The Lesson of Lebanon

[Commentary] Noah Pollak - The crisis in Lebanon teaches us the same lesson we learned from Hamas when it took Gaza: Islamic supremacist groups such as Hizbullah and Hamas cannot be integrated into states or democratic political systems. For many years an array of pundits has said that Hamas and Hizbullah are social movements that are susceptible to diplomatic engagement. The Hizbullah rampage in Lebanon should make it obvious to any sentient observer that Hizbullah's claims to democratic political legitimacy have always been intended only to manipulate. Participation in politics requires the willingness to compromise and to stand down when you don't get your way. But there is no record of Hamas or Hizbullah ever observing such restrictions: the moment Hizbullah was confronted with political pressure, it responded not within the political sphere, but with warlordism - with an exhibition of violence intended to make clear that Hizbullah is the most powerful force in the country. In the streets of Beirut, Hizbullah is making it abundantly clear that its participation in Lebanese politics ends when it is asked to submit to the state's authority.

2008-05-12 01:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive