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Hezbollah: An Islamic-nationalist movement

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The following book review is condensed from the meeting of two journalists, one Lebanese and the other French, on the evening of the attacks of September 11, 2001. This event recalls the Lebanese journalist's views on the bloody war of Lebanon. The authors distinguish the Islamic political scene in two dimensions. These include Islamic nationalism and transnational Islamism. The Al-Qaida network belongs to the second category.

The Hezbollah party consists of an Islamic-nationalist expression and refers to a nationalist movement. Hezbollah was born in 1982, after the invasion of Lebanon by the Israeli army; this party became the main actor of national resistance against Israel. Contrary to other Islamic movements, Hezbollah established an alliance with the Lebanese State. Hezbollah also became an ally of Damas and Teheran. On the other hand, the United States regards Hezbollah as a terrorist group and refuses to recognize it as one of the essential components of Lebanon. We present the views of the two journalists in deciphering the Hezbollah issue and apprehend the complexity of the scene.

For Eric Hobsbawm, the Palestine war of 1948 was the turning point in the history of the Middle East during the 20th century. This war resulted in the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians who took refuge in neighboring Arab countries. For Jean Bricqmont, the Arab-Israeli conflict contributed to the militarization of Arab countries. Southern Lebanon border area in Palestine suffered the full brunt of the Nakba. Indeed, these two areas existed before 1919 (Treaty of San Remo). Thus South Lebanon supported the Palestinians a lot before 1948 e.g. the great strike of 1936.

South Lebanon was going to be quickly coveted by Israel, for its resources, and in 1948, Israel occupied Lebanese villages. In 1949, a ceasefire was signed between Lebanon and Israel; however, this wouldn't stop the Israeli aggression. The Lebanese state was weak: ?its strength is its weakness" after the famous formula. After the battle of Karami in 1967, South Lebanon raised the Palestinian issue among the Arab countries. South Lebanon gradually transformed into a battlefield between the IDF and Palestinian resistance.

The beginning of the war in Lebanon in 1975 witnessed increased Israeli interference, and Israel supported the extreme Christian right. Its interference aimed at achieving two main objectives:
1) The disintegration of Lebanon community entities, which was extended by contagion to the rest of the Arab world.
2) The outbreak of Lebanon that allowed Israel to occupy or annex southern Lebanon.

In 1978, following the first intervention of Israel in southern Lebanon, the Jewish state said that the goal of this intervention was to create a buffer zone that was meant to protect Israel from attacks by Lebanese guerrillas.

In the aftermath of the attack of the Israeli tanks, it invaded the West Beirut; and this operation was intended to avoid retaliation. The Israelis were organizing a massacre of Palestinians, according to Alain Menargues: 63 Palestinians were executed.

Tags: Al-Qaida network, Islamic political scene, Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanese state, Palestinian massacre, intervention of Israel

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