Hezbollah Supports Egyptian Uprising
Hezbollah (the Lebanese Shia Muslim resistance group, political party, and military force) has announced its full support of the Egyptian uprising against Hosni Mubarak’s regime. In Beruit, Lebanon, a rally was held calling for “Support for the Egyptian People’s Revolution”. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, stated: “I wish I could be one of those demonstrators because I’m eager to present my blood and soul for Egypt.”
Hezbollah has had a negative relationship with the current Egyptian government. One of their members, Sami Shebab, was given a 15 year prison sentence for allegedly planning attacks in the country. He escaped an Egyptian prison when there was a prison break during the protest, and is now back in Lebanon.
The 2006 Lebanon War was ignited by Hezbollah shooting rockets at the Israeli border, killing five soldiers and kidnaping two. The kidnaping was used as ammunition for an exchange of the two soldiers for Lebanese prisoners in Israel. Israel declared these tactics as an “act of war”.
The Israeli Defense Force went into Lebanon fully armed using both artillery and airstrikes. Hezbollah was fighting on the ground. There was immense damage to civilian infrastructure in Lebanon, including the bombing of the Beruit Airport. The war lasted 34 days, and ended when the United Nations called for a ceasefire. Israel had to withdraw from Lebanon and Hezbollah was to disarm.
(There is much more to this war than what is presented here. This is merely an overview, illustrating the disproportionate nature of Nasrallah’s comment of the 2006 Lebanon War equaling the resistance in Egypt. They are both incomparable in their nature.)
Hezbollah has always been extremely anti-Israel and the U.S. Nasrallah said of the U.S.: “The Americans were trying to accommodate the revolution and improve their ugly image in our world by presenting themselves as defenders of freedom of the peoples following decades of support for the worst dictatorship our world has witnessed.” This is the kind of language you would expect from Ahmadinejad-a supporter of Hezbollah-but it is not surprising coming from Nasrallah, either. To call Mubarak the worst dictator of all time seems a bit extreme. However, it adds fuel to the fire when most of Lebanon, and other parts of the Middle East, are listening to what Nasrallah has to say.
Nasrallah’s declaration of support for the Egyptian protesters will by all means continue. As long as Mubarak’s descent from power hurts Israel and the U.S., the resistance, in his eyes, is nothing but positive for him and the entire Middle East.