Libmonster ID: U.S.-1262
Author(s) of the publication: I. M. MOKHOVA

I. M. MOKHOVA

Candidate of Political Sciences

Lebanon Keywords:political partiesconfessionalism

Lebanon is a very special State in many ways. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the only Arab country in which 18 religious communities (12 Christian, 5 Muslim and 1 Jewish) are officially recognized. The political system is based on the proportional representation of recognized religious communities, with the exception of Jewish ones, in state authorities (which is called political confessionalism). The post of president is reserved for a Maronite Christian*, the prime minister-for a Sunni Muslim, and the chairman of the Parliament - for a Shiite Muslim. The State is a parliamentary democracy; political parties based primarily on religious and territorial principles participate freely in the political life of the country.

Despite the seemingly orderly and traditional relations between communities, Lebanon is living in a state of constant political crisis, which has already become an integral part of its political culture.

The current stage of the crisis is connected with the confrontation of two powerful political alliances. On the one hand, the so-called pro-Western majority 2, the core of which is the Sunni Future Movement led by Saad Hariri, supported primarily by the United States and France, as well as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The coalition is opposed by a pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian minority, centered on the Shiite Hezbollah movement and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.

Both coalitions represent a wide range of political parties. The main partners of the Future Movement, united in the "March , are two "historical" Christian Maronite parties-Samir Jaj's Lebanese Forces and Amin Gemayel's Kataib, the largest Druze party** - the Progressive Socialist Party led by Walid Jumblat, the National Liberal Party of the Maronite Shamoun clan, and the Sunni bloc Tripoli, as well as the Sunni Islamist party "Jama'a Islamiyya".

The main political allies of Hezbollah, which is forming the , are the Shiite AMAL Party, led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, and the Christian Free Patriotic Movement party, led by Maronite General Michel Aoun.

The irreconcilable positions of the alliances have been hindering the normal functioning of Lebanon's political institutions for several years. So, in 2007-2008, due to the long search for a compromise on the presidential candidacy, the country lived for six months without a head of state. The same thing happened with the formation of a new Cabinet of Ministers. Despite the fact that the opposition has conceded defeat in the parliamentary elections and expressed its readiness for "constructive cooperation for the future of Lebanon," the process of forming a Government has faced serious difficulties. The new Prime Minister appointed by the President following the results of the parliamentary elections in June 2009, S. V. Putin. Hariri spent five months trying to form a viable cabinet. It was only in November 2009 that the majority and the opposition were able to agree on the composition of the new National unity Government.

* * *

To understand the essence of the contradictions between the two political alliances, this article will analyze the program and ideological platforms of four parties, two of which form the core of the minority (the Free Patriotic Movement and Hezbollah), and the other two play an important role in the majority coalition (the Lebanese Forces and the Future Movement). Comparing the doctrines of these four parties will allow us not only to learn more about the nature of the current Lebanese conflict, but also to understand the peculiarities of the political culture of Lebanon.

FREE PATRIOTIC MOVEMENT

The Free Patriotic Movement (LDS) was founded by General Michel Aoun in 1992, who was in exile in France at the time. After his return to Lebanon in 2005, which was made possible by the beginning of the Cedar Revolution (see ch. 3) and the withdrawal of Syrian troops, the SPD was in favor of-


* Maronites - adherents of the largest Maronite Catholic Church in Lebanon. They were named after their founder, Map Maron. They live mainly in Lebanon and in small groups in Syria, Egypt, North and South America, and Cyprus. Maronite communities emerged in the fifth and seventh centuries in northwestern Syria. The residence of the Maronite Patriarch is located in Lebanon.

** Druze-adherents of a Muslim religious sect; one of the branches of Ismailism. They live in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel and Jordan. The sect originated in the early 11th century under the influence of the preaching of the Batinite missionary Darazi (named after him) among the Ismailis of Egypt and Southern Lebanon.

page 18

registered as a Lebanese political party. Despite the fact that the party claims to be national, in the current Lebanese confessional political system, it has integrated itself into the niche traditionally occupied by" historical " Maronite parties. The party has the largest number of supporters in the Christian (mainly Maronite) regions-Jubail (Byblos), Kesrouan, Metn, Zahle.

Internal policy

The party emphasizes its readiness to protect the interests of Lebanon. The name of the movement also indicates the patriotic position of the movement.

The SPD sharply criticizes the current political system, which, according to Aoun, needs drastic changes. That is why, on the eve of the 2009 parliamentary elections, Aun put forward the idea of establishing a Third Republic in Lebanon, 5 the main principle of which is to build a modern secular state, provide all citizens with equal rights and reject confessionalism. 6 Trying to emphasize an alternative vision for the further development of Lebanon and the difference from the "historical" Maronite parties that use an image of cedar wood and the colors of the Lebanese flag, the LDS chose orange symbolism, which has become a universal marker of renewal and revolution in different countries.

The program documents of the Free Patriotic Movement trace the influence and borrowing of Western political and philosophical concepts, such as democracy, secularization, respect for human rights, and achieving equality between men and women.

The party opposes granting Lebanese citizenship to Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and supports the idea of their return to Palestine after the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. According to her, refugee camps are not only a heavy burden from an economic point of view, but also create a demographic imbalance in the state. In addition, Palestinian armed groups that are not subordinate to the Lebanese security services pose a constant threat to internal stability.7

Michel Aoun, who returned in 2005 from France, where he spent 15 years in exile, needed to find political allies inside the country. At the first stage, taking into account the general's anti-Syrian position, which, in fact, was the reason for his emigration, Aoun tried to integrate into the pro-Western coalition. However, he failed to do so. The main reasons were not related to ideological differences between the SPD and the March 14 bloc, but to Aoun's political ambitions. The general's claims to leadership have complicated the already controversial situation surrounding the leadership of the anti-Syrian coalition. The problem of leadership forced the general to search for political partners in the pro-Syrian camp.

Economy

On the issue of Lebanon's economic development, the party stands for a market economy and creating the best conditions for private sector activity, attracting investment, liberalizing and privatizing the energy and telecommunications sectors, and reducing the emigration of Lebanese labor by creating new jobs in the country.

Foreign policy

Emphasizing the specific nature of Lebanon, which is expressed in its openness to the outside world and cultural and religious diversity within the country, the party considers its main goal to be the struggle for sovereignty, independence and preservation of the state, and also opposes foreign interference in internal affairs.

The movement takes a critical position (generally coinciding with the position of Hezbollah) in relation to Israel. Its hostile actions against Lebanon (occupied territories in the south of the country, military operations, violation of air space) serve as a justification for the SPD to maintain, along with the regular armed forces, the "Resistance Army"*, whose task is to strengthen the country's defense capability and increase moral and psychological pressure on Israel. The Party considers it necessary to continue the armed struggle against Israel until the country's territory is completely liberated and the issue of Palestinian refugees is finally resolved, as well as to maintain a state of alert for all Lebanese citizens.

In February 2006, the SPD entered into a strategic alliance with Hezbollah, the main pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian party. As a result, General Aoun changed his political rhetoric and joined the camp of his former opponents. Given Aoun's "political history" and his views, the general's move to join the pro-Syrian alliance seemed inconsistent and illogical, which confirmed the conclusion about non-ideological motives due to the desire to strengthen his political position in a changing environment. Commenting on his visit to Damascus in late 2008, Aoun said that a new phase of relations between the forces he represents and Syria has begun - "without winners or losers"8. General Aoun even stressed that he can "become a friend" of Syria.

The position of the SPD leader towards Iran is marked with respect. In an interview with Euronews, General Aoun noted that the purpose of his visit to Tehran after the end of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah was to express gratitude to the Iranians for supporting Lebanon in this conflict.9 It is Iran, in his opinion, that is helping Lebanon achieve national unity, 10 Iranian assistance to Hezbollah is provided free of charge, and only Iran is able to provide the weapons necessary to fight Lebanon's main enemy, Israel.


* "Resistance Army" - combat units of Hezbollah, leading an independent armed struggle against Israel. The units are not subordinate to the Lebanese security services and military command.

page 19

Thus, despite the condemnation of interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon by external forces, the Free Patriotic Movement focuses on Syria and Iran, supporting the "participation" of these countries in internal Lebanese affairs.

The alliance with Hezbollah deprived Aoun of the support of France, whose policy in Lebanon the general now calls "not realistic enough". Aoun's desire to play an important role in Lebanese politics after the LDS failed attempt to join the March 14 bloc led him to join the opposition. The change in the political camp has also affected Aoun's rhetoric on foreign policy issues - he criticizes his former patrons and thanks the current ones.

HEZBOLLAH

Hezbollah (the Party of God) is a political and religious party founded and funded by Iran since 1982, representing the interests of Lebanon's largest Shiite community. Hezbollah's original goal was to build an Islamic republic in Lebanon similar to that of Iran.

However, given the impossibility of its creation in the Lebanese multi-confessional context, the party abandoned this idea and became an active participant in the Lebanese political process.

Internal policy

Hezbollah positions itself as a patriotic party that does not accept any compromises in protecting Lebanon's interests. The party stands for the democratic development of Lebanon on the basis of compromise with all political forces, including Christian ones. This does not contradict its religious principles, despite the fact that many non-Lebanese Islamist parties exclude the possibility of cooperation with non-Muslims. While denying the possibility of a military takeover of power, Hezbollah believes that only as a result of the free expression of the will of the electorate will its participation in power be legitimate. The main electorate of the party consists of Shiites. Hezbollah candidates regularly win in the Shiite regions of southern Lebanon, Baalbek and southern Beirut.

Currently, despite the fact that Muslims (mostly Shiites) make up more than half of the population of Lebanon, parity remains in the parliament: half of the seats belong to Christians, half to Muslims. Considering the real weight of the Shiite community (according to the most conservative estimates, a third of the Lebanese population), Hezbollah is seeking to expand its participation in government bodies and declares the need to abolish political confessionalism. It is obvious that free elections will increase the share of Shiites (and, consequently, Hezbollah) in parliament and state institutions.

Today, the largest community has only a fifth of the seats in parliament and the third most important post in the state (Speaker of Parliament), and Shiites in general are also the least well-off part of the population in socio-economic terms. Democratic reforms and secularization of political life, according to Hezbollah, should lead to an increase in the influence of the Shiite community and, as a result, the party itself.

Economy

The emphasis of the state's economic policy, according to Hezbollah, should be placed on combating the uneven development of regions, supporting backward and war-affected areas of the country (first of all, southern Lebanon). It is noteworthy that it is in these areas that representatives of the Shiite community live, and it is there that Hezbollah independently launched an extensive program of socio-economic support for the population, effectively replacing the state. At the expense of the party's funds, schools, hospitals, mosques are being built, buildings and infrastructure destroyed during the armed resistance to Israel are being restored, and material and other assistance is being provided to the poor, orphans and families of martyred martyrs who died defending Lebanon.

Hezbollah acts as an umbrella organization, under the auspices of which active social work is carried out. Those in dire need receive monthly cash allowances, food assistance, and housing.

page 20

According to party officials, there are schools, clinics, and hospitals for "donations from devout Muslims." A specialized school for children with Down syndrome has been opened. However, in Lebanon, it is no secret that this charitable activity is financed mainly by Iranian funds.

It should be noted that despite the fact that the most active social work is carried out by Hezbollah in areas where the majority of the Shiite population lives, the provision of assistance is not solely due to the religious affiliation of those in need. Any low-income Lebanese, regardless of their religion, can turn to Hezbollah for help. Thus, it emphasizes its importance as a pan-Lebanese party that defends (including continuing the armed struggle against Israel) the interests of all Lebanese, and not just the Shiite population.

The economic section of the Hezbollah program also notes the need to fight corruption, reduce external debt, unemployment, poverty, and support agriculture, industry,and tourism. 11

Foreign policy

Hezbollah stands for the independence of Lebanon from external forces, takes an uncompromising position regarding the continuation of the armed struggle against Israel until the full liberation of the occupied Lebanese territories and the preservation of the armed detachments of the" Resistance Army", as well as for the return of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons to their homeland. "The existence of Israel is illegal, whether it is cooperating with it or establishing relations with it," according to party leader X. Nasrallah-forbidden by religion, the Jewish state is a cancer that must disappear. " 12 Not wanting to drag the country into war and excluding the possibility of capitulation to the enemy, Hezbollah offers a third way-resistance, which involves exhausting the enemy and waging a guerrilla war (ambushes on military personnel, firing rockets at Israeli territory, taking hostages to exchange for Lebanese in Israeli prisons) until the full liberation of Lebanese territory and deterring military aggression.Israel's political ambitions.

The party's influence was significantly strengthened (not only among Shiites, but also among the entire population of the country) as a result of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in 2000 and the war with Israel in the summer of 2006, which ended, according to Hezbollah, with its unconditional victory. The position of Hezbollah is that it is only thanks to the constant armed resistance, which is the noble goal of true patriots, that Lebanon exists within its current borders and has not given up under the onslaught of Israel. As a sign of gratitude to the fallen in populated areas, especially in the south of the country and in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Hezbollah places posters with photos of dead fighters, which contributes to the growth of the authority of their families.

It should be emphasized that the Party of God, taking advantage of the weakness of the Lebanese state institutions, actually monopolized the right to fight against Israel. Hezbollah claims to fight for the protection of Lebanese citizens and territory, which is the absolute prerogative of the State, and not of a single party. Thus, the policy of Hezbollah contributes to the gradual "pulling" of powers from the state. The self-seizure by one party of key State functions related to security, border protection and the liberation of national territory causes discontent and distrust among broad segments of Lebanese society towards Hezbollah and the Shiite community on which it relies. The persistence of tension in the south of the country for these reasons exacerbates the split in the system of confessional relations.

The entry of Hezbollah representatives into the Government since 2005 has further complicated this problem. From this point on, the Lebanese Cabinet actually bears a certain share of responsibility for the party's actions in the south of the country. The Lebanese State is in a dead end. On the one hand, without the participation of Hezbollah, the government will not be legitimate enough, given the broad popular support for the party, and on the other hand, the Party of God conducts its own policy, without coordinating its steps with the head of the executive branch.

According to the leadership of Hezbollah, Israel's main ally in the region, the United States, is acting in the interests of the Jewish state, using Lebanon, trying to destabilize Iran and is completely uninterested in establishing political stability in Lebanon. In this regard, Hezbollah considers the United States a hostile state, one of the goals of which, in its opinion, involves the destruction of the Shiite movement.

According to the" Foreign Minister " of the Party of God, Nawaf Mousavi, France, unlike the United States, despite cooperating with the Americans on the Lebanese dossier, traditionally supports Lebanon 13 and protects its interests. Hezbollah, which supports France on March 14, although it cannot count it among its political allies, nevertheless considers it as a friendly state to Lebanon (in general) .14 The party also expresses its gratitude to Paris for its mediation efforts in the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Hezbollah considers Syria and Iran to be friendly countries, which makes it necessary to build close relations with them. The party stands for establishing good relations with Syria within the framework of a dialogue between two independent states, drawing a border between them on disputed territories, and for Damascus to recognize Lebanese sovereignty over the Shab'a farms.


* Shebaa Farms is a disputed area of about 22 square kilometers located between Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Initially, the dispute over the status of this territory was only between Lebanon and Syria, while discussions were held on whether Syria and Lebanon are a single country. During the 1967 Six-Day War, the Shebaa farms were captured by Israel. The situation has not been resolved yet.

page 21

Such relations also involve working together to find out the fate of Lebanese citizens imprisoned in Syrian prisons.

Syria provides political support to the movement, Iran provides material assistance, weapons, and trains its fighters in special camps. Hezbollah does not hide the fact that Iran is helping the Shiite movement. In his public statements, H. Nasrallah notes the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of politics, finance and in all (other) areas.15

Unlike the pro-Western parties that blame Syria for all Lebanon's ills, Hezbollah, on the contrary, positively assesses the almost 30-year-old presence of the Syrian military. During this period, Syria, according to Hezbollah, made a significant contribution to ending the civil war, helped reform the Lebanese army and its political institutions. Thanks to Syrian support, the Lebanese were able to drive the occupying Israeli forces out of the country, which implies"appreciation and gratitude" 16 on the part of Lebanon.

According to some estimates, Hezbollah is so dependent on external sponsors that it can hardly be considered a truly Lebanese political force. These doubts are connected with the preservation, largely due to the actions of Hezbollah, of a hotbed of tension in the south of the country, which causes enormous damage to the entire state, hinders attracting investment, developing tourism, etc. Maintaining a permanent state of tension, especially in southern Lebanon, where the Shiite population is concentrated, cannot be beneficial to Hezbollah, if it is truly independent of external factors. However, this alignment of forces gives Syria and Iran an obvious advantage - the possibility of constant pressure on Israel, without endangering their own population and their own borders (in the Syrian case).

In 2006, Hezbollah signed an Agreement of Understanding with the SPD.17 Its goals basically repeated the main principles that both parties share: building a civil society, developing real democracy, returning Palestinians to Palestine, fighting Israel, and cooperating with Syria and Iran. However, the point of the agreement was to give a new and very unexpected alliance additional political weight in the domestic arena. The LDS political coalition with Hezbollah, while strengthening the split between Maronites and Christians in general, significantly strengthened the position of March 8 and showed the fallacy of generalizing that Christian communities are focused exclusively on Western support.

LEBANESE FORCES

The Lebanese Forces (LS), which united a number of Christian armed groups, was founded by Maronite Christian Bashir Gemayel in 1976 as the militant wing of the Kataib party. One of the main tasks of the LS detachments during the civil war (1975-1990) was to confront Palestinian groups that waged anti-Israeli resistance from the territory of Lebanon, which significantly destabilized the internal Lebanese political situation. Eventually, the Lebanese forces were led by Samir Jajah. After the signing of the Taif Accords in 1989, which marked the end of the civil war, militant groups laid down their weapons. Having abandoned weapons, the LS transformed into a traditional political party.

Internal policy

After initially supporting the Taif agreements, under which Syria maintained its presence in Lebanon as a guarantor of peace and security, the Lebanese forces subsequently strongly opposed the military presence of Syria, which significantly strengthened its position in the country. S. Djadja repeatedly refused ministerial posts in the cabinets of O. Karame and R. Solha in the early 1990s. in protest against the government that worked under the patronage of Syria. Increasing anti-Syrian rhetoric eventually led to the organization's ban in 1994. Jajah himself was jailed on charges of crimes committed during the civil war. During the entire term of S. Judge's imprisonment, the Lebanese forces were under the leadership of his wife, Setrida Judge, who was active in political and social activities. Thanks to her work, the LS remained as an independent party, without losing its influence among the Maronites.

Lebanese forces were legalized only after the withdrawal of Syrian troops in 2005. In the same year, Sethrida Jaja was elected as a Member of Parliament after leading the party in the parliamentary elections. In 2005, Samir Jaja was granted amnesty and released after spending 11 years in prison. The paradox of his situation is that Djadja is the only military-political leader of Lebanese formations during the civil war who has served time in prison. There was a lot of public talk about the need to try all militants and leaders of military-political blocs responsible for crimes committed during the civil war. However, other prominent leaders of political parties and movements managed to escape punishment for war crimes. The special fate of S. Judge is largely explained by his harsh anti-Syrian position.

The Lebanese Armed Forces stand for the freedom and independence of Lebanon, the establishment of stable and effective State institutions, and the security of all citizens. As its fundamental principles, the party proclaims respect for human rights, equality of citizens before the law, regardless of gender, language and religion, freedom of religion, speech and mass media, assembly and association, the right to education, to hold strikes, and independence from external influence.

The political system of Lebanon, according to the PL, should be based on fair representation of all communities, taking into account the historically established religious experience of the country.-

page 22

religious and cultural diversity.

Despite the universalism of the party's discourse, Judja sees the primary task of the Lebanese forces in protecting the Christian community and strengthening its position in the political life of the state. The regional-confessional basis of the party draws attention to itself. Drug support enclaves are located in a number of areas of Eastern Beirut and Mountainous Lebanon, as well as in the north of the country - in the Kadisha valley with the center in the city of Bsharra (the birthplace of the Judja family). All of these areas are mostly inhabited by Maronites.

Taking into account the gradual decline in the share of the Christian population in the country against the background of an increase in the number of Muslims, as well as the decline in the influence of Christian political parties, Lebanese forces propose to reform the electoral system and grant the right to vote to members of the Lebanese diaspora, including many Christians living in different countries of the world. This reform, according to the party, should ensure" fair " representation of Christians in government structures.

In order to increase the effectiveness of the fight against the use of Lebanese parties by external forces as their structures of influence, the PL suggests that, if facts are revealed that indicate the actions of a Lebanese party in the interests of foreign states, they should stop state and public support for this political association.

One of the most serious tasks of the state is the fight against corruption. Its level has reached colossal proportions in Lebanon. It is worth noting that almost all Lebanese political parties in their rhetoric denounce corruption, accuse successive governments of this, despite the fact that representatives of these very parties are regularly members of one or another cabinet of ministers.

Lawmakers, senior government officials, and ministers are often subject to criminal proceedings on charges of misusing public funds or embezzlement. However, cases are often dismissed because the judicial system in Lebanon is not completely independent, and the decisions of judges, like themselves, are directly dependent on major political figures, regional leaders, that is, those in whose hands real power is concentrated. At one time, the LS accused Rafik Hariri of helping to close court cases brought against a number of officials from his entourage, including Fuad Siniora, who served as finance minister in Hariri's cabinet. The cases were initiated after R. Hariri left the post of Prime Minister in 1998, and with his return to power in 2000. all charges against individual officials were dropped.

S. Djadja rules out the possibility of returning to armed struggle and adheres to the position that only state security agencies have the right to use weapons and protect their citizens. In this regard, the Lebanese forces criticize Hezbollah and call it a "mini-state", whose actions (in particular, independent armed resistance) weaken all-Lebanese state institutions. As a result of the activities of Hezbollah, a situation is created in which the state is not able to fully ensure sovereignty over the entire territory within the established borders, since part of Lebanon is exclusively under the control of the Shiite party. In response to these accusations, Hezbollah claims that as soon as there is a State that is truly capable of providing security and protecting the interests of all citizens, the party will abandon the armed struggle.

On the other hand, Lebanese forces in the 2006 summer war between Israel and Hezbollah sided with the latter and called its victory "desirable"18. The solidarity of the PL with its domestic political opponent in the face of the Israeli threat is explained by the patriotic position taken by all Lebanese political forces without exception, which is expressed by the formula "Lebanon's interests first". Due to the strong anti-Israeli sentiment in society, no political party could openly condemn Hezbollah's actions in the 2006 conflict without being accused of betraying Lebanese interests and collaborating with the enemy.

Economy

The Lebanese forces stand for a liberal economy, freedom for entrepreneurship and initiative. According to the party, such an economic structure should contribute to the prosperity of the state and its citizens. At the same time, the State

page 23

It should pursue an active policy to reduce the emigration of Lebanese people (especially young graduates), guarantee social justice and provide social guarantees in the event of unemployment, disability, widowhood, and old age.19

Recognizing the need to attract foreign investment and solve the problem of external debt, the LS criticize the ultra-liberal measures that R. Hariri used when he was Prime Minister (with some interruptions) from 1992 to 2004. This is primarily about selling land to foreigners (a special law granted foreign capital the right to own up to 3% of the territory in each department (kaze) and up to 10% of the territory of Beirut, another 10% was taken over by the Solider construction company owned by Hariri; companies with at least 51% of the capital owned by Lebanese citizens were granted access to land holdings without restrictions).

It is interesting to note that the accusations of corruption, lack of a fair judiciary, sale of land plots to foreigners, unacceptable growth of domestic debt and inaction of the government in solving the problem of emigration are voiced not only by Lebanese forces, but also by their ideological opponents - the SPD and Hezbollah. Thus, despite the parties ' belonging to different political camps, their assessments of the internal political situation and economic development of Lebanon largely coincide.

Foreign policy

Lebanon, according to the Lebanese Armed Forces, must adhere to the principle of neutrality in international affairs for the stable development of the country on the basis of friendly relations with neighboring countries. The LS are sworn enemies of the Syrian regime and accuse it of involvement in a series of political assassinations that took place in Lebanon, and, in particular, in the assassination of R. Hariri.

Unlike the SPD and Hezbollah, the PL does not openly declare support for their movement by one or another" friendly " state. S. Djadja in his interviews emphasizes the party's extremely independent position, its exclusively Lebanese character, and its ability to face external and internal challenges alone, without the help of foreign forces. Nevertheless, many facts indicate the obvious orientation of the PL towards Europe: firstly, the anti-Syrian rhetoric of the party, and secondly, the historical ties of the Maronite community with France as a whole, and the work of the PL's representative offices in a number of European countries (France, where in the 2000s the Maronite community was located). LA published its own newspaper in Paris (Holland, Germany, Sweden, Italy), and third - statements on the need to develop Lebanese-European relations between youth and student organizations, exchange experience with European democratic parties in order to further develop democracy and civil society in Lebanon.

An indirect confirmation of French support for the Lebanese forces is the meeting in 2007 between Jacques Chirac and S. Judge at the residence of the French President in Paris. This step of the French president was perceived ambiguously. Chirac, despite his special attitude to Lebanon and his reputation for being a fan of the country's fate, was criticized by many Lebanese for hosting a criminal involved in the murder of major political figures.

FUTURE MOVEMENT

The Future Movement (DB), led by Saad Hariri, the son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was able to lead the anti-Syrian opposition and become a kind of symbol of the struggle for Lebanese independence. It is worth noting that this happened only in the spring of 2005 after the assassination of R. Hariri, in which Damascus is suspected of involvement. At one time, Rafik Hariri was in no hurry to join the anti-Syrian association of Christian forces "Kornet Shehwan", was wary of the activities of the opposition and maintained close political and economic ties with the Syrians.

Internal policy

DB positions itself as a nationwide political, educational, and social movement. Its main goal is to strengthen the country's sovereignty and independent development of Lebanon within the borders recognized by the international community. According to the party's doctrine, the country's political system should be based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law, social justice, respect for human rights, and respect for freedom of speech and religion.

The Future Movement considers it necessary to develop patriotism and a sense of belonging of all citizens to a single Lebanese homeland. At the same time, DB emphasizes that Lebanon belongs to the Arab world.

Although the DB presents itself as a nationwide movement, its main constituency is Sunni. Like other Lebanese parties, the DB also has a regional basis. The movement enjoys support mainly in the Sunni regions of Beirut, Said, Tripoli, Akkar and Dinni districts, as well as in the southern Bekaa Valley.

In view of the inability of the state to fully control its own territory due to the position of Hezbollah and its close relations with Iran, the Future Movement calls for a change in the current situation. According to Hariri's party, the right to possess and use weapons to protect citizens should belong exclusively to the State (in which Hariri and his allies expect to play a leading role). Political decisions affecting the fate of the entire nation should no longer be made under the influence of external forces acting openly, or through political parties and armed formations loyal to them.

The DB has no leverage over Hezbollah and cannot force its units to hand over their weapons. In this regard, it is

page 24

Regularly recalls the need to comply with UN resolutions calling for the disarmament of all non-State armed groups in Lebanon. Using the authority of the UN, the Hariri clan, which has been in power for a long time and does not want to lose this power, is trying to weaken its main political opponent, whose main source of legitimacy lies in successfully opposing Israel.

The Hariri movement, like all Lebanese political parties, faces the need to find the most acceptable formula for the coexistence of many faiths within one country. DB's vision for the future of Lebanon is generally in line with the ideas of the other parties, which is quite understandable in the Lebanese context. So, the state should move towards the abolition of political confessionalism (but not be secular), provide equal rights to all citizens, regardless of their religious affiliation, but at the same time respect the rights of all religious communities and their values.

The Future Movement builds its political discourse in such a way as to take into account the conflicting interests of different political and religious groups, and its party doctrine adapts to the changing trends of Lebanese society. The DB seeks to present itself as a universal party that meets the interests of all Lebanese patriots. However, behind this "universalism "lies the absence of an ideology that would distinguish the DB essentially from the rest of the Lebanese parties and form its"face". Despite the party's policy statements, the Future Movement is rather a relatively stable association of interconnected regional, economic and political elites around the Hariri clan.

Economy

The DB is committed to protecting and developing the liberal economic system, encouraging private initiative, protecting the principle of private ownership, attracting investment, and continuing the privatization policy. In view of the uneven development of Lebanon's regions (one of the most serious consequences of which is the emigration of Lebanese abroad), as well as the growing discontent (especially among the Shiite population) with the results of economic policies, the DB promises to fight for a fair distribution of national wealth. Even socio-economic development of the regions, according to the program statements of the DB, is the basis for the unity of the country and the stability of the political system. The transition to economic liberalism should be accompanied by a stronger role of the State in creating a stable system of social and economic guarantees.

The party promises to solve the problem of public debt and liberalize a number of state monopolies, in particular, in the electric power industry. The problem of Lebanese debt (according to the World Bank, Lebanon ranks first in terms of foreign and domestic debt in the world) is one of the most acute economic and social problems of the state. The volume of debt is almost 2 times higher than annual GDP, and its servicing reaches colossal amounts (up to 70% of budget revenues)20.

The main contradiction of S. Hariri's rhetoric on this issue is that a significant part of the debt was formed during the reign of his father R. Hariri. There is a persistent stereotype in Lebanese public opinion that puts the blame for the rapid growth of debt on R. Hariri's too liberal economic policy, huge expenses for rebuilding the country after the civil war, and corruption.

DB stands for the active inclusion of Lebanon in inter-Arab economic relations, economic integration of the region and the creation of a common Arab market.

Thus, the economic program of S. Hariri's party is also permeated with good intentions and general theses that often contradict each other (such as liberal reforms and the struggle for a fair distribution of national wealth).

Foreign policy

Defending the independence of Lebanon, the Future Movement, like all Lebanese parties, speaks about the need to stop the interference of external forces in internal affairs. Emphasizing that Lebanon belongs to the Arab world, the DB considers it necessary to resolve the Palestinian problem as soon as possible, establish an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, and return the refugees to their historical homeland.

page 25

The Future Movement considers Israel to be the enemy of Lebanon, which occupies its territory and subjects its people, State and institutions to constant aggression. A peace treaty between Lebanon and Israel can only be signed within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative, that is, on condition of a return to the 1967 borders and the return of refugees.

Despite the rather tense relations between the anti-Syrian political camp and Damascus, the DB declares its readiness to establish a dialogue with Syria on the basis of cooperation and mutual respect between two independent, "fraternal" states. However, S. Hariri does not dismiss the charges against the Assad regime of attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Lebanon and the involvement of the Syrian special services in the murder of his father, Lebanese politicians and public figures who held an active anti-Syrian position.

Perhaps the main external partner of the Future Movement is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Relations between the Hariri family and the Saudi royal family have a long history. Rafik Hariri made a huge fortune in the kingdom and became a trusted confidant of the ruling family, helping it conduct business in Lebanon. Thanks to R. Hariri's mediation efforts, Saudi Arabia was able to gain a firm foothold in Lebanon, considering it as a kind of"patrimony". Saad Hariri holds Saudi citizenship and ranks 12th on the list of the richest Saudi citizens with a net worth of $ 4.3 billion.21 Given the long and mutually beneficial ties, the Future Movement relies on the support of Saudi Arabia, which in turn uses the movement to directly influence Lebanese affairs.

Hariri's party also considers France to be a friendly country, which has always supported Lebanon and supported it in difficult times. It is no secret that R. Hariri has been a personal friend of French President Jean-Claude Juncker for many years. Shirak, with whose family S. Hariri has maintained close relations. At one time, thanks largely to the diplomatic activity of France and Chirac personally, the main UN resolutions were adopted, confirming the sovereignty of Lebanon and calling for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the country's territory. France was also behind the creation of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which aims to identify and punish those responsible for the assassination of Rafik Hariri.

DB's anti-Iranian and anti-Syrian stance aligns the party's interests with those of the United States in Lebanon and the region as a whole. Hariri's US support significantly strengthens the weight of the Future Movement in the international arena. This support is primarily a political asset, which manifests itself in the promotion of UN resolutions and other decisions (outside Lebanon) that strengthen the position of the DB within the country. The economic aspect of this support is related to the promotion of international initiatives to provide loans and material assistance to the Lebanese Government, in which representatives of March 14 played a key role.

PROGRAM COMPARISON

Analysis and comparison of the program and ideological attitudes of the four parties allow us to draw the following conclusions.

First, all four political parties identify patriotic values as one of the main elements of their doctrines. They declare the need to defend exclusively Lebanese interests, "protect" the country from the influence of external forces (which, as a rule, have a negative connotation in the political rhetoric of the parties), and also confirm their readiness to find a compromise in order to achieve peace within the country. At the same time, each of the four movements considered focuses on a particular "friendly" state or group of States. At the same time, the political discourse of the party is built up depending on which camp (pro - Western or pro-Iranian) it belongs to-based on this, external friends and enemies of Lebanon are determined.

Secondly, the ideological components of the programs of the four parties do not differ significantly - they all advocate democratic reforms, rejection of confessionalism and strengthening of sovereignty. Membership in opposing political alliances is usually determined by relying on one or another external force, which provides the Lebanese party with the main resources (material, political, etc.) for its activities inside Lebanon. In particular, for the Future Movement, such a force is primarily Saudi Arabia, for Hezbollah - Iran and Syria.

In some cases, the factors of choosing a political camp are opportunistic considerations (rather than ideology) and the problem of leadership. Thus, the doctrine of the Free Patriotic Movement is much closer to the pro-Western principles of "March 14" (one can note the almost complete similarity of the ideological platforms of the LDS and LS, with the exception of the attitude towards Syria). It was General Aoun's ambitions that led the party to move to the pro-Syrian camp. However, the change in the alliance did not significantly change the political and ideological orientation of the SPD.

Third, despite the confessional basis of political parties, they cannot be considered religious. None of the considered movements includes in their ideology theses related to religion in one way or another. Even Hezbollah (unlike the Sunni Islamist parties that call for the creation of an Islamic state and strict observance of the spirit and letter of the Koran) refused to implement the idea of an Islamic republic in Lebanon. The Party of God is primarily a political movement, not a religious one. Religion serves as a marker for all four political parties, defining the boundaries of "their" social base. Relying on the objective factor of confessional origin, parties politicize religion in order to strengthen the loyalty of people from their community.

Fourth, all four parties recognize confessionalism

page 26

especially in the political sphere, as a factor that hinders the development of Lebanon and prevents the creation of a unified Lebanese nation. They are unanimous in their support for its abolition and for building a civil society with equal rights and responsibilities for all Lebanese. At the same time, the parties considered have a fairly clear regional and confessional basis - they are popular in certain regions among representatives of a particular community. At the same time, a significant role in party life belongs to the leader or family clan (for example, the Aoun, the Jajah and Hariri families), which act as symbols with which the movements are associated.

In addition, communities are concerned about the weakening of their positions in Lebanese society in favor of other faiths (primarily Shiites). Such fears (which increase in inverse proportion to the size of the community) determine the interest of people from these communities in maintaining political confessionalism, which implies quotas for representation in government structures and, consequently, guarantees of a stable position of the community. This relationship is one of the factors of loyalty of Lebanese voters to political parties and politicians from "their" community, who, guided by the expectations and fears of their religious electorate, defend their interests. An insoluble contradiction of the Lebanese political system is the widespread understanding of the need to reform political confessionalism and attempts to preserve it in order to maintain stability.

Finally, it should be noted that the Lebanese parties are not parties in the classical sense of the term, as a group of individuals claiming power, united around a clear ideology and unambiguously formulated goals. Based on doctrines, parties also cannot be clearly classified by the "right" / "left" dichotomy. They were created not on the basis of ideological attitudes, but were formed around the leader (or several leaders) of a particular religious community in order to protect mainly its interests within the existing multi-confessional political system.


1 Currently, the Jewish Arabized community of Lebanon (according to some estimates, less than 1 thousand people) it has neither weight nor influence in the country. In 1958, there were about 15,000 Jews in Lebanon. As a result of the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the presence of Jews in Lebanon became almost impossible, which forced representatives of the Jewish community to emigrate, mainly to Israel, Europe, and North America.

2 The March 14 Coalition of pro-Western or anti-Syrian forces, led by S. Hariri, became known as the majority after winning the 2005 parliamentary elections. In the 2009 elections, the March 14 bloc won 71 out of 128 seats in the Legislative Assembly, retaining the majority of seats in Parliament.

3 The assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister R. Hariri on February 14, 2005, was a catalyst for a massive popular protest against the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon and Syria's direct interference in Lebanon's internal affairs. Exactly one month after Hariri's assassination, on March 14, 2005, a massive anti-Syrian demonstration took place in Beirut's central Sahat Shuhada Square (Martyrs ' Square) (according to some estimates, it was attended by more than 1 million people, i.e. about 1/4 of the Lebanese population), during which accusations were made that the Assad regime was directly involved in the killings of Lebanese civilians. public and political figures, including R. Hariri. The anti-Syrian movement was called the Cedar Revolution, and the association of anti-Syrian forces-the Alliance (or block) "March 14".

4 In the tense domestic political situation following the assassination of R. Hariri and growing suspicions about the responsibility of Damascus for a series of political assassinations that took place in Lebanon, Lebanese pro-Syrian political movements led by Hezbollah held a mass demonstration in support of Syria on March 8, 2005. The pro-Syrian coalition of political forces was called the March 8 Alliance (or bloc).

5 The constitutional changes introduced after the end of the Lebanese civil war and the signing of the Taif Accords in 1989 marked the beginning of the Second Republic. The program document entitled "Towards the Third Republic" is published on the official website of the SPD - http://www.tayyar.org/Tayyar/temp/electoral09_FR.pdf

6 See the LDS Charter - http://www.tayyar.org/Tayyar/FPMParty/CharterNLogo/Charter.htm

7 Positions du GØnØral Aoun et du CPL sur les sujets dDactualit0s, 31.03.2009 (Position of General Aoun and the SPD on topical issues of the modern agenda). See the website of the Belgian branch of the Movement - http://mplbelgique.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/ positions-du-general-aoun-et-du-cpl-sur-les-sujets-dactualites/

8 Aoun's statements are quoted from: Agnes Rotivel. Michel Aoun visite la Syrie "la tete bien haute"// La Croix, 3.12.2008 - http://www.la-croix.com/article/index.jsp?docld=2358383&rubld=4077

9 Auna's interview is available on the SPD website - http://mplbel-gique.wordpress.com/2009/03/29/micheI-aoun-president-du-premier-groupe-chreti en-au-parlement-libanais/

10 Aoun's statement is quoted from: Aoun Credits Iran with 'Helping Lebanon Achieve National Unity'. The Daily Star, 14.10.2008 - http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp7edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id-967S3

11 Programme politique de la RØsistamee libanaise (Political Program of the Lebanese Resistance) - http://mplbelgique.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/programme-politique-de-la-resistance-libanaise-h ezbollah/

12 Nasrallah: Entre la guerre et la reddition, il existe une troisiØme voie, la resistance (Nasrallah: between war and surrender there is a third way - resistance) / / L'Orient le Jour, 19.09.2009-http://www.lorientlejour.com/category/Liban/article/631852/Nasrallah+%3A_Entre_la_guerre_ et_la_reddition%2C_il_existe_une_troisieme_voie%2C_la_resistance.html

Denis Sieffert. 13 Exclusif: entretien avec le responsable international du Hezbollah (Interview with the" Foreign Minister "of Hezbollah) / / Politis, 16.11.2007 - http://www.politis.fr/Exclusif-entretien-avec-le.2363.html

14 In April 2005, X.Nasrallah addressed French President Jacques Chirac with an open letter, which was called "Letter to a French friend" - http://www.voltairenet.org/articlel42591.html#article142591; http://politiquearabedelafrance.blogspot.com/2005/04/la-lettre-de-nasrallah-son-ami-franais.html

15 Nasrallah: Entre la guerre et la reddition.

Nasrallah H. 16 Letter to a French friend...

17 Document d'Entente Mutuelle entre le Hezbollah et le Courant patriotique libre (Agreement of Understanding between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement) - http://www.vol-tairenet.org/article 143313.html

18 Interview s. Джаджа телеканалу "Аль-арабийя" 19.07.2006 -http://www.recherches-sur-le-terrorisme.com/Documentsterrorisme/geagea-israel-attaque.html

19 The official position of the Lebanese Forces can be found on the party's website - http://www.lebaneseforces.com/about.asp

20 http://www.georgescorrn.com/personal/download.php9file-905.pdf

21 Arabian business, UAE, 06.09.2009 - http://www.arabian business.com/saudi-rich-list/list?clr=Array&sort=rank. Saad's brother Ayman Hariri is ranked 22nd on the list, with a net worth of $ 2.4 billion. The eldest of the Hariri - Baha'i brothers is estimated to be worth $ 2.3 billion, and he is ranked 24th on the list of the richest Saudis.


© libmonster.com

Permanent link to this publication:

https://libmonster.com/m/articles/view/LEBANESE-INTERNAL-POLITICAL-CONFLICT-PROGRAMS-OF-OPPONENTS

Similar publications: LUnited States LWorld Y G


Publisher:

Peter NielsenContacts and other materials (articles, photo, files etc)

Author's official page at Libmonster: https://libmonster.com/Nielsen

Find other author's materials at: Libmonster (all the World)GoogleYandex

Permanent link for scientific papers (for citations):

I. M. MOKHOVA, LEBANESE INTERNAL POLITICAL CONFLICT: PROGRAMS OF OPPONENTS // New-York: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 14.08.2023. URL: https://libmonster.com/m/articles/view/LEBANESE-INTERNAL-POLITICAL-CONFLICT-PROGRAMS-OF-OPPONENTS (date of access: 23.05.2024).

Found source (search robot):


Publication author(s) - I. M. MOKHOVA:

I. M. MOKHOVA → other publications, search: Libmonster USALibmonster WorldGoogleYandex

Comments:



Reviews of professional authors
Order by: 
Per page: 
 
  • There are no comments yet
Related topics
Publisher
Peter Nielsen
New-York, United States
235 views rating
14.08.2023 (283 days ago)
0 subscribers
Rating
0 votes
Related Articles
A HEAVENLY TREAT WITH A CHINESE TWIST
Catalog: Science 
7 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
MIGRATION TRANSFORMING CHINA
Catalog: Sociology 
19 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
China. KARAOKE EDUCATION
Catalog: Pedagogics 
37 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
QUOTATIONS FROM THE EIGHT BOOKS IN THE EARLY RUSSIAN CHRONICLES, OR HOW THE MEANING OF HISTORICAL MESSAGES CHANGES
Catalog: History 
59 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
ISRAEL-TURKEY: A CONTROVERSIAL PARTNERSHIP
Catalog: Political science 
63 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
WORLD POLITICS IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBALIZATION
Catalog: Political science 
64 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
CHANDRIKA - "MOONLIGHT" OVER SRI LANKA
Catalog: Political science 
66 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
SUMMARY
Catalog: Pedagogics 
76 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA
Catalog: Ecology 
78 days ago · From Peter Nielsen
A NEW STAGE IN THE PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFRONTATION
Catalog: Military science 
79 days ago · From Peter Nielsen

New publications:

Popular with readers:

News from other countries:

LIBMONSTER.COM - U.S. Digital Library

Create your author's collection of articles, books, author's works, biographies, photographic documents, files. Save forever your author's legacy in digital form. Click here to register as an author.
Library Partners

LEBANESE INTERNAL POLITICAL CONFLICT: PROGRAMS OF OPPONENTS
 

Editorial Contacts
Chat for Authors: U.S. LIVE: We are in social networks:

About · News · For Advertisers

U.S. Digital Library ® All rights reserved.
2014-2024, LIBMONSTER.COM is a part of Libmonster, international library network (open map)
Keeping the heritage of the United States of America


LIBMONSTER NETWORK ONE WORLD - ONE LIBRARY

US-Great Britain Sweden Serbia
Russia Belarus Ukraine Kazakhstan Moldova Tajikistan Estonia Russia-2 Belarus-2

Create and store your author's collection at Libmonster: articles, books, studies. Libmonster will spread your heritage all over the world (through a network of affiliates, partner libraries, search engines, social networks). You will be able to share a link to your profile with colleagues, students, readers and other interested parties, in order to acquaint them with your copyright heritage. Once you register, you have more than 100 tools at your disposal to build your own author collection. It's free: it was, it is, and it always will be.

Download app for Android