Nasrallah Demands Real Representation in Lebanon

Nasrallah's demand of reforming the electoral system in Lebanon raises questions regarding the ability to implement UN Resolution 1701 and to build an effective Lebanese "Address".
Hizbullah Chairman Hassan Nasrallah stated in his speech last week that Hizbullah demands a reform in the Lebanese electoral system: "We need a fair electoral law... so that everyone will feel as if they have real representation."

This statement may indicate the emergence of a new trend in Lebanon.

In the past, Hizbullah primarily focused on issues regarding the war against Israel and issues deriving from the struggle, such as the Shebaa Farms, the release of Lebanese prisoners, and Israel's use of the Lebanese airspace. It seems that in the aftermath of the war in Lebanon, the organization's focus has shifted to criticizing Lebanon's controversial political system based on ethnic representation.

The ethnic political system in Lebanon has been the main cause of domestic violence over the years. Thus, Nasrallah's rising criticism may have implications on the stability of the Lebanese state and therefore also on the stability of the border regime between Israel and Lebanon based on UN Resolution 1701.

This raises the question whether the UN peacekeeping forces deployed according to Resolution 1701 will be able to build an effective Lebanese "Address".


Benn and Stern, Ha'aretz, 9/25/06; full text (in Hebrew).