Will we soon see on the streets and borders of Lebanon tens of thousands of fighters from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan? This is what Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah promised in his latest speech in the context of a confrontation with Israel.
Israel does not underestimate his words, but a number of its generals have rightfully noted that the Lebanese-Israeli border has been calm for 11 years, which is unprecedented. This does not mean Israel does not take Nasrallah’s words seriously, but referencing the calm border despite regional chaos suggests this threat targets Lebanon primarily, not Israel.
Lebanon’s government acted as if Nasrallah had never uttered those words, but commentators responded angrily on Twitter and Facebook. But in reality, what can the government’s position be when Hezbollah is part of it? Is the government able to reject the arrival of thousands of insurgents?
In reality, what can the government’s position be when Hezbollah is part of it? Is the government able to reject the arrival of thousands of insurgents?
There is a bitter awareness and acknowledgement that the state has been stripped of its sovereignty. Nasrallah’s words may be purely rhetorical as usual, and may be in line with the path Hezbollah initiated in Syria, where it prepared numerous militias. Perhaps his threat to transfer to Lebanon Shiite militias of various nationalities that are fighting in Syria comes in the context of Iran’s agenda and its assessment of the post-Daesh period.
• Diana Moukalled is a veteran journalist with extensive experience in both traditional and new media. She is also a columnist and freelance documentary producer. Twitter @dianamoukalled