By: Elias BejjaniThis happens in front of the UN forces of FINUL, under the current leadership of the Spanish army. And under the noses of all international journalists and TV networks, waiting to report the next "atrocity" of Israel. And in front of the windows of all NGOs based there taking care of the "refugees" and the "reconstruction" (not women or gay rights, much less Christians').
A series of on going flagrant atrocities are inflicted by the Lebanese official authorities and the terrorist Hezbollah armed militia against our Lebanese brothers and sisters that have been taking refuge in neighboring Israel since May 2000.
In the aftermath of the Israeli army’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000, 6,500 southern Lebanese men, along with members of their families had no option but to leave their towns, villages and abandon all their properties and hastily run for their lives. While Israel was logistically preparing for the withdrawal, Hezbollah waged a merciless and savage media campaign against the southern Lebanese citizens. The campaign was aired publicly on all local and international TV channels and radio stations. The most frightening threats were uttered personally by Hezbollah's General Secretary, Sheik Nasrallah, who savagely said, “We will enter their bedrooms, pierce their stomachs, slaughter them and slice their throats.”
Our people declined from continuing the fight and chose to leave, not because of fear of combat or death only, but most importantly to avoid more Lebanese bloodshed, while the central government did not dare to assume its national responsibilities and obligations.
Since 2000, many of these 6500 individuals risked returning to Lebanon. On their return they were immediately arrested, humiliated, tortured and charged with treason and collaboration with an enemy (Israel). Their trials were extremely hasty, biased, scandalous and terrible infringement on all judicial international standards and human rights charters. Even after serving their imprisonment terms they were all stripped of their civil rights and officially tagged as traitors. Very few of those who served their imprisonment terms were able to return to their homes and towns in the south because the terrorist Hezbollah, and not the Lebanese authorities is in full control of that region.
Many of these unfortunate Lebanese refugees willingly left Israel and are now living in the USA, Canada, Australia, and numerous European countries. All of them are afraid to go back home, because of the kind of falsified and fabricated Hezbollah-Tailored charges that are waiting for them the moment they land in Lebanon. Those who did return ended in jail after unfair and biased trials with harsh verdicts.
In the context of Hezbollah’s fanaticism, revenge and hatred, and in the realm of its ongoing scheme to empty the southern region of its Christian inhabitants, the Lebanese military court sentenced on February 01/2010 with a stroke of a pen 34 citizens in absentia (living as refugees in Israel and other countries) with verdicts ranging from 3 to 15 years of imprisonment with hard labor and stripped them of their civil rights.
Even those who return from Israel to Lebanon as dead bodies in coffins are tagged as traitors, disgraced and humiliated. The Lebanese government exploited by Hezbollah’s terrorism, manipulation and control, has been desecrating the sanctity of death, which is not a Lebanese virtue.
In his inaugural speech, on 25 May, 2009, Lebanon's president General Michele Suleiman promised to bring back from Israel all those who took exile there in the aftermath of the Israeli army’s unilateral withdrawal from South Lebanon in May 2000. He said: "This day coincides with the anniversary of the national liberation and victory day, let us make it a motive for greater awareness for what awaits us, and to renew our commitment for freedom and democracy, which we offered sacrifices for them in a bid to safeguard the country. In this context, comes the hard work to release prisoners and detainees, disclose the fate of the missing, and to bring back our sons who fled to Israel; our country's lap has room for all of its citizens." Almost two years have passed since President Suleiman's election, while his promise to bring back our people from Israel has not yet been fulfilled.
We strongly believe that It is an ethical obligation and a national legitimate right to ask what is hindering the president from taking the needed actions to put an end to this ongoing dilemma? The answer is simply Hezbollah's terrorism and hegemony.
In reality, Hezbollah has completely assumed Syria’s notorious oppressive and murderous occupational role in the aftermath of the Syrian army’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005. This armed Iranian fundamentalist organization is currently the actual and primary obstacle that is hindering the country from reclaiming its independence, democracy and freedoms. in fact all the unfolding destructive, shameful, terrorist and corrupting events that are currently hitting Lebanon and its peace-loving people illustrate with no shred of a doubt that this terrorist organization, Hezbollah, is merely grabbing hold of the Lebanese state and its institutions as hostages.
Hezbollahs has been constantly obstructing the honorable return of our people from Israel, through its full control on the Lebanese institutions' and government's decision making process including the military court. During the last six months, this court has viciously charged a great number of our people who are still refuges in Israel (and other countries) with treason, entering an enemy country, and accepting its citizenship. It sentenced them in absentia with very harsh and cruel verdicts and stripped them of their civil rights.
Hezbollah has been rhetorically via all its prevailing media facilities, and through the military court's fabricated charges and verdicts intimidating the country's president and indirectly prevented him from fulfilling his inaugural vow to facilitate the honorable return of our people from Israel. Hezbollah is systematically emptying south Lebanon from its Christian residents and forcing those who still live there against all the odds to sell their land and leave.
President Suleiman knows more than anyone else in Lebanon that the Hezbollah mercenaries and the so-called resistance are hindering the dignified return of our people from Israel and falsely accusing them of treason and collaboration. It is the Hezbollah leadership who are actually guilty of these charges and not our heroic Lebanese people. But apparently the president has bowed to Hezbollah's tactics of manipulation and intimidation and backed off on his promise and vow.
It is worth mentioning that Hezbollah's mini state with its scattered cantons all over Lebanon, especially in Beirut's southern suburb and southern region is much stronger in all domains than the Lebanese central government. The Lebanese people in general and the Lebanese Shiite community in particular had no saying in this matter. This mini state was imposed on all of them by Syria and Iran during the Syrian occupation era of the country (1976-2005)
Hezbollah's mini state controls and dominates directly and through proxies all the affairs of the Lebanese central government via cancerous infiltration, intimidation, oppression, corruption, drug trafficking, religious decrees (fatwas), murder, crime, bribing and multifold tactics of terrorism. Not even one decision could be made by the Lebanese government or any of its institutions without Hezbollah's approval. The Lebanese state is massively dominated by the Hezbollah mullah's leadership. This terrorist militant organization boldly dictates its Iranian decrees on all the Lebanese officials and institutions, manipulates their activities and greatly influences the whole country's decision making process in all fields and on all levels.
We strongly believe that there will be no end to the bizarre, volatile and fragile situation in Lebanon unless the Hezbollah militia is dismantled and disarmed. To achieve this goal the UNIFIL force in South Lebanon must have a new engagement mandate under chapter seven of the United Nations' charter in a bid to be authorized jointly with the Lebanese Army force to implement the 1701 and 1559 UNSC Resolutions
In summary, Lebanon is still an occupied country and the occupier is Hezbollah. Our people in Israel are victims of terrorism need the help of the free world countries. We call on these countries to take all the measures that are available to pressure the Lebanese government as well as Syria and Iran, the two Hezbollah masters to put an immediate end for this systemized exodus of the Lebanese southern Christians and to stop all the heretic charges and trials.
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator