In a televised speech on Saturday, the anniversary of Hezbollah’s 2006 “victory against the Israeli regime,” the terror group’s chief Seyed Hassan Nasrallah “made a point of underlining the group’s readiness and prowess,” the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported.
“We are not after war. It was not us, who staged aggression (a reference to Hezbollah’s rockets launched at civilian and military Israeli targets the previous Friday – DI). However, we are ready and are not afraid of war,” Nasrallah asserted, adding, “We are prepared every moment, and are certain that we will triumph in any warfare.”
Nasrallah described the Friday attacks as a fraction of what Hezbollah is capable of carrying out, “Therefore, if the Zionist regime perpetrates any act of folly, it will face a heavy response,” he threatened.
But the real story that emerged from Friday’s confrontation was not Hezbollah’s attempt to improve its PR stance ahead of Nasrallah’s anniversary speech, but the fact that residents of the Druze village of Shuya located the terror group’s rocket launcher and arrested the Hezbollah members responsible for the shooting (WATCH: Hezbollah Rocket Terrorists Attacked by Lebanese Druze). Videos showing the Druze villagers threatening a young Lebanese man who looks frightened in the cabin of his rocket-launcher truck became viral instantaneously and the Arab social network erupted over whether Hezbollah has the right to fire on Israeli territory knowing full well it was jeopardizing nearby Druze civilians. The young Druze who located the truck became a hero to some and a villain to others overnight.
The leaders of the Druze community in Lebanon on Saturday aligned themselves with Hezbollah’s position that it has the right to act against Israel as it sees fit. Obviously, the last thing the Druze leadership wants is a local confrontation with the terrorists. The opinions of the Druze residents on the decision to support Hezbollah were not favorable. If you want to shoot, the asked, why do it from within a Druze village? And should Israel retaliate, why should this village be on the front line?
Hezbollah no longer has the popular support it had on the eve of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Arab affairs analyst Jacki Hugi wrote in Haaretz Sunday morning (התגובות בלבנון על הירי לצפון הן עדות לצמצום התמיכה הפנימית בחיזבאללה). “Fifteen years later, Lebanon is in economic and social collapse. The Lebanese citizen who trusted Hezbollah so much he was willing to absorb (Israeli) fire and destruction is today looking for food, medicine, fuel, and electricity.”
Hugi concluded: “Today Lebanon appears to have lost its anchor and is now in need of a resuscitation; and since the huge explosion in the port of Beirut last year, it has not stopped hemorrhaging. This is a country that sees no horizon and is waiting for someone to redeem it from its torment.”
Nasrallah’s take on the downfall of Lebanon since 2006 is grounded in his Bizarro World view of history: “Our biggest strategic victory is the Second Lebanon War. Since then, Israel has not carried out airstrikes in Lebanon, thanks to the deterrence we created,” Hezbollah’s leader contended, noting: “In the 15 years that have passed, Lebanon has seen calm and security like it hasn’t since 1948.”
Because Hezbollah did not dare a major attack on the sleeping tiger south of the border. Nasrallah and the Druze of south Lebanon are well aware of what would happen should the Shiite terrorists keep poking the kitty.