After Hezbollah was branded a terrorist organization by the Persian-Gulf Cooperation Council, it was met with a myriad of condemnation. On the other hand, it was adopted by some Saudi figures who conjured up excuses to justify the Saudi decision. One of the inciters is Anwar Eshki, director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, who declared that “branding Hezbollah a terrorist organization came due to Hezbollah’s actions that pose a threat to Arab national security.”
The question that asks itself now is: does Hezbollah indeed pose a threat to Arab national security? But before answering this question we must determine the threats that have shaken the ground beneath the Arab world.
The first threat that some Arabs tend to forget or intentionally disregard is the Israeli regime, which marks the biggest danger facing Arab national security. Beginning with Palestine, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1948; to the concept of so-called Greater Israel, which encompasses the Arab world from the Nile in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq; the Israeli regime has been Arabs’ greatest enemy since its inception. First, by planning to occupy Arab land to establish an Israeli state for Jews and Jews alone, the Israeli regime threatens the entire existence of Arabs, let alone their national security. Second, the occupation of Palestine, land theft, day-to-day killings of Palestinians, and detention policies; the deadly wars and the blockade on Gaza, its battles with Lebanon and acts of aggression against Syria, on top of a longer list of hostilities are only the tip of the iceberg of the Israelis have in store for Arabs.
The second threat, which also fights for the same principles as that of the Israeli regime, only under another banner, is the outbreak of what has been labelled as terrorism. Terrorist groups, namely ISIS, Al-Qaeda and al-Nusra Front have wreaked havoc across Arab states including Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, killing in the name of the religion that most Arabs believe in: Islam. Not only have these organizations born radicalism and violence, but they have also been working toward changing the map of the region for political purposes by attempting to break the axis of resistance. Again, the Arab world is at threat of being redrawn by forces whose goals align with those of Tel Aviv.
Now that the sides that pose a threat to Arab national security have been named, it is imperative to compare the role of the PGCC, but most importantly that of the Saudi regime, and that of Hezbollah in order to reach a conclusion as to who is threatening this security.
While such states have turned a blind eye to the massacring of Palestinians and a deaf ear to their plights, Hezbollah has been fighting against the Israeli regime, a constant and imminent threat to Arab security. Since its formation in the 80’s Hezbollah has engaged in several wars against Israeli occupation, each time succeeding in bringing the enemy to its knees and restoring what remains of Arab pride. In the year 2000, Hezbollah fighters liberated South Lebanon from Israeli occupation that lasted for over two decades. In 2006, the resistance group defeated the Israelis in a 33-day war. Since then, several attacks have targeted Israeli tanks along the border with occupied Palestine. On the other side of the balance, the weight of Saudi accomplishments against the Israeli occupation amount to zero.
Hezbollah has also taken up arms against the other face of terrorism. In Syria, the group has been helping the Syrian army in its battle against extremism. Hezbollah fighters have been heading to neighboring Syria and sacrificing their lives so that other Arabs can live, so that terrorism does not take the upper hand there and further spread in the region.
Meanwhile, Persian Gulf states generally, but chiefly Riyadh, have been funding and providing sustenance for ISIS and its likes—in addition to several other armed factions who have been fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad since 2011—as part of a regional project to weaken Syria and Iraq and ultimately the axis of resistance. The sole concern of these nations has been to topple Assad’s government at any cost, even at the cost of the lives of millions of Syrians and at the expense of the Arab country’s security as well as that of its neighbors.
Now the answer finds its way. If what threatens Arab national security is the Israeli regime and terrorist groups, and Hezbollah is fighting these threats, then it is impossible to let reason lead to the conclusion that Hezbollah is a threat to Arab national security. How can it be a threat when it is the very force that is fighting against the real threats? Conversely, a new question arises: if PGCC states are working in line with these threats’ interests, doesn’t that make it a danger itself, selling out Arab national security to appease its allies and fulfil its agenda?