A satirical show on Lebanese
TV has managed to unite Hezbollah
with its political rivals in Lebanon's parliament.
The brief moment of harmony was the result of a segment on an MTV show, in which the heads of the chairman of Hezbollah's delegation to Parliament Mohammad Raad, and of Hezbolla's parliamentary enemy Bahia Hariri were photoshopped on two the bodies of figures that were provocatively dancing together.
Bahia is the sister of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005, and she serves as part of a parliamentary faction that opposes Hezbollah. The provocative skit showed the two rivals as participants in "Dancing with the Stars," though the segment did not elicit too many laughs in Lebanon.
In Sidon, the country's third-largest city, a central roadway was blocked and tires were burned in protest of the show's broadcast. Hariri filed a complaint to Lebanon's attorney general, Samir Hamoud, against the show's presenter.
A screenshot of the controversial skit
Hezbollah also joined the chorus of criticism on Thursday. A press release by the organization said the skit was "unacceptable. It appears that a few of the television channels have crossed all moral boundaries and broke the law in an attempt to transmit political messaging or to get higher ratings under the guise of entertainment.
The show's creators understood the magnitude of the political storm even before Hezbollah chimed in. The crew tweeted an apology to the Lebanese parliamentarian, saying they had no intention to hurt her.
A similar incident occurred last November after a segment broadcast on an LBC show, in which a participant imitated Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
– leading the organization's members to take their grievances to the street.
Despite this event, and in the shadow of the wave of terror sweeping over the country, public servants are attempting to build a new coalition to replace the interim administration which has ruled for more than two years.
Hezbollah's role in the new government has yet to crystallize, because of disagreements with the other Lebanese factions. Saudi media outlets quoted Lebanese officials Thursday that claimed that the president-elect is expected to announce a new government soon.