The Arab World’s Duty Toward Lebanon

The Arab World’s Duty Toward Lebanon

Nida Al-Watan, Lebanon, November 28

Lebanon is an occupied country. It has been occupied by Hizbullah, which serves as Iran’s biggest and most crucial proxy. In order to establish its foothold in Lebanon, Iran had to ensure that the sociopolitical conditions in the country fit its needs. Through Hizbullah it managed to rid the Lebanese political system of any real authority — doing so conspicuously, from within. It turned Beirut into a base for its operations both in Lebanon and abroad. Thanks to the complicity of Lebanese leaders, and the apathy of others, Iran turned Lebanon into one of its largest bases. In this regard, the majority of Lebanese people — most of whom oppose Hizbullah and its policies — have been placed on forced quarantine. The pretext has always been to avoid a civil war, to prevent bloodshed, and to protect national unity. But the truth is that, over the years, the Lebanese system became a failed system incapable of confronting Hizbullah. Lebanon’s corrupt ruling class turned into a group of people interested in nothing more than protecting their own power while persistently ignoring the will of the Lebanese people, who sought to rid their country of Hizbullah’s grip. The truth is that whoever talks about Lebanon as an independent state is either a liar or simply delusional. This raises an important question: What are the duties of the Arab world toward occupied Lebanon? Should Arab states confront Iran’s occupation of Lebanon or turn their backs towards Lebanon and its people? This is the question that the Lebanese people, who are under occupation, are asking. The duty of the Arabs towards Lebanon is not to drown it with money and aid, but rather to help it liberate itself from the Iranian occupation with the help of the Lebanese public. The liberation of Lebanon is an Arab interest just as it is a Lebanese one, and its liberation can only be achieved with the help of the Arabs, who also face an existential threat from Iran. Iran’s project in the region threatens us and threatens you. Is it wise to turn your back on Lebanon at this historic moment? –Ali Hamadeh (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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