Hezbollah crowdfunding campaign sparks Lebanese criticism

Many Lebanese worry that Hezbollah is seeking to mobilize the Lebanese home front for war.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

A new Hezbollah crowdfunding campaign is sparking controversy in Lebanon, with critics arguing that the terror group is coercing citizens to fund a jihad campaign that does not serve the country’s interests.

The campaign is called “Jihad al-Mal,” or “Jihad Through Money.” It features vehicles from Hezbollah-affiliated organizations driving through villages and urging residents to donate funds for missiles and drones.

But the appeal is not universally popular. Many Lebanese worry that Hezbollah is seeking to mobilize the Lebanese home front for war.

According to Lebanese media reports, one student was expelled from a school for refusing to donate.

Analysts suggest that the fundraising campaign reflects Hezbollah’s finances being stretched by the conflict. It’s believed that Iran has reduced its financial support for the terror group out of disappointment that Hezbollah’s daily rocket attacks haven’t helped Hamas. At the same time, Hezbollah is also reportedly spending substantial amounts on housing and other assistance for 90,000 Southern Lebanese displaced from their homes by the fighting.

The campaign is somewhat reminiscent of an appeal Hezbollah made in 2019 while fighting in Syria. Hezbollah urged the Lebanese public to “adopt a fighter” by providing necessities such as clothing and gear. In another appeal during the fighting in Syria, the terror group called on the public to “purchase one bullet.”

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Around 60,000 Israelis living in northern communities were forced to evacuate in October when the Hezbollah terror organization began daily rocket and drone attacks. Leaders of the Iran-backed terror group have said they will continue the attacks to prevent Israelis from returning to their homes. Since October 7, the Hezbollah attacks have killed 22 Israelis and foreign nationals.

Israeli officials have been calling for Hezbollah to be disarmed and removed from Southern Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.