The head of Lebanon’s Shiite Islamist political party, Hezbollah (Party of God), Mohammed Raad, announced over the weekend in Lebanon’s parliament that it would take $9 billion to wipe the state of Israel from the face of the map. The demand made by Raad to Lebanon’s parliament underscores the influence that his terrorist organization has on Lebanese politics and will continue to have with increased support from Iranian allies. The announcement comes as Iran and the United States are on the verge of reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will generate new funding for Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations from the removal of economic sanctions against Iran.
Before its official creation, Lebanon and Israel had their difficulties ever since the Jewish state’s establishment. Even though Lebanon participated in the first Arab Israeli War of 1948, it became the first Arab League nation to desire an armistice treaty with Israel, given the superiority of Israel’s small military. In later years, Lebanon did not participate in any other dramatic wars against Israel, and in the early 1970s, the border between the two states was by far the calmest than with any other Arab state. However, things changed entirely during the late 1970s early 1980s between Israel and Lebanon, when the Arab state gave refuge to Yasser Arafat and his terrorist organization, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
While safely in Beirut, Lebanon, Arafat and his acolytes planned and engaged in various attacks against Israel, training and arming young recruits to conduct terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians across the border. The PLO was in southern Lebanon, where it could attack Israel and smuggle weapons to other Palestinian terrorists living in the Jewish state. In response to the PLO’s actions, the Israeli government engaged in covert operations against the organization’s leadership in Lebanon, trying to decrease the violence crossing into Israel’s border.
Consequently, Israel’s government allied with Lebanon’s Christian militias to kick out the PLO and establish a pro-Israeli government that would ally itself with Israel. To finally stop the PLO’s activities in Lebanon, Israel supported various Lebanese Maronite militias to expel the terrorist organization and set up a new government that would be friendly toward the Jewish state. Even though the Israeli army was triumphant in pushing the PLO out of Lebanon, another terrorist organization began to organize and participate in attacks against the Jewish state that would change the makeup of the Middle East soon.
Hezbollah, or the Party of God, was formed by Shiite clerics following Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The goal of the terrorist organization was to drive Israel from Lebanon and establish an Islamic Republic loyal to Khomeini and his revolutionary beliefs. The group received financial and military training from the Islamic Republic and its newest military branch, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). From 1975 to 1990, Hezbollah engaged in terrorist attacks against Israeli and Maronite militias using suicide bombings that generated massive causalities and carnage. Israel’s campaign in Lebanon went from victorious to devastating and horrific as Iran’s proxy terrorist organization increased its violent attacks against Israeli soldiers using surprise bombings. As a result, the Israeli government withdrew completely from Lebanon, which allowed Hezbollah to gain massive influence in the Lebanese political system.
Today, Hezbollah is the main ruling party in Lebanon and has control over the entire country. The terrorist entity continues to receive its economic funding from Iran’s regime, which has given billions and billions of dollars for terrorism against the state of Israel. Southern Lebanon to this day has been Hezbollah’s main staging ground against Israel, firing missiles and rockets into Israel, training young fighters, and allowing the IRGC to conduct its operations in the area.
Hezbollah’s terrorist activities against Israel have cost Lebanon enormous amounts of debt and destruction for its people, who have had to bear the price and see their country fall into what was a prosperous and beautiful country. According to reports, Raad blamed the bankruptcy and economic crisis of the country on American domination. Raad then stated that the Lebanese government will not engage in communication or talks with countries that support Israel or are against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Hezbollah already receives billions of dollars from the IRGC to use against the Jewish State, and with Washington and Tehran about to revive the Iran nuclear agreement, it appears Raad and his radical followers will receive more than their demand. Under the agreement, Iranian oil exports will have waivers allowing the regime to sell its oil on the world market, generating new funds for the Islamic Republic, which will be used to supply its terrorist proxies like Hezbollah. Additionally, Iran’s assets overseas will be unfrozen allowing the regime to have billions of dollars for the regime which helps meet Hezbollah’s demands.