The repercussions of Mar Bechara Al-Rahi, the Maronite Cardinal’s call, regarding the need for Lebanon’s neutrality and withdrawing the weapons of Hezbollah’s militias are escalating, as he has called for an international conference to renew support for the democratic system, and to spare Lebanon conflicts, wars and divisions.
In his statements, Al-Rahi considers that all that he puts forth about the neutrality of Lebanon and the holding of an international conference of his own is to revive the state, which he described as “scattered, idle and confiscated.”
“We liberated the land, so let us liberate the state from everything that hinders its authority and its performance,” Al-Rai added to his supporters.
It is noteworthy that the Maronite Patriarch had previously called several times during the past months, to adopt the principle of Lebanon’s neutrality, as a solution to extricate the country from its political, economic, social and living crisis, which is rejected by Hezbollah and the movement loyal to it in Lebanon.
Traitorous calls .. Hezbollah is responding
The response of the figures who support Hezbollah was not satisfied with rejecting the Al-Rai initiative, but rather went beyond that to the point of accusation of treason. Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan, the Grand Mufti of al-Jaafari, believes that neutrality in times of fires and turmoil in the region is also not patriotic, but not in the interest of the country, sovereignty and national decision. Accusing International Resolution 1701, concerning Lebanon, of having imported armies to Lebanese soil.
In the same context, Hassan Fadlallah, a member of the Al-Wafa bloc for the parliamentary resistance affiliated with Hezbollah, considers that internationalization constitutes an existential threat to Lebanon.
“We expected a different action about what happened in Bkerke,” Fadlallah added.
Fadlallah also considers that there are those who are huddling behind the Maronite Patriarchate in Lebanon, pointing out that whoever wants to adhere to the Taif Agreement should not invite countries
to Lebanon to solve the crisis. Rather, treatment must begin from within, referring to the patriarch Al-Rai.
It is noteworthy that the rejection of Hezbollah’s weapons inside the Lebanese arena has escalated during the past year, especially after a number of Western and Arab countries stopped financial aid provided to Lebanon due to Hezbollah’s hegemony over the Lebanese state and its control over government decision-making, through the government of Hassan Diab, which was described as Hezbollah government.
Al-Rai had called in his statements not to remain silent about corruption and the chaos of the investigation into the port crime, nor about illegal and non-Lebanese weapons, nor about confiscating the national decision, nor about not forming a government and not carrying out reforms.
A clear popular position
Commenting on Al-Rai’s calls, Michel Bou Saab political analyst, says that the popular position regarding these calls is clear, and that the Lebanese street has said its word rejecting the militia’s weapons since the October 2019 uprising, which he says quickly turned from rejecting a government decision to demands for the restoration of the state And drop the militia weapon.
Bou Saab also considers that the Lebanese arena is now facing two options, no third, either confronting uncontrolled weapons, subordination and partisan hegemony or turning into a militia state in which the rule is for those who possess weapons and missile arsenals.
Bou Saab also pointed out that the implementation of neutrality in the country would be sufficient to solve most of Lebanon’s crises, specifically in terms of economic and living conditions, given that this would secure additional financial incomes for the Lebanese government through international aid, in addition to opening the way for development projects.
“The basis of Lebanon’s problem is the existence of currents that possess armed force, through which they want to impose their logic, ideology and affiliations, in addition to involving the country in an international and regional game greater than its magnitude and for the benefit of certain regional powers,” this is what Bou Saab added.
“If we believe in the logic of resistance, how can a hungry and exhausted people resist or have the strength to resist, while they are unable to live or secure a daily morsel of food?” Bou Saab asked.
Recalling that the Israeli side declared it explicitly that all of Lebanon would pay the price of Hezbollah’s policy in the event that the Israeli army attacked.
It is noteworthy that Benny Gantz, the Israeli Defense Minister, said last week that Lebanon is entirely and the Lebanese people will pay the price for any measures or moves by Hezbollah against the Israeli army.
The file of assassinations and the possibilities under study
In the face of the violent response from Hezbollah and the hinting of treachery in the statements of “Al-Rai”, Saleh Sharaf al-Din the expert in security affairs, indicates that the party may return to its old game through assassinations, especially since the last of those assassinations that the party was accused of, was a few weeks ago after the targeting of the Lebanese activist and opposition figure, Luqman Salim.
Sharaf al-Din also pointed out that the current stage in which the party feels that the pressure has reached its maximum stages.
The Lebanese security authorities announced a few weeks ago that they found the body of Salim in his car, with signs of torture, amid his family accusing Hezbollah of being involved in the assassination.
At the same time, Sharaf al-Din excludes that the party plans to assassinate the “al-Rai” at the present time, given that such a step may turn the tables on it, as happened after the killing of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister in 2005, and the subsequent forced Syrian army On the exit from Lebanon, it is likely that these assassinations will affect opposition figures who do not belong to the class of political leaders.
Sharaf al-Din also stressed that the party views its weapons as an existential issue and that harming it means the end of the party completely, and therefore it is fighting a real war to defend that weapon, and it may resort at a certain stage to raising the level of escalation in assassinations to reach political leaders such as the Patriarch Maronites or political leaders such as Samir Geagea, Saad Hariri, or Amin Gemayel