Just a week after the Lebanese parliamentary elections which saw the pro-Western camp win over Hezbollah, how far can the ‘Party of God’ go?
By making a comparison with Hamas, the main Islamist movement in the Palestinian territories, one can grasp the reality of Hezbollah better. Magnus Ranstorp, the Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College, pointed out this morning that both Hamas and Hezbollah had managed to create a state within a state by building an extensive network of coalitions to counterbalance the opposition; and by establishing a parallel system of governance with their leading authority.
Even though today Hezbollah could seem weakened by the results of the recent elections, its second place in the race is actually a blessing said Magnus Ranstorp.
Indeed it would be far too hard for them to confront the international community if they were to be the first-elected party of Lebanon. And just like Hamas, Hezbollah built enough connections and networks within the country so that its power in Lebanon is virtually unchanged.