Freedom from Dictatorships, Occupation, and Imperialism Is the Path of Resistance

The Zionist expansion and occupation of Palestinian territories took place with the support of European and British imperialism, followed by US imperialism. Entire cities and neighborhoods inside the occupied territories were thus systematically depopulated and replaced by countless settlements. In an attempt to eliminate any popular resistance against occupation, detention centers were set up to torture and kill and settlers were allowed to carry arms "to defend themselves against harassment by Palestinians."

The Arab regimes, on the other hand, were set up on land drawn up by the Sykes-Picot agreement. They were split in their positions between those who claimed to be resisting and kept the Golan front quiet throughout 41 years of occupation, and the agents and collaborators, who signed a agreement of capitulation, or "peace" as they call it, with the occupation. They were all tailpieces of regional and international imperialism, attacking the Palestinian and other national resistance movements against the occupation. Throughout those years, Arab regimes joined forces with anyone and anything that could help in oppressing their people.

Lebanon was never safe from Zionist occupation, which stretched all the way to Beirut in 1982. It was held back by the Lebanese National Resistance Front and expelled from most of the territories falling outside the 1978 occupation line [territories in South Lebanon and West Bekaa seized in the 1978 Israeli invasion]. The resistance fought on two fronts, against the occupation and against the treachery of the allies of the Syrian and Iranian regimes. It was later replaced by the Islamic resistance, under the terms of Syrian and Iranian regional hegemony, which drove the Zionist occupation and its collaborators out of the occupied strip in the year 2000.

The men and women of the resistance came from marginalized areas from all over Lebanon and were killed and martyred for the liberation of the south. They had pinned their hopes and desires on improving the situation of ordinary Lebanese people after ridding them of the yoke of occupation and that people in liberated areas would enjoy better living conditions. However, these aspiration for better infrastructure, water, electricity, medical care, and education in the south were packaged into empty promises by Hezbollah and Amal Movement leaders. Despite the huge spending by Iran and the Gulf states on exclusive projects in the south, the resistance, which defeated the Zionist occupation, failed to confront the creep of structural corruption, infighting, and the quotas shared with key local actors. These leaders promoted privatization plans, participating in successive governments and aiding the implementation of various policies, in the complete absence of the state, outside the two poles of the Shia community, taking full control over security and services in the South.

Resistance and liberation should not be exclusively restricted to military battles against the occupation and to liberate the land. People also need freedom from economic and social constraints. By participating in successive governments and aiding in the implementation of neoliberal policies, such as privatization, Hezbollah is actively increasing the gap between classes. It joined forces with other authoritarian parties to destroy CGTL, Lebanon largest union federation, and the Union Coordination Committee (LCC). It chose to stand by the bourgeoisie to secure its needs and ultimately contribute to securing the interests of some of its sectors. Hezbollah stood by the Syrian regime for the same reasons, joining its war against the revolt of the Syrian people, who had been exploited and oppressed for decades. It threw working class fighters into a war that will not improve their economic or social status, which will no doubt become worse, due to its destructiveness, tearing apart the social fabric between religious communities in Lebanon and the region. And to what cost is this battle?

The resistance cannot be confined, either, to confronting only one face of imperialism, while ignoring others, which may be international or regional one. Here, Hezbollah also chose a trade-off between one imperialist axis over the other, as if the oppression of the Russian and Iranian regimes are less burdensome to their peoples or their subjects than other kinds of imperialisms, such as the United States, Saudi Arabia, or Qatar, etc... 

This position extends from the Syrian arena towards Yemen, whose people also rebelled, but fell victims of a political settlement that replaced the head of the regime and kept its apparatus intact. The tragedy was compounded by incessant Saudi and Iranian meddling, through the brutal and devastating bombardment by the Arab alliance, from one side, and supplying the Houthis with weapons and support, from the other. Once again, Hezbollah remained faithful to its approach, exalting power over life and people's aspirations for a better and more humane tomorrow.

15 years after the liberation of the bulk of South Lebanon and West Bekaa, the question of Palestine and dismantling of the Zionist entity remain at the forefront. But the resistance we envision will not only liberate the lands drawn up by colonialism and bestowed upon the states. Borders are nothing but dust and the resistance needs to confront all forms of imperialism, occupation, and dictatorship. It must fight against exploitation, sectarianism, and sexism. The weapons used to support the Syrian regime and at home against the Lebanese people have lost this legitimacy, that of the resistance. The weapons of the resistance should be directed against the occupation, against oppression and exploitation, against sectarian and unjust regimes. Victory will be for the resistance that liberates the land and its people.

Al-Manshour editorial committee

Translated by: Elia El Khazen