Lebanon voted for extremism

Lebanon voted for extremism

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Hezbollah succeeds in the parliamentary elections in Lebanon. A dangerous result for the entire region, says Kersten Knipp. The party will aggravate the crisis in the Middle East even more.

The Syrian war, in which the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah interferes unfortunately, now transcends Lebanon. Lebanese voters believe that, precisely Hezbollah, could be able to control the consequences of this war in their own country. According to the first projections, the “Party of God” – literal translation of “Hezbollah” – has received along with its allies more than half of the seats in the Lebanese Parliament.

The Lebanese hope that Hezbollah will control the chaos generated in large part by their own militias. For example, the problem of about one and a half million Syrian refugees: accommodation, food and employment. Lebanon, with its approximately six million inhabitants, is not at all prepared for such a large number of refugees. Lately, several tens of thousands of Syrians left Lebanon, but the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees doubts that the refugees have left voluntarily.

Certainly, many Lebanese voted for Hezbollah in the hope that the Shiite group will do something against the country’s rampant corruption. However, refugees are still the main problem. In that sense, the Lebanese have entrusted the sheep to a wolf. Because most of the Syrian refugees have not left their country for the Islamic State, but to flee from the Assad regime. And, precisely, Hezbollah sent thousands of fighters to the neighboring country to contribute to the victory of the Syrian president.

Favorite profession: fighter. Members of Hezbollah in Beirut, November 2017.Favorite profession: fighter. Members of Hezbollah in Beirut, November 2017.

In addition, Hezbollah is part of another dark situation in the Near East. The party is a creature of Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah with 800 million dollars a year. Obviously, Iran does not support Hezbollah for altruistic reasons. With that investment, Iran opens the way to the main enemy: Israel.

Iran has regained its strength through the nuclear agreement. Now he invests in large projects in the Near East, especially in the fight against Israel, also with the help of Hezbollah.

Therefore, the Lebanese voters decided in favor of a party that, so far, has not stood out for its constructive foreign policy. On the contrary: the parades of the party, in which children also participate with uniforms, make suspect that this party pursues a great ideological project.

Some Israeli politicians have already declared that, from now on, for them, Lebanon is synonymous with Hezbollah. You can also see it this way: the Lebanese have become hostages of their largest militia. For the region, its triumph is bad news.   

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