Rmeish: Palm Sunday and Tensions with Hezbollah

March 24th marked Palm Sunday, which is celebrated on the Sunday before Easter, marking the entry of Jesus to Jerusalem.

Despite the war, a large crowd of residents from the village of Rmeish in south Lebanon gathered at the village center and held a procession that included music and recitation of Christian prayers.

Celebrating this holy day in Rmeish caused a lot of arguments on social media. Maronite Lebanese, Christian, and Shi’ite argued over holding the procession on the backdrop of the ongoing war events.

Hezbollah supporters claimed that the joy of the residents of Rmeish and the celebration of the holy day is disrespectful towards the Lebanese killed and harms the empathy with the displaced residents of south Lebanon. Hezbollah supporters were somewhat sarcastic, writing “We thank Hezbollah for liberating Rmeish from the Zionist occupation in 2000 so that its residents could celebrate Palm Sunday with no one interrupting them”, using the hashtag #Thank you_Hezbollah.

Others used the known Hezbollah narrative, according to which everyone who does not support Hezbollah is considered a supporter and a collaborator with Israel. They also claimed the Christians think they are the chosen people, much like the Jews, and that they are struggling with the fact that they are not “influential” in Lebanon anymore.

On the other hand, the Christian residents of Rmeish claimed that they celebrated their holy day without fear of the Israeli bombings, unlike Hezbollah which wishes to celebrate the death of the people of south Lebanon and is actually celebrating a culture of death. Some wrote “Greetings, Rmeish, those who were disturbed by the scene are welcome to leave…We are steadfast and we practice our rituals as we believe and spread the culture of life.”

The tensions and rivalry between Hezbollah and the Christian residents of Rmeish are long-standing. Hezbollah is constantly trying to strengthen its military grip around the village and has encountered resistance from local residents.

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Tal Beeri

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