[Marxism] Lebanese Hizbollah: its origin and nature (Granma)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 20 20:59:26 MDT 2006

(Here is a short analytical article from Cuba's Granma daily.)

July 19, 2006
Why does Israel want to destroy it at all cost?
Lebanese Hizbollah: its origin and nature

A CubaNews translation by Ana Portela. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Israel has invaded Lebanon to undermine its enemy: The Party of God
(Hizbollah). The war can last a long time since it is a difficult
opponent to annihilate. Different from a state which can be conquered
and brought to its knees, Hizbollah was forged as a guerilla and can
use it to regroup and resist if its land is occupied. What is its
origin and what is its nature and why does Israel want to destroy it?

This is the "Party of God" which represents the main minority of
Lebanon (the Shi'ites are 40% of the population). In Lebanon, no other
party or militia is so strong and popular. Hizbollah represents the
first Arab movement which hurled human bombs and forced Israel to
withdraw from an invasion.

It is a vertical Islamic and anti-imperialist party which serves as an
example to Palestine's Hamas and several Shi'ite parties in Iraq. It
combines a wide network of religious and social welfare institutions
linked to a disciplined armed body.

Hizbollah has become the most structured party in Lebanon with a
network of hospitals, schools and local governments. It has its own
satellite channel which broadcast the Iraqi war and denounced the 
aggressions of the United States and Great Britain and its preaching
has great following in the Iraqi Shi'ites (about 60% of the

Little is known of its history and many other sources, such as the
conservative British The Economist have seen it as a model of armed
group that takes part in parliamentary legality.

It was begun by a Shi'ite cleric after the important events which
changed the Middle East: the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (1978) and
the Iran Revolution (1979).

In 1984, two years after the massacre at Sabra and Shatila and the
arrival of 1500 revolutionary Iranian guards, the Party of God was
formed. Some of its components have been associated with the
mega-attempt of 1983 where 240 United States marines lost their

The initial raison d'être of Hizbollah is its struggle against Israel
and against its allies of the Southern Army of Lebanon that no longer
exist today. The combatants of Hizbollah received protection of the
civilian Shi'ite population in ambushes against enemy forces
sponsoring the use of suicide attacks against military targets.

The Lebanese Party of God claims to have 1300 martyrs in this
struggle and is the only Arab movement that has defeated the

In 1989 it subscribed, together with the other Lebanese parties, to
the Taif agreement which would begin to put an end to the civil war. 
Since then, this movement has begun incorporating itself into the
parliamentary system.

Hizbollah has many radio stations, schools and health centers. Its
hospitals are reputed to be better than the national ones and are
open to all patients, whether Shi'ite or not.

Its emblem is its initials in Arab with a fist that holds a rifle, 
a book and a wheat spike. Both in its symbolism as well as in its
anti-imperialist discourse and social base, Hizbollah seems to have
affinity for other Third World insurgents. However, it is neither
Marxist nor socialist. It combines anti-colonial, protectionist and
welfare positions with religious fundamentalism and elements of
social conservatism.

Its leader is Sheik Hassan Nasrallan who replaced Sheik Abbas Mussawi
assassinated by Israel in 1992. Hizbollah publicly condemned the acts
of September 11, 2001, against the United States. (Version of an
article by Isaac Bigio, Bolpress)

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