web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Mordechai Kedar: The Syrian Crisis Spills Over into Lebanon

A Palestinian woman kisses a poster of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah

Photo Credit: Ahmad Khateib/Flash 90

In the current round of street battles in Tripoli, RPG launchers and machine guns have been used, in addition to personal weapons. Snipers paralyzed the traffic in the streets in the north of the city, and the main route that leads northward to Syria was blocked. The Lebanese army was streaming armored personnel carriers and soldiers into the area, but the Sunni residents of Tripoli fear that the army, like the other branches of the regime, was acting in accordance with the dictates that come down from Damascus. The arrest of a group of Sunnis is perceived as crossing a red line, because the Sunni community is in a very precarious position, since the Shi’ite Hizbollah has become the strongest organization in Lebanon, stronger than even the official army of the state.

By Monday evening the skirmishes had resulted in eight fatalities and about fifty wounded. In the quieter parts of the city, the Sunnis organized a demonstration in support of Al-Mawlawi and his friends who had been arrested. They burned tires, blocked streets and set up protest tents,consistent with the tradition of the “Arab Spring”. The government, headed by Najib al-Mikati and President Michel Suleiman are exerting great effort to calm the situation without causing more fatalities among the population, because Tripoli of today resembles a barrel of gunpowder waiting to explode — and that might ignite all of Lebanon.

The Writing on the Wall

The fragile situation in Lebanon is no surprise, and anyone who understands the internal situation of this country knows that it is living on borrowed time. The state comprises five groups: Christians, Druze, Alawites and Muslims, who are divided into Shi’ites and Sunnis. The constitution, which is supposed to have organized the division of powers between the various groups was written by the French, who established Lebanon as a state for the Christians, principally the Catholic Maronite tribe. Lebanon is a “human experiment”, in which five Middle Eastern groups of humanity were gathered together, a constitution that was contrary to their culture was engineered for them, and it was hoped that the experiment would work. And indeed the arrangement worked for some years, with internal battles every few years, but the demography was stronger than all of the good intentions of the French: Instead of a state for the Maronites, Lebanon became a state for the Shi’ites.

The demographic story is simple: for hundreds of years, even while feudalism still dominated Lebanon, the Shi’ites were marginalized – socially, economically and politically. Because they were generally uneducated, they worked in vocations that were considered lowly, while the Christian elite formed the center of society, the economy and therefore also the political arena. And as in all other places in the world, where the groups that are marginalized have many children, and the elite sectors have fewer, the Shi’ites of Lebanon – who also engage in polygamy, marry at a young age and prohibit “family planning” – fulfilled the biblical passage “They were exceedingly fruitful and the Earth was filled with them.” The Christians on the other hand, froze their demographic growth because of monogamy, marrying – if at all – later in life, and “family planning.”

Because of their European education with the French touch, Christians tended to emigrate, while the Shi’ites, whose educational level is traditionally lower, tended to remain in the land of their birth while developing extensive contacts with Shiite concentrations of southern Iraq and Iran. Lebanon became the first country after the Islamic revolution of 1980 in Iran that the “exporting of the revolution” was implemented – propagandists came from Iraq and Iran to preach to those Shi’ites who had strayed from religion and adopted a secular way of life. Funds poured in to build schools and religious community centers and to support needy families, but the most important things were weapons and military training. These imbued in the Shi’ites witha sense of “Yes, we can!” – that the period of oppression was over for good, and that the future belonged to them. In their view, their militia Hizbollah (“Party of Allah”) emerged as the winner of the long conflicts with Israel, and their jihad justified leaving Hizbollah in possession of their weapons, despite the fact that all of the other Lebanese militias were disbanded after the Ta’if Accord of 1989. Today the Shi’ites use their military success as leverage in the political arena, where they have become the strongest body in Lebanon.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Mordechai Kedar: The Syrian Crisis Spills Over into Lebanon”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest Indepth Stories
Arab children look at pictures of two of a kind - Arafat and Barghouti.

What was the world reaction to a relatively light blockade of Gaza compared to the deliberate killing of Jews and destruction of Israel? A rebuke at the nature of the collective punishment on all of the people in Gaza. Consider the Sayreville, NJ case again. Imagine the football team, school and community participated in all […]

Jordan's King Abdullah

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

The Kinneret/Sea of Galilee

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Bibeye doctor

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Why is “Palestine” worthier of “statehood recognition” than ISIS, another terrorist gang seeking it?

More Articles from Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Dual US-Israeli citizen Steven Sotloff was the second American journalist to be beheaded earlier this summer before ISIS turned its attention to victims from other Western nations.

The Islamic State has started a fashion trend among Middle East jihadists; beheading is rapidly becoming the murder method of choice.

The 5,829 Bedouin women listed as eligible for single mother benefits in the Negev, raising 23,855 children, are actually silent polygamous wives.

To date, all the Bedouins’ legal land ownership claims that reached the courts have failed.

Western countries ignore the rights of Iranians to live in freedom like the citizens of the West.

What is the cause of the Shi’ite-Sunni conflict?

Lately, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch.

This past month several dozens of jihad organizations operating in Syria came to the conclusion that the disagreements among them harm their fighting cause and strengthen Asad.

Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan Speech was not an attempt to emulate Obama by spreading false hope of an agreement with the Iranians.

Israel has not really convinced the world that Iran is a danger.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/mordechai-kedar-the-syrian-crisis-spills-over-into-lebanon/2012/05/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: