Hezbollah, or the “ Party of God” or the “Islamic Resistance” or the “Organization of the Oppressed on Earth” or the “Revolutionary Justice Organization” or a couple other “inspiring and motivational” terms, is a Shi’a Islamic political and militant party located in Lebanon. Their main objectives are to fight against and “liberate” the land and country of Israel as well as resisting westernization in all forms. This group has been active for close to 40 years building a reputation of terror and extremism that is more than just a front. They have developed a formidable fighting force with an arsenal that would raise alarm with any potential enemy. To say the least, this is not just another Middle Eastern extremist group with a few fighters and a couple AKs rolling around on the back of Toyota pickup trucks. But where did this all start and what was going on regionally to spark the fire?
There were two main catalysts for the formation of Hezbollah. The first being the Israeli invasion of 1982 or the “First Lebanon War”, which would set the mood for anti-Israeli attitudes and hatred beyond just the already present Palestinian resistance groups. After a period consisting of countless attacks and counter-attacks between the IDF and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, also known as the PLO, Israel decided enough was enough. It is also important to note that the final straw, whether it was justified or not, was the attempted assassination of Israeli’ then ambassador to the UK, Shlomo Argov. Once the IDF invaded and then realized their initial goals were most likely unattainable, they signed an agreement to withdraw from Beirut but continued to have a presence in Southern Lebanon to protect their northern border. The next 15 years consisted of consistent back and forth conflict between the IDF and Hezbollah led Lebanese Muslim resistance forces.
Catalyst number two: The Iranian Revolution of 1979. This was a very TURBULENT time in the region and it affected Lebanon in a critical way. Basically, you had the Shah (Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi), ruling the country autocratically in a way that a significant portion of the population, especially the young and motivated for change part, did not at all agree with. He had a complete disregard for the Muslim religion, the countries poverty rate was continuing to rise, and the government just had routinely poor leadership. So in 1979 this pot finally came to boil when the Shah was chased out of the country and Ayatollah Khomeini came to take power spreading the ideology of the Iranian Revolution. This achievement, all branded under the power of Islam, lit a fire in many Middle Eastern countries, causing several separate Islamic insurgencies. And of course, Lebanon was one of the prime examples of this. All the young Islamic students and leaders began to organize under the banner of Islam to create a movement within Lebanon. Iran sent fighters to participate and help build this movement into a real asset they could control moving forward, and that would help push their agenda of Islamic domination in the Middle East and the world. And so in this movement, Hezbollah was born.
Hezbollah Hezbollah Hezbollah. Nasrallah Nasrallah Nasrallah. What it this all really about? Stated in their official doctrine, it’s about a radical Muslim group intent on destroying Israel as a Jewish state with the overarching goal of establishing Muslim rule there. It’s about the Iranians using Hezbollah as a proxy to strike at both the Israelis, and within that the Jewish community, along with a way to fight back against the U.S. as a symbol of Westernization. This group is complicated, adaptable, funded, and trained to be a real problem when it decides to unleash itself. The world can’t ignore them and we have to be united in a front against them.