KABOBfest: The Time for Solidarity is Always Now










Amjad, a young, secular, Christian, Lebanese hotel manager, near the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Al-Hamra, had a massive portrait of Hezbollah’s secretary general, Hasan Nasrallah, hanging on his bedroom wall. Anyone who knows Lebanon and the Middle East well enough would not be surprised at any Christian and secularist support for Shiite, Muslim Hezbollah. After all, Hezbollah is part of an opposition coalition that includes two Christian heavyweights: The Free Patriotic Movement and El Marada (the Rebels in Aramaic and Arabic), as well as the secularist Syrian Social Nationalists (SSNP). But what’s odd about Amjad is that he has an uncompromising disdain, animosity even, towards political parties and figures. When asked to explain the contradiction, he explained: “Nasrallah is not a politician. He is an honest man who wants to defend Lebanon against all enemies. You can’t help but have respect for this man.”

As George Galloway said in his unforgettable interview on Sky News, Nasrallah’s reputation has grown exponentially among all Arabs, Muslim and Christian. This admiration began with the Israeli humiliating defeat and withdrawal from the South (of Lebanon) in May of 2000. When he was interviewed on Al-Jazeera a few months prior to that surprise victory, Nasrallah was asked by the interviewer in an almost sarcastic tone why he kept on fighting the Israelis when they possess the fourth mightiest army in the world. How could a small militia like Hezbollah ever achieve anything where all the Arab states’ cavalry (combined) failed? Nasrallah responded in his serene voice, that he is not delusional and that he knows the full might of the Israeli army. However, Hezbollah’s fighters have been successful in causing this Israeli giant to bleed, Nasrallah said. Whenever the giant seals the cut, they slash again, reopening the same wound, and continue to repeat this until the giant realizes that it’s better to get his leg out of the South (end the occupation of Lebanon).

In the last year of Israeli military occupation of the South, Hezbollah’s guerrilla operations exceeded two thousand. Some footage of these operations was aired on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV channel as part of their psychological warfare, focusing on scenes of young Israeli soldiers killed and wounded, screaming for help. The giant was certainly bleeding, and anyone today who still doubts that Israel was forced out of Lebanon is as delusional as those who couldn’t believe that Hezbollah defeated Israel in the July War of 2006.

Nasrallah had said in one of his famous speeches (improvised as always) that Hezbollah’s choice to resist is not a political choice, not a nationalistic choice, not a Shiite choice, not an Islamic choice, but that it is the choice of every human being who wants to live free. To verify whether Nasrallah meant what he said, or whether he was just another Arab demagogue, one must look at Hezbollah’s actions, and their consistency with their rhetoric. Unlike any politician in Lebanon or America or elsewhere, what Nasrallah said, he did. What he promised, he delivered. The record has been infallible, and the ideology has been clear and consistent from day one.

Thanks to Hezbollah, this image of the Zionist that had been painted in the heads of Saracen children for decades, an image of an invincible, clandestine puppeteer who’s behind the curtains of every conspiring organization and superpower in the world, and the rest of the bullshit one can find in the plagiarized Protocols of the Elders of Zion, has been shattered. In the July war of 2006, Israel ended up seeking the “international community” to intervene on its behalf, to save its face (or whatever is left of it), and ask Hezbollah to stop! The Israeli infantry and artillery could not advance more than two kilometers into Lebanese territory for the entire thirty-three days of war. For the first time ever, the Arab world witnessed, live, an Israeli battleship get struck by a guided missile, forcing it and the other battleship to turn around back to Israel, with the former’s damages rendering it useless.

As Nasrallah said in his latest speech, Israel can no longer afford to have a growing power like Hezbollah at its borders, and would do anything in its diplomatic, political, and technological arsenal to at least weaken Hezbollah, for the inevitable upcoming war. Israel cannot forbear another defeat, and Nasrallah had sworn that the next time Israel shells Beirut, rockets and missiles will rain over Tel Aviv! And the Israelis believe him!

Nasrallah is resembling Salahuddin more and more by the day. Like Salahuddin, Nasrallah is supported by Muslims and Christians of all sects, some of whom had formed alliances with Hezbollah. Nasrallah vowed to fulfill the party’s objective to defend and protect every Lebanese citizen regardless of sect or creed, and vowed to free Palestine from the European Crusaders (Israelis), when the right time comes, as Salahuddin did one thousand years ago.

Whether you are a Sunni, Shiite, Durzi, Maronite, Catholic, Orthodox, agnostic, or atheist, this is the time to show solidarity with truth; the truth that knows no political, religious, or ideological affiliation. To a secularist like myself, an Islamist party like Hezbollah does not suit my politicial or ideological taste. But this isn’t about my taste. It’s about digging deeper into everyone’s personal beliefs to find the undeniable truth: We have a Saracen spirit that refuses to kneel down to the oppressor, and it has found momentum in the body of a group that happens to be Lebanese and Shiite. And like Norman Finkelstein said, you don’t have to believe what Hezbollah believes in order to show solidarity. You are in solidarity with that Saracen spirit, regardless of ideology. And in the face of international conspiracy, they would need all the support one can give.

Whoever witnesses wrongdoing [oppression], change it with your hands [pick up a rifle and fight]. If that’s not possible, then with your tongue [demonstrate, raise your fist in the air, and speak out in public]. And if that’s not possible, then at least [stand with the righteous] in your heart, for that is the least (expression) of faith [solidarity].” ~ Prophet Muhammad.

As the Chinese say, no matter how much you prepare and how badly you desire, there are factors bigger than you. It is the sky (time), earth (location), and people (harmony) that determine the results of your desires. And today, the sky, earth, and people have all aligned in Hezbollah’s universe.

Julia Boutrous shall sing her glorious song and Marcel Khalifeh shall play his divine music, a Palestinian kid shall throw another rock, and the bakers shall bake bread to feed the hungry, and so on. Each must do what his or her sky, earth, and people allow. But whoever and wherever you are, the sky for solidarity is now. It is always now.

KABOBfest: The Time for Solidarity is Always Now.

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