Cover image for Hezbollah : the changing face of terrorism
Hezbollah : the changing face of terrorism
Harik, Judith P.
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Publication Information:
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2004.
Physical Description:
x, 241 pages : maps ; 25 cm
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JQ1828.A98 H6243 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Since the assassination of Rafik Hariri in early 2005, Lebanese politics has been plunged into a new era. Will Syrian withdrawal send the country back into civil war? How will the seismic political shifts underway affect the stability of the region? At the center of the turmoil stands one player that will affect the outcome more than any other: Hezbollah. Hezbollah, or the ""Party of God"", is one of the most powerful and the most misunderstood forces in Middle Eastern politics. In this new edition of her acclaimed book, Judith Harik explains what it actually believes in, what its real relationship with other regional players is, and in what direction it is heading.

Hezbollah arose amidst the chaos of the Lebanese civil war to resist the Israeli invasion of 1982. Based amongst the poor Shi'ite population, it takes its inspiration from the Iranian revolution and the teachings of Ayatollah Khomeini. Today Hezbollah's military wing controls the major fault-line of the Middle East: the Lebanese-Israeli border. To the US, Hezbollah represents one of the most dangerous terrorist networks in the world. In Lebanon, it is a democratically elected party within the Lebanese parliament, backed not just by Shi'ites, but by Christians and secular Muslims. To the wider Arab world, Hezbollah is a legend: the only Arab fighting force to have defeated Israel, forcing its withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000.

Harik draws on her considerable first-hand experience of the movement to tell the story of how a clandestine, radical militia transformed itself into a seemingly moderate and mainstream player in the Lebanese political arena. She looks at key questions: why do so many non-Shiites support them? Who controls the movement--the Mullahs, or the grassroots? Harik's penetrating analysis helps us make sense of fast-moving events as the future of Lebanon--and the region--hangs in the balance.

Author Notes

Judith Palmer Herik is an American Professor of Political Science at the American University of Beirut.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Mapsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Hezbollah's Version of Political Islamp. 7
Islam in Perspectivep. 7
The Islamic Resurgence of the 1970sp. 9
The Crisis of Secularism and Fundamentalist Reactionsp. 11
Government Corruption and the Purification of Societyp. 20
Colonialism and its Discontentsp. 23
Chapter 2 Hezbollah and the Outside Worldp. 29
Anti-Imperialism and Common Causep. 29
Syria's Problems with the Westp. 29
Imperialism and the Iranian Experiencep. 31
Lebanon: An Arena for Foreign Battlesp. 34
Iran Enters the Battle for West Beirutp. 35
Damascus and Tehran Strike a Dealp. 38
Hezbollah: The Only Choicep. 39
Chapter 3 The Mechanics of Hezbollah's Transformation from Radical Militia to Mainstream Partyp. 43
Syria Gains the Upper Hand in Lebanonp. 43
Guaranteeing Jihadp. 46
The State/Resistance Dealp. 47
Public Reaction to Hezbollah's New Facep. 48
Chapter 4 Managing the 'True Believers'p. 53
Islam or the System: The Internal Debatep. 53
Rationalizing Compromise from an Islamic Perspectivep. 57
Convincing the Grassrootsp. 60
An Eminent Clergyman Lends His Authorityp. 60
Chapter 5 Squaring Jihad with the General Publicp. 63
The Political Effects of Hezbollah's Violent Emergencep. 64
The Party of God Tries to Calm the Watersp. 66
Islamist Discourse and Integration: Jihad in a National Contextp. 69
Infitah: Securing Christian Understanding and Supportp. 73
Political Networking with Christians and Othersp. 75
Chapter 6 Serving the Umma--Hezbollah as Employer and Welfare Organizationp. 81
The Effect of Lebanon's Civil War on Public and Social Servicesp. 82
Service Delivery in the Dahiyehp. 83
Rural Services and Programmesp. 86
Speaking for the 'Abandoned'p. 89
Jihad al-Binaa (RC) as a Model Rural Development Agencyp. 90
Hezbollah's 'Good Works': The Prognosis for Growthp. 93
Chapter 7 The Grass Roots Speak--The 1998 Municipal Electionsp. 95
The Struggle over Election 'Rules'p. 96
Hezbollah Plays the Democracy Cardp. 98
Beirut Campaigns and Electionsp. 99
The Dahiyeh Decidesp. 101
The Electoral Struggle in the Southp. 105
Hezbollah's Bekaa Coupp. 107
Chapter 8 The Mechanics of Military Jihadp. 111
Beirut's Priority: Extending Control over the Southp. 112
Incipient Tensions between the Lebanese Government and Hezbollahp. 113
The Imperatives and Rules of Syria's Two-Track Resistance Policyp. 114
'Grapes of Wrath' and the Dynamics of Syrian Foreign Policyp. 117
Policy Pay-offsp. 122
Post-'Victory' Frictionsp. 123
Chapter 9 The Collapse of the 'Security Zone'p. 125
Israel's 'Security Zone' Begins to Shrinkp. 126
High-Tech, Low-Tech Jihad Pays Offp. 130
Guerrilla Warfare in the Communications Agep. 133
Diplomacy and the Israeli Withdrawalp. 134
The End of the 'Security Zone'p. 136
Resistance Challenges and Their Resolutionp. 139
Chapter 10 Hezbollah's Standing After the Collapse of the 'Security Zone'p. 147
Parliamentary Election Pay-offsp. 148
The South and the Bekaa Reward Hezbollahp. 149
Elections in the Capitalp. 150
The Guns vs. Butter Clashp. 151
New Resistance Opportunitiesp. 155
All the Way to Jerusalem?p. 160
Chapter 11 The Terrorism vs. Resistance Controversyp. 163
Lebanon, Syria and Iran: Willing Partners in the Anti-Terrorism Coalition?p. 164
Beirut's Position on Hezbollah as a Resistance Forcep. 165
The US-Israeli Position: Hezbollah as Terrorist Organizationp. 169
Chapter 12 America's Half-hearted War Against Terrorismp. 177
The Anti-Terrorism Campaign in Lebanonp. 178
Lebanon's Responsep. 179
Hezbollah's Developing Resistance Rolep. 183
The Party of God and the Intifadap. 185
Guarding the Lebanese-Israeli Frontierp. 189
Chapter 13 Conclusions and Implicationsp. 193
Notesp. 203
Select Bibliographyp. 221
Indexp. 235