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Another force has emerged as an unlikely rampart against the barbaric and delusional leaders of the self-proclaimed caliphate: Lebanese pluralism.The international community should move beyond military aid to support Lebanon's real strengths: its moderate, pluralist and vibrant society.When ISIS arrived at the border, however, most of Lebanon's political parties, media and civil society rallied together.Even the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has caused deep fissures in Lebanon by helping to shore up Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, supported the Army's campaign (though the party's desire to allow others to die fighting Assad's opponents was undoubtedly a key motivation).Lebanon's acceptance of cultural diversity and pluralism has enabled the country to emerge whole from 15 years of civil war, to withstand decades of Syrian and Israeli occupation, and finally to stand up to ISIS.Both pluralism and moderation remain the dominant forces in the country; tellingly, ISIS could not find a single Lebanese to volunteer to act as its emir over Lebanon.Such a large refugee population can easily transform – and destabilize – a society, especially one that is as fragmented as Lebanon's.
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