONE YEAR AND SIX MONTHS IN PRISON ROUMIEH IN BEIRUT!!! WE WANT JUST COURT PROCESS FOR TALAL KHALIL !!! Talal Khalil will be on the front Lebanese Military Court on 2.06.2014y. We want INDEPENDENT FROM CRIMINALS TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH JUST COURT PROCESS FOR TALAL KHALIL!!! TERRORISTS CRIMINALS DIRECTION OF Hezbollah MUST GOING TO THE PRISON!!! FREEDOM FOR TALAL KHALIL !!! WE CONTINUE MAKE PROTESTS ON THE FRONT LEBANESE EMBASSY IN BULGARIA AND GERMANY!!! May 17, 2014 Delete

    May 24, 2014

  • keti.raicheva

    Direction of Terrorists Criminals Hezbollah must going in Prison! Direction of Hezbollah kidnapped and maked Torture to my Bulgarian Husband Talal Mohamed Khalil on period 25.11.2012- 28.01.2013y. Terrorists Hezbollah forced Talal to sign FALSE CONFESSIONS! On time of Torture Talal get three Heart attacks and two Brain Hits!! After Torture Hezbollah gived my husband to Prison Roumieh in Beirut. Talal stay one year and six Months INNOCENT, VERY ILL IN PRISON. On the 02.06.2014y. Talal will be on the front Military Lebanese Court in Beirut. Terrorists Criminals Hezbollah killed Bulgarian Citizens in Bulgaria, Burgas on 18.07.2012y. We Bulgarian Citizens want JUST COURT PROCESS FOR TALAL MOHAMED KHALIL! Talal is 63 years old, very ill in Prison! Lebanese State Institutions MUST SAVE HUMAN RIGHTS TO ALL PRISONERS IN LEBANON! DIRECTION OF HEZBOLLAH TO THE PRISON !!! FREEDOM FOR TALAL MOHAMED KHALIL ! WE CONTINUE MAKE PROTESTS ON THE FRONT LEBANESE EMBASSY IN BULGARIA AND GERMANY!!! GROUP OF EUROPEAN CITIZENS May 10, 2014 Delete

    May 24, 2014

  • benad36

    Amen! It was about time that someone posted a similar article showing the faux-'resistance' for what it is - an Iranian imperialist project. Jazak Ala Khair for the article, Ana Maria. :)

    May 24, 2014

  • Tata

    A million cheers for your courageous TRUTH telling.....Bravo, I bet you millions share your view

    May 24, 2014