Commentary by Bart Hesseling – 25 July 2013
On 22 July, the European Union’s 28 foreign ministers unanimously decided to place the ‘military wing’ of the Lebanese Hezbollah on a list of what it considers terrorist organizations, to loud cheers from Washington and Tel Aviv. It is a classic case of coherent policy giving way to political expediency. Beyond the political posturing, it doesn’t help to improve the situation in the countries directly affected, Syria and Lebanon. Continue reading
Commentary by Oussama Hariri – 1 March 2012
This article was first published in Arabic.
In a recent speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, reasserted his party’s support to the Syrian regime. Among his rather far-fetched statements was the blunt denial of what is happening in Homs, describing the city’s massacres merely as exaggerated events. While the people of Homs face a brutal ordeal, Hezbollah is far from changing its political course. Successful policy is based on adapting to changing times and the emergence of new political players. While change has swept across the political scene in the Arab world with new powers rising and others declining, one cannot help but wonder where Hezbollah’s policy, the fierce defense of a doomed regime, will lead it; all this in the context of the changing prospects of regimes across the Arab world. Continue reading
Commentary by Takuya Matsuda – 2 September 2011
Rafiq Hariri & Hassan Nasrallah
The year 2011 already seemed likely to flower into a turbulent year for the Middle East, even before the advent of the “Arab Spring” that toppled close to three dictators in the region. Hezbollah’s withdrawal from the national unity government in Lebanon, which kept the country’s chronic sectarian conflicts from resurfacing for the past few years, sparked fears that the Lebanese “time bomb” was finally going to explode. Nobody could have predicted “the Arab Spring”, a series of historical events that have rocked the region’s authoritarian regimes since January. Continue reading