HEZBOLLAH’s ACTIVITIES AND OBJECTIVES
Hezbollah poses a security and foreign policy dilemma for the German federal government. On the one hand, the group--which depends on Iran--plays a political and social role and was until the elections in June this year a participant in the Lebanese government. On the other hand, the “Party of God” is responsible for terrorist attacks and assassinations in Germany, France, Argentina and Great Britain that have claimed at least 130 civilian lives.12 In the 1990s, it took almost 100 Westerners hostage, including German citizens.
Ten hostages lost their lives; others were held for more than five years. It also maintains a guerrilla army, seeks the destruction of Israel, radicalises Muslims in Europe through its AlManar television station and supports the Palestinian Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both of which have been classified as terrorist organisations by the EU.
In ideological and religious matters, the “Party of God” follows Iran’s Spiritual Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and considers Israel and the USA its main enemies. Its short-term goal is to drive all Israeli troops out of Lebanon.
Israel, in the early 1980s, was repeatedly attacked by Palestinian terror organisations operating out of Lebanon. The Israeli army occupied southern Lebanon and established a security zone, finally withdrawing in 2000. Hezbollah argues that Israel still occupies the Shebaa Farms as well as seven villages that are claimed by Lebanon despite being in Israel.
Its medium and long-term goals include the “liberation of Jerusalem”, which, according to Hezbollah's own statements, means the destruction of what it calls the “Zionist entity”. In addition, a “just” state is to be established in Lebanon. By this it means an Islamist theocracy based on the Iranian model. Moreover, an endeavour is made to cleanse the Islamic world of its un-Islamic Western influences. The “Party of God” goes about this in a very pragmatic way and, in addition to military and terrorist means, uses Lebanon's political structures for its purposes.
Hezbollah also runs hospitals, to which only women with headscarves have access, and schools in which, in addition to mathematics and Arabic, a radical interpretation of the Koran is taught. 6
Published on Aug 13, 2009