Hizbullah's Predicament in Light of Syria's Decline

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Shimon Shapira - Five years after the Second Lebanon War, a war whose results Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah considers a "divine victory," Hizbullah has currently reached one of its lowest points due to the endangered survival of the Assad regime in Syria, as well as the international tribunal that has demanded the extradition of four Hizbullah members suspected of murdering former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Recent signs of Hizbullah's weakened position include the public revelation of an espionage network run by the CIA of people in important positions within the movement; the open sale of alcoholic beverages in Nabatiye, Hizbullah's capital in southern Lebanon; and the attempt by the Lebanese government to appoint a security chief for Beirut International Airport from within the Maronite Christian community, contrary to Hizbullah's wishes. In light of all this, Nasrallah is looking for a new pretext to confront Israel, focusing this time on the gas fields that Israel is developing within its maritime economic zone. Nasrallah believes his threats will distract attention from the decline in Hizbullah's status and the international accusations that it currently faces. Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira is a senior research associate at the Jerusalem Center.

2011-08-01 00:00:00

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