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Hezbollah 'drops' demand for Islamic Lebanon

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.

Lebanon flag

Hezbollah has issued a new political manifesto that it will get more involved in Lebanon’s political affairs and remain committed to its allies Syria and Iran but has dropped a demand for an Islamic state in Lebanon, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who heads the Shiite Hezbollah, which the United States regards as a terrorist group, indicated that Iranian-backed Hezbollah would be seeking to be a major influence in developing Lebanon’s national defense strategy, aimed at fending off any Israeli attack.

“Through its long path and its victories, the Resistance (Hezbollah) has grown from a liberating power to a defense and deterrence power, in addition to its political and internal role as an influence in building a just and capable state,” Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah’s hint at being more involved in formulating Lebanon’s defense policies was an apparent reference to threats in recent days by Israeli officials that war is imminent between Israel and Lebanon.

Hezbollah is the single largest political entity in the Lebanese parliament and occupies two cabinet positions in the current government of Lebanese Prime Minister Raad Hariri.

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The party’s political manifesto is the first since one was released in 1985 outlining its future political and ideological efforts. The 1985 platform called for the establishment of an Islamic state, but the latest manifesto scrubs that idea and called for more involvement in Lebanon’s political activities. Except for that, there is little change between the 1985 and the latest party platform.

In referring to Hezbollah’s efforts to be more engaged in Lebanon’s political scene, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak now has warned the Lebanese government that it will be the target of any retaliatory Israeli attack and not just the Hezbollah.

Barak was referring to recent military exchanges along the border of southern Lebanon and the northern portion of Israel. Barak has expressed concern that weapons caches recently found along that border indicate that Hezbollah is preparing for war.

“We are not looking for a deterioration of the situation in Lebanon, but if there is such an unraveling, our target will not be some Hezbollah somewhere in southern Lebanon,” Barak said. “Our target will be the Lebanese government and its infrastructure, whatever that may include.”

Such a response has prompted Hezbollah to go on high alert, seeing that Israeli troops reportedly are massing along the border with Lebanon. The Shiite group now is poised for any attack “in the event of a surprise Israeli operation against party headquarters and positions,” according to Hezbollah sources.

In 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought each other for some 34 days until the United Nations intervened and passed U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls on Hezbollah to disarm. It also calls for Israel to recognize Lebanese sovereignty.

While the new Hezbollah political platform calls for greater Hezbollah involvement in the body politic of Lebanon, it still looks upon itself as a force of national defense and refuses to put down any weapons as outlined in UNCR 1701. Hezbollah still regards Israel as the enemy, a position shared even by the Sunnis who run the Lebanese government.

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