chapter  5
24 Pages

The breakdown starts (1967–75)

WithHelena Cobban

In Lebanon, President Helou's administration had expressed formal solidarity with the Arab parties to the war. But it took care not to entangle the Lebanese army in the fighting, and not to allow the other Arab armies to utilize Lebanese territory in their efforts either. Throughout the Arab world, including in Lebanon, the common people witnessed directly, in 1967, the humiliation of the vast regular armies which the Egyptian and Syrian governments had been building up for a decade. In the months following the war, the Palestinian guerrilla movement erupted among the Palestinians in Lebanon - and the resulting Palestinian issue then erupted inside the Lebanese system itself. The rapid urbanization which took place in Lebanon in the 1960s and early 1970s affected more than just the new migrants' physical quality of life. The arming of the Palestinians in Lebanon after 1967 had brought regional issues to the heart of the Lebanese system.