Monday, November 18, 2019

Lebanese protests test Hezbollah’s role as Shiites’ champion

...Iranian-backed Hezbollah built a reputation among supporters as a champion of the poor and a defender of Lebanon against Israel’s much more powerful military. It and its Shiite ally, the Amal party, have enjoyed overwhelming backing among the Shiite community since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war, making them a political powerhouse that, along with allies, has dominated recent governments.

But now many protesters group Hezbollah into the ruling class they are revolting against, blaming it for wrecking the economy with years of corruption and mismanagement.

Protesters want that entire political elite out. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, and Amal’s chief, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, have not been spared....