Hezbollah and other issues between Lebanon and Israel

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Anthropology ・MLA ・5 Sources

Hezbollah is an Arabic concept meaning to be the Party or group of God. Hezbollah could mean along with as a political party and an Islamic militant group in Lebanon. The group is well arranged with various wings functioning in various roles, both state and militarily. The Jihad Council is its paramilitary wing. Fidelity to the Resistance Block as a party is its political fraction that is working in the Parliament of Lebanon.

The historical beginning of this group can be linked from the period of the invasion of Israel on Lebanon. During this period, Israel was supporting a free Lebanon as a state. The South Lebanon often besieged with the South Lebanon Army was usurped by Israel in 1982. As a matter of fact, the army gave way for the Israeli because the military was a Christian militia and sharing in values with Israel. It is against this backdrop that the Hezbollah and its ideology were formed (Norton 23). The formation was with the sole objective of countering the influence of the invasion by Israel. There are sharp contradictions amongst scholars on when the name came into official use. Besides the debate, what is at the core is the fact that the organization is an amalgamation of Shia groups who were gradually assimilated into the group.

Hezbollah was receiving funding from Iran and was a concept conceived by Muslims (Norton 24). The war then was a religious one showcasing the Christian believers on the one hand and Muslims on the contrary. The Muslims, however, fine-tuned Hezbollah into something more than a religious movement. It was refurbished and rejuvenated with the contingency of the Revolutionary guards that had formed around it to further its objective. The Syrian government, which at the time occupied Lebanon, had given the nod to the reinforcement by the contingency of the guards who were about three thousand five hundred men.

By the year 1985, Hezbollah had a manifesto. Listed in the manifesto was the objective of the expulsion of the occupants of Lebanon at the time that included the French, Americans together with their allies. The manifesto was therefore an anti-colonialist and also provided for meting justice to people who had perpetrated crimes and violence against the Muslims at the time of occupation(Qassem 9). Additionally, the manifesto allowed freedom for the Lebanese inhabitants to choose their best form of government and at the same time encouraged the adoption of the Islamic government as the best form of government.

To ensure the expulsion of the inhabitants, Hezbollah started campaigns for physical evictions. Core among the campaigns was the guerilla movement. This was the campaign majorly used in South area of Lebanon (Kaplan 47). The intensity of the campaign grew gradually, and it gained momentum until Israel was forced to withdraw their invasion at around the year 2000. Consequently, the Christian-allied army that is South Lebanon Army surrendered and collapsed.

Hezbollah did not leave it at that. They went on and fought other forces from Serbia and Bosnia. The result was an exponential growth in the size of the Hezbollah army. Between 1985 and 1988, the organization was preoccupied with the Lebanese Civil War. During the war, it utilized the conventional tactics of modern weaponry such as the missiles, suicide bombings, assassinations, and rockets (Sharp 57). At the end of the war, Syria technically defied the Taif agreement for the disbandment of illegal militia. This way, Hezbollah was allowed to maintain their weapons. More focus was along the border with Israel in Lebanon. It is now considered to be more potent than the state army itself. Other writers and commentators have regularly referred to it as a state within a state.

The growth has also been infrastructural. The Hezbollah army has grown to have recognized seats in Lebanese Government. This took place in 1990’s as a show of a paradigm shift to political processes. The organization has also grown to the point of owning a satellite Station for Television airing different radio and social services. The belligerence of the group is supported by the fact that Hezbollah has been part of an alliance called March 8 Alliance that is in opposition to the March 14 Alliance.

Regarding support, there is a dualism in support and diversification of activities. The political support regularly arose from Syria. On the other hand, the paramilitary wing received support from Iran in the forms of supply of sophisticated weapons, military training as well as financial aid. As a consequence of the preceding, by 1997, Hezbollah was able to coalesce around own professional Brigades used to fight the occupation by Israel and launching of a secular resistance (Sharp 43).

This position of being a state within a state persisted between 2006 and 2008. In 2008, a unity government was created in Lebanon and Hezbollah was able to obtain slightly over a third of the seats in the cabinet. As a result, the eleven members of Hezbollah have then a veto power (Sankari 30). As a consequence of this, Cabinet moved quickly to appreciate the development and please the persons with the veto powers. This was achieved through the cabinet’s approval of a policy paper that recognized the existence of Hezbollah. The policy documents further entrenched the right of the members of the organizations itself determination where they could liberate the inhabitants by recovering the lands that had earlier been occupied.

Later in 2012, the group has been active in ensuring that the Syrian government can fight against the Syrian opposition by helping in training of fighters and local forces. From the above discussion, it is evident that Hezbollah operates as a terrorist group, resistance movement or a combination of any two of the terms. However, the status has been upheld as one that is raising a lot of controversies (Kaplan 17). While the European Union takes the position that the paramilitary wing is illegal, other countries like Greece hold the view that Hezbollah is a legal organization with the social and political capacities. However, others like China have been neutral in the debate.

The above outline on the rise and movement of Hezbollah evidences two significant wars between Lebanon and Israel. The battles took place in 1982 and 2006 of the Israel invasion. However, apart from the wars, it is noteworthy that there are certain conflicts between Israel and Lebanon.

One such other conflict has been the maritime dispute. The dispute is because of the natural resources and the potential of oil which remained untapped in the eastern part of the Mediterranean that expands to an estimated area of 800 square kilometers. This is the latest dispute to play itself in 2017. The plans by the Lebanese government to extract the resources to boost the economy of Lebanon has been faced with conflicting claims, now from Israel, that the maritime area is an Israeli territory and that it ought to be properly considered as under Israel jurisdiction (Kaplan 15). From the perspective of the Lebanese government, the said conflicting claims are tantamount to an attack on the sovereignty of Lebanon. This is because, according to them, the territory is in its Exclusive Economic Zone thus entitling them to special rights over exploration and use. Another source of disquiet between the two countries has been the border disputes. There exist certain overlaps in the boundaries in various areas where Israel border Lebanon. These are dry land borders. Consequently, there have been witnessed diplomatic wars and incessant quarrels between the two countries(Sharp 113).

Thirdly, there are political conflicts and tensions between the two nations. This is because of the leadership embraced by the two countries. The Lebanese have to be convinced that normalizing is necessary for acquisition of any profit to be forthcoming. The belief of resistance propagated by the Lebanese is contrary to the Christian beliefs by Israel and by extension a score of other countries who want to maintain the status quo on the current forms of the governments (Norton 25). It is very evident in the mode of operation of the Lebanese government as they cannot maintain the neutrality required.

In conclusion, it is clear that the conflicts between Lebanon and Israel are dominated by other parties and alliances that are self-seeking. The conflicts transcend from the past two Lebanese wars and still cover other new areas of disagreements. This arises from the fact that the two countries have refused to sign the ceasefire agreements in good faith. As a result, the relationships between the two countries are expected to deteriorate.

Works Cited

Kaplan, Ebel. "Profile: Hassan Nasrallah." Council on Foreigh Relations 11 August 2010.

Norton, Augustus Richards. Hezbollah: A Short Story. Priceton University Press, 2007.

Qassem, Naim. Hizbullah: The Story from Within. Saqi Books, 2005.

Sankari, Jamal. Fadlallah: The making of a Radical Shiite Leader. Saqi Books, 2005.

Sharp, Jeremy. "Lebanon: Israel-Hamas-Hezbollah Conflict ." 2006.

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