In an interview with Qudsonline.ir, political commentator Marwa Osman said, “Israel is always looking for a new war against Hezbollah as it sees only the resistance forces as an actual threat to its existence.”
Here’s the full transcript of the interview:
Q: What is the social impact of Hezbollah’s presence in Syria on the spirit and motive of the Lebanese people?
A: Obviously not all of the Lebanese public is happy with the resistance’s military intervention in the global war on Syria. As you know the Lebanese political arena is sharply divided between what is locally know as 14th of March bloc and the 8th of March bloc, the latter is the one that comprises of the people allied with Hezbollah and the former is the one that opposes anything Hezbollah stands for. So yes we do have a large number of the Lebanese public who support the call of the resistance to enter Syrian territories and be allied with the Syrian Arab army to work together on eradicating terrorism along with many other allies. However, we also have a large number of Lebanese public who would rather see Nusra or Isis take Hezbollah out because it might mean some sort of a political gain for them. To better understand this fracture in Lebanese political stances in Lebanon one has to look at the regional allies of both blocs. For instance the regional allies of Hezbollah is obviously Iran while the rivals of Hezbollah in Lebanon are allied with KSA. When one understands the stance of the regional open contenders, Iran and KSA, one can then understand the similar fracture inside Lebanon. As for the public that supports Hezbollah, they are not only confined to the Shia sect, on the contrary they include both Muslims and Christians and from all sects as are Hezbollah’s rivals as well. So the issue is not a matter of religion or sect but merely a political division. The public that support the presence of Hezbollah inside of Syria tend to fully comprehend the vital need to eradicate terrorism in all its forms. They also understand that only eradicating terrorism inside Lebanese soil is not enough since geography plays a very important role between Syria and Lebanon, the 2 states are interconnected in many geographical areas that would make it very easy for terrorists to cross over form one state to the other. Hence, the eradication of terrorism in Syria is as vital for Lebanon as it is for Syria. The public that supports Hezbollah fully comprehends the latter idea and hence condonez and backs the military intervention of Hezbollah in the Syrian war.
Q: As you know, there is a martyrdom spirit in Hezbollah. How is this approach seen among Lebanese people?
A: Again the views here are split between a supporter and a detractor. Supporters see the notion of martyrdom to rid one’s country from occupation and terrorism as a heroic act that puts the martyr at the level of sainthood yet the detractors view it as an unnecessary act of willing to die for a matter that is outside Lebanese territories. Mind you these same detractors even have a problem with Hezbollah martyrs who have sacrificed their lives to fight the Zionist occupation, because simply these detractors belong to the same US/Israeli project mentality. Therefore it is not a surprise that such groups or political blocs would belittle the heroic martyrdom of Hezbollah fighters. However what those same detractors and their patrons in the region and in the imperialist west cannot fathom is how on earth these freedom fighters are willing to die for a cause that is supposedly not theirs or not for the sake of their own country. They don’t even fathom the idea of these freedom fighters’ willingness to die fighting inside their country as well against the Zionist entity since they do not believe in the higher cause of martyrdom. See when a young man who has all his life ahead of him and who might still be a school student or a college student and might truly have seen nothing of this life would be willing to leave his youth, his future and his plans behind and run towards the frontline in a bid to get the chance to be a martyr, then one should truly stop and think of what is it exactly that made that young man make this hard choice. For Hezbollah fighters the answer is simply the love to be amongst the followers of Ahlulbayt. They take the school of Imam Hussain seriously and literally. They not only speak on behalf of those who are oppressed and they not only are ready to fight tyrants and occupiers but they are also ready to die doing so because it is what Imam Hussain has done before them. It is the story of Karbala from leaving the land of the prophet to going all the way to Nineveh province to make sure that the higher word of justice and freedom is served. Then comes the battle of Karbala with its magnitude and the struggle of Sayeda Zainab in the face of Yazid the tyrant. All of these lessons are taken very seriously by the fighter of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance, hence this why it is fully accepted and sought to by the fighters of the resistance and very much celebrated by their families and communities in general. It is a matter of pride amongst the supporting public to have Hezbollah martyrs within their families. They see that as a blessing from God and as a source of pride and victory.
Q: Trump from the beginning of his presidency or even his campaign, has repeatedly threatened Hezbollah and called it as a "terrorist group" in the region. What is he looking for by his position against the axis of resistance and especially Hezbollah? And what will be the consequences?
A: It is not a secret that the alliance between Trump and the Israeli entity is a very solid one and hence Trump’s stance on Hezbollah will most definitely be an aggressive one. Now the latest developments in Washington to roll out a new public campaign aimed at cracking down more forcefully on Hezbollah in Lebanon is merely part of a broader effort to counter the resistance’s chief backer, Iran. Trump’s new push will include instituting cash rewards for its “most wanted” commanders, stepping up U.S. intelligence, and also aims to enlist allies to do more to undermine the group’s global network. However, Trump still doesn’t fully comprehend how much of a hard task that would be given the long and steadfast stance between Hezbollah and its regional and international allies. That is understandable given that Trump is not an establishment president and he has so far shown unbalanced judgment in solving US internal issue so how about the foreign issues? I believe he still does not comprehend the graveness of the situation and is simply following the lead of the Zionists entity in the region. Trump will learn that this cause of his is a lost Zionist cause but it will be by then too late.
Q: In your opinion, what will be the US plan for the region after the Daesh's defeat?
A: I think we are already seeing the US new project in the ME and which has so far already failed. The US and Israel for instance both tried to support a Kurdish referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and that was proven as a total failure and it most probably now will cause an internal Kurdish-Kurdish civil war. We also saw the role of the US in fueling the rift between the gulf countries after the recent Gulf feud between Qatar on one hand and other Gulf countries on the other hand led by KSA. The gulf crisis seems to deepen further and it seems that the US and its European allies are simply making the benefit of their pockets out of it by embezzling the gulf countries for more trade and oil agreements. Also inside Syria we can see how the US is working on further empowering the SDF forces against the SAA after the SAA was able to eliminate Daesh in Deir Ezzor. The US now wants to try to replace the damage once caused by Daesh into a new chaotic scene portrayed by the miscalculated steps of the SDF forces. The entry of Turkish forces into Idlib should be a heads up for the Kurdish SDF that an imminent clash with the Turks between Idlib and Raqqa is imminent and the increased of power of the SAA in Deir Ezzor should also be a heads up for Kurdish SDF that the SAA will not allow their advance in that region either. So even inside Syria the US’s plans are being thwarted.
Q: In your view, is Israel looking for a new war against Hezbollah?
A: Israel is always looking for a new war against Hezbollah as it sees only the resistance forces as an actual threat to its existence. We are always ready at any moment to face an aggression from the Zionist entity but as for the timing we don’t think that the winter time is a time that would be best thought by the Israelis as a good time to start a war. They need clear skies for their bomber jets and that is only a viable option in the summer months. The question is not whether or not a war will happen the question here is how the “Israeli entity’s” geography will look like in case this war happens. I truly doubt that this time the Zionist entity will be able to move an inch inside Lebanese soil. On the contrary, I think the resistance fighters of Hezbollah will this time make history by liberating Palestinian land from Zionist occupation in the event the Israeli make a stupid mistake of attacking Lebanon.
Marwa Osman is a PhD Candidate located in Beirut, Lebanon, a university lecturer at the Lebanese International University and Maaref University, political writer/commentator on Middle East issues with many international and regional media outlets.