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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Monday, August 7, 2006

Lebanon history lesson.

Just where did Hezbollah come from, anyway? Mideast scholar Nicholas Noe explains:

It is true that Hizbullah was formed almost immediately in the wake of the Israeli invasion of [south Lebanon in] 1982. But that is only part of the story. For Hizbullah was also formed because the main Shia political party, Amal, had joined a national unity government with the Christians and other sects in an effort to stabilize the country in the wake of the Israeli invasion and the ongoing Civil War. Indeed, Hizbullah would later, in 1985, be officially formed by leaders of the breakaway Islamic Amal of 1982.

Leaders of the mainline Amal party, however, to the consternation of Islamic Amal, worked behind the scenes with the Israelis in efforts to uproot PLO guerrillas, developing a sort of working relationship with Israeli forces over the first six months of occupation.

No matter the growing anger of the radicals, Amal was the overwhelmingly dominant Shia force in 1982 and for years afterwards — not Hizbullah. Mainly secular, but bolstered by the huge popularity of its deceased clerical founder, Imam Musa Sadr, Amal might have carried the day for the Israelis.

But as an American UN officer at the time, Professor Richard Norton, wrote, "The IDF and the Israeli security services operating in the South mistook the alienation of the Shia from the Palestinians as positive evidence for the possibility of establishing close formal ties between Israel and the Shia community ... Clumsy efforts to co-opt Amal ... failed. While the Southern leadership did not eschew a quiet dialogue with Israeli personnel, they were both unwilling and unable to allow themselves to follow the ... prototype of open clientship."

As the occupation wore on, and as Israel began to fight a nascent insurgency in late 1983, propelled mainly by Hizbullah, the Israeli response of overwhelming force and sometimes-systematic brutality only served to further alienate the Lebanese Shia, Amal and indeed many Lebanese across the confessional spectrum.

Thus, Israel and the architect of the invasion of 1982, Ariel Sharon, won the day in the south — Arafat was expelled and Fatah rocket attacks largely ceased.

But in its place, Israel had sown the seeds for a far more powerful foe
, one which would, 18 years later, lay claim to having been the only Arab force ever to defeat Israel on the battlefield of occupation.

Via MidEast News Source.

| | Posted by Magpie at 9:59 AM | Get permalink




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