How do you say “beating a dead horse” in French? It looks like French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to revive a body, Hezbollah, that would be better for it and the world if it died. Or to be more exact, if its international legitimacy died.
Countries across the world, including Argentine, Australia, and Canada, as well as organizations such as the Arab League, define Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The ones that don’t designate Hezbollah as a whole a terrorist organization – like the European Union, France, and Japan – define at least its military arm as a terrorist entity. Only this past year have other countries like Lithuania and Austria started to do so, as well.
And these aren’t the only problems to fall on the organization recently. In the past few months, popular protests have swept across Lebanon. Hezbollah, as part of the government, is seen by many of the protesters as responsible for the economic and social crisis that have engulfed the country. It started even before coronavirus. There are even some brave protesters who blame Hezbollah for an obsession with wiping out Israel that has hurt its ability to care for the Lebanese people. These trends gained traction after the explosion at the Beirut Port, which caused heavy damage as well as casualties.
And then came French President Emmanuel Macron. In a true post-colonialist world, he would have no reason to be there, other than to express solidarity and offer to help. But the former superpower that used to rule Lebanon still maintains far-reaching ties with its former colony. Macron has taken it upon himself to solve the political crisis in Lebanon, a mission that includes frequent visits and meetings with high-ranking officials. He limits himself not only to talks with legitimate, consensus officials, but also meets with representatives of Hezbollah.
As expected, the French president is not particularly proud of those meetings. On camera, he even voiced harsh criticism of a reporter from Le Figaro who published an article about the meeting. If only he could have announced that Hezbollah had shown a real willingness to accept new rules. But Hezbollah demonstrated blatant disregard for the French leader, to the point where representatives walked out of a dinner with him because he had brought wine.
Both politically and in terms of its image, Hezbollah is dying, and it would be better if western leaders let it happen. It is almost inconceivable that in certain circles, especially the liberal media, people are shocked at Macron scolding the Le Figaro reporters, and not at the fact that the leader of a nation that defines itself as enlightened is willing to give legitimacy to a murderous organization that is holding an entire country hostage. Macron even pretends that he doesn’t buy the distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings.
It’s no wonder, really. Iran, which funds Hezbollah and is propping it up, gets treated similarly. A country that funds terrorism, with aspirations of expanding throughout the Middle East, and which is also in the midst of a deep economic and political crisis, can depend on Europe to pull it out of the mud instead of allowing its extremist regime to collapse.
Source » israelhayom