Tags: Hezbollah | speech | Israel | Lebanon

Hezbollah Touts Anti-West Lebanese Coalition Agenda

Monday, 30 Nov 2009 10:41 PM

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the charismatic leader of the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah, outlined its new platform Monday night, seeking to reaffirm its commitment to pursuing its goals in Lebanon while continuing its ideological war against the U.S. and Israel.

Nasrallah also sought to assuage Lebanese Christian fears of being shunted aside while staying true to Hezbollah’s conservative Islamic principles and reaching out to secular anti-U.S. movements in other parts of the world.

Nasrallah, who was recently re-elected secretary general of Hezbollah, railed against the effects of “savage capitalism” while reaffirming the party's commitment to Islamic law. He called American policies "the root of all terrorism," praising leftist movements in Latin America and Iran's support for Islamic causes.

"The ‘Unity of the Oppressed’ will always be a pillar of our political thought and our relations and positions regarding international causes," he said.

But even as Nasrallah spoke of a “global front line” against American and Israeli threats, he appeared to take a step back from Hezbollah's previously stated commitment to liberating Palestine from Israel. Instead, Nasrallah called on Arab countries to make Palestine a central issue.

“This is geared for internal consumption and that is why it is such a cautiously worded document,” said Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a Hezbollah expert in Lebanon.

Over the years, Hezbollah has evolved from a Shiite Islamist militia whose primary goal was to drive Israel out of Lebanon to a self-sufficient mini-state with its own infrastructure, social services, political leadership and standing army. But after Israel's near complete withdrawal in 2000 the party has had to reorient itself within the internal political landscape and soften some of its stances.

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Monday, 30 Nov 2009 10:41 PM
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