To answer this a crucial question it must be determined first, whether Hezbollah can be regarded as a Lebanese entity, or a foreign implant, which has it’s actions determined in Tehran or Damascus.
According to the various Taif Agreements, the Lebanese president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the Parliament, a Shiite Muslim. Beyond this, even after Hezbollah’s historic decision to take part in Lebanese elections, the organization is still claiming that it can’t realize the full extent of its power due to the delineation of voting districts, which, according to them benefit other ethnic groups. But not all agree to this situation remaining unchanged forever.
“Hezbollah could definitely take power in Lebanon within a few years. I wouldn’t want to commit to a specific date, but this could definitely take place even within five years,” said Dr. Boaz Ganor, deputy dean of the Lauder School of Government and Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center and executive director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
“Nasrallah and Hezbollah have two objectives, short- and long-term, in two different arenas – in Lebanon and in the region,” he explained. “In the Lebanese arena, the short-term goal is changing the political balance in such a way that will improve the status of the Shiite community in the eyes of the other ethnic groups in Lebanon and their political representation.
“In the long-term, Hezbollah’s goal (supported by Teheran Ayathollahs) is to turn Lebanon into a Shiite caliphate according to sharia law similar to Iran. On the regional level, Hezbollah’s short-term goal is to expel Israel from Lebanon and in the long-term to eradicate the State of Israel and establish a radical Islamic regime in its place. When we look at these objectives, we see that Nasrallah has achieved the goals he set for himself in the short-term.
Dr. Ganor explains, “Shiite numbers have risen above those of the Christians in Lebanon. In the last decade, there has been increased Christian emigration out of the country, mainly to the West and to Latin America. It is clear that the demographic trend tends to benefit the Shiites. All of this stems from the desire and the aspiration of Iran to bring about a radical Shiite regime in Lebanon, and I estimate that in a not-so-long time this will happen.
But whatever one may think of Hassan Nasrallah- he is nobody’s fool. Even if he made some mistakes in the past, as ignoring Israel’s disproportional reaction to the capturing of it’s two soldiers, the Hezbollah leader is a wise man, with a shrewd tactical mind. Whatever he chooses, remains to be see, but it will be interesting to watch out for.
Part I: Hezbollah: On the War path or seeking political domination of Lebanon?