A nascent revolt against Hizbullah in Lebanon’s Shiite regions


South Lebanon-

This time, the reaction of Lebanon’s Shiite population to Hassan Nasrallah’s new speech on Syria’s insurrection, now in its eleventh month, was open indignation and anger, the more so in South Lebanon.

That is not to say that independent Lebanese Shiites had, all along, agreed with Nasrallah during the past eleven-month period. But, for the first time, individual reactions turned into a collective stance and independent Shiites united to voice their support for the Syrian insurrection in variance with Hizbullah’s support of the Assad’s regime.

A group of independent activists started three, separate, pages on “Facebook” bearing the headings: “Lebanese citizens from South Lebanon in support of the Syrian people”, “in solidarity”, and “Independent Lebanese Shiites”. These pages immediately claimed more than a thousand adherents.

Adherents commented that Nasrallah’s speech does not reflect the views of all Shiites, and that free Shiites refused to deny Shiite values of support to Arab revolts against tyrannical and murderous regimes, especially in the case of Syria’s revolt. Adherents also condemned Hassan Nasrallah’s shameful position of support for the Assad regime and his attempt to portray the Shiite community as part of the war Bashar Assad is waging on his people.

Comments made it clear that adherents were appalled by Nasrallah’s claim “there is nothing in Homs” at a time when when the rockets of Assad’s “Shabiha” were pounding homes and hospitals in the city. This outrageous claim was the fuse which ignited the anger of independent shias who felt that Nasrallah was leading their community to its own loss.
Adherents expressed their hope that the Syrians would distinguish Nasrallah’s position from that of the Shiite community, stressing that his position was dictated by political opportunism and did not reflect popular sentiments. The reason for Nasrallah’s position was his conviction that his own personal fortune and that of his party were intimately linked to the survival of the Baathist regime in Damascus. Nasrallah’s outrageous position was, also, linked to the isolation felt by the Hizb after its transformation from a presumed “resistance” movement to a tool to execute orders of his masters in Damascus and Tehran.

The fact is that a nascent popular revolt against Hizbullah had begun to take shape in Shiite regions recently, coinciding with the start of the so called Arab Spring and of neighboring Syria’s revolt in particular.

This revolt is different from current Arab revolts in its reasons and goals, for it is limited to one community and directed against one political party. Yet it’s background is not dissimilar to that of Syria’s revolt. Shiite regions held by Hizbullah suffer from strict controls imposed by the party through its “security” and “counter security” and “security committees” organs, as well as through the party’s numerous spies who spread gossip and slander and use methods of intellectual terrorism against opponents who dare contradict the party’s views.

It should be noted that Shiite regions went into a state of poverty and destitution since the Hizbullah putsch which allowed it to control the country and its government. The numbers the unemployed increased in Tyre, Nabatiyeh and Bint Jbeil due to the paralysis of economic activities. On the contrary, Hizbullah’s fortunes seemed to improve, as witnessed by the rising purchasing ability of its members, thanks to Iranian subsidies and to suspicious funds from inside and outside Lebanon. One of the observers commented that the “Shiite community is paying the price of war from its own blood and livelihood while the compensations are only going to the party’s members alone.”

On the political level, Nasrallah singles himself out in giving what he deems the official Shiite position, dictated by his domestic and regional alliances, without taking into consideration the other Shiite public opinion which opposes his convictions, objects to his alliances and refuses to be embroiled in political positions which are in contradiction with its own beliefs.

The Syrian revolt and the Syrian people’s steadfastness for almost a year against the Baathist machine of destruction and their insistence on taking their country towards freedom and democracy, as well as the bloodshed occurring in Homs for over a week, has been critical in creating a popular Shiite stance opposed to Hizbullah. New Shiite voices are raising the voice against a party which had imposed silence on them, confiscated their opinions, tampered with their their security and made them hostages to murderous regimes which kill their peoples in the name of Resistance.

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