The Hezbollah (“Party of God”) movement was formed in 1982 in Lebanon by a segment of the Shia community displeased with the secular, in their view, nature of the Amal moderate Shia party. There were also disagreements concerning whether Israel should be confronted using new organizational forms and methods of warfare. According to its Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, since its formation, Hezbollah was a purely intra-Lebanese creation, relying on the support and aid from the Palestinian and Lebanese parties, while the support from Iran and Syria came later.
Since the very beginning, Hezbollah’s activities have been based on three principles. First, Islam is declared an ideological, doctrinal, and practical basis for the organization’s functions. Secondly, its main aim is the struggle against Israeli occupation of Lebanon and Palestine and against Zionist domination. Third, it recognizes the Iranian Shia thesis concerning the necessity of Vilayat-e-Fakih. This Shia doctrine asserts that during the era of the 12thGreat Reappearance of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi the leadership over the Shia is transferred to high-ranking Shia clerics.
Structure and Decision Making
Hezbollah, as an organization, has a structure based on certain ideological principles and exists within the framework of a state, that has no actual influence on the movement’s activities. The party is led by the Shura Council consisting of 7 members (six spiritual leaders—ulemas—and one secular leader). The members are elected by the Central Council (Al-Majlis al-Markazis), consisting of the 200 most authoritative members of the movement. Shura Council elections consist of three phases. The first is the candidate selection (usually 70-80), both clerics and secular individuals who satisfy the criteria set by the top leaders. Those who pass this stage have the right to participate in the second stage. In other words, they become candidates for the Shura Council. As a rule, 10-15 people make it to the second round. The final phase consists of the direct election of the 7 Shura Council members.
Council decisions are final and religiously binding for all party members. They are adopted either unanimously or by the majority of votes. If there is a deadlock or a split within Shura Council, issues are decided by the party leader, whose decisions are final and obligatory on all administrative institutions, and cannot be challenged. This is how the principle of Vilayat-e-Fakih is observed and splits within the ruling elite are averted.
The actual operations of the party are conducted by the administrative executive apparatus, known as Shura Tanfiz. It consists of five councils…
SouthFront is lacking the funds needed to produce the rest of our planned documentary on Hezbollah.
The total length of the documentary is around 50 minutes and it includes the following sections:
- Structure and Decision Making
- Armed Formations and Their Peculiarities
- Cadre Selection and Training
- Military Doctrine. Specifics of Fighting in Syria
- Rocket Arsenal
- Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence
- The Media: Agitation and Propaganda
- Social Work
- Economic and Financial Activities
- Why Hezbollah Became a Middle East Powerhouse and Its Transition to a Quasi-State
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