Berlin — Lebanon’s de facto government, the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, dissolved Beirut’s coalition administration on Wednesday while Lebanon’s Western-leaning prime minister, Sa’ad Hariri, was visiting with President Obama in Washington.
Hezbollah’s timing was orchestrated to send two messages to the West. First, Hezbollah head Sheik Hassan Nasrallah seeks to torpedo the U.N. investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri’s father, former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. The Holland-based U.N. commission, whose findings will be issued imminently, might result in indictments against a Hezbollah death squad for the murder of Rafik Hariri.
Despite a U.N. resolution to disarm Hezbollah after the second war in Lebanon, the entity has amassed 40,000 rockets since the militia kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldiers in 2006, which sparked Israel’s defense measures and that war. That helps to explain why the dissolution of the Lebanese government prompted Israel to go on military alert yesterday on its northern border.
The good news is that President Obama’s international sanctions strategy against Iran has seen results. The Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah’s chief sponsor, has been forced to reduce its supply of military and financial aid to the Islamic fanatics by 40 percent. Over the years, the Iranian regime has pumped roughly $1 billion in military aid into Hezbollah’s arsenal.
Plainly said, it is time that the U.S. discontinues military funds for Lebanon and redirect monies to pro–Lebanese democracy organizations. EU countries like Germany — where Hezbollah has 900 active members and the group remains legal — ought to abandon the delusional thinking that Hezbollah is a pragmatic political party and outlaw the radical Islamic thugs.
— Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.