THE OFFICIAL DEFINITION OF HEZBOLLAH
Yesterday morning five of us we we’re having brunch at my fiance’s parents home. We we’re discussing politics which inevitably led to a discussion on the hot button topic of Israel vs. Lebanon. It was interesting that out of five worldly, college educated people at the table (one who was a teacher), none of us (including myself) knew the definition of the word Hezbollah which we’ve been hearing a lot in the media lately. It made me wonder how many other sophisticated, college educated people out there didn’t know the meaning of the word either. With that said, here’s the official definition as cited in the Britannica Encylopedia as well as Wikipedia…[R]:
Wikipedia Definition of Hezbollah
The Hezbollah or Hizbollah (Arabic: حزب الله ḥizbu-llāh, meaning Party of God) is a Lebanese Islamist Shi’a organization and political party, comprising a military and a civilian arm, whose principal declared aim is to defend Southern Lebanon against Israeli occupation. Within Lebanon and the Arab world, Hezbollah is widely regarded as a legitimate resistance group, but is deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada and Israel.
Britannica Definition of Hezbollah
Lebanese Shi‘ite Islamist organization. Founded in southern Lebanon in 1982 as a response to Israel’s invasion there, its original goals were to drive Israeli troops out of Lebanon and form a Shi‘ite Islamic republic similar to that created by the Iranian revolution of 1979. Its political stance, in the main, has been anti-Western, and its members have been implicated in many of the terrorist activities that were perpetrated in Lebanon during the 1980s, including kidnappings, car bombings, and airline hijackings, a number of which were directed at U.S. citizens. It has purportedly received strong material support from Syria and Iran and throughout the 1990s engaged in an intensive guerrilla campaign against Israeli forces in southern Lebanon. At the same time, Hezbollah actively aided the long disfranchised Shi‘ite community in Lebanon, providing social services not offered by the government. In the 1990s the party’s candidates won seats in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, and the group’s leaders have since sought to soften its earlier image. Despite a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000, the party continued sporadic attacks across the Lebanese-Israeli border. See also Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah.