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Samir Kuntar and Hizbullah’s Big Lie

Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, Originally posted in Arabic on December 24

Last week, a Hizbullah “celebrity” by the name of Samir Kuntar was killed in Syria. Despite a lavish funeral service held for him in Beirut, and numerous statements hailing his legacy, no one really cared for him.

Most messages of condolences were actually issued by Hizbullah personnel, who were ordered to do so by their commanders. They have also made sure to point fingers at Israel and accuse it of assassinating him; an accusation that I do not find convincing. It is much more likely, for example, that Kuntar died in a Russian air strike or in an attack carried out by the Syrian rebels.

Either way, the festival that followed his death raised an important question: why is Samir Kuntar hailed as a martyr?

Hizbullah, an organization claiming to fight against the Israeli occupation through “resistance,” has been long involved in the Syrian civil war, which has nothing to do with Zionism. Other than killing an Israeli family and a baby several decades ago, Kuntar most likely led to the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Syrians.

If anything, Hizbullah lost its raison d’etre. It can no longer sell its resistance narrative, since it is no longer fighting on behalf of Palestinians. Arabs throughout the world are quickly learning that they have been lied to and mislead; used by organizations such as Hezbollah to serve the narrow political interests of certain elites.

The crisis in Syria has nothing to do with Israel, and the Palestinian issue can no longer be used to justify Hizbullah’s sinister actions. Samir Kuntar exposed Hezbollah’s big lie, and it will be very difficult to convince people otherwise anytime in the future. – Abd al-Rahman al-Rashed