Regionalization of the Lebanese Internal Struggle

The increasing involvement of international actors in the internal Lebanese political struggle may have strategic ramifications for Israel in a number of aspects.
In Nasrallah's first television interview since the "divine victory rally", he painted Hizbullah's main political opponent, the March 14 coalition, as a US collaborator.

Earlier, US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton accused Syria and Iran of trying to destabilize Lebanon's government by violating the arms embargo and by possibly assassinating more Lebanese leaders.

At the same time, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, a Proxy of Syria, is trying to block the international court which will rule on Syria's complicity in Rafik Hariri's murder.

By involving themselves in the Lebanese factional struggle, international actors are preventing compromise and encouraging tension.

The Reut Institute identifies a number of topics that are systemically connected to the internal debate in Lebanon which have strategic ramifications for Israel:

  • Address and Border Regime - The attempt by external forces to influence in their favor the outcome of the struggle over the future Lebanese government. This limits the flexibility of the internal Lebanese actors and the prospects for a strong, coherent Address in Lebanon. In turn, this negatively affects Israel's ability to establish a stable and secure Border Regime with Lebanon.

  • International Involvement - Iran and Syria are hampering full implementation of UNSCR 1701, which is intended to guarantee Israel's security concerns regarding the armament of Hizbullah in southern Lebanon. This undermines the ability of international involvement of UNIFIL to satisfy Israeli security requirements.

  • Battle for Regional Supremacy - Lebanon serves as another playing field for the larger regional struggle between the regional struggle between "moderate" Arab axis led by Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and fundamental Islamist arc led by Iran. This conflict holds ramifications for Israel's strategic interests in the region, including the future of its alliances with Jordan and Egypt and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sources

  • Abdallah Iskandar, al-Hayat (10/31/06).
  • Michael Slackman, New York Times (11/01/06). Full article.
  • Associated Press, International Herald Tribune (10/30/06). Full article.
  • Associated Press, International Herald Tribune (10/31/06). Full article.