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    Hezbollah’s Idea of “Partnership”

    HassanHere’s an interesting editorial from NOW LEBANON on Hezbollah’s Idea of “Partnership”:

    Last Sunday’s riots drew Army Commander General Michael Sleiman even deeper into Lebanon’s political quagmire. The opposition has suggested that the army fired first during the riots, which led to the deaths of at least seven people, including members of Hezbollah and Amal, and has called for an immediate investigation. Sleiman himself is now overseeing the army’s probe, and Hezbollah MP Hussein al-Hajj Hassan said Wednesday that the results of that investigation will determine the opposition’s stance on his ultimate suitability for the presidency.

    The opposition’s robust demand for answers is interesting. Hezbollah has never before been so keen to call for an investigation, and it has often remained silent in the wake of other atrocities. Without a doubt, the opposition is correct to insist on a thorough investigation of last Sunday’s events – it is only just. But Hezbollah acts as if it can pick and choose when to apply the principles of justice. It claims that justice requires transparency and accountability today, but it has refused to comply with such principles in the past.

    But such behavior is hardly novel for Hezbollah. Take, for example, the party’s latest buzzword – “national partnership” – used as a euphemism for the opposition’s demand for veto power in the upcoming government. As a national “partner,” Hezbollah is hardly leading by example.

    In the name of partnership, the opposition is destroying all Lebanese institutions. They have closed the parliament, emptied the presidency and are trying their best to destroy the government. And in the meantime, they blame the government and the Lebanese army every time their supporters burn the streets of Beirut.

    In the name of partnership, Hezbollah expects to have the final say in naming the president, the next prime minister and the next army commander. And yet no one would dream of demanding a voice in the selection of the next parliament speaker; this is a Shia decision, and, by Hezbollah’s logic of “partnership,” sharing it is out of question.

    Hezbollah expects us to accept that it can make decisions taking Lebanon into war, but it refuses to accept that Lebanon should be allowed to ask questions about those decisions. It announces that the Lebanese government has no say over the party’s weapons, strategies or decisions because, in this regard, “partnership” is not a good idea. It tries to make us believe that no one else can resist. In fact, Hezbollah excluded other Lebanese parties from the resistance by eradicating the Lebanese National Resistance Front.

    Hezbollah then expects us to salute it for a private war that destroyed the national and economic infrastructure and wiped out entire villages in the South. With military and financial aid from Iran, and the political support of the Syrian regime, Hezbollah has sold the “divine victory” to the Shia community in an attempt to manipulate all political and economic decisions in the South and influence political life in Lebanon.

    The concept of partnership does not exist within Hezbollah constituencies. It decides unilaterally, and people follow. Shia are not allowed to say whether they want to live or die, and they are obliged to pay the price of Hezbollah’s so-called victory. What kind of partnership is Hezbollah talking about when, come elections, opposing Shia leaders and activists are excluded and accused of treachery? Does partnership mean that everyone from the South will, democratically, just happen to vote for the same list of parliamentary candidates?

    Hezbollah tells us it can topple governments, destroy economies, paralyze institutions and start wars, and then it expects us to trust it as partner in building a state. It calls for partnership, but it refuses to practice this in its own community.

    Some partners.

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