Hezbollah

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Posted by sonny 03/03/2009 @ 03:07

Tags : hezbollah, lebanon, middle east, world

News headlines
LEBANON: Hezbollah official says group close to 'eradicating' Israel - Los Angeles Times
Hezbollah is "closer than any time before to eradicating the Zionist regime and establishing a Palestinian state," the party's International Relations chief Nawaf Moussawi told Al Manar today, just weeks before Lebanon's hotly contested elections....
Lebanon Charges Six More in Growing Israeli Spy Probe - FOXNews
A senior police officer, his wife and sister were among the six charged Wednesday with crimes that included supplying Israel with information to help its military in a 2006 war with Hezbollah, Reuters reported. A retired general, his wife and nephew...
Report: Hezbollah providing Gaza with support - Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A high-ranking Hezbollah official said the organization has been providing Palestinians in Gaza with "every type of support" that is possible, the Financial Times reported. Sheik Naim Qassem, the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah...
Tenuous Moves For White House On Israel - CBS News
On the surface, Syria still agitates for control of the Golan Heights; Israeli settlements continue to expand; Hamas and Hezbollah still refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist and still get money and guns from Iran and Syria; racism rises in...
Intrigue abounds in this Mideast tale of a terror plot - MiamiHerald.com
An Egyptian man who wanted to be identified only as Abu Ihab stands outside a home in the El Arish, Sinai, where his son, Ihab, was arrested as part of an alleged Hezbollah-led cell suspected of running guns to Gaza militants and plotting attacks on...
SI Man Gets Prison Term for Aid to Hezbollah TV - New York Times
By BENJAMIN WEISER A Staten Island businessman was sentenced Thursday to nearly six years in prison for assisting terrorists by providing satellite television services to Hezbollah's television station, Al Manar. The businessman, Javed Iqbal, 45,...
Turkish president to visit Syria on Friday for Mideast talks: official - Hürriyet
Israel 's new ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has insisted that there is no sense in talking to Syria as long as it continues to support Hamas and Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah. Centre-left Defense Minister Ehud Barak,...
Terror bides its time - The Australian
US terror analyst Zachary Abuza suggests JI has gone into a kind of Hezbollah mode, where it is stressing social activities and spreading its roots among the community, while at the same time continuing its para-military training and preparation for...
Ibrahim Mussawi, or Hezbollah Disinformation 101 - GlobalPost
Mussawi is essentially the head of disinformation and propaganda for Hezbollah, aka, "media relations officer." He is the editor of the Party's weekly rag, al-Intiqad, and the head of political programs at the organization's TV station, al-Manar....
Hezbollah voices doubt about Clinton's visit to Lebanon - Xinhua
BEIRUT, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah on Sunday voiced doubt about the impact of a surprise visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Lebanon, the party's Al-Manar TV reported. Hezbollah spokesman, Ibrahim Mousawi,...

Hezbollah political activities

Flag of Hezbollah

Along with the Amal Movement, Hezbollah is one of the two main parties representing the Shia community, Lebanon's largest religious bloc. Amal has made a commitment to carrying out its activities through political means, but remains a partial fighting force aiding Hezbollah when the need arises.

Hezbollah participates in the Parliament of Lebanon. In 1992, it participated in Lebanese elections for the first time, winning 12 out of 128 seats in parliament. In 1996, the organization won 10 seats, and in 2000 they took 8. In the Lebanese general election of 2005, it won 14 seats nationwide (of 128 total), and an Amal-Hezbollah alliance won all 23 seats in Southern Lebanon. The bloc it forms with others, the Resistance and Development Bloc, took 27.3% of the seats. Also,when municipal elections were held in 1998 this party won control of about 15 percent of contested municipalities. With a proven track record by the second round of elections, in spring 2004, the party won control of 21 percent of the municipalities.

Hezbollah's political success is regarded as a model for other Islamic parties in the Middle East like Hamas and United Iraqi Alliance; its actions are thought to provide strong clues as to how these other emerging Islamist forces might behave.

Hezbollah is a minority partner in the Siniora Cabinet, holding two (and endorsing a third) cabinet positions in the Lebanese government of July 2005. The two official Hizbullah ministers are Muhammad Fneish and Trad Hamadeh.

Muhammad Fneish was appointed Energy and Water Minister in the cabinet and has been quoted as saying "We are a political force that took part in the polls under the banner of defending the resistance and protecting Lebanon and got among the highest level of popular backing ... Hezbollah’s resistance (against Israel) does not in any way contradict its political role. If joining the government and parliament is a national duty, then so is defending the country.” Although Hezbollah joined the new government in 2005 (reportedly in exchange for assurances regarding its military apparatus), it has remained staunchly opposed to the March 14 coalition's hegemonic ambitions.

On the other hand in resisting the 14 March coalition's bid for hegemony, the FPM and Hezbollah have allied. In February 2006, after weeks of committee-level negotiations, Aoun and Hassan Nasrallah signed a memorandum of understanding that called for a broad range of reforms, from guaranteeing equal media access for candidates to allowing expatriate voting, that would level the slanted political playing field underlying the Hariri-Jumblatt coalition's grip on power. The FPM-Hezbollah memorandum met with virtually unanimous assent in the Shiite community and, according to poll by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 77% approval in the Christian community.

In November 13, 2006, two weeks before the Lebanese protest began, as a result of the failed prolonged national dialogue, five Cabinet Ministers of Hezbollah and Amal quit their positions. A Christian Cabinet Minister from the Free Patriotic Movement was the sixth member to leave his position within twenty-four hours.

On December 1, 2006, a day after Hassan Nasrallah in a televised address had called on people from "different regions, thoughts, beliefs, religions, ideologies and different traditions" to take part "for the formation of a National Unity government", because they "want to preserve Lebanon's independence and its sovereignty, prevent Lebanon from falling under any foreign tutelage, to strengthen the foundations of security, stability and civil peace, to cooperate in addressing the suffocating social and economic crisis, to address the political crises through true representation of all Lebanese movements and groups, to give real participation in the country's administration and to deal with various crises and face various existing challenges local, regional and international" , hundreds of thousands of demonstrators amassed peacefully in downtown Beirut. Police estimated the crowd to number approximately 800,000, while Hezbollah claimed it was larger. By nighttime, several thousand protestors remained to begin a sit-in, setting up tents and vowing to not leave until Prime Minister Fouad Siniora resigns.

After approval of the U.N. Resolution 1559 that requires Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias to disband and disarm, Lebanese prime minister, Najib Mikati, declared on May 7, 2005 that "Our terminology -- Hezbollah -- is not a militia. It's a resistance." On August 5, 2006 the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Fouad Siniora, said that "the continued presence of Israeli occupation of Lebanese lands in the Shebaa Farms region is what contributes to the presence of Hezbollah weapons. The international community must help us in (getting) an Israeli withdrawal from Shebaa Farms so we can solve the problem of Hezbollah's arms".

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Hezbollah foreign relations

Flag of Hezbollah

Although UN Security Council Resolution 1559, calls for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia". The Lebanese cabinet, under president Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, guidelines state that Hezbollah enjoys the right to "liberate occupied lands." Four countries list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization; the United States, Israel, Canada and the Netherlands while two countries list only its security arm as a terrorist organization; the United Kingdom,and Australia. Many nations in the UN and EU have not described Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Hezbollah has close relations with Iran. It also has ties with the Alawite leadership in Syria, specifically with President Hafez al-Assad (until his death in 2000) and his son and successor Bashar al-Assad. Hezbollah has declared its support for the ongoing al-Aqsa intifada.

There is little evidence of Hezbollah contact or cooperation with al-Qaeda. Hezbollah's leaders denies links to al-Qaeda, present or past. Also some of the al-Qaeda's leaders like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Wahhabists clerics consider Hezbollah to be apostate. But United States intelligence officials speculate there has been contact between Hezbollah and low-level al-Qaeda figures who fled Afghanistan for Lebanon.

UN Security Council Resolution 1559, calls for "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militia", echoing the Taif Agreement that ended the Lebanese Civil War, but does not explicitly include Hezbollah although Kofi Annan has advanced this interpretation. The Lebanese Government and Hezbollah dispute the application of this resolution to Hezbollah, referring to it as a "resistance movement" and not a militia. Israel has lodged complaints about Hezbollah's actions with the UN. Hezbollah's deputy leader Naim Qassem has said that its forces might become a "reservist army" within the Lebanese army, though this suggestion is not universally supported within the organisation.

It is widely believed that Hafez al-Assad, who was president of Syria from 1971 to 2000, and Hezbollah were closely linked; this did not significantly affect his relations with the rest of the world. Bashar al-Assad, his son and successor, has been subjected to sanctions by the U.S. due to (among other things, such as occupying Lebanon) his continued support for Hezbollah, which it views as a terrorist organization.

In an interview on Al-Arabiya TV in Dubai, former Hezbollah Secretary-General Subhi Al-Tufeili said Hezbollah definitely fosters its relations with the Syrians, but Hezbollah's real leadership is 'the rule of the jurisprudence'.

Nasrallah has declared his support for the ongoing al-Aqsa Intifada.

Some American newspapers have suggested a broader alliance between Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

On the other hand, others point out that al-Qaeda’s Sunni Wahhabist ideology is fundamentally incompatible with Hezbollah’s relatively liberal brand of Shia Islam; in fact, some Wahhabi leaders consider Hezbollah to be apostate. There is a Fatwa which issued several years ago by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jebreen, a former member of the Council of Senior Ulema, Saudi Arabia's highest religious body, it describes Hezbollah as "rafidhi" - a derogatory term for Shiites used by some Sunni fanatics.

Even during 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict it was cited by some hardline Sunni Muslim clerics and others writing on Islamist website.

Hezbollah claims that it forbids its fighters entry into Iraq for any reason, and that no Hezbollah units or individual fighters have entered Iraq to support any Iraqi faction fighting the United States. On April 2, 2004, Iraqi cleric and Mahdi Army founder Muqtada al-Sadr announced his intention to form chapters of Hezbollah and Hamas in Iraq, and Mahdi senior member Abu Mujtaba claimed they were choosing 1,500 fighters to go to Lebanon.

There have been American claims that Hezbollah has engaged in joint operations with the Sunni Palestinian militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement.

The European Union has not proscribed the activities of Hezbollah; the organisation does not appear on the EU's official list of terrorist groups.. Two EU countries have imposed partial or complete prohibitions on Hezbollah. The Netherlands has proscribed the organisation fully, while the United Kingdom has proscribed Hezbollah's paramilitary External Security Organization, but not the organisation's political wing.

The Israeli Government considers the use of military force in Lebanon as a legitimate means of Isolating Hizb’allah.

Betar use the Holocaust and Nazis as a cognitive filter to describe Hezbollah.

Besides Iran and Syria, Hezbollah also has ties with Russia, Cuba and Venezuela. It has had limited contact with the Provisional Irish Republican Army during the early 1990`s.

Hezbollah enjoys support from many scholars including Noam Chomsky and American Jewish political scientist Norman Finkelstein. Speaking in a in interview with the lebanese channel Future, Dr Finkelstein revealed his support for Hezbollah.

Parliamentary secretary to the Canadian prime minister Jason Kenney said that negotiating with Hezbollah would be comparable to negotiating with the Nazi party in the 1930s.

The Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) compare Hezbollah to the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis.

Alan Deshowitz compares Nasrallah to Hitler, Hezbollah to the Nazis and Lebanese to collaborators and thus indiscriminate bombing is permissible.

The New York Sun used the Holocaust and Nazis as a cognitive filter to describe Hezbollah.

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Ideology of Hezbollah

Flag of Hezbollah

The ideology of Hezbollah has been summarized as Shi'i radicalism. Hezbollah was largely formed with the aid of the Ayatollah Khomeini's followers in the early 1980s in order to spread Islamic revolution and follows a distinct version of Islamic Shi'a ideology (Valiyat al-faqih or Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists) developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the "Islamic Revolution" in Iran.

Hezbollah declared its existence on February 16, 1985 in "The Hizballah Program". This document was read by spokesman Sheikh Ibrahim al-Amin at the al-Ouzai Mosque in west Beirut and simultaneously published in al-Safir as "The Hizballah Program, an open letter to all the Oppressed in Lebanon and the World," and a separate pamphlet that was first published in full in English in 1987.

Christians and Jews differ with Muslims concerning the interpretation of the unity of God and the personality of God. Despite that, the Qur'an commands: Turn to the principle of unity—the unity of God and the unity of mankind. We interpret this to mean that we can meet with Marxists on the common ground of standing up to the forces of international arrogance; we can meet nationalists, even secular nationalists, on the common ground of Arab causes, which are also Islamic causes. Islam recognizes the Other. …So Islam does not negate the Other; it invites the Other to dialogue.

We are the sons of the ummah (Muslim community) — the party of God (Hizb Allah) the vanguard of which was made victorious by God in Iran. There the vanguard succeeded to lay down the bases of a Muslim state which plays a central role in the world. We obey the orders of one leader, wise and just, that of our tutor and faqih (jurist) who fulfills all the necessary conditions: Ruhollah Musawi Khomeini. …We are an umma linked to the Muslims of the whole world by the solid doctrinal and religious connection of Islam, whose message God wanted to be fulfilled by the Seal of the Prophets, i.e., Muhammad. Our behavior is dictated to us by legal principles laid down by the light of an overall political conception defined by the leading jurist. …As for our culture, it is based on the Holy Koran, the Sunna and the legal rulings of the faqih who is our source of imitation.

Hezbollah was largely formed with the aid of the Ayatollah Khomeini's followers in the early eighties in order to spread Islamic revolution and follows a distinct version of Islamic Shi'a ideology (“Willayat Al-Faqih”) developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Although Hezbollah believes in one-person-one-vote system and disagree with the multi-confessional quotas under the Ta'if Accord, it does not intend to force a one-person-one-vote system onto the country’s Christians.

In a 1999 interview, Nasrallah outlined the group’s three "minimal demand: an withdrawal from South Lebanon and the Western Bqa’ Valley, a withdrawal from the Golan, and the return of the Palestinian refugees.” An additional objective is the freeing of prisoners held in Israeli jails, some of whom have been imprisoned for eighteen years.

In 2002, according to the BBC, Hezbollah, "said publicly that it is ready to open a second front against Israel in support of the intifada." In a 2003 interview, Nasrallah has answered questions concerning the establishment of a Palestinian state established alongside an Israeli state stating "that he would not sabotage what is finally a 'Palestinian matter.' But until such a settlement is reached, he will, he said, continue to encourage Palestinian suicide bombers." In the same interview, Nasrallah stated that "at the end of the road no one can go to war on behalf of the Palestinians, even if that one is not in agreement with what the Palestinians agreed on," adding, "Of course, it would bother us that Jerusalem goes to Israel… let it happen. I would not say O.K. I would say nothing." Similarly, in 2004, when asked whether he was prepared to live with a two-state settlement between Israel and Palestine, Nasrallah said he would not sabotage what is a Palestinian matter. He also said that outside of Lebanon, Hezbollah will act only in a defensive manner towards Israeli forces, and that Hezbollah's missiles were acquired to deter attacks on Lebanon.

In 2004 the Hezbollah-owned television station Al-Manar was banned in France on the grounds that it was inciting racial hatred. The court cited a 23 November 2004 broadcast in which a speaker accused Israel of deliberately disseminating AIDS in Arab nations.

Hezbollah's desire for Israeli prisoners to be that could be exchanged with Israel led to Hezbollah's abduction of Israeli soldiers which triggered the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.

Hezbollah has declared that it distinguishes between Zionism and Judaism.

However, the group has been accused of using antisemitism.

Anti-Semitic statements have also been attributed to prominent figures in Hezbollah and to Hassan Nasrallah.

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Source : Wikipedia