[1]Norton (1987), p. 13.

[2]Interview in Middle East Insight, p. 38, May-August 1996.

[3]True, it might be questioned whether a label as "civil war" is accurate concerning the Lebanese experience as many of its contributing factors to a large extent depend upon foreign actors. However, as the "civil war" label in the literature seems to be rather commonly accepted, I will here use it in order to distinguish this it from the - still on-going - war in the Lebanese south. That, however, does not mean that the two phenomena are isolated from each other.

[4]Friedman (1989) p. 99.

[5] The census, appreciated by the French authorities in 1932, stated that the Christian Maronites constituted 30 per cent of the Lebanese population, the Greek Orthodox 10 per cent, the Sunni Muslims 21 per cent, the Shia Muslims 18 per cent, the Druze 6,5 per cent. In total the Christian communities together constituted 52 per cent and the Muslim communities 45, 5 per cent. Deegan (1993), p. 105. From B. M. Borthwick, Comperative Politics of the Middle East (New jersey, 1980).

[6]Faris (1993) p. 17-29.

[7]Signifying for this policy is the event in 1968 when Israeli commandos blew up 13 civilian aircrafts on Beirut airport as a response to a hijack of an Israeli civilian aircraft in Athens by Palestinian gunmen. The Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan rationalized the raid by declaring that if the "Government of Lebanon allows the [PLO branch] Fatah to train on its territory they must be punished". Yaniv (1987) p. 41. From Dayan, Avnei Derekh (Jerusalem: Yediot Ahronot, 1976) p. 544-45.

[8]Brynen (1993) p. 84.

[9]Hiro (1993) p. 11.

[10]Hanf (1993) p. 166.

[11]Ajami (1986) p. 16.

[12]The Lebanese election process, Richard Norton notes, was a game of give and take, in which the population traded their "acquescient political loyality against the social favors which the zu'ama dispersed much in style of Chicago ward bosses, but perhaps with more asperity". Norton (1987) p. 17.

[13]See for example Sbaiti (1993) p. 164-165.

[14]This demographical transformation was due to higher birth rates among the Muslim communities and a high degree of emigration among the Christian communities. See Abu Hamad (1995) p. 239.

[15]The traditional Muslim leaders had a hard time countering the new radical Muslim forces as the political environment became more hostile and violent, "partly because of their ambivalent attitude but mostly because of their inability to create their own militias". Rabinovich (1983) p. 75.

[16]"While the conflict was largely attributed by political and economic differences", Aziz Abu-Hamad argues, "the communal divide was widening. The leftist alliance relied on Muslim political influence and PLO military power, while the government relied on Maronite political power and militias". Abu Hamad (1995) p. 240.

[17]Rabinovich (1983). p. 57.

[18]See for example Abukhalil (1993)

[19]Indeed, the agreement was never written down and its essence highly controversial and subject for many interpretations. The Israeli prime minister at the time, Yitchak Rabin, said that "any interpretation of the tacit understanding [with Syria] is correct". See Randall (1989) p. 195.

[20]Yaniv (1987) p. 39-40. In addition, Ahmad Beydon, a Professor of Sociology at the Lebanese University of Beirut who grew up in the south during this period of time, asserts that the Israelis "carried out operations with no other purpose than to terrorize the civilian population and make them understand the price of tolerating the Palestinian presence". Beydon (1992) p. 39.

[21]Those soldier was fertile ground for Israel and Major Haddad, Richard Norton argues, as among them, hatred of "the PLO, and hatred of the Lebanese Muslims, who were viewed as PLO supporters, was widely expressed, so Israel seemed a natural ally". Norton (1993) p. 64.

[22]Beydon (1992) p. 41.

[23]Peres (1994) p. 225.

[24]Norton (1993) p. 65.

[25]For the written statement of the whole Resolution 425, see Hiro (1993) p. 228.


[27]See for example Norton (1993) p. 65-67.

[28]Hanf (1993) p. 562.

[29]For Israeli aims with 1982 invasion, see for example Rabinovich, (1983), p. 122. In addition, the Israeli scholar Yair Evron argues that the this plan was a part of a greater vision of the Israeli administration which envisaged that a pro-Israeli governent in Beirut would open up the possibility for an "Axis-Pact" in the Middle East with a Cairo-Jerusalem-Beirut connection, in which Israel would have a leading role. Evron (1989) p. 115-116.

[30]At the eve of the 1982 invasion, the Maronite leader,Bashir Gemayel, more or less headed the Christian community within Lebanon. Firstly, because the "sectarian character of the war" made the other minor Christian communities "to accept the hegemony of the Maronites and their militias as the effective protectors of a larger Christian community". Rabinovich (1983) p. 58. And secondly because Bashir Geamyel himself and his well-armed militia, the Lebanese forces, had out manouvered all other Maronite militias in a violent and merciless campaign, killing and neutralizing those challenging his power.

[31]For the fate of Bashir Gemayel and his cooperation with Israel, see for example Randall (1983) or Shiff and Ya'ari (1983).

[32]For an eyewitness report and comprehensive analyse of the massacres, see Fisk, (1991), p. 357-400, or, Schiff and Ya'ari (1983), p. 250-285.No exact number of death tolls have been established due to the turmoil under which those killings were conducted. Howere, estimations varies from 500 up to 2000.

[33]Ibid. According to Israeli sources, the driving motive behind the decision to let the Christian militia enter Sabra and Chatila was that the Israelis figured that 2000 PLO guerillas still remained entrenched in the camps. See Rabinovich (1983), p. 144-145.

[34]Beydon (1992) p. 48.

[35]Beydon (1992) p. 47.

[36]See for example, Olmert (1987) p. 189-201.

[37]Charif (1993) p. 151-152.

[38]Norton(1987) p. 17-18. Norton uses statistics from Hasan Sharif, "South Lebanon: Its History and Geopolitics," in South Lebanon, ed. Elaine Hagopian and Samih Farsoun, p 10-11.

[39]See for example Norton (1987) p. 13-59

[40]Picard (1993) p. 7.

[41]Norton (1987) p. 19.

[42]Picard (1993) p. 7-8. In addition, Itamar Rabinovich notes, that the traditional elites at the power were to busy "preserving or achieving influence and position" that they failed to "read the writings on the wall" and understand "the qualitative change that had taken place in Lebanese politics". Rabinovich (1983) p. 40.

[43]Olmert (1987) p. 196.


[45]Picard (1993) p. 7

[46]Norton (1987), p. 26


[48]Norton (1987), p. 40

[49]Ajami (1986) p. 22.


[51]See for example Sachedina (1991) p. 433-434,

[52]Lewis (1987) p. 23.

[53]Sachedina (1991) p. 432-433,

[54]Lewis (1987) p. 30.


[56]See also Esposito (1994) p. 45-47.

[57]A colourful description of the events at Kerbala is to find in Ajami (1986) p. 138-142.

[58]Ibid., p. 141

[59]Ajami (1986) p. 142.

[60]Ibid., p. 144

[61]Ibid., p. 143, quoted from Al Hayat, February 1, 1974. The term Ashura means the tenth day of the month of Muharram; the date of Hussein's death at Kerbala. For pious Shiites, it is a holy-day of profound worship.

[62]In Arabic, Amal means "hope". As a movement in Lebanon, it also was the acronym for the Arabic words meaning the Units of the Lebanese Resistance.

[63] See Ajami (1986) p. 136-137.

[64]Norton (1987) p. 42. Joseph Olmert argues that the "very appearance of [Sayyed Musa] Sadr in the political arena was tantamount to an indictment of the zu'ama for not having done much, if anything at all, to improve the lot of their people." Olmert (1987) p. 198.

[65] See Norton (1987) p. 43.

[66]Ibid. Qouted from Pakradouni, Karim, La paix manquée, p. 106, (Beirut: Editions FMA, 1983). At a later occasion, Sayyed Musa declared that firing from Lebanese soil against Israel is "totally impermissible" and that this "also means that Lebanon is in a state of war with Israel. Who is opening fire? This is not important. The gist of the matter is that the Lebanese territory became a base for launching missiles and grenades". Norton (1987) p. 43. Quoted from al-Dustur (London) June 26-July 2, 1978.

[67]Although several theories have developed in order to explain Sayed Musa's disapperance, I feel obliged to delimit myself from discussing this issue all due to the scope of this essay. For an overview of the matter, see for example, Norton (1987) p. 52-56; Ajami (1986) p. 182-188.

[68]"Men needed saints", Fouad Ajami writes, "and in Sayyed Musa they found the elements out of which militant sainthood could be constructed. His aura hovered over the ruined world of the Shia in Lebanon, and its politics became, in many ways, a fight over the realm of a vanished Imam". Ajami (1986) p.199.

[69]Norton,(1987) p. 58. See also Norton (1990) p. 122

[70]Norton (1987) p. 49-50

[71]Ibid. In addtion, Norton cites the Israeli chief of staff, General Rafael Eytan, who declared Israel's guiding policy in Lebanon: "We will continue to take action where we want, when we want and how we want. Our own self-interest is supreme and will guide us in our actions not to allow terrorists...to return to the border fence". Ibid., p. 50. Qouted from Jerusalem Post, March 25 1981.

[72]See for example Norton (1987) p. 209-210,

[73]Hanf (1993) p. 244-245, n. 111, Tajarib (Trials) (Beirut 1980), quoted from Chibli Mallat, Shi'i Thought from the South of Lebanon (Oxford, 1988), p. 21.

[74]For an overview of this change in leadership, see Norton (1987) p. 214-216,

[75]Richard Norton means that Amal condemned the confessionalist structures, but when down to reality, the movement "seemed to be happy to keep the same pie as long as it was cut a larger slice". See Norton (1990) p.120.

[76]See Norton (1987) p. 73-75. With respect to the question of an Islamic Republic in Lebanon, Nabih Berri stated that "the Shi'is cannot and do not wish to impose that kind of regime, nor would the other Muslims follow us in that adventure". See Bailey (1987) p. 227. Quoted from El Pais, Feb. 1, 1984.

[77]Ibid. p. 75. From an interview with Nabih Berri in Monday Morning, February 1-7 1982.

[78]See Deeb (1988) p. 683-698.

[79]See Norton (1987) p. 68.

[80]Aziz Abu-Hamad, associate director of Human Rights Watch/Middle East, means that the Israeli invasion of 1982 resulted in the death of 20000, mostly civilians. Only in Beirut, officials reported that 5000 civilians were killed by the Israeli bombardments during the 52-day siege. Abu-Hamad adds however, that those numbers are not "universally accepted" - the Israelis themselves, for expample, have "contested their accuracy". See Abu-Hamad (1995) p. 242.

[81]On his discussion of this issue, see Friedman (1989) p. 191-194.

[82] Friedman means that Amin Gemayel recognized the support he had from the United States, leading him to follow a "tribal logic", saying "When I am weak, how can I compromise? When I am strong, why should I compromise?" Ibd., p. 194-197. Clinton Bailey argues that Amin Gemayel tried to meet the Muslim community in order to reach a consensus. But instead of cooping with Nabih Berri and his powerful Amal movement, who in the beginning supported Amin's presidency, Gemayel turned to the old traditional leaders within the zu'ama who were uninterested in reforms and over all more easy to deal with. See Bailey (1987) p. 221-223,

[83]See Norton (1993) p. 68.


[85]Fisk (1991) p. 396.

[86]Beydon (1992) p. 47,

[87]Norton (1987) p. 86.

[88]Ibid., p. 109. An Amal prominent, Muhamad al Ghazala stated in the end of 1983: "Israel has slogans...that she only wants the Palestinians out of south Lebanon. But history tells us she wants to take south Lebanon and the waters of the Litani River". Yaniv,(1987) p. 241. Quoted from New York Times, 7 December 1983.

[89]See Bailey (1987) p. 230-234,

[90]Ibid., p. 233.

[91]Yaniv (1987) p. 234.

[92]Ibid., p. 241. Quoted from Jerusalem Post, 29th August 1983

[93]Moshe Arens, an Israeli arabist, was once told by a Lebanese friend: "Do not join those who murdered Husain, because if you bring the Shi'is to identify you with the history of [their] suffering, the enmity that will be directed at you will have no bounds and no limits. You will have created for yourselves a foe whose hostility will have a mystical nature and a momentum which you will be unable to arrest". Norton (1987) p. 113. From Jerusalem Post, 15th February 1985.

[94]See Ajami (1986) p. 202. Quoted from An-Nahar, October 18 1983. In a private publication delivered during a sermon 27th October 1983, Sheikh Sams al Din stated that Israel had entered Lebanon under the pretext of security but that "Lebanon's identity would be erased" and "that its waters and economy would be exploited". Ibid., p. 201.

[95]Friedman (1989), p. 180.

[96]Fisk (1991) p. 551.

[97]See for example Hanf (1993) p. 286-288.

[98]Bailey (1987) p. 221-223,

[99]When called to Damascus to oppose the 17th May agreement, Nabih Berri refused. According to a southern Amal leader Da'ud Da'ud, Berri claimed: "We are not prepared to oppose our government's move from Damascus. Whoever wants to oppose it should go to Beirut." See Bailey (1987) p. 234, n.. 14. From Al-Nahar, May 30, 1983.

[100]The American President, Ronald Reagan, explained that "once the terrorist attacks started, there was no way that we could really contribute to the original mission by staying there as a target." See Fisk (1991) p. 534.

[101]See Yaniv (1987) p. 282-286. At time for withdrawal, one Israeli officer in the field commented: "This has become an all-out war...and we have to protect ourselves. The argument that we will only create more enemies is irrelevant; there are no more enemies to make here." Ibid., p. 281. From Jerusalem Post, 21 February 1985.

[102]Both Richard Norton and Ahmad Beydon remarks that the new Israeli "security-zone" differed from the former, due to its more offensively strategically values. It was larger than the former and contained a "corridor" up nort to the Bekaa Valley where SLA was deployed. This zone is still the current (in May 1997). See Norton (1993) p. 61-79; Beydon (1992) p. 35-53,

[103]Pierre Yazbak, Head of the Lebanese Forces office in Jerusalem (which was closed down), commented the issue: "We have no option but to reach an understanding with Syria. Our strategy now is simply survival. Anything else would be sheer suicde." See Norton (1987) p. 131. From Middle East International, September 1985.

[104]See Hanf (1993) p. 293.

[105]The Israeli Minister of Defense at the time, Yitchak Rabin, commented the situation: "Shi'ite terrorism carries with it a much greater danger...than PLO terrorism. If as a result of the war we will have succeded in eliminating to a large extent the PLO terrorists, but will have brought about Shi'ite terrorism, one would have to think twice about what really proved to be the results of this war." See Yaniv (1987) p. 281. From Jerusalem Post, 3 February 1985.

[106]See AbuKhalil (1991) p. 390-403.

[107]This connection is important to note. Regarding the establishment of an Islamic movement in a foreign country (comparing Lebanon to other more authoritarian Arab regimes), Iran's ambassador in Lebanon, Hojjat al-Islam Fakhr Rouhani once noted: "The biggest obstacle to starting an Islamic movements in the world is the people's attachments to governments...but since the republic of Lebanon does not have much power, there is no serious obstacle in the way of the people of Lebanon." One such obstacle might have been the Syrians, but Damascus quest for an ally eliminated that. See Kramer (1993) p. 542. Quote from Ettela'at (Teheran) 9 January 1984.

[108]See for example Norton (1987) p. 88.

[109]See Fisk (1991) p. 520. Robert Fisk also notes that the American Embassy - at least initially - blamed Nabih Berri for being behind the attacks. Berri himself however "vigorously denied" this, asserting he "had offered his condolences over the 'massacre' to an unnamed American diplomat". Ibid.

[110]See Shapira(1988) p.115-118.

[111]See Kramer (1993) p. 543.

[112]See Shapira (1988) p. 115-118. In addition, As'ad Abykhalil mentions that Shaykh Fadlallah once told him in an interview that he never liked or trusted Sayyed Musa "because he was promoted as a 'star by the Christians'". In a Christian dominated system that was enough to raise suspicions. AbuKhalil (1991) p. 391.

[113]Ibid., p. 392.

[114]See Shapira (1988) p. 123-125.

[115]See interview with Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah, Middle East Insight, p. 38, May-August 1996

[116]Shapira (1988) p. 125.

[117]Interview with Nasrallah in Middle East Insight, p. 38-39, May-August 1996.

[118]The whole text in English can be found in Norton (1987) p. 167-187.

[119]Ibid., p. 172.

[120]Ibid., p. 170-171.

[121]Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah explains that in this early phase of isolation the movement welcomed the support offered by Syria and Iran: "Naturally, we asked for assistance. From any party. And the duty of the people was to help. From then on the relations begun with Syria and Iran; others were not as responsive for many of them thought what was going on in Lebanon did not concern them". Also mentioning the futility in relaying on the international community, he states: "It was clear for us that the bet on diplomatic attempts, the begging of the Great Powers, would lead to naught. If that would to lead to something, Palestine would not have been ocuppied for 48 years." See interview in Middle East Insight, p. 38-39, May-August 1996

[122]Norton (1987) p. 179.


[124]Ibid., p. 175.

[125]Deeb (1988) p. 694-697,

[126]Norton (1987) p. 178-179

[127]Ibid., p. 178.

[128]Due to political geography however, Hizballah regarded any confrontation with the USSR of subordinate importance: "In Lebanon and in the Palestine area, we are mainly concerned with confronting America because it is the party with the greatest influence among the countries of world arrogance, and also with confronting Israel, the ulcerous growth of world Zionism." Ibid., p. 178-179.

[129]Ibid. p. 168-169.

[130]See Deeb (1988) p. 694. Quoted from Al-Ahd (Hizballah's own weekly magazine) 57, 25 July 1985.

[131]Ibid., p. 695.

[132]Zonis & Brumberg (1987) p. 57, Quoted from FBIS, May 24, 1983.

[133]Deed (1988) p. 696. Khomeini's words, quoted from Al-Ahd, 64, 12 September 1985.

[134]Zonis &Brumberg (1987) p. 58-59,

[135]For an overview of Iran's strategy of extending its revolution across borders see Ramazani (1990).

[136] See Shapira (1988).

[137]Kramer (1989) p. 28. Quoted from Al-Ahd, February 12, 1988.

[138]Ibid. Quoted from Al-Ahd, May 2, 1988.

[139]The former secretary-general of Hizballah, Shaykh Subhi al-Tufayli, stated: "We realize that any political entity in the region must be under the Israeli umbrella in order to be allowed to exist. Hence, we do not think of any gains before the liberation of Palestine". Ibid., p. 33. Quoted from al-Nahar al-arabi wal-duwali, February 9-15, 1987.

[140]One of Hizballah's leaders, Ibrahim al-Amin, declared: "We in Lebanon do not consider ourselves as separate from the revolution in Iran, especially on the question of Jerusalem. We consider ourselves, and pray to God that we will become, part of the army which the Imam wishes to create in order to liberate Jeruslam. We obey his orders because we do not believe in geography but in change". Ibid., p. 26. Quoted from al-Harakat al-Islamiyya fi Lubnan, p. 150-151.

[141]Norton (1987) p. 180.

[142]Those regimes are in the view of Hizballah only satellites for imperialistic interests who "are falling over themselves for reconciliation with the Zionist entity", implementing "the policies set for them by the White House circles to smuggle their countries wealth and divide it among the imperialists by various means.". Norton (1987) p. 182.

[143]Ibid., p. 183.

[144]Kramer (1989) p. 30. Quoted from al-Harakat al-Islamiyya fi Lubnan, p. 162. For a more comrehensive discussion on this topic, see ibid. p. 29-35.

[145]Norton (1987) p. 175.

[146]See Kramer (1987) p. 2. Quoted from La reveu du Liban (Beirut), July 27, 1985.

[147]Norton (1987) p. 185. As'ad AbuKhalil remarks that in "numerous interviews with party leaders and members" he has been told that Hussein al-Musawi, the founder of Islamic Amal, "probably" is the only non-clerical member of the Shura Council. He adds however that the "obsession of security" within the organization eliminates any attempt to verificate the matter. AbuKhlalil (1990) p. 402 n. 18.

[148]Ibid., p. 394. According to AbuKhalil, Hizballah has adapted its form of organization - the strict hierarchial order headed by the politburo - from Leninist principles. He compares also the "counsciousness of unification" with the Marxist theory of class consciousness. Hizballah themselves, however, reject any discourse of class struggle within society as well as they - on the whole - reject any connection to theories of Marx or Lenin. Ibid.

[149]Kramer (1989) p. 6. My own emphasis added.

[150] Hizballah Politburo member Youssef Merhi told me that this issue is "similar to the function of political parties in the west: you choose the marja you percieve is the most right and most wise. If not satisfied, you can always change to another one." Interview in Beirut 20 May 1996.

[151]Interview with Hajj Yuossef Merhi , Beirut, 20 May 1996, and Abdallah Mortada, Beirut, 6 June 1996.

[152]Martin Kramer remarks how Ayatollah Khomeini showed slight interest in what was going on in Lebanon. Thus, having given his general guidelines, Hizballah had large room of manouvering when interpreting what those guidelines actually implied. See Kramer (1989) p. 12.

[153]Shapira (1988), p. 149.

[154]Norton (1990) p. 124.

[155]"On the scale of human distress," Martin Kramer notes, "Lebanon's Shi'ites could not be surpassed by Shi'ites elsewhere, and their hopelessness made them the most receptive of all Shi'ites to the siren calls that issued from Iran". Kramer (1993) p. 542.

[156]Regarding wether Hizballah would stop its military resistance against Israel if withdraw al from the south of Lebanon, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah commented: "We must drive Israel from our country, not in order to stop the battle when we reach the border, but to continue the battle to Jerusalem". Kramer (1989) p. 56. Quoted from Al-Ahd, February 12, 1988. The promninent Shiite authority, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah has said: "[Hizballah's] strategy is a strategy of jihad that insists the presence of Israel in Palestine is illegal...as for Amal, it may consider the liberation of the south [of Lebanon] as its sole task." Esposito (1992) p. 150.

[157]Interview in Beirut, 6 June, 1996.

[158]Interview in Beirut, 20 May, 1996.

[159]See interview with Nasrallah in Middle East Insight, p. 40, May-August 1996.

[160]Hussein Musawi stated that he and his followers had given Islamic Jihad "political and moral support so that it would not look as if their actions were of a criminal nature. In this sense, if it had not been for our propaganda, their actions would have been condemned by the public as criminal acts." Kramer (1987) p. 5. Quoted from Kayhan (Tehran) August 20, 1986.

[161]Ibid., p. 11.

[162]Ibid., p. 12. Quoted from Kayhan (Tehran) August 20, 1986.

[163]Zonis & Brumberg (1987) p. 55. Quoted from FBIS, Dec. 8, 1983. This view was likewise expressed to me by Dr. Abdallah Mortada who - according to the Hamas suicide bombings against civilian buses in Israel - stated that: "The judgement to be given this case should not be given according to the results. We need to look for the reason that made this Palestinian killing himself, for a cause in which he feels he is a victim of injustice." Interview 6 June 1996. (My own emphasis added).

[164]Interview with Fadlallah, Middle East Insight, p. 18-19, June-July 1985. The relation between Sheikh Fadlallah and Hizballah as a movement is a heavily debated. Most Western scholars label him as a spiritual mentor of Hizballah, although not a part of the formal organisation structures. Sheikh Fadlallah himself firmly denies any formal part in the movement, but he assures, on the other hand, that he supports all Islamic movements. When comparing Hizballah's view of the difference between Sheikh Fadlallah and Sayyed Musa, Hajj Youssef Merhi described Fadlallah as being a "philosopher" and Sayyed Musa as a "teacher of philosophy". Merhi said that Fadlallah can well be regarded as a marja, although within Hizballah he does not give any formal directives (interview in Beirut, 20 May 1996). Anyway, as Hizballah show him deep respect, and as they both affiliates with the Islamic resistance I will here use Fadlallah's views on how the resistance in Lebanon percieves their situation. Those perceptions, I believe, are most likely also the overhelming perception within Hizballah.

[165]See Fisk (1991) p. 653. In addition, when questioned if he ever feared to be assasinated (like his predessor, Sheikh Abbas Musawi) secretary-general Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah answered: "He who takes this decision [to fight Israel] is ready for anything. I will be very happy when I get to the world without Clinton or Peres, with no atrocities, where no children are killed. That is why I am not worried". Time, p. 27, May 13 1996.

[166]See Kramer (1987) p. 13.

[167]See Ajami (1986) p. 217. Quoted from Fadlallah's book Al Islam wa Mantaq al Quwa (Islam and the logic of Force) 3d. ed. (Beirut, 1985).

[168]From al-Maokif (The Standpoints) May 1996.

[169]From Ha'aretz, Dec. 15, 1996. (IIS News Analysis analysis@ISRAEL-INFO.GOV.IL)

[170]Dr. Abdallah Mortada asserted that the movement had nothing to do with any hostage-taking during the eighties. He added although that the anarchy of the situation during that time unleashed a various spectra os foreign intelligence services in the country, and he underlined that it was impossible for Hizballah to control all the "cells" working and abducting foreigners in the name of Islam and resistance. Conversation 20 May 1996. However, my aim is not to penetrate this issue. (For a study of it, see Ranstorp (1997)). But although the movement for a long time was tangled up in the matter and as it indeed, in many ways, justified this course of actions, I will discuss its view on it.

[171]See interview with Nasrallah in Middle East Insight, p. 40, May-Aug 1996. In keeping hostages, the kidnappers held a strong weapon as they could threaten to kill them if anything happened their own members prisoned in Israel and the West. As well, the hostages were of great value in bargaining affairs. Magnus Ranstorp argues that Hizballah held hostages in order to defend themselves against any reprisisal raids by mainly the U.S. and Israel. See Ranstorp (1997) p. 144-146.

[172]Ibid., p. 40-41. During the hostage-crisis, a similar view was expressed by a member of the Islamic Jihad to the Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, who conceded that "[taking] innocent people as hostage is wrong" but there was "no other option". He regarded it as "reaction to a situation that had been imposed" upon them, and refered to the "5,000 Lebanese civilians in the south of Lebanon" which had been abducted by Israel - "not even to mention the invasion itself and the killing of many people". See Fisk (1990) p. 655.

[173]See interview with Fadlallah, Journal of Palestinian Studies, p. 65-66, Autumn 1995.

[174]See Fadlallah (1988).


[176]"Amal does not want to undertake operations inside Israel", an Amal local commander stated. "We are against rocket attacks. We only want this area to be peaceful". Norton (1987) p. 208 n. 36. Quoted in New York Times, p. May 9, 1985. In order to save the southerners from any Israeli retaliations, another Amal leader, Dawud Sulamain Dawud, branded the use of Katuyscha rockets and any attacks against the Israelis from the "liberated area": "I told my men to go into the occupied areas and meet the Israelis face-to-face and shoot them with pistols. It is much more effective than firing rockets from outside." Ibid. p. 121. Quoted from Associated press dispatch in Daily-News Record (Harrison-burg, Va.), July 5, 1985.

[177]For a comprehensive analyse, see Norton (1990).

[178]Ahmad Beydon asserts that the large part of the local population "identified" with Amal - Hizballah being "isolated on the popular level". Hizballah's ideology and line of behaviour, he argues, "differed to sharply from anything corresponding to a collective aspiration". Ahmad Beydon (1992) p. 47.

[179]France was described by Hizballah as one of its basic enemies in Lebanon during the eighties. On one hand because of its histarical role as a colonial power and supporter of the Maronites, and on the other because of its participation in MNF and UNIFIL. See Kramer (1989) p. 61-65.

[180]Richard Norton argues that Hizballah firmly established itself as a political force in Lebanon during this period of time, except for the south where Amal in 1988 "eliminated [Hizballah] as an organized military presence...". See Norton (1990) p. 124.

[181]Magnus Ranstorp means that this in part signs the independancy of Hizballah from Iran - Teheran also admitted that it had a hard time maintaining control over the movement. Ranstorp (1997) p. 124-125.

182For the whole text, see Hiro (1993) p. 231-241.

[183]In the accord it is explicitly pronounced that neither of the countries will become a "passage or base for any force, state or organization seeking to undermine" each of the two state's security. "This is the concept", it says, "on which co-ordination and co-operation between the two countries is founded, and which will be embodied into the agreements between them in all fields to the mutual beneft of both fraternal countries and within the framework of the sovereignity and independence of each of them". Hiro (1993) p. 240.

[184]For a discussion over the accord see Maila (1993); Norton (1991).

[185]See Picard (1993) p. 38; Faris (1993) p. 27-28.

[186]For an overview of how Aoun turned the Christian camp against him and made himself enemies, see Fisk, (1991) p. 638-644. Richard Norton remarks that to the Shia, Sunni and the Druze, Aoun "was seen as a transparent effort to preserve Maronite privilige." Norton (1991) p. 460.

[187]Picard (1993) p. 39.

[188]Faris (1993) p. 27-28.

[189]Norton points out that this government undeniably had a "pro-Syrian aura", and also underlines that it constituted of former militia heads, following a theory that this would make them "willing to exchange paramilitary authority for a role in politics." Norton (1991) p. 267. Jim Muir suggested that the appointed president, prime minister and speaker of parliament all came from Syrian controlled areas" and that they were "keenly aware of Syrian interests". Of the whole cabinet, he continues, were about "90 per cent pro-Syrian". See Middle East International, 31 May 1991.

[190]"We will not hand over our arms the government as long as Israel remains in the south", Hizballah secretary-general, Sheikh Abbas Musawi, stated. "Our guns are a red line which cannot be crossed". Middle East International, 26 July 1991. Furthermore, Aziz Abu-Hamad remarks that many other militias neither were disarmed. Due to "ample time" to hide away their arms, some were taken into the Israeli "security-zone", others into sectarian held areas, and some were sold on the black market. See Abu-Hamad, (1995) p. 248.

[191]See Norton (1990) p. 471-472; Hanf (1993) p. 623. Dilip Hiro remarks that in return for continuing resistance, Hizballah handed over a document of names on 3500 of its fighters to the Lebanese government. He moreover argues that the government was split and that several "of the ministers approved the strategy of guerilla pressure against Israel until its unconditional withdrawal from south Lebanon". Hiro (1993) p. 196.

[192]Picard (1993) p. 39-40.

[193]Ibid. In addition, the associate director of Human Rights Watch/Middle East, Aziz Abu-Hamad, remarks that although the Ta'if Accord ended the civil war, "human rights violations continue, undermining the civil society that has barely emerged". See Abu-Hamad (1995) p. 248.

[194]Aziz Abu-Hamad remarks that the accord's "promise to reconsider the confessional basis of the political system appears to have been forgotten" and "most indications are that it is not expected to be raised in the near future" (noted in the summer of 1995). See Abu-Hamad (1995) p. 250.

[195]For the whole text in English of the treaty, see Hiro (1993) p. 241-245.

[196]As Theodor Hanf points out, after Syria had fulfilled its undertaking of disarming the militias "without reservation or hesitation", it was high time for the Lebanese government "to fulfil a Lebanese undertaking without reservation or hesitation: the treaty with Syria". See Hanf (1993) p. 617.

[197]The Higher Council meets once a year and consists of the presidents, prime ministers of the two countries and their respective their deputies and the speakers of parliament. The Follow-up and Coordination Committe comprises the prime ministers and the appropriate ministers with the respect to the agenda. It meets twice a year. In addition, there are various ministerial committes which are to meet bi-monthly.

[198]See Hanf (1993) p. 618. The Lebanese observer, Khairallah Khairallah, concluded that the treaty was signed by Lebanon "under pressure", and if the Lebanese had been able to decide the matter themselves "few would have approved". Not because the Lebanese are anti-Syrian, he asserts, but because the treaty has been "forced" upon them: "Syria is giving them a choice between the treaty and the resumption of the piracy practised by the militias in most of the country since 1975". Middle East International 31 May 1991. Translated to English from al-Hayat, 22 May 1991.

[199]See Harris (1997) p. 292-293. Harris remarks that this pact was approved of by the Lebanese government before the ministers even had seen the text of it. Ibid.

[200]See Hiro (1993) p. 198.

[201]A "leading" US official commented: "Given the facts on the ground - Syria's 13 million people to Lebanon's 3.5 million and the continued presence of 40,000 Syrian troops on two-thirds of Lebanon's territory - there really isn't very much we can do about the situation". Middle East International, 23 May 1991.

[202]See Maila (1993) p. 41.

[203] Most targeted, Farid el Khazen argues, were the Christian militia, the Lebanese Forces, whose "military infrastructure was systematically dismantled". Meanwhile Hizballah was kept intact, the government also "showed leniency" towards Amal, the Druze militia and the Palestinian guerillas in the south. Khazen (1993) p. 124.

[204]Asked what would occur if Israel happened to withdraw without any security arrangements, Talal Atrissi (Dr. of sociology at the Lebanese university and "supporter of Islamic movements"), answered with a grin: "Then both Syria and the resistance would be very confused...". Interview in Beirut, 3 June 1996.

[205]William Harris argues that economic misery, social unrest and an "incompetent government", in connection with international pressure on the Syrians to conduct their partial withdrawal set out in the Ta'if Accord, made Damascus hasten the time schedules for the elections in 1992. Harris (1997) p. 280-281.

[206]On Christian grievances prior to elections, see Farid el Khazen (1993) p. 122-124. Khazen also remarks that most deputies and the speaker of parliament were not in favor of any elections at the time. However, they were all subdued to the will of Syria. Ibid.

[207]As the seats in parliament according to the new law were extended from 108 to 128, most of them represented districts where Syrian control was most tangible, and it became thus much easier to manipulate their influence. Ibid. Theodor Hanf argues that the transformation of electoral districts implied that Christian politicians ended up more dependant upon Muslim politicians - when forming electoral lists and coalitions - than vice versa. Moreover, the Christian politicians who had been elected in predominantly Christian areas could no more constitute a blocking minority of one-third of all deputies, and thus, instead "of the parity envisaged in the Ta'if, Muslims would in effect dominate the new parliament." See Hanf (1993), p. 625-628.

[208] See Harris (1997) p. 279-285; Norton & Schwedler (1993) p. 45-65,

[209]The turnout within the Chritian community was extremely low, among certain areas not even 5 per cent. The Christian politicians elected, Theodor Hanf remarks, can thus hardly be regarded as representative for their community. See Hanf (1993) p. 634.

[210]Ibid. p. 636.

[211]For an overview , see Norton (1991) p. 470-473.

[212]Hamzeh (1993) p.324.

[213]Ranstorp (1997) p. 127-130; Harris (1997) p. 313-315.

[214]Hiro (1993) p. 133.

[215]See Hamzeh (1993) p. 325; Foreign Report, 27 May 1993.

[216]Foreign Report, 27 May 1993.

[217]According to deputy secretary-general Na'im Kassem, Hizballah condemn sectarianism because "sectarian affiliations means that one has a certain religion because of his parents and he becomes a fanatic for it without understanding it or without being convinced to it." For example, he continued, "some Muslims are not Muslims in terms of actually living their religion, while they are sectarian in all senses of the word. Some of them are leaders who boast that they represent Muslims in the elections, but they represent the sect of Muslims, not Islamic principles or thought." Monday Morning, 17 October 1994.

[218]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996.

[219]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996. In addition, deputy secretery-general, Na'im Kassem, has stated that any political involvement during the eighties was "useless" because of the "framework of divisions and the complicated situation". But as soon as it was made clear that the elections were about to be held, Hizballah "decided that, in the context of our concept of what Lebanon should be, and of the fact that we represent a large part of Lebanese society, we had a duty to take part in the elections". Monday Morning, 17 October 1994. Secretery-general Hassan Nasrallah likewise explained that Hizballah is serious in its project of bringing down the government, but the movement should nor resort to "negative steps" because "the country is passing through a delicate stage". Harris (1997) p. 302. From al-Safir, 24 February 1994.

[220]Interview, Beirut, 4 June 1996.

[221]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996.

[222]Interview , Beirut, 4 June 1996. Secretery-general Hassan Nasrallah has said that "the solution, in our opinion, is the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon and beyond...I cannot honestly say I do not advocate an Islamic state...but I do not wish [to impose this] by force or violence, rather we prefer to wait for the day that we succeed in convincing our countrymen - by means of dialouge and in an open atmosphere - that the only alternative is the founding of an Islamic state". Zisser (1996) from al-Ahd, 10 April 1994.

[223]Interview, Beirut, 4 June 1996. In addition, Fneish developed this argument in a Lebanese weekly, saying that freedom of speech is a guarantee for stability in society, and it is not the other way around: "Preventing parties from undertaking politcal action would not end their existence. It would merely drive them underground, which would threaten social stability...[as] is seen in Algeria and Egypt". Monday Morning, 6 March 1995.

[224]In 1990, estimates showed that the Shia community constitutes 35 per cent of resident Lebanese. Considering that Christian Maronites at the same time was appreciated to constitute 21 per cent (other Christians 14 per cent), Sunni Muslims 24 per cent and Druze 5 per cent, the Shia thus is the largest confessional community in Lebanon. Harris (1997) p. 68-76.

[225]Interview, Beirut, 4 June 1996.

[226]In April 1995, Hizballah held a congress where views differed sharply and where strong protests were reported to have been heard about the movement's "subordination" to Syria. However, the leadership elected by the congress - whereas Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, for example, was re-elected as secretary-general - was clearly of an accomodating character towards Syria. Former secretary-general, Sheikh al-Tufayli, on the other hand, who all along had toed an anti-Syria line, was reported to have been eased "out of power and influence". Foreign Report, 27 July 1995.

[227]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996.

[228]Interview, Beirut, 4 June 1996. Similarly, deputy secretery general, Na'im Kassem, declared that, "[our] relationship with Syria is good. Syria upholds the Lebanese right to resist the occupier. This is a base meeting point, and Syria is working to maintain internal stability in Lebanon". Monday Morning, 17 October 1994.

[229]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996.

[230]The Iranian presiden Rafsanjani stated in February 1992: "Our policy toward Israel is very clear. We reject the very existence of Israel as entity on the territory of Palestine. This is an usurper regime. This is our position and nothing can be above this." Calabrese (1994), p. 153. From Kayhan International, 20 Febraury 1992.

[231]Middle East International, 8 November 1991.

[232]See for example Harris (1997) p. 309-320.

[233]Interview, Beirut, 6 June 1996.

[234]Interview , Beirut, 16 May 1996. In addition, deputy secretery general, Na'im Kassem, has declared that Hizballah rejects any peace-negotiations because they only consider the land occupied by Israel from 1967 onwards, and this is "preventing the dicussion of 80 per cent of Palestinian land [occupied since 1948] and take for granted Israeli possesion of that land...Where are the negotiations for peace? They are overlooking in this process all the problems and difficulties of the region and the objective circumstances for coexistence". Monday Morning, 17 October 1994.

[235]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996.


[237]Foreign Report, 21 July 1994.

[238]Foreign Report, 21 September 1995. It has also been reported that guerillas within the Islamic Resistance went "on strike" during a period in 1995 and refused to fight as Hizballah's leadership had agreed to Syrian demands on being briefed about the movements military operation in advance. However, the Syrians soon gave in and dropped this claim and the Islamic Resistance resumed its operations. Foreign Report, 19 October 1995.

[239]Calabrese (1997) p. 153. Quoted from Al-Safir (Beirut) 3 June 1992. "The objective of the resistance is not random", he stated and pointed to the necessity of pursuing "succesful tactics that take into consideration the existing circumstances of time and place, the nature of the struggle, and the powers involved in it".

[240]Magazine, 24 May 1996.

[241]al-Maokif, no. 3 June 1996

[242]Middle East Insight, p. 42, May-August 1996.

[243]According to UN sources an estimated number of Hizballah's "hard core" guerillas is 300, whereas 3000-4000 are "part time" soldiers, ready to get into action to "support the cause" in the south. In case of an other Israeli invasion with ground forces, reports say that Hizballah has 150 volunteering suicide-bombers in the wait for them. The Middle East, June 1996.

[244] Sources from Israeli Foreign Ministry Information Division (http://www.netaxe.com/~iris/ hizbgph.htm) and Harris (1997) p. 315, Ha'aretz, 16 July 1993.

[245]Newsweek. 17 February 1997.

[246]Middle East International, p. 19, 3 November 1995. One Hizballah official stated: "Our military strategy of keeping pressure on and inflicting casualities here and there, without incurring losses ourselves, instead of mounting costly spectacular operations is working. Some of our supporters demand more front-page type of attacks, but we won't let our emotions take over." Foreign Report, 14 July 1994. The Israeli journalist Youel Marcus noted that just like the Americans in Vietnam "we have entered a dead-end street...Hizballah is now in full control in the field. Our soldiers are constantly on the defensive". The Middle East, March 1997.

[247]Middle East International, 3 February 1995.

[248]Uri Lubrani, Israel's coordinator of activities in Lebanon, has said that "tension is mounting" within the SLA, and "as soon as they learn about a breakthrough in Israeli-Syrian negotiations, the Israel army will have no option but to reoccupy the 'security-zone' all alone". Middle East International, 3 February 1996.

[249] See for example, Time 17 February 1997.

[250]Leb-Net Weekly Digest, nr. 600, 21 February 1997. In addition, regarding the percieved aims of Hizballah, the Israeli Minister of Defense declared that: "They don't just want to get us out of Lebanon but out of Jerusalem, and it is better we fight them there [in Lebanon] even if the price is heavy". Jerusalem Post, international edition, 22 February 1997. For discussions over Israel's options in Lebanon, see Heller (1996); Bishara (1996).

[251]Norton (1996) p. 38.

[252]Middle East International, 3 November 1995. The Israeli army, on the other hand, says it is striking at the villages because Hizballah have their bases within civilian areas. New Statesman and Society, 19 April 1996.

[253]Harris (1997) p. 318.

[254] To accusations for running training camps and undertaking operations abroad, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah replied that this "is a press atmosphere released by the Israelis so that Hizballah would be held responsible for any reaction by anyone in the world against Israeli or Jewish interests or the like, such as what happened in Argentina...[But we] have said that our revenge for the civilians will be on the Israeli military". al-Maokif, nr. 2 1996.

[255]Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, declared during the 1993 operation that the refugee storm it created was a way to "put pressure on the government in Beirut and hit those who collaborate with Hizballah". (AFP, 28 July 1993). Israel's Chief of Staf, Ehud Barak, said that "[we] regard Hizballah, the population that harbours it, and the Lebanese regime which permits all this activity as responsible." (Israeli Televison Network, 26 July 1996) Both statements and an analyse of the two operations are to be found in "Human Rights Watch, Reports on Events on the Lebanon-Israeli Border". Journal of Palestinian Studies, Autumn 1996.

[256]Monday Morning, 15 April 1996. In addition, Lebanese Foreign Minister, Faris Buwayz, stated that if the government would take any action against Hizballah while Israel still occupied the south, it would make the regime "look like a collaborator with an occupier". Middle East International, 12 April 1996.

[257]See for example Murphy (1996).

[258]al-Maokif, May 1996.

[259]Time, 13 May 1996.

[260]Interview 16 May 1996.

[261]Interview 20 may 1996.

[262]al-Maokif, May 1996.

[263]Middle East Insight, May-August 1996, p. 85.

[264]Interview 20 May 1996.

[265]Interview 6 June 1996.

[266]"The direct retaliation is no more a right" he said. "Now both parties are restricted. We cannot launch katyuschas and the Israelis cannot retaliate. For us it is not a problem...A few katyuschas to protect our civilians, and now they restrict us. In return, Israel, which has the tanks, cruisers, artillery and air power, was restricted. Our main concern is the civilians. Not launching katysuchas". Middle East Insight, p. 86, May-August 1996.

[267]Conversation, Beirut, 1 June 1996.

[268]Middle East International, 18 December 1992. The Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, even admitted that Hizballah never had fired katyuschas against Israel without "provocation" and never at a populated area "as a target in itself" - "they were invariably launched in response to 'Israeli operations against Hizballah in southern Lebanon". Middle East International, 20 November 1992.

[269]Middle East International, 21 February 1992.

[270]In addition, the senior defence writer of the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Zeev Schiff, pointed out that Hizballah have "moved its bases from the south [of Lebanon] and a large part of its training is now done in Iran. This, in turn, has reduced its number of its vulnerable targets". The Middle East, March 1997.

[271]Most likely, I assume, this strategy of denying measures that would upset the international community were also applied regarding the hostage-takings during the eighties.

[272]"This is rabid, vicious, uncontrolled capitalism", one Lebanese university professor said. "The modern West evolved a social system and accountability alongside free enterprise. Lebanon hasn't." Time, 15 January 1996.

[273]Harris (1997) p. 282.

[274]Trendle (1997).

[275]Harris (1997) p. 283. From al-Nahar, 3 April 1995.

[276]Harik (1996) p. 51. In addition, Dr. Kamal Shehadi, researcher at the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (and certainly no supporter of Hizballah), argued that in comparison with the corrupt elements within the governmental administration and the Amal movement, Hizballah look good - "Hizballah say, 'where is the money being spent?'; Hizballah say, 'well, we are not spending money bying Mercedes 600 SES or whatever, we are spending it on schools and infirmaries and so on', and that is true, that's what they are doing, because they are honest. Say what you want about Hizballah's politics, at least they are honest people". Interview, Beirut, 23 May 1996.

[277]Interview, Beirut, 29 May 1996. Judith Palmer Harik refers to "well-informed sources who desire anonymity" who say that the contributions from expatriate Shiites today exceed those Iran supports Hizballah with. Harik. (1996) p. 63.

[278]Inteview, Beirut, 29 May 1996.






[284]Chartouni-Dubarry (1996), p. 59-62.

[285]Interview, Beirut, 4 June, 1996. When questioned if Hizballah felt any repugnance in cooperating with their former enemies, the Phalange party and its member Elie Hobeika (accussed of being in command over the [Phalangist] Lebanese forces that conducted the massacres in Sabra and Shatila), Muhammad Fneish stated that Hizballah at present actually are in a "dialouge" with the Phalange party. Since the Phalange cut their ties with Israel, he said, and since they changed their domestic performance there was nothing that could prohibit that dialouge. Concerning any "direct cooperation" with Elie Hobeika, though, he pointed out that "there will be a shadow of certain historical events that took place which will cause an obstruct for us". Ibid.

[286]From the "Electoral Program of Hizballah" and a report from UNIFIL that translated a broadcast on "Hizballah Radio" in the south of Lebanon at the eve of the elections.

[287]Harris (1997), p. 321-322. See also Middle East International, 25 October 1996.

[288]Leb-Net Weekly Digest, nr. 588, 22 September 1996. Middle East International, 4 October 1996. The Lebanese daily, al-Nahar, wrote that Hizballah is facing a "merciless war" by the Lebanese regime which was "aimed at clipping the wings of a bird that has outgrown all the others so fast that [the regime] now panic". Ibid.

[289]See Leb-Net Weekly Digest, nr. 593, 19 November 1996.

[290]See Leb-Net Weekly Digest, nr. 595, 22 December 1996.

[291]Interview, Beirut, 16 May 1996.

[292]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996. Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah considered already in 1985 that there was a difference between the liberation of Jerusalem and the liberation of south Lebanon, at least "as far as the method of operation is concerned". The former needs a comprehensive "Arab-Islamic plan for confrontation", he argued, otherwise, any operation from Lebanon into Israel would only become "mere acts of martyrdome". Kramer (1989) p. 57.

[293]Middle East Insight, p. 85, May-August, 1996. Giles Trendle remarks that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah "privately accepts as a 'dream' his party's official line that all Jews settled in Palestine after the creation of Israel, along with their descendants, must 'return' to the countries from which they emigrated". Trendle moreover adds that top officials within Hizballah state that "it is the Palestinians, and not Hizballah, who must assume the responsibility for taking up any armed struggle for the land of Palestine". Trendle (1996), p. 64.

[294]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996.

[295]Interview, Beirut, 29 May 1996.

[296]Interview, Beirut, 20 May 1996.

[297]Monday Morning, 17 October 1994.

[298]al-Maokif, no. 1; no. 5. 1996

[299]Interview, Beirut, 4 June 1996.

[300]Middle East Insight, p. 85, May-August 1996.