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HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH: REFLECTIONS OF RESISTANCE, CHALLENGES FOR DEMOCRACY

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Author(s): Stuart Reigeluth

Journal: Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals
ISSN 1133-6595

Issue: 93-94;
Start page: 147;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Middle East | political Islam | promotion of democracy | Hamas | Hezbollah | international intervention | Arab-Israeli conflict

ABSTRACT
In the Arab-Israeli conflict, the creation and maintaining of resistance groups, as well as their recurring confrontations with Israel, take place with greater intensity in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. In the same way that the Palestine Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was born out of the military occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese Party of God (Hezbollah) emerged to counteract the presence of Israel and her allies in the south of Lebanon. The pressure exerted on Israel to leave the south of Lebanon (2000) and the Gaza Strip (2005) engendered massive popular support which resulted in victories in both municipal and national elections. Both armed Islamist groups shifted towards increasingly passive policies, though at the same time they continue to be condemned to ostracism by the United States and Europe, the rupture with the secular parties became deeper, and thus the solution was deferred: the creation of coalition governments respected by their own peoples. Today, this continues to be the greatest challenge to establishing democracy in the Middle East; in no other place is this more acute than in Palestine and the Lebanon.
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