Monday, March 07, 2005

Hizballah must change its raison d'etre!

Of all the parties that challenged the Lebanese Opposition, Hizballah is the one that I respect the most. It is, ironically, one of the most 'modern' parties in the country. It is organized, led by competent leaders, relatively free of corruption, not based on tribal or familial lines, and for obvious reasons, motivated.

Of course, the negative aspect of the party is that it is an inherently religious party, with no clear platform outside of its religious or military roles. This reality must change. For Hizballah to survive in a new era, the institution must adapt to today's and tomorrow's circumstances, and gradually shed its military (and even more gradually) religious attire.

Such changes, of course, don't happen over night. Reforming any organization or institution is more like maneuvering a container ship, than a car, or even a large truck. I believe that Hassan Nasrallah, and the party leadership, know what needs to be done, but they are buying time. The opposition are, most likely, aware of that; however, they will need to play a delicate balancing act of pressuring Hizballah to change, while at the same time accomodating to the party's needs. I believe that this is the most challenging political feat that Lebanon's political leadership faces today, in light of current developments.

I definitely don't want Hizballah to disolve and dissipate - in many fields, it serves as a rolemodel for other Lebanese "political parties", and is valuable in that sense. Let us not also forget that it does legitimately represent the majority of the Shi'a population in the country. However, Hizballah does need to change!

I forsee two alternatives, if things don't happen; both of which will cost Lebanon dearly:

1. Hizballah will loose and collapse (the less likely outcome)

2. Tensions in Lebanon will increase, and probably lead to confontration.

The ball is in Hizballah's court.

No comments: