Hezbollah Among Hosts of Anti-war Conference

Washington - This weekend, anti-globalization and anti-war groups will count Hezbollah among their ranks as they come together to host a special conference in Beirut, Lebanon.

The conference, entitled "Where Next for the Global Anti-War and Anti-Globalization Movements?" is expected to play host to about 200 representatives from dozens of protest and peace groups.

Conference organizers said that five Lebanese organizations will form the conference's "host board," including Hezbollah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front and Fatah.

During the conference, participants will mark the anniversaries of the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982, in which hundreds of Palestinian refugees were killed by the Lebanese Phalangist Christian militias, a group aligned with the Israel Defense Forces in a search for Palestinian Liberation Organization members during the latter's invasion of Lebanon.

One conference session is entitled "The Lebanese People's successful struggle against Israeli occupation."

While is not the first time such organizations have worked with anti-Israeli groups, this is the first time Hezbollah, a religious group not involved with the anti-war or anti-globalization movements, has played such a central part.

It is unclear whether any of the numerous Jewish members of United States anti-war and anti-globalization protest groups will participate in this conference with Hezbollah.

Members of such protest groups have identified themselves with Hezbollah in the past, and following Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon, hurled stones over the border.