Der Spiegel’s revelation of Hezbollah’s alleged involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri remains in the media spotlight.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has accused Israel of being behind the supposedly false report, but the journalist who wrote the report is standing behind it.

“Every single word is the truth,” said Erich Follath, the journalist who authored the report.

The article was published, probably not coincidently, just two weeks before the Lebanese parliamentary elections, which a Shiite-Christian bloc under Mr. Nasrallah’s leadership is now participating in. The high echelons in the movement fear an attempt to connect them to the assassination could affect the voter’s choice.

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Mr. Hariri, who was killed in a major explosion on Feb. 14, 2005, was popular among many sectors in the population, not just among Sunnis.

“This is an exceedingly dangerous article,” admitted Mr. Nasrallah in a speech aired earlier this week. “We regard it as an Israeli accusation.”

He added that the event that set off the Lebanese Civil War in April 1975 was no less severe.

The report in the German magazine detailed the role played by Hezbollah intelligence operatives in the operation and essentially exonerated the prime suspect to date – the Syrian leadership.

Mr. Follath says he based his report on documents from the U.N. tribunal established to investigate the Hariri assassination. He insists the documents are authentic and that he double-checked every fact before publishing his report.

“I am pleased with Hassan Nasrallah’s assault against me,” he told the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. “Today I am more confident than ever about the article.”

Israel fears Mr. Nasrallah’s bloc will strengthen and score a significant hold over Lebanon. As a result, Israel has expressed its concern over Vice President Joe Biden’s statement the U.S. government plans to give the Lebanese military equipment, including tanks and warplanes.

Media outlets in Lebanon have reported the equipment will be transferred regardless of the election’s outcome in order to strengthen the Lebanese military against hostile forces.

Senior officials in the security establishment said in recent days: “Every weapon making its way to Lebanon will make its way to Hezbollah when the time has come.”

Another Israeli security source said: “Hezbollah is the dominant military force. The American declaration is testimony of its lack of understanding of the events in Lebanon.”

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.