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The Lebanese Crisis


And that they disappear, knocking down the criminals who provoke them, but that, ... minority (8th century), Shiites (9th century), et Druzes droven out of Egypte ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Lebanese Crisis

The Lebanese Crisis HISTORY and
PROSPECTS Mustapha S. Adib Hungarian Institute
of International Affairs Budapest 08 May 2008
Nevertheless, if we see now some sad clouds
that darken the sky of our Mountains, if we
sense, Alas ! many a storm in the climate of the
world, let us not forget, though, that we have
seen many of them during the course of our
History ! Let us not forget that they go by ! And
that they disappear, knocking down the criminals
who provoke them, but that, for ever and ever,
this beautiful Lebanon is still there !
Charles CORM, June 1949
The Middle-East
The Geography of Lebanon
  • Lebanon

From Phoenicia to the Ottoman Empire
  • The Early Times
  • 6 000 B.C. First settlements
  • 3 000 B.C. Foundation of the first Cities
  • 1 200 B.C. Actual Phoenicia is created. It is
    a federation of city-states with a very strong
    identity. It extends from Ras Shamra (Ougarit),
    to the North to Akka, to the South.
  • The Phoenician Constitution and Parliament are
    admired throughout the antique world.
  • 814 B.C. Foundation by the Phoenicians of
    their most famous colony Carthago
  • 322 B.C. Phoenicia is conquered by Alexander
    the Great
  • 64 B.C. Creation of the Provincia Syria by
    the legions of Pompeus.
  • Beirut becomes the intellectual capital of the
    region and the seat of a renowned law school. 395
    Phoenicia is reunited to the Byzantine Empire

The Roman Empire
  • The First Religious Communities
  • The first Christians arrive in the middle of the
    Ist century, after Saint-Paul.
  • As for the Maronites, they come between 415 and
    702, droven out from Antioch and Syria by
    theological debates or by persecutions by
    Basileus Justinian II.

  • The Arab Conquest
  • 628 Arab armies sweep through the region
  • 636 The Byzantines lose the battle of Yarmuk
    The coast of Lebanon becomes Muslim.
  • Demography undergoes deep changes with the
    massive arrival of Arabs and - at a lesser degree
    - Persians and Jews.
  • Lebanese moutains become a shelter to all
    persecuted communities the Maronites who had
    become the new minority (8th century), Shiites
    (9th century), et Druzes droven out of Egypte
    after Al Darazi (11th century).
  • 1 054 With the Great Schism, Lebanese Christian
    communities divide into Catholics and

  • The Crusades
  • Jerusalem is taken by Godefroy de Bouillon (1
    099), then Saida (called "Sagette" by Crusaders)
    by the King of Jérusalem Baudouin the Ist (1 109)
    and Tripoli by King Baudouin (1 110).
  • The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of
    Tripoli dominate the coast of Lebanon.
  • Maronites, who feel close to the West, get closer
    to the Crusaders and often even welcome them,
    which explains the mistrust and hatred Muslims
    will feel towards them for centuries.
  • Tripoli (1289), then Saint John of Acre, the last
    Frank state of Syria (1291) surrender. The region
    falls under Mameluk domination.

2. Lebanon in the Ottoman Empire
  • Lebanon in the Ottoman Empire
  • 1516 The Ottoman Empire conquers Lebanon from
    Egyptian Mameluks.
  • 1536 Signature of the so-called
    Capitulations treaty between French King
    Francis the Ist and Suleyman the Magnificent.
  • The French obtain special rights in the Ottoman
    Empire and become the protectors of Eastern
  • In the 16th century, the first Catholic
    Armenians, persecuted in the Ottoman Empire,
    arrive. The Patriarcate of Bzommar is founded in
  • As for Orthodox Armenians, they flee the Turkish
    genocide of 1915-1918. Article 30 of the Treaty
    of Lausanne gives them the citizenship of the
    country where they live. In Lebanon, they create
    a Patriarcate in Antelias.
  • Catholic Greeks and Syriacs come in the 17th

  • Towards an Autonomous Mount-Lebanon
  • Two key figures Emirs Fakhreddine (1593-1633)
    et Béchir Chehab II (1788-1840) worked towards
    the unification of Mount-Lebanon and eventually
    gain autonomy.
  • After many violent conflicts between Druzes and
    Maronites, a first special statute is implemented
    between 1842 and 1860 Caïmacamiaten. It is
    imposed by the Great Powers, the Druzes having
    called the British and the Maronites the French.
  • Two governorates are created, one being ruled by
    a Maronite, the other one by a Druze, both being
    under the authority of the Wali of Saida. Russia
    tries vainly to impose a third Orthodox

Emir Fakhreddine II The Great (1593-1633)
Emir Béchir II Chéhab The Great (1788-1840)
The Mutassarifyie
  • After numerous sectarian conflicts, a new
    administrative system, the Mutassarifyie
    (1860-1920) is created and guaranteed by the 6
    signatory countries.
  • It is ruled by a Mutassarif, who must be a
    Catholic non-Lebanese Ottoman subject , appointed
    by the Sublime Porte. It is assisted by a 12
    member council.

Each of the 7 provinces of Mount-Lebanon is
ruled by a Caïmacam named by the mutassarif and
belonging to the majority community in their
The Early Times of Arab Nationalism
  • The British wish to drive the French away from
    the Levant, which is a key area to anyone wanting
    to control the Suez Canal and the transportation
    of iraqian oil.
  • To achieve this result, they played on Arab
  • British Resident General in Cairo, Sir Henry Mac
    Mahon, promises to Sherif Hussein rule over a
    huge kingdom comprising the Arab Peninsula,
    Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia, in exchange for
    their support in World War I and their upheaval
    against the Turks.
  • Those Lebanese who support Arab Nationalism are
    executed on the so-called Martyrs Square .

3. The French Mandate
The Sykes-Picot Agreements (1916)
  • Blue area (French), under direct
    administration Made of Lebanon and Cilicia
  • Arab area A,
  • Under French influence Made of Northern
    Syria and the province of Mossul.
  • Red area British Under direct
    administration Made of Kuwait and Mesopotamia.
  • Arab area B, under British influence.
  • Made of Southern Syria, Jordan, and the future
    Mandate Palestine
  • Brown area,
  • Under international administration.
  • Includes Saint John of Acre, Haifa and
    Jerusalem. Great-Britain will obtain control of
    the Ports of Haifa and Acre.

  • The French Mandate
  • The unexpected resistance of the French forces
    the British to a division they hoped to avoid.
  • 19 May 1916 Signature of the Sykes-Picot
    Agreements, despite the conclusions of the
    King-Crane commission.
  • 25 April 1920 The Conference of San Remo gives
    France a Type A mandate over Lebanon, Northern
    Syria, and Cilicia. Great-Britain receives
    Mesopotamia and Southern Syria.

The Conference of San-Remo (1920) From left
to right Lloyd George, Orlando, Clémenceau et
  • The Administrative Organization of the French
  • 1st September 1920 General Gouraud proclaims
    Great-Lebanon. France clearly supports
    Maronites. Great-Lebanon is divided into 4
    sandjaks North-Lebanon, Mount-Lebanon,
    South-Lebanon and Bekaa, as well as two
    autonomous cities Beirut and Tripoli.
  • The High Commissionner, who represents France, is
    assisted, in each State, by a Counsellor and
    directs a political office and a civilian office.
    France defines very precisely this position,
    which shows it considers its mandate as a
  • 1922 The Society of Nations confirms the
    mandates given by the Conference of San Remo.
  • 1926 Through the impetus given by
    High-Commissionner Henri de Jouvenel, Lebanon
    becomes a Republic, the Constitution of which
    derives from the one of the French 3rd Republic.
    Lebanon is described as of Arab appearance. A
    Maronite President will be the heqsdthe State.

(No Transcript)
4. The First Independance
June 1941 The French troops enter Lebanon
and Syria. As soon as Vichist troops are driven
out, Free France takes control of the two
states. 8 June 1941 by order of General De
Gaulle, General Catroux declares the
Independance of Lebanon. 1943 The Lebanese
Parliament puts an end to the French mandate.In
response, the High Commissionner has the Lebanese
authorities and the main nationalist leaders
arrested. They will be released by order of De
Gaulle on November 22, which is now the official
date of Independance.
The First Independance
  • Prime Ministre Riad Solh and President Becharra
    Khoury agree on the National Agreement of 1943.
    The power is shared by the three Presidents .
    At the Parliament, there are 6 Christian MPs for
    every 5 Muslim ones.
  • The power being concentrated in the hands of the
    Maronite President, Muslims start feeling
    disadvantaged, which fosters tensions.
  • 1946 The last French and English troops leave

  • The Palestinian Issue (1)
  • 1948 Creation of the State of Israel. The first
    Palestinian refugee camps are set-up in lebanon.
  • 1949 Lebanon signs a truce with Israel.
  • 1952 President Khoury wishes to have the
    Constitution modified in order to be allowed to
    run for a second term but must abandon under
    street pressure. He is replaced by pro-West
    President Camille Chamoun.
  • 1952 Nasser comes to power. He will become the
    leader of Arab nationalism.
  • In Lebanon, Muslims start supporting Nasser and
    the Palestinians, while Christians turn to the
  • 1957 Camille Chamoun has a new electoral law
    voted, with a gerrymander that causes the defeat
    of all Muslims leaders.
  • Angry Muslims call Nasser for help. In response,
    Camille Chamoun asks for the assistance of the
    United States. Eisenhower sends Marines to
    Beirut, which is the starting point of the first
    sectarian civil war in Lebanon.
  • 1958 Chief of the Army General Fouad Chehab
    comes to power. It is the golden age of Lebanon.
    Important public entities are created and the
    money of the first Palestinian refugees boosts
    the economy.
  • 1964 Election of Charles Helou who will govern
    Lebanon according to General Chehabs principles.

Gamal Abd-el-Nasser
Camille Chamoun
Dwight Eisenhower
Fouad Chehab
  • The Palestinian Issue (2)
  • 1964 Creation of PLO in Cairo
  • 1967 Arab defeat and second Palestinian exodus.
    They become a State within the State.
  • 1969 Charles Helou is compelled to sign the
    Cairo Agreements. Lebanon becomes a country of
    confrontation against Israel but Palestinians
    swear not to use their weapons against the
    Lebanese people.
  • 1970 King Hussein of Jordan perpetrates the
    so-called Black September slaughter. PLO
    chooses Beirut as its capital.
  • 1970 Pro-Syrian President Suleyman Frangieh
    comes to power in Lebanon.

Charles Helou
Yaser Arafat
H.M. King Hussein of Jordan
Suleiman Frangieh
5. The Civil War
  • The Civil War
  • 1975 Muslim dissatisfaction is extreme as the
    sectarian power sharing does not take their
    demographic weight into account. In parallel, the
    Christian see Palestinians as a threat.
  • 13 April 1975 Civil war starts. It will last 15
    years and shake the very bases of the State.
    There will not be any election during all the
  • The army being unable to take action, Christian
    leaders encourage their partisans to arm
    themselves. Little by little, actual power will
    drift from the State to armed militias.
  • The Christian start collaborating with Israel.
  • 1978 Israelis invade South-Lebanon before
    withdrawing partly in 1985, leaving the
    surveillance of the area to the South-Lebanon
    army of Saad Haddad, then Antoine Lahad.

  • Hizbullah
  • The organization is created in 1982
    as a response to the Invasion
  • of South-Lebanon by Israel.
  • First a terrorist movement, it is
    convened by Prime Minister Hariri to
    participate to the negociations after the Cana
    slaughter. of It then becomes a bona fide
    political party.
  • The Party possesses a wide network of schools,
    hospitals, retirement homes... partly funded by
  • Military-wise, it possesses 20,000 well-trained
    and overequipped soldiers who managed to defeat
    one of the strongest armies in the world. They
    also have a highly-performing communications
  • Hizbullah is actually the advanced post of the
    Iranian strategy In 1979, when the Islamic
    Revolution took Iran, Imam Khomeiny tried to
    extend it to the whole of the Muslim World. But
    this expansion was stopped by Saddam Hussein,
    supported by Western countries and Gulf
    Monarchies. The only Iranian success was the
    creation of Hizbullah, which allowed ihe country
    to remain in contact with the most important
    issue in the Arab world Palestine.
  • After the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic
    Hariri, Hizbullah remains faithful to Syria
    which is accused of the crime - and tries to
    prevent by all mans their leaving the country.
  • 12 July 2006 Right when it was going to be
    compelled - as a non-statutory armed force - to
    disarm, Hizbullah abducts two Israeli soldiers,
    which is the starting point of a war in which it
    will appear as a hero.
  • 11 August 2006 Resolution 1701 demands that all
    militias be disarmed and provides for 15,000
    UNIFIL soldiers to be deployed in South-Lebanon
    Hizbullah loses its legitimacy.
  • The party then decides to fight on the political
    ground and does its best to prevent any attempt
    at national dialogue as this could lead to its

  • The Taef Agreements
  • 1989 The major changes in the international
    situation, and especially the collapse of the
    Soviet Empire allow the Taef Agreements to be
    signed. Civil war is finished.
  • These agreements describe Lebanon as an Arab
    country. They modify the Constitution and confirm
    the National Agreement of 1943. The sectarian
    balance is re-estalished, as well as equal
    numbers of Christian and Muslim MPs at the
  • Actual power is vested in the Council of
    Ministers as a whole.
  • The Taef Agreements will never be implemented,
    because of the Syrian presence.

6. The Syrian Tutelage
  • The Syrian Tutelage
  • 1976 Arrival of the Arab Dissuasion Force .
    Syrian troops, which came initially for a few
    months, remained for neary 30 years.
  • 1988 Two governments are face to face Selim el
    Hoss which continues to govern in the absence
    of elections and the one set-up by President
    Amine Gemayel which is made of 6 members 3
    Christians and 3 Muslims.
  • 1990 Irak invades Kuwait. The United States,
    looking for key alliances to set-up an
    international coalition, ask Syria to send some
    troops. Syria accepts, provided that it is
    allowed to rule Lebanon. President Bush seals the
  • Syrians then bomb Baabda Presidential Palace and
    force General Aoun to seek asylum in France. He
    will stay there for 15 years, while Samir Gegea
    is jailed.
  • Actual reconstruction starts with the arrival to
    power of Elias Hraoui in 1990, then Rafic Hariri
    in 1992, following the first parliamentary
    elections in 20 years.
  • 1995 The Constitution is amended in order to
    allow President Elias Hraoui to run for a second
  • 1998 Election of Emile Lahoud.
  • 24 May 2000 Israel withdraws unilaterally from
    South-Lebanon, which is often seen as a victory
    of Hizbullah.

7. The Second Independance and the Current Crisis
The end of the Syrian Tutelage
  • 2 September 2004 President Assad decides to
    extend President Emile Lahouds term.
  • 3 September 2004 Despite President Bushs
    refusal and the opposition of the People, the
    Lebanese Parliament passes the amendment to the
  • 3 September 2004 The same day, the Security
    Council of the UN passes Resolution 1559, which
    demands that foreign troops leave Lebanon, that
    all militias be disarmed and that the President
    be elected according to Lebanese laws and the
    Lebanese Constitution.

  • The Second Independance
  • Resolution 1559 transforms the Lebanese
    security landscape.
  • 14 February 2005 Former Prime Minister Rafic
    Hariri is assassinated.
  • Syria is immediately accused. On March 8, a
    demonstration organized by Hizbullah gathers 1.5
    million persons.
  • 14 March 2 million people participate to a mass
    counter-demonstration and demand Syrias
    departure from Lebanon.
  • The last Syrian troops leave Lebanon on April 26.
  • However, Syria still retains some political power
    in Lebanon, thanks to Hizbullah, general Aouns
    Free Patriotic party and Sleiman Frangiehs p
    Party, and to key persons in intelligence and
    security services.

Hizbullah Demonstration in 2005
  • The July 2006 War
  • 12 July 2006 Hizbullah abducts two Israeli
  • Israel immediately reacts by attacking Lebanon.
    Its real objective is to destroy Hizbullah.
  • After 33 days, an indignant international
    community forces Israel to stop the war. The war
    is a failure, from a strategic as well as from a
    political point of view. None of its objectives
    has been met, not even freeing the two soldiers.
    The Israeli army appears as unprepared and
    Hizbullah as the hero of the Arab world.

8. Conclusion and Prospects
  • The Political Deadlock
  • 11 November 2006 all 8 March Ministries
    resign, while continuing their work.
  • From 2006, the Lebanese Parliament has not sat
    but a few times, without being able to achieve an
    agreement about the quorum required for a
    presidential election.
  • In consequence, said presidential election cannot
    take place and nobody has replaced President
    Lahoud who left on 23 November 2007. It is very
    likely that it will not be held before the 2009
    legislative elections.
  • The power is now exclusively vested in Fouad
    Sinioras government. The Lebanese call him the
    King-President .
  • Lebanon has thus gone from a tri-polar division
    of power to a more classical majority /
    opposition scheme.

  • An economy boosted artificially
  • The reconstruction of Lebanon has come to a halt
    with the July 2006 war and the Nahr-el-Bared
    events. The productive system is at its lowest
    level and inflation has reached very high levels.
  • However, some recovery signs can be observed. It
    is due to several causes
  • The funds transferred by the Lebanese Diaspora,
    in especial the one that lives in Gulf countries
    and benefits from the oil boom.
  • Underground economy is booming.
  • The many private security companies are
    recruiting massively, thus generating employment.
  • In addition, the Lebanese system being a
    traditional feudal-sectarian one, political
    leaders voluntarily take up some of the
    competences of the State. And while corrupted,
    this system, which is both the cause and the
    consequence of the structural problems of the
    country, is currently keeping Lebanon alive.

  • The Palestinian Camps ssue
  • They prevent the State from mastering the whole
    territory, therefore prevent stabilization.
  • 380,000 people have come since 1948 and live in
    12 camps all over Lebanon. These camps are
    actually ghettos where the population lives in
    highly precarious conditions.
  • They have soon become security islands that
    are beyond the authority of the State.
  • It is easy to recuit combatants, in especial
    among youths.
  • Camps suffer from the consequences of several
    issues of major geostrategic importance the
    arrival to power of Hamas and the current
    political crisis in Palestine, the Iraq war, and
    the so-called internationalization of jihad .
  • Traditional Palestinian movements are losing
    ground to newcomers.
  • July 2006 The diplomatic shield created by the
    United States to support the Israeli aggression
    against Lebanon leads the Council of Mujahiddin
    in Iraq to extend their fight to Lebanon.
  • Chaker al Absi founds  Fatah-al-Islam , out of
    a small heavily armed group called
     Fatah-al-Intifada . This organization claims
    to depend from Al Qaeda, although the link is a
    purely ideological one.
  • The groups fighters are mostly foreigners but it
    has also been able to recuit in the
    dispriviledged areas of Tripoli as well as among
    the members of the former Dunnieh movement
    who have also fought in Iraq.
  • Several groups of the same family are now at work
    in Palestinian camps Osbat-al-Ansar,
    Jund-el-Cham, Ansar-Allah, the Islamic Jihadist
  • All these groups are drifting apart from the
    Palestinian history and from politics itself and
    are operating within a broader
    deterritorialized jihad .
  • Although the Lebanese army did take
    Nahr-el-Bared, this did not put an end to the
    problem and troubles can start anew anytime...

  • The still Unsettled Issue of the International
  • The International tribunal that is supposed to
    try Prime Minister Rafik Hariris murderers has
    strongly contributed to dividing the country into
    two feuding camps, one wanting to try high Syrian
    responsibles, while the other one strongly
    opposes this idea.
  • It was actually voted under Chapter 7 of the
    United Nations Chart, that is without national
    consensus on the topic.

  • The Chebaa Farms
  • This geographic area accounts for between 25 and
    40 sq. Km, according to estimations.
  • It is claimed by both Israel and Lebanon and
    contributes to fostering conflicts between the
    two countries. Most of the legitimacy of
    Hizbullah derives from it.
  • However, this problem cannot be settled without
    the approval of Syria, which wants to make it
    part of a global agreement on Syrian Golan.

Religious Communities in Lebanon
  • Conclusion and Prospects
  • There are numerous economic, political, and
    security threats in Lebanon.
  • Besides, the country, which is at the crossroads
    of several major political, religious,
    communitarian and strategic fault lines, suffers
    from the consequences of many a regional crisis.
  • The failure of Resolutions 1559 and 1701, that
    have not been - and cannot be - implemented show
    that the solution to this crisis in not in
    Lebanese hands.
  • Lebanon concentrates many foreign influences that
    - since the end of the ward - do not use arms
    anymore, but influence and national leaders are
    working - most of the time - by foreign agendas.
  • Numerous groups are currently arming themselves ,
    which lets us imagine, if this phenomenon is not
    curbed down, a new civil war that will spread to
    a very wide scale.
  • The only solution is, therefore, national,
    regional, and international dialogue of all
    concerned parties.
  • Obviously, nothing is possible without a global
    settlement of the Palestinian issue.