Monday, May 23, 2016

Hizbullah versus the AbuKhalil family in South Lebanon

Look. Hizbullah has a lousy sectarian alliance in elections (especially municipal elections) with the corrupt Amal Movement. Hizbullah can't continue to claim that it is insulated from corruption and that it is not tainted by the corruption of Amal Movement.  The results of the municipal elections in Biqa` and South Lebanon yesterday prove that people of the south, I am talking about Shi`ites specially, can distinguish between their support for Hizbullah in its war against Israel (and even its military intervention in Syria which unfortunately has the support of most Shi`ites) while opposing the political performance of Hizbullah in the cabinet and the political process.  While Hizb Ministers and MPs don't have the reputation of corruption as most other MPs, they are still part of the government which people complain about. Hizbullah does not object to the worst decisions reached by the government and Hizbullah stood by when the great leftist minister, Sharbil Nahhas, was ousted from the cabinet due to his diligence against corruption.  And Hizbullah covers up the corruption of Amal Movement and even covered the Hariri corruption in return for his support for resistance against Israel (verbal support).  People in Lebanon have had it and they are fed up with the entire political class, and Hizbullah is having a hard time convincing people that it does not belong to the political class when it has been in the cabinet for a decade now.  In Qulaylah, the village east of Tyre where most of the AbuKhalils reside, Hizb and Amal typically formed a joint list and the AbuKhalil family refused to join forces and they formed (under some secularist members) an independent list which won yesterday against the list of Amal-Hizbollah. Amal was furious at the result and they sent armed goons to threaten the head of the winning list.  Don't get me wrong: I am not in favor of the AbuKhalil's in elections all the time: they often represent the upper class mentality of remnants of feudal families and they have marginalized those who used to be referred to as "peasant" families, and to their credit, Hizbullah have in fact elevated the status of "peasant families" in South Lebanon. But the notion that people because of support for resistance against Israeli occupation and aggression should support the lousy lists of Amal-Hizbullah in municipal election is silly at best.