Is Lebanon heading for another civil war?
Is Lebanon heading for another civil war?

Lebanese Prime Minister Saed Hariri has resigned and yet the Lebanon protests are continuing unabated.  As we speak, the Lebanese people are rising up against Hezbollah, undeterred that they are a terrorist organization.  They feel that enough is enough and are ready for change.  Furthermore, they are willing to fight in order to see that change happens. 

Given the fact that Lebanon is presently controlled by Iran’s proxy Hezbollah, the mullah’s regime is panicked.  The question remains, what comes next following Hariri’s resignation and how will this impact the State of Israel?

Lebanese writer Fred Maroun is proud of the young people in his country for taking to the streets but feels that it is too early to know how it will end: “Probably, the biggest variable is how the Hezbollah terrorist group will handle the protests.   If they play their cards right, Hezbollah could come out of this with more political clout, which would be disastrous for Lebanon.  Lebanon has many problems including a corrupt political class and it should concentrate on resolving those problems rather than being Iran’s proxy against Israel.”

However, in order to distract their population from domestic woes, Hezbollah is already on the offensive against Israel once again.  According to Yedioth Achronot, a day after an anti-aircraft missile shot down an IDF drone, Hezbollah terror leader Hassan Nasrallah stressed that the protests waging across his country won’t deter him from going after the State of Israel: “Our goal is to purge Lebanese skies of Israeli violations.  We will continue to act this way regardless of the internal developments in Lebanon.”     

Given the violence that Hezbollah has implemented against Lebanese protesters, it will be much harder for Hassan Nasrallah to portray his terror group as a protector of Lebanon. 
However, given the violence that Hezbollah has implemented against Lebanese protesters, it will be much harder for Hassan Nasrallah to portray his terror group as a protector of Lebanon.  Sirwan, an Iranian journalist whose last name is being withheld for security reasons, explained: “If we look at the Lebanese protests, we find that the people are angry with the Iranian regime because the situation that Lebanon finds itself in is largely due to Iranian interference.  Hezbollah caused the US to sanction some Lebanese banks and this adversely affects the Lebanese economy.”

Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, concurs that Hezbollah is part of the problem and added that the people have united around the slogan ‘all of them means all of them’ in the framework of their unique uprising: “High taxes, the merciless cost of living and the scarcity that approaches Third World standards dominate."  

"In many parts of Lebanon, people only have electricity for three hours per day.  And recently, the government has imposed a tax on the use of the Whatsapp messenger against the law.  The second that Lebanon became Hezbollah’s hostage, the exclusive control for what is done in Lebanon fell in Nasrallah’s hands.   No one can promote any law or process without his directive.”

Former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara stressed: “The problem in Lebanon is the dominance of Hezbollah in the streets.  No one has power in the government or in the president’s house.  One man has all of the power and that is Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, who gets his power from Iran.  After Iran occupied Lebanon with Hezbollah, nothing is successful.  Not in the economy and not in Lebanese society.  I think that the situation will get worse in Lebanon because Al Hariri was the head of the Sunnis.  If he is not in the government, then that means that the Christians, Druze and others won’t accept the power and dominance of Hezbollah in Lebanon anymore.  Maybe we are heading for a civil war.” 

However, Kara does not believe that the chaos in Lebanon will spill over into Israel.  He believes that it will remain an internal Lebanese issue.  Nevertheless, should the Shia emerge from these protests more dominant than the other groups in Lebanon, this could lead to a strengthening of the Iranian axis in the region:

“What do the Iranians want?  They want Iran and the Shia to be dominant in the Muslim world.  Before Israel, they want to occupy Riyadh.  This is the problem.  They want to be dominant in all of the Middle East.  They say that the Islamization is the solution for all of the world, not only the Middle East.  But first of all, they want to occupy all the area.  So, they occupied Lebanon with Hezbollah and Syria with Assad.  The Shia are not the majority but they are the dominant power.  This is a big problem.”