Report from Lebanon

by Joe Stork
published in MER118

I flew into Beirut on May 17. As we descended over the city, what struck me was the many patches of vacant land, obvious gaps in the space of urban lives, large empty lots of red clay with milliards of glass and metal shards and slivers, glinting in the brilliant morning sun. Approaching the airport, we flew closer, over the ripped slum camps of Sabra, Shatila and Burj al-Barajna. Amidst them, a golf course, bizarrely green, from another time, like the postcards I found in the Hamra shops.

Driving back from the airport through the city, we pass through shattered neighborhoods, whose cadaverous shells of buildings are mute testimony to the war before the Israelis came. The civil war seldom reduced large buildings to rubble; it left the shell-pocked skeletons that stand today. Much of the damage from the Israeli siege seems to have been cleared, perhaps because that damage was unsalvageable. But you can still walk through neighborhoods as different as Mazra‘a and Raouche and come suddenly upon gaping, torn concrete, piles of broken walls and pillars, an isolated and probably arbitrary target of Israeli shells. Elsewhere, in the southern suburbs, the surviving segments of the city’s “belt of misery,” are the living, open wounds of the war and its aftermath. Now the bulldozers of the Lebanese Army are taking up where the Israeli gunners left off.

On the morning of my arrival, the representatives of Amin Gemayel, Menachem Begin and Ronald Reagan signed a troop withdrawal agreement. As we drove from the airport downtown, the radio broadcast live the ceremony at Khalda. The unctuous benediction of US negotiator Morris Draper was interrupted for a bulletin: another attack, that morning, on Israeli troops in Sidon. West Beirut was crowded and bustling, traffic impossibly snarled by numerous Lebanese Army checkpoints. The day before, said my companion, while the parliament discussed the agreement, the streets were quite deserted. Parents kept their children home from school, out of fear that opposition to the agreement might provoke shelling of the capital. Quiet prevailed, and today people again filled the streets. The eastern, Phalangist-dominated sector of the city was reportedly still quiet, though. Even later in the summer, but before the battles erupted in the Shouf, friends returned from long stays in Ashrafiyya to tell about the strange fear and stillness that lingered there in the home ground of the “victors.”

Most of the Lebanese I met with reacted to the withdrawal agreement with a mixture of opposition and resignation. Those with the greatest stake in ending the occupation, especially people in the south, saw the agreement as the price that must be paid a conquering army. No one could muster enthusiasm for the accord negotiated by these three parties: the Israelis with their tanks around the presidential palace and tens of thousands of troops patrolling the southern third of the country; the Phalangist government installed at the point of Israeli bayonets; and the United States, financier and quartermaster of the entire operation. The truth of the matter surrounded us: Israeli military checkpoints beginning just outside Beirut; warships of the Sixth Fleet visible from my apartment window; crew-cut Marines leading a platoon of Lebanese army recruits for an early morning jog along the airport road. But for all the agreement’s infringements of Lebanese sovereignty and insinuations of Israeli control, a flimsy hope that it might provide the regime with a lever to dislodge Israeli and Syrian forces kept most expressions of opposition subdued at this moment.

At the same time, the prevailing interpretation of events was decidedly pessimistic. The contents of the agreement, and the process of its negotiation, virtually guaranteed Syrian rejection and noncompliance, and thus legitimized both occupations. In the view of many Lebanese, the accord was devised precisely to shift responsibility in Lebanese and international eyes to Syria in particular and “the Muslims” in general. This outcome would dilute pressures for an Israeli withdrawal and remove a public irritation in US-Israeli relations. For the regime, it would justify the exclusion of non-Phalangist elements from the government and continued harassment and repression of its critics.

Public criticism of the withdrawal accord in the press, for instance, was initially oblique and discreet. I attributed this to fear of Phalangist retribution -- a car bomb, for instance -- but several Lebanese friends interpreted it differently. The opponents, they argued, had no persuasive alternative. They recognize that there is great exhaustion and war-weariness at a popular level, which would not sustain a campaign against the government so long as they perceive some distance between the government and the Phalangist party. Furthermore, this discretion reflects the strong desire of opponents of the government not to be seen and dismissed as Syrian allies. It was, paradoxically, the strenuous Syrian condemnation of the agreement which kept much of the Lebanese opposition muted at first. In west Beirut, virtually all the opponents of the agreement with whom I spoke expressed strong resentment of Syria’s role in Lebanon, and sharp criticism of the past readiness of the Lebanese National Movement groups to support Syrian positions without public reservation. At the same time, opponents felt they could not antagonize Damascus at this juncture, given their vulnerability to Phalangist and Israeli depredations. For the Druze-led Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) fighting Phalangist encroachments in the Shouf Mountains, this required a full-fledged logistical alliance with Syria. More generally, opponents felt that Syrian support could be critical to ward off any escalation of the regime’s attacks against the left in Beirut itself.

Israel Cashes In

The terms of the Israeli-Lebanese withdrawal agreement reflected a balance of forces in the country which the Israelis thought they had established with the invasion and its aftermath. It formalizes Israeli hegemony over southern Lebanon: indirectly and covertly if the agreement is implemented; by continued military occupation if it is not. [1]

The intent of Sharon and Begin had always been larger: to install a regime in Beirut which would control the country and “normalize” political, economic and military relations with Israel. The Lebanese presidential election scheduled for the end of August played a significant role in the timing of the invasion, and the day after Bashir Gemayel was elected, Yehuda Litani quoted “political figures in Jerusalem” to the effect that “the time has come to cash in on [Gemayel’s] various promises.” [2] But even Bashir Gemayel could not deliver Lebanon to Israel. At a meeting with Begin, Sharon and Shamir in Nahariyya in early September, Bashir pleaded for Israeli understanding of his need to consolidate his rule. A few days later, Sharon declared publicly that if Gemayel refused to negotiate a full-blown peace treaty, there would have to be “a separate status in southern Lebanon.” [3]

At that point, in early September 1982, the political and military barriers to Israel’s conquest of Beirut had left Sharon’s project largely in the hands of Bashir Gemayel. With Bashir blown away a week later, the Israelis were more determined than ever to establish unequivocal terms of reference for Lebanon’s political future. This was the purpose behind the takeover of west Beirut. The non-Maronite Lebanese communities and the Palestinians had emerged from the siege militarily defeated but with their political dignity intact. The shift in the balance of forces as a result of the invasion was dramatic and unambiguous, but it was not decisive. Bashir, in Nahariyya, had expressed his recognition that Phalangist hegemony required brokering with and within the Muslim and Druze communities. The Israelis were determined, with Bashir gone, to strip these Lebanese, and the Palestinians, of any illusions of a political future. In this spirit, Israeli troops ransacked and pillaged Palestinian and Lebanese homes and institutions, and violated Arab and Soviet embassies. In the same spirit, Israeli military leaders organized the entry of Phalangist militias into the Palestinian camps and neighborhoods, whose populations included large numbers of poor Lebanese and other Arabs as well. The massacres were certainly intended to stimulate a large-scale exodus of Palestinians. At a political and psychological level, they were perpetrated to establish decisively the commanding role of the Phalange in Lebanon’s political future. The massacres were like the deadly aftershock of an earthquake, in which all remaining structures, in this case psychological, are destroyed, and the survivors, still reeling from the original blow, are devastated anew.

This terror continued particularly against the Palestinians on a less conspicuous scale through the winter and spring -- arrests and disappearances at the hands of the Lebanese army or the militias; the exemplary murders of more than 30 Palestinians in the Sidon area in the first months of 1983. It was, in the words of one long time Palestinian resident, “a slow, rolling pogrom.”

Lebanese and Israeli press reports, compiled by the International Centre for Information on Palestinian and Lebanese Prisoners, Deportees and Missing Persons (Paris) provide a fairly comprehensive listing of arrests, attacks and intimidation campaigns. Some 5,000 prisoners are still held at the Israeli camp at Ansar. According to a delegation of Italian senators to Beirut, an isolated joint Phalange-Israeli Mossad detention center outside Beirut holds another 700 Palestinian prisoners. Israeli military headquarters in Tyre, Sidon, Nabatiyya and formerly in Aley, serve as detention-interrogation centers, as do camps run by Haddad’s militia and the Israeli collaborators in the “National Guard.” Lebanese lawyer Sinane Barrage estimated for the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva that the Lebanese Army holds 1,700 to 3,000 prisoners and that another 1,300 are held by the Lebanese Forces. A women’s prison, reportedly established near Nabatiyya in June 1983, holds some 50 women, mostly Palestinian. Another estimated 200 Palestinian women who were abducted, robbed and raped by Phalangists are held prisoner in “Phalange huts” near Jounieh. On April 8, the Lebanese Maronite patriarch, Pierre Khuraysh, confirmed that the Phalangists had assassinated several hundred Palestinian prisoners who were missing from Beirut. Numerous reports document terror campaigns carried out either by “masked gunmen” or through leaflets signed by the Guardians of the Cedar threatening Palestinians with death unless they leave Lebanon.

Amin Gemayel and the Phalangist Project

The Israeli invasion left the Phalange in control of the Lebanese state, but the state did not control the country.. Within the Phalange itself, it was not clear which elements held sway. “The election of Bashir and the election of Amin do not have the same significance and implications,” one Lebanese analyst told me. “They each embody different aspects of the contemporary Maronite community.”

Amin Gemayel is a political broker, a lawyer who operates at the highest levels in the dealings of Lebanese banks and corporations with their counterparts in the Arab countries and the West. This sphere of activity and way of life have earned him the sobriquet “Mr. Ten Percent.” Socially, economically and politically, he is of the bourgeoisie. Where Bashir served as the articulate link between the Phalange and the new generation of marginalized Maronite youth who composed the militias, Amin linked the party with elements of wealth and privilege, old and new. Amin appreciated firsthand the importance of the Arab political and economic environment to Lebanon’s prosperity and survival. Politically, Amin had maintained cordial relations with leaders of the Muslim communities and the nationalist movement, and even with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Amin Gemayel epitomized the more liberal and pluralistic wing of the Phalange. In the aftermath of the invasion and the massacres, the grudging and suspicious fealty which the non-Maronite community leaders had given Bashir out of desperation became an enthusiasm for Amin. “He had them eating out of his hand,” one close observer recalled.

The tendency to back the new regime stemmed from a sense that ending the Israeli occupation should have top priority. Domestic support would reduce the regime’s reliance on Israel, and would reduce the weight of the pro-Israeli militia leaders in the new government. The implicit strategy was to sharpen the differences between the extremist militias and the more traditional wing of the Phalange Party, to enable the new president to shift the weight of his political base from the militias and the party to the broader framework of Lebanese communities, and to shift the main external prop of the regime from Israel to the United States.

The Phalange began in the 1930s as a militia-based nationalist youth movement modeled on the European fascist movements, and took the form of a political party after Lebanon became independent. The civil war of 1958 led to a revival of the party’s paramilitary functions. The present phase of its history begins in the period after the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. The Phalange had always defined itself as the main organized defender and promoter of the Lebanese state, and its military arm of last resort. The buildup of the party base, especially the militia, began in earnest in 1969, following the Israeli raid on Beirut airport and the formalization of the PLO presence in Lebanon with the Cairo Accords of that year. [4] The Phalange then began to find many recruits among Maronite youth in the neighborhoods and outskirts of Beirut and other points of direct confrontation with Palestinian and Lebanese leftist forces.

Socially, the Phalange had become more than ever a party of the Maronite counter-elite. This new generation, many from rural and small town backgrounds or first-generation urban families, had little access to this system. The fact that it was dominated by a Maronite bourgeoisie did not lessen their resentment. At the same time, other Lebanese communities were determined to reduce or eliminate the whole system of Maronite privileges. This new generation of the Phalange is socially based in the expansion, urbanization and professionalization of Maronite strata who would have been shopkeepers or small landowners in the mountain in an earlier day. [5]

Bashir built his base among these elements. As the youngest son of the party patriarch, he faced inside the Phalange the same problem of access that this new generation of declasse Maronites had found within the larger political universe. By building the militia and then expanding it by incorporating other Maronite paramilitary forces, Bashir circumvented and later eclipsed the party hierarchy.

Bashir’s external alliances, chiefly with Israel and Syria, assisted his consolidation of power. Conservative Arab states also provided significant financial assistance. The linkage with Israel began in 1976, with arms, training and intelligence sharing. After 1977, following the split with Syria and the election of Menachem Begin, this relationship became more exclusive and enduring. Bashir moved aggressively against rivals and competitors within the Phalange, and then within the larger Maronite domain. By the summer of 1980, he stood unchallenged as the political and military leader of the Maronite forces. A year later, Bashir’s Lebanese Forces moved into the largely Greek Catholic town of Zahla and provoked a Syrian attack. With the help of Israel and the Western media, Bashir managed to make Zahla into “the last Christian city in Asia.” This and the subsequent "Syrian missile crisis" with Israel added to Bashir’s stature as the preeminent political leader among Lebanon’s Christian communities. [6]

Ideologies of the Mountain and the City

Although the Phalangist militias represented a new and expanding social base, their view of the world belongs to an older Maronite tradition, what historian Albert Hourani terms the “ideology of the mountain.” This perspective is uniquely Maronite, Hourani writes, where the community sees itself as “compact...living by itself under its own hierarchy, protecting itself from attack by the Muslim rulers of the cities and the plains.” [7] This Maronite nationalism, or Maronitism, later incorporated a strain of romantic populism that contrasted the “pure and natural” life of the countryside with the corruption and communal pluralism of the city and town. The “ideology of the city,” by contrast, placed Maronite primacy in a consociational hierarchy of leading families of all sects, but chiefly Maronite and Sunni. This idea expressed the interests of the urban-based commercial sector, and came to represent the more or less official basis of the modern Lebanese state, as consecrated in the National Pact of 1943. The National Pact (al-mithaq al-watani) was an agreement between independent Lebanon’s first president, Bishara al-Khouri, and first prime minister, Riyad Sulh, a Maronite Christian and a Sunni pan-Arab nationalist, respectively. The Pact defined Lebanon as an independent, sovereign and neutral state; it stipulated that Maronites should not seek Western protection, or Muslims, especially Sunnis, incorporation into a larger Arab entity. The Pact also called for the gradual elimination of sectarianism, but in fact formalized the allocation of top political offices on a sectarian basis. Hudson describes the achievement of the Pact to be “an area of negative consensus” which “accomplished the task of recruiting the Muslim notables into the system and excluding extremists, whether Christian, Muslim, pan-Arab or pro- Western.” [8]

The Phalange historically worked within this framework, with the declared intent of promoting and defending the Lebanese state against all challenges. The chief threat seemed at the time to come from the proponents of Lebanon’s incorporation within a larger Syrian or Arab political entity.

The overlapping social and political crises of the 1970s exposed the complexities of the challenges to the status quo in Lebanon. This led to a revival of Maronitism, and at the same time to the predominance of the military over the civilian elements. The confrontation dynamics that exploded in civil war in April 1975 also created a whole new point of reference between the Phalange (party and militia) and the Lebanese state. Up to this point, the Phalange could function as the instrument of the ruling class (Muslim as well as Christian) by acting against Palestinian or Lebanese leftist forces in a way that the state could not without discrediting the Muslim elite even further. In the view of Tewfik Khalaf, “it is this coincidence between the requirements of the ruling groups and the aspirations of the Maronite community which constituted the real strength of the Phalange.” [9] In the civil war situation, the forces of the state became increasingly marginal and ineffective. The Phalangists began to articulate a new definition of the Lebanese entity in their own image, very much in the tradition of “the mountain.”

Today, now that it formally controls the apparatus of the state, the Phalange is confronted with the same dilemma. The ideology of Maronitism dictates what might be called a strategy of “petit Liban”: In other words, if Maronite hegemony cannot be assured within the borders of the state as drawn by France in 1920, then it would be preferable and even essential to construct the Lebanese state in the Maronite heartland -- “the mountain” and Beirut, from Batroun and Ihdin in the north to Sidon and Jazzin in the south. (The terms Mount Lebanon and “the mountain” refer historically to the mountainous range extending from the Shouf in the south to the Cedars in the north (more or less at the line between the districts of Kasrawan and Batroun) excluding Beirut and the narrow coastal plain, the Bekaa Valley and the Anti-Lebanon range.) This threat of partition, in the form of the “petit Liban” versus “grand Liban” debate, emanates mainly but not exclusively from among the militia leaders. The non-Maronite communities have premised their cooperation with the regime on the assumption that the reestablishment of the Lebanese state is its preferred option. In practice, though, none of the traditional party elements, including Amin Gemayel and those he has brought into the government, are willing to foreclose the “petit Liban” option. It is not that the partisans and opponents of partition can be precisely located among different fractions of the Phalangist or Maronite camp. “The ambivalence between the two options is not merely organizational,” one person familiar with the situation told me in May.

It is in fact embodied in most cadre and supporters as individuals. Perhaps 10 percent are clearly committed to one strategy or the other; the rest are undecided. This ambivalence has its roots in Phalangist mentality over the last half-century, but this manifestation is essentially a post-Bashir phenomenon. Amin is clearly on one side, but not irrevocably. Bashir so effectively established his hegemony over the Phalange, and Phalange hegemony over the Maronite community, that his disappearance makes the entire situation quite fluid.

The withdrawal agreement marked a watershed in the brief history of Amin’s republic. Up to that point, the regime held a certain initiative. It was able to enlist broad support behind its “patriotic” negotiating stance with Israel and the US, and thus deflect demands for internal reforms. The non-Maronite communities tolerated the regime’s many abuses with the aim of establishing broad cross-confessional support for the “grand Liban” option, and avoided any political assertiveness that would strengthen the hand of the Maronite extremists. In this period, armed resistance was directed solely at Israeli occupation forces: Beginning with an attack in Beirut on September 23, the National Lebanese Resistance Front has so far claimed the lives of nearly 200 Israeli troops and wounded many more. The National Resistance Front was started by the Communist Party of Lebanon and the Organization for Communist Action. The Shi‘i militia, Amal, began participating in the Front’s attacks at an early stage.

In this setting, Amin Gemayel played the right chords, appealing for continued support with the promise that “reconciliation” would follow “liberation.” When he moved the Lebanese Army into east Beirut, he offset, in west Beirut at least, the disquiet provoked by the Phalangist militias in the Shouf mountains. Gemayel managed to hold all questions of political equity and social reconstruction hostage to the project of securing Israeli and Syrian withdrawal, with leverage from Washington.

The withdrawal agreement, once concluded, posed instead the prospect of indefinite occupation, which the leaders of the other political communities would now be asked to endorse. The agreement itself became a key element in the struggle to define the political character of the “new Lebanon.” Many now perceived that Gemayel was committed to rebuilding Lebanon’s traditional political system, with his Phalange Party assuming all Maronite prerogatives. The other communities and political forces, however, insisted on new terms for a political contract. They would accept the withdrawal agreement only to this extent.

For while the president had been busy pleading for patience and understanding, the Phalange Party had been wasting no time in purging the state apparatus and placing its own people in key positions. Two key security posts -- Ibrahim Tannous as commander of the armed forces and Zahi Bustani as head of the Office of General Security -- went to leading figures from Bashir’s Lebanese Forces entourage. Bustani placed his people in key positions in the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, able to gather intelligence and exercise control in matters such as passports, residence permits and work permits. Many other leading positions in the state apparatus went to Phalangist -- though not militia -- elements. Several moderate Muslim political leaders, including a former prime minister, voiced to me their grievances over the continued harassment of Muslim Lebanese by army troops and the Lebanese Forces irregulars. By May the purges were extending from government offices to national institutions such as the universities. Dismissals and appointments were not always political, and in fact many seemed to be rather of a patronage sort, providing jobs and salaries for the party faithful.

“Amin Gemayel had two options as he approached the negotiations with Israel,” political scientist Ghassan Salameh told me. “The first was to avoid all provocation of Israel or Syria -- in other words, appease Lebanon’s regional environment -- while he rebuilt the state and its security functions. The second option would have been to construct a durable internal front with which to confront the forces of occupation.” Many others shared this conception of the problem. “Gemayel’s concessions to Israel came at the expense of concessions he might otherwise have negotiated with the non-Phalangist political forces,” said Fawwaz Trabulsi, a leader of the Organization for Communist Action. In July 1983, Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Druze-dominated Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), argued that:

Gemayel should have capitalized on the Lebanese resistance against the occupation, which has now forced Israel to effect a partial withdrawal from the [Shouf] mountain area, and they should have formed a national front. Israel has decided on partial withdrawal as a result of the resistance operations against its forces, not as a result of the agreement they signed. [10]

Gemayel, it is now apparent, believed that the old Maronite-Sunni National Pact of 1943 might be simply polished off and revived for another generation of service to the status quo. In this he was surely encouraged by restorationist sentiments among Sunni notables like Sa‘ib Salam, now that their “street” had been forcibly subdued. Amin’s main liaison was with an informal ensemble of former prime ministers, improperly dubbed “the Islamic grouping” despite the fact that they were all Sunni and included no prominent voices of the Shi‘i or Druze communities. These Sunni politicians could accommodate the terms of the withdrawal agreement, but by May even they were no longer confident that their places were secure in Amin’s republic.

Victors and Vanquished

Amin tried in vain to sustain the euphoric choruses of the fall which hailed him as “president of all the Lebanese.” These were increasingly muted by the drumbeat of artillery barrages in the Shouf Mountains and the staccato bursts of automatic rifles in Beirut as Palestinians and Lebanese leftists were rubbed out by right-wing militia gangs. Behind Amin Gemayel’s soothing words was the disturbing political and military hold that the Lebanese Forces militias had on the regime. The militias number between 10 and 15,000, by most estimates. The assassination of Bashir accentuated differences in the Forces, but has made them no less dangerous. Some two thirds are loyal to commanders such as Elie Hobeika, Joe Edde and Dib Anastase the most extremist of the leaders and those most closely tied to Israeli military and intelligence. The other third is more amenable to direction from the party and its leader, Pierre Gemayel. Fadi Furayyim, whom Bashir selected to replace him as commander of the Forces and who is also close to the Israelis, has tried to fill Bashir’s role as the point of equilibrium between the different fractions. Furayyim and Pierre Gemayel together have played this role, but the clear weight of the Lebanese Forces is with the extremist, pro-Israeli line.

Fadi Furayyim provided a candid statement of the philosophy of the Lebanese Forces at a Phalange rally in November: “Yes,” he declared, “there is a victor and a vanquished.” [11] The victors, in this scheme, are “the Lebanese.” The vanquished are “the outsiders” -- referring not only to the Palestinians and Syrians but also to those Lebanese, mostly Muslim and Druze, who had allied themselves with them.

The military campaign to establish Phalangist hegemony in the Shouf against the Druze was the clearest indication of the weight of the Lebanese Forces within the regime. The Phalangist militias moved into the Shouf for the first time directly on Israeli heels in June 1982. (The Shouf region has a mixed Druze-Maronite population, even at the level of individual villages. The political affiliations of the Maronites there had been with former President Camille Chamoun’s National Liberal Party and its Ahrar militia. Bashir Gemayel’s Phalangist militia slaughtered Chamoun’s forces in bloody attacks in July 1980. Chamoun maintains a formal alliance with the Phalange through the right-wing Lebanese Front, but he and his son Dany have recently been trying to reestablish their independent ties with Israel and with other traditional Lebanese leaders. The Phalangists in the Shouf are commanded by Samir Geagea, who is from northern Lebanon and who led the assault that killed Tony Franjiyya and his family in 1978.) Although the Phalangists attribute this move to Druze support for the PLO, the Druze militias in fact put up no resistance at all to the Israeli invaders, a fact that has brought much criticism from Palestinian fighters. [12] Walid Jumblatt declared as recently as July that “the Phalangists and others know that I have banned a Palestinian presence in the mountain area...because I did not want the mountain area to become, like the south, a place of anarchy and many parties and other things.” [13] According to Jumblatt, “Israel brought in the Lebanese Forces to put pressure on the Druze so that [we] would seek Israel’s protection.”

The motivation of the Lebanese Forces for the Shouf fighting goes to the heart of the Phalangist project. For the Shouf is the one part of the “petit Liban,” along with Beirut itself, in which the Maronites are not a commanding majority. This conflict represents, in a sense, a radical break with the pattern of Lebanese communal violence. Although the past eight years of fighting have made many neighborhoods and areas relatively more “homogeneous” in terms of the distribution of Lebanon’s different sects, the country remains an intermingling of communities that turns any territorial definition of hegemony into a recipe for catastrophic social breakdown. Of all of Lebanon’s major communities, the Druze do represent a certain “geoconfessionalism.” The clash in the Shouf was thus inherent in the “petit Liban” mentality of the Phalange. And for the opponents of the Phalangists, the Druze became the major impediment to the growth of fascist political power.

There is an important political as well as sectarian dimension to the struggle in the Shouf. The Phalangists had first asserted that leadership of the Druze community should revert from Jumblatt to Majid Arslan, the rightist parliamentary deputy who had earlier declared a readiness to cooperate with the Phalange. [14] The aggressive Phalangist tactics, though, solidified Druze support around Jumblatt, particularly after he was the target of a car bomb attack in Beirut in December 1982. The Phalange then insisted that Jumblatt abandon his position as head of the Progressive Socialist Party and negotiate strictly as a Druze representative. More recently, the Phalange has taken to blaming the clashes in the Shouf on “Syrian-Communist-Jumblatt aggression.” [15] In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Jumblatt’s standing was not very high. His reputation had suffered from years of corruption, dissolution and fratricide in the Lebanese National Movement, from the decision not to oppose the Israeli move into the Shouf, and from the unilateral initiative in late 1982 to dissolve the LNM. Among other political forces, years of Jumblatti dominance of the progressive alliance had left Walid with little support. The Phalange attacks have changed all that, and unwittingly turned the Progressive Socialist Party into a main counterweight to the Phalange.

The cohesion of the Druze community is one factor in this process. Another is the extent to which Jumblatt can articulate demands that represent more than the Druze. The PSP was founded in 1949 by Kamal Jumblatt, and originally had a sizeable Christian element. This changed in the course of the 1957-1958 fighting, which “Arabized” the party to a great extent. The party’s “socialism” reflected the absence of wealth and privilege for the community as a whole, notwithstanding the affluence of the Jumblatt family and a handful of others. Walid Jumblatt recently proclaimed the intent to remake the party on a non-sectarian basis: “Our primary criterion,” he wrote, “is to give up defending certain Arab regimes in favor of other regimes.” [16] Given the critical alliance he has struck with Syria in the current battles, this will take considerably more deftness and daring than Jumblatt has displayed in years past.

Under the auspices of the Higher Druze Council, the PSP has proposed a set of reforms as the basis for a “regime of national reconciliation.” Defining Lebanon’s crisis as “a gap in the rights and authority enjoyed by the various Lebanese communities,” the Druze propose to add a senate to the present parliament, in which the six major communities would have equal rather than proportional representation; it would be headed by a Druze, and have a voice in fundamental national issues, including approval of top government appointments. They propose a redistribution of top posts “to ensure at the same time the state’s efficiency and national equilibrium between the spiritual communities.” The proposals would also mandate an official general census within three years, disband and disarm, totally and simultaneously, all militias and irregular armies, and rule out arrests or prosecutions for any charges dealing with the “events” of 1975-1982. [17] The innocuous-sounding demand for a national census is quite radical in the Lebanese context. The last official census was in 1932. Its suspect results showed the Christians to outnumber Muslims by six to five, thus serving as the basis for the National Pact of 1943. Since a contemporary count would expose the fraudulence of this ratio, Lebanon’s ruling class has always staunchly resisted the demand for a new census. The fate of these and other reform proposals awaits the outcome of the Shouf battles.

Israel’s Double Game

The army of Ariel Sharon brought the Phalangist forces into the Shouf, but as fighting intensified there last winter. Druze forces were receiving Syrian supplies through Israeli lines. The Israelis did nothing to stop the Druze fighters from inflicting a serious defeat on the Phalangist forces at Aley in February. At one level, this represented Sharon’s effort to impose greater discipline on the diplomatic behavior of the Gemayel regime: “The fat one” had just visited Pierre Gemayel in Beirut to warn that his son’s writ would extend no further than his palace unless he “stopped taking orders from the Saudis and the PLO.” [18] Another factor has been the agitation among Israeli Druze who feared a Phalangist slaughter of their Lebanese co-religionists.

In fact, the liaison between Israeli and Lebanese Druze has been a useful device for the Israeli governemnt. The Begin-Sharon policy of full support for the Phalange had been a matter of contentious debate in Israeli military and intelligence circles. As events eroded the basis for that policy, Israel was in a good position to revert to its more traditional divide-and-rule strategy. This shift was fully implemented by Sharon’s successor, Moshe Arens. Zeev Schiff, military correspondent for Haaretz, wrote in May that “Israel has no more military commitments toward one of the factions in Lebanon -- including the Phalangists -- than toward any other.... The new line adopted by Israel is to promote contacts and channels of influence with each of the factions and groups.... This policy stipulates that relations should be promoted with any group and faction ready to maintain contacts with Israel, and thus retain its influence over larger parts of the Lebanese population.” [19]

Israeli military and intelligence officials have been in direct contact with the three major Druze leaders: Jumblatt, the rightist deputy Majid Arslan, and the religious notable, Sheikh Muhammad Abu Shaqra. Throughout the clashes and negotiations of the summer and fall, Abu Shaqra has repeatedly proclaimed his full support of Jumblatt. In early August, Jerusalem radio reported that Abu Shaqra had proposed an Israeli-Druze friendship agreement, and Israeli support for a Druze “entity” with a status like that of Saad Haddad’s Free Lebanon enclave in the south. [20] Such reports certainly do suggest the intent of Israeli policy in the Shouf, if not its present accomplishments.

During the heavy battles of September which followed the Israeli retreat, Israel rejected a Lebanese-US request to use its ground and air forces to attack Druze positions in the Shouf. [21] A week later, Israeli armored patrols moved north of the Awali line along the coast and inland, in coordination with the Lebanese Army and Phalangist militias. Although no clashes were reported with the Israelis, the PSP claimed that the Israelis had prevented their forces from reaching the coast, and had helped the Phalangist militias establish themselves in several strategic positions. [22] Israel’s undeclared policy, it seems, is to allow the Druze militias to control the Shouf Mountains, with the understanding that there be no Palestinian military presence there. At the same time, Israel will support the Phalange and Lebanese Army to the extent necessary to contain the Druze militias within the Shuf, preventing them from taking control of the coastal road or from linking up with anti-government forces in the southern Beirut suburbs. This combination of forces can be easily checked and balanced, and provide an effective buffer for Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon.

Israel’s double game in the Shouf has its counterpart in the occupied south. The major instrument in this area is Saad Haddad’s “Army of Free Lebanon,” a force estimated at 2,000 militia, equipped, financed, trained and even clothed by the Israelis. Under the occupation, Haddad has claimed his domain to extend all the way north to Sidon and the Awali River. On my trip in May, we encountered Haddad checkpoints beginning just below the Awali, and several banners across Sidon’s main street paid homage to “our hero, Saad Haddad.” The Phalange and Haddad proclaim their unity of purpose and comradeship in arms; Lebanese Forces commander Fadi Furayyim visited Haddad in Marjayoun in April to dispel notions of a rift between the two. Haddad has said he intends to enlarge his “army” to 15,000 men. This seems doubtful. Haddad enjoys virtually no political support in the south, in the view of persons living there. He is entirely a creature of the Israelis. The Phalange, on the other hand, have establsihed themselves in Maronite areas in the southern hills, back from the coast.

The Israelis are building an apparatus for political occupation so that they can reduce the number of troops they need to keep in the south. Israeli forces will remain along the “new Bar-Lev line” along the Awali, [23] while local collaborationist forces will maintain security within the occupied zone itself. In addition to the Phalange and Haddad forces, Israel has sponsored a network of loosely affiliated “National Guard” forces in predominantly Muslim towns and villages and Palestinian camps. Israeli commanders have “taxed” non-cooperating villages, arrested village leaders and made support for the “Guard” a condition for their release. The one armed force which the Israelis have not supported in their zone is the Lebanese Army itself. Several units were attacked and disarmed during the invasion; since then, the army has not been permitted to assume any security functions, or to carry weapons outside of barracks. [24] In the spring, Israeli troops distributed a 27-page questionnaire to village leaders, asking for information such as the names of men of fighting age, automobile license numbers, the names and occupations of “rich and important people” and of villagers working in other Arab countries, histories of local feuds, and sources for dynamite used in local stone quarrying. [25]

Political Forces in the South

The Lebanese community most directly affected by Israel’s occupation, and by the prospects for further withdrawal, is the Shi‘a. This is the largest single community in Lebanon -- about 30 percent of the total population, or close to a million in number. The Shi‘a make up the great majority of Lebanese living in the south; there is also a Shi‘i presence in the Bekaa Valley, around Baalbek, and more than half a million Shi‘a from these mostly rural and impoverished regions now live in Beirut and its southern suburbs. The Shi‘a do not have the geographical concentration or the political cohesion of the Druze community, but the fact that large Shi‘i communities are living in Israeli, Syrian, and Lebanese government areas of control makes their present and future political allegiances important to Lebanon's future.

Shi‘is have long been heavily represented in the ranks of the Lebanese Communist Party and the Organization for Communist Action. Over the last decade, and particularly since 1978, the Harakat Amal (Movement of Hope) has become the major expression of Shi‘i political identity. Amal is a broad movement of Shi‘i self-assertion rather than a disciplined party. The main wing of the movement is headed by a Beirut-based lawyer, Nabih Berri. Smaller pro-Iranian factions (based in Syrian-controlled Baalbek) and pro-Israel factions do not appear to have significant followings. Amal’s geographic dispersion and its political decentralization do not favor the kind of disciplined political or military campaign such as the Druze are waging in the Shuf, but it does make the organization and the decisions of its leadership extremely representative of popular sentiments and political direction.

Amal’s ranks grew substantially after 1978, when the harassment and repression by Israeli and Haddad forces dissuaded many young Shi‘a from joining the more radical CP or OCA. Amal has a decidedly populist and somewhat anti-communist political cast because of its beginnings among members of the Shi‘i clergy, especially Imam Musa Sadr, and because of the presence of an aspiring Shi‘i petty bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie among its cadre. Since its ranks have grown considerably in the climate of anti-Palestinian and anti-left repression, many Amal recruits may in fact be leftists simply adapting to their difficult environment; at one point in late 1981, Amal even suspended recruitment for fear of “infiltration.” One Amal leader I spoke with in the south, who was also the manager of a local bank, asserted that young Shi‘is would support the Communist Party if the US did not succeed in ending the Israeli occupation, but at the same time maintained that the CP presented no political threat to his own organization.

Amal’s differences with the communist organizations have not prevented them from joining the National Resistance Front, which was started by the CP and the OCA. The Front is made up mainly of fighters from these three organizations, although it was impossible to learn the relative weight of these component forces. Few if any of the fighters involved have been captured, which suggests a high level of local popular support and very limited Palestinian involvement. Amal has been especially visible in the many street demonstrations and general strikes that have punctuated this period. In Sidon, the local Amal militia quickly disposed of the efforts of the Israeli-sponsored “National Guard” to set up an office in the town. The Amal leaders I spoke with in the south expressed great concern about the corrosive impact of the occupation in terms of the networks of informers and local militias that the Israelis were establishing. The other major grievance of the Amal leaders was the disastrous state of the economy in the south. Almost all Lebanese I spoke with regarded Israel as the major culprit -- first, for the disruption and destruction of the invasion and occupation (simply replacing the “Palestinian occupation” with a more systematic Israeli one); second, for flooding local markets with Israeli goods, especially produce; and third, for eliminating the cheap labor that Palestinians and other Arab migrant workers used to provide.

This all translated into support for the withdrawal agreement in the south, despite severe criticisms of its many infringements on Lebanese sovereignty and its perpetuation of an Israeli sphere of influence. The people I spoke with in the south saw the agreement chiefly as a device for getting Israel out; they assumed, perhaps naively, that the objectionable features of the accord could be modified or ignored once withdrawal had been secured.

There was much less support for the agreement among the Shi‘a in the capital, and outright hostility among those living in the Bekaa. This was one reason for the initial equivocations of Nabih Berri. The other reason had to do with the historic thrust of Amal's politics, which was essentially to secure a more equitable place for Shi‘a within Lebanese confessionalism. In the view of one Lebanese analyst, Berri and Amal “are trying to deal the Shi‘a into the 1943 National Pact, 40 years later.” For this reason, Berri has played an extremely “moderate” role in the fierce fighting and polarization that developed by late summer. Amal has long had relations with and support from Syria, and Berri has visited Damascus on a number of occasions this past year. At the same time, he has not joined formally with Jumblatt and the northern Lebanese leaders, Rashid Karami and Suleiman Franjiyya, in the National Salvation Front Jumblatt proclaimed in Baalbek in July. “I did not want anyone to be able to say that my decisions could in any way be influenced by Syria,” he told Le Matin. [26] Along with former Prime Minister Salim al-Huss, Berri has set himself up as a key interlocutor between the regime and the opposition. For Jumblatt, Berri is more useful outside the National Salvation Front, since he represents an essential component of any “national reconciliation” and can provide a counterweight to Syrian influence on the opposition’s bottom line.

Prospects for Reconciliation

Lebanon today is a regime in search of a state, a state in search of a social base. More than three quarters of its territory and probably half its people are under Syrian or Israeli dominion. The troop withdrawal agreement excuses rather than ends these occupations. Since May, the regime and the opposition have been locked in struggle over the political character of the state, leaving the Israelis relatively free to consolidate their network in the south. Relations in the south between the population and the occupying forces will continue to be tense and hostile, marked by further demonstrations, strikes, boycotts and repression. Economically, the Israelis will continue to penetrate the area, reorienting the economy of southern Lebanon away from Beirut and the Arab east. They will seek to construct a balance of forces in their zone which will sustain their presence there. Their prospects will hinge on political and economic stability in Israel itself, the degree of continued US support, and political developments on the ground.

The opposition forces do not regard their alignment with Syria as an asset, but rather as an unavoidable feature of the present and foreseeable regional balance of forces. Many Lebanese leftists are openly contemptuous of Hafiz al-Asad’s regime. I often heard the comment that “the Phalange is our Baath” -- referring to a militarized state under the control of a small faction of a minority, which the Lebanese had so far been spared. The regime and the Phalange, not surprisingly, have been only too happy to push the opposition into Syrian arms, with the help of the US Marines and the Sixth Fleet.

His desperate situation has lately prompted President Gemayel to echo the opposition call for “national reconciliation,” but in late August, Phalangist leaders were still insisting that such talks could only follow Syrian and PLO withdrawal. On August 23, the first anniversary of Bashir Gemayel’s election as president, militia commander Fadi Frem reiterated the need to establish once and for all the distinction between victor and vanquished. The vanquished, he said, “is the one who seeks the help of foreigners to undermine the homeland’s characteristics.” In this battle, moreover, the army must impose security, and “security cannot be imposed by mutual consent.” [27]

Precisely this perspective lay behind the government’s decision a week later to “pacify” west Beirut. Unknown gunmen, presumably Phalangists, murdered a Shi‘i youth putting up posters of Imam Musa Sadr. A confrontation ensued between Shi‘i crowds and Army troops who came to the scene. For still unexplained reasons, the Army then withdrew its forces almost completely from west Beirut, and various armed militias of the left took over the streets. Salim al-Huss and Nabih Berri proposed, and Prime Minister Shafiq al-Wazzan accepted, an arrangement for the Army’s peaceful reoccupation: At 8 am on the morning of August 31, the militias would withdraw and the Army take over security points again. Instead, at 4 am that morning, the Army stormed into west Beirut neighborhoods behind indiscriminate shelling, and took control after a day of heavy fighting with many civilian casualties. Lebanese and US officials quickly hailed the operation as the Army's first victory, an important morale-boosting milestone. Berri publicly denounced the move as a “betrayal” of the agreement he had negotiated, and al-Huss was reportedly extremely bitter at what he regarded as a setup engineered by Gemayel, al-Wazzan and Sa‘ib Salam.

This determination of the Gemayel regime to impose a military solution rather than negotiate a political solution has now engaged US military forces directly in the fighting. It is likely that US officers helped plan and execute the Beirut operation. US military officers are working with their Lebanese counterparts at the Ministry of Defense, and the Lebanese units used in Beirut were those which had completed months of training under US Special Forces. Since then, US naval and troop strength has climbed to 14,000 on shore and aboard some 12 warships standing off the coast. President Reagan has authorized “aggressive self-defense” tactics for the US forces, leading to the heaviest naval bombardment by the US since the Vietnam War. Washington has sold Lebanon $290 million in military equipment since September 1982, with an additional $100 million scheduled for agreement before the end of the year. In the September fighting, the US mounted an emergency sea and airlift of equipment and ammunition.

At the end of September 1983, US officials were crowing that this commitment of troops and guns had forced the Lebanese opposition and Syria to accede to a ceasefire. In fact, the “national reconciliation” talks stipulated in the ceasefire agreement correspond very closely to the long-standing demands of the opposition. After a year in power, the Phalange has displayed its inability to impose its reign even over the small piece of Lebanon at its disposal. The Pentagon’s armada could help the Lebanese Army maintain its positions in the ridges of Suq al-Gharb, but it is unlikely to achieve the Phalangist state that eight years of civil war and the full weight of the Israeli military machine could not provide.

Problems of economic adjustment and reconstruction are immense. In the economy fragmented by civil war, numerous small commercial and manufacturing units were established that are uncompetetive nationally. Entire segments of the economy, such as that administered by the PLO, have been eliminated. "Informal" and largely illegal activities -- smuggling, private taxation and customs collections by the separate militias (especially the Phalange), the hashish trade and large-scale political funding by various Arab regimes -- played an ever-growing role in the economy over the civil war years, and will impede efforts to strengthen the state in the economic domain. [28]

An estimated 35 percent of the Lebanese work force is presently outside the country, and some 50 percent of the total work force has been abroad over the last decade. This has served as an important social safety valve and source of foreign exchange. The expanding sectors of the economy have been externally based: banking, engineering, construction, consulting, the export of technical capacity and commercial organizational experience. In this regard, the prospects for Lebanon of the slowdown in the oil-based Arab economies are uncertain. Lebanese firms have mainly engaged in middle-level projects related to ruling class consumption, and thus may not face a drastic decline in activity. [29] In Lebanon itself, the agricultural sector has been significantly marginalized over the decade; traditional industries such as textiles and furniture manufacturing have been failing at an alarming rate. [30] The expanding sectors of the economy, as in other societies, will not provide sufficient jobs in the foreseeable future. At a structural level, Lebanon faces serious problems of conversion and adjustment.

The structural shifts which have occurred have affected all confessional groups, but particularly the Shi‘i and Sunni communities. An archetype of Lebanon’s new wealth and potential political power is Rafiq al-Hariri, a Sunni from Sidon who made his fortune in Saudi Arabia. He returned to Lebanon and acquired interests in finance, real estate, industries and services. Hariri has expressed his economic standing in a series of institutional projects such as hospitals, schools and even public works: He is financing the reconstruction of Sidon’s harbor, and provides the only sanitation services in several Palestinian camps and Lebanese slum neighborhoods in Beirut and elsewhere. Phalangist militias have attacked and plundered his property and projects. During the September fighting, he served as an intermediary between Gemayel and Jumblatt, and many in Beirut see him being groomed by Saudi Arabia as a potential prime minister. Hariri’s example is unique only in its scale. The Shi‘i and Sunni communities, with their expanding bourgeoisies, will represent a greater weight in any reconstructed national economy. A resolution of Lebanon’s crisis must ultimately re-equilibrate political power commensurately.

Today, a year after Israel imposed the Phalangist regime, the political balance internally contains many elements of the previous era. The opposition, with Syrian help, has prevented the regime’s consolidation in Beirut. Syria has reestablished its centrality and influence. Israel has consolidated a much larger zone of occupation, but Syrian rather than Israeli influence will count most in negotiations over the future government. The withdrawal agreement, which the present Lebanese government has already termed “frozen,” will probably be ignored rather than resurrected or repudiated.

The Druze defeat of the Phalange in the Shouf will certainly have repercussions on relations between the Phalange and the state, and will probably set a greater distance between Gemayel and the party militants. The Phalange militias, though, can be counted on to mount new provocations and attacks in pursuit of their objective of establishing a “Christian” state. The opposition is far from united. The National Resistance Front in the south has its solitary agenda of striking against the Israeli occupiers, and represents a functional alliance of strictly Lebanese parties, led by the left -- the CP and the OCA. (According to sources in Lebanon, the Israelis arrested several hundred cadre of the National Resistance Front at the time of their withdrawal to the Awali River. The decentralized character of the Front, however, has enabled it to resume attacks by the end of September.) The National Salvation Front, by contrast, represents a politics of convenience: traditional family leaders -- Jumblatt, Franjiyya and Karami -- with no program and the burden of Syrian tutelage. There are no concrete signs as yet that the various forces which once made up the LNM are uniting behind a reform program such as that proposed by the Druze Higher Council in the spring of 1983.

The “national reconciliation” talks mandated by the September ceasefire agreement are likely to be a very drawn-out affair, probably accompanied by repeated breakdowns of the ceasefire. The formal outcome will be, at best, a very modest adjustment in the terms of the 1943 National Pact, and will likely resemble the constitutional amendment proposed by then-President Franjiyya in 1976: a six-to-six ratio between Christians and Muslims in the state and armed forces apparatus rather than the present six-to-five, but with the apportionment of top posts unchanged. The composition of the representatives practically guarantees this outcome: except for Nabih Berri, every one comes from the traditional leading families so well served by the 1943 arrangement; except for Berri and Jumblatt, every one of the participants is quite advanced in years; except for Raymond Edde, their politics are correspondingly antique. The presence of Syrian and Saudi representatives in the talks advertises the extent to which Lebanon’s internal political balance is inseparable from the larger regional balance. President Reagan’s September references to “Soviet-sponsored aggression against Lebanon” illustrates Washington’s irrepressible inclination to resolve Lebanon’s crisis in global superpower terms. [31] Lebanon’s real terms, its internal dynamics, are difficult enough. For the immediate future, though, the course of events there will have to account for the conflicting conditional reflexes of regional and global forces.

Endnotes

[1] When Assistant Secretary of State Nicholas Veliotes was asked if there were any secret US “commitments,” he responded, “I can’t comment on that question.” At another point he said, “The country has a right to information, but it also has a right to an effective foreign policy.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, May 18, 1983) The New York Times (May 18, 1983) reported that one secret clause concerned the status of Saad Haddad: “Major Haddad, it was believed, would open the door to extensive clandestine Israeli involvement in the region, as he did along a narrow border zone he controlled for years. Through the major, Israel could effectively command the southern brigade [of the Lebanese Army], creating favorable conditions for the operations of its intelligence agents and elite anti-terrorist units.” Elsewhere, the article notes that “the accord appears to be less a ceiling on the Israeli role than a foundation for its day to day evolution into a close Israeli-Lebanese military and intelligence pact.” A senior Israeli military official told the Christian Science Monitor (May 17, 1983) that “the non-published parts are critical in making the agreement work, including our right to self-defense and all sorts of letters of understanding between Israel and the US and between Lebanon and the US.”
[2] Haaretz, August 24, 1982; translated in Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), August 25, 1982.
[3] Jerusalem Domestic Service, September 7, 1982; in FBIS, September 7, 1982.
[4] For discussions of the history of the Phalange Party from a sympathetic perspective, see Frank Stoakes, “The Supervigilantes: The Lebanese Kataeb Party as a Builder, Surrogate and Defender of the State,” Middle Eastern Studies 11/3 (October 1975), and John Entelis, Pluralism and Party Transformation in Lebanon: Al-Kata’ib 1936-1970 (Leiden, 1974).
[5] Author’s conversation with Salim Nasr, a Lebanese sociologist.
[6] For an account of this process, see Percy Kemp, “Le strategic d’Bachir Gemayel,” Herdote 29/30 (Paris, April-September 1983). Kemp’s version is quite interesting, but it is quite sympathetic to Bashir and never sees fit to mention his alliances with Syria and then Israel in his climb to power.
[7] Albert Hourani, “Ideologies of the Mountain and the City,” in Roger Owen, ed., Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon (London, 1976).
[8] Michael Hudson, The Precarious Republic (New York: Random House, 1968), p. 44.
[9] Tewfik Khalaf, “The Phalange and the Maronite Community: From Lebanonism to Maronitism,” in Owen, op. cit.
[10] Interview with al-Majalla, July 16-22, 1983; in FBIS, July 19, 1983.
[11] Middle East Report (Beirut), December 18, 1982.
[12] In response, Jumblatt charges that the PLO leadership had ordered its forces to abandon Sidon and the south. “The mountain area, having seen the Palestinian forces retreat, was unable to stand fast alone in the face of the Israeli onslaught.” (Al-Majalla, July 16-22, 1983) Responsibility for the poor Palestinian military performance in Sidon is one of the issues behind the rebellion within the PLO, but many suspect that Jumblatt and the other Druze leaders were interested from the start in coming to some understanding with the invading Israelis at the expense of joining with the rest of the LNM in the military battles.
[13] Al-Majalla, July 16-22, 1983. 1983; in FBIS, May 9, 1983.
[14] Majid Arslan died in mid-September 1983; his son Faysal has replaced him as head of the Arslan clan. The Israelis now claim that they had urged Gemayel to offer “two or three” cabinet posts to the Druze, including the Defense Ministry to Majid Arslan, and to withdraw the Phalangist militias from the Shouf. See the interview with Israeli “Arabist” Moshe Sharon, “Why the Druze Are Formidable,” Jerusalem Post, September 18-24, 1983.
[15] Statement of the Lebanese Forces Council, May 9, 1983; in FBIS, May 9, 1983.
[16] Middle East Report (Beirut), May 7, 1983.
[17] Middle East Report (Beirut), May 28, 1983.
[18] Middle East Report (Beirut), February 5, 1983.
[19] Haaretz, May 12, 1983; in FBIS, May 12, 1983.
[20] Jerusalem Domestic Service, August 5, 1983; in FBIS, August 5, 1983.
[21] New York Times, September 15, 1983.
[22] Washington Post, September 15, 1983.
[23] Jerusalem Post, August 14-20, 1983.
[24] Advisory Committee on Human Rights in Lebanon, Lebanon: Toward Legal Order and Respect for Human Rights (Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, August 10, 1983), pp. 28-30.
[25] Earleen F. Tatro, “The South Lebanon Questionnaire,” Monday Morning (Beirut), March 1983.
[26] Le Matin, July 26, 1983; in FBIS, August 3, 1983.
[27] Voice of Lebanon (Phalange), August 23, 1983; in FBIS, August 24, 1983.
[28] For a concise account of this aspect of Lebanon’s crisis, see Adam Zagorin, “A House Divided,” Foreign Policy 48 (Fall 1982).
[29] Information provided by Salim Nasr, Beirut.
[30] For detailed information about the state of the Lebanese economy at the time of the Israeli invasion, see Marwan Iskandar and Elias Baroudi, eds., The Lebanese Economy in 1981-82 (Beirut: Middle East Economic Consultants, October 1982).
[31] New York Times, September 22, 1983.

Filed under: