The Alternative: Islamic Resistance Thought

Document Type : Commentary (International Relation)


Professor, Institute of Social Science, Al Maaref University, Beirut, Lebanon


The idea of Islamic resistance is one of the most important views that has been formed in the foreign policy strategy of some Islamic states, especially in the Middle East region. This thought is determined in contrast to the conservative discourse of compromise and acceptance of the dominant logic of the great powers and some regional actors, especially the Zionist regime. This idea, which has been popular in the region for the past few decades, has received much attention since the 2006 Lebanon War (Tammuz war). In fact, one of the practical achievements of this war was strengthening the discourse of resistance in the region. In fact, before the success of Hezbollah in this war, the prevailing approach of the people of the region was based on this perception that the Zionist regime is invincible. This definite belief had developed and deepened so much that it had become the myth of Israel's invincibility in the region .This situation was considered unquestionable fact because of the high capability of the Zionist regime in the military field.
This opinion of weakness against Israel was not only limited to the thoughts of ordinary people, but politicians and other elites in Lebanon also believed in this theory, and therefore, solutions such as mediating international organizations to compromise with   Israel were suggested.
In this circumstances, the resistance was able to put the face-to-face fight against Israel and confronting its excesses as its first and main priority and, accordingly, advance the political and cultural struggles in the next priorities.
When we look at the circumstances surrounding this war, we get complicated situations. At that time, after the attack of September 11, U.S. had implemented large-scale tensions and wars in the region. The occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the expulsion of the Syrian army from Lebanon, the assassination of Rafic Hariri, the pressure on Syria to expel the Palestinian groups, had caused to a critical and complicated situation in the region. These conditions had been planned to come an end by appearance of The New Middle East in the 33-day war in 2006. In fact, before this war, we saw the threat of an attack, occupation and pressure in the region, and the Tammuz war was supposed to be the result of these events to hit the resistant in the region. But what actually happened was the defeat of the enemy in the battle of Tammuz and its acknowledgment of this defeat. Before this war, the atmosphere of compromise and getting along with the occupiers was dominated among the majority of the people in the Middle East, but Hezbollah's victory in the war with the Israel showed that resistance is the main and successful solution in the battlefield against the occupiers. And this caused the resistance after the victory in Tammuz to a Self-confidence in Lebanon and Palestine and to become stronger today than in the past. On the other hand, the regime has understood this power and today it is difficult for it to talk about another war, without pay attentions to the role of the resistance. In the meantime, perhaps turning resistance into a successful theoretical and practical strategy was the most important achievement of this war.
In fact, before the 33-day war, there were two general approaches in dealing with Israel, the first approach was to compromise with the Zionist regime, and the second approach was to confront and resist it. It can be said with certainty that after the victory of the resistance in the 2006 war, the Palestinians became more favorable to the second discourse. Also, the Tammuz war proved to Israel that it can no longer launch a lightning war against the resistance and not allow the resistance to gain its goals on the battlefield. For this reason, the battle of Tammuz destroyed this illusion in the Israel's leaders and failed the U.S. plan in the Middle East.
The impact of resistance in the international system is very clear. The axis of resistance in the current order is gaining strength. U.S. left Iraq with extreme weakness, and it's weakness against the axis of resistance is expressed even inside the country. After the 2006 war, the defeats of U.S. and Israel began in the region and this caused the expansion and acceleration of their decline in the world as it observed in recent Ukraine War. Accordingly, a new discourse base on resistance is being formed after the Tammuz war, which must be followed, but it should be aware that U.S. and Israel are waiting and observing the opportunity specially by using their dominance on media and cyber space to overcome the resistance. In this framework, the normalization of relations among Arab and Islamic countries with the Israel is reflecting.
On the other hand, creation of economic and social problems in Lebanon is a new way to pressure the resistance and appoint it as responsible for this condition. In fact, U.S. and Israel attempt to pretend that Hezbollah's resistance has been the cause of these problems, however, the result of 2006 war and the effort of U.S. and Israel to retaliate for it is the main cause of this situation.
The trick of the enemy in the war of Tammuz is used in a new way today that is convincing Arab and Islamic states to normalize relations with Israel and increasing economic sanctions and creating political isolation for Lebanon, Syria, Venezuela, etc. But today, the resistance especially in the case of the Karish gas field has proved that it is “of the people, by the people, for the people”. In the case of the Karish, Hezbollah by threatening Israel shows that it does not pass the right of Lebanese and it is ready to fight for the Lebanon’s national interests. The latter case shows that despite the continued hostilities with the axis of resistance, the strategy of active resistance and relying on its rational policy based on defensive deterrence - whether in Iran, Iraq, Syria or Lebanon - can pursuit as the most efficient and desirable option against the hegemonic policies of the U.S. and Israel In the Middle East.

Main Subjects

Volume 10, Issue 1
March 2023
Pages 203-205
  • Receive Date: 09 October 2022
  • Revise Date: 29 November 2022
  • Accept Date: 13 January 2023