Hezbollah “The Party of God” What led to the creation of Hezbollah? • The Iranian Revolution of 1979 • The Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon in 1982. • Shiites oppression throughout history. • The support of Iran and Syria. The Goals of Hezbollah • • • • Complete destruction of the Israeli state. The return of Palestinian land. The release of prisoners from Israeli jails. The creation of an Islamic Republic in Lebanon. • The end of Western domination and oppression in the Middle East. Means Used to Achieve Goals • • • • • Guerilla type warfare Kidnapping soldiers, taking hostages. Bombings Firing rockets, missiles across the border. Hezbollah believes violence is completely justified against Israel and that negotiations are out of consideration. Israel is an illegitimate state. Hezbollah and Success • 1983: Hezbollah bombs US embassy in Beirut. • 1983: Hezbollah kills 241 US Marines by bombing their barracks. • 1992: Hezbollah bombs Israeli embassy in Argentina. • 1994: Hezbollah attacks Israeli embassy in London. • Today: Hezbollah is still at war with Israel on a daily basis. This past summer’s events are a good example. • In 2000, Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon. This success only further encouraged Hezbollah to keep moving forward with its tactics. Hezbollah and Disarmament • UN Resolution 1559: • Calls for the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon. • Calls for the extension of Lebanese governmental control over all Lebanese territory. • Problems: Syria, Hezbollah, Civil War? • Hezbollah is still armed. Many Lebanese do not view them as an outside force. They are heavily supported by Shiites in the region. Quotes from Hassan Nasrallah • “I am against any reconciliation with Israel” • “Our policy is clear, we are fighting in an area that is still under occupation in Lebanon. And beyond that area, we are on the defensive.” • “We do not want to kill anyone. We do not want to throw anyone in the sea. Give the houses back to their owners, the fields back to their landlords, and the homes back to the people. Release the prisoners, and leave us alone to live in this region in security, peace and dignity." Should the US recognize Hezbollah? • Under any conditions? • Hezbollah is very well supported in Lebanon. They have moved to the political arena as well. • Terrorist group or defenders of the land? • Should the US Recognize democratically elected governments who oppose US policies? Proposition: The US should support Israeli efforts to destroy Hezbollah? Proposition: Terrorism is a weapon of the weak and should be used against powerful repressive states? Proposition: The spread of democracy and capitalism will end support for terrorism.