As the ceasefire continues to furtively hold, I find more and more people announcing their support for Hezbollah. They’ve held rallies around the world, waving the Hezbollah flag (the word “Allah” in Arabic, forming an upraised fist clutching an AK-47) and praising them as “liberators” and “noble defenders” and “a legitimate resistance group.”
Hezbollah is one of the smarter terrorist groups around. They created a fictional divide between their “militant” and “political” wings, and the political side does a lot of good works — they’ve established charities, hospitals, schools, and the like.They also have sizable representation in the Lebanese government, and have two members in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, their “militant wing” has the legitimate Lebanese military utterly cowed in southern Lebanon, and is better equipped than some whole nations.
As is to be expected, though, this largesse comes with a fearful price — the possibility (recently realized) that their continued attacks on Israel will provoke a fierce response. Until then, however, the Lebanese people were content to accept the benefits of Hezbollah’s presence and turn a blind eye to their annoying little quirks — like firing off rockets into Israel, regularly invading Israel, and occasionally killing and capturing Israeli soldiers. After all, it was only the Jews getting hammered, and who really cares about them, anyway?
This Faustian bargain reminds me of the movie “Phenomenon.” Stripped of its Scientology propaganda elements, it’s the tale of an ordinary man who suddenly finds himself endowed with tremendous powers and insights. In the end (spoiler warning for a 10-year-old mediocre movie), we discover that these “gifts” are from a rapidly-growing tumor inside his brain that will eventually kill him.
Hezbollah, in Lebanon, is that tumor. Their “gifts” and “good works” are irrevocably tainted with the blood they have spilled — and will spill — while working towards their goal. And, sadly, it is the people of Lebanon who have accepted help over the past who are paying for those benefits in the present.
This “cease-fire” will not hold. Hezbollah will violate it, for that is their nature. That is what they do. That is what they are already doing. And among the first to suffer will be those thousands of Lebanese who are returning to the war zone, trusting in Hezbollah and the United Nations (two groups who have repeatedly proven their untrustworthiness) to maintain this fragile “peace.”
Hezbollah, for all the gifts it brings, is a tumor. Its malignancy and growth rate are indisputable. It must be excised. And the longer we wait, the more painful and difficult it will be to remove them.
It’s already too late for hundreds of Lebanese and Israelis and Americans and people of other nations, who have died at their hands. But I hope against hope that the butcher’s bill is almost at an end.