As the war ended on Lebanon 2006, or shall we say, temprarily suspended till another round of offensiveness take place, a lot of updates took place on the arena. I wanted to write a small article, but as I started to write, it ended as a huge piece. Keep in mind that this is only introductory to the details that reflected the current situation. I hope Yossi Shwartz reads this post. I will start with introducing briefly the Zionist side as splits were fewer compared to Lebanon. This is dedicated to the fallen proletariat and the activists for the refugee relief activism: yours truely MFL.
Israel bombed Lebanon in a war that ended with over 1000 Lebanese civilians dead, although Peretz proudly says that the IDF killed over 510 Hezbollah, totally contradictory if you ask me with the death tolls, and civilians been buried.
Now, I will not repeat how Israel did not attack for the sake of the two soldiers, and how USA gave Israel unlimited time to try to get the job of "fighting terror" on the expense of the Proletariat.
For starters, let us start analyzing the ruling classes in the Middle East in general, and Lebanon & Israel in specific.
Israel definitely was non-existent prior to 1948. The closest thing it came to existance as a state was around 2 milleniums ago, and it existed for 80 years till it was crushed by the Roman Empire, which increased the Diaspora. The Jews were treated as a minority, in the 16th century, for two reasons: 1) For facing Sectarianism specially the Jews refuted to abandon parts of their practices as well as belonging to the religion that crucified Christ, and 2) for emerging in general as a class involved in craftship while Europe was involved in imperial wars.
In the 17th and 18th century, two trends of Jewish currents exploded head to head with each other. The ones demanding themselves as a sect belonging into the nation, and be part of the interactive community (French Jews, Polish Jews, German Jews...erc), and those who stressed themselves as isolationists, and refuted to belong to the community they lived in for centuries. The banner that the latter carried paved way for Zionism, whose thesis was the acquisition of a nation 100% Jewish because Jews will always be oppressed. The baseline for that thesis is based on race. The Jewish culture always believed that a son can become a born Jew if the Mother is Jew. From this persective, Judaism practiced is no longer a faith in the metaphysics, but as Race who have their own religion, language, and culture. Hence, such a perspective is racist. Israel till now gives the citizenship in defecto to any person whose mother is a Jew.
Even though the Isolationists were cornered in the 19th Century with the rise of Socialism in general, and Marxism in specific, the Internationalists cornered the Isolationists. Marx himself is supposed to come from a Jewish family that became Christian due to political reasons. In his article: "On the Jewish Question", he clearly argues that the isolationist jews are crazy for demanding recognition from the "Christian" Europe, since they themselves are not willing to accept the other. When Zionism was founded, its toughest opponents were the Marxists from one side, and the Bund (Jewish Socialist Party) from the other.
Plenty of the leaders within the first and second International were Jews, the most popular were Rosa Luxemburg, Isaac Deutch, Clara Zatkin, Axl Rod, Carl Kautsky, Julius Martov, and plenty others were rising stars Marxist pioneers and all Jews.
Nevertheless the Zionists gained the advantage in the Western Part of Europe by forming the World Zionist Organization, and integrated themselves with the bourgeoisie in power. Even though non-Zionist Jews were much more in number; nevertheless the goal is to establish a nation for the Jews. The Left-Wing dominated the masses, while the Zionists approached the top officials. It is funny that the top figure of the Zionists in 1919 was assuring Lord Balfour in a meeting in Paris, that Lenin is not a Jew nor his mother.
With the pressure on the British Mandate, or so assumed since there are theories that Britain pledged the Balfour Declaration in 1917 to have the allegiance of a minority in the middle of an Arab nation in order to protect both flanks of the Suez Canal. At that time, the Jews were barely 7 % of the population of Palestine, and the Jews were living in harmony with the Muslims and Christians.
By 1939, it was clear for the Yishuv community, headed by Ben Gurion, that the acquisition of a Jewish Palestine is possible. When Britian's size shrank in size, and the British currency can no longer hold the world on its shoulders, the Zionists switched alliances to the United States in 1944. Since then, the relationship between Zionist Israel and the United States has been solid and firm.
In 1948, Israel was created, even though the Jews were not even the majority in the Jewish side of Palestine as a result of the UN partition, and Israel was recognized by all the super powers. The bourgeoisie of the Zionists were the rulers of Israel, and ever since racism between the Arabs and the Jews escalated as a result of the colonialization of the Palestine and the exodus of the Palestinians. The Zionists' clearest advantage on the Arabs till this day was its organization. It is forged in the 19th century of European Colonialism and labor Union style.
The Zionists, even though they preached safety to non-Jews in Israel, they never stuck to their word. In the end, what is required, is a Jewish nation, according to the Zionists. The base of such a nation is racism. They do not wish to have peace with their neighboring Arabs, but always offered tempting officials to the Arab ruling class to gain stability on their own grounds. Sami Hadawi's Bitter Harvest clearly reflects the atrocities and horrors from all dimensions committed by the Zionists.
To the Israelis, one goal is needed, and that is the imposing of Peace Treaties on the Arab degenerated regimes in order to focus on their own instable grounds. Till this very day, they promote Israel as the land of the Jews and give green light to all Jews who want to return "Home", who those probably have not been there since the Roman expulsion 2000 years ago.
The Zionists desperately need peace. They already assisted the King Hussein of Jordan during the Palestinian rebellion. They sent the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Syrian tanks, specially when then the official responsible for the Syrian Air force, Hafiz el-Assad, refuted to provide cover for the Syrian tanks entering Jordanian soils to assist the Palestinians. They attempted to impose peace on Lebanon during 1982 by forming a coalion with the Christian bourgeoisie of Lebanon and wanted their own man, the General of the South Lebanese Army, in the ministry of Defence or Head of the Lebanese army. Prior to the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Egypt signed the peace treaty, and later Jordan followed.
All the peace treaties and relations with the Arab regimes that were attained was due to the assistence of the United States administration to Israeli elites. The Israelis always followed the "pre-emptive" war strategy after the Arab-Israeli war of the 1970s, and things were working great to the Israeli bourgeoisie, who remained Zionists and racists.
Lebanon's case is much more complicated. Like Israel, it is a modern nation carved out in 1920 by the French Imperialists to protect their own minority bourgoeisie, the Maronite leaders. Lebanon, emerged prior to that from a clash struggle between the Druze and Maronite leaders during the reign of the Turks.
The Maronite bourgeoisie gained the upper hand on Mt. Lebanon, which existed as an autonomies state during the Ottoman empire. The Christians, out of the Turkish attrocities, decided to flee since the 19th century. During most of the reign of the Ottomans, it was the Druz sect that dominated power. Due to the immigrations of Christians to Europe, North and South America, the Christian Maronite sect gained the upper hand as they returned from immigration and gained modern type of organization, while the Durzi power simply remained the same and degenerated as Christians gained more power due to in-flowing capital, and better organizated infrastructure. By 1920, the "greater" Lebanon was carved out of Syria, and a new competition began between the Maronites and and the Sunna Sect. While Mt. Lebanon was seperated out of its surrounding, once this new border was created, the clash of the bourgoeisie leaders of the sects began.
According to Dr el-Khazen, the Maronites and the Sunnite bourgeoisie leaders was the clash. Even though it was the Maronites who first demanded Arab Nationalism during the reign of the Turks, but once their entity is threatened, they hailed a new type of Nationalism, the Lebanese Nationalism. On the other hand, the Sunnites were denied to be part of Syria which is supposed to be a Sunni dominated Nation and the year before a short-lived Kingdom for the Saudi prince "Prince Faysal" who was a Sunni prince. Arab Nationalism and Lebanese Nationalism competed politically between the bourgeoisie leaders, while the Druz remained stagnat and the Shiite Sect existed in the peripheral, with no leadership whatsoever and clanship style of organization. There was no single bourgoeisie to unify those clanships back in the 1920s.
During the French Mandate, the Sunni Bourgoeisie and the Maronite remaining competing. The druz remainein a disentigrated feudal system while the Shiite remained scattered with few bourgeoisie in alliance to the stronger sects. Lebanon was practically neutral on the political and economical level, while the French mandate accelerated Lebanon's evolution towards a European style of politics. Labor Unions were already being formed in terms of activisms by Yaskik and Njaim in the standard Socialist manners during the Ottoman Empire.
Competition and rivalry remained between the two sects till World War II erupted. The defeat of the France in the face of the Nazi Forces caused France to lose control over its long distant colonies. Lebanon can qualify as that. At first, the Vichies (Nazi sided French) were the dominant authority, La Resistance kicked them out; however, with British supremecy and full control over three neighbouring nations, since the end of World War I, which are Iraq, the newly carved out Jordan, and Palestine, they pressured the French to give the Lebanese and Syrians their independance.
The legendary heroics of the people are remarkable as University Students demonstarted against the French Mandate in 1943, but the French could not take off any deal with the Lebanese bourgeoisie. The Lebanese bourgoeisie aware of gaining their political freedom from the French and the French's weakness due to WWII, they decided to unify their slogans. The slogans that were merged to suit the Sunnite and Maronite ideologies was as follows: Lebanese Nationalism with an Arab dimension. Once the independance got terminated a new level of bourgeoisie clashes would occur.
By the 1950s, the Druze re-emerged into the arena under a new banner, which is socialism. The newly formed Party The Socialist Progressive Party was an upgradal of the Druze sect from classical feudalism to quasi socialist-feudalist infrastrucure. The Party members were organized in a Soviet manner, while its head was a feudal character with Socialist beliefs. That leader's name is Kamal Junblatt, and his role became of wha Marx labeled in the Communist Manifesto as Feudal Socialist. He was a thinker on his own, and implemented partially plenty of socialist ideas, but in the end that character maintened a religious dimension over his ideological goals. This organization restored the Druze sect into the political arena as the PSP became more organized. Even though the party was supposed to be secular and had non-Druze members, and it was in alliance with the Lebanese Communist Party, the bulk remain Durzi in nature.
Two incidents occured in the fifties where the ever rising competition increased between the Maronite and Sunni, but the Sectarian Electoral System* contained those incidents. The PSP and Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) adopted the support of the latter since they were Arab Nationalists and demanded the liberation of Palestine. Actually the left since the early 1930s fully adopted Arab Nationalism in disagreement with the Soviet International by then fully dominated by Stalin. The camps were seperated again between the bourgoeisie. One camp demanded Lebanese nationalism, which was the spearheaded by the Maronite party al-Ahrar, and their then allies the Syrian Social Nationalist Party **,while from the other side the Sunni were the leaders of Arab Nationalism and the Arab Cause for the restoration of Palestine, but the Sunni lacked any party organization but the Druz and their allies the Communists were fully organized to take the street organization against them.
The 1960s witnessed the Arab Nationalist elites gaining grounds on the Lebanese Nationalists. At first, it was Jamal Abdul Nasser's "Victory" over Israel, France and Great Britain that in the 1950s crisis that paved popularity towards his supporters in the 1960s, in specific Lebanon and Syria. The ideas of Abdul Nasser were a unified powerful Arab Nation against Europe and US's colonialist ideas and the only solution to liberate Palestine from the Israeli nightmare. His ideas reflected on a sectarian level, and issue escalated in Lebanon due to the Unity between Syria and Egypt.
The first to suffer from the rise of Nasserism were the Communists in Lebanon and Syria. He butchered in them as the Communists even though believed in Arab Nationalism on Lebanese scale, but were trapped within the Ideological level as Internationalists. The Arab Nationalist Communists believed in an a Socialist Unified State where all Arab States merge as a mirror and reflection to the Soviet Union. Actually, the Stalinists believed it to be a continuaty of the stalinist Soviet Union. The leader of the LCP was taken to Damascus and later discovered to be killed the worse death ever, through Acid.
The Christians in Lebanon feeling their soverneignty threatened again, leaned more to Europe and the United States (as did in 1958 during Chamoun's era when the US army entered Port Beirut's harbor. Interests were threated and other interests were aroused. Again, the people were divided to serve the elites and traditional leaders). The Christians also felt more threatened as Urbanization made it to the Shiite Sect and Beirut became also a meeting point for the Proletariat belonging to that Sect,which gave the Shiite Leader el-Sadre better management as they began to be organized indirectly in a city-life groups.
Palestinian Liberation Organization grew popular in Lebanon among the Arab Nationalists, as refugee camps were mistreated and neglected ever since the expelled Palestinians (lower class) lived a miserable life in the Camps of Lebanon with no rights whatsoever. The Camps became training grounds for the PLO.
In the 1960s also, the Shiites finally started to unify under the Leadership of el Imam Moussa el Sadre. All governmental budgets were not directed towards the Shiite concentrated areas. In 1970, only 0.7% of the government budget was allocated to the extensive Shiite South. By the late 1970s, Imam el Sadre became the sole representative of the Shiite masses, and specially after his mysterious disappearance.
When the expelled Palestinians from Jordan arrived to Lebanon, the Sectarian balance of power was broken. Left-wing style of Lebanese Arab Nationalism rose, and became more intensified as the war with of el-Sadat ended with a peace treaty with Israel... the first country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1977. Prior to that, Christian bourgeoisie and Syrians had a common goal, the rise of Arab Nationalism which was spearheaded by the PLO and Arafat in specific. Actually, with time, the Palestinians were no longer regarded as part of a foreign policy, they became part of the Lebanese Sunni and Leftist block in the name of Arab Nationalism. The Maronites elites viewed them as foreigners, and Syria's top figure: Hafez al-Assad did not like that at all, specially he kept regarding Lebanon as part of Syria. To go in details regarding that issue, al-Assad when he was the official head of the Syrian Air Force, he refuted to send the Syrian Tanks to assist PLo's revolution in Jordan, and the Syrian tanks were sitting ducks to Israeli Air Planes.
An indirect agreement rose between al-Assad and his Cabinet, the Maronites, and Israel. The goal is to crush the Palestinian growing influence in Lebanon. Israel already recieved Bashir Gemayel (the son of Pierre Gemayel who was the leader of the Phalangist Party) and his brother Amin Gemayel used to meet with the Syrians.
As the Civil War broke, and it needed any excuse to explode, the Syrians entered Lebanon, while Israel later would enter South Lebanon to do operation Litani to clear its borders from Palestinian PLO, and was saluted as well by the Amal Movement (Imam el Sadre's movement which was the first movement organized in a sectarian manner specially that movement grew popular on the hypothesis that every time the Palestinians did a military operation, it was the Shiites who suffered).
The National Movement composed from the Druze, Syrian Nationalists, Communists, and PLO started to dominate, AMAL shifted alliances as Syria entered Lebanon to assist the Maronite elites: basically the al-Ahrar and Phalangists. This war brought nothing but the division of the Proletariat as the leaders fought for their own interests. From the 1978 till 1983, the AMAL movement indirectly supported the Phalangists and the military section of the Chrisitians spear headed by Bashir Gemayil. After Cairo and Tel- Aviv officially signed the agreement, Syria formulated the Rejectionist front and switched sides with exactly the ones it was trying to put out of business.
As Israel did its 1982 invasion due to the success of young Bashir Gemayil's success to involve them against the Syrians in the Missile Crisis of Zahli, the Israeli aimed to establish another Arab peace treaty on its border. While the maronite perspective is to restore its undisputed over whole sovereign Lebanon, the Israelis aimed for a muppet government to ease another "hot border".
Things took a different turn, and the Shiites became the spearhead to shoot the deal between the Israelis and the Amin Gemayel government, which was prepared by Philip Habib. It is worthy to notice that when the Multi-National Forces headed by the US were sent to Lebanon, the US army and Israel more than once almost shot each other as Israeli vulgarity stunned the US marines.
By the end of the 1984, Palestinians were out of the Political game, while the masses mostly women and children were massacred in the Sabra-Shatila camps. Alliances changed where in the end Iraq intervened (supported General Aoun), sects fought with eac other such as the maronite leaders Elie Hobaika (Syrian Supported) and Samir Jaajaa, Amal and the newly emereged Hezbollah got the upper hand.
By 1990, United States sold out Lebanon to Syria in return Syria supports USA in Iraq against Saddam, and the Taef accord was implemented and accepted by all except Aoun. The muppet government which was supposed to be Israeli in 1983 ended up to be Syrian in 1991. Hezbollah remained the sole carriers of weaponry, while the Maronites' leader Samir Jaajaa was locked up in Prison till 2005.
Those details will be covered in details.
* The Sectarian Electoral System was established by the French, even though a certain Michel Sheha tried to establish a sectarian system. This system goes as follows: each region in Lebanon undergoes elections, and the number of chairs reflects according to the size of the Sect. This means a Greek Orthodox can vote for the nominees available in his/her region despite the sect. Yet, if a Sunni gets 100,000 votes while a Greek Orthodox gets 50,000 votes and the head against his Greek Orthodox nominees, that candidate wins while the Sunni with 100,000 votes if not first may lose elections if he/she are not on the top or according to the number of chairs available in that region. This tool was perfect to seek re-conciliation between the various bourgeoisie rather be representative of the working class.
** The Syrian Social Nationalist Party was founded by a certain Antoun Saadi, this party demanded the unification of the "Nation" which meant Lebanon, Syria, Palestine (before Israeli colonialism) and Jordan; later Cyprus and Iraq were added to the Nation. Their arguement that this nation is geographically a single nation and historically as the people interacted with each other. The party in general was fascistic in nature, and maintained an anti-semite perspective towards the Jews, till recently some leaders started adopting seperation between the Jews and Zionists since charachters like Noam Chomsky and Tony Cliff showed popularity in Lebanon. This party is Nationalist to the Nation which calls for Souria (greater Syria), it is secular on a Lebanese scale, but anti-semite on an international scale still.