Is Hizbullah Repositioning Itself?

By delegating the Lebanese government the authority to negotiate with the Israeli government, Hizbullah is attempting to reposition itself as a legitimate force within Lebanon

The Speaker of the Lebanese National Assembly Nabih Berri said that Hizbullah has agreed that the Lebanese government would conduct negotiations on the kidnapped soldiers on its behalf.

Criticism on Hizbullah "irresponsible" policy vis-à-vis Israel has intensified following the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers.

Hizbullah "franchise" to the Lebanese government to negotiate with Israel is aimed to regain legitimacy within the Lebanese arena. In other words, the involvement of the Lebanese government may reposition Hizbullah as a legitimate political force within the Lebanese government, and create a national consent and unity behind the current war.

Hizbullah's quest to increase its internal legitimacy could present a significant challenge for the Israeli government, as Israel will have to decide whether to negotiate with the Lebanese government and thus reinforce Hizbullah, or reject negotiations and thus risk in undermining the international support.

Sources

  • Nada Bakri and Mohammed Zaatari, The Daily Star, 24/07/06, Full text.
  • Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz, 17/07/06, Full text.
  • Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz, 21/07/06, Full text.
  • Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz, 24/07/06, Full text.