This living tragedy is Lebanon, whose capital was once known as the Paris of the Middle East and was one of the leading financial centers in the world.
According to the World Bank, Lebanon has entered one of the worst financial crises in recent history, whereby in 2020 its GDP fell by 20.3% and its inflation surged to 84.3%. While many leading media pundits have cried out over the humanitarian crisis that has developed, they have simultaneously chosen to ignore its root cause: the Iranian terror proxy, Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is a U.S. designated terror group that controls almost all facets of Lebanese society, including the government, and is determined to destroy the State of Israel.
The only way to truly resolve the present crisis is by uprooting Hezbollah from Lebanese society, which will finally allow a government to form that values the life of its citizens more than it values the death of an Israeli.
Firstly, Hezbollah currently maintains a weapons arsenal that has more than 150,000 rockets and they have invested millions of dollars in underground tunnels to terrorize Israeli citizens. While governments often strive to provide services to their citizens, one of the few services that Hezbollah has provided is training in terrorism.
In 1985, Hezbollah hijacked TWA Flight 847 which led to a worldwide hostage crisis involving 153 passengers. Only seven years later, in 1992, Hezbollah attacked the Israeli embassy in Argentina, killing 29 people and injuring more than 250 others.
Hezbollah has proven that its thirst for bloodshed remains unquenched in the 21st century. In 2012 a Hezbollah member blew himself up on a bus that was filled with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The sole reason that this bus was targeted was due to its association with Israel.
It is surrealistic that the same individuals who have made a career out of terrorizing men, women, and children around the world have also found a home in Lebanon’s parliament.
Secondly, Hezbollah has come to dominate Lebanese politics while also maintaining loyalty to Iran. Furthermore, this is not a passive loyalty that can be taken lightly; Iran is literally funding Hezbollah, thereby ensuring that Hezbollah acts as a proxy that is under the command of the Iranian Ayatollah’s. One doubting this reality need only listen to Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, who once stated that “Hezbollah’s budget, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, comes from the Islamic republic of Iran.”
It is believed that as early as the 1980’s Iran provided Shiite militias in Lebanon with almost $200 million. This number skyrocketed in 2011, as Iran began to provide Hezbollah with approximately $400 million. Even as recently as 2018, the Treasury Department estimated that the funding that Iran provided Hezbollah exceeded $700 million. How can Hezbollah’s leaders claim that they work for the Lebanese people when Hezbollah is literally a terror proxy that was created by Iran?
Finally, Hezbollah has also risen to power in Lebanon by using brute force to manipulate elections and to force the people to accept them as their leaders. In February 2005, Hezbollah members killed then Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and twenty-two others, which led to a UN investigation that indicted four Hezbollah members for their actions. In an unprecedented response, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1636 and imposed sanctions on the individuals that were associated with the attack.
It is not a coincidence that Hezbollah began playing an essential role in Lebanon’s government in March 2005 –one month after the attack on Prime Minister Hariri.
No society can thrive while murderous terrorists are leading the government. Resolving the economic crisis in Lebanon will be unsuccessful in the long term unless Hezbollah and all Iranian influence is uprooted from Lebanese society. Hezbollah has only brought death and despair to the Lebanese people while ever since its establishment, it has been determined to destroy the State of Israel.
The current crisis in Lebanon can only come to an end by dismantling Hezbollah and by finally freeing the world from its tragic reign of terror.
David Billet is a student at Fordham University School of Law and has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Queens College, CUNY. As a hobby, he writes articles on the current political landscape, public policy and anti-Semitism. To date, he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Times of Israel and almost twenty other media publications.