What does it take to get Lebanon’s Maronite Christian President Michel Aoun of the Free Patriotic Movement, Sunni Muslim Prime Minister Saad Hariri of the Future Movement and Shi’a Muslim Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri of the Amal Movement to speak in a united voice? The answer is “Israeli” aggression.
This last week has seen Lebanon come under multiple threats of war from the Zionist regime over Beirut’s plans to tender international bids to extract gas from a maritime gas field off Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast. Compounding these provocations is the illegal presence of “Israeli” soldiers inside Lebanon’s sovereign territory, attempting to begin building a border wall between occupied Palestine and southern Lebanon.
While the popular Resistance movement Hezbollah has stated that any Zionist incursions into Lebanon’s off-shore gas fields would constitute a declaration of war, the Lebanese President, Prime Minister and Parliamentary Speaker have issued a joint statement condemning the Zionist regime for “direct threat to stability”.
Simultaneous to this, the Lebanese Army issued a declaration slamming the Zionist border wall stating ,
“The Lebanese side reviewed the matter of the wall which the Israeli enemy intends to build … confirming the position of the Lebanese government rejecting the construction of this wall as it violates Lebanese sovereignty”.
During the Zionist invasion and occupation of Lebanon in 1978 and the larger, more protracted invasion and occupation beginning in 1982, Tel Aviv attempted and at times succeeded in exploiting sectarian divisions within Lebanese society. The most devastating result of this was the Sabra and Shatila massacre, where “Israel” orchestrated the killings of 3,500 Lebanese Shi’a Muslims and Palestinian refugees in an atrocity carried out by the extremist Kataeb Party which was directly armed by Tel Aviv.
Today’s display of unity in the face of renewed Zionist aggression demonstrates just how far Lebanon’s political system has come since the dark days of the long Civil War. While Lebanon’s sectarian characteristics will always be rife for exploitation by Lebanon’s enemies, today’s statements go a long way to indicate that Lebanon’s enemies will not have an easy time destroying a country that has experienced the horrors of war and the renewal that has come with peace. Lebanon is hellbent on not returning to times of strife and bloodshed.