Can protests in Lebanon destroy Hezbollah state?

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THE protests which have engulfed all regions in Lebanon represent an unprecedented event in the country’s history not because they have never occurred before but because they have drawn fresh patriotic lines to end the Iranian designs of hegemony in Lebanon.

The demonstrators who took to the streets without any political or sectarian color have broken the barrier of silence against sectarianism which has, for several decades, prevented Lebanon from achieving a perfect social harmony and national integration.

All the slogans raised by angry protesters — all means all — did not spare any political or sectarian leader. Prior to the recent protests, any attempt to criticize or lampoon Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia, was considered a red line and which might often lead to the physical liquidation of the critic or annihilation the transgressing TV channel.

The slogan shouters did not even spare Amal leader, Nabih Berri, parliament speaker since early 1990s. Berri, of course, is the beneficiary of sectarianism and the political quota system in the country.

The protestors held political oligarchy and sectarian leaders responsible for cronyism and corruption which caused the deficiency in the government budget, increased unemployment and subjected countrymen to a high cost of living.

The Lebanese people bitterly complain that the political sectarian quota has imposed on them leaders like Michel Aoun and his son in law and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. They have both allied with Hezbollah militia to secure their jobs.

The militia is controlling Lebanon by the Iranian funds and weapons. Since the outbreak of the recent protests on the streets of Lebanon, it has been proved beyond an iota of doubt that young men and women are capable of regaining their country and that its new generation is free from the sins of sectarianism.

The youth in Lebanon are also refusing the system of political quota at the expense of competence and qualifications. The protests have also proved that the word of the street is stronger than the arms of the Iranian-backed militia, sectarianism and the ploys of weapon traders.

The angry Lebanese people took to the streets in 2005 refusing to disperse until Syrian President Bashshar Al-Assad withdrew Syrian forces from Lebanon. The then protests enabled Lebanon to regain its freedom and independence.

This time people have taken to the streets because the Nasrallah-led Iranian militia has impeded Lebanon's political will, mortgaging it to the horrendous phenomenon of sectarianism.

The result is the spread of fear, terror, drugs, weapons, high prices, deterioration of the government and civic services and a plunging currency.

The gains achieved by these protests are not the concessions offered by Saad Al-Hariri's government nor the new general budget which is tax free.

It is rather the start of the rejection of the abhorrent sectarianism represented by some old political faces of the Iranian masters who are staunch supporters of Hezbollah.

This was confirmed by the majority of the Lebanese people who claim that the protests have broken the barriers of sectarianism.

The attacks and open criticism of Nasrallah have broken the wall of fear and proved that the Lebanese people would no longer blindly follow their political and sectarian leaders.

The anger against Hezbollah and sectarianism was not born today. It has been simmering for years as a result of a number of crises, challenges and unwarranted risks.

The protests might culminate in an open confrontation with the Hezbollah state to end the Iranian sectarian designs.

— The author is a Saudi writer. Follow him on Twitter: @JameelAlTheyabi


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