Dr. Salem Al Ketbi
Dr. Salem Al KetbiCourtesy

The claim that Hezbollah is a Lebanese national force no longer convinces anyone.

The destruction, the deliberate erasure of Lebanon’s identity only reflects ego inflation and the destructive desire to turn an entire country into an arm entangled in pointless proxy conflicts.

Hezbollah’s debacle began with its entry into political life, although it is an armed militia outside the control of the Lebanese state for reasons that are well known.

Its enormous arsenal of weapons, accumulated over decades and years, is a major reason for this situation.

It uses it whenever it wants, without regard for the sovereignty of the country and the rules, norms and requirements that guarantee the independence and full authority of the Lebanese state.

There is ample evidence of conflicts of interest between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state.

The party and its leader, Nasrallah, not only confront the state leadership in an arrogant tone, they completely ignore all obligations and responsibilities that should be the framework for Lebanon’s governance and relations with the outside world.

Nasrallah gets involved in verbal squabbles and repeatedly issues threats against Israel.

Moreover, he declares his full allegiance to external parties and disregards his country’s sovereignty.

Lebanon’s political map does not suffer from sectarian gridlock.The crisis is not so much due to sectarianism as to cross-border loyalty.

Sectarianism was the window through which the will of an entire country was neutralized in favor of an external agenda that has nothing to do with Lebanon or its sects.

The whole thing is subject to the calculation of the political and ideological interests of the regional parties, which are known to all. So, the sect is only the fig leaf used by the plotters to cloak their crimes against their motherland.

Anyone who questions the dependence of Nasrallah and his party or believes in the validity of his defense of Lebanon and the Lebanese should read his political speeches well. Start thinking about his ideological approach. All funding and weapons come from Iran, and “no one has anything to do with it,” as Hassan Nasrallah said unequivocally in a June 2016 speech. A bit like living in another world rather than on the territory of a state he and his party have been sapping for more than three decades.

Hezbollah is no longer just a parallel state in Lebanon.It has become - without overstatement - a state within a state. The Lebanese state no longer has the same influence and authority as the partisan militia.On the contrary, it is clearly at the mercy of this growing influence, both internally and externally.

Sadly enough, Prime Minister Najib Mikati calls on everyone to “have compassion for this country and keep it away from unnecessary rhetoric.”

“For God’s sake, have mercy on Lebanon and the Lebanese,” he pleaded.

Everyone in Lebanon is desperately trying to find a formula in which Hezbollah is part of the diversity of the Lebanese situation and Lebanese belonging, Mikati made clear.

This obviously means that Nasrallah and his party do not work within the framework of the pluralistic Lebanese mosaic and do not show Lebanese allegiance through their actions and words.

The pathology is therefore palpable, and its main and secondary symptoms are too numerous to be denied.

A party that drags its homeland into conflictual relations and has no “compassion” for its people - hundreds of whom flee into illegal immigration to escape hunger and unemployment, as lamentable media reports show - cannot be one of the constituents of this Arab country whose name has long been synonymous with a civilized culture.

Hezbollah will never be part of the solution to the Lebanese dilemma.It is the root of its chronic crisis.

A driving force behind the corruption, chaos and destruction that have ravaged this Arab country.

It is a direct cause of maintaining the constant tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border in the interest and according to the agenda of a third party known to everyone.

Therefore, the solution must start with disarming the militia that is responsible for this historically and geopolitically odd situation for Lebanon.

However, the question remains as to how this can be achieved. The answer to this question is not hard to know, as the supply and funding network, weapons and equipment are there for all to see.

Implementation, however, depends on international willingness to hold regional parties that violate international law and the Charter accountable, as well as the ability to enforce adherence to the principles necessary for global security and stability.

Dr. Salem AlKetbi is a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate