ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Hizbollah Dominance 3.6.05

Hizbollah Dominance

3 June 2005

By Yisrael Ne'eman

This week the second of four rounds in the Lebanese elections are taking place in the Shi'ite dominated south just across the border from Israel. Despite last week's abysmally low voter turnout in the Beirut area, the fact that anyone went to the polls is hailed by the West as a victory for democracy. Never mind that by Lebanese law there are 128 members of parliament with 50% of the seats saved for Christians (who make up maybe 30% of the electorate) while the other half is reserved for Moslems and Druze. Today the largest faction in Lebanon is the Shi'ites, estimated at some 40% of the total. Not only are the elections misrepresentative and non-democratic at best, but the Lebanese president must be a Maronite Catholic thereby forcing further resentment by Moslems and Shi'ites in particular.

The Shi'ites are best represented by the Islamic fundamentalist Hizbollah (Party of God) which is allowed to roam freely along Israel's northern border, an area devoid of all government authority. With no chance of gaining control in parliament, Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah knows power comes out of the end of a gun and he can be expected to claim victory in the south. Neither the Lebanese army nor police get in his way as Hizbollah is the only state sanctioned militia and self-declared "resistance" movement allowed to carry arms and threaten international confrontation.

Nasrallah rightly believes Shi'ites are underrepresented but instead of changing the parliamentary system he prefers to hold Lebanon and the Mideast hostage to threats of a major conflagration. Just this past week he admitted for the first time that his arsenal includes 12,000 rockets with ranges covering all of northern Israel. And if anyone thought he was only arguing over the Shaba farms border region he disabused them of that notion by stating, "All of the north of occupied Palestine, its settlements, airports, seaports, fields, factories and farms is under the feet and hands of the Islamic resistance". Hizbollah, like its Iranian patrons, is not looking for democratic redress, but rather are seeking destabilization in their struggle for an Islamic revolutionary victory. It is irrelevant whether one's party gains power of not, since terrorism, the threat of military force or military force itself are only tactics used to gain fundamentalist objective of an Islamic dominated world.

With Syria removed from Lebanon and Tehran threatening nuclear armament and the destruction of Israel, Hizbollah is playing its part by rallying the Shi'ite masses against both Israel and the US. The Hizbollah is clearly in violation of UN resolution 1559 (Sept. 2, 2004) which calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the extension of Lebanese government sovereignty throughout the land. Nasrallah is maneuvering towards the day when he opens fire. Believing he is following God's will, he does not need the stamp of approval from the Lebanese electorate to continue "the armed struggle" to "liberate Palestine from the Jews.

The question will be one of timing, with no regard for the supposed Lebanese democratic process. Outside considerations will power Nasrallah's decisions. Long term factors such as the development of a radical Shi'ite Iraq in unity with a revolutionary imperial Iran challenging the US and the West for Middle East hegemony could make him the point man to spark conflict.

But he does not need to wait that long. This summer Israel will be distracted by the Gaza and northern Samaria Disengagement and the constant terror threats posed by Hamas. Shelling the Galilee would remind everyone of Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon five years ago and secure the Hizbollah a place of honor next to the Hamas. Islamization will gain at the expense of the corrupt secular Arab leadership, including the Palestinian Authority led by Abu Mazen's (Mahmoud Abbas) Fatah. Call it one more step towards victory on both fronts.