The Ehden massacre of 1978 in lebanon: The creation of a resistance myth

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On June 13, 1978, mercenaries of the Maronite leader Bashir Gemayel brutally assassinated Antoine (Tony) Frangieh, the son of the Lebanese ex-president Suleiman Frangieh, his wife, and daughter, along with some thirty of his supporters in the town of Ehden in north Lebanon. This massacre was part of Bashir Gemayel’s attempts to unite the Maronite community under his leadership and gain control over Lebanon. Although intra- Maronite clashes were common, the Frangieh family turned the Ehden massacre into a resistance myth. According to the family, the entire event was an American-Israeli plot to divide Lebanon, and the Ehden victims died while resisting these schemes. This article examines the evolution of the resistance myth, its importance for the family’s political aspirations, and its relevance in the years following the massacre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-337
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Middle East and Africa
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2016


  • Frangieh
  • Israel
  • Massacre
  • Phalange party
  • Political myths
  • Syria


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