Exposing an Appalling Media Whitewash of a Vicious, Murderous Terrorist Group
Not everyone is a Middle East expert. In fact, few Americans are. But most if not all Americans should have some depth of knowledge about the Middle Eastern terrorist group Hezb'allah (translated as "party of god," which is often written as "Hezbollah").
We should be aware (because it should be taught and media should remind us) that on October 23, 1983, Hezb'allah murdered 241 U.S. servicemen and 64 others when it bombed the barracks housing the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut, Lebanon. French servicemen and civilians were killed in the bombing as well. According to Marine Times: "The bombing killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers, and was the deadliest day the Marine Corps has seen since the fight for Iwo Jima, Japan, during World War II."
That alone should be reason enough for us — and particularly a journalist such as Virginia Heffernan who invokes the group — to know plenty about Hezb'allah. But as is often heard on commercials for new cooking gadgets: "Wait, there's more."
On April 18, 1983, a group tied to Hezb'allah bombed the U.S. embassy in Beirut. This time, 63 were murdered, including 17 Americans.
On June 25, 1996, Hezb'allah (Hezb'allah al-Hejaz — with the same ideology and inspiration as Lebanon's Hezb'allah) struck again — this time bombing Khobar Towers, a complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Some 2,000 U.S. military personnel lived there while participating in Operation Southern Watch, which was enforcing the "no-fly zone" in southern Iraq. The attack left 19 American Air Force personnel murdered and 498 of many nationalities wounded.
Meanwhile, today, Hezb'allah sends fighters into Syria to murder and maim hundreds of thousands of civilians as it supports the Assad regime, and it has more than 120,000 sophisticated rockets in Lebanon aimed at our Israeli friends and allies. Hezb'allah has already instigated multiple wars with Israel. Hezb'allah's leader, Hasan Nasrallah, bent on committing genocide against the Jewish people, has said how thrilled he is that more Jews are moving to Israel because it will save him and his group the trouble of hunting down Jews throughout the world to kill them.
Hezb'allah has also driven most of the Christian community from Lebanon via violence, intimidation, and threats. A massive, devastating explosion that hit Beirut last year and made international news has been attributed to Hezb'allah weapons stockpiles. Hezb'allah is a proxy army and mercenary militia that does the bidding of Iran throughout the world — and it has a foothold in our hemisphere through its activities and interactions with drug cartels south of our southern border.
Hezb'allah has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, and other countries.
Yet with this extensive a record of death and destruction, according to Los Angeles Times columnist Virginia Heffernan recently, Hezb'allah is little more than a social service organization that recruits candidates for elections amid a rivalry within Islam — and is on a par with a President Trump-supporting neighbor of Heffernan who was kind enough to have plowed snow from her driveway.
This is what Heffernan wrote about Hezb'allah:
Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist political party in Lebanon, also gives things away for free. The favors Hezbollah does for people in the cities Tyre and Sidon probably don't involve snowplows, but, like other mafias, Hezbollah tends to its own — the Shiite sick, elderly and hungry. They offer protection and hospitality and win loyalty that way. And they also demand devotion to their brutal, us-versus-them anti-Sunni cause. Some of us are family, the favors say; the rest are infidels.
The trivialization of treachery, barbarism, and mass murder continues in some quarters of academia, punditry, and elsewhere, and often in those same quarters, everyone with an opposing political view is labeled a "Nazi" and the person they rally behind is a "Hitler."
While Hezb'allah fighters have run for office and been elected in Lebanon, that does not make Hezb'allah a "political party" any more than someone who folds a piece of paper into the shape of an airplane and flings it is a pilot. When Americans think of "political party," our inner word association comes up with Democrats or Republicans. On their worst days, those with a "D" or "R" following their name are as innocent as a newborn when compared to Hezb'allah.
Nor does Hezb'allah bear any resemblance whatsoever to the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, or other actual social service organizations.
Yes, Virginia: Hezb'allah is a sophisticated organization of extremist Islamist killers and would-be genocidal maniacs.
How could Heffernan have gotten Hezb'allah so wrong? Could she really be that vacuous? After all, according to her own website, "Heffernan has been called 'America's preeminent cultural critic,' 'a public intellectual for the 21st century,' and among the 'finest living writers of English prose.'" Wikipedia says Heffernan "graduated summa cum laude from the University of Virginia (1991). She also received an English Literature Master's Degree (1993) and Ph.D (2002) from Harvard University."
Was Heffernan trying to be too cute by half in equating supporters of the former president with genocidal terrorists — meaning she knows full-well who and what actually Hezb'allah is? Or was she purposefully trying to dumb down her readers into thinking that these mostly Lebanese murderers and their Iranian masters are really merely MAGA hat–wearing right-wingers and thus nothing to worry about?
Given the state of much of what passes for journalism today, one is forced to assume that it is option #2.
Iran is on the cusp of achieving development of a nuclear weapon, as it continues to violate "restrictions" placed on it by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (known colloquially as "the Iran deal"). It is so close, in fact, that even some Europeans are nervous because it has produced missile advancements that could place a nuclear weapon in the center of Paris. Iran stands ready to unleash Hezb'allah and its missile arsenal on Israel and her nearly 9 million citizens should Israel try to pre-empt Iran.
Meanwhile, Hezb'allah continues its rampages in Syria and its repression in Lebanon, where it has a stranglehold on the government and has enfeebled the military. In South and Central America, it has committed terrorist atrocities, including the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and even in Mexico, where it has been linked to drug cartels. Hezb'allah operatives have been convicted of criminal activity here in the United States.
All of this has occurred and continues with the blessing of Iran — as the Biden administration announced its eagerness to get back into a worthless and dangerous Iran deal that President Trump realized America should not be party to. The Iranian ayatollahs and their Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps would love for Americans to think they are little more than a nuisance neighbor rather than attempting to complete their ambition to destroy America and Israel and dominate over Sunni Muslims.
Given all of the above, we are better off with political activists wielding a snow plow rather than actual terrorists — and journalists armed with snow jobs. Americans need to be vigilant against both.
Steve Feldman is executive director of the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the Zionist Organization of America and former newspaper reporter and columnist.