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Guardians of the Cedars (Lebanon)

حراس الأرز, Lebanese Renovation Party

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: guardians of the cedars | cedar | shield: red | lebanese forces |
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[Guardians of the Cedars (Lebanon)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 Jul 2005

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The Guardians of the Cedars was founded in 1969 by a group of men meeting to form a political gathering with the task of standing up against the new invasion of Lebanon by the PLO, when Lebanese Gen. Emile Boustani signed the Cairo accord with the refugee Yasser Arafat on November 3, 1969, which gave the PLO the right to use parts of the Lebanese territory (Arqoub area in south Lebanon) to wage guerilla wars against Israel. Although the gathering was licensed under the name Lebanese Renovation Party, it could not come out publicly, due to its military illegal goals. They formed a genuine resistance nucleus to start with the defense. The streets of Beirut witnessed for the first time graffiti on the walls that stated "no for the Arabs," "no to the Syrians," and "no Palestinians will remain on the Lebanese territory." These carried the signature "GoCF," Guardians of the Cedars Front.

The movement actively participated in uniting arms under the banner of the "Lebanese Forces" in 1976. The Lebanese Forces came to light in the command headquarters of the Guardians of the Cedars. In 1987, represented with its leader, the party participated in reviving the Lebanese Front, and in 1989 left the Front after it took the decision to walk in the path of Arab initiatives that were concluded with the Taef Peace Accord. Then in 1989, the Wide Front for Liberation and Change was formed and took the headquarters of the party as its main command center. The front included a number of active intellectual, political and social figures and it strongly stood in support of Gen. Michael Aoun's government.

In 1990, The Lebanese Forces invaded party's headquarters, looted its contents and detained the leader of the party who later took refuge in the Jezzine area, but also in that very same year the the new Lebanese Front was revived under the leadership of the late Danny Chamoun. The party participated with its representatives in the elections. From March 1990 up till now, the party is continuing its struggle to liberate Lebanon from Jezzine.

Sources: Guardians of the Cedars website 1, 2

Esteban Rivera, 30 Jul 2005

The Guardians of the Cedar are a right-wing Christian organisation that opposes Syrian influence in Lebanon as well as Muslims and Arabs in generals.

Marc Pasquin, 16 Jan 2007

Are you sure of the latter? Middle East Christians, of which many are Lebanese citizens, are usually considered as Arabs, and most are Arabic speakers. Indeed this organization's logo includes Arabic writing.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 Jan 2007

I think self-perceptions may be changing in this regards. While at one time Christians were disproportionately represented among some secular Arab nationalist movements, from a lot of browsing over the last several years I have seen a number of Middle Eastern Christians [or their relatives in the diaspora] who are rejecting identification as Arabs, and are describing themselves as Coptics, Aramaics, Syriacs, Assyrians, even Phoenicians in the case of some Lebanese.

Hand-in-hand with this is a growth in interest in learning Aramaic in some of the communities. So while I do not know exactly how widespread such feelings are amongst Middle Eastern Christians in general, I see nothing implausible about a group expressing them.

Ned Smith, 17 Jan 2007

From what I gathered online, the Guardians of the Cedars (so as not applying this to the rest of the Lebanese Christians) believe themselves to be not Arabs, but descendants of the Phoenicians.

Marc Pasquin, 16 Jan 2007

Leaving aside that both above propositions could co-exist, I still don't get how or why an anti-Arab entity would use an Arabic alphabet (and Arabic language) text on its symbols.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 Jan 2007


Unlike the normal party emblem, the shield on the flag has a much thicker border, plus a thin white line running near the inner edge.

Eugene Ipavec, 30 Jul 2005

The flag included is based on photographs on the official website of the organisation. It is simply the logo of the organisation (Naturalistic cedar in a red-bordered shield design with Arabic name) on a white field.

Note that the pictures featured both vertical and horizontal variants that were identical in design save for the orientation of the logo.

Marc Pasquin, 16 Jan 2007