a coalition of major christian conservative parties, which became an important player in the 1975 civil war in lebanon.
Established in 1976, the Lebanese Front included the National Liberal Party of the former president, Camille Chamoun; Sulayman Franjiyya, the president of Lebanon when the Lebanese Civil War began in 1975; Pierre Jumayyil, head of the Phalange—the front's major military power; the Guardians of Cedars; the Permanent Congress of the Lebanese Orders of Monks; al-Tanzim of Dr. Fuad Shemali; the Maronite League headed by Shakir Abu Sulayman; and other independent personalities such as Dr. Charles Malik, Fuʾad Bustani, and Edward Honein.
In August 1976, the coalition established a military branch, known as the Lebanese Forces, which could mobilize 30,000 troops. At the beginning of 1978, Franjiyya became critical of the open collaboration between Israeli government officials and front leaders Chamoun and Jumayyil. Franjiyya was also against the Camp David peace accord negotiations between Egypt and Israel (approved by other front members) but championed a close relationship with Syria. In May 1978, Franjiyya resigned from the front. It was subsequently wracked with dissent and disintegrated.
The Lebanese Front charter had stressed the need to maintain the unity of Lebanon, to reestablish the authority of the law, and to respect private enterprise in the economic sector.
see also franjiyya, sulayman; jumayyil, pierre; lebanese forces; national liberal party.
Al-Montada Reports. The Lebanese Conflict, 1975–1979 (Dossier 2). Beirut, 1979.
george e. irani