Hizballah is usually defined as an Iranian group whose origins are found within the Shi’a and Iranian traditions. In this paper, however, we examine the activity of Hizballah as a Lebanese za’im, namely, within the context of the Lebanese elite families (zu’ama). We explore various aspects of Lebanese zu’ama that also typify Hizballah. These aspects include the provision of social services to the people, and the use of surveillance measures in order to control its supporters. Then, we will suggest a new “za’im” definition of Hizballah that encompasses its activity in Lebanon.
A few months prior to the Lebanese parliamentary elections of 1992, Nabih Berri, leader of the Amal movement, was asked to describe his main accomplishment. He answered that his most significant achievement was the abolishment of the feudalism within the Shi’a community. In his answer, Berri referred to the weakening of the feudal families which had ruled the sect for many years. These families, called the zu’ama (singular za’im), were not unique to the Shi’a, but were, and still are, characteristic of Lebanese politics as a whole. Unlike families of other sects, the Shi’a families were pushed aside by the sect’s clergy, especially by Musa al-Sadr who established the “Movement of the Deprived” and then the Amal movement, which resisted the zu’amaʼs influence.
Berriʼs statement was only partially true. Indeed, the concentrated attempts of both al-Sadr and Berri to weaken the influence of the elite Shi’a families have resulted in a decline in their power. Nevertheless, these families have not been completely abolished, and they still possess some influence within the community. Moreover, although Berri proclaimed that he had undermined the activity of the feudal families, his own activity in Lebanese politics was no different from those he supposedly replaced, namely the zu’ama. It seems that Berri and the Amal movement became a “new zaiʼm” following the same patterns as the displaced feudal families.
Thus, the politics of the zu’ama, which primarily involves arbitration between the government and the residents by creating patron-client relations, still persists within the Shi’a community. Since Hizballah is integral to and plays a leading role within the Shi’a community, is it possible that it has also been influenced by this form of politics? Although Hizballah tries to portray itself as a clean-handed party, opposing the sectarian regime and zu’ama politics, does the fact that it operates within the same political arena mean that it, too, is acting in a similar manner? Namely, can Hizballah be defined as a “new za’im” walking the same path paved by the zu’ama and Amal of Nabih Berri?
At first glance, any connection between Hizballah and the zu’ama may seem unlikely. First, Hizballah is not a family, and leadership within the party is not inherited from father to son. Second, while parties in Lebanon usually depend on their leader or on a traditional family, both informal and less-efficient institutions, as a political party in the Lebanese arena, Hizballah offers more formal and efficient institutions.  However, a close look at Hizballah’s mode of operation reveals that Hizballah and the zu’ama share many more commonalities than are readily apparent. It seems that rather than creating new methods and measures for operating successfully in the Lebanese political arena, Hizballah has improved and elaborated on the traditional political tools used by the zu’ama. For that reason, Hizballah is not the revolutionary party it may seem to be but in actuality a traditional one, which follows the example of the zu’ama which it initially aimed to replace.
This article demonstrates that the activity of Hizballah, at least of its political-civilian wing, very closely parallels that of a “Lebanese za’im.” The article begins with a discussion on the origins and the modus operandi of the zu’ama, followed by an exploration of the various aspects of Lebanese zu’ama that also typify Hizballah. These aspects include the provision of social services to the people through social welfare programs, and the use of surveillance measures in order to supervise and control its supporters. Based on these observations, it then proposes a new definition of Hizballah that encompasses its activity in Lebanon; a new interpretation that might be of assistance in understanding and effectively countering this Lebanese Party of God.
THE ZU’AMA: DEFINITION, ORIGINS AND MODES OF OPERATION
One of the oldest institutions in Lebanon is the za’im. The literal meaning of the word is “leader.” In Lebanon, however, the term has a slightly different meaning, namely, the leader of a village or a town, or a leader of a community or a region, who extends his protection and patronage to the people of the region, village or neighborhood or the members of his community, all of whom are under his influence. The za’imʼs relationship with his subjects is that of a patron-client. He grants favors, protection and patronage, while his recipients back him in his struggles against other zu’ama and support him politically by voting for him in parliamentary elections. For the most part, these chiefs or leaders came from strong elite families in their area. Gradually, the term “zu’ama” became synonymous with the elite families.
The Ottoman Empire encouraged the rise of elite families, although these had already existed in earlier periods. When the Ottomans conquered the regions of Syria and Lebanon in 1516-1517, they looked for more efficient ways to collect taxes, appointing local leaders to act on their behalf. The tax-collecting families began to gain status and power. If a resident encountered a problem with the Ottoman authorities, he would most likely have approached the tax-collecting family in his area in order to solve it. For the residents of the area, these prominent families represented the authorities.
With the founding of the Province of Lebanon (the Mutasarifiya) in 1861, followed by the establishment of the Lebanese Republic in 1920, the elite families sent their representatives to the new state institutions, thereby adapting to the changing circumstances and successfully maintaining their power. While circumstances changed, the essential characteristics remained. When a problem arose between a Lebanese citizen and the official system, the citizen would look to the zu’ama for a solution. The services provided by the za’im would be later rewarded with the citizen’s vote for the za’im or his representative in parliamentary elections. As the za’im became more entrenched in state institutions, his ability to benefit his supporters increased. These interrelationships shifted the citizens’ loyalty from the state to the za’im. Although occasionally, some zu’ama may have used coercion, it is safe to say that in most cases the za’im depended on the support of his subjects or “clients,” for without them, he could not be elected to institutions of the state, thus undermining his source of power.
In his article, “Ideologies of the Mountain and City,” Albert Hourani, a historian with Lebanese origins, lists three types of zu’ama. The first is the “feudal” za’im who rules over his subjects as a landowner whose family traditionally held a position of power. Kamal Jumblatt and his son, Walid, belong to this category of zu’ama. In addition to being politicians, they are scions of a feudal family that has ruled over the Druze community in the Chouf Mountains of Lebanon for generations. Likewise, this category may include the Shi’a zu’ama of southern Lebanon and the Bekaa region, such as al-As’ad and al-Zein, who were active in the last century, but whose clout has decreased over time.
Another type of za’im commonly found in Lebanese politics is the “popular political leader.” This leader rules over his subjects not only by dint of patronage and protection, but by political ideology as well. This type of leadership is prevalent mainly among Maronite Christians in areas of Mount Lebanon. Christian families, such as Gemayel, Chamoun, Eddé and Frangieh belong to this category. They rule by virtue of their political capabilities and their ability to protect their followers.
The third type of leader, according to Hourani, is the “urban” za’im found mainly among the Sunni-Muslim urban leadership. This type of Muslim leader rules over his subjects by granting them protection and by virtue of ideology. Moreover, this za’im makes use of the urban populace. According to Hourani, Muslim leaders enlisted the support of the urban masses with the help of strongmen (qabadayat). Urban Sunni families such as Salam and al-Yafi from Beirut and Karami from Tripoli belong to this group.
The various categories notwithstanding, it seems that the modus operandi of the different zu’ama is largely similar. The zu’ama offer protection, services and patronage to their supporters and some use strongmen or middlemen in order to control the masses. Over the years, and particularly after the Civil War , other elite families and zu’ama have entered the scene. Although most of these newcomers are not from notable and traditional origins, it seems that they are following the example of the traditional zu’ama.
The politics of the zu’ama are viewed as corrupt and old-fashioned, impeding the progress of Lebanon and the formation of a Lebanese national identity. Rather than vowing loyalty to the state and its institutions, this style of leadership is seen as maintaining Lebanese citizens’ “primitive” loyalty to their family, tribe or geographical region. Nevertheless, it appears that the politics of the zu’ama have some advantages, particularly in the unique Lebanese political arena, since it enables maintaining the Lebanese system and preventing its collapse. The different zu’ama share a common interest in preserving their gains and avoiding drastic changes, thus keeping their status intact.
Consequently, throughout Lebanon’s history, the zu’ama have managed to reach various compromises among themselves to preserve this common interest, as long as no harm came to their individual interests. These compromises, such as the power sharing in Lebanon among the various sects or the balance of power between the heads of state, enable the Lebanese system to operate and exist in front of many obstacles, and to arise like a phoenix after crises.
Making compromises characterizes Hizballah’s mode of operation as well. Since its formal establishment in 1985, Hizballah has undergone a process of Lebanonization, namely, adaptation and assimilation into contemporary Lebanese reality. For instance, in its “open letter” of 1985, the party’s statement of principles, Hizballah stated that its goal is the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon. Nevertheless, the party declared that such an Islamic regime would be established only with the consent of the Lebanese public and by its choice. By letting the people choose their own regime, it seems that Hizballah walks the middle way between ideology and practicality.
The process of Lebanonization was accelerated at the end of the Civil War. In 1992, Hizballah became part of the Lebanese political system. Entering Lebanese politics implied that it had willingly “muddied its hands” taking part in official political activities. It participated in campaigns for parliamentary and local elections, surveys and polls. It appears that Hizballah adopted the method of compromise which characterizes zu’ama politics.
THE PROVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICES
One of the foundations of Hizballah is its programs of social activity and welfare. Hizballah’s all-encompassing charity projects include hospitals, schools, scholarship funds and loans for families and small businesses. The organization sees its charitable work as a form of jihad and an act of resistance in the struggle against oppression. The beneficiaries of Hizballahʼs charitable work are mainly Shi’a, although according to the party’s pronouncements, these social programs are available to the oppressed in any community in Lebanon.
In establishing its social and welfare programs, Hizballah took advantage of the void created by the state’s negligence of social affairs. According to its leaders and activists, even if the state strengthens and is eventually able to provide the necessary services for the welfare of its citizens, Hizballah will continue its social activities, complementing the state’s services. The weakness of the state, in one form or another, is apparent to all communities, not only to the Shi’a. Thus, different zu’ama have exploited this weakness for their benefit. It seems that all zu’ama, not only Hizballah, have given and presumably will continue to grant welfare and social assistance to their supporters.
Lebanese sociologist, Samir Khalaf, described the “social” activity of former President Suleiman Frangieh who served from 1970-1976, as follows:
Every Sunday, and often on other days, the President literally holds open house. All protocol is lifted and any person, regardless of station or background, can see his audience without previous appointment. He personally enquires about each of his visitorsʼ relatives, recalling nostalgically past moments they might have shared together, listens to their grievances and promises prompt attention. Much like a fief holder of old, presiding over the private concerns of his estate, he is more the affable, benign and personable ʻBeyʼ displaying genuine empathy and compassion in the lives of his subjects than a President carrying on with the affairs of state. He is no longer President Frangieh but ʻAbou Toniʼ or ʻSuleiman Bey,ʼ the tribal Za’im (boss, chief) of a tightly knit community.
President Frangieh is not the only such example. Other zu’ama have acted in a similar manner. The Druze leader Walid Jumblatt holds “open house” days as well. Jumblatt and his aides receive a variety of requests from local residents, whom they try to help as much as they can. He not only gives assistance to private individuals, but also deals with infrastructure in areas where he wields influence. His aides inform him about the state of the roads, supply of water and electricity in those areas, and Jumblatt tries to persuade the different ministries to act on behalf of Chouf residents.
Even Sunni zu’ama were not idle. Historian Michael Johnson conducted a study of the Sunni zu’ama of Beirut and noted that:
Because of their wealth notable families, were, in effect, required to give some assistance to the urban poor, providing jobs, money and welfare services as well as mediating in disputes and performing other political services. Increasingly, notables performed their philanthropic role through organizations such as the Makassed Society. By becoming leading members or directors of this Society they were able to fulfill another ʻrequirementʼ—that of religious and communal identification. As notables they had to have some reputation, if not for religious piety, then at least for being associated with religious institutions. Amongst Sunnis this usually meant they should play an active part in the Makassed, the most important Muslim Society in Beirut.
The zu’ama to which Johnson refers, for the most part, are those whose historic roots go back several generations, and had a “ruling” tradition dating to the late nineteenth century. These elite families established the charitable institution, al-Makassed, which enabled them to assist members of their local communities, as well as enhance their prestige among the Sunnis. Over the years, additional wielders of power were established in the Sunni community, all of whom followed the example set by the older families. Former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, for example, established the Hariri Foundation, which granted scholarships to students in need. It gradually expanded its activities to other areas such as assistance to farmers and to infrastructure.
Care for the disadvantaged elements in society is not a new concept for the Shi’a community. The major providers of services in the community were the zu’ama and the ulama (Islamic clergy). Until Musa al-Sadr, a Shi’i religious figure instrumental in the Shi’a revival, the ulama were under the patronage of the zu’ama. Despite their subordinate position, Shi’a religious leaders established charities in order to help the impoverished in their community. The Shi’a ulama of southern Lebanon founded the Association of the ʿUlamaʾ of Jabel ʿAmil, which built orphanages and created additional projects for the welfare of Shi’a residents of the area. Similarly, the Shi’i religious leader, Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, himself a descendent of a family of landowners in southern Lebanon, founded charitable institutions in the Naba’a neighborhood of East Beirut. The Amal movement founded by Musa al-Sadr, also engaged in charity and welfare.
The social programs and “open houses” of the zu’ama enabled them to spread their control over their communities and the residents of the areas where they lived. In fact, the zu’ama created a system of patronage and patron-client connections with their supporters, so that each za’im set up a quasi-state within his area of control. The za’im, and not the state institutions, served as the address for his supporters regarding all contact with the authorities. This relationship of dependency paid off in the form of votes for the za’im during parliamentary elections.
Hence, the social activities and welfare programs ran by Hizballah should be examined in light of the activities of other players in Lebanon. As such, Hizballah is not unique in the Lebanese arena, since all groups are active in the field of welfare in order to gain political benefits. However, while Hizballah presents its aid to the poor and disadvantaged as originating from religious and altruistic motivations, an investigation of its welfare activities reveals the underlying political benefits of such programs.
As in the case of other zu’ama, Hizballahʼs system of patronage not only serves deprived clients but also those who are employed within these charitable institutions. For example, Hizballah and its supporters run the al-Rasul al-Azam Hospital in the Dahiya neighborhood of Beirut, established by Iran for Hizballah and the Shi’a community. On election days, Hizballah often arranges transportation to the polling stations, both for any hospitalized patients who are capable of voting and for medical staff. While it is impossible to know for sure for whom these patients and staff vote, it is likely that they did not “bite the hand that feeds them,” and voted for Hizballah. Furthermore, it seems that the impoverished and those who are employed by Hizballah understand that it is advisable to maintain proper relations with the party lest they lose the welfare services or be fired from their positions.
Similarly, members of the al-Shahid Foundation, the Hizballahʼs charity organization that deals with the families of members of Hizballah who were killed, were stationed at the ballots during the parliamentary elections in 1992 and 1996. There, they verified that those who received assistance from Hizballah came to vote. They even made sure that the recipients of this charity cast the “correct” ballot. Those who did not come to vote or voted for non-Hizballah candidates lost their right to receive services from Hizballah. Thus, these instances present a clear pattern of payment for services in the form of votes that is common among zu’ama.
Nevertheless, a major difference between the welfare services of Hizballah and those offered by the zu’ama lies in the breadth and depth of the services provided. The welfare services of Hizballah have turned into organized institutions with branches and non-profit organizations, some of which are even registered as NGOs, thus forming its own social service infrastructure. The majority of Hizballah’s financing for these services is derived from Iranian financing, profits from Hizballah’s businesses and from contributions by individuals. Once Hizballah became a member of the Lebanese establishment, it also began receiving funding from the state. In contrast, the “welfare services” of the zu’ama rely solely on the state’s resources. Still, while Hizballah’s welfare services differ in scope and breadth, their essence and purposes resemble those provided by other zu’ama. Hizballah HAS managed to perfect the practices of the zu’ama and has transformed its granting of welfare services into an art.
THE USE OF SURVEILLANCE MEASURES
An additional aspect common among zu’ama that also characterizes Hizballahʼs conduct is the gathering of intelligence. One problem the zu’ama faced from the Ottoman era into modern Lebanon had been controlling and exploiting the masses for their own needs. The za’im usually maintained a higher standard of living than that of the masses, thus he rarely had any direct contact with the locals and their actual needs. Nonetheless, he still needed to have a grasp of their mood and make sure that other zu’ama did not try to infiltrate areas under his patronage. Therefore, it was essential to closely supervise and monitor the masses, while ensuring a connection between them and the za’im.
This connection often consisted of strongmen (qabadayat) who knew the street and the local population, and could carry out the will of the za’im. The strongmen acted as “sub-contractors” for the za’im, and were responsible for bringing the people to the polls on election day. For the most part, they were thugs and criminals, who embezzled, charged protection fees from owners of businesses, stole and extorted money. The zu’ama used the thugs for their benefit and provided protection from prosecution in exchange for getting votes and performing services. Despite their criminal activities, the residents of the neighborhoods and villages admired the thugs, and often turned to them in their hour of need.
The zu’ama required information as to the atmosphere and the happenings in the areas under their influence. Therefore, in addition to thugs, they often used people who “lived” on the streets and were able to gather information on passers-by. Johnson explained how the zu’ama of Beirut used taxi drivers, juice and coffee vendors and messengers in order to gather information about what was happening in the areas under their control. Furthermore, zu’ama were assisted by heads of villages who served as mediators between the za’im and the villagers.
While Johnson focused on the Sunni zu’ama of Beirut, the use of thugs and informants was common among other zu’ama in various cities and in villages. In his book, The Vanished Imam, Fouad Ajami describes how the Shi’i za’im ʿAdel ʿUsiran challenged the authority and influence of Ahmad al-Asʿad, the leading za’im of southern Lebanon. ʿUsiran was a graduate of the American University of Beirut and presented himself as enlightened and progressive, however, al-Asʿadʼs hold over the people was too strong to overcome. “He [ʿAdel ʿUsiran] did not have Ahmad Beyʼs [al-Asʿad] electoral machine and Ahmad Beyʼs thugs.”
While these methods of surveillance and control were common among the zu’ama until the 1970s, it appears that they are still in use by Hizballah today. It justifies such measures as necessary due to fear of Israeli spies and other security interests. In order to prevent outside infiltration into its ranks, Hizballah has had to take precautionary steps. Thus, in the wake of the rebellion in Syria and and the involvement of Hizballah’s military wing alongside Bashar al-Asad’s forces, car bombs exploded in Hizballah strongholds in South Beirut. As a result, Hizballah erected barriers at the entrances of the neighborhoods, interrogated passers-by and searched suspicious persons. The purpose of such actions may be considered as protecting both the residents of the Dahiya and as serving Hizballah’s own security interests.
Hizballah also uses these means of gathering information and providing protection to the Shi’a community for local and political purposes. For example, these networks act in tandem with the organization’s charitable institutions. Surveillance techniques pinpoint people who are in need, thus providing with the necessary aid quickly and efficiently. Similarly, these networks are used for maintaining order in areas under Hizballah’s influence. For instance, in the Bekaa region, where Shi’a tribes are in constant conflict, Hizballah acts as a mediator between the sides and quickly resolves disputes as they arise. In this manner, Hizballah’s intelligence networks enable it to monitor the situation closely and react rapidly and efficiently to any crisis which arises. Incidentally, this mediator role, which Hizballah takes upon itself, closely resembles the traditional zu’ama function in mediating and arbitrating between disputing parties.
Hizballah’s intelligence networks also enable it to ascertain that its “clients” cast correct ballots at the polling stations. Hence, its security men participated in supervising parliamentary elections in 1992, along with Lebanese police forces. At some polling stations, Hizballah members made sure that people voted for the “correct” candidate. Complaints were also made against Hizballah members for bribing officials at the Ministry of the Interior in order to receive identification papers of people who had died and using them to vote for their party’s candidates. The claims of election fraud in Baalbek led to demands for cancelling the election results, however, Hizballahʼs security men threatened to use force if the results were to be rescinded. In order to dissolve this volatile crisis, the government officially recognized the results of the elections in Baalbek, in which four representatives of Hizballah were elected. In sum, supervision and surveillance for political purposes were accepted methods used by Lebanese zu’ama. As in the case of providing welfare services, Hizballah did not originate these practices, but merely adopted earlier traditions which were already prevalent among the zu’ama.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF DEFINING HIZBALLAH AS A ZA’IM?
Zu’ama from all communities make up a major component of Lebanese politics. They serve as mediators between the citizen and the establishment, and in fact, divert citizens’ loyalty from the state to the elite families. Hizballah’s conduct reveals a pattern of behavior that is closely similar that of a za’im. It provides welfare services to its voters and thus achieves political gains. In addition, Hizballah engages in close supervision and surveillance over its followers and thus, once again, gains political capital by securing votes. Taking these similarities into account, of what use is interpreting Hizballah’s actions as part of the social and political concept of a za’im?
Defining Hizballah as a za’im adds a layer to contemporary understanding of the organization and its activities in Lebanon. It is customary to present Hizballah as an offshoot of an Iranian organization, whose roots are to be found in Teheran rather than Beirut. Defining Hizballah as a za’im highlights its Lebanese, rather than Iranian, characteristics and activities. Although the organization was set up as an Islamic revolutionary movement that functions as an extension of Iran, in time it adopted the well-known ways and politics of the zu’ama, despite heavy Iranian influence. It is possible that the Lebanese political system does not allow its participants to veer from the model of the zu’ama, and that therefore, Hizballah has to adapt its ways of conduct and embrace the same path used by the traditional players. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
Moreover, by examining Hizballah within the context of the zu’ama, its revolutionary aspect seems to dissipate. Its ambition, like that of other zu’ama in Lebanon, will likely be to maintain the status quo, to increase its power within the existing framework rather than to overthrow the system. Thus, Hizballah is not revolutionary, but following the path of its Shi’a and Lebanese predecessors. This, in turn, undermines Hizballah’s attempts to present itself as untainted by corruption, as morally superior to the unethical politics prevalent in Lebanon and as refusing to take part in the patron-client system. In truth, the picture that emerges is entirely the reverse.
Therefore, if the desired goal of Hizballah is the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon through open and democratic elections, it has encountered some difficulties. If the public is to choose an Islamic state of its own free will, it must be convinced that it is optimal. For this purpose, the Lebanese people need a model which would serve as a moral example and present the benefit of establishing such a state. However, if Hizballah behaves as a za’im, its moral standing is precarious. It can no longer serve as an example of moral conduct and purity, since it is tarnished by the corruption that is common among all other political groups in Lebanon.
Furthermore, like other zu’ama, Hizballah relies on its supporters for maintaining political power. Without the Shi’a community’s support, there would probably be no Hizballah. Therefore, in order to weaken its standing, it is essential to deflect the Shi’a public’s support from the party. It seems that by defining Hizballah as a za’im and focusing on its corruption and patron-client relations will serve this goal well.
Albert Hourani listed three types of zu’ama: the feudal za’im; the popular-political za’im; and the urban za’im. These types encompassed the known zu’ama of Lebanon, including those of the Shi’a community. In our opinion, a fourth category should be added to Hourani’s types: the religious za’im, who uses pious ideology to gather support. According to this definition, it appears that Hizballah is another brick in the wall in Lebanon and the Lebanese Shi’a politics. Although every brick has its own uniqueness, it is still part of a whole.
Therefore, if the Lebanese Shi’a community desires to free itself from the chains of the zu’ama, it needs a new “Musa al-Sadr,” who will continue the process of change. It seems that no such change can come of Hizballah, for as a “religious za’im,” it is merely following in the footsteps of the zu’ama.
* Dr. Dan Naor is a researcher in the department of Middle East studies, at Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel and in the Department of Israel and the Middle East at Ariel University, Israel.
 Al-Shiraaʿ (Beirut), No. 519, March 23, 1992.
 For Musa al-Sadr and Amal activity in Lebanon see: Fouad Ajami, The Vanished Imam: Musa Al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon (New York: Cornell University Press, 1992); Augustus Richard Norton, Amal and the Shi’a – Struggle for the Soul of Lebanon (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987); Omri Nir, Nabih Berri and Lebanese Politics (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). The Shi’a elite families were weakening because of the activity of leftist parties as well.
 Harel Chorev, “Power, Tradition and Challenge: The Resilience of the Elite Shi’ite Families of Lebanon,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 40, No. 3 (2013), pp. 305-23; Augustus Richard Norton, Hezbollah – A Short History (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2007), p. 23; Judith Palmer Harik, “Between Islam and the System – Sources and Implications of Popular Support for Lebanonʼs Hizballah,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 40, No, 1 (1996), p. 51; A. Nizar Hamzeh, “Lebanonʼs Islamists and Local Politics: A New Reality,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 21, No.5 (2000), p. 755; Roschanack Shaery-Eisenlohr, Shi’ite Lebanon – Transnational Religion and the Making of National Identity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), p. 32.
 The literature regarding Hizballahʼs role in Lebanon is varied. See for example: Norton, Hezbollah; Judith Palmer Harik, Hezbollah – The Changing Face of Terrorism (London: I.B. Tauris, 2007); Eitan Azani, Hezbollah, The Story of the Party of God – from Revolution to Institutionalization (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); Joseph Alagha, Hizbullahʼs Identity Construction (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011); Naim Qassem, Hizbullah – The Story from Within (London: Saqi, 2005); Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh, In the Path of Hizbullah (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2004); Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, Hizbuʼllah – Politics and Religion (London: Pluto Press, 2002); Emmanuel Kargiannis, “Hizballah as a Social Movement Organization: A Framing Approach,” Mediterranean Politics, Vol. 14, No. 3 (2009), pp. 365-83. For classifying Hizballah as a terrorist group see: Mona Harb and Renoud Leenders, “Know the Enemy: Hizbullah, ʽTerrorismʼ and the Politics of Perception,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2005), p. 175.
 Michael Johnson, Class & Client in Beirut – The Sunni Muslim Community and the Lebanese State 1840-1985 (London: Ithaca Press, 1986), pp. 2-6, 39-41; Labib Zuwiyya Yamak, “Party Politics in the Lebanese Political System,” in Leonard Binder (ed.), Politics in Lebanon (New-York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1966), pp. 149-152; A. Nizar Hamzeh, “Clientalism, Lebanon: Roots and Trends,” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3 (2001), pp. 167-71; Samir Khalaf, “Changing Forms of Political Patronage in Lebanon,” in Ernest Gellner and John Waterbury (eds.), Patrons and Clients in Mediterranean Societies (London: Gerald Duckworth and Co. Ltd., 1977), pp. 187-90.
 Kamal S. Salibi, The Modern History of Lebanon (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1965), pp. 3-10; Abdul-Rahim Abu-Husayn, Provincial Leaderships in Syria, 1575-1650 (Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1985), pp. 67-127.
 Johnson, Class & Client, pp. 2-10; Eyal Zisser, Lebanon – The Challenge of Independence (London: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2000), pp. 3-5; Hamzeh, “Clientalism,” p. 170.
 Albert Hourani, “Ideologies of the Mountain and City,” in Roger Owen (ed.), Essays on the Crisis in Lebanon (London: Ithaca Press, 1976), p. 35; Wade R. Goria, Sovereignty and Leadership in Lebanon 1943-1976 (London: Ithaca Press, 1985), pp. 11-12; Farid el-Khazen, “Kamal Jumblatt, The Uncrowned Druze Prince of the Left,” Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 24, No. 2 (1988), p. 178; Fouad Ajami, The Vanished Imam, p. 63; Alexander Bligh, “The Mutawalis of Lebanon,” ha-Mizrah he-Hadash, Vol. 23, No. 2, (1973), 194-200 (Hebrew).
 The Maronite popular-political zuʿama used to gather support by advocating Christianity in Lebanon in light of a Muslim threat. The Muslim urban zuʿama, for example, used to raise various flags in support of Arabism, Nasserism and even the Palestinian cause, in order to gather support.
 Hourani, “Ideologies,” p. 35; Goria, Sovereignty, pp. 11-12; Johnson, Class & Client, pp. 2-3, 18-22.
 Rola el-Husseini, Pax Syriana – Elite Politics in Postwar Lebanon (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2012), pp. 86-121.
 Eyal Zisser, Lebanon, Blood in the Cedars: From the Civil War to the Second Lebanon War (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2009), pp. 38-45 (Hebrew); Michael Young, The Ghosts of Martyrs Square – An Eyewitness Account of Lebanonʼs Life Struggle (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010), pp. 9-15.
 In its early days, Hizballah consisted of a collection of Islamic Shi’a groups which had become active in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The height of their activities was after Israelʼs invasion to Lebanon in 1982. At that time, these groups were engaged in violent acts against Israeli forces and against the international forces dispatched to Lebanon in order to restore calm. In fact, one may refer to Hizballah as a unified entity only since 1985, after the movement published an “open letter” which presented its statement of principles, thereby presenting the organization to the Lebanese public and to the world. Azani, Hezbollah, pp. 59-67.
 Qassem, Hizballah– The Story from Within, pp. 31-32; Martin Kramer, Fadlallah: The Compass of Hizballah (Tel Aviv: The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, 1998), pp. 54-55 (Hebrew). In 2009 Hizballah published its new manifest in which it omitted its desire to establish an Islamic state. Instead it adhered to the democracy of Lebanon and emphasized its objection to the sectarian character of Lebanon. This is yet another sign of the Lebanonization progress it underwent. For the manifest text see: http://www.moqawama.org/essaydetailsf.php?eid=16245&fid=47
 Norton, Hezbollah, pp. 101-6; Hamzeh, “Lebanonʼs Islamists,” pp. 745-48; Alagha, Hizbullahʼs Identity Construction, pp. 113-15.
 Shawn Teresa Flanigan and Mounah Abdel-Samad, “Hezbollahʼs Social Jihad: Nonprofits as Resistance Organizations,” Middle East Policy, Vol. 16, No. 2 (2009), pp. 126-29.
 Ibid, p. 129.
 Khalaf, “Changing Forms of Political Patronage,” pp. 186-87.
 Young, The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, pp. 83-84.
 Johnson, Class & Client, p. 46. Italics appear in the original.
 Ajami, The Vanished Imam, pp. 73-84; Judith Harik, “The Public and Social Services of the Lebanese Militias,” Papers on Lebanon, No. 14 (September 1994), pp. 13, 24-25; Rodger Shanahan, The Shiʿa of Lebanon – Clans, Parties and Clerics (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011), p. 149; Kramer, Fadlallah: The Compass of Hizbullah, pp. 19-20, 27-28.
 Hamzeh, “Clientalism,” p. 172.
 Young, The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, pp. 84-85; Norton, Hezbollah, pp. 45-46.
 Judith Harik, “Hizballahʼs Public and Social Services and Iran,” in H. E. Chehabi (ed.), Distant Relations: Iran and Lebanon in the Last 500 Years (Oxford: The Centre for Lebanese Studies, 2006), p. 275.
 Flanigan and Abdel-Samad, “Hezbollahʼs Social Jihad,” p. 132.
 Eyal Pascovich, “The Social-Civilian Activity of Hamas and Hizballah – Sources Ideology and Practice: A Comparative Study” (PhD Diss., Bar Ilan University, 2009), p. 311 (Hebrew).
 Pascovich, “The Social-Civilian Activity, “p. 124; Harik, Hezbollah – The Changing Face of Terrorism, p. 82; Haaretz (Tel Aviv), July 26, 2006, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/hezbollah-an-empire-worth-millions-1.193784; The New York Times (New York), December 13, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/world/middleeast/beirut-bank-seen-as-a-hub-of-hezbollahs-financing.html?pagewanted=all
 Johnson, Class & Client, pp. 2-5; Hourani, “Ideologies,” p. 35.
 Johnson, Class & Client, pp. 2-5.
 Ibid, pp. 38-39.
 Ajami, The Vanished Imam, p. 71. See also: Omri Nir, “Continuity and Change in the Shi’ite Community of Lebanon” (PhD Diss., Tel-Aviv University, 2002), p. 17 (Hebrew).
 Flanigan and Abdel-Samad, “Hezbollahʼs Social Jihad,” pp. 129-30; Harb and Leenders, “Know the Enemy,” p. 190; A. Nizar Hmazeh, “Clan conflicts, Hezbollah and the Lebanese State,” The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 19, No. 4 (1994), pp. 423-46.
 A. Nizar Hamzeh, “Lebanonʼs Hizbullah: From Islamic Revolution to Parliamentary Accommodation,” Third World Quarterly, 14, No. 2 (1993), pp. 329-33.