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Hezbollah, Hamas and the Arab Spring (DIEEEO30-2012)

The Arab Spring has not only caught the West by surprise, but also the two most prominent armed groups in the region: Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah, both key actors in the resistance camp against Israel. However, while Hamas has been able to consolidate its position among the new regional actors, Hezbollah is living its darkest hours.
What was seen at first by Hezbollah as promising developments, turned problematic for the group’s interest when the revolts reached its main ally, Syria. Unable or unwilling to disengage from Damascus, it has lost most of its support and credibility abroad and weakened its position at home, Lebanon. The Arab street does not believe anymore in the group’s calls for social justice, fairness, and respect for the people's right to resist oppression and rallies now behind local Sunni Islamic parties that promise also a hard stand on dictatorial regimes and Israel.
On the other hand, Hamas has managed to take full advantage of the new situation. Islamic political parties reaching power across the region are all bond together by a common ideology shared also by Hamas. This has boosted the Palestinian movement’s relevance to the extent that it could force Western capitals to open a dialogue with its leaders in search of a Middle East peace agreement. On top of that, Hamas has been able to graciously refuse to provide support to the Syrian regime, a crucial backer of the movement, while still operating from its territory as they search for a new location for the group’s headquarters.

Author: María González-Úbeda Alférez


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Hezbollah, Hamas and the Arab Spring
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