Lebanon How it Originated Conflicts Civil War Term Paper

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Lebanon, How it Originated, Conflicts, Civil War

The conflict between the Arabian world and Israel began after World War II.

Grand Britain had domination over the Middle East zone. Together with the Jews the British government conceived, under economical and political interests, the creation of a Jewish state. In 1948 the Jews were granted a territory inside an Arabian region, dividing Palestine to build Israel. To this decision many Arabian countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan protested keenly.

The state of Israel was born without clearly stated borders, with all the privileges and a very determined military expansion. A year later 700,000 Palestinians had ran away from the country or had been exiled. They took refuge in provisory camps, established by the armistice lines stated by the ONU.

Serious social and psychological problems developed since the refugees were mostly peasants that had lost their land, the base of their existence. The general dissatisfaction of the people contributed to increase the historical antipathy that both religious groups already had towards each other. Among the Palestinian refugees began to appear a national movement whose main objective was to create a national Palestinian state. With this attitude, Israel decided to impose itself with army.

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The conflict between Israel and Palestine inevitably affected the social and political situation of Lebanon and was soon reflected in the internal situation that they already faced with their own ethnical problems.

Term Paper on Lebanon How it Originated Conflicts Civil War Assignment

The Palestinian groups took refuge in Lebanon territory, where, in order to continue their attack against the Israelis, they established their own miniature state, generating new racial tensions. The population of Lebanon that resented the Palestinian presence and endangered the fragile link between the many different communities that inhabited the territory. The Palestinian intervention threatened to destroy the democracy of the country and turn it into the most absolute and intolerant dictatorship of the Arabian world.

Divided between Christians and Muslims and accosted by the Syrians and Israelis, Lebanon has partaken of very little peace since its official birth in 1943, when it became a state with the signing of an agreement between the different communities living there.

At that time they distributed the power according to the demographic density and weight of each group. The most of these were Christians, divided in Greek Orthodox, Maronite, Greek Catholic and other smaller groups. Ironically, the Muslims, divided in Shiite (or Shi'is), Sunnies and others, were, at that time, less in number.

Due to their demographic increase, after a few years, eventually, the Muslims outnumbered the Christians, bringing the rupture of this agreement. The Maronites responded with a violent reaction, refusing to give up their privileges and frictions between both religions became more acute.

The country suffered a continuous degradation process of the interior situation of the country, especially since 1958.

Since 1969 Lebanon's implication in the Israel-Arabian conflict was inevitable, with the presence and action of Palestine since 1967, and after, by the Syrian and Israel interventions in the country. These were two problems that overlapped and acted together. Muslims, nationalists and Arabians, considered as allies the Palestinians, while the Christians and Lebanese nationalists considered them as intruders that did not respect the country's sovereignty and endangered their security in front of Israel.

The interior situation of Lebanon knew a growing degradation since 1969, peace being constantly threatened by the confrontation of the army and the Christians, on one hand, Muslims and Palestinian progressists on the other, as well as Israel's interventions on the south frontier of Lebanon. It was obvious that the moment of rupture was coming and the civil tensions that Lebanon knew since 1971 broke into war in 1975 after a confrontation between Palestinians and members of the Lebanese Phalanx group, led by Pierre Gemayel.

The war confronted two complex coalitions.

On one hand there was the Maronite Christians, whose most powerful organization was the Phalanx. Less in number but more extremist was the Liberal National Party, conducted by Camille Chamoun. To these two groups was added followers of Sleiman Frangie, president of the Republic since 1970, and a number of other groups more or less fanatic.

On the other hand the Palestinians were divided in tree main tendencies: the Palestine Liberal Organization, the member groups of the Rejection Front and the Saika, member organization of the PLO, whose politics were determined by Damascus. The main ally organization of the Palestinians was the Progressist Socialist Party, conducted by Kamal Jumblat leader or the National Movement of Front Parties and Progressist Forces. The latter was joined by the Baasists, the Communist Party, and the Popular Syrian Party.

The PLO was founded during a congress in the Jordan sector of Jerusalem in May 1964. Although it was composed of refugee groups and guerillas, it soon received as members associations of professionals, workers and students. Their goal was to substitute Israel with a laic Palestinian state. In 1975 the movement, about 80,000 people, is in open war with the Palestinian militia in Lebanon and supported by many Lebanese organizations.

On each of these two coalitions subsided numerous divergences of objectives. Some Muslims made common cause with the Christians and some Christians joined the Muslims and Palestinians, while others tried to play the role of mediators. Religion was the criteria of identification for the national groups.

The civil war had a first phase that extended since April 1975 to May 1976. The conflict began since January 1975 when P. Gemayel, chief of the Phalangists, directed a report to the President of the Republic, accusing Palestine of not respecting the sovereignty of the state and requesting that the matter of his presence in Lebanon to be properly treated. Lebanon was going through the same situation that had happened in Jordan a few years earlier. The Palestinians, numerous and armed, began to dominate the streets, the communications and the most strategic zones of north Lebanon, supplanting in function even the Lebanese authorities. In February they even demanded a referendum on that subject.

Two months later were recorded the incidents that are considered the beginning of the war. The first massacre against Christians happened on September 3, 1975, on the Deir Ayach Monastery, when Palestinians murdered three monks. The inhabitants of the region ran away and the invaders destroyed the village. By mid April, after one of many bomb reprises from the Jewish aviation to the Palestinian attacks coming from Lebanon, a collective mutiny started and people began to shout "Palestinians out!"

This brought a confrontation in Beirut between Palestinians and Maronite Christians on one side and Lebanese Phalangists on the other. A real war had begun generating combats between the two parties all over the country.

Facing the situation created in Lebanon of a possible Christian defeat, Syria decided a change of allies. In May 1976 the Syrian troops invaded the country, fighting the PLO and appearing as allies of the Christians. The Syrian politics were based on three principles: keeping Lebanon under Syrian influence, control the Palestinians and opposing the division of the country. A possible defeat of the Christians and victory for the Muslims could alter the Syrian objectives, which is why Damascus decided to intervene. In 1976 20,000 Syrian soldiers invaded Lebanon. Beirut was divided in two parts: North, for the Christians and South for the Muslims. By phases the army occupied most of the country, with the exception of the south and the zone controlled mostly by the Christians.

In 1982 Israel invaded south Lebanon to expel the guerillas of the Palestine Liberal Organization, directed by Yaser Arafat, and other Palestine organizations. The small nation had become an operation center for the conflicts of its neighbors and the battlefield in which both enemies attacked each other. The Israelis declared that they were not after Lebanese territory or trying to conquer the country, but merely defending themselves against the Palestinian aggressions. At first the Christian population saw the Israeli invasion as liberation from the Palestinian terrorism, but this was merely an illusion on mutual interests.

In May 1983 Israel and Lebanon came to an agreement to retire Israeli troops. However in 1984, under Syrian pressure, Lebanon cancelled the agreement.

The Israeli invasion aimed to destroy their main enemy: the Hizbollah (God's Party) that was formed as a guerilla that expressed the minority of Lebanon (the Shiite, representing 40% of the population) It was a Shiite militia created in 1982 as a reaction to the Israeli invasion.

In Lebanon no other party or militia is as strong or popular. Hizbollah represents the first armed Arabian movement and that has forced Israel to retire from invasion. It is a model of the vertical Muslim party that serves as example for the Palestinian Hamas and various Shiite parties of Iraq.

Hizbollah has become the best structured party in Lebanon, counting with a series of hospitals, schools and local governments. It was born in the Shiite clerk after two important events: the Israeli invasion in Lebanon 1978 and the Iranian revolution of 1979

In 1984, two years after the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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