Hezbollah: Lebanese Shiite Militia

953 Words4 Pages
To most of the world, Hezbollah is known as a Lebanese Shiite militia that takes an anti-western stance, and despises Israel and the United States. To the Arabs, Hezbollah is known as a resistance group that provides socioeconomic and social services to Shiite communities is southern Lebanon.# The group as been held accountable for several attacks against Israel and Western targets, but yet provides social services in Lebanon by running hospitals, schools, orphanages, and media outlets. It has adopted the strategy of constantly altering public opinion by using a mixture of political and ideological agendas.# The group has adopted the strategy it has in order to continue growing and to remain relevant in both Lebanon and the global sphere, thus becoming a success story in Lebanon. Hezbollah can be examined in two aspects: (a) its ideological changes; and (b) its political behavior. From 1943 to 1975, Lebanon was dominated by the Maronite majority. The Maronites had external support from France who intervened to ensure Maronite dominance until the 1950s, after the Suez War.# Around the same time, the demographic balance was beginning to fall into a Muslim advantage. In 1975, Lebanon broke out into a civil war due to the mixture of ideological radicalism between the various religious groups present.# The Maronite status began to decline and Sunni and Shiite representation began to expand. Israel intervened in the late 1970s to try and help the continuance of Maronite dominance. Israel’s invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 displeased the Sunni and Shiite communities in Lebanon, and increased the likelihood that Syria would be welcomed as an internal and external balancer.# In 1982 Amal, a Shiite group founded by Musa as-Sadr, ... ... middle of paper ... ...w from Lebanon. Hezbollah grew politically from the withdraw because many people saw it as a Hezbollah victory. Hezbollah became empowered from the event, and went from being a small militant group to a massive political group.# Political growth of Hezbollah can be shown in the mere fact that it holds 12 out 128 seats in the Lebanese parliament. Hezbollah has proved through its political behavior and ideological changes that it can cooperate with other governments. It has kept its ideological tone low-key in order to exist. Hezbollah grew from a small militia to an undeniable force in Lebanese politics. It is considered a radical Shiite group, a social movement, a political party, and a revolutionary movement. By not keeping a certain identity, Hezbollah has been able thrive off of ideological contradictions, and therefore remain successful politically in Lebanon.
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