State or No State: Enough Lies!!

Elias Bejjani


It is a shame and a pity that some of those leaders & politicians holding the decision-making in our suffering homeland, Lebanon, are wasting a rare golden opportunity for salvation. The reality of the “arena-country” is imposed by the weapons and money of foreigners, and it is critical to begin – with all honesty, transparency and dedication – the process of strengthening and reinforcing the foundations of the State of Laws, Rights and free, sovereign and independent Institutions.


A modern State for all the Lebanese in all their ethnic, religious and cultural persuasions; a State we have always wanted, which the free and honorable fighters among our people always sought for years past, and for which they suffered with patience, faith and hope from the indecencies and the crimes of the era of occupation.


Thousands of our holy martyrs offered themselves on their country’s altar so that we keep our heads high, our dignity unblemished, and our standards fluttering. What do we tell them as we watch the regressive and cowardly rulers we have today?


It is striking that after the forced eviction of Syria’s military from Lebanon under resolution 1559, hypocrisy has returned in force and with it the lying and deception, and the free and pro-sovereignty Lebanese citizen is no longer able to understand which way its rulers and politicians are going.


For as the latter continuously call, day in and day out, for the need for the State to rise and extend its authority and the law, we also see them accept – willingly or unwillingly – the continued domination of Hezbollah and the continued armed presence of the Palestinian camps as security no-man’s lands and time bombs in the hands of Baathist Syria, Iran, and other regional fundamentalist forces that have gotten used to using Lebanon-the-Arena as a playground for their conflicts and wars.


Monstrous leaders who demand respect for international resolutions and the implementation of the "Taef Accord", while at the same time picking and choosing whatever suits their interests and protects their influence, and worse yet, linking the fate of what is strictly Lebanese in those resolutions, particularly resolution 1559, with those resolutions that have nothing to do with Lebanon. They insist, as it were, first on the implementation of resolution 194 for the return of the Palestinians to their country, and all the other resolutions that were passed since the creation of the League of Nations, then the United Nations, including the resolutions pertaining to every far and remote corner of the world!!! They want to see the crises of all the continents brought to an end before accepting the just and fair resolutions calling for the return of a sovereign and independent Lebanon that is free of foreigners and their weapons!


For them to praise the "Taef Accord" and its benefits reveals how fake their Lebanese identity is, because this accord, and in spite of all its other defects, classified all armed groups as militias that must be disarmed.  It also demands the deployment of the Lebanese army along the border with Israel and the adherence to the armistice agreement, and the spread of the authority of the State throughout its territory with its own forces.


They speak of an internal dialogue with Hezbollah, a proposal that still needs to see the light of day. A dialogue, they preach, that will facilitate the consensual implementation of the remaining provisions of resolution 1559, such as surrendering Hezbollah's weapons to the State, dismantling its military infrastructure and engage in political action. Meanwhile, the party declares unambiguously and around the clock that the ceiling of such a dialogue is, in the party's own militant terms, “how to protect the party's weapons” and nothing else. It then goes around linking the ultimate fate of its weapons to, at times, the liberation of the Shebaa Farms, and at other times, to the return of the seven villages, and always to the existence of the State of Israel and to the protection of Lebanon from Israel's plots, conspiracies and ambitions!! All this when all the leaders of Arab states, including the leadership of the Palestinian resistance itself, have made peace with Israel, struck agreements with it, and are queuing their turn in line with great eagerness.


So the question is, “How long the deception and the hypocrisy will go on?” The obvious truth says that there is no possibility whatsoever for the rise of a strong centralized unified State alongside enclaves and small states that are outside the State's legitimate authority and constitutionality. The principle of the existence of a unified State stands in stark and absolute contrast with, and is really eliminated by, the existence of armed militias that have hijacked the role of the national army and the authority of the State on the borders and inside the nation, and that have monopolized the decision for war and peace with the neighboring countries. This is the role that is supposed to be entrusted with the State alone and not to any other faction or party.


The time has come for everyone, without exceptions, to clearly and unambiguously take a position vis-à-vis the principle of the rise of the State to the exclusion of anyone else, and that this State cannot tolerate any shareholder in its legitimate political, military, security, judiciary, and financial powers, as well as in its relations with other countries.


As to the task of protecting Lebanon against Israel or any other forces or countries, it should fall exclusively to the legitimate Lebanese armed forces and security forces. Anything else is mere noise, threats, pretexts, alibis and justifications – all imported or fabricated Jihadist vintage destined to preserve the anomalous position of Hezbollah and the armed Palestinian camps in their status quo. These are all deadly sins against the very existence of the nation, a flagrant attack on the rights of the Lebanese people, a violation of the constitution and the Charter of Human Rights, a reckless disregard of all international resolutions, and a belittlement of the intelligence of the Lebanese people and their dignity.


They speak of many things; they maneuver, lie and deceive; they turn around and around, willfully and deliberately, trying to avoid the substance of the issues at hand: Their illegal weapons and the principle of the rise of one State above all. They seem concerned about so many other issues, when the point is very simple: One State and one State only. Is there anyone to listen, rise and speak up for the truth with courage in order to save the nation and the people?


Hezbollah knows what it wants, and is clear about its goals and foreign ties as well as its aim to protect its military and Jihadist advantages. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's latest fiery speech left no room for interpretation or doubt about the designs of the party's leadership. Do the leaders, politicians and communities of Lebanon know what they want?


In the end, the Lebanese people will never forgive those Leaders, officials, clergymen and politicians who miss the current opportunity presented by the international community to rescue the nation. Shouldn't we hear the message, “Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things and yet few are needed, indeed only one.”


Elias Bejjani
*Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
*Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
*Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
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