B/K Notes Pg. 206 – 208

--Notable for its non-participation in Israeli wars of 1956, 1967, and 1973
Created by a French mandate, and were drawn specifically to heighten French economic and political control; “divide and rule tactics.”
-- The Lebanese independence, granted by France in 1941, gave rise to free elections in 1943 and also the National Pact which made government possible despite the wide religious spread of the country (or at least for a while).
--Through these tactics, the French asserted the preeminence of the Maronite Christians who had often believed themselves as descendants of the Phoenicians.
-- Was seen as a Christian and Western outpost in the Middle East.
-- Lebanon was the only ARab country to endorse the Eisenhower Doctrine against communism.
-- The Christians in Lebanon were much wealthier than the Muslims.

  • Lebanese Religious make-up:
Maronite Christians
Greek Orthodox
Greek Catholics
Sunni Muslims
Shi’a Muslims

Causes of the 1958 Civil War:
--Lebanon’s shape-shifting or neutral stance on international political issues
--The 6:5 ratio of Christian: Muslim in Parliament
--Increasingly apparent economic disparities in society
-- Tensions arising between the Maronites and pan-Arab Muslims, and between sects of their own religion.

PLO's Involvement:
PLO raids on Israel became more and more frequent, testing the internal balance of Lebanon’s government. The Cairo Agreement of 1969, which limited PLO militias to areas of southern Lebanon (Fatahland) was violated often and without restraint.

Causes of the 1975 Civil War:
--Uncontrolled movement of PLO factions throughout country
--200,000 or more Palestinian refugees in southern Lebanon
--Israeli responses to PLO artillery
--Exacerbation of already present economic and political differences within Lebanon

Works Cited:
  • Bickerton, Ian J, and Carla L Klausner. A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2005.