“It’s better to die on your feet than to walk crawling on your knees….how can I not respect those (Hizbullah) who say they would rather die on their feet? How can I not respect that?” Dr. Norman Finkelstein (watch video below).
In 1982 – Lebanese Shia religious leaders decided to establish an Islamic military resistance group to fight the Jewish occupying forces and their local Christian poodles, the Philangist in southern Lebanon. Equipped only with guns and gernades but fueled by religious spirit, morals and discipline – a few hundred freedom-fighters under Hizbullah (Party of Allah) banner, they forced the Jewish occupation forces, equipped with the US-donated most lethal war machinery, to withdraw from most of the the occupied southern Lebanon in 2000.
The Zionist Jews never forgot their humiliation and started preparation for the revenge. After six years, the found the excuse to re-invade Lebanon to finish-off Hizbullah once for all. However, even after dumping 30,000 of US trained and equipped with the most modern arms – less than 1,500 Hizbullah fighters resisted the Zionazi attack for 34 days and gave the Jewish army and another bitter defeat in 2006.
The 2006 victory made Hizbullah Secretary General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah the most popular leader within the Arab world and second to Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad in the Muslim world.
Hizbullah is still the largest provider of social services in Lebanon and also considered as the “real military” of Lebanon. Hizbullah has its members in Lebanese parliament, shares power with the Prime Minister Saad Hirari and one of its member is a cabinet minister.
Siraj ul Deen in article titled Hizbullah: a brief historical overview reviews Hizbullah’s impact on the world Islamic movement and the Middle East especially hattering the Jewish Army’s “invincible” myth:
Often creating operations claimed to be aimed at dismantling the resistance, the Israelis ended up killing few resistance fighters, but hundreds of Lebanese citizens. During 1993’s “Operation Accountability” over 100 Lebanese civilians died from Israeli attacks. In 1996’s “Operation Grapes of Wrath” fire was opened in the village of Qana with over 150 civilians killed, most of whom were in a UN compound. As usual, the Israeli response to the killings blamed the resistance, accusing them of hiding amongst civilians. However, successive years only served to strengthen the resistance, with it engaging in more advanced actions over time. Militarily, socially and even politically amongst the Lebanese, the Arab and Muslim world, the resistance quickly garnered deep respect.
When the resistance became a distinct movement its spokesperson was Subhi al-Tufayli who later became its secretary general. In 1991 as the resistance decided to become part of Lebanese parliamentary elections al-Tufayli expressed strong sentiments against this entry into politics. Al-Tufayli was later replaced by Abbas al-Musawi who had been engaged in prior guerrilla action and was said to possess more conducive leadership skills than the former secretary general. In February 1992, al-Musawi, along with his wife and son, was assassinated when an Israeli helicopter attacked his motorcade. The resistance however had the uncanny ability to turn each negative into a greater positive. As was seen with the disappearance of Imam Musa al-Sadr in 1975, with each loss the movement experienced, their gains increased manifold. With the death of Abbas al-Musawi, the Hizbullah gained Shaykh Hasan Nasrullah. Contrary to times past, the organization now had a face and a voice that would come to be heard throughout the entire world.
The end of the 20th century saw the movement take on an even larger role in Lebanese social life. While starting out as a strictly military Islamic resistance group, Hizbullah later entered into politics and from then started a highly organized social welfare program. Financing farming, waste treatment and management, developing infrastructure, building schools and hospitals, offering healthcare to the Lebanese population, time and time again the Hizbullah program has been regarded as vastly superior to anything the Lebanese government can and has offered its citizens. Throughout the country, those who are short of means from the ordinary people consistently rely on the organization for aid. Giving this kind of assistance went a long way in strengthening its position in the eyes of many Lebanese and Arabs of other countries. Aside from the social welfare programs, Hizbullah also developed a media presence with the founding of its own al-Manar television station.
In a May 2010 article in Haaretz, Colonel Noam Ben-Tzvi, who was a commander of the IDF in southern Lebanon stated, “It wasn’t a withdrawal (in 2000) and it was a retreat…we ran away pure and simple.” Ben-Tzvi goes on to say “We left vehicles and equipment behind… in some instances [our] soldiers looted military equipment. There was the disgraceful scene of SLA crowding at Fatima gate. This was running away, it was unplanned with Hizbullah hardly even shooting at us.” Forcing Israelis to vacate occupied positions was something never accomplished by any Arabian state. This show of strength and capability by the resistance put it in an unparalleled position in the region.
Recently, Hizbullah has taken on a more active role in Lebanese society, running more candidates for elections and continuing its social welfare programs. Though still maintaining its true Islamic identity, the organization has decided to change some portions of its original program to meet the realities in the country and to be as effective as possible in bringing about lasting change for the betterment of Lebanon.
Secretary General Shaykh Hasan Nasrullah is seen as a man of words and actions both by supporters and foes; whatever he says is looked upon, whether openly or secretly, as a given truth. Although Hizbullah organization is not an official governmental body and doesn’t have the size of a standard military, it’s widely recognized as a force to be reckoned with. Having been the only group to chasten Israel and having done it on more than one occasion it is widely viewed as something that shatters false images and notions. The resistance has given hope to those who are in weak positions and the oppressed; it has shown how the tables can be turned by a few when they remain firm and in determined positions regardless of how bleak the outlook.