Menu
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and ADL Announce Lab to Engineer New Solutions to Stop Cyberhate

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitte…

New York, NY -  Face...

ADL to Challenge Justice Department Religious Liberty Guidance Calls it a “Roadmap for Discrimination”

ADL to Challenge Justice Department…

New York, NY- - The Anti-...

JWV Welcomes Greater Accountability for VA Employees

JWV Welcomes Greater Accountability…

The Department of Veteran...

Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Foundation Donates Transformative Endowment Gift to Sinai Akiba Academy

Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Found…

Los Angeles, California -...

Swiss Town Returns Painting Looted during World War II

Swiss Town Returns Painting Looted …

Following a lengthy legal...

PM Netanyahu welcomes US President Trump’s decision regarding Iran

PM Netanyahu welcomes US President …

​PM Netanyahu: President ...

Alona Barkat: Israeli inspiration taking the soccer world by storm

Alona Barkat: Israeli inspiration t…

​Alona Barkat, an Israeli...

Israel Innovation Authority will launch the second biotech incubator

Israel Innovation Authority will la…

In light of the success o...

Israel and Senegal announce end to crisis

Israel and Senegal announce end to …

​Israel will immediately ...

Statements by PM Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump

Statements by PM Netanyahu and US P…

​PM Netanyahu: I want to ...

Prev Next
A+ A A-

Hezbollah Involvement in Syria Sparks Concern Featured

 

Hezbollah has had a major impact on the Syrian civil war since the end of May when Nasrallah declared the movement would redouble its support of Assad

Jamie Dettmer


BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON — Lebanon's Shia Muslim movement Hezbollah is known for its discipline, but the decision to fight in the Syrian civil war has prompted doubts among some supporters.

Enter any Shi'ite town in the Beka'a Valley or in southern Lebanon and you know instantly you're in Hezbollah territory. Hezbollah's yellow flag with the green logo of the Shia party flutters from lampposts and minarets. Photographs of the movement's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, are liberally displayed.

So too are an increasing number of photographs of recent Hezbollah "martyrs" - Shi'ite militiamen who have fallen in Syria battling rebels while fighting to save the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

These deaths are prompting some rare behind-the-scenes questioning by Hezbollah families of the wisdom of fighting fellow Muslims, even if they are mainly Sunnis. For them the real enemy is Israel, the foe the movement was founded for in 1982 to confront.

"I have heard many people say, if our son was killed defending south Lebanon against Israeli attack, any attack, we must be very proud but our son was killed in Syria, why?" said retired Lebanese army general Hisham Jaber, a Shi'ite from south Lebanon who has attended funerals of Hezbollah's dead.

Hezbollah has had a major impact on the Syrian civil war since the end of May when Nasrallah declared the movement would redouble its support of Assad.

Nasrallah argued that an end to the Assad regime would serve American and Israeli interests. Shortly after, Hezbollah helped Assad to a major victory by joining the assault on the strategic border town of Qusair, retaking it from Syrian rebels who had held it for more than a year.

One Shi'ite sheikh who declined to be identified said some Hezbollah militiamen sought his counsel on whether they should heed Nasrallah's call to arms.

Among their worries was that by fighting in Syria, Hezbollah would ignite a sectarian civil war in Lebanon. It's a worry shared by many in Lebanon.

"The vast majority of Sunnis in Lebanon don't want to get caught up in a Sunni-Shia civil war and I think the same holds for Hezbollah," said author and commentator Michael Young. "Such a war would be terrible. It would be extremely bloody for, I think, very little advantage for either side."

The Beka'a Valley borders Syria and many families here are related to Syrian Shia Muslims, but Shi'ites in southern Lebanon still harbor reservations about the decision to fight in Syria.

"The family relationship between El Bekka and Syria is different than south Lebanon," said Jaber, the retired general. "People of south Lebanon have nothing to do in Syria."

Many Shi'ite intellectuals are quietly critical. The Shi'ite managing editor of a life-style magazine says she used to respect Hezbollah but now fears its intervention will exacerbate Lebanese divisions and bring the Syrian war to Lebanon.

Last modified onFriday, 18 July 2014 09:55

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

back to top
40% off 4 or more products. Enter code 40SPRING at checkout. Get a discount with a minimum purchase at PaulFredrick.com
Travel Deals to top Destinations. Get yours now

Sections

Jewish Traditions

About Us

Community

Cooperations

Follow Us