The following fictional memorandum is based on the assumption that both movements have the intention to de-escalate current tensions and contribute to a stable
Ever since Hizbollah has taken measures to moderate the on-going tensions by calling of the general-strike, by rejecting Michel Aoun and Sleiman Frangie´s idea of a march on the government´s headquarters inspired by the Ukrainian model and by Hassan Nasrallah personally asking the relatives of Shiites who were killed in the January clashes to refrain from seeking revenge.
Similarly Saad Al-Hariri, as the Head of Mustaqbal, has in contrast to his allies Samir Geagea and Walid Jumblat moderated his rethorics towards Hizbollah and its ally
Both movements have included members of the respective other religious community in their rallies and prayers in order to diffuse the sectarian character of the crisis. The compromise in principal about the successor of Emil Lahoud as Lebanese President can also be seen as a renunciation of all-out demands.
Memorandum of Understanding between Hizbollah and Mustaqbal Movement as the dominant forces in the „March 14“ and „March 8“ alliances
1) On the military level
Mustaqbal accepts and values the principal of resistance in a transition phase during which the resistance plays a crucial role to defend the country against foreign aggression in the south of the country,
provided that Hizbollah accepts and actively contributes to working out a national defence strategy with the aim to establish the Lebanese Army as the sole armed group and protector of Lebanon in all its territories
provided that Hizbollah acts in a strictly defensive manner and does not obstruct a diplomatic solution of the conflict about the Shebaa-Farms.
As soon as a solution about the Shebaa-Farms in favour of
Hizbollah accepts the stated demands,
provided that Mustaqbal immediately pursues to disarm affiliated militias and exercises pressure on other sunni (extremist) militias that re-emerged in the course of the growing sectarian tensions to disarm
provided that Mustaqbal immediately ceases to finance sunni extremist groups as a counter-weight to the military presence of Hizbollah
provided that Mustaqbal stops appeasing sunni extremists e.g. by pardoning criminals in order to snatch votes for its movement
2) The “War of Words”
Both sides commit themselves to de-escalate the so-called War of Words in a highly biased media landscape. This involves:
- The affiliated media organs of Hizbollah and Mustaqbal, al-Manar and Future TV, commit themselves to give the “other side” a platform to explain theirs stance for a certain amount of time every day.
- Both movements exert pressure on their allies to refrain from populist accusations towards the respective counter-part (e.g. Gagea, Jumblat)
- Both movements commit themselves to refrain from denouncing “the other side” as a tool of external actors but to recognize the counterpart as an independent actor
3) Political Level
Both sides commit themselves to the necessity of a change of the political system which currently does not reflect the demographic situation. An unjust system bears the risk of violence.
Mustaqbal is commited to reform of the political system provided that Hizbollah accepts the system as a means of representation and therefore refrains from street politics as well as refrains from its objective of the establishment of an Islamic state in its Charta.
The reform involves ideas which have been elaborated in former efforts of reformation by the National Commission to … or contents of the Taif agreement
- Short term: Expression of accountablility to the Opposition
Reform of decision-making in the current cabinet as expression of accountability to
19 Government Coalition + 10 Opposition + 1 Person without decision making competence
Long term perspective: Gradual renunciation of Confessionalism
i. through establishment of a two chamber system consisting of one chamber elected on a majoritarian-vote basis and another chamber elected on a proportional
ii. providing mechanism to end clientilism --> Counting votes at the qada level, not a village or neighbourhood level
- Democratization as alternative to unconventional means of politics
i. Reducing voting age
ii. The enabling of in-country Lebanese to vote near their place of residence
iii. Women’s quota at Muhafza level