Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Policy Analysis

Policy Notes 79

Green Without Borders: The Operational Benefits of Hezbollah's Environmental NGO

Matthew Levitt and Samantha Stern

Also available in العربية

May 2020


According to its blog, the Lebanese NGO Green Without Borders plants trees, creates public parks, and fights forest fires. But the benignly named outfit also has another mission. Working with Hezbollah's construction arm Jihad al-Binaa and with the militant group's allies inside and outside the government, GWB openly seeks to advance the "southern Green resistance" against Israel. To this end, it provides direct cover for Hezbollah's operational activities, from harassing UN patrols, to carrying out missile attacks on Israel, to obstructing UN cameras at the border with deliberately placed trees.

In this illuminating Policy Note -- complete with detailed border maps and satellite imagery -- Matthew Levitt and Samantha Stern tell the story of GWB and explain why the mandate for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon must be reworked after the secretary-general's next report in July. The sovereignty of an economically battered Lebanon and the stability of the wider region depend on a renewed effort to address all facets of Hezbollah aggression.

THE AUTHORS

Matthew Levitt, the Fromer-Wexler Fellow and director of the Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute, is the author of Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God (Georgetown University Press, 2013).

Samantha Stern, the Koret Young Scholar and a research assistant in The Washington Institute’s Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, is a salutatorian graduate of Dartmouth College.