A hero is gone: Sheikh Ali Zein el Dine د. وليد فارس: الموت يغيب البطل اللبناني الشيخ الدرزي علي زين الدين Dr. Walid Phares/Face Book/June 26/2019
A patriot, a cleric and a man of wisdom, Sheikh Ali Zein el Dine, has passed away yesterday in Lebanon. Why am I posting about this Druze sheikh from the Shuf mountain”? Because he was one of the main heroes of the Lebanese resistance against terror militia Hezbollah during the May 7, 2008 invasion of Beirut and the Shuf.
As we all remember, the Iranian backed militias attacked the mostly Druze villages and towns in Mount Lebanon to subdue them while other Hezbollah forces had penetrated West Beirut and seized most of the Lebanese Government institutions and isolated Sunni and Druze leaders in the capital.
Beirut was occupied in less than a day. But young Druze civilians rapidly mobilized with light weapons and fired back at Hezbollah, who lost dozens of its fighters. In the center of Druze mobilization was Sheikh Ali Zein el Dine who insured coordination and planning.
I didn’t have the chance to speak with him that year, while I was calling politicians in Lebanon encouraging them to stand firm. I had a call with him last year as I was writing some pages of my memoirs.
Zein el Dine was sharp, non arrogant and pragmatic. He understood that Hezbollah has a formidable military machine, but in Lebanon, his weakness is about his behavior with other community. No sect can invade and occupy another sect for ever.
When Hezbollah marched on the Shuf, the young fighters resisted with their AK47 and pistols. Hezb units were stopped. Had the battle lasted longer, other anti Iran forces in many regions would have joined to push Hezbollah back to its strongholds. But most Lebanese politicians rushed to Doha to cut deals with the Iran backed organization.
Zein el Dine remained faithful to his community and to his country during the few days of resistance, and for years after this benchmark. If Lebanon has ten Zein el Dine, when they are needed, the terror networks would be pushed back.
Ironically, his story is known in Washington DC and his name will be remembered as a freedom fighter against terrorism.