Twenty-four hours after Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun called upon the US to be a neutral mediator in “Israel’s” threats to Lebanon’s territorial unity and maritime rights, Beirut has formally rejected the proposal delivered by an American envoy to Lebanon, David M. Satterfield.
Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri of the Amal Movement which is a member of the March 8 Alliance along with President Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement slammed US proposals as “unacceptable”.
The ludicrous US proposal stated that Lebanon and “Israel” should share Lebanon’s off-shore natural gas fields. This was firmly rejected by Lebanon as an insult to its sovereignty. If the best the US can come up with is that Lebanon should share its natural resources with an enemy state, simply because Tel Aviv boisterously claims Lebanon’s off-shore gas fields as its own, the US has not only run out of ideas, but has shown an extreme pro-“Israel” bias that Lebanon has rightly condemned as unacceptable.
As Eurasia Future reported yesterday,
“Relations between the US and Lebanon remain ambivalent due to the multi-party realities of Lebanese politics, president Aoun has reached out to the US in an attempt to avoid a conflict with “Israel” that Lebanon neither needs nor wants, but which it has been preparing for in the eventuality of a renewed “Israeli” attack. During his talks with Tillerson, Aoun implored the US to “work on preventing Israel from continuing its assaults on Lebanese sovereignty”. Tillerson in return pledged continued US support for Lebanon, but this promise has already been met with scepticism among those who recognise a pattern of the US siding with “Israel” in every dispute it has with its neighbours. While Tillerson’s statements in Beirut were largely unsurprising, he did show a rare moment of pragmatism when he stated, “We also have to recognize the reality that [Hezbollah] are also part of the political process in Lebanon”.
While the US tends to defend “Israel’s” multiple indefensible actions against Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, the challenge to the US is clear from Beirut’s perspective. “Israel” is violating the territorial integrity of Lebanon with its illegal border wall and is attempting to provoke a war over Lebanon’s legal right to cultivate its own maritime gas fields. As with Palestine which has recently turned to both Russia and China in attempts to find a more neutral peace broker, if the US fails Lebanon again, Beirut may well also begin looking for another arbitrator to prevent a renewed “Israeli” war on Lebanese soil”.
Having been so severely let down by the US, Lebanon will likely turn to another international partner in order to mediate its disputes with the aggressive regime to the south.