Hezbollah

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Hezbollah rally

Hezbollah (literally "party of God") is a Shi'a Islamic political and paramilitary organisation based in Lebanon. The group's official name in Arabic is Hizb Allah Al-moqawama Al-Islamiyah fi Lubnan.[1] They are one of the most famous and successful groups resisting international Jewish Zionism. Despite claims by Jewish controlled governments, such as the United States,[2] Hezbollah are in no way a terrorist organisation, unlike Salafist groups. They have broad support as Lebanese national resistance movement (including from some Lebanese Christians).[3][1]

Hezbollah first emerged during the Lebanese Civil War in the early 1980s as a militia of Shia followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini, trained, organized and funded by a contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards.[4] In its 1985 manifesto Hezbollah listed its three main goals as the eradication of "Western colonialism" in Lebanon, the bringing to justice of those who committed atrocities during the war (specifically the Phalangists), and the establishment of an Islamic government in Lebanon.[5][6][7] Since then Hezbollah has temporarily abandoned the goal of transforming Lebanon into an Islamic state at this time.[4] Hezbollah leaders have also made numerous statements calling for the destruction of Israel, which they describe as an unlawful "entity".[5][6][7]

Hezbollah has popular support in Shi'a Lebanese society[8] and has mobilized demonstrations of hundreds of thousands.[9][10][11] According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Hezbollah receives its financial support mainly from the donations of Lebanese Shi’ites. "According to frequent accounts in the western press, the group also receives considerable support from Iran and Syria".[12] Hezbollah has "operated with Syria's blessing" since the end of the Civil War.[9][13] Hezbollah, which started with only a militia, has grown to an organization with seats in the Lebanese government, a radio- and a satellite television-station, and programs for social development.[14] Since 1992, the organization has been headed by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, its Secretary-General.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jamail, Dahr (2006-07-20). Hezbollah's transformation. Asia Times. Retrieved on 2007-10-23.
  2. http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=10923
  3. Israeli strikes may boost Hizbullah base. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Adam Shatz (April 29, 2004). In Search of Hezbollah. The New York Review of Books.
  5. 5.0 5.1 author unknown. The Hizballah Program. provided by standwithus. com (StandWithUs). Retrieved on 2007-10-29.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kashi, Roei. "The Stanford Review - January 12, 2007." The Stanford Review. 12 January 2007. 1 November 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Stalinsky, Steven. "An Islamic Republic Is Hezbollah's Aim." The New York Sun. 2 August 2006. 1 November 2007.
  8. Briefing: Lebanese Public Opinion
  9. 9.0 9.1 Westcott, Kathryn (2002-04-04). Who are Hezbollah. BBC News. Retrieved on 2006-08-11.
  10. "Huge Beirut protest backs Syria." BBC News. 8 March 2005. 7 February 2007.
  11. Stack, Megan K. Lebanon boils as Hezbollah leads protest Chicago Tribune news. 24 January 2007. 7 February 2007.
  12. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2006-03-29). LEBANON: The many hands and faces of Hezbollah. Retrieved on 2006-08-17.
  13. Hezbollah (a.k.a. Hizbollah, Hizbu'llah). Council on Foreign Relations (2002-07-17). Retrieved on 2006-10-06.
  14. Deeb, Lara (2006-07-31). Hizballah: A Primer. Middle East Report. Retrieved on 2006-07-31.

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