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    Twisted logic, crippled justice

    It is mindboggling how, in the logic of Hezbollah and its affiliated propagandist politicians, justice – not crime – can lead to instability in Lebanon. It is even more puzzling how Hezbollah has managed to convince its supporters that the problem in the Rafik Hariri assassination was not the death of Hariri himself, but the “politicization” of the UN-created Special Tribunal for Lebanon to try those charged with its perpetration.

    Perhaps we should not be surprised by Hezbollah’s logic. After all, Hezbollah started a war when it killed and kidnapped Israeli soldiers on July 12, 2006 and then called it self-defense.

    By the same token, when Israel kills more than 1,200 Lebanese and wipes out complete neighborhoods in Beirut and the South, in return for 120 Israelis killed and a few potholes caused by Hezbollah missiles, Hezbollah claims a “Divine Victory.” And with divinity, there is no room to argue.

    That same year, Hezbollah raised hell when it felt underrepresented in government. It demanded that the Shia community of Lebanon be given its due share of power. But when Sunni politicians complained of the latest Shia-Syrian campaign against Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Hezbollah MPs accused the Sunnis of provoking sectarianism.

    Hezbollah adores consensus when it comes to the election of the Maronite president and the selection of the Sunni prime minister and his cabinet. But when it comes to the election of the Shia speaker, the affair becomes a strictly Shia one, with other sects expected to rubberstamp the Hezbollah-Amal choice.

    And while consensus also covers minor issues of governance, such as public budgeting, it does not cover the issue of Hezbollah’s arms and the activities of the Resistance. Presumably this is because the Resistance too is divine, and none of Hezbollah’s rivals can interpret this divine will. Only the Party of God has links with the heavens, and the Resistance is an undisputable heavenly truth.

    Moving on. Hezbollah claims Israel killed former PM Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005. The logic behind such a claim is that Israel planned a trap for Lebanon and Syria. The murder forced Syrian troops out of Lebanon and provoked Sunni-Shia tension that Israel hoped would lead to a new Lebanese civil war.

    Even if we go along with Hezbollah, and its laughable cinematic evidence, and accept that Israel killed Hariri to force Syria out and ignite civil war, then who killed Samir Kassir, George Hawi and Gebran Tueni – all of whom were Greek Orthodox – after Syria had withdrawn its troops from Lebanon? What was Israel’s point behind killing Maronite lawmakers Pierre Gemayel and Antoine Ghanem? A Maronite war on the Shia?

    When the UN Security Council created the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Hezbollah initially supported the concept of the court during the first sessions of “national dialogue” held in parliament, and then withdrew its ministers to obstruct the tribunal’s creation.

    Hezbollah argued that the STL was politicized. However, it later allowed international investigators to interrogate a batch of 18 Hezbollah officials. Afterward, Hezbollah turned down another tribunal request for the interrogation of a second batch of its militants.

    Time and again, Hezbollah has reverted to its favorite pastime of twisting logic. Hezbollah argues that Israel killed Hariri, but the Party of God has no plans to avenge the crime like it usually does for smaller Israeli offenses on Lebanese sovereignty and interests. Instead, the party has become preoccupied with proving that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a US-Israeli plan to sow discord in Lebanon.

    So instead of calming its rank and file, Hezbollah is doing exactly what the US and Israel presumably want it to do through the Hariri murder and later through the politicization of the tribunal: taking the country to civil war. Instead of being outraged by the crime, Hezbollah and its supporters are outraged by justice, blaming it on an imminent war. In short, justice undermines stability.

    Hezbollah therefore expects every Lebanese, who trembles at the thought of Hezbollah’s formidable militia, to choose stability over justice. Shooting down justice, as Hezbollah and many Lebanese intellectuals argue, would maintain Lebanon’s delicate sectarian balance and fragile civil peace.

    They have forgotten one fact: stability in the absence of justice means the powerful has oppressed the weak. Stability without justice also means that whenever Lebanon seeks justice for this or that murder, the country will be threatened with more murders until everyone is silenced.

    Hezbollah’s recipe for Lebanon is not stability in return for peace. It is more conflict. Stability should not be mistaken for surrender and blackmail. A stable Lebanon is only possible when justice is served and when everyone is equal.

    NOW Lebanon

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