Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
ad a b
ad ad ad

Hezbollah in Beirut; A book exposing Iran's plans in the region

Thursday 21/February/2019 - 02:11 PM
The Reference
Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar

Hezbollah is an active player in the political and military life in the region, making it the most important arm of the mullahs' militia in the Middle East. This explains the great number of books that have been written about the party and its essence, which deal with its ideological construction as a sectarian element within the body of the Lebanese state in addition to books dealing with confrontations between the party and Israel.

Hezbollah in Beirut;
Perhaps the most prominent of these books is the book titled “Hezbollah in Beirut 1985-2005 .. From suburb to the city”, written by Mona Harb, issued by the French Institute for the Near East and Dar Kartala, in 2010.

The book is the result of field work and observations on the nature by the writer. Due to this book, the author obtained a PHD in 2010 before working to turn their intermittent observations chronologically into a book with exciting details about Hezbollah, and its social, military and political role.

Monographic study

The author relied on a 15-year monographic study, the conduction of nearly 100 interviews, and on her field experience, arguing that Hezbollah was a party to complex Lebanese life, based on sectarian ideology.

In the author's view, Hezbollah has become more influential and effective both internally and externally than on the domestic front. It has succeeded in eliminating the Amal Movement, its first sectarian rival, and has succeeded in eliminating the Future Movement.

On the external side, the party has succeeded in being the most important Iranian militia in the Arab countries, the most heavily armed; and so Iran is increasingly using it against its international and regional rivals, as demonstrated in wars against Israel, as well as intervention in Syria.
The author begins her book by focusing on the status of the Shiite community in Lebanon since the end of the nineteenth century, explaining the social, economic and political aspects of them, by highlighting the Shiite elite in Lebanon, which contributed to the emergence of Hezbollah.
Musa al-Sadr
Musa al-Sadr
Hezbollah and Amal: Mechanisms

Before the advent of Hezbollah, the Amal Movement was the legitimate representative of the Shiites inside Lebanon, but there are several differences between the two movements. The Amal movement, through its leader Musa al-Sadr, served Shiites through government and official frameworks, unlike Hezbollah that worked outside the state, and individually.

In the second chapter of the book, the author presented the mechanisms used by Hezbollah to gain the confidence and trust of the people through a group of civil charities established by the party since 1984. This comes with a view to helping families as well as vulnerable and marginalized groups to gain their support for the party. This was clearly demonstrated in the southern suburb of Beirut.

In the third chapter, the writer points out that the party does not rely solely on social mobilization within the Shiite circles, but relies on more effective methods and mechanisms in dealing with the public through personalities who deal daily with the public, thus increasing their influence.

Top priority

The party focused on mobilizing the public and considered it a top priority. It also relied on the media platforms. The party's interest in propaganda and media factors is reflected in the multiplication of Al-Manar's budget ten times in 10 years.

In the fourth and last chapter, the author highlights the interrelationship between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state, after the first one presented itself as an alternative to the Lebanese political system, while some Lebanese actors see it as an arm and an Iranian militia within the state.

The party's pragmatism is manifested in its alliance with a group of opponents within the Lebanese state, such as the Future Movement in Lebanon. This alliance appears on some occasions, such as municipal and legislative elections, reconstruction operations such as those of Rafik Hariri or forming a government.

The party's pragmatism is once again demonstrated by the party's declaration that it is a national party, but it raises sectarian slogans and takes steps, whether political or military, based on sectarian motives in the first place, which is contrary to being a national party.