You are on page 1of 153

In the light of a conscious reading of the magnitude of the perils and chal-

lenges that overwhelm the regional situation due to the policies of American
hegemony and Zionist terrorism,
Out of the position of deep realization of the historic stage through which
our country is passing,
Under the staggering production of a sound political life and the disappoint-
ing results of the state institutions’ performance and their alleged attempts at
Before the regression of the state situation due to a combination of many fac-
tors surging from the unbalanced nature of the Lebanese political system and
the wrong practices by the men of authority that led to deepening the status of
corruption, favoritism and migration of qualifications, besides establishing the
sectarian, confessional and regional divisions,
In the light of all that, and after four years, during which we had the honor
of contribution in serving the Lebanese from the parliamentarian post, we run
with you for the scheduled parliament elections with established responsibility
and greater insistence on shouldering the trust that our dear Lebanese people
made us carry to complete the course of all the noble martyrs who died while
defending our sacred soil and the dignity, freedom, future and welfare of our
people, on top of whom the Master of the Islamic Resistance martyrs Sayyid
Abbas Mussawi and Shaykh of its martyrs Shaykh Raghib Harb (May Allah be
pleased with them).
As has always been the case, Hizbullah will continue to be, with a greater
drive and increasing responsibility, the party of Resistance and Liberation, the
party of steadfastness and construction and the party of change for a better sta-
tus, according to the following program:

First: Resisting the Occupation:

Through its liberating and striving course and its field and political achieve-
ment, the most distinguished of which were the steadfastness and victory in two
large-scale wars, July 1993 and April 1996, the Islamic Resistance has affirmed
resistance is the only option towards a dignified liberation with no conditions
or prices that would15 damage the sovereignty, resources and right; it has also
affirmed that [Hizbullah] is an element of unity and dignity for the Lebanese
and a major guarantor for their security and their regional and international
presence. Therefore, we confirm the following:
– We will work on the strong and efficient continuation of the Resistance
until our occupied land is completely liberated and restored to the nation-
al sovereignty, until our people in the occupied strip are released and able
to secure a free honorable decent living away from any direct or indirect
presence of the usurping Zionists. We will also work on confronting the

2 Election Programs 70
logic of the theatrical negotiations that seek to establish Israel’s position at
the expense of the people of the land.
– Protecting the Lebanese civilians will remain essential in the Resistance
performance, this protection being a major objective and main role per-
formed by the Resistance with wisdom, awareness and responsibility.
– We will carefully endeavor with all the Lebanese people (of all religious
denominations and walks of life), that they continue to embrace the Resis-
tance and to continue to be the source from which the Resistance derives
its strength and presence. The sought-after liberation – if Allah is willing
– will be a gift to all the Lebanese and a major contribution to construct-
ing a country with complete sovereignty and a state of consideration and
estimation in the arena of regional and international conflict.
– We will continue seeking to achieve more effective state involvement in
the operation of liberation and to embrace the Resistance men, and the
prisoners, detainees and martyrs’ families, plus provide the steadfastness
requirements through establishing and developing foundations for these
ends, besides supporting any action that assists in fighting normalization
and cultural invasion along with rejecting any form of reconciliation with
the enemy.

Second: Achieving Equality and Establishing the Just State:

Achieving justice and equality among the Lebanese is considered one of the
main bases for establishing a stable, dignified and prosperous country in which
all the Lebanese engage in the process of construction with motivation and soli-
darity under equality of opportunities, equality of all, individuals, classes and
areas, in rights and duties, whether political, economical or social. Consequent-
ly, we will continue working until we achieve:
– The abolishment of political sectarianism that represents the center of the
essential flaw in the formula of the Lebanese political system and its social
structure, besides producing most of the domestic instability features, and
being fertile soil for the disturbance that marks the authority institutions
and the inter-confessional relations.
– A just and balanced electoral system that treats all the Lebanese equally,
that allows for real representation, and leads to developing the Lebanese
political status through the approbation of Lebanon as one constituency
with a proportional representation system.
– Establishing real political institutions that cannot be reduced to individu-
als, nor emptied by the dominance of parties or groups, or employed to
serve the “favorites” and “the guys”. The most dangerous thing that con-
fronts the state and topples its logic is politicizing the administration and

2 Hizbullah’s 1996 Parliamentary Elections Program 71

linking it to political loyalties away from the criteria of qualification and
– Applying the principle of administrative decentralization through a con-
sistent and proportionate law that guarantees achieving administrative
divisions capable of accomplishing efficient development in the various
areas besides reviving the municipal and mayor councils to allow for real
participation by the civil society in running its development and social

Third: At the Economical Level:

We will work on making the state adopt economic policies that give priority to
achieving integral human development instead of being confined to imported
economic policies that do not consider in their priorities the economic and
social particularities caused by the war and that led to increasing rates of pov-
erty, unemployment, and the evanescence of the middle class that is considered
the scales of economic justice. Moreover, we will work on realizing justice in the
distribution of taxes and charges among citizens according to their capabilities.16
What is required is the rearrangement of development priorities and sub-
sidizing the sectors of industry, agriculture, animal breeding and fishery, plus
providing loans and production requirements, protection, and marketing, in
addition to supporting all forms of craftsmanship.
The state’s role in the economic operation must be based on a delicate har-
monization between the necessity of activating the public sector, prosperity of
its movement and investments, on one hand, and the necessity of not deserting
the state’s responsibilities towards the citizens and the public utilities, especially
what concerns supporting the steadfastness of the areas confronting the Zionist

Fourth: At the Educational and Syndical [Syndicate] Levels:

The chronic demand of enhancing and reforming public schooling has not been
seriously and effectively implemented until today. Therefore, it is vital to seek
enhancing and developing public schooling, as well as schools, teachers and
administrations. Furthermore, the development of the educational structure
must be followed by the policy of reestablishing and modernizing the curricu-
lums in harmony with the modern necessities, besides drafting history books
on an objective basis and working on increasing the interest in vocational edu-
cation, taking into account the necessity of linking it to the Lebanese market
Uplifting the Lebanese University is a vital demand that we will work on
achieving through modernizing its curriculums, uniting the branches of the
capital and the surrounding areas, enhancing the branches of the areas, reviv-

2 Election Programs 72
ing specialization scholarships and the sponsoring of top students, strengthen-
ing research methods to get out of the currently adopted dictation method and
allowing for developing talents and qualifications.
Reinforcing the labor movement and the syndical frameworks is a civil and
political obligation that ought to be free from pressure, intimidation,and harass-
ment that are being practiced by the authorities at times of crises and critical
phases. Moreover, justice for teachers and university professors in achieving
their various demands, without procrastination and postponement is an urgent
measure for the stability of these two sectors. Therefore, Hizbullah affirms its
persistence in supporting the syndical movement and supplying it with political
and popular support and power.

Fifth: At the Social and Health Levels:

We affirm the importance of the role of the youth in constructing their country
and the necessity of providing them with the essentials for strengthening their
personalities and filling their time with constructive activities.
The woman’s role is based on her being the other half who rears children
and is effective in all the political, educational, social, cultural and economi-
cal life. Women must not be treated as supplements nor as commodities of
Enhancing and maintaining the unity of the family that is the cornerstone in
building a good society and providing all the educational and social conditions
to establish this direction.
The completion of resolving the two issues of naturalization and the dis-
placed so that those who have the right to the [Lebanese] nationality obtain it,
and all the displaced can return to their houses or villages in dignity, plus giving
the displaced of the occupied strip special priority attention and consideration.
Completing the task of improving public hospitals and health clinics with the
required equipment, spreading these health centers all over the country, espe-
cially in remote areas and the steadfast and resisting areas in the South and West
Biqa‘, in addition to making health security accessible to all the sectors of the
Lebanese society.
Developing the social welfare foundations, supporting the social care institu-
tions, adopting old-age pension, and establishing institutes specialized in treat-
ing the various social problems and perversions.17
The necessity of reforming and developing prisons, establishing reformations
for juvenile delinquents in all the Lebanese provinces.
Activating the foundations and legislative laws that protect the public
resources and the environment, adopting a forestry policy that will restore the
balance to the Lebanese environment, protect it from the jeopardy of aridity,

2 Hizbullah’s 1996 Parliamentary Elections Program 73

maintain the water resources, set projects to be used in all the Lebanese areas
and reclaim the lands in order to increase the arable areas.
Making serious plans that secure a gradual resolution for the housing prob-
lem in Lebanon, plus considering this issue one of the great challenges that con-
front the Lebanese society and have negative social results at numerous levels.

Sixth: Safeguarding Public Freedoms:

To work carefully and persistently on safeguarding public freedoms, i.e. the
freedom of belief, freedom of syndical [syndicates] and political activity, free-
dom of practicing religious rituals and schooling, in addition to accomplishing
the regulation of the media without abating the freedom of the press, on the one
hand, while preserving the maintenance of the identity, public ethics and morals
on the other.

Seventh: Foreign Policy:

From the stance of a practical application of Lebanon’s Arab affiliation, Hiz-
bullah calls for maintaining strong Lebanese-Syrian relations that will fortify
Lebanon against regional and international designs aiming at destabilizing the
country. Furthermore, the previous years have proven that these relations com-
prise factors of stability that sustain the uneasy Lebanese formula.
To work on cementing the Lebanese stand in the face of the American pres-
sure policies which are being practiced against Lebanon politically and econom-
ically, to reject the continuous American interference in its internal affairs and
to deal with the American policy on the grounds of its being identical to and
supportive of the positions of the Israeli enemy that occupies our land, kills our
children and targets our villages with its incessant daily aggressions.
The necessity of adopting serious policies and efficient plans to communicate
with the Lebanese communities in the countries of expatriation; sponsoring the
frameworks that organize those communities’ existence; protecting them from
attempts to expose them, weaken them or damage their economic presence (as
has been the case in more than one African country); working effectively and
persistently on rehabilitating the Lebanese expatriate existence and precluding
its being vulnerable and without political protection before the challenges and
plots it confronts.
To emphasize developing normal and balanced relations with the Arab and
Islamic countries and all the countries of the world on the basis of independence
and strengthening the ties that assist in confronting the plots of the American
arrogance and allow for honorable and constructive cooperation.

2 Election Programs 74
Dear Lebanese People,
From the stance of representing the people, with the religious, national and
ethical dimensions and responsibilities that this representation entails, and with
the full realization of the magnitude of the complications and obstacles that
our Lebanese society is experiencing, and with our realization of the long time
needed to achieve all that our people anticipate, Hizbullah’s candidates are com-
mitted to doing their utmost best to put into effect this electoral program that
will formulate the framework for the political-legislative role of Hizbullah’s par-
liamentary bloc.

Success is Granted by Allah

Summer 199618

3 Hizbullah’s 2000 Parliamentary Elections Program19

(my translation)

The elections offer a chance to participate in the parliamentary life in order to

continue defending the rights of our people, country and causes.
We work for the continual readiness of the [Islamic] Resistance, the popu-
lace, and the official stance of defending the country.
The unique relations with Syria are an element of strength for Lebanon and
Syria in facing the challenges.
Alleviating the economic problem requires extraordinary efforts to propa-
gate a general reformist economic plan.
We work to give due care to the deprived areas, especially the Biqa‘ and
Akkar, and allocating to them the necessary attention in order to develop them.
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate

“But seek, thanks to what Allah gave you, the Hereafter, and do not forget your
part in the here and now [the present world]. Be charitable, as Allah has been
charitable to you, and do not seek corruption in the land; for Allah does not like
the seekers of corruption” (28:77).20

Our loyal Lebanese populace:

Based on the experience that we provided [through our work in] the Lebanese
political life, and using as a point of departure our immutable and clear intellec-
tual-political curriculum, which is based upon our civilizational belonging and
commitment that makes religious norms the fulcrum of human life, and which
aims at providing felicity to man in conjunction with upholding his/her dignity

3 Hizbullah’s 2000 Parliamentary Elections Program 75

and elevating his/her status… we continue the road to offering, giving, sacrifice,
and ithar21 or “preference” in all positions and domains, putting our mind to
continuing to defend our people’s and country’s rights and causes. [We] face the
dangers and challenges that target our umma, primarily the “Zionist” conquest
and US hegemonic projects. [We] stress national unity, and we uphold national
coexistence with all the religious denominations in Lebanon.
From this perspective, our engagement in the elections constitutes an oppor-
tunity for us to take part in Lebanese parliamentary life in order to continue our
course in defending our people’s and country’s rights and causes.

First: Resistance and liberation

The Resistance has proven over the course of the past eighteen years of continu-
ous sacrifice and jihad, and through the blood of its dignified martyrs, that it is
the only road to deter [Israeli] aggression and face “Zionist” greed, uphold the
security and dignity of our people, [achieve] the liberation of our land and a true
national unity based upon a national consensus in rejecting the occupation and
its corroborators, and in buttressing the resistance.
The Resistance was able to regain occupied Lebanese land and enforce its
stance in the regional and international equation, forcing the Zionist enemy
to capitulate and withdraw in humiliation, a precedent that the region [Mid-
dle East] has never experienced in the history of struggle against the “Zionist
Entity”. Moreover, the resistance has proven its salient civilizational [cultured]
behavior during the liberation, that it is up to the great national responsibility,
and its upholding of the security of all the citizens, without any discrimination
among their groups and sects, and the country. This great achievement [lib-
eration] has been accomplished by the cooperation of the public government,
and the Lebanese army. This was conducive to the creation of a general positive
atmosphere, which has shielded the victory [liberation].
The Resistance imposed itself as a serious option that the Lebanese could bet
upon in order to regain their rights and liberate occupied land, without any con-
ditions or dictated peace treaties. It [the Resistance] became a model to emulate
and to be adopted by all the people in the region, especially the oppressed Pal-
estinian people inside Palestine [Occupied Territories].
That is why it is a duty to consolidate and generalize the experience of the
Islamic Resistance in Lebanon [Hizbullah’s model], in order to awaken and
elevate the umma as well as to strengthen the stances of its rulers and regimes,
and to stop normalization of relations with the Zionist enemy. This will lead
to inflicting a “retreat” on the US-Israeli project, which aims at imposing their
hegemony on the region and imposing their dictates, forcing its people to grant
them concessions.

2 Election Programs 76
We work to continuously keep the Resistance on guard as well as the readi-
ness of the populace and the official [Lebanese] stance to defend our country
against any aggression or “Zionist” threat. [This is in line with] our continued
convictions and belief in facing the Israeli enemy in order to prevent its schemes
and dangerous projects from materializing in the region [Middle East].
In order to continue the path and aims of liberation we stress the following:
– Exhort the government to decree and execute a developmental service-
oriented socio-economic program for the liberated areas and their peripher-
ies, and work on the reconstruction and development of human resources,
the economic cycle, and the return of all the displaced, without discrimi-
nating against them and giving their cause the appropriate care without
humiliating them and forcing them to seek favors.22 (Italics are added for
– The continuation of different and rapid efforts in order to liberate the pris-
oners of war, detainees, and the purified bodies of the martyrs. The activa-
tion and development of the necessary social care for the families of the
martyrs, the liberated prisoners of war and detainees, and the wounded
and handicapped of the Resistance.
– Being cautious to safeguard our rights, security, and national interests in
order to accomplish a total liberation of Lebanese soil and exercise total
sovereignty over our land and territorial waters without compromising
any part of it, especially in regard to points of territorial disagreement23
and the Shib‘a Farms.
– Resisting normalization [of relations with Israel], opposing the cultural
conquest, refusing coexistence with the Zionist invaders [by not] giving
legitimacy to their “Rapist Entity”, and refusing the naturalization [of the
Palestinians living in Lebanon]24 and insisting on their right of return to
their land in Palestine.

Second: Lebanese foreign policy

Work on consolidating the Lebanese stance in the face of the aggressive US
policy, which is always biased towards and supportive of the “Zionist Entity”,
covering up all its crimes, aggressions, and terrorism against our people. Reject
the continuous US interference in Lebanese domestic affairs, which is against all
norms and diplomatic standards.
Consider the special and destined relations with Syria as an element of force
for both Lebanon and Syria in order to confront the challenges facing them,
especially the dangers posed by the “Zionist Entity”.
Follow a governmental policy for taking care of the matters of the Lebanese
expatriates and diaspora. This will make them an effective lobby (in the inter-

3 Hizbullah’s 2000 Parliamentary Elections Program 77

national domain) as well as an element of economic support for the Lebanese
residing inside the country.
Aspire to consolidating Lebanon’s relationships with the Arab and Islamic
countries as well as other friendly countries in the world of nations.
Fortify common economic interests with the Arab nations.
Further develop the relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has
always been a staunch supporter of Lebanon.

Third: Socio-economic problems

The aggravation of the social problem has reached a serious level, making most
Lebanese suffer from poor living standards, which are marked by severe short-
ages. This calls for exercising extraordinary efforts in order to solve the problem
by propagating a general economic reform plan that aims at materializing the
Close the budget deficit by adopting a general and balanced economic-
developmental plan among the different sectors in order to increase revenues,
decrease expenses, and increase the levels of growth.
Austerity in expenditure, dealing with the public debt, and reducing its
Follow homogeneous fiscal, monetary, and economic policies, which aim
at developing economic growth, increasing employment, and encouraging
Energize the national productive sectors of industry and agriculture by
increasing government spending on these sectors and by following stimulating
policies and animating procedures.
Protect local production; be committed to the principle of [fair] competition,
increase the ability to compete in foreign markets, and protect the interests of
the consumer.
Develop the sectors [material resources] and human resources by adopting
up-to-date plans and programs aimed at rehabilitation, organization, and guid-
Take due care of the deprived areas, especially in the Biqa‘ and Akkar, and
allocate to them due attention needed to develop them, especially the agricul-
tural sector and work on accomplishing the following:
1 Find a plan to buttress agricultural products.
2 Make agricultural loans available and ensure investment.
3 Begin actual work in the Public Foundation for Alternative Agricultur-
al products in the Biqa‘ region. Put into practice a scientific agricultural
timetable that is capable of reverting the grave catastrophe that has rav-
aged this struggling, hardworking area.

2 Election Programs 78
4 Engage in a continual effort in order to make the necessary funding
required for alternative agricultural products available.
5 Decrease the role of the middleman between the farmer and the consumer
by activating the role of cooperative agricultural farms.
6 Fortify the interests, of domestic products and protect them through con-
tracts and agreements.
7 Reduce the cost of insecticides, fertilizers, electricity, and water.
8 Give due attention to natural resources, and prepare the ground for
exploiting them, and searching for them, especially oil and water.

Fourth: The building of the state of law and institutions, and the promotion of
political participation
Our concern is focused on: the development of political life and the establish-
ment of social justice among all the Lebanese without any discrimination; the
building of a stable country; of a fruitful future that offers equal opportunities
to all individuals, groups, and geographical areas, and where all people are equal
in rights and duties, we [Hizbullah] will continue to work so that the following
will materialize:
– Establish the “National Body for the Abolishment of Political Sectarianism”.
– Accord special attention to the youth in order to activate their role in pub-
lic and political life, and to found specialized centers in order to rehabili-
tate the youth on different levels or scales.
– Strengthen the role of women and open the doors for them to participate
in the building and activation of public life.
– Enact an election law that is conducive to the development of political life
and which better represents the political programs according to propor-
tional representation, and reduce the voting age [from 21] to 18 in order
to offer the youth the opportunity to express their genuine nationalistic
– Strengthen the role of political parties, the institutions of civil society, and
the associations and syndicates [that are engaged] in the public life.
– Develop surveillance and accountability bodies, and activate their role
free from the politics of arbitrary decisions and the centers of power.
– Accomplish administrative and political reform, and fight and prevent
corruption and waste.
– Accomplish an administrative decentralization law.
– Accomplish a new and modern naturalization law.

Fifth: Educational [Pedagogical] and cultural issues

Strengthen public education and increase the efficiency of the teachers; furnish
the schools with the necessary equipment in order to cope with the implemen-

3 Hizbullah’s 2000 Parliamentary Elections Program 79

tation of the new educational curricula; make education available to all walks
of life, especially the poor and deprived; give proper attention and care to the
deprived areas in this respect.
Pay serious attention to vocational education according to market demand.
Develop the Lebanese University and give it an active role; encourage special-
ized scientific studies and research.
Enact [a law making] religious education obligatory in both public and pri-
vate schools.
Reactivate the National Union of the Students of the Lebanese University.

Sixth: Social and health issues

Close the displaced file or dossier justly, with particular attention to the special
circumstances of the displaced in light of the [Israeli] occupation and “Zionist”
Develop and activate the institutions of social care that all strata of society are
in need of, especially social security; reconsider and re-evaluate social security
legislation in order to increase the benefits and the circle of the services so that
they extend to all Lebanese strata [and not only to those registered in social
security] and contribute to economic development and addressing the housing
problem with the available social security budget.
Increase and expand social benefits and public services based on a well-
studied plan in order to help the families residing in Lebanon, because 40% of
these families are poor or deprived and live below the poverty line. That is why
it is incumbent upon [the state] to provide a dignified way of living for these
Constructively remedying the social problem according to a general develop-
mental-economic vision to root it out.
Put into practice the old-age retirement plan, and improve it for the benefit
of the citizen.25
Develop the state hospitals, and extend social security to cover all hospital-
ization cases pertaining to the poor.
Continue to deal with the loopholes that resulted from the naturalization
Reform and develop the prisons, establish and universally introduce reha-
bilitation centers; place mandatory safeguards to uphold ethical norms, moral
values, and public mores in all domains, especially in the media; launch national
consciousness-raising campaigns aimed at reducing the crime rate.
Work on carrying out practical plans, which are conducive to solving the dif-
ficult and severe housing problem.
Implement the necessary programs and carry out plans aimed at providing
total, safe, and real care for the children.

2 Election Programs 80
Encourage private initiatives and work; ensure the availability of work for
Lebanese manual labor; work to put an end to the aggravated unemployment

Seventh: Environmental issues

Develop and organize recycling plants for sanitary sewer water, and continue
the installation of sanitary sewer networks.
Put accurate, scientific plans into practice to deal with the issue of “solid”
Work on preserving forestry; launch a campaign to plant trees in all geo-
graphical areas in order to face desertification; legislate the necessary laws to
protect forestry and establish nature conservation.
Activate the role of municipalities in environmental activities.
Universally introduce a general guided program for gravel and rock excava-
tion and appropriation.
Activate the institutions that cater for consumer protection through increased
control and supervision of domestic and imported goods in order to ensure
their validity and quality.
Increase supervision and control the way factories dispose of their chemical
waste; legislate laws that protect the environment, especially the rivers, sea, and
underground waterbeds, from the dangers of pollution.

Dear dignified Lebanese,

By counting on you, and with our confidence in the loyalty and consciousness
of our populace that has given and sacrificed a lot, we boldly embark upon [con-
testing] the elections, renewing the oath to dispense all efforts and potentials
[do our best] within the narrow confines of the parliament and outside it, in
every place and domain, “to serve you with our eyelashes” – as the leader of
the martyrs of the Islamic Resistance, Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, may God have
mercy on his soul – and to continue, with you, our march in order to attain all
the goals that we aspire to achieve, spearheaded by this election program.

God is behind our intention.


4 Hizbullah’s 2004 Municipal Election Program26 (my


1 Hizbullah’s principles dictate that the populace constitutes the main pillars
behind its movement. From this perspective, Hizbullah is under a respon-

4 Hizbullah’s 2004 Municipal Election Program 81

sibility to fight all oppression and injustice in order to serve the populace
and protect its dignity.
2 One of Hizbullah’s aims is to adopt the plight of the oppressed and the
disenfranchised populace by protecting them and actively working to put
an end to the oppression and discrimination towards the deprived areas in
order to raise the standards (of living) in all respects.27

I Core Program
1 Administration and organization:
– Find a unified internal order for the employees that takes into account
the need to develop municipal work.
– Be strict in enforcing remuneration and punishment as well as a rota-
tion policy targeting the appraisal of employees by developing a special
magnetic card for that purpose.
– Consider serving the citizens as a legal and ethical obligation.
– Employ state-of-the-art communication and technology as well as
rehabilitate, train, and modernize the administrative cadre in order to
efficiently render services to the citizens.
– Apply accountability, objectivity, and transparency to dealing with the
citizens in taking decisions and on a procedural basis.
– Regularly publish a brochure, which clearly indicates the accomplish-
ments of the municipalities and their activities as well as a detailed
appraisal of the employees and their responsibilities to the municipal
councils, in order to build a two-way street with the public and keep it

2 The efficiency of the municipal council and boosting the confidence of the
citizens in it:
– Make sure that the members of the municipal councils are conversant
with the municipal and administrative rules and regulations.
– Assemble efficient municipal committees, composed of specialized and
authoritative individuals that could be chosen from outside the munici-
pal council, according to a promulgated internal order, specifying their
role and jurisdiction, making sure that the same person cannot partici-
pate in more than two committees.
– Lay out an annual plan, to be adopted by the municipal council, and
followed up by regular appraisal sessions.
– Maintain good relations with the authority of administrative surveil-
lance and public institutions.

2 Election Programs 82
– Maintain good relations with the deputies of the region and cooper-
ate with them in order to effectively follow up people’s administrative
transactions or “dossiers” (mu‘amalat) and the developmental projects.
– Establish dialogue sessions between the municipal council and the citi-
zens, which include debating the projects and submitting a summary of
the municipal achievements as well as the impediments facing it. Also,
listen to the problems and complaints of the citizens.
– Launch campaigns that encourage the submission of innovative proj-
ects and reward these projects with valuable financial prizes.
– Sponsor conflict resolution by peaceful means between feuding
– Establish a special “complaint box”, and respond in an efficient way to
the complaints of the people.
– Use transparency and accountability in executing promises.
– Establish committees assembled from the people in order to react and
interact with the municipal work.
– Erect big bulletin boards at the center of the towns and villages in order
to communicate the decisions and news of the municipal councils.29

3 Expand the financial revenues of the municipalities

– Specifying in detail the expenditures and the incomes that the munici-
palities incur.
– Incomes are divided along the following lines: the money that the
municipality derives directly from the people as well as the money that
the state levies on behalf of the municipalities, which is distributed
accordingly among them.30

4 Developmental projects
A Guiding plans:
– Study the possibility of redefining the municipal enclosures or bound-
aries with respect to the projects and studies of every town.
– Form specialized committees within the central committees in various
districts or areas.
– Lay out “guided planning” (mukhatat tawjihi) in conformity with the
demographic, social, and touristic stance of the towns concerned, con-
sidering the present situation and the benefit of each and every town.
Also, activate the role of the municipality by voicing its opinion during
the propagation of studies and guided planning by the official govern-
mental institutions.
– Supervise (public) works taking place within the municipal domain.

4 Hizbullah’s 2004 Municipal Election Program 83

– Work on detailing the “guided planning” for each municipality, divide
the projects by specifying the technical and financial needs for every
project, and the time needed to execute it.
– Divide the town according to the deprivation index, (level of) oppres-
sion, different walks of life (social, economic, and touristic). Also, set
priorities in taking proper care of the various areas according to the
recommendations of the proposed studies.
– Prepare topographies and computerized maps that clearly indicate real
estate, roads, planned projects, in order to make use of them in all engi-
neering, developmental, and financial studies for the town.31
B Specific projects:
– Study and execute a sanitary sewer and drainage network for all the
streets that are included within the municipal domain, and seriously
think about establishing a recycling factory in conjunction with the
neighboring municipalities.
– Erect central water tanks in the municipalities and villages in order to
make use of rain or ground water. Also construct dams and ask the
Ministry of Water and Energy to help find other sources of water to
construct a water network in the towns and villages lacking it.
– Organize garbage collection without resorting to containers placed on
the streets; rather work hard to establish garbage recycling factories.
– Supply streets and internal alleys with lights.
– Build bridges for pedestrians above the main roads and highways, espe-
cially at the entrance of villages and towns.
– Encourage agriculture and the free reclamation of barren land to make
it agriculturally productive. Rehabilitate and secure irrigation net-
works, ponds, and dams as well as constructing agricultural roads and
encouraging the founding of cooperatives and establishing seminars
and special guidance sessions.
– Construct markets (groceries, fish, meat) or reorganize what is avail-
able according to the stipulated requirements.
– Build and rehabilitate shelters in a good manner, especially in the
southern areas adjacent to the “Occupied Territories” (Palestine) occu-
pied by the “Zionist Entity” (Israel).
– Put an end to building violations (mukhalafat al-bina’) and act firmly
when handling encroachments on public and private property.
– Build parking lots and make use of unused land as well as construc-
tively working on solving the traffic problem.
– Build care and recreational centers for ages ranging between 56-75 in
order to find good substitutes for what is presently available.
– Work on executing the modal street and take proper care of ruins.

2 Election Programs 84
– Help private companies to construct housing complexes for low income
families in an attempt to help the youth32 to get married and solve the
escalating problem of housing.33

5 Giving importance to environmental conditions within the municipal

– Regular check-ups on the state of the environment in order to deter-
mine the polluters of sanitary sewers, drinking water, air, garbage, etc.,
while keeping in touch with private companies, local ministries, and
foreign associations that are all specialized in executing projects capa-
ble of fighting pollution, and being strict in regular follow-up inspec-
tions and supervision.
– Be strict in spreading environmental awareness.
– Planting trees and various plants as well as establishing public gardens
and greenhouses.
– Using temporary solutions as well as long-term ones in order to get rid
of all kinds of garbage and polluters of the environment, in coordina-
tion with the concerned ministries as well as competent international
– The preservation of the environmental and national heritage.
– Encouraging/motivating private initiatives aimed at establishing
model/exemplar neighbourhoods.
– Be strict in giving permits that might affect the environment.
– Conduct efficient health inspection of restaurants, slaughterhouses,
and food factories.
– Regular medical examinations and check-ups of school pupils.
– Cleaning and protecting beaches and river banks.34

6 Social care
A Consolidating the resistance society (in order to substantiate the already
existing “resistance identity”)
– Naming the streets within the municipal jurisdiction in such a way
as to reflect the identity of the village, town, or city (article 49 of the
municipal law).
– Erecting monuments (article 62 of the municipal law).
– Protecting the youth from the causes of immorality or vices (article
62 of the municipal law) by erecting gyms, public gardens, children’s
playgrounds as well as helping in ridding society of social problems.
– Caring for the oppressed families (article 49 of the municipal law).

4 Hizbullah’s 2004 Municipal Election Program 85

– Supporting and encouraging clubs and associations working within the
geographical areas of the municipalities (article 49 of the municipal
– Helping in building mosques and husayniyyat.
– According special attention to religious occasions and public holidays
through decoration and congratulatory calls on feast days.
– Consolidating commendable societal customs and habits.
– Erecting a special praying place (musalla) in the town hall so that peo-
ple can pray at the stipulated times.
– Exhort the citizens to form special committees, under the jurisdiction
of the law, in order to deal with procedural matters concerning their
– Regulate and strictly observe, within the narrow confines and the juris-
diction of the municipal law, media and information activities situated
within the confines of the municipalities.35
B Caring for the youth
– Appointing a committee, headed by one of the members of the munici-
pal council, in order to follow up on the matters or affairs of youth
associations, thus providing a variety of activities such as scouts, athlet-
ics, and cultural activities. This also would lead to the erection of clubs
aimed at attracting the highest possible number of youths.
– Setting up handicrafts, vocational, athletic, scientific, mathematical
and cultural training courses in cooperation with the specialized min-
istries, UN programs, and local associations, which are concerned with
the youth’s welfare and their (scientific) development.
– Encouraging the youth to acquire scientific and cultural education by
helping them to pursue higher education in their own fields of special-
– Stimulating the successful, creative, innovative youths by organizing an
annual celebration in their honor.
– Doing our utmost best to create job opportunities and establish athletic
playgrounds and well-equipped facilities for the youth.
– Encouraging the youth to visit holy places by organizing competitions
and offering them prizes.
– Establishing a monthly or seasonal journal or brochure specifically for
the youth.36
C Children, motherhood, old age, and handicap (disability)37
– Collecting information and data on the orphans, old people, work-
ing children and handicapped children, to be studied and evaluated in
order to find the appropriate ways to deal with these groups.

2 Election Programs 86
– Fighting illiteracy in society and establishing pedagogical and educa-
tional training courses.
– Reducing child labor and dealing with difficult cases through guidance,
rehabilitation, and working effectively to find them schools.
– Establishing training and vocational courses for mothers in order to
help them to perform their role in a satisfactory way by helping them
raise more income for their families. Also, finding or building day care
centers (for children) in order to help working women.
– Upgrading contact with specialized international associations in order
to guide the nursing mother and give her what she needs.
– Constructing gardens for children and the old aged.
– Helping the poor as much as possible, especially the elderly, to pay state
and municipal taxes.
– Making health and social care available for the elderly, orphans, handi-
capped and the needy through municipal associations and other gov-
ernmental and private institutions.
– Celebrating grandfather’s, grandmother’s, mother’s, and children’s day
and honoring the eldest man or woman with special celebrations and
meetings, or by according them media coverage.38
D Pedagogical care
– Honoring directors, faculty, and educational staff.
– Setting up educational training courses and reinforcements for the
public degree [state diplomas].
– Celebrating the “Day of Victory and Resistance” (25 May)39 in the
domain of the municipal school.
– Celebrating “Teacher’s day” at schools located within the municipality.
– Working on rehabilitating public schools located within the municipal
– Adopting (as a course of action) and encouraging the organization of
cultural and technical fairs.
– Working on the erection of a public library and cultural center.40

7 The domestic, regional, and international resources that the municipali-

ties benefit from
– Local or domestic institutions: The Ministry of Social Affairs, The Min-
istry of Health, The Ministry of the Environment, The Ministry of Pub-
lic Works, The Ministry of Energy and Waterworks, The Institution of
Civil Planning/Organization; and the Lebanese Army.
– Regional and international institutions and organizations: UNICEF,
UNDP, (Iranian) Jihad Al-Bina‘, etc.41

4 Hizbullah’s 2004 Municipal Election Program 87

II Recommendations
1 Accord special attention to the Lebanese diaspora42 and encourage them
to invest their capital in developmental projects within the municipal
2 The relationship between the municipalities and Hizbullah and its civil
institutions and NGOs should be one of coalescence in such a way that
it ought to serve the objectives of the party, which are the same as the
objectives of municipal work, since the latter aims at actively redressing
deprivation at the level of the municipalities, which ultimately leads to a
constructive political society.44
3 Organize detailed studies targeting the following:
– Establishing a union of municipalities to carry out evaluations and
address obstacles/impediments.
– Twin-city programs.
– A new municipal elections law.
– The jurisprudence of municipal work (the religious safeguards, dawabit
shar‘iyya, for municipal work and municipal decisions).
– A general evaluation of municipal work in every municipality with
specific mention of the weaknesses in order to constructively address

5 Hizbullah’s 2005 Parliamentary Elections Program46

(my translation)

1 Safeguard Lebanon’s independence and protect it against the Israeli men-

ace by safeguarding the (Islamic) Resistance, Hizbullah’s military wing,
and its weapons to accomplish total liberation of Lebanese occupied land
(a reference to the Shib‘a farms).
2 Facilitate the mission of the UN’s team investigating Hariri’s assassination.
3 Take practical measures to organize a special relationship between Leba-
non and Syria.
4 Reject all foreign tutelage or intervention in Lebanese domestic affairs
under any pretext or in any form.
5 Contest the parliamentary elections with the intention to achieve the
broadest and most encompassing national and populist representation in
order to come up with an efficient parliament that protects the established
fixities or national set of values (thawabit wataniyya).
6 Affirm the recourse to the constitutional apparatus and state institutions,
while urging the employment of a national discourse through openness
and dialogue in a national-comprehensive framework.

2 Election Programs 88
7 Stress the need for establishing a comprehensive socio-economic program
aimed at stamping out poverty by boosting productive sectors such as
agriculture, industry, and trade, which are conducive to rendering basic
services to the Lebanese citizens.

6 Hizbullah’s 2009 Legislative Election Program: 6

April 200947

On Monday the head of the Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc MP

Muhammad R‘ad announced Hizbullah’s electoral platform during a press con-
ference he held at the Jinan Hall on the airport road in Beirut’s southern suburb,
in the presence of all Hizbullah election candidates.
The following is the complete text of Hizbullah’s vision and electoral platform:

Fellow Lebanese…
On the threshold of parliamentary elections due on the seventh of June, we
are all invited to take advantage of this opportunity in order to re-orientate
political choices and to address the imbalance in power which has produced
a series of crises that negatively impacted the life of the nation and placed the
country in a spiral of instability.
The parliamentary election, though seasonal, is greatly important at this stage
as it is the entrance to the renewal of political life, the stabilization of national
options, and a repeat of the declaration of commitment to Lebanon as a coun-
try, not an arena belonging to the mercenary. This obliges us all to deal with the
elections with the necessary seriousness and responsibility.
Lebanon has been, over the past four years, in difficult throes particularly
since the adoption of resolution 1559, some of the stipulations of which formed a
gateway to internal civil strife and opened the doors of the country to the winds
of regional and international interventions and sharp and dangerous divisions
where international forces, the United States of America being at their forefront,
took advantage of these divisions and tensions to draw the Lebanese arena into
its sphere of influence, thereby flouting the national interests of unity, reconcili-
ation and genuine sovereignty.
When we sat down at the dialogue table, we were prompted by hope that
this would be an opportunity for the reformulation of the national consensus
beyond the reality of line ups and away from the dominance logic, because we
believed, and still believe, that preserving the homeland, its unity and its causes
can only prevail in the spirit of understanding and dialogue. We have always
been supporters of Islamic unity in word and in deed, and strive for national

6 Hizbullah’s 2009 legislative election program: 6 April 2009 89

unity in good faith and effectiveness, out of our commitment to state-building
and strengthening unity.
The Lebanese opposition composed of public figures, parties, and national
and Islamic forces… has been able to restore the image of national unity which
does not continue to be a hostage to confessions and sects.
Then came the historic understanding between Hizbullah and the Free Patri-
otic Movement as a pioneering step in this context, particularly with regard to
the Lebanese themselves and the promotion of internal peace and the develop-
ment of shared qualities among them, and the work on developing a genuine
Perhaps it [the understanding] is the first time a consolidation of a real and
active meeting among the Lebanese occurs, since as Lebanese we have grown
accustomed to such meetings being limited to leadership ranks, without hav-
ing any effects or implications on the ground. This understanding has had a
profound impact on consecrating unity on the internal front, and remarkable
resilience in the face of the Zionist aggression and its repercussions in July of the
year 2006.
This war of aggression formed the height of international onslaught against
Lebanon. It aimed at breaking the Lebanese will to resist and to completely sub-
jugate Lebanon within the context of what was then called ‘the New Middle
East project’. Nevertheless, the great achievements and remarkable heroic acts
achieved by the mujahidin of the Islamic Resistance turned the brutal aggres-
sion – backed by international and regional powers – into a shamefaced defeat
with repercussions ranging from a total defeat of all the Zionist entity’s compo-
nents to the fall of their political and military crew and the dispersion of illu-
sions of control over the region by the US.
Lebanon’s victory in the war was radiant, admitted and confessed to by the
whole world, even by the enemy itself, except for a few who ill-received the scene
of cohesion between the heroic resistance, the army and the people. Rather than
making it a matter of pride and a source of national honour, some sought to
spear it [the victory] with arrows of doubt, slander and attenuation.

Fellow Lebanese…
The resistance you have wagered on, and given your confidence to, with the
help of your sacrifices has created the honorable historical situation of protect-
ing the country and the future of its generations. This resistance was, still is, and
will continue to be at your side through all important matters and calamities.
Thanks to the great sacrifices and offerings made by its martyrs, wounded
and prisoners… and at their forefront offerings are made by martyr leaders
Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, Shaykh Raghib Harb, and Hajj Imad Mughniyyé. This
resistance, which has achieved the liberation of a greater part of the Lebanese

2 Election Programs 90
territory as well as the largest number of prisoners and bodies of martyrs… is
determined to complete the liberation of the remaining occupied territories,
particularly in the Shib‘a Farms and Kfar Shuba hills.
While it places its powers and capabilities in the context of strengthening
Lebanon’s strength, in this same context we believe that any defense strategy
around which a consensus is to be formed must start from the axiom of benefit-
ing from the existing capabilities of the resistance, the army, and the people,
alongside a plan to develop, strengthen and integrate these capabilities, particu-
larly those of the Lebanese army, to be able to confront the “Israeli” occupation,
threats and ambitions in our land and water resources.

Fellow Lebanese…
Consolidating the bonds of national unity, strengthening stability and civil
peace, state-building within the rule of law and institutions, the preparation of
sound environments for a true culture of national citizenry, the rehabilitation
of the spirit of belonging to a nation and land, the achievement of brotherhood,
justice and equality among citizens… are, from our point of view, all duties that
are sacrosanct.
Therefore, our adherence to the national charter, as expressed in the Ta’if
Accord and all chartered items included in the constitution, urge us along to
struggle with you for the creation of a balanced authority, one that respects and
implements this charter and does not depart from it, nor abuse it or its requi-
sites; an authority entrusted with the national destiny, proper application of the
law, respect for freedom and management of public affairs… to address social,
economic and developmental issues and problems, an authority which does not
accumulate debts nor squander public funds, that does not cripple the judi-
ciary nor cause regulatory institutions to be absent, an authority that does not
upset the national balance in development and administration, an authority that
does not, through its policies, widen the economic and social gaps between the
Lebanese, an authority that concerns itself with supporting the national army’s
capacity, to strengthen its potential, and raise the readiness of all security forces,
one that fights crime rather than toys with it and uses it as a scarecrow for intim-
idation and a path to politicization.
We insist on Lebanon being a home for all its citizens, and on our hostility
to “Israel”. We support and back our Palestinian brothers in their struggle to
liberate their land and sanctities. We reject all forms of settlement, partition and
federalism. Our desire is to build the best distinguished brotherly relations with
the Syrian Arab Republic and develop cooperative relations with other broth-
erly and friendly states. These represent a system of constants and axioms for us
from which we will not depart.

6 Hizbullah’s 2009 legislative election program: 6 April 2009 91

The Doha agreement formed a real opportunity to escape the crisis that rav-
aged Lebanon. A President of the Republic was elected, and a government of
national reconciliation was formed. An electoral law was agreed on with elec-
tions to be held on time. This agreement formed a necessary station that led to
a breakthrough in the internal situation during a sensitive and delicate phase.
We believe that the spirit of accord that contributed to its formulation and the
climate of reconciliation that launched it… represent a gateway to strengthen-
ing national partnership and consensus work in the interests of Lebanon and
the Lebanese.

In Political Reform

A Abolition of political sectarianism:

The formation of the national committee for the abolition of political sectarian-
ism, as stipulated in the Lebanese national accord document, is to commence its
work and take practical actions in implementing the recommendations based
on its findings.

B Election Law
The proper pathway to reform lies in the completion of a modern electoral law
based on proportional representation, certainly alongside the completion of the
constitutional amendment on lowering the voting age to eighteen, in addition
to the completion of another amendment, the separation of Parliament from

C Balanced Development
The principle of balanced development represents one of the pillars of politi-
cal reform, for which reason it was stipulated in the covenantal constitution’s
preface. In order to achieve this, we call for the reintroduction of the Ministry
of Planning, subject to ten- or five-year plans, which observe the needs of all
regions in the various sectors.

D Decentralized Administration
The Constitution’s preface stipulates the reconsideration of administrative divi-
sions, taking into account national assimilation, the preservation of coexistence
and administrative decentralization according to: granting broader administra-
tive powers to micro-units (municipalities, governorships, provinces), designed
to enhance development opportunities, and facilitate a speedy completion of
transactions and administrative tasks.

2 Election Programs 92
E Judicial System
Since the Lebanese constitution states that the judiciary is an independent
authority, alongside the two legislative and executive authorities, and since a
fair and impartial judicial system guarantees the rule of law and safeguards the
rights of individuals and the community as a whole, and thus no reform can
occur without political reform, we see the need to work on completing and
implementing the law which deals with the organization of the judiciary under
the authority of the highest independent judicial body.

In Administrative Reform
Administrative reform is a significant challenge in all societies, smooth and effi-
cient management is a characteristic of the modern state, whereby management
reform aims to alleviate citizens’ burdens, mobilize energies and skills, and for
the swift and satisfactory completion of tasks.
In moving toward this goal, work efforts should be focused according to the
A A comprehensive plan of guidelines drawn up by the management, which
describes its needs and fills in vacancies.
B A focus on scientific competence and practical skills.
C Modernization, automation, networking of information and fighting red-
tape in bureaucracy.
D Activation of control and accountability, strengthening and fortifying the
control institutions (the Civil Service Council, Central Inspection, Gen-
eral Board of Corrections, the Office of Accounting).
E The development of laws and regulations employed in the management
and budget area, to ensure speedy accomplishment of tasks, stopping
waste and the elimination of bribery.
F To adopt a scientific and systematic plan in the process of recruiting staff,
especially senior staff (levels I and II), in the context of promoting effi-
ciency and good performance in the public administration.
G Work on implementing the law to establish the two districts of Baalbek-
al-Hermel and Akkar, and completing the issuance of practical decrees in
this regard.

In Economic and Financial Reform

Since independence, Lebanon has suffered a lack of researched economic and
development visions that are based on available resources, national needs and
regional relevance, which is the reason why the process of economic-perfor-
mance development and improvement is random and has led to a decrease in
productive sectors, congestion in others and the unreasonable, oversized growth
of others, leaving the Lebanese economy with the prevalent characteristic of

6 Hizbullah’s 2009 legislative election program: 6 April 2009 93

service and revenue focus, and resulting in the destruction of industries that
are productive and labor absorbing, such as agriculture, and national expertise,
such as manufacture.
In order to initiate real economic reform, it is necessary to first adopt a new
role for the state, through the transition from the reality of the neutral state,
with its limited social and economic contributions, to the reality of a state that is
responsible for achieving development and justice. Therefore, work is required
on the following tracks:
1 Developmental: through a balanced development of the sectors and
regions, developmental partnerships between public and private sectors,
and a fair distribution of gains.
2 Economic: through the achievement of lasting and stable growth in the
gross domestic product, raising competitive productivity of economic sec-
tors, and regional integration (Arab and Islamic markets).
3 Social: the reduction of unemployment levels, fighting poverty, develop-
ing the means for redistribution of incomes and the provision of basic
4 Financial: break the vicious circle of public debt and reduce its cost, reduce
the budget deficit, fight squandering and bring about fair tax reforms.
5 In this context emphasis should be placed on the need for the develop-
ment and continuance of a policy of stimulating the productive sectors,
such as agriculture, industry and tourism… by providing soft loans, provi-
sion of tax incentives, encouraging small enterprises to merge, strengthen-
ing collaborative work, provide equipment guidance and support, increase
irrigated areas, study the needs of both local and foreign markets, move
toward agricultural industrialization trend, develop the animal produc-
tion sector and subsidize exports of all kinds.

The ultimate goal is to fight poverty and social marginalization, this requires
joint efforts from both public and private sectors, to focus on economic activi-
ties and provide employment opportunities, to be directed toward rural and
remote areas.

The Education Sector

The Lebanese University (LU) is considered the most important higher educa-
tion institution in Lebanon in terms of its wide coverage, the broad range of spe-
cializations it provides and its number of students, particularly those belonging
to low-income families. It is also assumed that this university shapes the future
generations of the nation. This requires support and development through the
implementation of laws specific to the LU, which guarantee its financial and

2 Election Programs 94
administrative independence, ensure its development and enhance its scientific
research capabilities.
Addressing outstanding issues is also required, such as full-time professors,
promotions, support of the contracting fund and the revival of the LU Students
National Union.
As for the general education sector, duty calls for the introduction of a com-
prehensive education scheme, with emphasis on raising the level of teaching
qualifications to provide schools with the necessary requirements, securing
their fuel supply for the winter season, advancing the school fund, re-mapping
the distribution of schools according to balanced development requirements, in
addition to developing educational institutes, education inspection and the pro-
motion of its powers, implementing compulsory education as well as making
education free of charge, promoting public, vocational and technical education
and addressing the longstanding demands of teachers from different levels in a
positive and responsible spirit.

Civil Society Organizations

In the context of developing a sense of national responsibility, the development
of party and trade union work should be sought, civil society institutions and
organs should be allowed to become active in playing a vital ancillary role, to
play the role of an active observer of the performance of formal institutions,
leading to the promotion of community awareness to exercise its duties in the
management of public life; in this context, we focus on the following areas:
1 Media: Freedom of expression should be maintained and protected as
stated in the preface of the constitution, as an inalienable right that cannot
be harmed in the framework of safeguarding the law, hence the freedom
of media work. The review of certain laws, particularly the law on publica-
tions, in a manner that removes the looming threat on the media.
2 Women: Take action to strengthen the role of women and the develop-
ment of their participation in the areas of political, cultural, educational,
informational and social activities, and to benefit from this role in the cre-
ation of a psychological and moral balance in society.
3 Youth: Provide care for the emerging generations and youth groups, devel-
op their energies and talents, and direct them towards national, human-
istic and higher goals, protect them from corrupt thoughts and from the
means and tools of corruption and profligacy.
4 To combat deviation and harmful traits in our society, whether through
the media or other means, to focus on educational and media guidance, to
warn of the dangers of the spread of corruption and the decaying of values,
and the strict control of scenes and images that are imposed on public
decency and harm the humanistic image of women.

6 Hizbullah’s 2009 legislative election program: 6 April 2009 95

5 To protect the privacy of citizens through banning indiscriminate wire-
tapping of their telephone calls, to respect the laws governing this issue,
and to call to account any would-be violators, no matter who they are.

Improvement and Development of Social Services

In the light of our conviction that the state should never resign its fostering role,
and that it does not act impartially or indifferently toward the needs of its citi-
zens, work must focus on improving the services in the areas of health, educa-
tion, housing and social welfare; of these we mention the following:
A Activate the public health sector, mainstream the principle of health care
and prevention, put an end to the monopoly of the pharmaceuticals mar-
ket and consolidate health funds.
B Support the development and reform of the National Social Security Fund,
to broaden its base of beneficiaries.
C Develop a housing strategy, which takes into account the overall devel-
opment of all regions in addition to the development of state-supported
housing loans.
D Complete the process of planning and land classification, speed up the
completion of the annexation and partitioning works, and address the
problems of common and jointly owned property and building property

Energy and Resource Protection

The waste of water and natural resources is one of Lebanon’s long-term prob-
lems, despite the high rainfall percentage and the many other water sources,
suffering [from its shortage] is still significant, especially in times of scarcity,
and for that action the following is needed:
A The protection of water resources, especially those threatened by the
“Israeli” enemy.
B Accomplishing the planned Litani Project with a water level of 800 meters.
C Serious work on accomplishing the projects of dams and ponds, according
to a specific timetable.
D The expansion and rehabilitation of irrigation systems, especially in agri-
cultural areas.
E The completion of the establishment and rehabilitation of domestic water
F In the Electricity Sector, what is needed is the completion of feed lines,
the modernization of production plants, addressing technical wastage
and combating violations and the expansion into new environmentally
friendly production means.

2 Election Programs 96
G As for the Communications Sector, what is required is the preservation of
this national wealth through development of the sector and the improve-
ment of its services, along with providing more facilities for the consum-
ers, with low-priced, better service always being the goal.

Environment Protection
The environment in Lebanon has been exposed to a wide process of destruction
and violation: from the burning of forests, to the work of indiscriminate cutting
of trees, to the chaos of stone quarries and crushing plants, to polluting rivers
with sewage, to the indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes, all of which calls on
us to sound the alarm and declare a state of national emergency to achieve the
A The adoption of a plan of guidelines that is scientific, environmentally
friendly and final for the stone quarries and crushers.
B To expedite the completion of the construction of sewage plants in all
C Run a modern study for best solid waste disposal methods, for converting
waste into energy rather than burying it in the ground.
D The provision of effective fire-combating means (aircrafts, etc…), strin-
gent prevention of tampering with the environment, and fighting infringe-
ments on sea shores and river banks.
E Launch a national campaign to stop the deforestation of Lebanon in coop-
eration with domestic and foreign organizations and associations that are
interested in this matter.

Dear Lebanese,
This is our vision and commitment.
This is our pledge, the pledge of the martyrs, of Sayyid Abbas, Shaykh Raghib
and Hajj Imad, and just as we have always been, we will stay with you and by
you, faithful to and supportive of the resistance; based on this vision and this
platform we approach you asking for your valued and precious confidence.
Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you


7 Nasrallah’s Post-elections Press Conference: 8 June


The text of the speech delivered by Hizbullah secretary-general Sayyid Hasan

Nasrallah on al-Manar Television after the Lebanese elections on 8 June 2009:

7 Nasrallah’s post-elections press conference: 8 June 2009 97

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, the Compas-
sionate, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the world. Peace be on
our Master and Prophet – The Seal of Prophets – Abi Al-Qasim Muhammad Bin
Abdullah and on his chaste and kind Household, chosen companions and all the
prophets and messengers. Peace be upon you all and Allah’s blessing and mercy.
Tonight I will move from the general to the private, then I will end up with
two general topics. Indeed I will address you all in my speech that tackles the
event we passed through together, which is the parliamentary election and its
First: I would like to congratulate all the Lebanese people with all their political
parties, movements and groups on this great important national achievement.
I would like also to praise the popular showing at voting stations in all regions
and from all sects which reflects a great political responsibility towards national
causes and the present and future of this nation and people. This is indeed a
very great positive point which must be lauded and which also must be stressed
and strengthened because it sets a clear track that shows that we as a Lebanese
people deserve to take this chance and to resort to this means in face of essential
Second: I would like to thank all ministries and political, judiciary and secu-
rity administrators, especially the Lebanese Army and the security forces, on
their running of this process and on preserving security, stability and peace
which gave the Lebanese the great chance to vote and express their views. This
is noticeable especially because these political, security and judiciary adminis-
trators stood before a great challenge, which is to hold elections on one day. So
despite the defects and flaws which will be evaluated so as to be addressed later,
we believe it was a major challenge, and we believe that it was faced with great
Third: I would like to congratulate all the winners in the parliamentary elec-
tions whether from the Loyalists [governing coalition] or from the Opposi-
tion and in all parliamentary districts. They all must know that now they have
assumed the responsibility of the people and the future of this country. So
Insha’Allah (God willing) they will live up to this assumed responsibility.
Fourth: We accept the results announced by the Interior Minister, while pre-
serving the right of candidates in the various districts. If any of them has any
information that enables him to appeal before the Constitutional Council, this
would be a particular issue. As for the official results which were announced, we
accept them with sportsmanship and democratic spirits. We also accept that the
other contesting group – i.e. the Loyalists – has won the majority of seats in the
parliament though the Opposition preserved its previous parliamentary posi-
tion in sum (as it lost some districts and won others).

2 Election Programs 98
Indeed, we accept the parliamentary majority. Well, at previous ceremonies,
I used to say that there is a difference between parliamentary majority and pop-
ular majority. The parliamentary majority might or might not be the popular
majority. Anyway, we accept the parliamentary majority. As for the popular
majority, it seems that it needs centers for studies and statistics to review figures
closely so as to know who gains the popular majority. I believe that we all can
resort to the ballot boxes to help us in deciding the popular majority (as we
resorted to ballot boxes to decide the parliamentary elections), and if most of
the votes in sum were for the interest of the other party, I will accept that they
are also the popular majority.
Now we accept the results regardless of our evaluation of the election process
and the means used in this regard, despite the huge expenditure which will be
clearly illustrated within days, the sectarian, factional – and at times racial –
incitement which was illustrated during the election campaign days, the accusa-
tions and lies which aimed at intimidating the public opinion, especially within
some sects and some districts and the overt foreign interference. Anyway, I will
not interfere in such an evaluation. I just wanted to point this out. We will have
our evaluation of the election process from A to Z, just as the other forces will
make such evaluations, although that will not influence our acceptance of the
In this framework and as we are talking about results and accepting results,
I would like to point out two big lies (which have been prompted through the
election campaign) that have been thwarted. As these points are directly related
to us, especially the Opposition and more precisely to Hizbullah, I feel that I am
obliged to single them out and clarify them.
First, lie number one is the political rhetoric that has been exploited for
months regarding the Opposition as seeking to cripple elections and ruining
the political and security status to prevent elections from taking place. [It was
being said that] if the Opposition would find out that it was losing the elections
and not moving towards a parliamentary majority while voting was taking place
it would destroy the ballots and blur the situation. Also [it was said that] after
counting the votes or when the results would be announced, the Opposition
would not accept the results and would challenge the parliamentary elections
and consider them illegitimate and consequently push the country towards
political, popular and security crises. This has been said, if not by all Loyalist
leaderships (to be on the safe side), by most of them.
Well today (Monday) here I am at your service. The results were announced,
and we are dealing with them normally. This is the first proof of the big lie
invested in the election campaigns. The election day was normal, natural and
excellent. The security status was excellent and stable. The turnout was huge. The
vote counting was calm. Results were announced, and no problems occurred.

7 Nasrallah’s post-elections press conference: 8 June 2009 99

It was clear that all were fearful. I was following up with the Interior Minister –
whom we address with a special salutation – while he was saying that now the
election was over, and the great event was issuing the results via vote counting.
We have to accept the outcome because there was anxiety about this. This is the
first point. We could say that this was one of the big lies which were invested in
the election campaign. Now it has been exposed.
Now comes the second lie, which is even bigger than the first and which was
invested more in the election campaign. Well, when I handle such points I do
not mean to record lies to highlight the upcoming stage. We want to benefit
from the past to highlight the future. In recent months, speeches, statements
and interviews focused on how elections would be held while the resistance
arms are still there. That means that elections are not fair; people are under pres-
sure; they cannot express themselves as these arms are imposing choices on the
people; the people are not convinced of their choices. This was also said by most
of the other party leaderships. They wrote articles and did lengthy interviews on
this issue. Indeed, if the opposition won the parliamentary elections, that issue
would be raised again. They would have said the fairness of the elections was
challenged because it was held in the presence of the Resistance’s [Hizbullah’s]
Arms. Now, because the Loyalists won the parliamentary elections, no one is
tackling that issue. I am reminded of that because after the results of the elec-
tions were announced and we accepted them, this great lie was exposed. The
elections were held in Lebanon in all districts in the presence of the armed resis-
tance. In the presence of the resistance arsenal which had never been present
since 1982, people voted; there was no pressure; no one imposed anything on
them, results were issued today, and nothing untoward took place.
So one of the most important conclusions is that these arms are not used to
impose political realities. One of the most important political events is the par-
liamentary election because the role played by the parliament in the Lebanese
regime is well known, whether electing the president (we are through with the
lie of shortening the presidential tenure, too), forming the government, law-
making, public budget, agreements… So if we wanted to say which is the single
most important internal political event? It is the parliamentary election. Well,
people voted with utmost ease and freedom. Neither the armed resistance nor
their acts were noticed. This proves what we have always said, that these arms
are not to impose political realities and not to put people in power or take them
out of power. It has a clear role, which is that of resistance and defending the
country. Here I stress that the election process as a whole has proved before all
accusers and misleaders the soundness of the direction into which these arms
are pointed. I conclude this point by saying that the Lebanese have proved their
ability as a state, people and political and security forces to preserve security,
stability, civil peace, political and media election competition – even sharp com-

2 Election Programs 100

petition – without touching on the pillars of security and stability. Now we must
guard and preserve this. We have always said that we have to resort to the ballot
boxes. The whole story of the Opposition since the July [2006] War until now
was resorting to the polls. We could have spared our country all these troubles.
Fifth: I like to greet with high estimation all the Lebanese National Opposi-
tion leaderships, cadres, movements, parties and masses. I say to them: Dear
ones, together we have set a noble national goal, which is to work to achieve a
great reform in every sector whether legal, political, economic, social, living,
financial… Thus we – the Lebanese National Opposition – sought to gain the
parliamentary majority to serve the reform project and not to seize power and
have hegemony over the country. All of us in the Lebanese National Opposition
exerted our utmost legitimate efforts in the election battle. We have all faced
what was properly called by General Michel ‘Aun a global war because no one
in the whole world has tried to interfere in the elections. The Opposition masses
got involved in this great national battle with the utmost faithfulness and zeal.
Now, if we cannot serve this reform project that we believe in from the parlia-
mentary majority post, that does not mean that we have no obligation as national
forces to serve this reform project from another position, whether as parliamen-
tary, popular and political Opposition from outside or inside the government.
These options are open to debate. But this responsibility towards the reform
project that we believe in and want to achieve remains valid. Today, I renew the
pledge and call on all the Opposition leaderships to renew the pledge and com-
mitment along with all the popular groups who have voted for the Opposition
in all the districts to serve the reform project which the masses believe in and
have worked for. They bore all these sufferings in the past period and stood by
the opposition forces. This responsibility never ends or stops. Indeed, the parlia-
mentary elections, despite their importance, are not more than a station on the
long road of the national political struggle to achieve these noble goals.
We in the Opposition are supposed to make consultations very soon – Inshal-
lah – to decide our steps, course and the way to deal with the upcoming events.
Indeed, before naming the speaker and the premier and forming the govern-
ment, we have to decide on how to deal with these events as an Opposition. Now
I do not want to have the final word in any matter because this needs studying,
consultations and an agreement among the National Opposition. That will take
place in the next few days – Inshallah.
I whole-heartedly and on behalf of all my brethren in the Hizbullah leader-
ship thank and highly esteem especially the masses of the resistance and the
masses of Hizbullah. Here I would like to mention the categorization resorted to
in the electoral districts. In some districts there was no election competition. We
considered them present at the line of fire, such as in the south, B‘albak-Hirmel,
Beirut Southern Suburbs (which was both at the line of fire and a competition

7 Nasrallah’s post-elections press conference: 8 June 2009 101

district). In the districts where there was no competition we still called on people
to come in masses to the ballot stations to express their political choices, espe-
cially regarding the resistance (as it is they who paid the tax of blood, displace-
ment, house demolition during the July War and other things). We found out
that despite the fact that the southern and B‘albak-Hirmel districts did not wit-
ness election competition, the percentage of voters was very high and in some
cases exceeded the districts which did witness sharp and tough competition.
This huge popular turnout in the various regions is highly appreciated. Indeed,
it was not surprising because it is the conviction, wish and will of the people.
I also want to thank the masses who participated in the districts where there
were election competitions: Western Biqa‘, Rashaya, Mid Biqa‘, Mount Leba-
non districts, the North and Beirut in general, where we have popular masses,
brethren and activists who exerted great efforts. Also, I would like to thank the
campaign staff in all the regions who worked for months with great and obvious
effort, which yielded this great popular presence. This was their right, whether
in the districts where there are Shi‘ite seats or not and whether in the districts
where there were Hizbullah voters or not because we worked on the basis that
the Opposition as a whole is involved in the battle, and it is our normal right to
be present. We have electors in northern Matn who want to vote also in Kisir-
wan, Jubayl and Koura and all the other districts. Here I again want to condemn
some sectarian, factional, racist rhetoric which does not agree with others hav-
ing the final word in the district when the majority in that district is of a definite
sect. In fact, this is what took place in most of the districts. In some districts
the final word was for sects and in others for factional minorities. So why is the
speech sectarian here and national there? Every Lebanese person, whatever his
religious sect or faction has the right and it is even his duty to vote in the region
where he is registered in the electoral lists. That is his national obligation, and if
he fails to fulfill this obligation, he would be abandoning his national responsi-
bility. I sincerely salute all the campaign staffs. I also congratulate all my breth-
ren in the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc in all the districts, because all the Bloc’s
candidates won in all the districts with very high votes, and they have gained
unprecedented public support.
I conclude with two general points. The first has to do with the people and the
massive vote of confidence they gave to Hizbullah in these districts, which was
much more like a referendum. The people have addressed the whole world with
a message: the choice of the resistance is not that of an armed party or gang. It is
not a choice imposed on people by force and pressure. No one could oblige the
people, especially not in districts where there was no competition, to leave their
regions and go to ballot boxes with such a huge turnout, especially with new
obstacles as a result of the new administration that was used in the elections.
Those people who showed up sent a message to the whole world: the choice of

2 Election Programs 102

resistance is a popular choice, especially in areas which face the threat of aggres-
sion. Consequently, the choice of resistance is an expression of the will of these
people, their inclination, culture, awareness and life. This must be respected.
The second message is that resistance is not a weapon to be debated but rather a
popular will. This point is to be discussed at the dialogue table. The people’s will
and choices must be discussed, especially concerning those people who live in
the arena under threat.
In regard of this point in particular, I heard some statements or discussions
which expressed fear about this point in the upcoming stage. I say that there
is no need for fear in any case. As long as the resistance is a popular choice
embraced by the people, there is no need for fear because no one can do any-
thing with the popular will. I stressed this point before the elections and after
the elections, regardless of who might have won. This is left for a quiet dialogue
and objective discussion. I believe this is the right path which all parties are sup-
posed to have announced their commitment to. Consequently, there is no need
to fear or polarize this topic, be it now or in the upcoming stage.
The last point, which I would like to end with, is that after this great national
achievement in elections, the chance of establishing a strong, capable, fair state
is still possible regardless of the election results. We agree that there are great
challenges before us as Lebanese, whether on the economic level (financial cri-
sis) or on the social, political, administrative and other levels. So I believe we
all must have reached the conviction of saving this country, developing it, solv-
ing its troubles, raising its status and guarding its independence, freedom and
dignity. That needs the cooperation of all Lebanese, regardless of the nature of
this cooperation. The chance is still there. This is linked to the will of all politi-
cal forces which have proved their popular political parliamentary presence in
the ballot boxes. Ballot boxes have proved that even those who did not win
parliamentary seats have great popular support in their regions, and this must
not be neglected. To a great extent this has to do with the will of the political
forces and parties. But I believe that this is essentially and primarily linked to
the party which gained the parliamentary majority in these elections. How will
it conduct itself? What is its true program? Let us put aside what was said before
the elections. Tell us after the elections: what is the true program? What is the
program that it wants? This program must be known to the Lebanese because
this is the future of their country. What are the priorities of this party? How will
they behave? In what spirit will they deal with the public affairs? Will they ben-
efit from the previous years’ experiences, especially those of the last four years?
Will they blunder in classifying priorities or will they classify them in the right
After the parliamentary elections, the party which has become the parlia-
mentary majority is more concerned with how to deal with the coming period,

7 Nasrallah’s post-elections press conference: 8 June 2009 103

whereas the National Opposition, which has preserved its parliamentary posi-
tion, will work from this popular and political position. This might be more on
the popular level, but that will have to be illustrated by the figures in the coming
few days. So the majority is concerned with the fate of the country. It cannot quit
my stance by any means. It is concerned in the coming period with being clear
to the Lebanese. Nothing whatsoever must be hidden. That is because transpar-
ency and clarity and truthfulness are very important elements in our country,
in order to overcome troubles and disputes and to open doors wide for dialogue
and agreement. So let us try to build a republic based on truthfulness. Enough
with fabricating events that have to do with the state or with deciding priorities
based on lies, accusations, fears and worries. Tonight I would like to answer
all that was said in the election campaign. Let it go. The days ahead will prove
like this day did that there were two lies that were exploited for the elections,
concerning the position of the opposition from the elections and holding elec-
tions while Hizbullah retains its weapons. Let us put what has been said behind
us. Let us depend on faithfulness, transparency and clarity. Let us be open with
each other, whether we are Loyalists or Opposition, so as to build a country
together and to defend and develop it. Let us together help this country out of
the crises which it has been suffering from for so long.
We stand before a new stage and status. May Allah bless all those who have
exerted great efforts in the previous stage. This was a station. Let us deal with it
with all its results. Let us benefit from the lessons of the past. Let us see where the
gaps were. What are the good and bad points? What are the points of strength
and points of weakness? Let us develop our presence. But what must not be
touched ever is our responsibility towards our people and country, especially
those who offered blood and great efforts to liberate this nation and defend its
existence. This station must furnish us with more determination and will to con-
tinue working and struggling with hope and confidence in the future so that we
may be able to see our country for which our brethren, sons and dear ones have
offered their chaste souls and blood. We must preserve it, defend it and move it
forward, God willing. Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessing.

2 Election Programs 104

3 Agreements,
Understandings, Pacts

1 Paper of Common Understanding between Hizbullah

and The Free Patriotic Movement:1 6 February 2006

I Dialogue
National dialogue is the only avenue to find solutions to Lebanon’s crises on
stable and firm bases that are a reflection of a unifying consensual will. The fol-
lowing conditions must be obtained to ensure its success:
A The participation of parties that have a political, popular and national
standing with a round table as the venue.
B Transparency, openness, and placing the interests of the nation above any
other interest, through the reliance on self-driven will and free and com-
mitted Lebanese decision-making.
C Include all national issues that require general consensus.

II Consensual Democracy
Consensual democracy remains the fundamental basis for governance in Leb-
anon because it is the effective embodiment of the spirit of the Constitution
and of the essence of the pact of shared coexistence. From this standpoint, any
approach for dealing with national issues according to a majority-minority for-
mula depends on historic and social conditions for practicing effective democ-
racy in which the citizen becomes an independent value.

III The Electoral Law

The reform of political life in Lebanon requires the adoption of a modern elec-
toral law – where proportional representation may be one of its effective means

– that guarantees accurate and just popular representation and contributes to
the accomplishment of the following objectives:
1 Activate and develop the role of political parties in achieving civil society.
2 Limit the influence of political money and sectarian fanaticism.
3 Make available equal opportunities for using the various means of the
4 Ensure the required means to enable the Lebanese expatriates to exer-
cise their voting rights.

We ask the government and parliament to commit to the shortest possible dead-
line to enact the required electoral law.

IV Building the State

Building a modern state that has the trust of its citizens and is able to meet their
needs and aspirations, and provide them with the sense of security and safety as
to their present and future, requires that the state should be erected on strong
and solid foundations that make it impervious to destabilization and periodic
crises whenever it is faced by difficult challenges and changing circumstances.
This requires the following:
A Adopt the standards of justice, equality, parity, merit and integrity.
B An equitable and impartial judiciary is the essential condition for creating
a state of rights, laws and institutions based on:
1 The complete independence of the judiciary and the selection of judges
with recognized competence in order to activate the work of all courts.
2 The respect for the actions of the constitutional institutions while keep-
ing them away from political polarization; ensure the continuity of
their work and prevent their blockage (the Judicial Council and the
Constitutional Council). What happened in the Constitutional Council
is an example of such a blockage, when the legal challenges of parlia-
mentary elections submitted to it have not yet been acted upon.
C Eradicate corruption from its roots, because temporary and partial solu-
tions are no longer sufficient. They have in fact become an exercise in bluff
that the beneficiaries of corruption at all levels carry out to perpetuate
their theft of the resources of the state and its citizens. This requires:
1 Activating the institutions and boards of financial and administrative
control and inspection, while ensuring their strict separation from the
executive power to guarantee that their work is not politicized.
2 Conducting a complete survey of the cases of corruption, in prepara-
tion for opening judicial investigations that would lead to the prosecu-
tion of those responsible for corruption, and to the return of embezzled
public funds.

3 Agreements, Understandings, Pacts 106

3 Legislating the required laws that contribute to combating all aspects
of corruption and calling upon the government to sign the United
Nations Convention Against Corruption.
4 Working toward a comprehensive administrative reform that ensures
that the right person is assigned to the right position, particularly those
whose merit, competence and integrity are recognized. This can be
accomplished by empowering the Civil Service Council to assume its
full prerogatives.
5 Setting deadlines for actions on these issues because the factor of time
has become critical. This matter requires fast and judicious solutions
which would use the time factor to their advantage instead of the cor-
rupt using it to theirs.

V The Missing During the War

To turn the page of the past and achieve a comprehensive national reconcilia-
tion, all the outstanding files of the war must be closed. The file of the missing in
the war requires a stance of responsibility to end this anomalous situation and
put the parents’ minds at ease. The parents cannot be asked to forgive without
respecting their rights to know the fate of their children. This is why we ask all
parties involved in the war for their full cooperation to uncover the fate of the
missing and the locations of the mass graves.

VI The Lebanese in Israel

Whereas both sides are convinced that the presence of Lebanese citizens in their
homeland is better than their presence in enemy territory, a resolution of the
question of the Lebanese residing in Israel requires a speedy action to ensure
their return to their country while taking into consideration all the political,
security and livelihood circumstances surrounding the matter. On this basis,
we call upon them to promptly return to their country in the spirit of the call
by Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah following the Israeli withdrawal from south Leb-
anon and the speech delivered by General Michel ‘Aun at the first session of

VII The Security Question

First, Political Assassinations:
Any form of political assassination is condemned and rejected because of its
violation of basic human rights and of the most important foundations of the
existence of Lebanon represented by difference and diversity, and of the essence
of democracy and its practice. Therefore, to the extent that we condemn the
assassination of Former Prime Minister martyr Rafiq Hariri and all assassina-
tions and assassination attempts that preceded and followed it, leading to the

Paper of Common Understanding 107

assassination of MP Gebran Tueni, we emphasize the importance of moving for-
ward with the investigation according to the officially approved mechanisms in
order to uncover the truth. This is an issue that cannot be subjected to any com-
promise because it is a required condition to achieve justice and serve it against
the criminals, as well as to bring an end to the cycle of murder and bombings.
For this reason, it is an obligation to keep these issues away from any attempts
at political exploitation, which would harm their essence, and the essence of
justice that must remain above any political conflicts or disagreements.

Second, Security Reforms:

A reform of the Security Services is an inseparable part of the broader reform
process of state institutions and their rebuilding on sound and solid bases.
Given the delicate position that the Security Services occupy in protecting and
defending a stable security environment in the country against any breaches or
threats, the process of building those Services must be given special attention.
Therefore, the government is urged to assume its full responsibilities as follows:
A Put in place an integrated security plan based on the centralization of
security decisions and on a clear definition of enemy versus friend, the
determination of security threats, including the issue of terrorism as well
as the security breaches that must be dealt with.
B Dissociate the Security Services from any political considerations and cli-
entelism, for their full loyalty should be to the nation.
C Assign the responsibility of the Services to personalities with recognized
competence and integrity.
D Security measures must not be in conflict with the basic freedoms guaran-
teed by the Constitution, most of all the freedom of expression and politi-
cal action, which do not threaten security and public stability.
E Constitute a parliamentary Intelligence Committee that would oversee the
reform and building processes of the Security Services.

VIII Lebanese-Syrian Relations

The establishment of balanced and sound Lebanese-Syrian relations requires a
review of the past experience while drawing the necessary conclusions and les-
sons in order to avoid the accumulated mistakes, blemishes, and breaches. This
is in order to pave the way to build these relations on clear bases on parity and
the full and mutual respect for the sovereignty and independence of both states,
on the grounds of rejecting the return to any form of foreign tutelage. Therefore,
it is necessary:
A That the Lebanese government take all legal measures and procedures
pertaining to the assertion of the Lebanese identity of the Shib‘a Farms and

3 Agreements, Understandings, Pacts 108

present them to the United Nations, now that the Syrian state has declared
the Shib‘a Farms to be fully Lebanese.
B To demarcate the borders between Lebanon and Syria away from the ten-
sions that could block this operation which both Lebanon and Syria have
had a long-standing need to achieve through a mutual agreement.
C To ask the Syrian state to fully cooperate with the Lebanese state to uncov-
er the fate of the Lebanese detainees in Syrian prisons without the provo-
cation, tension, and negativity that would hinder a positive settlement of
this file.
D Establish diplomatic relations between the two countries and provide
appropriate conditions for them, thus transferring them from a relation
between individuals and groups to a relation between institutions in order
to secure their permanence and stability.

IX Lebanese-Palestinian Relations
Addressing the Palestinian file requires a comprehensive approach that asserts,
on the one hand, the respect by the Palestinians of the authority of the Lebanese
state and their compliance with its laws and, on the other hand, the reaffirma-
tion of solidarity with their cause and the recovery of their rights, in accordance
with the following rules:
A The social condition of the Palestinians requires strong attention to im­­
prove their living conditions and secure a decent standard for a dig-
nified human life on the basis of bilateral cooperation and the human
rights charter, in addition to facilitating their movement inside and out-
side Lebanese territory.
B The Right of Return of the Palestinians is a fundamental and permanent
right, and the rejection of the settling of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon
is an issue that has the consensus of the Lebanese people and cannot be
conceded under any circumstances.
C Define the relationship between the Lebanese state and the Palestinians
in a single institutional Palestinian framework that would be a legitimate
representative of the Palestinian people in Lebanon in a manner condu-
cive to proper coordination and cooperation.
D The issue of putting an end to Palestinian weapons outside the camps and
controlling the security situation inside them should be dealt with as part
of a serious, responsible and close dialogue between the Lebanese govern-
ment and the Palestinians, leading to the exercise of the state’s authority
and laws over the entire Lebanese territory.

X The Protection of Lebanon and the Preservation of its Independence and Sover-

Paper of Common Understanding 109

Protecting Lebanon and preserving its independence and sovereignty is a
national public responsibility and duty, guaranteed by international treaties and
the Human Rights Charter, particularly in confronting any threats or dangers
from any source. Therefore, carrying arms is not an objective in itself. Rather, it
is an honorable and sacred means exercised by any group whose land is occu-
pied, similar in this way to the methods of political resistance. In this context,
Hizbullah’s weapons should be addressed as part of a comprehensive approach
that falls within two bounds. The first bound is the reliance on justifications
which meet national consensus, and which would constitute a source of strength
for Lebanon and the Lebanese people for keeping the weapons, and the other
bound is the definition of objective conditions that would lead to a cessation of
the reasons and justifications for keeping those weapons. And since Israel occu-
pies the Shib‘a Farms, imprisons Lebanese resistance members and threatens
Lebanon, the Lebanese people should assume their responsibilities and share
the burden of protecting Lebanon, safeguarding its existence and security, and
protecting its independence and sovereignty by:
1 Liberating the Shib‘a Farms from Israeli occupation.
2 Liberating the Lebanese prisoners from Israeli prisons.
3 Protecting Lebanon from Israeli threats through a national dialogue lead-
ing to the formulation of a national defense strategy which the Lebanese
agree to and subscribe to by assuming its burdens and benefiting from its

2 The Beirut Declaration: 15 May 2008

In conformity with the decisions of the Arab Foreign Ministers in the Arab
League meeting held on May 11, 2008, in order to contain the Lebanese situa-
tion, the ministerial committee headed to Beirut from 14 to 15 May in order to
meet with the Lebanese leaders to discuss the situation in Lebanon and agree
on the implementation of the Arab Initiative in an effort to contain the perilous
situation that is hovering over Lebanon, and in light of the consultations per-
formed by the committee on the basis of the principles of the Lebanese constitu-
tion and the Ta’if Agreement, the following points were agreed upon:
– Welcoming the Lebanese Cabinet’s decision to agree to the Army’s deci-
sion pertaining to the head of security at the airport and Hizbullah’s tele-
communications network.
– Putting an immediate end to the infighting, the withdrawal of all fighters
from the streets, and opening all roads as well as the International Airport
and the Beirut Port.

3 Agreements, Understandings, Pacts 110

– Placing peace and security in the hands of the Army, the return to nor-
mal civilian life, and the effective functioning of the public and private
– The formation of a national unity cabinet.
– Agreeing on a new election law (for the legislative elections to be held in
June 2009).
– Ending the sit-in in downtown Beirut in the wake of the election of the
consensus President General Michel Sulayman.

1 A return to the status quo ante of May 5, 2008.

2 Agreement on the return to the national dialogue sessions among the
14 leading Lebanese politicians, while working on building confidence
among the warring parties on the basis of the following points:
3 The launching of dialogue aimed at buttressing the Lebanese state’s author-
ity over its territories and upholding security while maintaining good rela-
tions with the different parties that form the Lebanese fiber. The dialogue
is to be launched in Doha and continued in Beirut under the leadership
of the president immediately after his election, under the auspices of the
Arab League.
4 All the parties solemnly declare the renunciation of carrying arms or
resorting to violence for the sake of achieving political gains.
5 The dialogue begins as soon as this declaration is made public by the
implementation of the first article in Doha on May 16, 2008, under the
auspices of the Arab League; this dialogue continues on a non-abating
basis until an agreement is reached.
6 All the parties should immediately abide by halting political and sectarian
incitement discourse.

3 Doha Accord: 21 May 2008

1 The immediate election of the consensus president (General Michel Suly-

man, the commander of the Lebanese Army).
2 The formation of a national unity cabinet according to the following
distribution: sixteen ministers for the majority, eleven ministers for the
opposition, and three ministers to be appointed by the president.
3 Basing the June 2009 legislative elections on the 1960 election law, while
keeping the Marji‘yyun-Hasbayya area as one election district; likewise
Ba‘albak-Hirmel. Divide Beirut into three districts: 10 seats in Mazra‘a, 5 in
Ashrafiyyé, and 4 in Bashura. Agreement on forwarding the draft election
law of the Fuad Butrus Committee to the parliament.

3 Doha Accord: 21 May 2008 111

4 Stressing the implementation of points 4, 5, and 6 of the “Beirut Decla-
ration” pertaining to the enforcement of the Lebanese state’s sovereignty
and authority and upholding national unity and coexistence, the non use
of arms or violence in political struggles, and the banning of treason and
incitement discourse.

4 Hizbullah’s Understanding with the Salafi

Movement: 18 August 20082

1 Starting from the prohibition of shedding the blood of a Muslim, we

prohibit and condemn any aggression committed by any Muslim group
on another Muslim group. In case of any aggression or onslaught, the
aggrieved party has the right to recourse to any legitimate means to defend
2 Avoiding sedition and provoking the public because this ultimately leads
to discord, thus slipping the carpet from underneath the feet of the egg-
heads and placing the decision in the hand of the rash, vile people or the
foes of the Islamic umma.
3 Standing firm in the face of the Zionist-US project, which aims at dissemi-
nating discord through the dictum of “divide and conquer”.
4 Doing our utmost best to uproot infidel (takfiri) thinking that is existent
among both the Sunnis and the Shi‘as because branding all Shi‘as as infi-
dels is rejected by Salafis and vice versa.
5 If Hizbullah or the Salafis are oppressed or attacked by any domestic or
foreign actor, then the other party must stand firm with the aggressed
party as much as its capabilities allow.
6 Forming a committee from Hizbullah’s religious scholars and those of the
Salafi movement to discuss points of contention between the Sunnis and
Shi‘as, which contributes to confining disagreement among the members
of the committee, thus avoiding any spill over to the public, to the street.
7 Every party is free in what it believes in. No party has the right to impose
its ideas and its jurisprudential concepts on the other.
8 Both parties (Hizbullah and the Salafis) regard the Understanding as a
means to ward off discord among Muslims, and promote civil peace and
coexistence among the Lebanese.

3 Agreements, Understandings, Pacts 112

5 President al-Assad Issues a Decree Stipulating
the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with
Lebanon: 14 October 2008

President al-Assad issues a Decree Stipulating the Establishment of Diplomatic

Relations with Lebanon
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 – 11:05 AM

Damascus, (SANA – Syrian news agency)

President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday issued Decree No. 358 for the year 2008
stipulating the establishment of diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon.

Following is the text of the decree:

Article (1):
Diplomatic relations are established between the Syrian Arab Republic and the
Lebanese Republic.

Article (2):
A diplomatic mission of embassy level is created in the capital of the Lebanese

Article (3):
The Lebanese capital, Beirut, is classified in the eighth category of the Decree
No. 78 dated 28.2.2006.

Article (4):
This decree is to be enforced upon publishing.

The decree is a translation of the agreement between President Bashar al-Assad

and the Lebanese President, Michel Sulayman, at their summit which was held
last 13 August, on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Syria and
Lebanon on the ambassadorial level in conformity with the UN Charter and
international law.

The two sides stressed in the final statement their commitment to consolidate
the Syrian-Lebanese ties which are based on reciprocal respect of sovereignty
and independence of each country.

President al-Assad issues a Decree 113

4 The New Manifesto
(30 November 2009)1

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful

Hizbullah - The Political Manifesto
1430Hijri / 2009 AD

Praise be to the Lord of all creation, and peace be upon the last of all prophets,
our master Muhammad, upon his pure kin, his worthy companions, and on all
divine prophets and messengers.

God our Lord has said in his Glorious Book: “And those who strive in Our
Cause, We will certainly guide them to Our Paths: for verily Allah is with those
who do right”. (Al Ankabut: 69)

And the Almighty also said: “O ye who believe do your duty to Allah, seek the
means of approach unto Him and strive with might and main in His cause: that
ye may prosper.” (Al Mai’da: 35)


Foreword | 116

1 Hegemony and Mobilization | 118

1.1 The World and Western-American Hegemony | 118
1.2 Our Region and the American Plot | 121

2 Lebanon | 122
2.1 Homeland | 122
2.2 The Resistance | 123
2.3 The State & the Political System | 125
2.4 Lebanon and Palestinian-Lebanese Relations | 128
2.5 Lebanon and Arab Relations | 129
2.6 Lebanon and Islamic Relations | 130
2.7 Lebanon and International Relations | 131

3 Palestine & the Settlement Negotiations | 133

3.1 The Palestinian Cause and the Zionist Entity | 133
3.2 Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque | 134
3.3 The Palestinian Resistance | 135
3.4 Settlement Negotiations | 136

Epilogue | 137


This manifesto is a disclosure of Hizbullah’s political views. It brings to light our

stance and perceptions, our ambitions, hopes, and concerns. First and foremost,
it is a representation of what we have experienced firsthand in the realm of pio-
neering endeavors and primacy of sacrifice.
Amidst this exceptional political phase of proliferating change, it is no longer
possible to weigh transformations without taking note of the special stance that
our Resistance has come to occupy, or that ensemble of accomplishments that
our course has realized. It is therefore important to perceive change in a com-
parative context between two key opposing paths, and whatever lies between
them in the form of growing reverse proportionality:
1 The first is the path of resistance and opposition, a growing movement
that thrives on military victories, political successes, an established model
both at the popular and political levels, and an unwavering persistence

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 116

to secure a political stance in spite of the mass of direct targeting and the
magnitude of challenges. This path has secured a swing in power balances
at the regional level in favor of the Resistance and its supporters.
2 The second is the path of US-Israeli oppression and hegemony, with its
various dimensions, alliances and direct as well as indirect extensions.
This course has been witnessing a series of debacles, military defeats and
political fiascos, and has demonstrated successive failures for US plans
which have tumbled one after the other, leading to confusion, retraction
and diminishing ability to control amidst the stream of developments and
events predominating over our Arab and Islamic world.

These givens integrate within a wider international scene, which in itself lends a
hand to uncovering the US dilemma and the retreat of unipolar domination in
favor of some form of pluralism, the profile of which is still unclear.
The global financial crisis only served to deepen the predicament experi-
enced by the oppressive world order. Its plunging of the US economy into chaos
and deficit was a clear reflection of the extent to which the arrogant capitalism
model has been structurally affected.
We can therefore say that we are amidst historical transformations that
foretell a retreat of the US as a supreme world power, the disintegration of the
unipolar world order, and the historical commencement of the Zionist entity’s
accelerated decline.
At the heart of such transformations, resistance movements emerged as a
focal and strategic certainty on the current world scene, this of course being
the result of the central role these movements assumed in terms of creating or
encouraging that part of change which relates to our region.
The resistance in Lebanon, and particularly by our Islamic Resistance, had
led the confrontation against occupation and hegemony starting two and a half
decades ago. The Resistance held fast to this option at a time when the inaugu-
ration of the American Era was being presented to the world as if the end of
all history was about to be marked. In light of prevailing power balances at the
time, some perceived the option of Resistance as an illusion, a form of political
recklessness or negligence that contrasts with rational, levelheaded thinking.
In spite of this, the Resistance2 pressed on with its rightful struggle – its Jihad
march – never in doubt of the cause’s virtue or of its own ability to create victory
through ceaseless confidence in God Almighty, affiliation to the Arab nation
as a whole, commitment to Lebanon’s national interests, trust in its own con-
stituents, and upholding of the basic human values of righteousness, justice and
Throughout its long Jihad progression and its substantive victories – led by
halting the Israeli occupation of Beirut and Mount Lebanon in 1982, forcing

foreword 117
Israeli retreat to Sidon, Tyre and Nabatiyyé, all the way to the July 1993 Israeli
aggression, the April 1996 aggression, the May 2000 liberation and the July 2006
war on Lebanon – the Resistance has laid the anchors for its credibility and
standards even before crafting out its victories. From a liberating force to a com-
mander of balance and confrontation to a power of defense and deterrence, the
Resistance has built on its development phases to finally add an internal politi-
cal role, one that is pivotal and influential for the creation of the capable and
impartial Lebanese state.
In tandem, the Resistance was destined to develop its political and human
status. It was therefore elevated from being a national Lebanese merit to becom-
ing a celebrated Arab and Islamic value as well. Today, the Resistance has
become an international human value, with its model representing a source of
inspiration and its achievements a paradigm to be emulated by all those seeking
freedom and independence across the world.
In spite of Hizbullah’s recognition of all the promising change that prevails,
and in spite of what we perceive as the enemy’s swerve between ineffective war
strategies and an inability to impose conditional compromises, Hizbullah does
not underestimate the magnitude of impending challenges and risks, and by no
means considers the confrontational road ahead to be paved or undervalues the
scale of sacrifices that would be required if this convoy of resistance is to reclaim
human rights and contribute to the arousing of the Arab nation. Nevertheless,
in retrospect, the Party now makes its choices with higher lucidity, stronger will
and further trust in God, in itself and in its constituents.
In this context, Hizbullah shall outline what represents the Party’s main
political-intellectual framework as well as views and standpoints towards the
challenges that lie ahead.

1 Hegemony and Mobilization

1.1 The World and Western-American Hegemony

Following World War I, the Unites States adopted a first-of-all-time mission:
that of crafting a plan for centralized world domination. In US hands, this quest
witnessed substantial development in terms of instituting historically unprec-
edented authoritarian and subjugation mechanisms. The US benefitted from a
composite outcome of multifaceted achievements at various scientific, cultural
know-how, technological, economic and military levels, and was backed by a
political-economic agenda that blatantly perceived the world as an open market
to be governed solely under US-made rules.
The most dangerous aspect of Western, and particularly of US, hegemony
is the consideration that the world is owned by the superpower, and that such

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 118

power has the right to rule out of sheer superiority at more than one level. When
combined with schemes based on the economics of capitalism, Western expan-
sionary strategies – and particularly those of the US – took on an international
dimension characterized by unbounded greed.
Control by the ferocious capitalist powers is primarily manifested through
monopolistic networks of multinational corporations and a variety of interna-
tional and particularly financial firms that are backed by military superiority.
Such control has led to a further deepening of conflicts and incongruities, and
of no little importance are those conflicts across identities, cultures and civiliza-
tion patterns, alongside of course the battle of wealth versus poverty.
Brutal capitalism has transformed globalization into a vehicle for spreading
divisions, propagating discord, demolishing identities and exercising the most
perilous of cultural, economic and societal pillage.
Globalization reached the most dangerous of its limits when the founders
of Western hegemony transformed it into a form of military globalization.
The Middle East most intensely witnessed this transformation, starting from
Afghanistan to Iraq to Palestine and Lebanon, the latter receiving its share
through a full-scale aggression at the hands of Israel in July 2006.
The American agenda for world domination had never reached that level of
menace which it has recently treaded unto, especially after the last decade of
the 20th century and the disintegration of the Soviet Union created the launch
pad for accelerated attainment of unipolar world domination and represented
a historical opportunity for the American schema. Such power monopoly was
promoted to the world as being a historical American duty with benefits that
would by no means be restricted to the US but that would be equally shared by
the rest of the world.
Such domination agenda witnessed its peak performance when the neo-con-
servative current managed to hold the strings in the George W. Bush Adminis-
tration. The neo-conservatives expressed their views through their manifesto:
“Project for the New American Century”.
It was neither strange nor surprising that the said manifesto insisted mostly
on rebuilding American capabilities, and reflected a strategic new vision for
national security. It was clear that military strength was to be enhanced not only
for defensive purposes but also for creating a proactive intervention force, be
that for undertaking “preventive” operations through engaging in pre-emptive
strikes or for dealing with crises after they occur.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, the Bush Administration found
a window of opportunity to exercise the greatest influence and impact possible
through putting into practice its strategic vision for monopolistic domination
of the world – “War on Terror” became the slogan. This administration initiated
what were considered as successful initial attempts:

1 Hegemony and Mobilization 119

1 Militarization of American relations and foreign politics to the highest
extent possible;
2 Avoiding dependence on multilateral frameworks; monopolization of
strategic decision-making, and coordination where there is a need only
with those reliable allies;
3 Resolving the war in Afghanistan rapidly in order to liberate resources for
the more important step on the agenda: dominating Iraq, a country upon
which hinged a “New Middle East” that is befitting of a post-September 11
world. The Bush Administration did not stop short of using any camou-
flage, deception or outright lies to justify its wars, especially the War on
Iraq. It stood in the face of all opposition to its new colonialist program
whether such opposition was initiated by countries, movements, forces
or personalities. In this framework, the Bush Administration decided to
establish a correlation between “terrorism” and “national resistance”, and
this in order to disarm the resistance of its humanitarian legitimacy and
its righteousness of cause, and to justify the waging of all forms of wars
against it. The last bastions of defense that peoples and countries use to
uphold their freedoms, dignity and pride were to be removed. The rights
to undiminished sovereignty, to building states out of peoples’ own expe-
riences, and to assuming the historical roles that people select for them-
selves, whether culturally or intellectually, became targets in this context.

Through a number of measures, “Terrorism” was transformed into an American

alibi for hegemony. Persecution, seizure and arbitrary detention, absence of the
most basic elements of fair trial as we have seen in Guantanamo, direct interven-
tion in state sovereignty, and the transformation of sovereignty into a registered
US trademark have all been used in the quest to legalize arbitrary criminaliza-
tion of countries and the collective punishment of their people, leading finally to
outright waging of destructive wars that leave no room for distinction between
the innocent and the culprit, the child and the old, the man and the woman.
The cost of the US terrorism wars have thus far been millions of people, vis-
ible mass destruction that has not been restricted to brick and mortar but that
has reached out to affect the structure and composition of societies as well. In
fact, societies have been fragmented and, in contrast to their historical develop-
ments, were forced to revert to previous confessional and sectarian conflicts.
This is of course an aside to the targeting of their very cultural heritage and
It is doubtless that US terrorism is the mother of all world terrorism. In all
respects, the Bush Administration has transformed the US into a threat against
the world at all levels. Should an opinion poll be conducted today, the US would
feature as the most hated nation in the world.

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 120

The futile War on Iraq, the development of resistance in the country, regional
and international resentment towards the Iraqi war, the fiasco of the “War on
Terror” in Afghanistan, and the disastrous failure of the American-led, Israeli-
executed wars on the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine have all led to the
erosion of American prestige on the international scene, resulting in a strategic
American recoil towards any engagement in new adventures.
The above does not mean that the United States will be exiting the arena eas-
ily. “Strategic interests” will be protected with whatever it takes, since American
hegemony rests on ideologies that are nurtured by extremist trends, waves of
power that form part of a military-industrial complex, the gluttony of which
knows no bounds.

1.2 Our Region and the American Plot

For reasons related to history, civilization, resources and geography, our Arab
and Islamic world suffers the most under the yoke of this arrogant hegemony,
more heavily so than the entire world of subjugated countries.
For centuries, our Arab and Islamic world has been exposed to vicious colo-
nialist incessant wars, although the most advanced phases of such wars started
with the implantation of the Zionist entity in our region, within a framework
of fragmenting the region into conflicting entities under various pretexts. The
epitome of this phase came with the US inheritance of old colonialism in this
The central and most prominent goal of American hauteur is represented by
dominance over the people in all forms through political, economic, or cultural
dominion or through the looting of public wealth. At the forefront is the pillag-
ing of oil wealth, a principal tool for controlling the essence of world economies.
Such control was exercised without any restrictions or human or moral stan-
dards. Excessive use of military force was applied, directly or by proxy.
Here are some of the notable US guidelines and operational policies adopted
in this quest:
1 Ensuring all means of stability for the Zionist entity – the forward base and
focal point for colonizing the region and planning its collapse. The Zionist
entity was to be supported with all power and sustainability dynamics, and
a protective web was to be made available to guard its existence in order
for it to qualify as the cancerous gland that should drain the Arab world of
its capabilities, fragment the region’s potentials and disperse its hopes and
2 Undermining the psychic, civil, and cultural potentials of our people, and
working on weakening our morale through media and psychological wars
that encroach upon our values, Jihad symbols, and Resistance movement.
3 Supporting satellite states and tyrannical regimes in the region.

1 Hegemony and Mobilization 121

4 Taking control of the strategic geographical zones in the region represent-
ing key land, sea or air nodes, and deploying military bases throughout
these critical joints in support of US wars and apparatus.
5 Hindering the rise of any form of renaissance in the region that may lead
to possession of power, advancement, or playing a historical world role.
6 Implanting feuds and divisions in various forms – especially sectarian
feuds amongst Muslims – in order to instigate unending civil strife.

It is evident that any regional conflict across the world today has to be viewed in
light of prevailing global strategies. The American threat is not local or restrict-
ed to a particular region, and as such, confrontation of such a threat must be
international as well.
Doubtlessly, such a confrontation is difficult and delicate, as it bears a histori-
cal aspect and is consequently a battle of generations that requires the employ-
ment of all powers. Our Lebanese experience has taught us that difficulty does
not mean impossibility. In contrast, interactive and vigorous people led by wise,
informed and prepared leaders who worked hard to accumulate achievements
ended up reaping one victory after another. As true as this situation is vertically
throughout history, it is also horizontally true through geographic and geo-
political extension.
American oppression has left our nation and its people with no choice but
to resist for a better life, for a more humane future, for brotherly diversity and
interdependence, for peace and harmony – exactly as religious prophets and
great historical reformers have intended, and precisely as the spirit of humanity
would want the world to be.

2 Lebanon

2.1 Homeland
Lebanon is indeed our homeland and that of our fathers and forefathers, just
as it shall be the homeland to our children, our grandchildren and genera-
tions to come. Lebanon is the homeland to which we have offered the dear-
est of sacrifices and the most treasured of martyrs in order to safeguard it as
dignified and sovereign. We want Lebanon to be the homeland to all Lebanese,
equally, a homeland that embraces them all and that takes pride in all of their
We want Lebanon to be one and united – land, people, government and insti-
tutions. We refuse any form of division or federation, whether camouflaged or
blatantly declared. We want Lebanon to be free, sovereign and independent,
generous, impregnably strong and able, a presence within the equations of the

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 122

region, and a main contributor shaping the present and the future as it has
always contributed to the configuration of history.
One of the key conditions for the creation of such a homeland and for ensur-
ing its sustainability is the presence of a strong, capable and impartial state, a
political system that truly reflects the will of the people and their aspirations
for justice, freedom, security, stability, well-being and dignity. These goals are
shared by all the Lebanese. We are all working hand in hand towards their

2.2 The Resistance

Israel represents a continuous threat to Lebanon – both as an entity and a statu-
tory government. It is a constantly impending menace with historical desires for
Lebanon’s land and water resources. The Zionist entity, being a racist state, rep-
resents a peril to the very concept of multi-religious co-existence that Lebanon
uniquely manifests. When we add to this Lebanon’s geographical presence on
the borders of occupied Palestine, the need to take on national responsibilities
becomes imperative.
Israel’s menace of our nation began in the wake of implantation of the Zionist
entity on Palestinian land, an entity that never hesitated to disclose its desires for
annexing parts of Lebanon or taking over our wealth and resources, at the fore-
front of which are water resources. Israel has manifestly attempted to achieve its
ambitions over the years.
Starting in 1948, Israel launched its first aggression against Lebanon, pro-
gressing over the years from the border all the way to the depths of the nation.
From the Houla massacre in 1949 to the attack on Beirut International Airport
in 1968, years of repetitive attacks on the land, population and wealth of bor-
der areas were carried out in between. Such strikes were but a prelude to the
direct seizure of terrain through recurring invasions, which culminated with
the March 1978 invasion and occupation of the border area and its subjugation
to Israeli security, political and economic authority. These raids formed part of
a comprehensive framework, and were the prologue to the all-out 1982 invasion
which subdued the entire country.
All of this was being fully supported by the United States of America, and
was ignored – to the extent of complicity – by the so-called “international com-
munity” and its international institutions. The silence of the official Arab world
was also suspicious, while Lebanon’s national authority remained absent. Such
absence and failure of the state to uphold its national responsibilities and patri-
otic duties left the land and its people at the mercy of Israeli occupation, looting
and massacres.
With a national tragedy of this magnitude, and as the people suffered amidst
worldwide abandonment in the absence of a national Lebanese authority, the

2 Lebanon 123
loyal patriotic Lebanese people found no other option but to exercise their
patriotic, moral and religious rights and duties of defending the land. Their clear
choice was to launch an armed popular resistance to confront the Zionist men-
ace and permanent aggression on their lives, livelihoods and future.
Restoring the nation through armed resistance was launched as a goal, espe-
cially in light of the grave occupational circumstances and the absence of a capa-
ble Lebanese state. Reclaiming both occupied land as well as political author-
ity were to form the prelude for the restoration of the State and the rebuilding
of its constitutional institutions. Most importantly, the aim was to re-establish
those national values that form the pillars of a nation: National Sovereignty and
National Dignity. These values are what confer on freedom its true dimensions.
Freedom was not to remain a slogan; it was literally manifested by the Resistance
through the liberation of land and man. This national value became the fulcrum
for modern Lebanon, a country that is to be reckoned with on the world map,
one with re-established respect on the international scene, and the compatriots
of which take pride in as the homeland of freedoms, culture, knowledge and
diversity, just as it is the homeland of dignity, sacrifice and heroism. All of these
dimensions put together were crowned by the Resistance through achieving lib-
eration of most of the occupied land in the year 2000, and through recording
a historic victory against Israel during the July 2006 war on Lebanon. A live
experience of homeland defense was presented, one that is exemplary to other
peoples and nations who carry the quest of guarding the nation, protecting its
independence and safeguarding its sovereignty.
The Resistance accomplished its national triumph with the support of a faith-
ful populace and with the collaboration of the Lebanese Army. The enemy wit-
nessed a historic defeat as its objectives were successively thwarted, while the
Resistance emerged, with its fighters and martyrs, and along with it the people
and Army of Lebanon, as a grand victor. Such a victory laid the foundations
for a new era in the region, at the core of which are the role and function of the
Resistance as a deterrent to enemy aggression, an assurer of that level of protec-
tion which is necessary for national independence, sovereignty, public defense
and the conclusion of territorial liberation.
This role, along with the functional duty it represents, remains a permanent
national need as long as the Israeli menace and its far-reaching ambitions con-
tinue to threaten our land and water resources, and as long as a capable and
solid Lebanese government is absent. It is even more so in light of the power
imbalances between the Lebanese state and its military enemy – an imbalance
that usually forces weak states and targeted peoples to search for optimizing
their capacities amidst threats of dominion from powerful countries. Constant
Israeli threat requires Lebanon to create a permanent defense formula that is
based on matrimony between a popular Resistance which contributes to such

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 124

national defense in the event of Israeli invasions, and a National Army that pro-
tects the country and secures its stability. This combination has proven its suc-
cess over the past in the realm of managing conflict with the Israeli enemy, and
has achieved victories for Lebanon while providing the country with the neces-
sary means of protection.
If such a modus operandi is developed within the context of a national
defense strategy, it would represent Lebanon’s protective cap. This is especially
true following the failure of all bets on Arab and international alternative solu-
tions, or in the context of negotiations with the enemy. Adoption of the Resis-
tance option has indeed accomplished the liberation of land for Lebanon, the
recovery of State institutions, the protection of sovereignty and the realization
of a genuine independence. In this framework, the Lebanese, with all their
political forces, social factions, cultural elites and economic agencies, have a
vested interest in safeguarding this modus operandi and subscribing to it, for
the Israeli danger threatens the entirety of Lebanon with all its components, a
fact that requires the widest possible Lebanese participation in the assumption
of national defense responsibilities.
The Resistance must continue in its quest to enhance its own capabilities,
especially in view of the successful confrontational experience it has demon-
strated against the enemy and the shattering of all plots to annihilate it, entrap
the “resistance” alternative, or disarm it altogether. On the other hand, persist-
ing Israeli danger against Lebanon and the continued threats voiced by Israel
make it imperative for the Resistance to continue its relentless pursuit of further
capacity in order to fulfill its national duties of contributing to the liberation
of remaining Lebanese land under Israeli occupation in the Shib‘a Farms, Kfar
Shuba Hills, and the Lebanese town of Ghajar. It is also the duty of the Resis-
tance to liberate those prisoners of conflict, missing fighters and martyrs, and to
continue participating in the function of national defense and protection of the
land and the people.

2.3 The State & the Political System

Political sectarianism has been the root cause behind the Lebanese political sys-
tem’s troubles, a situation that has continuously hindered the system’s reform,
development and modernization. A political system that is established on sec-
tarian grounds faces rigid obstacles on the path towards true democracy where
the elected majority rules and the elected minority represents the opposition.
In a true democracy, the door remains ajar for the proper alternation of power
between ruling government supporters, on the one hand, and the opposition
or various political coalitions, on the other. As such, the central condition for
the implementation of this type of factual and genuine democracy would be the
elimination of political sectarianism – a condition stated in the “Ta’if Accord”

2 Lebanon 125
which necessitated the formation of a higher national council for the achieve-
ment of such an aim.
Until the Lebanese achieve this historical and sensitive feat – abolition of
political sectarianism – and do so through national dialogue, and as long as
the political system continues to be based on sectarian grounds, consensual
democracy remains the fundamental basis for governance in Lebanon, for such
a type of democracy is what would embody the spirit of the constitution and the
essence of the co-existence Charter.
Based on this, any contemplation of national issues that is based on majority
and minority considerations would continue to hinge on the actual realization
of those historical and social prerequisites for the effective exercise of democ-
racy, where the citizen represents a value in and of himself.
The will of the Lebanese to live together under a plethora of dignity and
equality in rights and duties necessitates that they constructively cooperate in
order to effectively achieve true national partnership, for such partnership is
the best possible formula for protecting their diversity and ensuring complete
stability, especially after an era of insecurity that was brought about by various
political systems founded on the tendency to monopolize, annul or exclude the
Consensual democracy is an appropriate political blueprint for achieving real
participation by all. It represents a confidence factor for national constituencies,
and significantly contributes towards paving the way for building the reassuring
state that all citizens would feel has been built for them.3
The State that we look forward to participating in building along with the rest
of the Lebanese is:
1. The State that protects public freedoms, and provides the appropriate
background environment for the exercise of such freedom.
2. The State that safeguards national unity and national cohesion.
3. The State that is capable of protecting the land, the people, national
sovereignty and independence; one that has a strong, capable and well-
equipped national army, and effective security institutions that are vigilant
in guarding the security and interests of the people.
4. The State that is founded on modern, effective and cooperative institu-
tions, ones that are organized around clear and specific functions, authori-
ties and duties.
5. The State that is committed to applying the rule of law on all constituents
within a framework of respect for public freedoms, and impartial appli-
cation of citizens’ rights and duties, irrespective of religious sect, home
region or the citizen’s views.
6. The State where proper and correct parliamentary representation can only
be achieved through a modern Electoral Law which allows Lebanese vot-

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 126

ers to choose their representatives at a distance from financial influences,
partisanships or various other pressures, and where such law realizes the
widest possible representation of the various segments of the Lebanese
7. The State where the public sector recruits based on educational qualifica-
tions, practical skills and personal integrity, regardless of sectarian affili-
ation; one which places uncompromising, stringent and effective mecha-
nisms to purge its administration of corruption and the corrupt.
8. The State where the High Judicial Authority is an independent entity that
operates at a distance from political controls; where qualified, upright and
free judges exercise their critical duties of administering justice amongst
the people.
9. The State that primarily bases its economic plan on those productive sec-
tors, especially the agricultural and industrial sectors, and that works on
their mobilization and growth; one that provides productive sectors with
the appropriate plans, programs and support to where improved produc-
tion can be better marketed, and to where opportunities for employment
are rendered adequate and sufficient, especially in rural areas.
10. The State that adopts and applies the principle of balanced regional devel-
opment, and works to bridge economic and social gaps between regions.
11. The State that pays attention to its citizens, and that works to appropri-
ately provide them with the public services of education, medical care and
housing; one that secures decent living for its constituents, addresses their
poverty issues, provides them with employment opportunities, and so on.
12. The State that takes the young generations into custody, assists them in
developing their talents, guides them towards their humanitarian and
national goals, and protects them from wrongdoing and vice.
13. The State that works to strengthen the role of women in society, and
enhances their participation in all fields of activity, to where women’s
potentials and influence are capitalized on and their status is respected.
14. The State that attaches adequate importance to the educational system,
particularly in what relates to public schooling and growth of the Leba-
nese University at every level; one where compulsory free of charge educa-
tion is set as an implementation goal.
15. The State that is based on a decentralized administrative system, where
broad administrative authority is provided to the various administrative
units (Governorates / districts / municipalities) with the aim of enhanc-
ing opportunities for development and facilitating the citizens’ dossiers
formalities, without permitting such decentralization to turn into a form
of federalism at a later stage.

2 Lebanon 127
16. The State that diligently works to curb emigration from Lebanon, that
emigration which is draining the homeland of its young generations, fam-
ilies, wealth of capabilities and human capital, within what seems to be a
comprehensive and realistic scheme.
17. A State that supports its expatriate citizens in every corner of the world,
defends and protects them, and benefits from their spread, status and
positions in the service of national issues.

The establishment of the Lebanese State with these provisions and conditions
is the goal of this Party and of every honest and sincere Lebanese citizen. We
in Hizbullah shall exert every effort towards achieving this noble national goal,
and will do so in collaboration with the various political and popular groups
who share this vision.

2.4 Lebanon and Palestinian-Lebanese Relations

The predicament of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon remains one of the
tragic consequences of the emergence of the Zionist entity on the land of Pales-
tine and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. Palestinians had moved to
Lebanon to live as temporary guests with their fellow Lebanese, pending their
return to their homes from which they were expelled.
The real and direct cause for what the Palestinians and the Lebanese have
suffered as a result of this displacement was Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The
ensuing tragedies and calamities that befell the peoples of the entire region were
not limited to what the Palestinians have suffered.
Further, the suffering of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon has not been limited
to the pain of forced migration and asylum; it was further aggravated by the
repeated vicious Israeli massacres and atrocities that have destroyed both man
and home. The completely annihilated Nabatiyeh camp stands witness to this
effect, as do the harsh living conditions at Palestinian refugee camps where the
most basic elements of decent living remain absent. The Palestinian in Lebanon
is deprived of civil and social rights. Successive Lebanese governments have not
fulfilled the state’s duties towards these people.
It has now become imperative for the responsible Lebanese authorities to
take charge of this abnormal situation and to build Palestinian-Lebanese rela-
tionships on solid and legal grounds, to where virtue, justice and the common
interests of both peoples are brought into balance. The Palestinian presence in
Lebanon and Palestinian relations with the Lebanese must no longer be gov-
erned by local political whims, tempers of internal turmoil or international
We believe that this endeavor will realize its success through:
1. Engaging in direct Lebanese-Palestinian dialogue

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 128

2. Enabling the Palestinians in Lebanon to elect their representative in such a
dialogue, irrespective of the general discrepancies facing the broader Pal-
estinian situation
3. Awarding the Palestinians in Lebanon their civil and social rights, as befits
their human condition and as would preserve their identity and cause
4. Upholding the Palestinians’ Right of Return and refusal of their perma-
nent settlement in Lebanon

2.5 Lebanon and Arab Relations

Lebanon’s identity is Arab, and the country practices such identity and affilia-
tion as a natural condition that is inherent in the composition of the Lebanese
Further, Lebanon’s dynamic reach, geopolitical significance and strategic
considerations, along with those regional and Arab clustering policies and
interests – all representing strategic determinants of Lebanon’s stance and vital
interests – collectively make it imperative for Lebanon to commit to those righ-
teous Arab issues, at the forefront of which is the quest of Palestine in its conflict
with the Israeli enemy.
There is an unambiguous need to exert concerted efforts towards overcoming
those conflicts that run through Arab ranks. Differing strategies or the diversity
of coalitions, no matter how serious or intense, do not justify being driven into
adopting targeting policies or engaging in external plans that are based on the
deepening of discord and the inciting of sectarianism, or the use of divisive
instruments. This will exhaust the nation and deplete is resources, and will only
serve Zionist interests and American objectives.
Developing the political approach of conflict containment to where discord
is prevented from expanding into open conflict is an option that deserves adop-
tion, for a qualitative and responsible approach to dealing with national issues
may ripen as a result. Searching for common ground and creating sufficient
room for constructive communication at the levels of people and governments
should achieve the broadest framework for solidarity which will only serve our
Here, adopting the choice of Resistance becomes a fundamental need and
an objective factor in terms of congealing the Arab stance and weakening the
enemy, irrespective of the nature of prevailing strategies or political choices.
Based on all of the above, the Resistance only finds it appropriate to publicize
the returns and benefits from its option, to where such benefit reaches various
Arab locations; this is of course contingent on such benefit being within the
desired framework of weakening the enemy and strengthening the Arab stance.
In this context, Syria has recorded a distinctive and steadfast stance in its
struggle against the Israeli enemy. This came through its support of regional

2 Lebanon 129
resistance movements amidst their most difficult of circumstances, and through
seeking to coordinate Arab efforts towards securing the interests of the region
and confronting its challenges.
We hereby emphasize the need to adhere to the privileged/distinguished
relations between Lebanon and Syria, for this is in the common political, secu-
rity and economic interest of both countries. The interest of both peoples, the
imperatives of geopolitics and the requirements for Lebanese stability as well as
the confrontation of common challenges, all summon such adherence. We also
call for putting an end to all negative sentiment that has marred bilateral rela-
tions over the past few years, and urge the return of such relations to their mode
of normalcy as soon as possible.

2.6 Lebanon and Islamic Relations

Our Arab and Muslim world is facing a number of challenges that affect our
communities and their diverse compositions. These are challenges with a level
of danger that calls for zero tolerance.
Our societal cohesion is threatened by heightened sectarian tensions and
instigated confessional frictions, especially between the Sunnis and the Shi‘ites.
The fabrication of national contradictions between the Kurds, Turkmen and
Arabs, and between the Iranians and the Arabs, the intimidation of minori-
ties, the continuous hemorrhage suffered by Christian Arabs in the East and
especially in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon are all factors that menace our soci-
etal structure, reduce collective immunity, and intensify those barriers against
renaissance and development.
In lieu of capitalizing on religious and ethnic diversity as a source of commu-
nal vitality, such diversity has been abused and employed in a quest of infusing
disintegration and societal break-up.
The situation resulting from such abuse is the consequence of an overlap
between deliberate Western policies – US policies in particular – and internal
practices of radical irresponsibility, to which an unstable political environment
is to be added.
Taking these facts into account seems compelling, and it is both important
and worthwhile to consider them as part and parcel of the core concerns that
current political programs and directions are drawing, especially those Islamic
movements on whose agenda lies the distinctive responsibility to address such
challenges and problems.
Hizbullah hereby confirms the importance of cooperation between Islamic
countries in all fields, for such cooperation provides the Islamic world with the
power of solidarity in the face of arrogant plots, guards against cultural and
media invasion, and encourages the Islamic world to capitalize on its own
resources in the realm of a cross-country trade of advantages.

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 130

In this context, Hizbullah considers Islamic Iran to be a focal nation in the
Islamic world. For Iran was the country that thwarted the Zionist-American
scheme through its national revolution, supported resistance movements in our
region, and stood with courage and determination alongside Arab and Islamic
causes, at the forefront of which is the Palestinian cause.
The policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been clear and coherent in
terms of supporting the central and most paramount issue of importance to
Arabs and Muslims, this being the Palestinian issue. Support commenced since
the announcement of the Islamic Revolution’s blessed victory led by Jurist-
Theologian Imam Al-Khumayni, and was evidenced by the establishment of the
Palestinian Embassy in lieu of the Israeli Embassy. Such espousal of the cause
has continued in various forms to this day under the leadership of Jurist-Theo-
logian Imam Al-Khamina’i, and has culminated in the realization of significant
first-time victories in the history of conflict with the Zionist invaders.
The instigation of discord with the Islamic Republic of Iran by a number of
Arab states and non-state actors poses as self-gouging, a stab at own Arab causes
that only serves to benefit Israel and the United States of America.
Iran, which has drafted its political ideology and built its dynamic reach on
the basis of “Centrality of the Palestinian Cause”, hostility towards “Israel”, con-
frontation with the US policies, and integration with the Arab and Islamic envi-
ronment, must be met with a will for cooperation and brotherhood. Iran should
be perceived as the mobilization base and strategic center of gravity, a model
for sovereignty, independence and liberalism, a supporter of the contemporary
Arab-Islamic independence plan, and a force that strengthens the power and
imperviousness of our region’s countries and peoples.
The Islamic world is strengthened by the cooperation and alliance of its vari-
ous states. We stress the importance of capitalizing on those sources of political,
economic and human power that are present in each Islamic world country, and
on achieving such bonding strength on the basis of complementarities, mutual
support and independence from dominion.
We therefore remind you of the importance of unity among Muslims. The
Almighty has said: {And hold on fast, together, to the rope of God, and be not
separated}.4 We take heed of those causes of division between the people, such
as confessional provocations that are instigated especially between Sunnis and
Shi‘ites. We count on the awareness of all Muslims in addressing what is being
plotted for them at this level.

2.7 Lebanon and International Relations

In terms of Hizbullah’s perceptions and approach, the principles for conflict and
divergence primarily rest on political-moral grounds, whereby divergence is

2 Lebanon 131
between the arrogant and the wretched, the oppressor and the oppressed, the
haughty occupier and the pursuer of freedom and independence.
Hizbullah also considers that unilateral dominance tips the international bal-
ance for peace, security and stability.
The US administration’s unwavering support for “Israel”, its funding of Israe-
li aggressions, and its sanctioning of Israeli occupation of Arab territories, in
addition to US dominance over international organizations, exercise of double-
standards in the issuance and implementation of international resolutions,
adoption of intervention policies in the affairs of other communities, militariza-
tion of the world, espousal of the logic of mobile wars in the realm of interna-
tional conflicts, and instigation of unrest and turbulence throughout the world
consign the US administration as an enemy to our nation and people, and place
the brunt of primary and fundamental responsibility for the creation of interna-
tional imbalances and turmoil on US shoulders.
As for European policies, these oscillate between incapacity and ineffective-
ness on the one hand, and unjustified tagging along with American guidelines
on the other, a fact that renders the Euro-Mediterranean movement hollow in
comparison to and in favor of Atlantic dominion, that which rests on colonialist
Subscription to American politics – especially during this era where such
politics are manifesting historic failure – is a strategic mistake that will only
serve to aggravate the problems, obstacles and complications in Euro-Arab
Europe has an exceptional responsibility towards our region, one that is a
product of Europe’s colonialist legacy that had inflicted grave damage, the con-
sequences of which are still being suffered by our people.
Because the people of Europe have had a history of resistance against occupa-
tion, it is the moral and humanitarian duty of Europe – before being the political
duty – to recognize the rights of other peoples to freedom from the occupier on
the basis of a clear distinction between resistance and terrorism.
In our view: The prerequisite for stability and cooperation in the realm of
Euro-Arab relations calls for the building of a more independent, equitable and
objective European approach. It would be impossible to construct a common
political and security dynamic range without achieving such a transformation
that is capable of treating those defects and shortcomings which lie at the source
of crises and instability.
On the other hand, we look with great interest and appreciation at the liber-
alization, independence and dominance rejection experiences of Latin America
countries. We see vast grounds for overlap between the endeavors of these coun-
tries and the resistance movements of our region, overlap which should lead to
the creation of a more equitable and balanced international order.

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 132

Those experiences should instill promising hopes at the global level, where
human identity and political and moral backgrounds should seek and find com-
monality. In this context, our motto “Unity of the Oppressed” shall remain as
one of the pillars of political thought, shaping our understanding, relationships
and attitudes towards international issues.

3 Palestine & The Settlement Negotiations

3.1 The Palestinian Cause and the Zionist Entity

Since raping Palestine and displacing its inhabitants in 1948 – which took place
under the auspices and support of the international powers of hegemony at
the time – the Zionist entity has represented a direct aggression and a serious
threat that have affected the entire Arab region, designating a real menace to the
region’s security, stability and interests. Damage and harm were not confined
to the Palestinian people or to those States and peoples neighboring Palestine.
The assaults, tensions and wars witnessed by the whole region as instigated by
aggressive Israeli atrocities and practices serve only as evidence and witness to
the magnitude of injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people and on Arabs and
Muslims as well. A crime against humanity was committed by the West when
this extraneous entity was implanted in the heart of the Arab and Muslim world,
and was nurtured to become a hostile infiltration, standing as a leading front for
Western plots of dominion, and posing as a base for control and dominion over
the region.
The Zionist movement is a racist movement both in terms of thought and
practice. It is the product of a despotic, authoritarian mentality, the basis of
which is founded on a Judaization project of settlement and expansion. The
state entity that emerged from the Zionist movement has thrived through occu-
pation, aggression, massacres and terrorism, all with the support and under the
custody of colonialist powers, particularly with the aid of the United States of
America with which the Zionist state is strategically allied – a true partner in
war, massacres and the practice of terrorism.
The struggle that we and our nation undertake against the Zionist-colonialist
plan for Palestine is but a duty of self-defense against occupation, aggression
and the hegemonic Israeli oppression, a threat to our very existence and a men-
ace to our rights and future. From our end, the struggle is by no means based on
religious confrontation, or racial and ethnic partisanship, although the owners
of the Zionist-colonialist plan have never shied away from employing religion
and the religious mind-set to achieve their goals and objectives.
What US President Bush, his successor Obama, and Zionist leaders have
demanded of the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in terms of recognizing the

3 Palestine & The Settlement Negotiations 133

Judaism of the “State of Israel” is only the most obvious proof of this. The natural
and inevitable consequence is for this usurper, artificial entity, to live an exis-
tential dilemma that haunts its leaders and supporters, for it is an abnormal
creation, an entity that is not viable for continuity and that is prone to demise.
Here lies the historical responsibility of the umma (Muslim nation) and its peo-
ple to repudiate this entity whatever the pressures and challenges, and to drive
forward for the liberation of all usurped land and the restoration of all pillaged
rights irrespective of how long this takes and how great the sacrifices.

3.2 Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque

The whole world is aware of the status and sanctity of Jerusalem and of the Al-
Aqsa mosque, that which is the first of Islam’s two Qiblas5, the third of Islam’s
holiest sites, the stage of our Prophet’s ascension, and the meeting point of all
prophets and apostles (peace be upon them all). No one denies the Mosque’s
great standing and sacredness amongst Muslims, or the depth of its relationship
to Islam. Al-Aqsa is one of the most important Islamic symbols on earth.
The City of Jerusalem, the host of Islamic and Christian holy sites, is also a
place of high regard amongst Muslims and Christians alike.
The continued Israeli occupation of this holy city and the accompanying plots
for its Judaization [tahwid], expulsion of its people and confiscation of their
homes and properties are all atrocious measures to be condemned. So are the
entrapment of Palestinian neighborhoods by Jewish settlement belts and their
smothering with a wall of apartheid. Added to this the ongoing US and Israeli
efforts towards declaring Jerusalem as the eternal Jewish capital with secured
international recognition.
Further, the serious and incessant attacks on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,
the scope of excavation undertaken in its vicinity, and the plots drawn for its
destruction, all pose as serious and genuine hazards to the Mosque’s existence,
and warn of severe repercussions for the entire region.
The duty of rising as a proponent of Jerusalem and of defending and protect-
ing Al-Aqsa Mosque is but a religious duty, an ethical human responsibility for
every free and honorable son of our Arab and Islamic world and every free and
honorable person in the world.
We invite and call upon Arabs and Muslims at both the official and popular
levels, and on all countries that are devoted to world peace and stability, to coor-
dinate their efforts and resources for the liberation of Jerusalem from Zionist
occupation, and to work on maintaining Jerusalem’s true identity, and Islamic
and Christian sacred sites.

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 134

3.3 The Palestinian Resistance
The Palestinian people are waging a battle of self-defense and struggle to restore
their legitimate national rights to Palestine, with whatever such right embodies
in terms of historical and geographical realities. Through their struggle, they are
but exercising a legitimate birthright that is recognized by all divine messages,
international laws and human values.
Such right encompasses resistance in all its forms – of which armed struggle
is most prominent, a struggle exercised with whatever means available to the
Palestinian resistance. Legitimacy of the entitlement to resist is especially true
in light of the prevailing power imbalance that heavily tips in favor of the mili-
tarized Zionist enemy, owner and operator of the latest eradication, destruction
and murder arsenal.
Experience has demonstrated the significance and viability of the resistance
alternative – in fact, experience during the course of conflict and confrontation
between our nation and the Zionist entity since the rape of Palestine and to this
day has presented doubtless and categorical evidence of how the resistance is
indeed the only viable alternative. Practice has proven the viability of resistance
and armed struggle in the face of aggression, in the quest for land liberation,
reclamation of privileges, achievement of balance of power, and bridging of
strategic supremacy gaps. What resistance can achieve in view of its given capa-
bilities, will and confrontational determination is best witnessed by what the
Lebanese Resistance has marked: successive victories accumulated in terms of
field, military and moral triumphs, a Jihad march that has forced Israeli Zionists
in May 2000 to engage in a substantial withdrawal from most of the occupied
Lebanese territories, and a resounding fiasco for the Zionist army in the July
2006 aggression on Lebanon. At that time, the Lebanese Resistance recorded a
divine and historical victory, a strategic success that dramatically changed the
shape of the conflict. This was the first defeat of its kind for the Israeli enemy, a
gun-down to the all-time myth of an “invincible army”.
Further evidence is manifested through the Palestinian resistance, where the
Palestinian revolution has demonstrated successive accomplishments through
adopting the option of armed struggle. From the first “stones” Intifada to the
second Al-Aqsa Intifada6, the Israeli army was forced into capitulation – leading
to a full and unconditional withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. At that time,
Israel withdrew without negotiations, and without any political, security, or geo-
graphical gains. This was to represent the first field victory of its magnitude and
significance for the Palestinian resistance, for it was the first Israeli withdrawal
within Palestine’s historical borders that was impelled by the power of resis-
tance. Such accomplishment speaks volumes about the course of our conflict
with the Zionist entity at the strategic level. The Palestinian people’s superb per-

3 Palestine & The Settlement Negotiations 135

sistence during the Zionist invasion of Gaza in 2008 is a message of steadfast-
ness for future generations and a moral lesson for invaders and aggressors.
If such was the outcome of resistance in Lebanon and in Palestine, what were
really the benefits of settlement negotiations? What are the results, interests and
gains derived from negotiations across all stages and concluded agreements? Is
it not further Israeli arrogance and intransigence, additional Israeli gains and
interests, and more Israeli conditions?
As we affirm our permanent support of the Palestinian people and the Pales-
tinian cause with its historical, geographical and political principles, we hereby
declare our unequivocal and firm support of the Palestinian people, of Palestin-
ian resistance movements, and of the struggle in confrontation of the Israeli

3.4 Settlement Negotiations

Our standpoint towards the settlement process – the path of the Madrid nego-
tiations through to the Wadi ‘Araba Accord and its annexes, all the way to the
Oslo Agreement and its annexes, and before them, the Camp David Accord and
its annexes – is a standpoint of absolute rejection of the very foundation and
principles of the settlement option with the Zionist entity. The settlement option
is founded on legitimizing the Zionist entity’s existence and relinquishment of
seized Palestine land, an Arab and Islamic land.
This is our fixed, permanent and final standpoint towards the negotiation
option, one that is not subject to recoil or compromise, even if the entire world
recognizes “Israel” as a state.
As such, and from a standpoint of brotherhood, responsibility and concern,
we call upon Arab leaders to commit themselves to the options of their people,
and to reconsider the negotiation option. We call upon them to review the out-
comes of those agreements signed with the Zionist enemy, and to abandon once
and for all the unjust and falsely labeled, phantom “peace process”. Those who
have wagered on successive US administrations as true partners and impartial
brokers in the peace process have witnessed firsthand how such administrations
have failed them, pressured and extorted them, manifested hostility towards
their people, their issues and interests, and sided fully barefaced with the strate-
gic US ally – the Zionist entity.
Posing as a peace partner, the Zionist entity has demonstrated throughout
all negotiation stages that it neither asks for peace nor seeks it, and that it is
employing “negotiations” as a stage to impose its own conditions, strengthen its
stance, promote its own interests, break the blade of enmity and the psychologi-
cal barriers of hostility that the people of the region harbor towards it. The Zion-
ist entity seeks through these negotiations to achieve a free, official and popular
wave of normalization, one that would ensure a normal coexistence for it and a

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 136

natural integration within the regional system. The Zionist entity seeks to estab-
lish itself as a fait accompli in the region, an accepted, recognized and legitimate
existence, one that enjoys the abandonment of that Palestinian territory which
it has manifestly raped.
From here, we hope and expect of all Arabs and Muslims at both the official
and popular levels to reinstitute Palestine and Jerusalem as a central issue for
all, as a root cause for Arab unity. We call upon them to subscribe to the aim of
releasing Palestine and purging it from the smear of Zionist occupation, to fulfill
their religious duties towards the holy sites of Palestine, and their fraternal and
humanitarian commitment towards its oppressed people. We call upon them
to make all sources for Palestinian support available in order to strengthen the
steadfastness of the Palestinian people and enable them to persist throughout
their resistance. We call on them to reject all schemes for normalization with the
Zionist enemy, to uphold the right of return of all Palestinian refugees to their
lands and homes from which they were expelled, and to unequivocally reject all
presented alternatives for Palestinian resettlement, compensation or relocation.
We urge them to work immediately towards breaking the siege imposed on the
Palestinian people, and particularly the comprehensive blockade on the Gaza
Strip, to take up the cause of thousands of prisoners and detainees in Israeli
prisons, and to develop plans and practical programs for their freedom.


Such are our views and visions. While seeking them, we were ardent in the search
of truth and virtue. The standpoints and commitments we have manifested have
been drafted with truth and loyalty, for we are believers in righteousness; we
speak in its defense and sacrifice in its quest until martyrdom. Throughout, we
seek only the contentment of God our Creator, Lord of the heavens and earth,
and hope only for the rectitude, well-being, and happiness of our umma (Mus-
lim nation) and people, both in this world and in the Hereafter.

God our lord, you know that our deeds were neither conquests for the post
of sultan nor a search for benefit amongst the wreckage, but were meant for
the revival of virtue, the abolition of falsehood, the defense of your oppressed
followers, the upholding of justice on your land and an appeal to your approval
and nearness. For this our martyrs have died, and for this we continue to strive.
You have promised us one of the two better goals: either victory or the honor of
encountering you through martyrdom.7

epilogue 137
Our promise to you Lord and to all of your oppressed servants is that we shall
remain men who are true to their covenant, who await your promise, and who
stand firm, unswerving.8

4 Nasrallah’s Press Conference: 30 November 2009 (in


Questions & Answers

Question: To my surprise, I noted the absence of any mention of or emphasis on

Lebanon’s Arab identity in the entire section on Lebanon. As a state or political
entity, this was also evident in Hizbullah’s political perception or perspective,
the only mention appeared later in the second part.
The second political observation I made falls in the same context, in that the
manifesto lacks socio-economic programs, an area one would assume many of
Hizbullah’s primary Lebanese audience and key sectors expect the party to be
ahead and a pioneer in. The poor, the peasants, low-income earners and work-
ers who hardly reach middle-income would assume Hizbullah to lead in a class
struggle sense, if we are to use modern terms, to right the injustices.
In other words, workers, laborers, poor peasants and the middle class would
be anticipating some kind of integrated political program?

Answer: First, we do not have any problems in dubbing this insistence as a

development and transformation, because people as well as the whole world
transformed in the last twenty-four years. The international and regional sys-
tems have changed, the situation within Lebanon has also changed, and this is
a normal process.
Regarding Lebanon’s Arab identity, Mr. Talal (Salman) notes that under the
heading of Lebanon we actually included all the points of state, resistance and
Arab and Islamic relations. Therefore, I say when we addressed Arab relations
in a later part, we did so considering it would be naturally seen as part of the
section on Lebanon.
The third point is that today, rather than programs, we offer a manifesto in
which we express our vision, concepts, outlines and general positions. As for
programs, we only covered specifications on the election law but we did not go
into detail, because while the manifesto takes into account outlines only, pro-
grams are independently announced in due course, as was our experience with
the announcement of our electoral platform during the last election.
I believe even back then when there was enough space for a wide range of
Hizbullah views and ideas to be included under the economic program section

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 138

of our electoral platform, under the State title we still only spoke about specifica-
tions and conditions; for programs we need to reach understandings with our
partners in the country.

Question: The Manifesto’s reference to the civil rights of the Palestinian refugees
in Lebanon in general seems like any political speech made by any Lebanese
political force on Lebanese civil rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Considering Hizbullah’s seventeen years of experience in parliament and in
government, of being one way or another inside the decision-making circle,
how can we imagine that the party will take a step to transform the motto of
giving Palestinian refugees in Lebanon their civil rights into an actual process?

Answer: This subject was contained in the ministerial statement of the previ-
ous government, but unfortunately prevalent tension in the country at the time
prevented anyone from achieving anything at this and most other levels. The
priority was focused on finding an exit from the state of tension. The current
government which reflects a national coalition, cooperation and unity govern-
ment has explicitly mentioned this item, and I believe this subject is taken seri-
ously by the prime minister as well as a number of political forces; we too will
invest our efforts.
Ultimately, this issue depends on follow-up efforts spent in the context of
State institutions, the government, and certain aspects are also related to Par-
liament House work. God willing, we will spend the necessary efforts with the
political forces with whom we meet on this objective, within the mentioned
constraints, to assure that they maintain their cause and identity. A forbiddance
is always presented that giving civil and social rights to Palestinians may lead to
their resettlement, and that such an action forms one of only two and no other
options: offer civil rights as a lead up to naturalization or keep the Palestinian
refugees in their current tragic living situation.
We suggest there is a compromise, whereby they can be given civil and social
rights that do not lead to naturalization and resettlement, one which preserves
their identity and cause. This issue will certainly need following up and effort
but definitely more action than talk.

Question: On the difference between consensual democracy and a true democ-

racy based on the abolition of political sectarianism, what in your opinion is the
way to abolishing political sectarianism without stirring any problems in Leba-
non, seeing that the sectarian principle is deeply rooted and infested among a
large number of our Lebanese society, a principle they are accustomed to? How
can this issue not cause problems again in Lebanon?

4 Nasrallah’s Press Conference: 30 November 2009 (in full) 139

Answer: Let’s be realistic, the abolition of political sectarianism in Lebanon is
one of the most difficult issues. Unfortunately, many of those who call for and
advocate for the abolition of political sectarianism are not serious about the
issue. They only use it as a political slogan to present themselves as civil, open-
minded and civilized, as opposed to the ancient tribal sectarian system that goes
back centuries.
As a matter of fact, this is a difficult subject, and it is like skating on thin ice.
That is why no one can tell you in a few words how political sectarianism can
be abolished without risking conflict. In any case, the invitation speaker Nabih
Berri made to form a national body for abolishing political sectarianism pro-
voked some conflict, when this need not have been provoked, because when
we call for forming a national body for the abolition of political sectarianism, it
means exactly that, the formation of a national committee, not the elimination
of sectarianism.
This committee or body may continue its dialogue for five, ten, twenty or even
thirty years, God knows, because ultimately, no one can just simply describe a
method of how to abolish political sectarianism, but we must sit down together
and openly share our fears and concerns, assurances and guarantees and then
discuss how to realize this abolition.
Possibly, after a long debate among representatives of the different Lebanese
sects and confessions, the popular political and other diverse forces, in addition
to representatives from civil society and the like, we may reach the conclusion
that realism necessitates that we accept sectarianism and that any efforts to the
contrary would be a complete waste of time; that abolishing political sectarian-
ism in this country is impossible. Upon reaching a conclusion on the issue, the
media can then rest easy, political stands and debates on that point would end
too and so would the misemployment of useless slogans.
We may reach a decision that this item in the Ta‘if Accord cannot be achieved,
since political sectarianism cannot be abolished, hence attempt to fix, modify,
develop or modernize the existing sectarian system instead, so as not to remain
where we are.
I think that a natural next step toward this goal would be the formation of a
higher national dialogue committee that sits down to calmly discuss this topic
without pressure and without haste. This is a basic and vital issue.

Question: Ongoing talk about the Lebanese resistance, its role, its support and
adopting it as a strategic choice is offset by internal dispute among some Leba-
nese sides, disputes which prevent the resistance from performing the expected
active role described in the political manifesto. How do you find a way out of

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 140

Answer: It is true, there is a point of contention, and we understand this point of
difference, regardless of its motives and the truth behind these motives. We do
not claim nor have we ever claimed that the resistance in Lebanon receives wide
national consensus. On the contrary, I have on some occasions made the claim
that throughout history no resistance has ever received unanimous national
backing. In history, there was contention round the resistance theme. People
stood with it, some against, others neutral or indifferent, but throughout the
history of occupations, there were always people who resisted. Some who coop-
erated with the occupation, others just sat on the fence watching.
Even among those who refused the occupation, there are people who resisted
politically, while others took up arms in their resistance. This is a natural pro-
cess, but why do we in Lebanon find it odd that there is contention round this
point, when right through history this has been a point of disagreement, and
remains so. As long as we understand each other and communicate with each
other, there is no problem.
Second, I frankly say to you that a national consensus on the resistance is a
condition for reaching a perfect situation behind the resistance but not for its
existence. Throughout history, people had disputes over the issue of resistance.
If a segment of the people took the option to fight the occupiers, they did so
without acquiring consensus. Of course, the consensus makes the resistance
stronger, better and faster at achieving victory. This is the least confusing of
national dilemmas. However, we are not unwilling to get national consensus on
the resistance. On the contrary, we are always keen on making efforts to acquire
national consensus, because it is a precondition to an absolute resistance situa-
tion, as I said.
I believe that in the meetings, the dialogue, among the Committee in charge
of the ministerial statement, tomorrow when we work together in Cabinet, at
the dialogue table, during debates, and in cooperating between the different
political forces – we have no enemy in the internal Lebanese arena – we are
ready to cooperate with everyone for this government’s success and the achieve-
ment of its priorities, in isolation from the reservations expressed by some on
the resistance item.
This does not necessarily mean we revert back to political lineups and
monopolization; hence this is a point we differ on, but there are many points we
are in agreement on. So, let us cooperate in what we agree upon and continue
dialogue on the differences.

Question: By specifying the centrality of the resistance role, function and its
defense strategy foundations, have you in a sense already reached a resolve on
the defense strategy and therefore there is no point of having the dialogue table?

4 Nasrallah’s Press Conference: 30 November 2009 (in full) 141

Also, does this mean that the decisions of war and peace remain exclusively in
the hands of the resistance?

Answer: There is nothing new in what I said today on the issue of resistance. The
issue of seeking to find a form of cooperation between the national army and the
popular Lebanese resistance… Now this form of cooperation requires confir-
mation, elaboration and discussion, and I have already raised this matter at the
dialogue table in the last two sessions before the July war. It is our known vision,
and in saying so we are not disclosing a secret; and today the various political
forces are putting their visions of a defense strategy at the dialogue table in order
to come to a conclusion, which will then be drafted.
Of course, the rest asked us to submit our vision in writing after I made a
verbal submission of our idea of a defense strategy. We have no problem doing
that after we give everyone the chance to share and discuss their own ideas of
a defense strategy. Furthermore, the discussions of all the proposed ideas may
further develop our position and ideas. But until now experience has been one
of cooperation between the resistance and the army governed by a good set of
controls. An experience that has proved successful, so much so that we are able
to say we can benefit from this experience in order to protect the country and to
formulate a defensive strategy; this requires discussion and more details.
Regarding the subject of the state having exclusivity to the decisions of peace
and war, we have already acknowledged that the state is responsible for the
political decision-making in all public affairs. To us this is not a topic of debate.
Some say they need to hear us say it, and I am prepared to testify this in front of
witnesses (and the whole world can be my witness), we have no problem with
The problem lies in the absence of the State and its duty. It is not enough to
put this responsibility and privilege on the state when it is absent. I ask the State
to be present, strong and capable to take the decision, and to the contrary, I am
ready to go further than this – if you remember my speech on September 22
after the July war, we were clear that once we have a strong, capable, fair State
that is able to protect the country and liberate the land, we would not even need
to discuss a defense strategy, because then it is the state that would be protecting
the country… the reason why popular resistance came into existence in the first
Here we say that we concede and acknowledge, even if I consider it a purely
theoretical debate, because the decision of war and peace in the region is in the
hands of “Israel”, not the Lebanese state, or in the hands of the resistance, nor in
the hands of the Arabs or Muslims unfortunately, the ones who take the deci-
sions of war and peace in the region are only America and “Israel”.

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 142

Question: In 1985, you spoke about a single wise leadership, the Supreme Leader
or (al-waliyy al- faqih) the jurisprudent, today you are speaking about a trans-
formation in the party, how will you harmonize between state-building and
your commitment to this leadership, and has Hizbullah become a full Lebanese
You also talked about building state institutions; does this mean Hizbullah
has abandoned recourse to arms and the theory of arms to defend the resis-
tance’s weapons in any circumstance?

Answer: First: here we have provided a political document but have not dealt
with aspects of belief, ideology, or intellectual culture. I like to be clear that our
position on the question of al-waliyy al-faqih is an intellectual, ideological and
religious one and not a political position subject to review.
Second: To ask the question, how do we combine the two, our allegiance to
the faqih and engagement in political life of Lebanon and the building of State
institutions, the answer to that is simple, proof of the possibility of something
occurring is its occurrence.
We have been engaged in Parliament through an effective parliamentary
bloc, we have participated in parliamentary elections in the years 1992, 1996,
2000, 2005 and also the recent elections. We participated in successive govern-
ments through ministers who were present and active, we also joined the 2005
Lebanese government, but political conditions and tensions in the country pre-
vented us and the entire Cabinet from making any real achievements.
Having said that proves in our opinion that there is no contradiction between
our understanding of our commitment to the Jurisprudent and our sense of
engagement in political life and participation as a Lebanese society segment,
of some weight I might add, in the building of State institutions as presented
On the second part of the question, you are actually restarting a dispute all
over again. Anyway, in the negotiation sidelines on forming a national unity
government, this subject was well covered in debates with a number of political
forces, Prime Minister Shaykh Sa‘d al-Hariri at their forefront, and everyone
feels the results are reassuring enough that there is no need to raise issues or
questions of this nature.

Question: After Hizbullah acted as the protector of Lebanon through creating a

deterrent force against “Israel”, and since you did not mention that Hizbullah’s
weapons will be used to help the Palestinians liberate Palestine, can you say that
the armed resistance or defense formula has dropped down to secondary posi-
tion behind the project of building a reassured State?

4 Nasrallah’s Press Conference: 30 November 2009 (in full) 143

In this context, particularly regarding the strengthening and support of the
Lebanese army, we see President Suleiman making several visits to the US for
the purpose of rallying support for the Lebanese Armed Forces.
Are there any blocs within the new Cabinet that encourage aid from countries
other than the US, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially since we
heard this mentioned by several leaders, particularly Minister Walid Jumblatt?

Answer: No, the document is clear that the resistance remains the essential task,
and I do not think we pushed it down to second place, it remains a first level
priority and still exists within us, but we can say we have raised the subject of
contribution in the national project of State-building to first level as well.
Because the most important conditions of state-building is institution build-
ing, founded on a bedrock of peace, stability and security, which come from hav-
ing a secure, strong and immune homeland capable of facing constant “Israeli”
threats. This is why I believe the real and effective presence of the resistance is
one of the most important conditions to enable the Lebanese to build the state
of their choice.
On arming the LAF, we consider any attempt to arm the LAF a good endeav-
or, and have no “Vetoes” or problems in this regard.
As a result of the US administration’s conduct and performance, our posi-
tion towards it is clear in that we do not have enmity against the US as such, but
we do have a purely topical animosity in this regard. We do not have problems
with the US if it decides to arm the LAF to a level making it capable of providing
defense for the country. Yet I believe the US and its allies in the world have not
and will not arm the LAF to defend Lebanon. But that should not deter efforts in
that regard.
We have no objection if the government tries asking other countries to arm
the LAF, and we offer assistance in this regard during the elections. The Islamic
Republic of Iran is open to offering such assistance and so are Syria and some
other Arab countries.
Arming the LAF does not require miracles, only investments, mainly on the
intellectual level, and the level of will, determination, military doctrine and
military fighting school according to the Lebanese defense strategy we adopt.
Thus arming the Lebanese army and rendering it able to defend the homeland
becomes possible in my opinion so long as we do not insist on our enemy to
equip and strengthen our armed forces, which they will never do.

Question: A new Lebanese Cabinet will win a confidence vote in about a week,
made up of both pro-government and opposition camps, whereas up until now
the opposition within the government has not been Hizbullah and its allies, but
a basic team of March 14 Christians, i.e. pro-government!

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 144

Is there a coup or a change in roles? Will the Lebanese arena witness new
political alliances in the future?

Answer: I think it is too early to say for certain that things are going in this
direction, in any case, we in the allied political forces in the opposition are now
represented in government through our Ministers, and we have declared that
our presence in government would not be on the basis of opposition and pro-
government, but rather our ministers will be in their ministries serving all the
Lebanese people.
We have also declared our keenness to be over and done with barricades, to
work as one team instead, and we insist on this approach. I imagine coalitions
and political lineups may continue outside the Cabinet, which is natural, but
inside it we may witness different opinions, varying ideas and stands. We may
see members from opposition and pro-government share similar views and vote
orientations, while members of the same camps may differ on certain topics or
This allows for subjectivity in handling different files within the Cabinet,
which helps serve higher national interests, rather than give priority to the inter-
ests of our own political alliances, parties or religious sects.
I believe this is the logic of the coming period.

Question: 1). It was said you expressed satisfaction with PM Hariri’s position, but
how do you view the statements made by some members of his parliamentary
bloc against the resistance, and that having the resistance listed in the Ministe-
rial Statement actually contravenes Resolution 1701?
2). Where is Hizbullah heading in its relationship with the Progressive Social-
ist Party (PSP) and the Future Movement?
Another point is that you did mention national consensus, yet we hear talk of
the party having lost popular legitimacy after the recent parliamentary elections
despite it being listed in the Ministerial Statement. The question is what do you
say to those who claim the resistance has lost its popular legitimacy?

Answer: Regarding statements made by some brothers in the Future parliamen-

tary bloc, well, they have the right to express their views, and we respect these
opinions whether we agree with them or not, but we consider the stand of their
bloc’s official head – PM Hariri himself – to represent the bloc’s official stand,
seeing his government will receive a vote of confidence based on this Ministerial
Statement. That is why I think such talk does not form a problem. Of course one
would expect a unified stand and voice among their different bloc members, this
is an issue they have, and God willing they will resolve it.

4 Nasrallah’s Press Conference: 30 November 2009 (in full) 145

There are no limits to where Hizbullah’s relationship with PSP and Future
Movement will go. We are keen to have no limits on our relations with all Leba-
nese political forces, as long as they serve national cohesion, stability and peace-
ful coexistence, not only shared living but unified living, to serve the goals set
forth in the manifesto, most of which receive Lebanese unanimity. And as long
as we are meeting, communicating and discussing common goals, we have no
objection to any internal relationship.
I believe relationships develop over time, we may differ with some sides, but
what unifies us now is what separated us in the past, and since the cause of our
separation expired, there are no more reasons not to meet on whatever serves
higher national interests.
Regarding talk about the resistance having lost its popular legitimacy, such
talk is completely baseless. If reference is being made here to the election results,
everyone in Lebanon and outside it knows they are subject to a sectarian con-
fessional electoral law, and that parliamentary majority does not necessarily
express popular majority as it may or may not reflect it.
Higher share of total votes favored the opposition during the last elections,
although I believe that large segments which voted pro-government actually
also supported the resistance, and therefore, I do not believe we can judge the
popularity of the resistance based on parliamentary election results driven by
current laws and the circumstances at the time.

Question: The Lebanese constitution considers Lebanon a finite homeland for

all its citizens, with regard to the manifesto you just read, you refuse any division
of Lebanon or its federalization, but you do not clearly express Hizbullah’s doc-
trinal or cultural stand in relation to joining or merging Lebanon with its Arab
or Islamic surroundings, bearing in mind that this has been a concern among
many of the Lebanese parties since Lebanon’s independence.
Does the party have a clear stand on this point?
The second question relates to the defense strategy. You did mention in the
manifesto that the strategy must stand on a combination between the popular
resistance and an army that protects Lebanon.
Is this not a retreat from the previous party position that the resistance is
staying until the rise of a strong, capable and fair State?
This stand hints that the resistance will stay regardless if we have a strong
army capable of defending Lebanon or not?
The last question relates to your previous talk on drug dealers.
In the past, the party called on the government to review cases and arrest
warrants against drug dealers, traffickers and the like, to take into account a
compounding humanitarian situation in specific areas of Lebanon, yet recently

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 146

you portrayed a tougher stand by which the party called for tough sentences
against traffickers! Why this change of position on this matter?

Answer: We have been clear that we consider Lebanon our country. On the
debate about whether Lebanon is a finite country or not, I would like to say that
this country is a blessing in light of its variety and geography and the many great
historic accomplishments it has made. As for having to announce it as a finite
homeland, His Eminence Sayyid Musa al-Sadr was very clear on the subject,
and he used to speak on behalf of this entire path, when he considered Lebanon
a finite homeland.
But anyone may say it is finite only to abandon this view at a later moment,
hence such slogans do not offer reassurance to the people as much as our una-
nimity, accord and consensus do in matters that govern our country.
Incidentally, all national, pan-Arab and Islamic movements have their own
visions of the Arab or Islamic nation, and the subject of “Sykes-Picot”10 division
plan of the Arab and Islamic world into smaller entities. We believe an Arab
union of these smaller entities under an agreement which preserves the inde-
pendence of all countries and respects each nation’s thoughts and ideologies can
bring about an added group strength, this way individuals not only can continue
to dream up and talk of an Arab or Islamic nation, but even see global earth as
one nation home.
If we are to take events and facts into account, we find this to be the ideal for-
mula. Naturally, there are other Islamic movements with their own strict views
on the subject, but there is no problem with having differences.
As for pairing between the Resistance and the LAF, I did say that as long as
there is an imbalance in strength and an absence of the strong capable state, this
pairing would be essential, but if the strong and capable state is established, such
a formula would become redundant and no longer necessary, because then the
State would assume the full responsibility of defending the country.
On the arrest warrants I mentioned during the electoral campaigns, I spoke
about the general situation of the arrest warrants in the Biqa‘ area, and not only
pertaining to drugs.
I want to bring to attention that there are thirty thousand arrest warrants
against people in the Biqa‘, a part of them are related to building without permit,
infringements, errors in land divisions, etc…
The 30,000 warrants are not all for drugs, drug cultivation and trafficking.
During election times we did not ask for an amnesty or a pardon, but we asked
for forming a legal, parliamentary, ministerial or justice and rights committee,
to meet and look into these warrants, some of which date back twenty or thirty

4 Nasrallah’s Press Conference: 30 November 2009 (in full) 147

Some citizens have been reformed and have not committed any violations for
thirty years, yet there are arrest warrants still out against them.
Arrest warrants for matters that may be disregarded for being trivial or
because the issue has lingered need reconsideration, however major cases such
as murder should not be disregarded. Drug cases are sensitive, and we consider
drug trafficking as murder since drugs kill the mental state and stability of our
I call for being firm with drug dealers as they are killing a whole society’s
culture, spirit and morals, its security and integrity of spiritual, psychological,
mental aspects, and therefore its peace and stability. Therefore, I go back and
reiterate the call to continue to be tough with all the pushers and drug dealers.

Question: In the manifesto a section is connected with inter-Arab, Lebanese-

Arab or resistance-Arab relations, how can benefit be derived from the resis-
tance status of approvability among certain sides and countries, in resolving
some inter-Arab or internal Arab conflicts?
Here I ask what happened to the appeal you made to the Yemeni President
‘Ali Abdullah Saleh regarding their internal war. Did your efforts produce any
results? What are your views on the Saudi intervention in the Yemen war and its
targeting of civilians?

Answer: As I said in the manifesto, we have no objection, and we are keen to see
the Arab nation, governments and peoples, the other resistance and political
forces benefit from the resistance’s accomplishments and triumphs.
Among the advantages is that the resistance began to enjoy a status which we
employ wherever it can bring unity and uniformity, sometimes we do so away
from media spotlights to avoid causing official, political and media embarrass-
ment to others.
On the Yemen subject, we had a position and sent out appeals on more than
one occasion, but in fact we did not offer mediation, because of the complex-
ity of the situation in Yemen and our estimation that our mediation might be
counterproductive, as was the case with certain other political currents, such as
the Sadrist movement under the leadership of His Eminence Sayyid Muqtada
They contacted the Yemeni embassy and offered a delegation from the Sad-
rist movement to act as mediators between the disputing sides in Yemen, but
President ‘Ali Abdallah Saleh described the offer to mediation as evidence that
the Sadrist movement is linked to the Huthis, even though it does not form any
Here, I am describing things as they are… at a time when we read in some
newspapers especially Arabic ones, that Hizbullah finances, trains and arms the

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009) 148

Huthis, other newspapers went as far as saying Hizbullah is even fighting in
Yemen and leading battles there… I read a report in one Arabic newspaper a few
days ago that calls for a complete laugh, which in brief claims “Hizbullah lost
fifty martyrs in Yemen” and that “Hizbullah is trying to find a way to hide this
fact and is having difficulty burying its dead!”
How can we hide burying our dead?! When we may be one of the very few
resistance movements in the world that announces its martyrs and is proud to
announce its martyrs, the one resistance movement that is transparent on the
subject, one that is concerned with providing detailed reports to the families of
the martyrs about the place of their son’s martyrdom, because this human being
has a certain sanctity to him.
When we get to this level of being accused of supporting, backing, arming,
training and leadership of operations to the extent of participation and the fall
of martyrs from the party, you expect me to go and introduce mediation in
Yemen after such accusations!
There are people who do not have any evidence but still want to plunge Hiz-
bullah in this conflict, so they come and tell us that the Huthi fighters are ben-
efitting from Hizbullah fighting tactics.
It is not our fault that the resistance in Lebanon has come up with a military
fighting school others can benefit from in Yemen, in Latin America, even the
“Israelis” may learn and benefit from it, this is not a condemnation to us, but a
condemnation to all those who do not benefit from our fighting school to liber-
ate their land and restore the holy places, for example.
We called for fighting to be stopped in Yemen, and now I renew this call.
In the Manifesto we talked about the school that will reduce conflict, increase
communication and encircle disputes, we are not advocates of conflict-widen-
ing but advocates of hostility cessation, both within Yemen, between Yemen and
Saudi Arabia or Huthis in Yemen; we call on everyone to cooperate and make
every effort to stop this bleeding in which everyone loses. And let no one fuel
the fire.
This is our position, however I would still like to make an announcement and
say: If anyone believes we can do something in Yemen, we would consider it our
obligation and would take action on whatever level might be necessary, but the
given premises, data and circumstances of the matter and its complexity have
not brought us as Hizbullah to reach such a conclusion.

4 Nasrallah’s Press Conference: 30 November 2009 (in full) 149

Chronology of Events

13 April witnessed the beginning of the 16-year Lebanese civil war.

In response to an official request by the Lebanese government, on 20 July,
the Syrian army entered Lebanon as a contingent to the Quwwat Al-Rad‘ Al-
‘Arabiyya (Arab Deterrent Forces) in order to help the Lebanese government
enforce law and order in the civil-war-torn Lebanon.

Hizbullah came into being in 1978 when Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, one of its
primary founders and its second secretary general, came back from Najaf to
Lebanon and in the Biqa‘ established the religious and ideological founda-
tions of the party, along with other Lebanese and Iranian clergy and cadres.
Sayyid Abbas established religious seminaries (hawzas) and started his Islamic
propagation or call (da‘wa), in B‘albak, in the Biqa‘. This also coincided with
the arrival of dissident Iranian clergy and military personnel (most notably Ali
Akbar Muhtashami and Mustafa Shamran), who established religious and mili-
tary training centers with substantial material and spiritual backing from Imam
Khumayni who was himself banished in Najaf for a period of thirteen years.
On 14 March Israel launched “Operation Litani” by invading Lebanon and
eventually occupying a 500 square kilometer “Security Zone”, which included 61
cities and villages. On 19 March, the UNSC issued resolution 425 calling for the
unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Lebanon, a resolution that
fell on deaf ears. In order to help restore the Lebanese state’s sovereignty, the UN

established the UNIFIL, a 5,000 interim peacekeeping force, which was sent to
Lebanon as of 23 March.1 However, Israel did not allow the UNIFIL to deploy all
the way to the border.
On 31 August, Imam Musa al-Sadr, the leader of the Lebanese Shi‘a commu-
nity and the head of the Islamic Shi‘ite Higher Council, disappeared in Libya
under mysterious circumstances. All of these factors were conducive to the
emergence of Hizbullah’s rudimentary foundations that crystallized in the birth
of its religious ideology.

On 1 February, Imam Khumayni landed in Tehran, thus ushering in the vic-
tory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran on 11 February. Many Lebanese Shi‘ites
were inspired by Imam Khumayni’s revolutionary ideology, which led them
to actively mobilize and struggle for a more active role in the Lebanese politi-
cal system. Thus, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Sayyid Abbas Al-
Musawi, together with his students and other leading ‘ulama, officially founded
“The Hizbullah of Lebanon”.

At a time when the Arabs and the international community were preoccupied
with the Iraq-Iran war, on 6 June Israel invaded Lebanon for a second time
through its “Peace for Galilee” operation. From 8 to 13 June, the Khaldé battle
(which was spearheaded by many of Hizbullah’s founding cadres, many of whom
were wounded) heralded the initiation of Hizbullah’s military wing, the “Islamic
Resistance”. Khaldé, a small town near Beirut, was the only location where the
Israeli invasion was temporarily halted because of the stiff resistance it met, a
resistance that resulted in heavy Israeli casualties (16 dead and 176 wounded)
and led the Israelis to change their military strategy and tactics.
As early as July, the political framework of Hizbullah was embarked upon, a
task that passed through different stages, most notably in 1984-85.
On 23 August, Bashir Jumayyel, the head of the Phalangist Christian militia,
was elected president.
On 21 August, the Multi-National Forces, made up of contingents of US,
French, UK, and Italian forces, landed in Beirut in order to supervise the imple-
mentation of the agreement between the PLO and Israel. The agreement dictated
the withdrawal of PLO fighters, cadres, and leaders from Beirut, including Yas-
ser Arafat who left Beirut on 30 August.
In Tyre, in south Lebanon, on 31 August during the fourth anniversary of
the disappearance of Imam Musa al-Sadr, a massive popular uprising, in the
hundreds of thousands, paid allegiance to al-Sadr, avowing that Israel would
remain the enemy, shouting: “Israel is the absolute evil, and dealings with it are

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 152

religiously prohibited (haram)”. This event culminated in violent confrontations
with the Israeli forces in Jibshit, in south Lebanon.
On 3 September, PLO fighters left Beirut, thus ending a military presence that
had lasted for decades.
After 83 days of besieging it, the Israeli army entered Beirut on 14 Septem-
ber in the wake of the assassination of president-elect Bashir Jumayyel by a car
15-17 September witnessed the massacres of the Palestinian civilians in the
Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
On 23 September, Amin Jumayyel, Bashir’s brother, was elected as president
of the Lebanese Republic.
On 28 September, the Israeli army withdrew from Beirut.
On 11 November Ahmad Qasir, Hizbullah’s first suicide bomber (“martyr”),
detonated his car in the Israeli headquarters in Tyre killing around 76 soldiers
and military personnel and wounding 20.
Thus, the military birth of Hizbullah, as an Islamic jihadi (resistance/strug-
gle) movement, was a direct result of the Israeli invasion – in which Israel killed
around 20,000 people (mostly Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, but also some
Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian fighters) as well as occupied almost one-third
of Lebanon (3,560 square kilometres) including 801 cities and villages.

January witnessed the first massive launch of Katyusha rockets at Israel’s north-
ern settlements as well as the capture of the first Israeli soldier by the Islamic
Resistance. The Israeli soldier died from wounds suffered during his abduction,
and his body was left behind.
In March Shaykh Raghib Harb, the leader of the popular uprising in the
south, was captured by Israeli forces.
On 13 April, Hizbullah conducted its second martyrdom operation when ‘Ali
Safiyyeddine detonated his car in an Israeli convoy in Dayr Qanun al-Nahr kill-
ing 6 soldiers and wounding 4 others.
On 18 April the US Embassy in West Beirut was targeted by a suicidal attack
resulting in the death of 63 people, of whom 17 were Americans, including the
entire Middle East contingent of the CIA.
On 17 May, Israel and the Lebanese government signed a peace agreement.
In July Israel withdrew from Mount Lebanon to the Awwali River, near Sidon,
in the south. October witnessed the ‘Ashura uprising in Nabatiyyé, in the south,
in response to Israeli’s defilement of the ritual.
On 14 October Hizbullah conducted its third martyrdom operation when
Ja‘far Al-Tayyar blew himself up in Tyre in a UNRWA building housing Israeli
soldiers, killing 29 soldiers, as acknowledged by Israeli sources.

1983 153
On 23 October the “Islamic Jihad” committed twin suicidal attacks against
the Marine’s barracks and the French paratroopers, which resulted in the death
of 241 American and 58 French soldiers.
It is worth mentioning that Hizbullah put a lid on an aborted double suicidal
operation when the car of the two suicide bombers got blown up prematurely
on its way to Tyre.
In November the Israeli air force started targeting Hizbullah’s training bases
in the Biqa‘. On 23 November the Israelis released 4,500 Lebanese and Palestin-
ian detainees from the Ansar detention camp (in southern Lebanon) and 63
other Palestinians in exchange for the release of one Israeli pilot and six soldiers.

Hizbullah’s Shura Council, or main decision-making body, passed through dif-
ferent stages from 9 members to 5 and finally settled on 7 as of 1984. Hizbul-
lah released several political declarations bearing its name and established its
In March the Lebanese parliament abrogated the 17 May 1983 agreement with
On 18 June Hizbullah’s mouthpiece and weekly newspaper al-‘Ahd first
On 16 February Saykh Raghib Harb, Hizbullah’s most influential resistance
leader in the south, was assassinated by Israeli forces.
On 20 September the US Embassy in East Beirut was targeted by a suicide

On 16 February Hizbullah published its “Open Letter” or Political Manifesto,
ushering the birth of its political ideology. The Open Letter officially announced
the establishment of Hizbullah, and its military wing, the Islamic Resistance.
The Open Letter was read by Sayyid Ibrahim Amin Al-Sayyid, its spokesman at
that time. In February Israel withdrew from Sidon.
In March Israel blew up the Husayniyya (religious gathering place) of Ma‘raké
and assassinated two leading Hizbullah cadres.
In April Israel withdrew from Nabatiyyé and Tyre.
The Jalil Operation on 20 May between the General Command of the Pop-
ular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Israeli government
resulted in the release of 1,150 Lebanese and Palestinian detainees from the Atlit
detention camp in Israel, in exchange for three Israeli soldiers.
In June the Israeli Army announced that it had finalized its withdrawal and
established an 1100 square kilometer “Security Zone”, which included 168 cities
and villages. The “Security Zone” comprised around 15% of Lebanese territory

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 154

along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel, which is reminiscent of the 1978
invasion that aimed at creating a similar security arrangement in order to pro-
tect the northern Israeli settlements from missile attacks across the Lebanese

On 16 February the Islamic Resistance captured two Israeli soldiers in an opera-
tion in the Kunin area of Bint Jubayl. Israel launched a limited incursion into 17
villages for six consecutive days in order to retrieve the two soldiers, but to no
avail. The Islamic Resistance waged a relentless war against the SLA posts, aim-
ing at occupying them and destroying them, killing and detaining all members,
then blowing up the entire post.
In October an Israeli jet fighter was downed, and Ron Arad, the assistant
pilot, was captured.
Hizbullah standardized the practice of videotaping military operations
against Israeli forces in order to convey the exact number of Israeli dead and
wounded to the Israeli public, thus belying Israeli claims of low casualties.

On 15 June, the Lebanese government issued the official double annulment of
the 17 May 1983 Agreement and the 3 November 1969 Cairo Agreement.
Nasrallah assumed the newly established “chief executive officer” post, in
addition to being a member of the Consultative Council, which is Hizbullah’s
highest leading panel. This year witnessed the reinvigoration of the war of attri-
tion against SLA posts in an unprecedented manner.
December marked the beginning of the first Palestinian “stones” Intifada
(popular uprising).

The first major military encounter and direct confrontation took place between
the Islamic Resistance and the Israeli Army in an Israeli attack on Maydun, in
the Western Biqa‘. On 11 March Hizbullah conducted its fifth martyrdom opera-
tion when ‘Amer Kalakish blew himself up in an Israeli convoy near the Mtulé
settlement at the Lebanese border killing 12 Israeli soldiers and wounding 14
The Amal-Hizbullah control war – secular Shi‘ites against Islamist Shi‘ites –
started on 5 April in the south and spread to the Dahiya on 6 May, which led to
the ousting of Amal fighters from the Dahiya. This control war ended more than
two years later in November 1990.
The Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation (CCSD), Hizbullah’s
think tank, was founded.

1986 155
On 9 May Hizbullah’s al-Nour radio station started broadcasting. On 19
August Hizbullah conducted its sixth martyrdom operation when Haytham
Dbuq blew himself up in an Israeli convoy on the Marji‘yun road, killing one
Israeli soldier and wounding three others, according to Israeli military sources.
The seventh operation occurred on 19 October when Abdallah ‘Atwi blew him-
self up near the Fatima Gate on the border between Lebanon and Israel, killing
eight soldiers and wounding another eight, as acknowledged by Israeli sources.
The tenure of the then Lebanese President Amin Jumayyel ended without the
Lebanese parliament electing a successor. (It is worth mentioning that Jumayyel
was “voluntarily” banished to France from 1988 till 2000.) So, on 23 Septem-
ber 1988, Jumayyel appointed General Michel ‘Aun, the Lebanese Army Com-
mander, to head a military government composed of three Christians and two
Muslims. Deeming the appointment unconstitutional, Muslim spiritual leaders
met and issued a fatwa banning any Muslim from participating in the military
government. So General ‘Aun virtually ruled the Christian areas in East Beirut
and Mount Lebanon, while the rest of the country was under the mandate of
prime minister Salim Al-Hoss, who formed a second government in West Bei-
rut. Thus, at that time, Lebanon had two governments, a situation that lasted for
almost two years.

Hizbullah held its first conclave and revealed the identity of its leaders and cad-
res. The conclave resulted in the creation of the post of the secretary-general
and the election of Shaykh Subhi al-Tufayli as Hizbullah’s first secretary-general.
On 28 July the Israeli army abducted Shaykh Abd al-Karim ‘Ubayd, a leading
Hizbullah cadre, from his hometown, Jibshit.
In an attempt to drive the Syrian Army out of Lebanon, on 14 March, General
Michel ‘Aun, waged a “Liberation War” against the Syrian forces who had been
present in Lebanon since 1976.
On 9 August Hizbullah conducted its eighth martyrdom operation when
Shaykh As‘ad Birru blew himself up in an Israeli convoy across the Marji‘un
road killing five soldiers and wounding five others, according to Israeli military
The Ta’if Agreement, a “bill of rights” or a blueprint for national reconcili-
ation and reform aimed at a more equitable political system for all sectarian-
confessional groups, was drafted and ratified between 30 September and 22
October in Ta’if, Saudi Arabia. On Saturday, 22 October at 10:45 pm, it was offi-
cially announced, from the Palace of Conventions at Ta’if, that the civil war was
ended. ‘Aun issued a decree dissolving the parliament, but it fell on deaf ears.

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 156

The proposed changes in the Ta’if Agreement were officially written into the
Constitution in August and September 1990. The final document is known as
“The Constitution of Lebanon after the Amendments of 21 August”.
13 October witnessed the actual ending of the 16-year civil war through the
ousting of General Michel ‘Aun and banishing him to France.
On 9 November the two and a half year Amal-Hizbullah war ended in a final
accord negotiated between the warning factions through intensive Syrian and
Iranian pressure.

In line with the Ta’if Agreement, in March the Lebanese government officially
declared the dissolution of the militias. The end of April was set as a deadline
for the militias to hand in their heavy weapons and to close their military and
training centers. Hizbullah was a notable exception, and to a lesser extent Amal.
Starting on 22 May, Hizbullah held its second conclave and elected Sayyid
‘Abbas Al-Musawi as its second secretary-general. Unlike the first conclave in
which the seven members of the Shura Council were nominated, in the second
conclave they were elected. On 3 June Hizbullah’s al-Manar TV station was cre-
The first swap operation between Hizbullah and Israel, which was medi-
ated by the UN2, took place in three installments, between 11 September and 1
December. Israel released 91 Lebanese detainees (one from an Israeli prison and
90 from the Khyam detention camp, including ten women), and the remains of
nine fighters, in exchange for information about two Israeli soldiers who were
detained by Hizbullah on 16 February 1986.

16 February witnessed the assassination of Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi, his wife,
and his son, by an Israeli helicopter. Two days later, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah,
Hizbullah’s third secretary-general, was elected as well as Shaykh Na‘im Qasim
as deputy secretary-general. Both Nasrallah and Qasim retain their posts to the
present day.
Israel attacked the two villages of Kafra and Yatir, an act that was met with
forceful resistance from Hizbullah fighters.
Hizbullah started employing the Katyusha weapon as a deterrent strategy to
protect Lebanese civilians from Israeli aggressions.
Hizbullah launched its political program as a distinct manifestation (or
extension) of its political ideology.
Hizbullah participated in the first parliamentary elections, which had been
frozen for a period of twenty years due to the Lebanese civil war. The Party won

1990 157
all of the twelve seats on its election list: eight were reserved for party members,
and four for affiliated sympathizers: two for Sunnis and two for Christians (a
Greek Catholic and a Maronite): ‘Ali Ammar, Ibrahim Bayan (Sunni), Muham-
mad Berjawi, Muhammad Fnaysh, Munir al-Hujayyri (Sunni), Rabi‘a Kayruz
(Maronite), Muhammad Ra‘d, Sa‘ud Rufayyel (Greek Catholic), Sayyid Ibrahim
Amin Al-Sayyid, ‘Ali Taha, Khudr Tlays, Muhammad Yaghi.
On 21 September Ibrahim Dahir conducted Hizbullah’s ninth martyrdom
operation when he targeted an Israeli convoy on the Jarmaq road, killing and
wounding 25, according to Hizbullah.

During its third conclave, Hizbullah re-elected Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah as its
secretary-general, and Shaykh Na‘im Qasim as deputy secretary-general. It is
important to note that the Islamic Resistance was rewarded by electing Hiz-
bullah’s “Central Military Commander”, Hajj Muhsin Al-Shakar, as one of the
seven-member Shura Council.
23-31 July: “The seven-day war” or the Israeli “Operation Accountability”
erupted as a direct result of the Islamic Resistance’s killing of seven Israeli sol-
diers. “The seven-day war” led to the death of 130 people, mostly Lebanese civil-
ians, and it displaced around 300,000. “Operation Accountability” resulted in
an unwritten agreement between Hizbullah and Israel to sideline the civilians
on both sides of the border. (Italics added for emphasis.)
On 13 September, when Hizbullah was protesting peacefully against the Oslo
Agreement, the Lebanese Army and ISF (Police) killed thirteen Hizbullah sup-
porters – including two women – and wounded 40 because they took to the
streets when the Hariri government imposed a ban on demonstrations.

21 April: the Lebanese state jailed Samir Geagea, the leader of the right-wing
Christian Lebanese Forces (LF), and banned the LF.
In October the Islamic Resistance stormed the Israeli post of Dabshé. Hiz-
bullah exploited the camera as a primary weapon in its psychological warfare
against Israel by airing, through its al-Manar TV, details of the operation and the
Israeli casualties.
On 31 May an Israeli commandos unit abducted Hajj Mustafa al-Dirani, an
Islamic Amal leading cadre, from his hometown, Qsarnaba, in the Biqa‘.

On 17 May Imam Khamina’i appointed Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah, Hizbullah’s
secretary-general, and Shaykh Muhammad Yazbik, Hizbullah’s Shura Coun-
cil member, as his religious deputies (wakilayn shar‘iyyan) in Lebanon “in the

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 158

hisbi3 domain and shar‘i issues, taking over from him the religious duties and
disposing them to the benefit of the Muslims; warding off oppression and injus-
tice; conducting shar‘i reconciliations for the khums4 people; and appointing
their own deputies”.5
On 25 April Salah Ghandur conducted Hizbullah’s tenth martyrdom opera-
tion when he blew himself up at an SLA post in Bint Jubayl, wounding eleven,
according to Israeli military sources.
Hizbullah’s fourth conclave was held in July. The secretary-general and his
deputy were re-elected. Some of the basic organizational changes that Hizbul-
lah made were the following: 1) The Politburo was renamed as the “Political
Council” and its jurisdiction was enlarged; 2) The creation of the “Jihadi Coun-
cil”, headed by Sayyid Hashim Safiyyeddine, the only new member of the Shura
Council; 3) The “Executive Council” replaced the “Executive Shura” with, more
or less, the same jurisdictions; 4) In order to evaluate Hizbullah’s experience in
the parliament, the party formed a new body called the “Parliamentary Bloc

On 20 March ‘Ali Ashmar conducted Hizbullah’s eleventh martyrdom opera-
tion in the Town of Rub Thalathin in al-‘Daysé, killing two according to Israeli
military sources.
From 11-18 April, the Israeli military operation of the “Grapes of Wrath”
ended with the Qana massacre, where more than 100 Lebanese civilians, seek-
ing shelter in a UN complex, were killed by Israeli shelling. The Israeli aggression
resulted in what became known as the “April 1996 Understanding/Agreement”
that protected both Israeli and Lebanese civilians from military operations. The
UN, France, Syria, and the US mediated the 26 April written Agreement between
Israel and Hizbullah, which established the “Monitoring Group for the Under-
standings of Operation Grapes of Wrath”. The “Grapes of Wrath” led to the death
of more than 150 Lebanese civilians and displaced around half a million others.
(Italics added for emphasis.)
In the parliamentary elections Hizbullah managed to keep ten seats: seven
were occupied by party members; two by Sunnis and one by a Maronite Chris-
tian, non-party members. Only the head of Hizbullah’s Parliamentary Bloc was
a clergyman, Sayyid Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyid. Here is a list of the names with
(O) and (N) beside the names to denote old [i.e. previously elected] and new,
respectively: Abdallah Qasir (N), Ammar al-Musawi (N), Nazih Mansur (N),
Husayn al-Hajj Hasan (N), Ibrahim Bayan, Sunni (O), Muhammad Fnaysh (O),
Isma‘il Sukariyyé, Sunni (N), Rabi‘a Kayruz, Maronite (O), Muhammad Ra‘d
(O), Sayyid Ibrahim Amin Al-Sayyid (O).

1996 159
Under German sponsorship, on 21 July Hizbullah exchanged the bodies of
two Israeli soldiers (kidnapped on 16 February 1986) and 17 SLA collaborators
for 45 Lebanese detainees and 123 remains.

In February, while attempting to avoid being spotted by Hizbullah, 73 Israeli
soldiers were killed on board of two helicopters, which collided into each other
while they were on a mission aimed at deploying troops in south Lebanon.
On 7 April a swap operation between Hizbullah and Israel resulted in the
exchange of three Lebanese detainees for the body of a dead SLA sergeant.
Conflict between Hizbullah’s identity and the Lebanese state sovereignty: on
4 May, Shaykh Subhi al-Tufayli founded the “Revolution of the Hungry”, and on
4 July he called for civil disobedience against the Lebanese government, which
culminated in blocking roads on 26 October.
On 5 September the Israeli operation of al-Ansariyyé resulted in the death of
twelve high-ranking officials of an elite Israeli military commando while not a
single member of the resistance was injured.
On 12 September, Sayyid Hadi Nasrallah, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah’s son, died
in a confrontation with the Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon.
On 3 November, Hizbullah formed Al-Sarayah Al-Lubnaniyya Li-Muqawa-
mat Al-Ihtilal Al-Israeli or the Multi-confessional Lebanese Brigades to fight
Israel (Lebanonization of the resistance).

Shaykh Subhi al-Tufayli was officially expelled from Hizbullah by a political
declaration issued on 24 January. On 30 January a violent military confrontation
erupted between the Lebanese army and al-Tufayli’s supporters, who occupied
Hizbullah’s religious seminary in ‘Ayn Burday, near B‘albak, by military force.
The bloody face-off ended with the destruction of Tufayli’s headquarters and
the Lebanese state’s issuing of an arrest warrant against him. However, to this
day, Tufayli is still at large. After solving the internal discord problem, Hizbullah
held its fifth conclave between 20 June and the end of July. Nasrallah was elected
for a third term. For this move to be made, Hizbullah had to amend its internal
bylaws by deleting the stipulation that the secretary-general cannot serve for
more than two consecutive terms.
The May-June 1998 municipal elections – that reflect true populace represen-
tation and which had not been carried out since 1963 – were carried out only
after pressure and lobbying from Hizbullah. The Lebanese government used the
pretext of lack of financial and technical resources and manpower, but Hizbul-
lah insisted on the reactivation of the elections. Eventually, Hizbullah won a
landslide victory in its main constituencies (with the exception of the B‘albak

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 160

district), including electoral districts that were supported by the Lebanese gov-
ernment and its candidates.
On 26 June, by mediation of the Lebanese government, the remains of an
Israeli soldier, who died during the Ansariyyé battle of September 1997, were
exchanged for 60 detainees (10 of whom were detained in Israel) and the
remains of 40 Lebanese resistance fighters, including Hadi Nasrallah.
On 13 September Israel released Suha Bshara (who ten years ago attempted
to take the life of the SLA leader, Antoine Lahd) after ten years of imprisonment
and torture at the notorious Khyam prison.
In September 1998 Hizbullah overtly acknowledged that it does not consider
the Open Letter as a primary authoritative frame of reference anymore (la
ya‘tamiduha masdaran asasiyyan min adabiyatihi)7, which conveys more and
more Hizbullah’s Lebanonization and infitah policy.

On 28 February the Islamic Resistance blew up the convoy of Erez Gerstein, the
Israeli brigadier-general in Lebanon, which resulted in his immediate death.
Gerstein was the highest-ranking Israeli soldier to be killed in 17 years.
In early June Israeli forces and SLA withdrew from Jezzin (a predominantly
Christian enclave) that comprised around 6% of the “Security Zone”, thus reduc-
ing the total size of the “Security Zone” to 9% of the Lebanese territory.
Through German mediation, Israel released, in two installments, thirteen
Lebanese freedom fighters, five of whom were released on 26 December from
the Israeli Ayalut detention camp, in exchange for a promise from Hizbullah to
help track the missing Israeli pilot, Ron Arad, whose plane was gunned down
over south Lebanon in 1986. On 30 December ‘Ammar Husayn Hammud con-
ducted Hizbullah’s twelfth martyrdom operation on the road to al-Qlay‘a, killing
seven Israeli soldiers and wounding seven others, according to Hizbullah, while
according to Israeli military sources the operation resulted in no Israeli casual-
ties due to premature detonation on behalf of the suicide bomber.8

In February the Islamic Resistance blew up the farm of the SLA’s second man in
rank, ‘Aqil Hashim, who died in the blast.
On 19 April Israel released thirteen Lebanese detainees from the Israeli Ayalut
detention camp.
On 24 May Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupa-
tion. (Israel failed to relinquish the Lebanese Shib‘a farms, which are a bone of
contention between Israel and Lebanon.)
On 28 September the second Palestinian Intifada was inaugurated in the
wake of Sharon’s visit to the Dome of the Rock (al-Masjid al-Aqsa).

1999 161
Hizbullah won twelve seats in the parliamentary elections held in the sum-
mer. Hizbullah’s nine candidates, along with two Sunnis and one Maronite
Christian, received the highest number of votes in the country. In the 2000 par-
liamentary elections all Hizbullah’s representatives in the parliament were civil-
ian (no ‘ulama). ‘Ali Ammar (O); Muhammad Berjawi (O); Abdallah Qasir (O);
Muhammad Fnaysh (O); Nazih Mansur (O); Muhammad Ra‘d (O); Husayn
al-Hajj Hasan (O); Ammar al-Musawi (O); Husayn Yaghi (O); George Najm,
Maronite (N); Ibrahim Bayan, Sunni (O); Mas‘ud al-Hujayyri, Sunni (N).
On 7 October Hizbullah captured three Israeli soldiers from the Leba-
nese Shib‘a farms. On 15 October, Hizbullah lured and apprehended Elhanan
Tannenbaum, a retired Israeli Mossad colonel.

In Hizbullah’s sixth conclave that ended on 30 July 2001, Nasrallah was re-
elected for life, and Sayyid Ibrahim Amin Al-Sayyid and Hajj Jawad Nureddine
replaced Hajj Muhammad Ra‘d and Hajj Muhsin Shakar in the Shura Council.
Hizbullah placed its media institutions under the direct command of Nasrallah,
aided by the head of the Political Council and that of the Executive Council.
This was done in order to upgrade the role of Hizbullah’s media, and pursue its
ideological hegemony. Also, Hizbullah abolished its “Central Planning Coun-
cil”, and strengthened internal audit and accountability mechanisms. From this
perspective, the roles and duties of the municipal councils were expanded (hori-
zontally) and upgraded (vertically).

On 27-28 March the Arab Summit was held in Beirut, and the Arab initiative of
ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was propagated.
In late March/early April, the Israeli army conducted a deadly incursion into
the West Bank. Hizbullah responded by conducting twelve-day military opera-
tions in the Shib‘a farms in order to buttress the Intifada.
On 10 June in light of the revival of the prisoner-exchange negotiations and
as a goodwill gesture towards Hizbullah, Israel released Muhammad al-Birzawi,
a Hizbullah fighter, who had been detained since 1987.

On 21 August Israel returned the remains of two Hizbullah fighters in return
for a meeting between the detained Mossad colonel and the German mediator.
In response to a suicide operation in Israel a day earlier, in which 19 Israeli
civilians died, on 5 December Israeli jets violated Lebanese airspace and bombed
an alleged Palestinian training camp near Damascus. This was the first Israeli air
strike on Syria in thirty years, since the end of the October 1973 war.

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 162

On 19 January Hizbullah destroyed an Israeli military bulldozer after it crossed
the “Blue Line”. Hizbullah targeted it by firing an anti-tank rocket when it was
26 meters inside Lebanese territory by the concession of the UNIFIL. One Israeli
soldier was killed, and another was seriously wounded. This confrontation came
at a time when the prisoner-exchange negotiations between Israel and Hizbul-
lah were at their peak. This exemplifies Hizbullah’s two-track policy: military
confrontation and negotiations.
On 29-30 January, Hizbullah and Israel conducted the first phase of a water-
shed prisoner exchange deal after four years of negotiation by Germany. Hiz-
bullah released the Israeli colonel and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers cap-
tured in October 2000 in return for 400 Palestinians, 23 Lebanese and Arabs
(including two Hizbullah senior cadres: Shaykh Abd al-Karim ‘Ubayd and Hajj
Mustafa al-Dirani), and the remains of 59 Lebanese guerrilla fighters, eleven of
whom belonged to Hizbullah. It was a watershed operation since it was the first
time that Israel acquiesced to Hizbullah’s demands and released Palestinians,
setting a precedent and bestowing Hizbullah an unprecedented role in the Inti-
fada, thus regionalizing the conflict. By this move, Israel granted Hizbullah a de
facto recognition as a legitimate resistance movement.
On 7 May an Israeli incursion reminiscent of Ansariyyé occurred after the
elite Israeli Egoz commandos unit crossed the “Blue Line”. Hizbullah fighters
ambushed it, killed one soldier and wounded five others, by the concession of
the Israelis. Unlike the precedent set by Ansariyyé and in spite of Hizbullah’s
intensive firing power, the Israelis were able to evacuate their dead and wound-
ed, but they left behind a dead dog.
Between 2-30 May the second municipal elections were held after a lapse
of six years. Hizbullah achieved a landslide victory in Beirut (100%), the Biqa‘
(almost 95%), and the south (almost 61%).
21 May: Hizbullah held a big demonstration to protest the desecration of the
holy sites in Iraq. Around half a million Hizbullah supporters wearing white
burial shrouds chanted “death to Israel” and “death to America”. This show of
force came two days before the municipal elections in the South, which was
considered an Amal den and a strong constituency.
27 May: Events reminiscent of 13 September 1993 occurred: licensed demon-
strations spread over the country in protest against the pressing socio-economic
situation triggered by a severe hike in fuel prices. In Hayy al-Sulum, in Dahiya,
the Lebanese Army fired at the demonstrators who where throwing rocks at
them, killing five and wounding several others. As a result, riots spread in the
Dahiya, and the demonstrators burned the first floor of the Ministry of Labor.
29 May: Nasrallah held a news conference in which he accused the US
Embassy in Beirut of infiltrating the demonstrators and perpetrating the vio-

2004 163
lence, thus giving weight to the hidden hand explanation or the conspiracy
theory. He called on the cabinet and parliament to hold emergency sessions to
discuss the issue, and he called on the government to launch an investigation
into what had happened.
30 May: Hariri visited Nasrallah and conducted a meeting with him in the
house of the latter’s political advisor/aide.
31 May: Conceding to Nasrallah’s demands, the Lebanese cabinet held an
urgent meeting in which it vehemently condemned the 27 May shootings and
offered, as blood money, around $33,000 for each victim. The cabinet asked the
Justice Minister and the Defense Minister to conduct an investigation into the
unrest and report directly to it.
Between June and 16 August, Hizbullah held its seventh conclave. Shura
Council members retained their same functions. Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah, Hiz-
bullah’s secretary-general became the head of the Jihadi Council. The most
salient administrative amendment was Hizbullah’s division of the south into two
geographical areas: the first south of the Litani river, and the second to its north.
Both function under the auspices of one central organizational leader in order
to secure organizational structures that are capable of improving local adminis-
tration and activate polarization. In addition, Shaykh Abd al-Karim ‘Ubayd was
appointed as the head of Hizbullah’s social institutions. Shaykh Hasan Izzed-
dine, Hizbullah’s spokesman at the Central Press Office, was appointed as Hiz-
bullah’s political representative in the south, and Nasrallah’s media aide or advi-
sor, the engineer Hajj Muhammad Afif, replaced him.
2 September: The UN Security Council issued Resolution 1559 censuring Syr-
ian intervention in Lebanese affairs and criticizing both Syria and Lebanon for
the intended constitutional amendment that will extend President Lahud’s ten-
ure for three more years, to 25 November 2007. Among other things, Resolu-
tion 1559 called on the Lebanese government to disband and disarm Lebanese
militias, which is a direct reference to Hizbullah since it is the only Lebanese
political party that still bears arms.
3 September: The Lebanese parliament amended the constitution, thus allow-
ing President Lahud to remain in office for a second half-tenure, or a three-year
1 October: A failed assassination attempt targeted MP Marwan Hamadé in
West Beirut and left his bodyguard dead and wounded his driver.
11 November: On Hizbullah’s Martyrs day, the party set a precedent in its
“balance of terror” with Israel. For the first time since its founding, Hizbullah
flew an unmanned drone, which is a small spying plane supplied with state of
the art cameras and is capable of carrying 40 to 50 kilograms of explosives and
can be programmed to hit any target in Israel, for fourteen minutes. It took
pictures of the northern Israeli settlement of Keryat Shmona. Israel confirmed

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 164

the flight and claimed the drone flew over Israel for five minutes. The Israeli
government issued a statement condemning the act as a serious breach of Israeli
sovereignty forgetting the 9,400 breaches Israel conducted of Lebanese sover-
eignty, by air and sea, since its nearly complete withdrawal in May 2000.9
30 November: Around 250,000 Lebanese people, one-third of whom were
Hizbullahis, demonstrated against resolution 1559. All the participants carried
Lebanese flags including Hizbullahis. It was the first time that Hizbullah partici-
pated in a demonstration without portraying flags, banners, and special slogans.
The only two features that pointed out that it concerned Hizbullah were 1) the
chanting of “death to Israel” and “death to America” and 2) the Hizbullahi veiled
women who outnumbered Hizbullahi men by a great margin. Some of the ban-
ners raised by the Hizbullahis were the following: “Unity, unity in Lebanon so
that we can defend our country”; “We do not want democracy American style”.
In the beginning of December and in light of the decisions taken in Hiz-
bullah’s seventh conclave, Hizbullah, for the first time in its history, appointed
the head of Hizbullah’s Women’s Organization, Rima Fakhry, as a member of
its 18-member Political Council (Politburo). Also, Hizbullah appointed Wafa’
Hutayt, the person responsible for political programs in al-Nour radio, as depu-
ty of Hizbullah’s Central Information Office.10
13 December: France banned Hizbullah’s satellite TV, al-Manar, from broad-
casting to France and other EU countries. Hizbullah abided by the ruling and
al-Manar voluntarily stopped transmission. However, al-Manar continued to
broadcast from six other satellites covering most of the globe, including three in
Europe which did not fall under France’s jurisdiction.
17 December: the US followed suit and banned al-Manar, classifying it as a
“terrorist organization”.

29 January: Hizbullah’s first annual celebration of the “Day of Freedom” mark-
ing the watershed prisoner release operation a year ago.
14 February: ex-PM Rafiq al-Hariri was assassinated by a massive suicide
truck bomb. The assassination polarized the country into two political group-
ings: March 8 and March 14. The Western-backed March 14 group, which ini-
tiated the Cedar Revolution, is led by the Sunni Future Movement, but also
included the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt
and the Christian Phalange and Lebanese Forces. And while Hizbullah is the
leading party in the March-8 coalition along with another Shi‘a group Amal, the
party of the Speaker of the Parliament, this group also contains the Free Patri-
otic Movement (FPM) of Michel ‘Aun11, Lebanon’s largest Christian party and
several more marginal Christian parties. March 14 is supported by the United
States, EU, and Saudi Arabia, and preaches an armed ceasefire with Israel. Con-

2005 165
versely, March 8 attains its regional support from Syria and Iran and has a more
social justice agenda that is linked to its doctrinal struggle against Israel. Since
then, political instability has reigned in Lebanon, a country known for its fragile
democratic tradition.
8 March: Hizbullah organized a pro-Syrian demonstration. Around half a
million Hizbullahis along with their supporters and sympathizers filled the
streets of the capital waving Lebanese flags. Nasrallah delivered a speech calling
for national unity, dialogue, and coexistence.
14 March: The “Cedar Revolution”: one million people took to the streets in
Downtown Beirut to demand the withdrawal of Syrian troops and the truth
about Hariri’s assassination.
19 April: Omar Karami’s government resigned, and Nagib Miqati’s 14-mem-
ber Cabinet took office. The cabinet included Trad Hamadé, a Hizbullah affili-
ated sympathizer (non-official member), for the first time in its history.
26 April: Syria ended its military presence in Lebanon after all its remaining
14,000 soldiers along with its intelligence personnel left Lebanon after a 29-year
7 May: Michel ‘Aun returned to Lebanon after being banished to France for
almost 15 years.
23 May: The UN verified the Syrian military pullout from Lebanon.
29 May-19 June: Hizbullah contested the first parliamentary elections after
the Syrian withdrawal on the basis of a temporary four-partite alliance between
Sa‘d Hariri’s “Future Trend”, Amal, and the PSP. Hariri’s “Future Trend” and his
allies won 72 seats out of the 128. Hizbullah won 14 seats, adding two seats to
its previous gains. Here is a list of the 14 names: Muhammad Ra‘d (O); Muham-
mad Fnaysh (O); Muhammad Haydar (N); Hasan Fadlallah (N); Hasan Hubal-
lah (N); Amin Sherri (N); Ali Ammar (O); Pierre Serhal, Maronite (N); Isma‘il
Sukariyyé, Sunni (N); Kamel al-Rifa‘i, Sunni (N); Ali al-Miqdad (N); Husayn
al-Hajj Hasan (O); Jamal al-Taqsh (N); Nawwar al-Sahili (N).
27 June: Trad Hamadé signed a memo allowing the Palestinians who were
born in Lebanon to work.
Early July: Syrian trade embargo begins; a de facto economic embargo.
18 July: 100 MPs voted for the parole of Samir Geagea – the leader of the
right-wing, outlawed Christian Lebanese Forces (LF), who served a jail sentence
for eleven years – and the Sunni Islamists who served a five-year jail sentence.
19 July: Fu’ad al-Sanyura forms the first cabinet after Syrian withdrawal,
where Hizbullah joins with an official member, MP Muhammad Fnaysh, and an
ally, Trad Hamadé.
22 July: Condoleezza Rice visits Lebanon, the first visit of a Secretary of State
since Colin Powell’s visit in May 2003.
30 July: Sanyura’s cabinet wins a parliamentary vote of confidence of 92 votes.

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 166

31 July: Sanyura visited Syria in an attempt to end the Syrian economic
1 August: Syria partially lifted its economic embargo and opened its border to
Lebanese transit trucks.
31 July-6 August: Nasrallah along with members of the Shura Council vis-
ited Tehran in order to attend the inauguration of the newly elected president
Mahmud Ahmadinejad on 3 August as well as conduct meetings with him,
Imam ‘Ali Khamina’i, and other Iranian officials. The Iranian leadership assured
Hizbullah that disarming it was a mirage.
17 August: Israel relinquished the Gaza strip after 38 years of occupation and
started evacuating its settlers. Nasrallah termed this eventuality as the final vic-
tory for the model of resistance in five years: “The choice of resistance liberates
Gaza”. He added that this constitutes further proof for the utility of holding on
to the weapons of Hizbullah’s Islamic Resistance.
12 September: Israel officially ended its occupation of Gaza after the complete
withdrawal of its military.
21 October: Detlev Mehlis, the head of the UN investigation team into Rafiq
Hariri’s assassination, presented a legally inconclusive, but politically powerful
report that implicated high-ranking Syrian and Lebanese officials.
24 October: Amal and Hizbullah released a joint declaration blasting the
Mehlis report for failing to convey the truth, sided with the Syrian regime in its
face-off with the international community, but endorsed the Lebanese govern-
ment’s decision to extend Mehlis mandate until 15 December.
12 December: On the same day the Nahar anchor MP Gebran Tuéni was
assassinated, the Lebanese cabinet met with the UN Commission investigating
the Hariri murder (Special Tribunal for Lebanon: STL) and referred this case
and other politically motivated assassinations to them. They also asked for the
formation of an International Tribunal to bring the perpetrators of these crimes
to justice. When the issue was voted on, the five Shi‘ite ministers walked out, as
an apparent sign of disapproval, eventually suspending their participation in the
Council of Ministers for a period of seven weeks.
20 December: Shaykh ‘Afif al-Nabulsi issued a fatwa barring any other Shi‘ite
from joining the cabinet in the absence of the five ministers.

1 January: The Belgian judge/prosecutor Serge Bramerts/Brammertz took over
from Detliv Mehlis as the head of the UN Commission investigating the Hariri
5 February: After one day of mobs torching the Danish Embassy in Damas-
cus as a protest against the cartoons of the Prophet, mobs in the Christian East
Beirut neighborhood also attempted to set the Danish Embassy on fire. May-

2006 167
hem erupted, and many shops, cars, and Churches were vandalized, and the
population was verbally abused. Lebanese security forces failed to bring the
matter to order, and as a result the Minister of Interior resigned, and Lebanon
offered Denmark a formal apology.
6 February: In order to contain the negative repercussions of what had hap-
pened and prevent Christian-Muslim discord, the leader of the FPM, General
Michel ‘Aun, and Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah met in a symbolic Church across the
old “green line” and signed a historic ten-point understanding addressing politi-
cal, economic, administrative, and security issues, as well as the relations with
Syria. The understanding also addressed domestic affairs such as administrative
reform, election law, fighting corruption, and the investigations into the Hariri
2 March: The inauguration of the “National Convention of Dialogue” in the
Lebanese parliament under the patronage of the Speaker, Nabih Berri. Four-
teen leading Lebanese politicians, including Nasrallah, participated in the
4 May: UNSC adopted Resolution 1680, which, among other things, called on
Syria to normalize relations with Lebanon.
30 May: The Lebanese judiciary exonerated Sultan Abu Al-‘Aynayn, the sec-
retary-general of the Fatah Movement in Lebanon.
1 June: The mocking of Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah, in a TV comedy show,
sparked Hizbullah’s constituency to take to the streets, threatening to go all the
way to the Christian heartland and burn the LBCI. After Hizbullah’s MPs failed
to contain and control the infuriated masses, in an unprecedented move, Nas-
rallah addressed the masses in person, via the Hizbullah media, asking them to
immediately vacate the streets. They obeyed.
30 June: In the wake of the formation of a Lebanese-Palestinian Commit-
tee to discuss the plight of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, a delegation of
Lebanese ministers, including the Hizbullah-affiliated minister Trad Hamadé,
visited the Palestinian refugee camps.
12 July: In an attempt to free Samir al-Quntar, the oldest-serving Arab prisoner
in Israeli jails and other Lebanese POWs, Hizbullah kidnapped two Israeli sol-
diers (Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser) in a cross-border raid. Eight Israeli
soldiers died in the confrontations that ensued on that day, an eventuality that
triggered the July 2006 War.
12 July - 14 August: Israel’s 34-day offensive against Lebanon.
26 July: The Rome conference failed to agree on a ceasefire to end the 15-day
conflict. Sanyura launched his Seven Points.
11 August: UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 1701, which called for a
complete cessation of hostilities in Lebanon.

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 168

19 August: Marked the arrival of the first contingents of the UNIFIL II forces
in Lebanon.
20 August: The Lebanese MPs staged a sit-in inside the Lebanese parliament,
demanding the lifting of the Israeli air and sea blockade on Lebanon.
31 August: The Stockholm conference pledged $940 million in aid to Lebanon.
7 September: Israel lifted its air blockade of Lebanon at 4:00 GMT.
8 September: Israel ended its sea blockade of Lebanon.
1 October: Israel withdrew from the South, after it nibbled a lot of land from
Lebanese territory across the “Blue Line”, including the Lebanese side of Ghajar
11 November: After the failure of the “National Consultations Conference/
convention” mediated by Nabih Berri, the five Shi‘ite ministers resigned from
the cabinet. This symbolic day marks Hizbullah’s “Martyrs’ Day”.
21 November: The assassination of MP and Minister of Industry, Pierre
Jumayyel, who was also a member of the Phalangist politburo.
1 December: Hizbullah, the FPM, and other members of the Lebanese opposi-
tion took to the streets in downtown Beirut – completely filling Martyrs’ Square
and the Riyad Al-Solh Square – demanding the formation of a national unity
cabinet where the Lebanese opposition wields one-third veto power.
1 and 10 December: More than one million protestors and demonstrators
made themselves heard in downtown Beirut, while peacefully attempting to
block the roads to the Grand Sérail, the prestigious headquarters of the Council
of Ministers.

22 January: Nasrallah’s mobilization speech: He contended that the strike that
was organized for the next day would determine the destiny of Lebanon for
future generations, and he warned about domestic infighting and a division in
the Lebanese Army.
23 January: After 53 days of sit-ins and protests in downtown Beirut, the Hiz-
bullah-led opposition crippled the country through a general strike, coupled
with the blocking of main roads, burning wheels, etc. On 25 January, coinciding
with the Paris III conference, the civil unrest continued, and dangerous actions
reminiscent of the civil war were undertaken: sniping, automatic weapons, gun-
fire, mayhem, burning cars, destruction of property, etc. In an unprecedented
move, Nasrallah issued a fatwa calling on his supporters and all the Lebanese to
vacate the streets immediately.
27 January: Tufayli held a conference in ‘Ayn Burday12 (B‘albak) vehemently
censoring Hizbullah’s leadership, accusing Nasrallah of executing Khamina’i’s
policies in Lebanon. (Khamina’i has openly and repeatedly declared that Leba-
non will be the battleground where the US will be defeated.)

2007 169
7-8 February: Around midnight, at least two incidents of crossfire were
reported between the Lebanese Army and the IDF after an Israeli bulldozer
crossed the Blue Line in an attempt to remove mines across the border. This
was the first reported incident (military confrontation) between the two parties
since the cessation of hostilities on 14 August 2006.
8 February: The Lebanese Army confiscated a weapons truck from Hizbul-
lah. Hizbullah demanded its return; the Lebanese Army refused, arguing that
the weapons would be used to confront the IDF in the south.
14 February: The divide between the March-14 and March-8 camps was
painstakingly visible when the two parties were separated by a mini metal “Ber-
lin wall”.
21 March: Serge Bramerts/Brammertz submitted his seventh report to the
UNSC, which unanimously issued Resolution 1748 on 27 March that officially
extended the mandate of his Commission for a year, starting June, i.e. till June
2008. (UNSC Resolution 1747 enforced the 1701 ban against arms smuggling.)
2 April: Seventy Lebanese legislators supportive of the Sanyura cabinet, the
March-14 trend, met at the parliament and ratified a letter asking the UNSC to
found the International Tribune as soon as possible. On 10 April, PM Sanyura
forwarded the letter to Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, arguing that
impediments standing in the way of ratifying the statutes of the tribunal were
mainly related to the paralysis of the legislature.
8 April: Nasrallah’s “Easter speech”: In an attempt to end the deadlock with
the Lebanese Cabinet, Nasrallah lowered his demands from veto power to a
national referendum or early legislative elections.
17-21 April : Ban Ki-moon dispatched Nicolas Michel, the UN Undersecre-
tary-general for Legal Affairs, to Lebanon in order to discuss the issue of the
tribunal with Lebanese state officials and the opposition leaders. Michel, who
was instrumental in drafting the text of the pact on the tribunal between the
UN and the Sanyura government, insisted the UN had no intention of getting
involved in the nitty-gritty of domestic Lebanese politics, especially the debates
surrounding the tribunal. After a meeting between Hizbullah’s resigned Min-
ister of Power Fnaysh and Michel, Fnaysh refused to hand Michel the party’s
reservations on the tribunal, maintaining Hizbullah’s discourse of only doing so
to a national unity government.
5 May: Nasrallah in a talk show with the Iranian Satellite TV “Al-‘Alam” (The
World), recorded one day earlier, tried to calm the waters.
30 May: UNSC Resolution 1757 established, under chapter seven, the Interna-
tional Tribunal of the Hariri murder, effective June 10.
13 June 13: Walid ‘Ido, a March-14 MP, was assassinated by a car bomb in
Roushé, Ras Beirut. The explosion claimed the life of his son Khalid, and eight
other civilians. In a political declaration, Hizbullah vehemently condemned

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 170

the assassination, considering it part of the “mobile terror” that was targeting
the stability of Lebanon. Hizbullah said that the best way to face the terror is
through uniting and working very hard to find the perpetrators and bring them
to justice. Like the case with the previous politically motivated assassinations,
March 14 pinned the blame directly on the Syrian regime. (It was the second
assassination that had claimed the life of a Sunni Muslim after the 14 February
2005 assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri.) With ‘Ido’s and Pierre Jumayyel’s assas-
sinations, two parliamentary seats became vacant. Fearful for their lives after
‘Ido’s assassination, forty March-14 MPs left the country.
10-14 June: Within four days Hamas took control of the entire Gaza strip and
established its Islamic Emirate after a bloody military coup that ousted Fatah
and the Palestinian Authority (PA) from the Gaza strip.
14-15 July: Breaking-the-ice dialogue sessions in Saint-Cloud, France, among
second-class cadres of the March-14 and March-8 groups were organized by the
French Foreign Minister, Bernard Cuisenaire, with help from his special envoy,
Ambassador Cousseran. 31 representatives of Lebanon’s 14 leading parties par-
ticipated in closed-door talks. Cuisenaire was scheduled to visit Beirut on 28
July in order to follow up on the French initiative aimed at breaking the political
deadlock that had been rupturing the country for more than eight months. No
substantial or tangible results were reported from either the dialogue sessions
or Cuisenaire’s visit. In addition to the representatives of the leading politicians
in the country, the French introduced representatives of civil society organiza-
tions, although they do not have much power on the ground.
19 July: To Israel’s military intelligence’s surprise, Nasrallah met with both
the Iranian president Ahmadinejad, who was visiting Damascus, as well as the
Syrian president Bashar al-Asad.
21 July: In an interview with Qatari-based al-Jazeera satellite TV, Nasrallah
affirmed: “We can strike any city in Israel… not a single place in Israel is not
within the range of our missiles”.13
23 July: Ban Ki-Moon informed Sayura that The Hague, in the Netherlands,
had been chosen as a place for the International Tribunal investigating the Hari-
ri murder (STL).
24 July: The general of the Lebanese Army threatened to resign if another
cabinet was formed, in which case Lebanon would repeat the negative precedent
of 1988, when the country was split between two cabinets, where each one con-
trolled a certain geographical area.14 If this scenario had materialized, it might
eventually have led to the dissolution of the military establishment and the dis-
integration of Lebanon.
24 July: The US administration branded two Hizbullah NGOs “The Good
Loan” and “The Martyr’s Foundation” as “terrorist organizations” and froze

2007 171
their assets, including those of Qasim ‘Ulayq and Hasan Shami, their respective
28 July: Nasrallah’s first “victory speech”, delivered at Bint Jubayl, was trans-
mitted live via al-Manar TV by projection on a large screen to Hizbullah’s con-
3 August: Nasrallah’s second “victory speech” delivered at Marjat Ra’is al-
‘Ayn, Ba‘albak, the Biqa‘, “the reservoir of the Resistance” at 20:30 hours local
time, was transmitted live via al-Manar TV by projection on a large screen.
6 August: By-elections in Matn and Beirut to replace the two assassinated
March-14 MPs Pierre Jumayyel and Walid ‘Ido. Amine Jumayyel, Pierre’s father,
lost by 418 votes to FPM candidate Kamile Khoury. Muhammad Itani from the
Future Trend won 22,988 votes, while the next candidate received 3,556 votes.
Voter turnout was 48% in Matn and 18.9% in Beirut. In Beirut, Hizbullah and
Amal got around 7,000 votes, although they did not officially participate in the
by-elections because they considered the Cabinet as unconstitutional.
14 August: Nasrallah’s third “victory speech” delivered at the Raya field, Sfeir
in Dahiya, the southern suburb of Beirut, transmitted live via al-Manar TV by
projection on a large screen.
24 August: UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 1773, which extended the
UNIFIL’s mandate for one year until 31 August 2008, thus maintaining the status
quo and extending the “cessation of hostilities” for another year. And so, even
though one year had passed since the end of hostilities, there was no ceasefire.
31 August: On the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the disappearance
of Imam Musa al-Sadr, Nabih Berri launched his initiative, which practically
eroded the Hizbullah-led opposition’s demand for the formation of a national
unity Cabinet, even “half an hour before the presidential elections”, and shelved
the demand till the election of a new president, as the March-14 group had
repeatedly requested.
6 September: Israel violated Syrian airspace and apparently attacked a sup-
posed nuclear facility.
19 September: Around 17:30 hours, a powerful explosion rocked the eastern
sector of Beirut, killing the Phalangist MP Antoine Ghanem and eight others
(including two of his bodyguards) and wounded 56. The Lebanese government
blamed Fatah al-Islam (FI) militants for the assassination, which came just two
days after his return from a two-month vacation outside Lebanon. This was the
eighth assassination of an anti-Syrian politician – the fourth MP from the anti-
Syrian governing majority – since the high-profile assassination of PM Rafiq
Hariri in 2005.
25 September: The two-thirds quota required for the election of a new presi-
dent was not met. The Speaker scheduled another parliamentary session on 23

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 172

5 October: Nasrallah delivered the Jerusalem Day speech via a big screen
placed at Majma‘ Al-Shuhada’. The speech was divided into three parts, which
gave it a regional flavor: Palestine, Iraq, and finally Lebanon.
15 October: Israel and Hizbullah exchanged prisoners: One dead Israeli set-
tler of Ethiopian origin who drowned in Haifa two years earlier and whose body
had drifted to Lebanese territorial waters. His body was exchanged for the bod-
ies of two dead Hizbullah fighters (who died in the July 2006 war) and one pris-
oner (suffering from health problems). The negotiations took place for a long
time behind closed doors.
22 October: The Speaker postponed the second round of the parliamentary
session to elect the president to 12 November, hoping that by then a consensus
would have been reached on a candidate acceptable to all parties (the March-14
and March-8 Group).
10 November: The Speaker postponed the third round of the parliamentary
session to elect the president to 21 November.
20 November: The Speaker postponed the fourth round of the parliamentary
session to 23 November, the final constitutional deadline to elect a president.
23 November: The two-thirds quota required for the election of a new presi-
dent was not met. The Speaker scheduled another parliamentary session on 30
27 November: 45 countries, including fifteen Arab states, attended the one-
day peace conference at Annapolis, Maryland.
29 November: The Speaker postponed the fifth round of the parliamentary
session to elect the president to 7 December.
1 December: The Hizbullah-led opposition celebrated the first anniversary of
the sit-in in downtown Beirut through a symbolic rally.
10 December: The Speaker postponed the eighth round of the parliamentary
session to elect the president to 17 December.
17 December: The Speaker postponed the ninth round of the parliamentary
session to elect the president to 22 December.
22 December 22: The Speaker postponed the tenth round of the parliamen-
tary session to elect the president to 12 January 2008.
12 December: Lebanese Army (LA) Brigadier General François al-Hajj, the
chief of military operations and the presumed successor to Lebanese Army
commander General Michel Sulyman, was killed with three other military per-
sonnel by a car bomb in B‘abda, near the presidential palace.

8 January : In the wake of President Bush’s visit to the Middle East and one day
before the visit of the chief of Arab diplomacy, the secretary-general of the Arab
League, Amr Musa, and one day after Shakir al-‘Absi released his first message

2008 173
via the al-Qa‘ida-affiliated website threatening the Lebanese Army with retribu-
tion, one of his cells targeted the UNIFIL with a roadside bomb – for the first
time outside the area of their operations at Rmaylé, near the northern entrance
of Sidon – slightly wounding two Irish soldiers.
Two Katyusha rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into northern
State prosecutor, John Fahd, issued thirty arrest warrants against affiliates of
10 January: Nasrallah delivered a speech on the first day of ‘Ashura.15
10-11 January: The ISF and LA arrested Shaykh Nabil Rahim, the main coordi-
nator between al-Qa‘ida’s groups in Lebanon and FI, along with his aide Bassam
Hammud (alias Abu Bakr al-Turkmani) and Rahim’s leading student, Zakariyya
11 January: The Speaker postponed the eleventh round of the parliamentary
session to elect the president to 21 January.
15 January: Around 16:30 hours local time: A reconnaissance vehicle of the US
Embassy was targeted by a roadside bomb in the Karantina area, in the Chris-
tian East Beirut. Three people died and twenty were wounded, including two
Lebanese employees. Jeffrey Feltman, the outgoing US Ambassador to Leba-
non, had been invited by the March-14 group to the Phoenicia Hotel in order
to be honored for his services to Lebanon. Attacking a US Embassy convoy is
unprecedented. This attack came in the wake of Bin Laden’s tape, which called
for derailing Bush’s visit to the Middle East by launching attacks on US interests
in the region.
Nasrallah delivered a speech on the sixth day of ‘Ashura.
17 January: Nasrallah delivered an important speech on the conception of
martyrdom: “Islam considers that the gravest sin, after shirk (partnership with
God) is killing the dignified self (an innocent human being).17
19 January: Nasrallah, in person, and not on a giant TV screen, delivered
a speech on the 10th day of ‘Ashura in Dahiya. It was the first time since the
22 September 2006 “Victory Speech” that Nasrallah appeared in person – pro-
tected by a sea of people, who gave him the perfect human shield. Nasrallah
revealed for the first time since the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers on 12
July 2006 that Hizbullah had many body parts of Israeli soldiers in its posses-
sion, including a near-complete body. He boasted that the Israeli Army (IDF),
which prided itself on evacuating all its dead and wounded, failed to accomplish
that due to the relentless attacks of the Hizbullah fighters. Nasrallah reiterated
what he mentioned in the first anniversary of the “Divine Victory” on 14 August
2007: “If Israel launches a new war on Lebanon, we [Hizbullah] promise them
a war that will change the course of the [Arab-Israeli] battle, and will change

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 174

the destiny of the entire region [Middle East],” which is an indirect reference to
Hizbullah’s possession of unconventional arms.18
19 January: The Speaker postponed, for the thirteenth time, the parliamen-
tary session to elect the president to 11 February, at 12:00 noon.
25 January: The assassination of Lieutenant Wissam ‘Id, a senior intelligence
officer, the IT brain of the ISF (an expert in surveillance), and his aide Usama
Mer‘ib, by a 75 kg bomb hidden in a parked car in the Chevrolet area, in East
Beirut. Five other civilians died and 37 were wounded. This was the biggest
explosion since the assassination of PM Hariri.
26 January: Death of George Habash (1925-2008), the founder of the Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
27 January: Nine died and fifty were wounded in a seven-hour civil unrest,
mainly across the old green line in Mar Michael.
9 February: The Speaker postponed, for the fourteenth time, the parliamen-
tary session to elect the president to 26 February.
12 February: The assassination of Imad Mughniyyé – Hizbullah’s ex-mili-
tary cadre on whom the US put a $25 million reward – by a car explosion in
22 April: The Speaker postponed, for the eighteenth time, the parliamentary
session to elect the president, without scheduling another.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second man in al-Qa‘ida, said that Lebanon has a
pivotal role in al-Qa‘ida’s jihad. He threatened to make Lebanon the launching
pad of the jihad against the “Jews and Crusaders” in order to liberate Palestine.
He attacked Hizbullah and its al-Manar satellite station for doubting al-Qa‘ida’s
role in 9/11.
6 May: The Lebanese cabinet took two measures: In a politically charged
atmosphere, the Cabinet decided to confront Hizbullah for the first time since
Ta‘if. After a long meeting it deemed Hizbullah’s telecommunications network
as an “onslaught against the state’s sovereignty and its financial resources” or
as illegitimate and a threat to the state’s financial security. The cabinet affirmed
that it was going to bring to justice all those who were involved in deploying this
network, which was tantamount to an arrest warrant against Nasrallah. Also,
the Cabinet dismissed the pro-Hizbullah-Amal Beirut Airport head of security
who had been serving in this post since 2000. LA General Wafiq Shuqayr was
accused of deploying cameras across the airport’s lane number 17 in order to
monitor the travelers.
Four-partite meeting: Shi‘ite religious and political leaders met to evaluate
the situation in the wake of the general strike the next day: Qabalan, Fadlallah,
Berri, Nasrallah.
7 May: A day reminiscent of 23 and 25 January 2007.

2008 175
8 May: In a press conference, Nasrallah considered the government’s deci-
sions as “a declaration of war”.19 After this fiery speech, Sunni-Shi‘ite sectarian
fighting raged in the West Beirut streets. The next day, Hizbullah controlled
West Beirut which houses key government ministries.
11 May: Hizbullah controlled al-Shouf, Jumblatt’s den. Subhi al-Tufayli held a
press conference condemning Hizbullah’s actions.
12 May: For the nineteenth time, Berri postponed the 13 May session to elect
the president to 10 June at 12:00 noon.
14 May: Heading an Arab committee, the secretary-general of the Arab
League, Amr Musa, arrived via Beirut International Airport after turf battles
claimed the lives of around 80 people.
16 May: The Higher Shi‘ite Council sacked Mufti ‘Ali al-Amin after he vehe-
mently criticized Amal and Hizbullah.
21 May: The Doha Accord: After five days of intense negotiations between
the March-14 and March-8 groups, Hizbullah achieved a resounding political
victory by obtaining the one-third veto power in the Cabinet. After eighteen
months of political stalemate, a political settlement was reached. Hizbullah’s
media announced that national unity had been achieved after 537 days. Berri
announced from Doha, Qatar, the disbanding of the sit-in in downtown Beirut.
Solidere’s20 market stock jumped from $ 29.8 to $ 40.
25 May: After six months of vacuum in the seat of the presidency, something
unprecedented in Lebanese history, the consensus president Sulayman was
elected by 118 votes out of 127 MPs.21
26 May: Hizbullah celebrated the eighth anniversary of the nearly complete
Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon through a fiery speech by its secretary-general,
Nasrallah, who stressed that Hizbullah abides by the Ta’if Agreement and would
honor the Doha Accord to the letter.22
1 June: The Israeli citizen Nasim Nisr – Hizbullah’s detainee in an Israeli
prison who was arrested in Israel on 27 June 2002 – was released as a goodwill
gesture to an upcoming groundbreaking prisoner release in which Israel would
get back the two soldiers Hizbullah abducted on 12 July 2006. Israel got back the
remains of five of its soldiers who died during the confrontations with Hizbullah
in the Second Lebanon War. Nisr’s mother was born a Jew, but she converted to
Islam. Nisr resided in Bazuriyyé. He was accused of spying for Hizbullah and
had already served his six-year sentence.
19 June: Truce between Hamas and Israel for the duration of six months start-
ed at 3:00 GMT.
23 June: Vienna conference, Austria: An international donors conference for
the rebuilding of Nahr al-Barid and its vicinity raised $122 million, including
$22 million from the US.

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 176

2 July: The UK classified Hizbullah’s military wing as a terrorist organization,
while France affirmed that Hizbullah is an “important player in Lebanese politi-
cal life and has a strong social base… We hope that Hizbullah will completely
integrate in the political life in Lebanon.”23
11 July: Ten months before the parliamentary elections of June 2009; after
53 days of the Doha Accord (more than seven weeks); 48 days after the elec-
tion of President Sulayman; 45 days after Sanyura was charged with forming the
Cabinet; and after almost three years of the tenure of the previous government
(1378 days), Lebanon announced the formation of a 30-member national unity
Cabinet in which Hizbullah obtained its long-awaited veto power. The Cabinet
included 9 ministers from the previous Cabinet; six ex-ministers, fourteen new
ministers; and eight MPs. According to the power-sharing deal, Hizbullah was
supposed to obtain three ministerial seats, but it granted two to its allies, making
a big concession.
16 July: The commencement of a three-day groundbreaking prisoner
ex­­­chan­ge, which marked the closure of a contentious file in the war with Israel.
Hizbullah termed it Operation Radwan (‘Amaliyat al-Radwan), in tribute to
Imad Mughniyyé, who was assassinated in Damascus on 12 February 2008. The
199 bodies of mainly Lebanese, Palestinian, and other Arab fighters who died
in action confronting the IDF in the previous decades were returned, including
eight refrigerated Hizbullah fighters’ bodies.
The exchange culminated in the release of the notorious Samir al-Quntar,
the dean of Arab prisoners, who was arrested on 22 April 1979, with four other
members of the PLO. He served 29 years in prison out of a life sentence, actually
five life sentences, which is a total of 542 years. He is regarded as a murderer by
the Israelis since he was convicted of killing three Israelis: two civilians and a
policeman. Remarkably, Quntar is neither a member of Hizbullah nor a Shi‘ite,
but a Druz who believed in the leftist revolutionary cause. Aiming at freeing
al-Quntar, Hizbullah kidnapped the two Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud
Goldwasser on 12 July 2006.
The swap also included four Hizbullah fighters who were kidnapped by Israel
during the July 2006 war: Khudr Zaydan, Maher Kawtharani, Husayn Sulay-
man, and Muhammad Srur. With the swap, Israel aimed at closing this conten-
tious file with Lebanon.
There were clear differences between the strategy and tactics of both sides:
Hizbullah media portrayed the scene as a “very somber and sad day for Israel,”
while it echoed the following slogan: “Lebanon is on a date with the victory of
Freedom.” The exchange was celebrated in Lebanon as a triumph. According to
Hizbullah, Israel succumbed to Hizbullah’s demands, thus breaking three fixi-
ties: 1) releasing a convicted felon with Israeli blood on his hands; 2) the stipula-

2008 177
tion of not exchanging dead Israeli soldiers for living Arab POWs; 3) halting any
exchange operation till the fate of Ron Arad is fully revealed.24
18 July: Burial of eight Hizbullah fighters fallen in the July 2006 war.
18 August: Hizbullah and the Salafi movement signed a watershed 8-point
28 August: A Lebanese Army helicopter was shot down in the south while
it was flying over a Hizbullah stronghold, and its pilot was killed. Hizbullah
described the incident as “tragic”. The Lebanese Minister of Defense tried to
absolve Hizbullah by arguing that the downed helicopter looked different than
the others the Army has and that the Lebanese flag was not visible on it.25 (Usu-
ally, and as routine dictates, the LA informs Hizbullah of such flights over its
controlled areas in order to avoid it being mistaken for an Israeli helicopter).
29 August: The Council of Ministers appointed John Qahwaji as the new
Commander of the LA.
10 September: The assassination of the pro-Syrian MP Salih al-‘Aridi, a senior
member of Youth and Sports Minister Talal Arslan’s Lebanese Democratic Party


February 2005: Ex-PM Rafik Hariri (March 14)
April 2005: MP Basil Flayhan, succumbed to his wounds (March 14)
June 2005: Anti-Syria journalist Samir Qasir (March 14)
June 2005: Ex-Communist leader George Hawi (March 14)
December 2005: Anti-Syria al-Nahar anchor MP Gebran Tuéni (March 14)
November 2006: Industry Minister Pierre Jemayyel (March 14)
June 2007: Anti-Syria MP Walid ‘Ido (March 14)
September 2007: Anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghanim (March 14)
December 2007: LA Brigadier General François al-Hajj
January 2008: ISF investigator Wissam ‘Id
September 2008: Pro-Syria MP Salih ‘Aridi (March 8)

16 September: First national dialogue session in the presidential palace under

the auspices of the President. The main issue on the agenda was Hizbullah’s
weapons and Lebanon’s defense strategy. March 14 thought that Hizbullah
would not disarm; it was simply buying time till the tide changed in its favor.
27 September: A Fatah al-Islam Saudi suicide bomber, by the name of Abu
‘A’isha, detonated a car packed with 200 kg of explosives near a security complex
on the way to the international airport south of Damascus, killing 17 people.

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 178

4 October: The Lebanese daily al-Liwa’ claimed that Shakir al-‘Absi was
arrested in Syria and was being used as a bargaining chip to improve relations
with the West, most notably France.
14 October: President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree stipulating the estab-
lishment of diplomatic relations with Lebanon.
15 October: A signing ceremony was held in Damascus between the Syrian
Foreign Minister Walid Mu‘allim and his Lebanese counterpart Fawzi Sallukh,
for the first time establishing diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon
since the independence of the two countries from the French colonial mandate
in 1943. By this move, one of the ten points in the Understanding between Hiz-
bullah and the FPM had been realized.
6 November: Syria aired the confessions of ten Fatah al-Islam members con-
nected to the blast along with al-‘Absi’s daughter Wafa. Fatah al-Islam’s security
officer Abd al-Baqi al-Husayn and ten other suspects planned to attack Syrian
security offices and foreign diplomats.
22 November: The second session of national dialogue mediated by the presi-
dent took place.
30 November: The Lebanese Cabinet approved forming full diplomatic rela-
tions with the Palestinian Authority, thus elevating the office of the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) in Beirut to the status of an embassy.
3-7 December: ‘Aun embarked on a five-day visit to Syria.
8 December: A Fatah al-Islam-affiliated website announced that al-‘Absi
and two of his companions were either arrested or probably “martyred” after a
bloody confrontation with the Syrian security forces near Damascus.
9 December: American ex-president Jimmy Carter started a five-day visit to
Lebanon. Hizbullah declined to meet him.
14 December: Tens of thousands of people in Gaza celebrated the 21st anni-
versary of the founding of Hamas.
14-15 December: President Sulayman went on an official visit to Jordan.
22 December: Lebanon and Syria exchanged ambassadors. Third session of
national dialogue held.
27 December 2008-20 January 2009: Israel conducted its military campaign
“Operation Cast Lead” in the Gaza strip aimed at stopping Hamas rockets
from targeting southern Israel after a six-month truce between the two parties
expired on 19 December 2007. According to Israeli sources, “Operation Cast
Lead” resulted in 1,166 Palestinian deaths and eleven Israeli deaths.26 According
to Palestinian sources 1,505 Palestinians died.27
28 December: After a four-hour meeting, the UNSC called on both parties to
cease violence. The EU called for a cessation of hostilities.
Nasrallah delivered a speech in support of the Palestinians, but stressed that
his party would not open the south Lebanon front against Israel. He blasted

2008 179
Arab regimes for their “complicity in the assault”, especially Egypt, but praised
Syria for its resistance stance.
31 December: The foreign ministers of the Arab league held an emergency
meeting in Beirut at 11:00 am. Nothing emerged except rhetoric.

9 January: Fatah al-Islam operatives succeeded in firing three Katyusha rockets
at northern Israel, lightly wounding two people. It was the first time since the
end of the “Second Lebanon War” that the IDF returned fire.
26 January: Fourth session of national dialogue.
10 February: Israeli general elections.
21 February: Fatah Al-Islam fired two Katyusha rockets at northern Isra-
el. One fell short and exploded in Lebanese territory; the second wounded a
20-year old woman in Ma‘alot, northern Israel. The IDF retaliated by firing eight
shells. PM Sanyura blasted Israel for violating UNSC resolution 1701 while, at the
same time, vehemently censured the shooters.
2 March: Fifth session of national dialogue.
16 March: Lebanon opened its first embassy in Damascus five months after
establishing diplomatic relations with Beirut.
24 March: Lebanon approved the Syrian ambassador.
28 April: Sixth session of national dialogue.
29 April: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) released the four generals
Jamil al-Sayyid, Ali al-Hajj, Raymond Azar, and Mustafa Hamdan, who were
detained in connection with the 2005 bombing. The STL said that the court’s
pre-trial judge, Daniel Fransen, had received the request from prosecutor Dan-
iel Bellemare to decline to seek continued detention of the generals. The pros-
ecutor concluded that the evidence was insufficient at this time to warrant filing
indictments against these four generals.
25 May: Nasrallah delivered a reconciliatory speech aiming at easing the ten-
sions before the elections and reaching out to the other side.
26 May: Agreement on the appointment of the ten members of the constitu-
tional council, the body that looks into the constitutionality of the elections and
takes the decisions in impeachment (ta‘n) cases.
27 May: Syrian ambassador ‘Ali Abd al-Karim arrived in Beirut and assumed
his job at the Syrian embassy, located in Makdisi Street, Hamra, West Beirut.
1 June: Seventh session of national dialogue.
3 June: Israeli spokesman Sivan Shalom warned that Hizbullah’s victory in
the elections would lead to grave dangers in the Middle East.
4 June: A precedent: Around 11,500 civil servants (public sector employees)
voted ahead of the elections (since they themselves would be running the show
on 7 June, i.e. supervising the electoral boxes). Turnout was almost 80%. The

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 180

arrival of ex-US President Jimmy Carter to head the international team super-
vising the elections.
7 June: Legislature elections according to the amended 1960 election law: 71
seats were won by March 14 and 57 seats went to March 8, in an election that
witnessed 54,8% turnout. March 14 won 55% of the seats and March 8 only 45%
of the votes. In terms of public mandate, March 8 earned 55% of the votes, but
only 45% of the parliamentary seats. This resulted in almost the same status quo
as the 2005 elections. Hizbullah won twelve seats: ten for Party members and
two for Sunni allies. Due to its alliance with the FPM, this time Hizbullah had
no Christians on its election list. Here is a list of the twelve names: Muhammad
Ra‘d (O); Muhammad Fnaysh (O); Husayn al-Musawi (N); Hasan Fadlallah (O);
Ali ‘Ammar (O); Walid Sukariyyé, Sunni (N); Kamel al-Rifa‘i, Sunni (O); Ali
al-Miqdad (O); Husayn al-Hajj Hasan (O); Ali Fayyad (N); Nawwaf Al-Musawi
(N); Nawwar al-Sahili (O).
12 June: The Iranian president Ahmadinejad was reelected for a second
term. According to official figures, he won 62.6% of the votes in an election
marked by a turnout of 85%. Riots erupted for a few weeks as his main con-
tender, Mir Husayn Musawi, accused the government of fraud. The al-‘Arabiya
Tehran bureau was closed, and foreign journalists were barred from covering
the unrest. It was a show of political protest, which had been unprecedented
in Iran for many years. Mobile phones and text messages stopped functioning,
many websites were filtered, and the government banned the right of assembly
as a threat to the regime.
13 June: ex-European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana met with Hiz-
bullah’s MP Husayn Hajj Hasan.
24 June: US to send ambassador Robert Ford to Syria after a four-year hiatus.
26 June: UNIFIL finds twenty Katyushas ready for launch, after Fatah al-Islam
operatives planted them.
28 June: Hariri nominated as PM candidate by 86 MPs.
2 August: Jumblatt’s undertones towards March 8 and Syria, which he had
not visited for five years.
Week of 2 August: The beginning of the renovation of the Magen Avraham
synagogue in the Wadi Abu Jmil area, downtown Beirut. There are around 200
Jews in Beirut. There are two other synagogues in Lebanon: one in ‘Alé and one
in Sawfar. Before the outbreak of the 1975 war, there were eight synagogues in
Beirut alone. In 2006, Hizbullah gave its permission for the renovation, but the
July 2006 war froze the whole project for almost four years.
10 August: Israel threatened Lebanon with military action if Hizbullah joins
the cabinet.
27 August: To Israel’s disappointment, the UNSC renewed Resolution 1701 for
one year with the same rules of engagement.

2009 181
1 September: the Kuwiati daily “Al-Ra’i” reported that Daniel Bellemare,
the chief judge appointed by the UN Tribunal to investigate Lebanese PM Rafiq
Hariri’s murder28, interrogated al-‘Absi in a Syrian prison.29
24 November: Nasrallah met with Assad in Damascus (New TV, as reported
by al-Nahar).
25 November: Reconciliatory meeting between ‘Aun and Jumblatt at the pres-
idential palace in B‘abda, the first since Jumblatt’s visit to ‘Aun in Paris mid-April
30 November: Nasrallah announced Hizbullah’s new Manifesto through an
extensive press conference.
2 December: ‘Aun met Cardinal Sfeir, and the Cabinet approved the policy
statement with the reservation of five March-14 ministers. As a ritual practice
and from the stance of upholding state sovereignty, five March-14 ministers
registered their reservations regarding the policy statement: the two Lebanese
Forces ministers Ibrahim Najjar and Salim Wardé; the two Phalangist ministers
Michel Phar‘un and Salim al-Sayyigh; and Butrus Harb.
9 December: In a surprise visit that lasted only a few hours, ‘Aun met Bashar
al-Assad at the “People’s Palace” in Damascus.
12 December: Hizbullah’s MP Dr. ‘Ali Fayyad gave a lecture at the Sorbonne,
14 December: President Michel Sulayman visits the US and holds a meeting
with President Barack Obama.
19-20 December: A groundbreaking visit by Sa‘d al-Hariri to Damascus
where Bashar al-Assad bent the protocol and hosted him in the Tishrin Presi-
dential Palace that is reserved for presidents and kings. The meeting resulted
in “positive and constructive talks” that diffused around five years of tensions
between the two countries (ironically putting Hizbullah’s manifesto into effect
and the policy statement also).

10 January: A watershed reconciliatory meeting between Hizbullah and the PSP
in Shwayfat in order to close the bad chapter of 11 May 2008 for good.
11 January: After 72 days of the first meeting at the presidential palace, Jum-
blatt visited ‘Aun at Rabyé. The meeting was intended to calm the waters of the
popular base of both. March-8 MP Sulayman Franjiyyé affirmed that Hizbullah’s
weapons were preventing the naturalization of the Palestinians in Lebanon.
12 January: In response to rumors that claimed that the Palestinian refugee
camps had become a safe haven for al-Qa‘ida, Abu Muhjin – the Emir of the
jihadi Salafi ‘Usbat Al-Ansar in ‘Ayn al-Hilwé – asserted on behalf of all the Pal-
estinian factions in the camps: “We will not allow any person who does not

Chronology of Events (1975-2010) 182

have a Palestinian agenda to enter the camps.” He cited close cooperation in this
regard between the PLO, Hamas, the Islamists, and Lebanese security forces.30
13 January: In a press conference, Nabih Berri explained his vision on a grad-
ual plan for the abolition of political sectarianism.
14 January: Engineer Hasan Jishi, the CEO of Hizbullah’s Wa‘d project (Jihad
al-Bina’), held a press conference where he announced that Wa‘d was rebuilding
244 of the 281 living complexes destroyed by the July war.31
25 January: The downing of an Ethiopian civilian airplane by a rocket fired
from Na‘mé minutes after its departure from Beirut, killing the wife of the
French ambassador to Lebanon as well as publicly unknown, leading Hizbullah
cadres, as some media outlets claimed.32 Hizbullah’s Media Relations Office and
its MPs vehemently denied that any of its cadres were on board.
16 February: Nasrallah delivered a televised speech celebrating a quarter of
a century since the publication of Hizbullah’s first manifesto, the “Open Let-
ter”, and in commemoration of the week of the Islamic Resistance honoring the
Party’s three leading cadres: Shaykh Raghib Harb, Sayyid ‘Abbas Al-Musawi,
and Hajj Imad Mughniyyé. In that mobilizational speech Nasrallah threatened
to retaliate against any Israeli attack on Lebanon, asserting that his party has the
military capabilities to strike any place in Israel. The Hizbullah leader threat-
ened retribution for Imad Mughniyyé’s death at a convenient time for his party.
26 February: Extensive meeting in Damascus between President Bashar
al-Asad of Syria, Ahmadinejad of Iran, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah of Hizbullah,
Hamas and other Palestinian cadres in order to coordinate efforts against the
Israeli rhetoric of a new and major war.

2010 183
List of Abbreviations

AFP Agence France-Presse

BDL Banque du Liban – The Central Bank of Lebanon
CCSD Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation (Hizbullah’s
think tank)
CEO Chief Executive Officer
EU European Union/Community
FI Fatah al-Islam
FM Foreign minister
FPM Free Patriotic Movement
GCC Gulf Cooperation Council
GLC Labor Unions
IDF Israeli Defense Forces
ISF Internal Security Forces (Lebanese Police)
IT Information Technology
LA Lebanese Army
LAF Lebanese Armed Forces
LBCI Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International
LDP Lebanese Democratic Party
LF Lebanese Forces
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NGOs non-governmental organizations
NNA (Lebanese) National News Agency
MP Member of parliament
PA Palestinian Authority
PFLP Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
PLO Palestinian Liberation Organization
PM Prime minister
POWs Prisoners of war

PSP Progressive Socialist Party
SLA South Lebanon Army (now defunct)
SSNP Syrian Social Nationalist Party
STL Special Tribunal for Lebanon
UNDP United Nations Development Program
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIFIL United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency (for Palestine Refugees in
the Middle East)
UNSC United Nations Security Council

List of Abbreviations 186


Ahl al-dhimma, dhimmis Non-Muslim residents within an Islamic state

holding limited rights and required to pay a poll
tax (jizya) in lieu of zakat
‘Amma ordinary people
Ajr remuneration
Arkan al-Islam the five pillars of Islam: al-shahadatayyn
Muslim credo: Testimony that there is no god
but Allah (God), and that Muhammad is His
Prophet, salat (prayer), sawm (fasting), hajj
(pilgrimage to Mecca), and zakat (almsgiving)
Awliya’ saints
Dahiya the southern suburb of Beirut that houses
around 850,000 Shi‘ites
Batin esoteric
Din religion
Faqih jurisprudent or jurisconsult: an authority or
expert in fiqh; in Shi‘ism faqih is synonymous
with mujtahid
Fara’id religious duties
Fatwa a guiding, non-binding religious edict
Fiqh religious jurisprudence, elucidation, and appli-
cation of Shari‘a
Fitna discord, internal strife
Fuqaha’ jurists
Hadi guide

Hadith (Sunna) traditional accounts of the sayings and doings
of Prophet Muhammad, which became an
important source for determining Islamic Law.
They are made up of two parts: the names of the
transmitters (isnad); and the text (matn)
Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca
Al-hala al-Islamiyya Islamic religious-political sphere
Halal religiously sanctioned
Haqiqat truth
Haram religiously prohibited
Hikma divine wisdom
Hisbi (obeying) the religious and moral instructions
of Islam. It can also cover a wide range of finan-
cial, administrative, political, and social matters.
In short, hisbi matters are things that God does
not allow us to forsake
Hizbullah “Party of God”
Hizbullahi A member or follower of Hizbullah
Hujja apodictic proof
Husnayayyn outcomes or rewards of jihad (martyrdom and
Ijtihad making religious decisions on the basis of inde-
pendent reasoning
Ilgha’ al-ta’fiyya al-siyas- the abolition of political sectarianism in the
siyya fi al-nufus, qabla mentality, before abolishing it in the texts
‘Ilm religious knowledge
Al-‘ilm al-muhit or al-iha- the Imam is the most learned in all branches of
tah fi al-‘ilm religious knowledge
Infitah “opening-up” or Hizbullah integration in the
Lebanese public sphere
‘Isma (ma‘sum) entails the impeccability, sinlessness, and infal-
libility of the Imams
Al-istikhlaf bi al-nass wa the Shi‘ites consider the Imamate a divine
al-ta‘yyin appointment
Al-istikhlaf bi al-shura wa the Sunnis consider the Caliphate as a political
al-bayy‘a process that is the product of consensus
Istishhad martyrdom
Jahiliyya pre-Islamic pagan period in Arabia
Al-Jihad al-asghar (smaller jihad): struggle (holy war) against the
enemies of Islam

Glossary 188
Al-Jihad al-akbar (greater jihad): struggle against the self (jihad
al-nafs) or individual’s service for the cause of
Jizya poll tax
Juhhal ignorant people
Kafir infidel
Khass wa ‘amm private and public
Khums (one-fifth) a religious tax comprising 20% of a person’s sur-
plus on income over necessary living expenses.
Half is paid to the marja‘ as the representative
of the Imam (sahm al-Imam), and half to the
Kitman concealment
Khususiyyat specificities or particularities
Lebanonization Hizbullah’s enrolment in Lebanese domestic
political life
Ma‘nawi moral influence
Madad support and reinforcement
Marja‘ al-taqlid/ muqallad The supreme Islamic legal authority to be emu-
lated or accepted for emulation by the majority
of the Shi‘a in matters of religious practice and
Marja‘iyya religious authority
Al-mas’uliyya al-shar‘iyya legitimate and religious responsibility to the
marja‘ or muqallad
Al-mas’uliyya al-shar‘iyya is loosely translated as “legitimate and religious
wa al-taklif al-shar‘i al-Ilahi responsibility”
Mubaya‘a homage and pledge of allegiance, usually to God
Mujahidin those who carry out jihad or freedom fighters
Mujtahid a ‘alim or a high ranking Shi‘ite jurist who exer-
cises ijtihad or independent reasoning
Muqallad see marja‘ al-taqlid
Muqalidin followers of the muqallad in law and ritual
Murshid ruhi spiritual guide or leader
Mustad‘afin oppressed
Mustakbirin oppressors
Muwatana citizenship
Nass textual designation, or the specific designation
of an Imam by the preceding Imam
Al-Qada leaders

Glossary 189
Rahbar leader of the Islamic Revolution. This title was
assumed by Khumayni, and after his death, it
was accorded to Khamina’i when he became the
official marja‘ al-taqlid in 1995
Fi sabili Allah in the way of God
Salat prayer
Sawm fasting
Shahada martyrdom
Shahid martyr
Shari‘a The whole set of norms, morals, and laws
(divine or Islamic law) derived from the Islamic sources (mainly
Qur‘an and hadith) pertaining to the various
aspects of life of individual Muslims and the
Muslim umma
Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim The “Straight Path” or the path of the righteous
Sunna (hadith) Traditions: the sayings and doings of Prophet
Muhammad, which are considered the second
source of Islamic Law (shari‘a), the Qur’an
being the first
Al-ta‘a strict obedience and discipline, which conveys a
religious connotation
Ta‘bi’a mobilization
Tafsir textual, literal, or scriptural interpretation of the
Tahkim arbitration
Taklif religious-legal obligation
Al-taklif al-shar‘i al-Ilahi delegated responsibility/obligation of the muqa-
lidin towards the muqallad
Taqiyya expedient dissimulation
Taqlid emulation
Taqwa piety
Ta’wil Shi‘ite hermeneutics or allegorical interpreta-
tion of the Qur‘an
Thawabit fixities, immutable principles, established sets of
values and norms
‘Ulama Muslim religious scholars
Umma the entire community of Muslims
‘Urfan Shi‘ite theosophy
Wajib religious duty or obligation
Wakilayn shar‘iyyan religious deputies
Wilaya spiritual guidance

Glossary 190
Wilayat al-Faqih governance of the jurisprudent or jurisconsult
Wilayat al-umma ‘ala the self-governance of the umma
La yughsl wa la yukaffan neither washed nor wrapped in a burial shroud
Yaqin strong conviction
Yutashhad/ istashhadu martyred
Zahir exoteric
Zakat almsgiving
Zu‘ama feudal leaders

Glossary 191


1 Hizbullah’s Political Manifesto, Chapter II: “Lebanon”, Section 5: “Lebanon and

the Arab Relations”. First edition. Beirut: Media Relations Office, 2009, 49.
2 Ibid., Chapter II, Section 6: “Lebanon and Islamic Relations”, 51-2.


1 The Open Letter was published as “Al-Nass Al-Harfi Al-Kamil li-Risalat Hizbul-
lah ila al-Mustad‘afinin [The Original Text in Full of Hizbullah’s Open Letter to
the Oppressed]”, al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH, 22 February 1985),
5-8. The Open Letter was read at the Uza‘i mosque one week earlier, on Satur-
day, February 16, 1985, by Hizbullah’s spokesman at the time, Sayyid Ibrahim
Amin al-Sayyid.
2 Al-Intiqad is Hizbullah’s official mouthpiece and weekly newspaper. It was esta-
blished on 18 June 1984 as al-‘Ahd, but changed its name and orientation in 2001,
thus conveying a “secular” image by dropping the Qur’anic substantiation (5:56),
on the right side, and removing the portrait of Khumayni and Khamina’i, on
the left side. The last issue of al-‘Ahd was number 896, dated 6 April 2001 or 12
Muharram 1422 AH; the first issue of al-Intiqad was number 897, dated 20 April
2001 or 26 Muharram 1422 AH. The last hard-copy issue of Al-Intiqad was num-
ber 1267, dated 30 May 2008. Since number 1268, dated 6 June 2008, Al-Intiqad
was only available electronically and initially published bi-weekly on Fridays
and Tuesdays, until it settled as a Friday weekly once more, but with only the
date, no number. See

3 Hizbullah is not monopolizing the use of religion, as Roy seems to imply, rather
the party employs the word Hizbullah in an extended, inclusive, and progres-
sive sense, which includes all believers from all religious denominations. Hajj
Muhammad Al-Jammal, Hizbullah’s spokesman at the time, argued along these
lines on the occasion of receiving a Danish delegation – composed of students,
researchers, and faculty, mainly from Arhus University and the University of
Southern Copenhagen, and some Danish journalists – at the Central Informa-
tion Office, 30 March 1999. Cf. Olivier Roy, Globalised Islam: The Search for a
New Umma. Revised and updated edition. London: Hurst and Company, 2004,
249, 329.
4 Cf. As‘ad Abu Khalil, “Ideology and Practice of Hizbollah in Lebanon: Islami-
zation of Leninist Organizational Principles”, Middle Eastern Studies, 27 (July
1991), 3, 395; and Roy, op. cit, 247-248.
5 Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, Ma‘ Al-Hikma fi Khat Al-Islam [Wis-
dom in the Way of Islam]. Beirut: Dar Al-Wafa’, 1985, 46-54. This bears some
similarity to the Prophetic tradition where the Prophet spent 13 years in Mecca
practicing his call and succeeded in converting only 83 people to Islam. When
his life was in danger, according to Islamic belief, God ordered him to emigrate
to Medina. He heeded and consolidated his call, and made Medina the base for
spreading the mission of Islam.
6 “Now, whether or not an Islamist movement [Hizbullah] becomes truly radical
hinges on whether or not it rejects the very validity and legitimacy of the local
state and seeks universal revolution to undermine it in the name of the ideal
umma (italics in original)… Yet other Muslim radicals, perhaps non-violent,
possess utopian views that perceive the creation of an ‘Islamic state’ as the
solution to all problems, or as a way to empower the Muslim world and restore
the power of the Muslim civilization”. Graham E. Fuller, The Future of Political
Islam. New York: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2003, 17, 88.
7 By political Maronism, Hizbullah means the leading Maronite notables and
their retinue, which constitute the symbols of the Lebanese political system.
Their retinue included the Sunni prime minister (PM) and the Shi‘a speaker who
were completely under their command, blindly exercising their political whim
and will. The late PM Sami al-Solh said that the PM was only “ketchup” in the
hands of the president. Thus, from 1943 to 1990 the Muslims, in general, and
the Shi‘ites, in particular, had been politically marginalized since the Maroni-
tes wielded economic and political power and had absolute control over the
country’s resources and riches. Joseph Alagha, The Shifts in Hizbullah’s Ideology.
Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006, 23.
8 Muhammad Z‘aytir, Nazra ‘ala Tarh Al-Jumhuriyya Al-Islamiyya fi Lubnan [ A
look at the Proposal of the Islamic Republic in Lebanon]. Beirut: Al-Wikala Al-
Sharqiyya lil-Tawzi‘, 1988.

Notes 194
9 Muslim attitudes towards the Maronites might have been influenced, in part, by
the Maronite role outlined by the French colonial mandate following the Sykes-
Picot Agreement of 1916, which partitioned the Levant between the French
(Lebanon and Syria) and the British (Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq). The National
Pact of 1943, which is an oral agreement not drafted in the 1926 Constitution,
stipulated that the PM be Sunni Muslim, the Speaker Shi‘ite, and the following
Maronites: The President of the Republic; the Commander of the Army; the
Governor of the Central Bank (BDL); and the Head of the Labor Unions (GLC).
However, article 95 of Section 6 of the 1943 Constitution – which was amen-
ded by a constitutional law issued on November 9, 1943 – gave some hope for
the Shi‘ites of a fairer representation in the future: “Temporarily and from the
stance of justice and national reconciliation, the sects are represented in a just
manner in public employment and in the formation of the Council of Ministers,
without harming state interest”. Alagha, op. cit., 23.
10 Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, Al-Islam wa Mantiq Al-Quwwa [Islam
and the Logic of Power]. Beirut: Dar Al-Huruf, 1987, 258ff.
11 Imam Khumayni issued a fatwa stressing that the Lebanese system is
illegitimate and criminal. In 1986 Khamina’i clarified Khumayni’s fatwa, arguing
for the necessity of the Muslims to rule Lebanon since they comprise the
majority of the population. (Tawfiq Al-Madini, Amal wa Hizbullah fi Halabat
al-Mujabahat al-Mahaliyya wa al-Iqlimiyya [Amal and Hizbullah in the Arena
of Domestic and Regional Struggles]. Damascus: Al-Ahli, 1999, 162-163; Wad-
dah Sharara, Dawlat Hizbullah: Lubnan Mujtama‘an Islamiyyan [The State of
Hizbullah: Lebanon as an Islamic Society], 4th. ed., Beirut: Al-Nahar, 2006, 342).
The chief of staff of the Iranian revolutionary guards in Lebanon stressed that
Hizbullah and the Revolutionary Guards are going to bring down the Maronite
regime just as the Iranians brought down the Shah. (Al-Anwar 9 February 1988)
12 Residents within an Islamic state holding limited rights and required to pay a
tax in lieu of almsgiving (zakat).
13 Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, “Reflections on the Muslim-Christian
Dialogue”, a lecture delivered at the American University of Beirut, 22 Decem-
ber 1987.
14 Sharara, op. cit., 348.
15 “The Union of Muslim ‘Ulama” was established in the wake of the Israeli inva-
sion in June 1982.
16 Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyya fi Lubnan [Islamic Movements in Lebanon]. Beirut:
Al-Shira‘, 1984; and ‘Ali Al-Kurani, Tariqat Hizbullah fi Al-’Amal Al-Islami [Hiz-
bullah’s Method of Islamic Mobilization]. Tehran, Maktab Al-I‘lam Al-Islami:
Al-Mu’assa Al-‘Alamiyya, 1985, especially 147-163.
17 Imam Khumayni, Al-Kalimat Al-Qisar: Al-Islam wa A‘malina [Short Words:
Islam and our Works], p. 193, as cited in: Rafiq Sulayman Fidda, Athar Al-Imam

notes to introduction 195

Al-Khymayni ala Al-Qadiyya Al-Filastiniyya [Imam Khymayni’s Impact on the
Palestinian Cause]. Beirut: n.d., 170.
18 Westoxification, a term coined in the 1960s by an Iranian intellectual called Jalal
al-Ahmad, denotes the venomous Western civilizational influence and hege-
mony over other civilizations and cultures.
19 The UK has replaced France, which is classified by Hizbullah as a neutral state,
rather than the original position of being regarded as a foe. It is worth noting
that France was on Iraq’s side during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war.
20 Fadeel M. Abun-Nasr, Hizbullah: Haqa’iq wa Ab‘ad [Hizbullah: Facts and
Dimensions]. Beirut: World Book Publishing, 2003, 72-73.
21 Al-Madini, Amal wa Hizbullah…, 172; and documents collected by the author
from the Party’s think tank, the Consultative Center of Studies and Documenta-
tion (CCSD).
22 Hasan Fadlallah, Al-Khiyar al-Akhar: Hizbullah: al-Sira al-Dhatiyya wa al-
Mawqif [The Other Choice: Hizbullah’s Autobiography and Stance]. Beirut: Dar
al-Hadi, 1994, 137.
23 Al-Madini, Amal wa Hizbullah…, 172-4; and documents collected by the author
at the CCSD.
24 Nasrallah’s cousin from his mother’s side (ibn khaltu).
25 See Hizbullah’s political declaration of 7 July 1995; Al-Madini, Amal wa Hizbul-
lah…, 174-5; al-Safir 8 July 1995: “Hizbullah Reelects Sayyid Nasrallah as Secre-
tary General”, and al-Nahar 29 July 1995: “Leadership Changes in Hizbullah”.
26 Al-Safir 6 August 1998; Al-Madini, Amal wa Hizbullah…, 178-9; and Imad
Marmal, “The Results of Hizbullah’s Conclave”, al-Safir 1 August 1998. Marmal is
al-Safir columnist and al-Manar political talk show presenter.
27 According to documents collected by the author at the CCSD.
28 Interview with al-Bilad 12 October 1994.
29 Hizbullah is careful to clarify that its animosity is towards the US administra-
tion, and not the US people. (This seems to be in conformity with Khumayni’s
discourse on hakimiyyat Allah or “God’s Sovereignty”, which is tolerant towards
the populace, but not the ruling elite. This stands in sharp contrast to Bin
Laden’s nihilist discourse that does not distinguish between the two.)
30 See Nicholas Blanford, “Hizbullah to issue updated version of manifesto: New
‘Open Letter’ will reflect changes”, Daily Star (28 October 2002), 2.
31 Reinoud Leenders, “Hizbullah: Rebel Without a Cause?” ICG Middle East
Briefing Paper, 30 July 2003, 19. (
32 Interviewee wishes to remain anonymous. This person contended 16 February
was the intended date of launching the new document.

Notes 196
33 Daniel Sobelman, Rules of the Game: Israel and Hizbullah After the Withdrawal
from Lebanon. Memorandum no. 69. Tel Aviv University: Jaffee Center for stra-
tegic Studies, 21, 23.
34 Ibid., 103.
35 Two leading cadres in the Islamic Resistance were assassinated by blowing up
their cars: Ghalib Awali on 19 July 2004 and Ali Husayn Salih on 2 August 2003.
The Lebanese government and Hizbullah accused Israel of being behind these
assassinations; Israel repeatedly denied any involvement or responsibility in
these attacks.
36 The late Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah (d. 4 July 2010) was the
highest ranking religious authority in Lebanon and the local authority of emu-
lation (marja‘) who still has following among the Shi‘ite community in Lebanon
and who wielded power and influence over the Islamists. Many considered him
Hizbullah’s spiritual leader, a charge which he persistently denied. It is interes-
ting to note that Fadlallah’s declaration of ‘id al-fitr at the end of Ramadan in
2002, which coincided with that of the (Sunni) Mufti of the Lebanese Republic,
split the Dahiya, Hizbullah’s main constituency in Beirut, between Hizbul-
lah’s adherents of the Iranian religious authority and Fadlallah’s followers who
celebrated the ‘id a day before the Hizbullahis. Such eventualities increase the
tensions between Hizbullah and the Iranians, on the one hand, and Fadlallah
and his followers, on the other.
37 See “ ‘Abna’ Al-Tufayli’ Yuhajimun Nasrallah [Tufayli’s Followers Chastise Nas-
rallah]”, al-Safir 5 July 2004.
38 Compiled from al-Safir 17 and 18 August 2004; Lebanese daily newspapers of 18
August 2004; and “Hizbullah’s Seventh Conclave: Vivid Organization, Stability
of Leadership, and A Follow-up on Recent Events”, al-Intiqad 1071 (20 August
39 At the time of the appointment, Rima Fakhry was a 38-year-old mother of four.
She has been a Hizbullah member since the age of 18. She also holds a BSc in
Agriculture from the American University of Beirut. Al-Safir 5 January 2005;
Daily Star 6 and 7 January 2005; al-Intiqad 1091 (7 January 2005).
40 This seems to suggest, more and more, the credibility of Hizbullah’s infitah
41 See Lebanese daily newspapers of 20 November 2009, especially al-Safir 11452;
and al-Safir 11454 (24 November 2009).
42 No wonder the conclave took a lot of time since a new manifesto was also in the
43; http://english.

notes to introduction 197

44 The leadership realized that the pen name of Jawad Nureddine did not save
Imad Mughniyyé from assassination. So, they decided not only to keep the
name a secret, but also not to announce the eighth member at all.
45 After the Manifesto was released, it attracted a lot of media coverage to the
extent that it was item number one on the news, and Nasrallah’s press confe-
rence took center stage by being portrayed on the front page and in editorials of
most Lebanese dailies.
46 Personal interview, 23 November 2009.
47 Most of these rhyme in Arabic; so it is difficult to capture the exact meaning
and implications/connotations in an English translation. See “Order Stems
from Religious Belief and its Reflection on the Street”, al-Intiqad (20 November
2009), p. 4.
aspx?id=116716&language=ar (Accessed 24 December 2009).
49 See Lebanese daily newspapers of 20 November 2009, especially al-Safir 11452;
and al-Safir 11454 (24 November 2009). Although in its 17 November 2009
copy under “Press Secrets” al-Akhbar was the first to announce the end of the
conclave, it is interesting to note that it is perhaps the only Lebanese daily that
did not mention anything on the issue in its 20 November editorial. Al-Safir
showed the most extensive coverage, but it mistakenly stated the seventh
conclave instead of the eighth.
50 Chapter II, Section 7: “Lebanon and International Relations”, p. 54.
51 Chapter I, Section 2: “Our region and the American Scheme”, pp. 24-25.
52 Chapter II, Section 7: “Lebanon and International Relations”, p. 56.
53 Chapter II, Section 7: “Lebanon and International Relations”, pp. 54-55.
54 Chapter III, Section 1: “Palestine and the Zionist entity”, p. 60.
55 Chapter III, Section 1: “Palestine and the Zionist entity”, 58.
56 Chapter I, Section 1: “The World and Western-American Hegemony”, p. 21.
57 Chapter II, Section 7: “Lebanon and International Relations”, pp. 55-56.
58 This sentence is taken from Hizbullah’s understanding with the FPM, Section II,
entitled “Consensual Democracy”. See page 105.
59 Chapter II, Section 5: “Lebanon and Arab Relations”, p. 49
60 Chapter II, Section 6: “Lebanon and Islamic Relations”, pp. 51-2.
61 Chapter II, Section 5: “Lebanon and Arab Relations”, p. 47.
62 Chapter II, Section 6: “Lebanon and Islamic Relations”, p. 50.
63 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 8, as cited in: The Shifts in Hizbul-
lah’s Ideology, 236.
64 Chapter II, Section 6: “Lebanon and Islamic Relations”, p.53.
65 “The term resource mobilization is used to refer to the ways a social movement
utilizes such resources as money, political influence, access to the media, and
personnel. The success of a movement for change will depend in good part on

Notes 198
how effectively it mobilizes its resources.” Richard T. Schaefer and Robert P.
Lamm, Sociology. Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1998, 584.

1 Primary documents

1 The Open Letter was published as “Al-Nass Al-Harfi Al-Kamil li-Risalat Hizbul-
lah ila al-Mustad‘afinin [The Original Text in Full of Hizbullah’s Open Letter to
the Oppressed]”, al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH, 22 February 1985),
5-8. The Open Letter was read at the Uza‘i mosque one week earlier, on Satur-
day, 16 February 1985, by Hizbullah’s spokesman at the time, Sayyid Ibrahim
Amin al-Sayyid.
2 The word husnayayyn in (9:52) is taken to refer to martyrdom (of the self) and
victory (for the umma): “Say: ‘Do you expect from us anything other than one
of the two fairest outcomes (martyrdom and victory); while we await that Allah
will smite you with punishment, either from Him, or at our hands?’ So wait and
watch, we are waiting and watching you.”
3 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 5.
4 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 5. It is most likely that this verse
shelters Hizbullah with a religious legitimacy for its political ideology. The verse
refers to the idea of free choice and free will, whereby in the end the people
(believers) find out that religion is the Truth. Thus, religion is found through
freedom of choice, and not by imposition of the truth. The application of this
is that Hizbullah will not impose its faith or ideology on anyone. The choice is
ultimately left to the individual, but s/he must beware of the Qur’anic injunc-
tion. My interpretation is borne out by the following explanation: “Our choice
in our limited Free-will involves a corresponding personal responsibility. We
are offered the Truth: again and again it is pressed on our attention. If we reject
it, we must take all the terrible consequences which are prefigured in the Fire
of Hell. Its flames and roof will completely enclose us like a tent. Ordinarily
there is water to quench the heat of thirst: here the only drink will be like
molten brass, thick, heavy, burning, sizzling. Before it reaches the mouth of the
unfortunates, drops of it will scald their faces as it is poured out”. A. Yusuf Ali,
The Holy Qur’an: Translation and Commentary. Fourth printing. Lahore: Islamic
Propagation Center, 1993, 738.
5 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 5. According to Shaykh Na‘im
Qasim, the three terms denoted in bold above are the constituents of Hizbul-
lah’s religious ideology: 1) belief in Shi‘a Islam; 2) wilayat al-faqih (guardianship
of the jurisprudent or jurisconsult); 3) and jihad (struggle) fi sabili Allah (in the
way of God). Na‘im Qasim, Hizbullah: Al-Manhaj, Al-Tajriba, Al-Mustaqbal

notes to Primary documents 199

[Hizbullah: The Curriculum, the Experience, the Future]. Seventh revised and
updated edition. Beirut: Dar Al-Mahajja Al-Bayda’, 2010, 40-90.
6 This reasoning seems to be in conformity with the Qur’anic verse (7:33): “the
things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds/debaucheries,
whether open or secret.”
7 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 5.
8 It is worth mentioning that as late as the summer of 1998, a Hizbullah poster
appeared, in its major constituencies, with this slogan and below it a US flag was
depicted with bombs instead of stars.
9 In reference to the September 1982 “massacres” of the Palestinian civilians in the
Sabra and Shatila refugee camps bordering Hizbullah’s stronghold in southern
10 Philip Habib was a Lebanese-American envoy and negotiator sent by the US
administration to diffuse and solve the crisis that resulted from the June 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which resulted in the besiegement of Beirut for 83
days and the evacuation of the PLO.
11 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 5.
12 This is a direct reference to the Lebanese civil war that was started on 13 April
13 The Lebanese Forces became the military wing of the Phalangists.
14 A reference to the “ethnic cleansing” that was practiced by the Christian militias
against the Muslims in East Beirut and the Christian areas between 1975-1976.
According to the right-wing al-Nahar daily, the Christian militias stormed and
destroyed the Palestinian Jisr al-Basha camp on 29 June 1976 and the Tal al-
Za‘tar camp on 12 August 1976, killing around 1,600 persons in the latter camp.
(Al-Nahar 13 August 1976). Palestinian sources claimed that 2,500 were killed,
out of a total estimated population of 35,000. Nab‘a, Burj Hammud, Sibnih, Gha-
warina district and Jubayl housed a good number of Shi‘a ghettos at the time.
15 In reference to his presumed role in the Sabra-Shatila massacre. Bashir Jumayy-
el, the head of the Phalangist Christian militia, was elected president on 23
August 1982. On 14 September 1982, he was assassinated by a car bomb.
16 Under the auspices of ex-President Elias Sarkis, the Lebanese president from
17 Amin Jumayyel, Bashir’s brother, was elected as president of the Lebanese Repu-
blic on 23 September 1982. He remained in office for the next six years.
18 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 5-6. Actually, Lebanon was the
second Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel. However, this was short
lived since in March 1984 the Lebanese parliament abrogated the 17 May 1983
agreement with Israel.

Notes 200
19 Ironically, this expression is reminiscent of al-Qa‘ida and Bin Laden’s discourse,
who might have appropriated the term from Hizbullah, their ideological
20 A direct reference to the suicidal attacks against the US Embassy in West Beirut,
on the one hand, and Marines barracks and the French paratroopers headquar-
ters, on the other. See the “Chronology of Events”.
21 In reference to Hizbullah’s first suicidal operation by Ahmad Qasir on 11
November 1982 and the third suicidal operation by Ja‘far Al-Tayyar on 14 Octo-
ber 1984. See the “Chronology of Events”.
22 At the time of the publication of the Open Letter, the IDF had already with­
drawn from Sidon; in April it withdrew further south from Nabatiyyé and Tyre;
and finally in June it withdrew to its 1978 established “Security Zone.” See the
“Chronology of Events”.
23 A reference to the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon.
24 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 6.
25 A common aphorism is the following: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
26 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 6.
27 Ibid.
28 Ibid.
29 Ibid.
30 By the “Lebanese political system”, Hizbullah was referring to “political Maro-
nism”, or the sectarian division of governmental and vocational posts, where the
Maronites appropriate the top positions, including the President of the Repu-
blic; the Commander of the Army; the Governor of the Central Bank (BDL);
and the head of the Labor Unions (GLC).
31 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 6.
32 A political-military consortium of the Christian right militias. Now it is
defunct. The “Lebanese Front” and the “Lebanese Forces” are in quotation
marks because Hizbullah does not grant either any legitimacy whatsoever.
33 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 6-7.
34 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 7.
35 Ibid.
36 Ibid.
37 Cf. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) nationalist discourse of: “In you
is a power, which if actualized will change the course of history”.
38 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 7.
39 Ibid.
40 Ibid.
41 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 7-8.
42 Ibid., 8.
43 Ibid.

notes to Primary documents 201

44 Hizbullah appropriated this section of the Open Letter, almost word by word,
from the section entitled, “The Grave Responsibilities of the Muslim ‘ulama”,
in: Imam Khumayni’s Al-Jihad Al-Akbar [Greater Jihad]. Translated by Husayn
Kurani. Tehran: Islamian Grand Library, 1980, 9-10. The same statement of
refining the self before refining others is repeated and borne out in the article
entitled, “The Spiritual-Dynamic Force of the Islamic Revolution – Second
Episode: The Ideological and Social Change… A New Conception of Jihad”, in:
al-‘Ahd (10 Shawwal 1405/28 June 1985), 9. Cf. Norton’s inability to translate and
contextualize this concept of greater jihad, thus leaving this section blank in his
translation of the Open Letter. Augustus Richard Norton, Amal and the Shi‘a
Struggle for the Soul of Lebanon. Austin: University Press of Texas, 1987, 185.
45 It is alleged that he was killed because of his multi-volume book entitled, The
Causes Responsible for Materialist Tendencies in the West. See
46 The Iraqi regime executed him on 9 April 1980 after making him watch his
sister being raped. It is no wonder that Hizbullah considers Imam Musa al-Sadr
and Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr among its ideologues and leaders. (See; last accessed August 2004.) Hiz-
bullah leaders (al-qada or ideologues) are listed, from ascending to descending
order, as follows: Imam Khumayni (Iranian), Imam Khamina’i (Iranian), the
martyr al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (Iraqi), Sayyid Musa al-Sadr (Irani-
an-Lebanese), the martyr al-Sayyid Abbas al-Musawi (Lebanese), Sayyid Hasan
Nasrallah (Lebanese), and the martyr Shaykh Raghib Harb (Lebanese). Thus,
not all of Hizbullah’s leaders are fuqaha’ (plural of faqih), even though they
are all clergymen. Also, it appears that Hizbullah’s most prominent ideologues
are transnational, rather than Lebanese. The word “Rahbar” in Persian, which
means leader of the Islamic Revolution, is the title assumed by Khumayni, and
after his death, it was accorded to Khamina’i when he succeeded him in 1995.
47 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 8.
48 Al-‘Ahd (Friday 3 Jamadi al-Thani 1405 AH), 8. Thus, the Open Letter ended as
it started: with a Qur’anic substantiation. Hizbullah is not claiming the absolute
Truth, since Truth is from God. God is the only Truth, we (Hizbullah) do not
know if our discourse reveals the Truth. If there is anybody who refuses our
ideas and discourse, then God will be the ultimate judge. However, Hizbul-
lah claims the truth, but not the ultimate Truth, which is only known by God.
This seems in line with classical Islamic discourse where the wrong is perceived
from the self, and not from God. Therefore, Hizbullah is trying to employ a
pluralist discourse, which is very different from post-modernist discourse and
philosophy because it is based on the metaphysical underpinning of relations
underscoring the difference between the relative truth and the absolute trans-
cendent Truth. While the post-modernists seem to be agnostic, the Islamists,

Notes 202
including Hizbullah, seem to be theists. After all, God is transcendent: “No one
knows God but God” (la y‘rif Allah illa Allah). This seems in line with what
Imam ‘Ali has said: “incapability of cognizance is cognizance” (al‘ajzu ‘ann
al-idrak idrak). The solution might be the hadith qudsi: “I [God] was a hidden
treasure and I wanted to be known, so I created and through me, they knew me”
(kuntu kanzan makhfiyyan fa aradtu an u‘raf fa khalaqtu al-khalq fa bi ‘arafuni).
[I think this hadith is related to the Islamic explanation of cosmology. Although
there is a controversial discussion among Islamic scholars about the validity of
this hadith, making it highly vulnerable to criticism, there seems to be a clue in
the Qur’an to justify this hadith since it is written that human beings are created
in the image of God. Thus, the existential aspect of human life is related to or
goes back to or is ultimately referred back to God. It is worth mentioning that
Ibn ‘Arabi argued that this hadith is correct through God’s revelation to him
(sahih bi-al-mukashafa), which is a speculative way of defending his argument].
The weakness is that human beings never fully understand God; this is the
true understanding. Thus, one does not know God, but only the signs of God,
i.e. ‘alam (creature) and verses of the scripture, both are referred to as aya, and
both are signs; this is the way God reveals Himself to us. That is why we say Rab
al-‘alamin (God of the creatures). Thus, human beings understand the signs,
not the absolute, and Hizbullah seems to imply and abide by this interpretation.
In short, when Hizbullah opposes itself and its discourse to the oppressors
(al-qawn al-zalimin), it is indirectly claiming truth on its side. Therefore, there
is an aspect of relativism in Hizbullah’s discourse. It is worth mentioning that
from a theological perspective, aya has different meanings; however, it is very
important to look at the generic meaning. The generic meaning of aya is sign,
but the specific meaning is a sentence in the scripture (verse). Both uses are
warranted in the Qur’an. Generic sense: “There are in the creation of Heavens
and the earth and the alteration of night and day real signs [ayat] for people and
understanding” (3:190); verse in the scripture: “Yet they are not all alike. Within
the People of the Book, there is an upright nation [group] who recites Allah’s
revelations/signs [ayat], throughout the night, while prostrating themselves”
ground.html (Last accessed August 2005).
(Last accessed August 2005).
51 (Last accessed August
52 Hizbullah believes that Israel has nuclear capabilities to wipe out all Arab coun-
tries, at least by destroying their capital cities. However, extending that claim to
all Muslim countries seems a bit exaggerated and untenable.

notes to Primary documents 203

53 Although Hizbullah translated jumhuriyya Islamiyya (Islamic Republic) as Isla-
mic Government, I prefer to stick to the exact translation as mentioned in the
original Arabic text.
54 The 1996 April Understanding.

2 election programs

1 My translation is based upon Hizbullah’s original document released by Hizbul-

lah’s Central Press Office in July 1992.
2 It is worth mentioning that “establish them firmly in the land” connotes grant­
ing them political power. This is reminiscent of the Prophet who established the
Islamic community in Medina. So once Hizbullah obtains authority or political
power, it will pay due attention to the private sphere of prayer, and the social or
public sphere of alms-giving as well as commanding the good and prohibiting
the evil. Yusuf ‘Ali comments on the following verse by arguing: “The justifica-
tion of the righteous in resisting oppression when not only they but their Faith
is persecuted and when they are led by a righteous Imam, is that it is a form of
self-sacrifice. They are not fighting for themselves, for land, power, or prestige.
They are fighting for the right”. The Holy Qur’an…, 862.
3 It seems that Hizbullah is asking for the legitimacy of the people. I also think
that Hizbullah’s apologetic discourse, which sanctions the Islamists to participa-
te in the electoral process, reflects the heated internal debates among Hizbullah’s
cadres and leadership, which eventually led to the production and propagation
of such a program.
4 This is reminiscent of socialist-Marxist discourse.
5 A reference to the 1985 Israeli withdrawal and the formation of its self-declared
“Security Zone”.
6 Hizbullah is stressing its resistance identity as an Islamic jihadi movement.
7 It is worth mentioning that the abolition of political sectarianism is stipulated in
article 95 of the Ta’if Agreement.
8 All that has been achieved on the way to the abolishment of political sectaria-
nism until now is that, in 2004, the Lebanese parliament formed a committee
which is supposed to look into the abolishment of political sectarianism.
9 Lebanon lost the Seven Villages to Israel during the 1948 war. (See for instance,
Al-Jam‘iyya Al-Ijtima‘iyya Al-Thaqafiyya Li-Abna’ Al-Qura Al-Sabi‘, Al-Qura
Al-Sabi‘ Al-Lubnaniyya Al-Muhtalla: Dirasa Qanuniyya-Ijtima‘iyya [The Seven
Lebanese Occupied Villages: A Legal-Social Study]. First edition. Beirut: Al-Mar-
kaz Al-Istishari Lil-Dirasat, November 2003). The Arabs of Wadi Khaled were
granted Lebanese nationality in 1994.

Notes 204
10 It is ironic to note that three decades after the end of the Lebanese civil war, the
file of the displaced citizens has still not been closed.
11 This was accomplished in 2003 by the government-sponsored Center of
Research and Development (Markaz Al-Buhuth wa Al-Inma’). However, till now
there is no unified national history textbook at the university level, precisely
because the notion of consensual history is entirely lacking.
form.html (Last accessed August 2005). As translated from a four-page docu-
ment entitled “Al-Barnamaj Al-Intikhabi Li-Hizbullah”, issued by Hizbullah’s
Central Press Office in the summer of 1996. In the translation, I denote where
every page ends in the original Arabic text.
13 Yusuf ‘Ali argues, “The Way of God (al-sirat al-mustaqim) is a Straight Way.
But men have strayed from it into all directions. And there are numerous Paths
by which they can get back to the Right Way, the Way in which the purity of
their own nature, and Will and mercy of God, require them to walk. All these
numerous Paths become open to them once they give their hearts in keeping to
God and work in the right Endeavor (jihad) with all their mind and soul and
resources. Thus they will get out of the Spider’s web of this frail world and attain
eternal Bliss in the fulfillment of their true destiny”. The Holy Qur’an…, 1048.
14 I prefer this translation: “But those who struggle [jahadu] in Our cause, surely
We shall guide them in Our ways [paths]; and God is with the good-doers”
(29:69). This Qur’anic justification is usually used to sanction jihad, or holy war.
Theologically it falls within the domain of the controversy regarding free will
and predestination. Those who argue for free will employ this verse by claiming,
“God will help us if we struggle”. Thus, Hizbullah broadens the mandate of the
term jihad employing it in the elections, and does not confine it only to the
battlefield. This falls within the earlier distinction made between jihad in the
battlefield (smaller jihad) and jihad against the self (greater jihad), which is the
context in which this verse is employed.
15 Ibid., p. 1.
16 Ibid., p. 2.
17 Ibid., p. 3.
18 Ibid., p. 4.
19 My translation is based upon “The Electoral Program of Hizbullah: Priorities
and Continuations”, Al-‘Ahd 863 (18 August 2000), 4.
20 Based on this Qur’anic verse, one can argue that Hizbullah’s engagement in the
elections is based on the stance that one should not neglect the here and now,
the present life for the sake of the hereafter since any Hizbullahi aspires for
“felicity in this world and the world to come” (al-sa‘ada fi al-darayyn). Yusuf ‘Ali
comments on the verse by arguing, “That is, spend your wealth on charity and
good works. It is God who has given it to you, and you should spend it on God’s

notes to election programs 205

cause. Nor should you forget the legitimate needs of this life, as misers do, and
most people become misers who think too exclusively of their wealth. If wealth
is not used properly, three evils will follow: 1) its possessor may be a miser and
forget all claims due to himself and those around him; 2) he may forget the
higher needs of the poor and needy, or the good causes which require support;
and 3) he may even misspend on occasions and cause a great deal of harm and
mischief ”. The Holy Qur’an…, 1023.
21 “And they give food, despite their love of it, to the destitute, the orphan and the
captive. [They say]: “We only feed you for the sake of Allah; We do not want
from you any reward or gratitude” (76:8-9). Hizbullah broadens the mandate of
ithar – from fasting for three days and preferring to feed others, rather than the
self – to include the giving of blood for the sake of the umma.
22 In addition to being plagued by sectarianism and confessionalism, the Lebanese
system is characterized by nepotism and favoritism. It is based on the slogans
“I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine” and “What will I get out of it?”, etc.
23 This seems to refer to the demarcation of the Blue line, in which Lebanon
gained back 17,756,600 square meters of its southern land along the Israeli bor-
der, and the ‘Seven Villages’ that were seized from Lebanon during the 1948 war
with Israel.
24 This clause is mentioned in the Preamble to Lebanon’s 1990 constitution that
was the fruit of the Ta‘if Agreement.
25 On 5 August 2004, a new pension-retirement plan, which would create the
much anticipated public retirement system, was approved by the Lebanese
Cabinet; however, its implementation still awaits the parliament’s approval. It is
ironic to note that such a plan was proposed in 1965 by the Social Affairs Minis-
ter, but then never came into effect.
26 I was told by Hizbullah cadres that this is an edited and appended version of
the 1998 municipal election program after the recommendations of Hizbullah’s
“First Municipal Conference” held on 16 July 2002. It is worth mentioning that
these points have been outlined before, during, and after the elections, but not
in considerable detail, in the following al-Intiqad issues: 1054 (23 April 2004);
1055 (30 April 2004); 1056 (7 May 2004); 1057 (14 May 2004); 1058 (21 May
2004); 1059 (28 May 2004); 1060 (4 June 2004).
27 See the cover page of Mu’tamar Al-Baladiyyat Al-Awwal [The First Municipal
Conference/Convention]. Beirut: Hizbullah’s Central Press Office, 16 July 2002.
28 Ibid., 3.
29 Ibid., 4.
30 Ibid., 5-6.
31 Ibid., 7.
32 This is a pressing problem in Lebanon that causes many men to emigrate.
33 Mu’tamar Al-Baladiyyat…, 7-8.

Notes 206
34 Ibid., 9.
35 Ibid., 10.
36 Ibid., 10-11.
37 In the Pre-Ta’if Lebanese constitution, there was an article placing women,
children, and handicapped in the same clause (al-mar’a wa al-tifl wa al-mu‘aq).
Hizbullah added old age to this category/classification.
38 Mu’tamar Al-Baladiyyat…, 11.
39 This refers to the Israeli withdrawal that was completed by 24 May 2000. The
Lebanese state declared 25 May as the “Day of Liberation” and added it to the
calendar of official holidays.
40 Mu’tamar Al-Baladiyyat…, 12.
41 Ibid., 13.
42 It is estimated that there are 20 million Lebanese expatriates; 5 times more than
the total population of Lebanon, which is estimated to be 4 million. See “The
diaspora: Lebanon’s secret weapon against economic collapse ”, AFP (Agence
France-Presse), 20 July 2004.
43 Mu’tamar Al-Baladiyyat…, 14.
44 Ibid., 15.
45 Ibid., 16.
46 Although Hizbullah did not publish a full-fledged political program, its 2005
election program could be discerned in the speeches and stances of its leaders,
most notably Shaykh Na‘im Qasim. See Qasim’s interview with al-Intiqad 26
April 2005: “Our alliances are political par excellence and are based on a poli-
tical program”; Qasim’s speech on 29 April 2005 commemorating the death of
Prophet Muhammad; and al-Nour 5:00 GMT News 30 April 2005.
47; http://english.
php?eid=8474&cid=27 (Last accessed: 10 July 2009).

3 Agreements, Understandings, Pacts

1;http://english. http://www.moqawama.
org/essaydetailsf.php?eid=467&fid=19 (Last accessed: 18 July 09).
2 Shaykh Na‘im Qasim, Hizbullah: Al-Manhaj, Al-Tajriba, Al-Mustaqbal [Hizbul-
lah: The Curriculum, the Experience, the Future]. Seventh revised and updated
edition. Beirut: Dar Al-Mahajja Al-Bayda’, 2010, 275-9; Joseph Alagha, Hizbul-
lah: Al-Tarikh Al-Aydiyulugi wa Al-Siyasi 1978-2008 [Hizbullah: The Ideological

notes to Agreements, Understandings, Pacts 207

and Political History]. Beirut: Institute for Strategic Studies, 2008, 414-5; NNA,
18 August 2008; al-Intiqad 15 August 2008 (no. 1290); al-Intiqad 18 August 2008
(no. 1291), p. 5; al-Intiqad 29 August 2008 (no. 1294), p. 3.

4 The New Manifesto (30 November 2009)

1 This is the official Hizbullah translation as published by its Media Relations

Office in 2009.
2 From now on, Resistance refers to Hizbullah’s Islamic Resistance.
3 This sentence is taken from Hizbullah’s understanding with the FPM, Section II,
entitled “Consensual Democracy”.
4 A reference to the Qur’anic verse (3: 103), which was previously quoted in the
same context in the Open Letter: “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which
Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remem-
ber with gratitude Allah’s favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your
hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the
brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His
Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.”
5 The direction in which Muslims turn to pray. The second Qibla is the Ka‘ba
structure in Mecca.
6 A reference to the December 1987 initiated first Palestinian “stones” Inti-
fada (popular uprising) and the second September 2000 military Intifada,
7 I would like to repeat that the word husnayayyn in (9:52) is taken to refer to
martyrdom (of the self) and victory (for the umma): “Say: ‘Do you expect for us
anything other than one of the two fairest outcomes (martyrdom and victory);
while we await for you that Allah will smite you with a punishment, either from
Him, or at our hands?’ So wait and watch, we are waiting and watching you.”
8 This is a reference to the Qur’anic verse (33:23): “Among the Believers are men
who have been true to their covenant with Allah. Some of them have completed
their vow (to the extreme), and some (still) wait: but they have never changed
(their determination) in the least.”
9 (Accessed: 2
December 2009).
10 The May 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement between the British and the French carved
out Lebanon and the current Arab Middle Eastern states after the collapse of the
Ottoman Empire. See The Shifts in Hizbullah’s Ideology, op. cit., 21ff; 131.

Notes 208

1 According to the UN website, the “UNIFIL was created in 1978 to confirm Israeli
withdrawal from Lebanon, restore the international peace and security, and help
the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area.” http://www.
2 See Nasrallah’s speech on the 5th day of Muharram, 1425 A.H., 24 March 2004.
3 (Obeying) the religious and moral instructions of Islam. It could also cover a
wide range of financial, administrative, political, and social matters.
4 One-fifth: a religious tax comprising 20% on a person’s surplus of income over
necessary living expenses. Half is paid to the marja‘ as the representative of the
Imam (sahm al-Imam), and half to the Sayyids, in conformity with the Shi‘ite
interpretation of the Qur’anic verse (8:41).
5 Al-Safir 18 May 1995.
6 It is worth mentioning that this name has a religious/Qur‘anic connotation.
When the Prophet participated in a battle, it was called a ghazwa; when he did
not, it was called a sariyya, singular of saraya.
7 See “Hizbullah: Identity and Role” in “Hot Spot” (Nuqta Sakhina) on Al-Jazeera
TV, 24 September 1998. The entire episode is based on interviews with Hizbul-
lah’s leading cadres, rank and file as well as journalists and political analysts
considered close to the party. The above-mentioned statement was made by
Nasrallah and commented upon by Ibrahim al-Amin of al-Safir.
8 Sobelman, Rules of the Game…, 47-48.
9 See Nasrallah’s speech in the commemoration of “Jerusalem Day” on 12 Novem-
ber 2004.
10 Rima Fakhry is a 38-year-old mother of four. She’s been a Hizbullah mem-
ber since the age of 18. She also holds a BS in Agriculture from the American
University of Beirut. Al-Safir 5 January 2005; Daily Star 6 and 7 January 2005;
al-Intiqad 1091 (7 January 2005)
11 It is noteworthy that the FPM shifted its allegiance from March 14 to March 8
after it signed a ten-point understanding with Hizbullah on 6 February 2006. 
12 It is of symbolic significance because it is the same place where the deadly
confrontations took place between the Lebanese Army and Tufayli’s followers in
13 Al-Safir 10756 (23 July 2007), 1; 14. Al-Hayat (23 July 2007), 7.
14 Back then BDL funded both cabinets. This possibility seems out of the question
these days because of the severe public debt that is rupturing Lebanon.
15 Al-Safir 10894 (11 January), p. 4.
16 Al-Safir 10894 (11 January), p. 5.
17 An outline of the speech appeared briefly on the al-Intiqad website, but it was
not included in the forthcoming issue of Al-Intiqad 1251 (26 January 2008) as

notes to CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS (1975-2010) 209

expected. The author got hold of the entire document through private contacts
with party cadres.
18 See the Lebanese daily newspapers of 21 January 2008; al-Intiqad 1251 (26 Janu-
ary 2008).
19 Lebanese daily newspapers the next day; al-Intiqad 1264 (9 May 2008).
21 The vacant seat of assassinated MP Antoine Ghanem was not filled by con-
ducting partial elections, which explains the sum total of 127 MPs when there
should have been 128 MPs.
22 Lebanese daily Newspapers the next day; NNA; al-Intiqad 1267 (30 May 2008).
24; NNA; and al-Safir (25 July
25 Al-Intiqad 1249 (29 August 2008).
26 For instance, see “IDF releases Cast Lead casualty numbers”, by Yaakov Lappin
%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull (Accessed 26 March 2009).
27 See “Medics identify 1,505th victim of Gaza assault”, at: http://www.maannews
.net/en/index. php?opr=ShowDeta ils&ID=39171 (Accessed 11 July 2009).
28 Hariri was assassinated on 14 February 2005 by a massive suicidal truck bomb
attack in the predominantly Muslim West Beirut. The explosion killed MP
Basil Flayhan and 22 other people from Hariri’s motorcade, as well as innocent
pedestrians. An unknown group by the name of “The Organization for Victory
and Jihad in the Levant” claimed responsibility through a video message read by
the Palestinian Abu ‘Adas. Lebanese security forces at the time tried to implicate
the Salafis in the assassination.
29 See “Political Opposition to Damascus: If the Syrian surprise is Bellemare’s
interrogation to al-‘Absi, then it is not a surprise because al-‘Absi is the
product of the Syrian intelligence”.
php?article8146&lang=ar (Accessed 1 September 2009).
30 Future TV News: 8:00 pm, local Beirut time.
31 Al-Manar, 7:30 pm News.
32 See the issues of the dailies al-Liwa’ and al-Sharq al-Awsat of 27 January; and the
news bulletins of al-‘Arabiyya and al-Jazeera of 25 and 26 January, respectively.

Notes 210

Abd al-Karim, ‘Ali 180 133, 142, 149, 153-154, 163,

al-‘Absi, Shakir 174, 179 165, 179, 195, 197-198, 200, 209
Abu ‘A’isha 179 Ammar, ‘Ali 158, 162
Abu Al-‘Aynayn, Sultan 168 Ansar (detention camp) 154, 183
Abu Khalil, As‘ad 194 al-Ansariyyé 160-161, 163
Abu Muhjin 183 Aqsa Intifada 135
Abun-Nasr, Fadeel M. 196 Aqsa Mosque 35, 116, 134, 162
Accountability 24, 79, 82-83, 93, Arad, Ron 155, 161, 178
158, 162 Arab Deterrent Forces 151
Afghanistan 32, 40, 47, 119-121 Arab-Israeli conflict 22, 34, 43
Afif, Muhammad 27, 164, 167 (Ibn) ‘Arabi 203
Agriculture 72, 78, 84, 89, 94, 197, (Pan-)Arabism 33
209 al-‘Arabiyya 181, 210
al-‘Ahd 15, 19, 154, 193, 198-202, Arafat, Yasser 152
205 Arafati 51
Ahmadinejad, Mahmud 167, 171, al-‘Aridi, Salih 178
181, 183 Arslan, Talal 178
Alagha, Joseph 12, 194, 207 Ashmar, ‘Ali 159
al-Amin, Abdulatif 64 ‘Ashura 153, 174
al-Amin, Mufti ‘Ali 176 al-Assad, Bashar 113, 179, 182
Ali, A. Yusuf 199, 204-205 Atlit detention camp (prison) 154
Alliance 13, 24, 46, 64, 117, 131, ‘Aun, Michel 101, 107, 156-157,
145, 166, 181, 207 166, 168
Amal 155, 157-158, 163, 166-167, Awali, Ghalib 197
172, 175-177, 195-196, 202 Awwali River 153
America 43-44, 46-49, 51-52, 57, ‘Ayn Burday 23, 160, 170
70, 74, 89, 116-123, 129, 131- ‘Ayn al-Hilwé 183

Azar, Raymond 180 Camp David 48, 163
Campaign 29, 81, 83, 102
B‘abda 174, 182 election 99-100, 104
Balanced development 68, 92, media 23
94-95 military 197
B‘albak 23, 110, 151, 160-161, 170 national 97
B‘albak-Hirmel 101-102 Cancerous gland 19, 30, 49, 121
Bayan, Ibrahim 158, 160, 162 Cantons 32
Bazuriyyé 176 Capitalism 21, 47, 117, 119
Beirut 23, 43, 56, 57, 59-61, Cartoons of the Prophet 168
101-102, 110-113, 117, 123, Cast Lead 179, 210
152-154, 156, 162-166, 168-169, Cedar Revolution 166
171-176, 179-183, 187, 193-197, Central Information Office 23, 27,
200-201, 204, 206-210 165, 194
Beirut Declaration 110, 112 Central Military Commander 22,
Bellemare, Daniel 180, 182, 210 158
Berjawi, Muhammad 158, 162 Central Planning Council 24, 162
Berri, Nabih 140, 168-169, 172, Christians 15-19, 22, 26, 43,
176, 183 46-47, 134, 144, 156, 158, 181
Bin Laden 37, 174, 196, 201 CIA 153
Bint Jubayl 155, 159, 172 Civil rights 19, 33, 139
Bipolarity 29 Civil society 72, 79, 95, 106, 140,
Biqa‘ 23, 25, 39, 49, 57, 64, 66, 69, 171
73, 75, 78, 102, 147, 151, 154- Civil war 46, 58, 65, 151, 156-158,
155, 158, 163, 172 169, 200, 205
Birru, Shaykh As‘ad 156 Civilization 59, 75-76, 119-121,
al-Birzawi, Muhammad 162 194, 197
Blanford, Nicholas 196 Coexistence 18, 33, 46, 76-77, 92,
Blue Line 163, 169-170, 206 105, 112, 136, 146, 166
Bramerts/Brammertz, Serge 168, Colonialism 32, 34, 52-53, 59, 122
170 Common Understanding between
Brezhnev 48 Hizbullah and the FPM 105-110
Burj Hammud 42, 200 Compassion 17
Bush, President George W. 31, Compassionate 63, 75, 98
119-120, 133, 174 Conclaves 15, 22-23, 25-27, 36
Confessionalism 58, 206
Cabinet 13, 28, 45, 92, 110-111, Consensual democracy 13, 32, 36,
141, 143-145, 164, 166-167, 105, 126, 139, 198, 208
169-170, 172, 175-177, 179, Consultative Center for Studies and
182, 206, 209 Documentation (CCSD) 155,
Cairo Agreement 155 158, 196

Index 212
Convention 107, 156, 168-169, 206 Eastern Bloc 22
Corruption 28, 51, 66, 70, 75, 79, Economic development 80
95, 106-107, 127, 168 Education 59, 62, 67-68, 72-73,
Council of Ministers 13, 167, 169, 79-80, 86-87, 94-96, 127
178, 195 Egypt 48, 51, 60, 180
Cousseran, Jean-Claude 171 Elections see parliamentary
Crusaders 175 elections, municipal elections
Cuisenaire, Bernard 171 Electoral law 67, 92, 105-106, 126,
Culture 40, 61, 76, 91, 103, 119, 146
124, 143, 148, 196 Embargo 59, 156-157
Environment 73, 81, 85, 87, 91,
Dabshé 158 96-97, 108, 126, 130-131
Dahir, Ibrahim 158 Equality 71-72, 91, 106, 126
Dahiya (Southern Suburb) 29, EU 28, 30-31, 165-166, 180, 185
155, 164, 172, 174, 187, 197 Euphrates 48
Dayr Qanun al-Nahr 153 Executive Council 23-24, 26, 28,
Decree 77, 80, 93, 113, 156, 179 159, 162
Detainees 64, 71, 77, 109, 137, Executive Shura 23, 159
154, 157, 160-161
Devil 15, 44, 54, 98 Fadlallah, Ayatullah Al-Sayyid
Dhimmis, ahl al-dhimma 18, 187 Muhammad Husayn 16-18, 29,
Dignity 16, 20, 32, 41-42, 44, 56, 194-195, 197
65, 70, 73, 75-76, 82, 103, 120, Fadlallah, Hasan 166, 181, 196
123-124, 126 Fadlallah, Husayn 29
Dikwané 42 Fahd, John 174
Diplomatic Relations 109, 113, Fahd, King 48
179-180 Fakhry, Rima 27, 165, 197, 209
al-Dirani, Mustafa 158, 163 Fatah 168, 171
Discrimination 57-58, 69, 76, 79, Fatah al-Islam 173, 179-181, 185
82 Fatwa (religious edict) 54, 156,
Disintegration 20, 117, 119, 130, 167, 170, 187, 195
172 Favoritism 67, 70-71, 206
Displaced 43, 67, 73, 77, 80, 158- Fayyad, Ali 181-182
159, 205 Federalism 32, 91, 127, 146
Displacement 34, 102, 128 Feltman, Jeffrey 174
Divine Victory 175 Fez 48
Doha Accord 11, 176-177 Fitna 20, 34, 53, 187
Dominion 35, 121, 124, 131-133 Flayhan, Basil 178, 210
Double standards 30 Fnaysh, Muhammad 158, 160,
Drone 165 162, 166-167, 170, 181
D‘un, ‘Ali 23 Ford, Robert 181

Index 213
France 20-21, 25-26, 43, 46, 156- Hamdan, Mustafa 180
157, 159, 165, 171, 177, 179, Hammud, ‘Ammar Husayn 161
196 Hammud, Bassam 174
Franjiyyé, Sulayman 183 Handicap 66, 77, 86-87, 207
Fransen, Daniel 180 Harakat Al-Tawhid Al-Islamiyya 20
Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) Harb, Butrus 182
166, 168-169, 172, 179, 181, Harb, Shaykh Raghib 39-40, 64,
185, 189, 208-209 70, 90, 153-154, 183, 202
Freedom fighters 40, 49-50, 161, Hariri, Rafiq 88, 107, 158, 164-
189 168, 171, 173, 175, 178, 182,
French paratroopers 154, 201 210
Fuller, Graham E. 194 Hariri, Sa‘d 143, 145, 166, 181-182
Future Trend 166, 172 Haydar, Muhammad 166
Hayy al-Sulum 164
Gaza 32, 135-137, 167, 171, 179, Hawi, George 178
210 Health 58, 68-69, 73, 80, 85, 87,
Geagea, Samir 158, 166, 168, 177 96, 173
Gerstein, Erez 161 Hegemony 24, 26, 30-32, 43-44,
Ghandur, Salah 159 55, 70, 76, 101, 116-121, 133,
Ghanem, Antoine 172, 210 162, 196, 198
Ghazwa 209 Hezbollah 207
Globalization 32, 119 Hisbi 159, 188
Goldwasser, Ehud 168, 177 Hizb al-Shaytan (Party of the Devil)
The Good Loan 172 15
Granada 47 Hizballah 203, 205
Grapes of Wrath 24, 159 Hizbullah (Party of God) 11, 13,
Great Satan 25, 30, 60 15-33, 35-36, 39-40, 45, 49,
Greater Israel 48 56-65, 69-70, 73-75, 79, 81,
Guardianship 15, 40, 51, 67, 199 88-90, 97, 99, 101-102, 104-105,
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) 112, 115, 118, 128, 130-132,
51, 185 138, 143-145, 148-149, 151-173,
175-179, 181, 183, 188, 193-
Habash, George 175 197, 199-209
Habib, Philip 42, 200 Homeland 32, 89, 107, 122-124,
Hadith 29, 188, 190, 203 128, 144, 146-147
al-Hajj, Ali 180 Honor 32, 49-50, 55, 65, 69-70,
al-Hajj, François 174, 178 86-87, 137, 174, 176, 183
al-Hajj Hasan, Husayn 160, 162, Honorable 46, 69-70, 74, 90, 110,
166, 181 134
Hamadé, Marwan 165 al-Hoss, Salim 156
Hamadé, Trad 166-168 Huballah, Hasan 166

Index 214
al-Hujayyri, Mas‘ud 162 Islamic Jihad 154
al-Hujayyri, Munir 158 Islamic jihadi movement 16, 153,
Human rights 56-59, 62, 107, 109- 204
110, 118 Islamic movement 13, 130, 147,
Humiliation 41-43, 59, 76 195
Husayn, Saddam 51 Islamic order 17-18, 21, 45
Husayniyya 86, 154 Islamic Republic 17-18, 51, 61, 78,
Husnayayyn 188, 199, 208 131, 144, 194, 204
Hutayt, Wafa’ 27, 165 Islamic Resistance 24, 39, 43,
Huthis 148-149 49-50, 52, 59, 61, 64, 70, 75-76,
81, 88, 90, 117, 152-155, 158,
‘Id, Wissam 175, 178 161, 167, 183, 197, 208
Identity and goals 60-62 Islamic Revolution 16, 19, 21-22,
Identity construction 26, 36 40, 51-52, 60-61, 131, 152, 190,
‘Ido, Walid 171-172, 178 202
(anti-)Imperialism 15, 20 Islamic Shi‘ite Higher Council 152
Industry 72, 78, 89, 94, 169, 178 Islamic socialism 16
Infidelity (kufr) 20, 43, 47 Islamic State 15, 17, 32, 40, 187,
Infitah 22, 25-26, 161, 188, 197 194-195, 201
Injustice 16, 41, 56-57, 59, 82, 133, (Pan-)Islamism 15, 19, 33
138, 159 Islamization 17, 194
Integration 18, 25, 96, 94, 131, Israel 18-22, 24-26, 30-36, 39,
137, 188 41-43, 46, 48-52, 54-57, 61, 64,
Internal Security Forces (ISF) 158, 77, 84, 91, 107, 110, 119, 123-
174-175, 178, 185 125, 131-132, 134-136, 142-143,
International community 22, 123, 151-163, 165-167, 169, 171-180,
152, 167 182-183, 197, 200, 203-204, 206
International Forces 50, 89 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) 43,
International organization 42, 55, 49, 59, 170, 175, 177, 180, 185,
132 201, 210
Intifada 39, 135, 155, 162-163, 208 Italian forces 152
al-Intiqad 193, 197-198, 206-210 Izzeddine, Shaykh Hasan 27, 164
Invasion 25, 47, 56-57, 60, 71, 123,
125, 130, 136, 152-153, 155, Jabal ‘Amil 49
195, 200 Jalil Operation 154
Iran 19-20, 22, 33, 40, 47, 51-52, al-Jammal, Hajj Muhammad 194
60-61, 78, 131, 144, 152, 166, Jarmaq road 158
181, 183, 196 al-Jazeera 171, 179, 209-210
Iraq 22, 25, 32, 40, 51, 61, 119- Jerusalem 35, 60
121, 130, 152, 163, 173, 195-196 (Liberation of) Jerusalem 20, 43,
Iraq-Iran war 22, 152, 196 61, 116, 134, 137, 173

Index 215
Jerusalem Day 209 Khaybar 19
Jews 19, 30, 42, 48, 56, 175, 181 Khumayni, Ruhallah 17-21, 29,
Jezzin 61, 161 37, 39-41, 51, 54, 60, 131, 151-
Jibshit 153, 156 152, 190, 193, 195-196, 202
Jihad (struggle) 15-16, 20-22, 39, Khums 159, 189
41, 49-50, 54, 76, 117, 121, 135, Khususiyyat (specificities) 13, 189
154, 175, 188-189, 199, 202, Khyam 157, 161
205, 210 Krayyem, Nayef 23
Jihad al-Bina’ 87, 183 Kunin 155
Jihadi Council 23, 26-27, 159, 164 al-Kurani, ‘Ali 195
Jishi, Hasan 183 Kurani, Husayn 202
Jisr al-Basha 200
Jubayl (Byblos) 42, 102, 200 Lamm, Robert P. 199
Judaism 134 Latin America 30, 132, 149
Judaization 35, 133-134 Lebanese Army 23, 43, 50, 76, 87,
Judicial 28, 93, 106, 127 91, 98, 111, 124, 144, 156, 158,
July 2006 War 27, 29, 118, 124, 160, 164, 169-170, 172, 174,
169, 173, 177-178, 182 178, 185, 209
Jumayyel, Amin 43, 153, 156, 200 Lebanese Forces 42, 46, 158, 166,
Jumayyel, Bashir 42-43, 152-153, 182, 185, 200-201
200 Lebanese Front 46, 201
Jumayyel, Pierre 169, 171-172 Lebanon 17, 22, 31-33, 36, 39-50,
Jumblatt, Walid 144, 166, 172 52, 56-61, 63-69, 71, 74-78, 80,
Jurisconsult 187, 191, 199 88-93, 97, 100, 102, 105, 107,
Jurisprudent 15, 20, 29, 40, 63, 109-110, 113, 116-119, 121-129,
112, 143, 187, 191, 199 131, 135-136, 138-141, 143-144,
Jurist 20, 34, 40, 53-54, 131, 187, 146-147, 149, 151-154, 156-157,
189 159-162, 164-181, 183, 186,
193, 195-198, 200-210
Ka‘ba 208 Lebanonization 160-161, 189
Khaldé battle 152 Leenders, Reinoud 25, 196
Khalil, Hasan 23, 26 Legislative 11, 13, 24, 73, 75, 89,
Karami, Omar 166 93, 111, 170
Karantina 174 Legislature 170, 181
Karbala’ 39 Liberation theology 16, 29
Katyusha 153, 157, 174, 180-181 Liberation War 156
Kawtharani, Maher 177 Libya 152
Kayruz, Rabi‘a 158, 160 Litani river 27, 96, 151, 164
Keryat Shmona 165 Loyal 64, 66, 72, 75, 81, 102, 108,
al-Khamina‘i, al-Imam 131, 159, 124, 137
167, 170, 190, 193, 195, 202 Loyalist 98-100, 104

Index 216
Loyalty to Resistance Bloc 28, 102 Mer‘ib, Usama 175
Merit 65, 67, 106-107, 118
al-Madini, Tawfiq 195-196 Middle East 31, 43, 48, 52, 64, 76,
Madrid Conference/negotations 79, 90, 119-120, 153, 174-175,
136 181, 186, 208
Magen Avraham synagogue 181 Military wing 22, 43, 88, 152, 154,
al-Manar 56, 97, 157-158, 165, 177, 200
172, 175, 196, 198, 210 Militia 152, 157, 164, 200-201
Mandate 28, 156, 167, 170, 172, Minority 18, 105, 125-126
179, 181, 195, 205-206 Miqati, Nagib 166
Manifesto 11, 13, 15, 22, 24-25, al-Miqdad, Ali 166, 181
28-34, 36, 39-40, 115-116, Mobilization 31-32, 36, 51, 116,
118-119, 138-140, 146, 148-149, 118-119, 121, 127, 131, 169,
154, 182-183, 193, 196-198, 208 183, 190, 195, 198
Mansur, Nazih 159, 162 Ki-Moon, Ban 170-171
Ma‘raké 154 Mu’allim, Walid 179
March 8 165-166, 170-171, 173, Mughniyyé, Imad 24, 26-27, 90,
176, 178, 181, 183, 209 175, 177, 183, 189
March 14 144, 165-166, 170-174, Mujahidin see freedom fighters
176, 178-179, 181, 182, 209 Muharram 29, 193, 209
Marine’s barracks 154, 201 Muhtashami, Ali Akbar 151
marja‘ (religious authority to Multi-National Forces 152
emulate) 26, 53, 64, 189-190, Municipal elections 24, 88, 160,
197, 209 163
Marji‘yun 111, 156 Musa, Amr 173, 176
Martyrs’ Day 169 al-Musawi, ‘Abbas 22, 64, 89-90,
The Martyr’s Foundation 172 151-152, 157, 183, 202
Martyrdom (operations) 15, 21, al-Musawi, Ammar 159, 162
39, 54, 61, 64, 137, 149, 153, al-Musawi, Husayn 181
155-156, 158-159, 164, 174, al-Musawi, Ibrahim 28
188, 190-191, 199, 208 Mustad‘afin see oppressed
Marxist 15-16, 204 Mustakbirin see oppressors
Massacre 35, 42, 46, 123, 128, 133, Mutahhari, Murtada 54
153, 159, 200
17 May 1983 agreement 43, 153- Nab‘a 42, 200
155, 200 Nabatiyyé 118, 153-154, 201
Maydun 155 al-Nabulsi, al-Saykh al-‘Allama ‘Afif
Mecca 187-188, 194, 208 167
Medina 18-19, 194, 204 Najaf 61, 151
Mehlis, Detlev 167-168 Najjar, Ibrahim 182
Merciful 63, 65, 98, 115 Najm, George 162

Index 217
Nasrallah, Sayyid Hadi 160-161 Oppressors 15-16, 29, 34, 39,
Nasrallah, Sayyid Hasan 21-30, 36, 40-41, 47, 50, 52-53, 55, 64-65,
97, 107, 138, 155, 157-160, 162, 189, 203
164, 166-169, 172-176, 180, Oslo Agreement 136, 158
182-183, 196-198, 202, 209
National Convention of Dialogue Pact 105, 170, 195
168 Palestine 19, 31-32, 34, 36, 41,
National defense strategy 33, 110, 47-48, 50, 56-57, 60, 76-77, 84,
125 116, 119, 121, 123, 128-130,
National dialogue 28, 105, 110- 133, 135-137, 143, 154, 173,
111, 126, 140, 178-181 175, 179, 185-186, 195, 198
National Pact 195 Palestinian camps 42
NATO 30-31, 41-43, 48, 185 Palestinian refugees 33, 36, 109,
Naturalization 67, 73, 77, 79-80, 128, 137, 139, 168, 186
139, 183 Pan-Arabism 33
Nepotism 206 Pan-Islamism 15, 19, 33
New World Order 22 Paris III conference 169
Nicaragua 47 Parliamentary Bloc Council 23,
Nile 48 159
Nisr, Nasim 176 Parliamentary elections 63-65,
Normalization 19, 36, 66, 71, 69, 75, 88-89, 98-101, 103, 106,
76-77, 136-137 143, 145, 158-159, 162, 166, 177
Norton, Augustus Richard 202 Parliamentary majority 99, 101,
al-Nour radio 27, 156, 207 103, 146
Nureddine, Jawad see Imad Peace process 34, 136
Mughniyyé Peace settlement 24
Peace for Galilee operation 152
Occupied Territories 59, 76, 84, 91 PFLP 154, 157, 185
Open Letter 11, 15-17, 19, 22, Phalange 42-44, 46, 50, 152, 166,
24-26, 28-29, 31-35, 40, 154, 169, 172, 182, 200
161, 183, 193, 196, 199, 201- Phar‘un, Michel 182
202, 208 PLO 51, 152-153, 157, 179, 183,
Operation Accountability 158 185, 200
Operation Litani 151 Pluralism 117
Operation Radwan (‘Amaliyat Polarization 27, 59, 106, 164
al-Radwan) 177 Political Council (Politburo)
Oppressed 15-16, 29-30, 39-41, 23-24, 26-28, 159, 162, 165
43-47, 50-53, 55, 60, 63-64, Political declarations 15-16, 19,
68-69, 76, 82, 85, 112, 132-133, 26, 154
137-138, 189, 193, 199 Political equation 13

Index 218
Political ideology 15-19, 21, 131, Rahim, Shaykh Nabil 174
154, 157, 199 Ramadan 197
Political Maronism 17-18, 44, 46, Rapist Entity 49, 55, 97
194, 201 Rashid, ‘Ali 23
Political party 13, 164 Reactionary 51-52
Political program 22, 27, 63-65, Reagan, President Ronald 48
79, 130, 138, 157, 165, 207 Realpolitik 27
Political protest 13, 181 Regev, Eldad 168, 177
Political Sectarianism 28, 32, Religio-Judicial Council 26, 28
64-66, 71, 79, 92, 125-126, 139- Religious ideology 15, 152, 199
140, 183, 188, 204 Religious seminary 23, 60, 160
Political system 13, 16-17, 24, 30, Renaissance 40, 122, 130
32, 36, 43-45, 58, 64, 70-71, 116, Resistance movement 13, 30, 33,
123, 125-126, 152, 156, 194, 201 36, 117, 121, 130-132, 136, 149,
Powell, Colin 167 163
Press conference 28, 30, 36, 89, 97, Resistance society 66, 85
138, 176, 182-183, 198 Resolution 425 151
Primary documents 11, 39, 199 Resolution 1559 89, 164, 165
Prisoner exchange 162-163, 177 Resolution 1680 168
Public debt 78, 94, 209 Resolution 1701 145, 169, 180,
Public sphere 24, 188, 204 182
PSP 145-146, 166, 182, 186 Resolution 1747 170
Revolution of the Hungry 160
Qabalan, ‘Abd al-Amir 176 Rice, Condoleezza 167
Qahwaji, John 178 al-Rifa‘i, Kamel 166, 181
al-Qa‘ida 37, 174-175, 183, 201 Right of Return 33, 36, 77, 109,
Qana 159 129, 137
Qasim, Shaykh Na’im 22-23, Rmaylé 174
25-26, 28, 36, 157-158, 199, 207 Rome conference 169
Qasir, Abdallah 23, 159, 162 Rotation policy 29, 82
Qasir, Ahmad 153, 201 Roy, Olivier 194
Qasir, Samir 178 Rub Thalathin 159
Qawuq, Shaykh Nabil 23 Rufayyel, Sa‘ud 158
Qibla 134, 208
Qiyam (Values) 29 Sabra 42, 153, 200
al-Qlay‘a 161 Sadat, President Anwar 52
Qsarnaba 158 al-Sadr, Musa 54, 147, 152, 172,
Qum 60-61 174, 176, 202
Quntar, Samir 168, 177 al-Sadr, Sayyid Muhammad Baqir
54, 202
Ra‘d, Muhammad 22, 24, 28, 162 Safiyyeddine, ‘Ali 153

Index 219
Safiyyeddine, Hashim 23, 26, 28, Shuqayr, Wafiq 176
159 Sharara, Waddah 195
al-Sahili, Nawwar 166, 181 Shari‘a 17, 46, 51, 187, 190
Saint-Cloud 171 Shatila 42, 153, 200
Salafi Movement 112, 178 Sherri, Amin 166
Saleh, president ‘Ali Abdallah 148 Shib‘a Farms 77, 88, 91, 108-110,
Salih, Ali Husayn 197 125, 162
Sallukh, Fawzi 179 Shura Council 22-28, 154, 157-
Salman, Talal 138 159, 162, 164, 167
al-Sanyura, Fu’ad 166, 169-170, Sidon 118, 153-154, 174, 201
177, 180 SLA 155, 159-161, 168
Al-Saraya Al-Lubnaniyya Small Satan 25
Li-Muqawamat Al-Ihtilal Sobelman, Daniel 25-26, 197, 209
Al-Israeli (The Multi- Social Justice 15-17, 79, 166
confessional Lebanese Brigades Social movement 13, 17, 26, 129
to fight Israel) 160 Socialism 21
Sariyya (pl. sarayya) 209 Socio-economic 77-78, 89, 138,
Satan 47 164
Saudi 179 Social services 96
Saudi Arabia 51, 148-149, 156, Solana, Javier 28, 181
166 Al-Solh, Riyad 169, 194
al-Sayyid, Ibrahim Amin 24, 26, Soviet Union 22, 47, 119
28, 154, 158-160, 162, 193, 199 Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
al-Sayyid, Jamil 180 167, 171, 180, 186
al-Sayyigh, Salim 182 Srur, Muhammad 177
Schaefer, Richard T. 199 SSNP 186, 201
Second Lebanon War 167, 180 Statement of Purpose 59-60
Sectarianism 46-47, 67, 69, 129, Stockholm conference 169
140, 206 Suicide 21, 61, 153-154, 161, 163,
Security Zone 50, 66-67, 151, 154, 175, 179
161, 204, 210 Sukariyyé, Isma‘il 160
September 11 119, 120 Sukariyyé, Walid 181
Grand Sérail 169 Sulayman, Husayn 177
Serhal, Pierre 166 Sulayman, Michel 111, 113, 176,
Seven Points 169 177, 182
Sfeir, Cardinal 182 Sykes-Picot Agreement 147, 195,
Shah (of Iran) 19, 52, 195 208
al-Shakar, Muhsin 22, 24, 158, 162 Syria 33, 60, 75, 77, 88, 109, 113,
Shalom, Sivan 181 129-130, 144, 159, 163-164,
Shami, Hasan 172 166-168, 178-181, 183, 195
Shamran, Mustapha 151

Index 220
Taha, ‘Ali 158 United Nations Interim Force in
Ta’if Agreement 28-29, 32, 58, 91, Lebanon (UNIFIL) 186
110, 125, 156-157, 176, 204, 207 United Nations Security Council
Taklif 21, 41, 65, 189-190 (UNSC) 151, 168-172, 180,
Tal al-Za‘tar 42, 200 182, 186
Tannenbaum, Elhanan 162 Unity of the Muslims 19-20, 34, 53
al-Taqsh, Jamal 166 UNRWA 153, 186
al-Tayyar, Ja‘far 153, 201 US Administration 20, 31, 36, 51,
Tehran 152, 167, 181, 195, 202 132, 136, 144, 172, 196, 200
Tel Aviv 197
Terrorism 30-32, 35, 56-57, 70, 77, Veto 55, 144
108, 120, 132-133 Veto power 13, 169-170, 176, 177
Tikrit 51 Vice 41, 127
Tishrin 182 Victory Speech 172, 174
Tluys, Khudr 23, 158 Vietnam 47
Trabulsi, Zakariyya 174 Views and Concepts 56-62
Tuéni, Gebran 108, 167, 178 Violence 56-57, 60, 62, 111-112,
al-Tufayli, Shaykh Subhi 22-23, 164, 180
26, 156, 160, 170, 176, 197
Tyre 118, 152-154, 210 Wa‘d project 183
Wadi Abu Jmil 181
‘Ubayd, Shaykh Abd al-Karim 27, Wadi ‘Araba Accord 136
64, 156, 163-164 Wadi Khaled 67, 204
UK 22, 152, 177, 196 Wakilayn shar’iyyan (religious
‘ulama 20, 53-55, 152, 162, 190, deputies) 159, 190
195, 202 Wardé, Salim 182
‘Ulayq, Qasim 172 Weapons 46, 88, 104, 109-110,
Umma 20, 21, 33, 40-44, 48-50, 143, 157, 167, 169-170, 179, 193
52-55, 59, 61, 64, 76, 112, 134, Westoxification 20, 196
137, 190-191, 194, 199, 206, 208 Wilayat al-faqih (guardianship of
UN Commission investigating the the jurisprudent) 15, 17, 39,
Hariri murder 167-168 41, 60, 191, 199
Understanding with the Salafi Al-waliyy al-faqih 40, 143
Movement 112 Women’s Organization 27, 165
United Nations (UN) 55, 57, 86, World view 13, 29
107, 109, 113, 159, 164, 166-
168, 170, 182, 209 (Mr.) X 54
UNDP 87, 186
UNICEF 87, 186 Yaghi, Husayn 162
UNIFIL II 169 Yaghi, Muhammad 23, 158
Unipolar 22, 31, 117, 119

Index 221
Yazbik, Shaykh Muhammad 26, Zionism 48, 52
28, 159 (Anti-)Zionism 15, 19-20
Zionist entity 19, 25, 30-31, 33-34,
Zakat 187, 191, 195 36, 39, 41, 48, 50, 59, 61, 64,
al-Zawahiri, Ayman 175 66, 76-77, 84, 90, 116-117, 121,
Zaydan, Khudr 177 123, 128, 133, 135-137
Z‘aytir, Muhammad 17-18, 194

Index 222