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“Children in southern Lebanon are in dire need of an immediate ceasefire…” This is the real alarm voiced by UNICEF – Lebanon on social media channels earlier this week. The international organization bolstered its call with statistics that are alarming to say the least, regarding the repercussions of the armed conflict sparked on October 8 by Hezbollah at the border with Israel, under the (fundamentally fallacious) pretext of relieving pressure on Hamas in its war against Israel in Gaza. UNICEF reports no fewer than 90,000 displaced individuals in southern Lebanon as a result of the combat over the past seven months, including 30,000 children, in addition to the forced closure of 70 schools, affecting over 20,000 students.

In parallel to the publication of UNICEF’s figures, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, delivered his customary video conference speech in which he strongly asserted that the Hamas movement is practically “winning” (sic!) the war that it has drawn Gaza’s population into. According to the Iran-backed Shiite leader, Hamas has indeed achieved its “political objectives,” including halting the normalization process between Israel and certain Arab countries (specifically Saudi Arabia) and placing the Palestinian cause back on the international stage, notably the question of establishing a Palestinian State.

In his speech, there was no mention, not even an allusion (only briefly), to the heavy loss of life and massive destruction recorded during these seven months of fundamentally futile warfare (in terms of territorial “liberation”), both in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. According to Hamas, the death toll exceeds 30,000, not to mention entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble.

We thus once again are faced with two totally divergent ways of thinking, two radically different political stances: on one hand, there is a total lack of any consideration that should be given to people and to humanity as an absolute value, while on the other hand, the foremost concern is for safeguarding human lives.

For Hezbollah’s leader, as indicated in his intervention, what ultimately counts is not what he seems to perceive as “collateral damage” (human lives and heavy material destruction), but rather political gains. However, he failed to recall that in this latest episode of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which erupted on October 7, it is the Islamic Republic of Iran—and not the Palestinian population or Authority—that has scored points at the current stage… In reality, it is the power of the mullahs that has been repositioned and strengthened on both the regional and international chessboards, at the cost of Palestinian blood and the destruction of Gaza, as well as Lebanese blood and the destruction of southern Lebanon.

Hassan Nasrallah mentions the relaunch of the Palestinian State project as an accomplishment attributable to Hamas. However, it should be stressed that this is a distortion of reality. How can we overlook the fact that it’s this same Hamas movement which, alongside the Israeli far-right, undermined the Oslo process in 1994 and 1995, which was supposed to lead to the establishment of a Palestinian State? The same Hamas that continues to obstruct the two-state solution in practice?

This point cannot be repeated enough… Now more than ever, two societal projects, two structures or ways of thinking, are in confrontation, not only within the region but increasingly worldwide. It is the “culture of death” (or martyrdom) versus the “culture of life.”