What they want from the Diaspora?
By: Elias Bejjani

The Lebanese-Syrian installed regime officials alleged lately that they are interested in the Diaspora and are doing their best to put an end to the division in the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU). In this context the Hoss Cabinet issued a ministerial decree on Wednesday 11/8/1999 #133/99, in which it amended the previous decree #59/99 related to the formation of a special committee assigned to put a study on the Diaspora and the current status of the World Lebanese Cultural Union. The new decree called for the formation of a new committee under the supervision of the PM, composed of the following: Fouad Al-Turk, Haithem Gomaa, Ahmad Tabara, Chukri Aboud, Walid Barakat and Brigadier Adonied Nehmee.

It is worth mentioning that all the members of this committee are governmental employees except Mr. Turk who is a retired ambassador and previous undersecretary for the Lebanese Foreign Affaires ministry. Mr. Turk is also one of the WLCU founders.

According to the decree the committee has been entrusted to achieve the following assignments:
1-Unifying the WLCU and activating its role.
2- Deciding on the executive and procedural requirements needed to activate the role of the Lebanese Diaspora and profiting from its capabilities and resources.
3- Supervising the decisions taken by the committee and to carry on the needed worldwide connections to achieve the mandate of the committee.

Two days after the issuing of the decree, Annahar newspaper stated (on 13/8/1999) that General Lahoud gave his directions to the a/m committee to end the WLCU double presidency crisis through an agreement between its two presidents, Mr. Naji Neam, who is supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. George Antoine, who is supported by the Ministry for Immigrant’s Affairs. The aim of the consolation as alleged will be to end the WLCU double presidency crisis and open a new era in its history as a prerequisite preparatory procedure to reunite it Then, to elect two councils, one presidential and international, with a consensus to serve the interests of the Diaspora. Annahar stated as well that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has asked all its embassies and diplomatic delegations all over the world to prepare reports on the WLCU status, offices, chapters, activities and learn how comprehensive is its representation for the Diaspora communities. The purpose of such a study as alleged, is to maintain the WLCU independence and to help it in assuming a proper Diaspora representation.

In fact, the sudden interest of the regime in the Diaspora, especially at this high official level is not so innocent. It coincided with the remarkable progress achieved under closed doors at the Syrian-Israeli negotiation track through Washington. These negotiations are now in the open and are expected to be resumed soon under the American umbrella. It also coincided with the opening of the Palestinian refugee’s settlement case in Lebanon.

We solidly believe that the Lebanese-Syrian installed regime aims to divide, paralyze and completely tame the Diaspora before it starts to execute the settlement of the Palestinian refuges in Lebanon. The scheme also calls for full hegemony over the WLCU through a puppet leadership of collaborators willing to play the role of the devil and forge the representation of the Diaspora.

Meanwhile the Lebanese regime has no place in the Syrian-Israeli coming negotiations after the Syrians (with Washington’s blessings) marginalized and practically cancelled Lebanon’s role. Lebanon became a solely a pawn in the process and accordingly any peace treaty achieved will be at the expense of the Lebanese and their country’s identity and sovereignty. Lebanon under the Syrian occupation and the tenure of the puppets will be conciliatory prizes distributed on the Syrians, Israelis and Palestinians.

The most serious and scary acts of treason that Syria is promoting are the so-called Syrian reassurances its Assad regime is promising to the Israelis from Lebanon. The Assad regime is trying to convince the Israelis that its long-term occupation of Lebanon is the only guarantee for securing the Israeli borders with Lebanon and to contain and control the guerrilla activities. The scary other bitter fact is that Syria up till now did not take a clear official stance in this regard, which means the scheme against Lebanon is an Israeli-Syrian one.

Legally and ethically the Lebanese regime do not have any damn right to interfere in the WLCU affairs under any given circumstance. Every time it attempted to interfere since 1990 the outcome has been disaster, more divisions and more disintegration of the WLCU. The question is: How can a puppet subservient regime give to the Diaspora unity, affiliation, devotion and independence, when it does not have any of them itself? It is worth mentioning that the WLCU at the present time is crippled and alienated from the Diaspora communities exactly like the political parties functioning in occupied Lebanon.

The Lebanese regime is trying to manipulate the WLCU and turn it into a subservient and crippled institution:
It wants the WLCU to be in the exact image of the Lebanese political parties whose leadership represents the Syrian occupier and not its membership,
It wants the WLCU to be a puppet with no mechanism for independent decision making process,
It wants the WLCU to give up politics and limit its role to social, athletic and recreational activities,
It wants the WLCU to be an advocate for the Syrian occupation to Lebanon and the Syrian scheme of annexing the country,
It wants the WLCU to promote Arabism instead Lebanonism,
It wants the WLCU to deny any affiliation to the Lebanese significant identity, the Lebanese culture or the Lebanese 6000 years of deeply rooted history,
It wants the WLCU to be against Lebanon and against its people’s aspirations for freedom and liberation,
It wants the WLCU to be divided into sectarian and tribal factions fighting each other,
It wants the WLCU to accept the imposed Syrian status quo on Lebanon and promote for the need of the Syrian troops,
It wants the WLCU to accept the hegemony of the Assad regime on the Lebanese role in the Arab-Israeli peace process, and promote the mockery of the Syrian-Lebanese track unity forced on the Lebanese,
It wants the WLCU to accept and promote for the settlement of the Palestinian refugee in Lebanon,
It wants the WLCU to be under its full control to appoint and dismiss its leadership and decide on its bylaws, constitution and activities.

Since 1990 The World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) and the Lebanese Diaspora have been the victims of a vicious well-organized scheme. The Lebanese-Syrian installed regime, the mastermind behind this scheme has established the Ministry for immigrants especially to execute this assignment. This new Ministry could not alone perform the venomous job because the Diaspora unveiled the scheme and rejected all those who advocated for it. The Beirut regime then divided the dirty work equally between the new ministry and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs using mere denominational instigation basis. The plan aimed initially to play on the Diaspora’s communities emotions and manipulate their religious and territorial affiliations in a bid to tam them and join the collaborators with the Syrian occupation.

With full coordination between the two ministries and with the help of the Diaspora’s mercenaries, including some religious figures, the WLCU was divided in two-week organizations, both working under the regime’s umbrella. The majority of the Diaspora’s patriots who honor Lebanon’s significant identity, history culture and dignity discovered the scheme from day one, and abandoned the WLCU after numerous unsuccessful efforts to put it on the right national track.

The two WLCU divisions worked under the Beirut regime’s umbrella. The one under the chairman of Mr. George Antoine, affiliated to the Ministry of immigrants and the one under the chairman of Mr. Nagi Naiem affiliated to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The reality here is that both, Naiem and Antoine, were and still are two different faces for the same coin as far as their stance in regards to the imposed occupational status quo and their patriotic commitments to Lebanon’s convictions, history, identity and sovereignty.

The regime’s venomous scheme failed badly and its figures could not manipulate except the Diaspora’s opportunists and mercenaries to be involved in their dirty work In the Diaspora they could not resort to the Stalinist means used in occupied Lebanon in a bid to intimidate, detain, persecute or harass the citizens. Accordingly the scheme had no success, the WLCU lost its role and practically ceased to exist. Definitely the WLCU will not be revived again though the Beirut regime vicious efforts or through the notorious traitors and collaborators living in the Diaspora.

We are fully aware of the Beirut’s regime intentions and plans, and know exactly their destructive aims and objectives towards the Diaspora. But despite of all these solid facts, if the regime and its masters actually need to know what the Diaspora wants, the following are the main demands:

1-Leave the Diaspora alone and stop your vicious schemes targeting its unity, affiliation and Lebanese identity. The Lebanese in the Diaspora are very intelligent, efficient, hardworking people and extremely ambitious. They have been able to be presidents, Prime Ministers, MP’s, Senators, governors, army chiefs and very successful businessmen. They achieved marvelous successes in every field and proved to the whole world how capable, democratic and liberal they are. The Lebanese in Diaspora do not need a puppet subservient regime to dictate on them how to run the affaires of the WLCU or any other organization.

2-Don’t attempt to transfer the totalitarian Syrian-imposed mentality to the Diaspora because the majority of these communities live in free and democratic countries. They breach and practice democracy, elect their own representatives on all level freely and would not allow you under any circumstances to appoint who represents them in the WLCU or any other Diaspora organization.

3- Don’t stab the Diaspora in its back by your poisonous treacherous knives, and stop fabricating the mockery legislations that aim to deprive them from their right in the Lebanese citizenship. Have shame on yourself and put an end to the new proposed citizenship law that gives the immigrants a fake status “Immigrant Status”. Such mockeries alienate the immigrants and make then wonder if criminals, thieves and drug trafficers and foreigners are more eligible then they are to have the Lebanese citizenship. The Lebanese immigrants have deserved the citizenship of their fathers and grandfathers through blood, affiliation, faith and sold belief in the mightiness of Lebanon and its deeply rooted history. You should understand that the conditions included in the new proposed citizenship law as prerequisites for the immigrants to reclaim their citizenship are unacceptable and void of any credibility. Who expects the 20 million Lebanese immigrants to leave the countries where they are living currently and move to reside in Lebanon with all their family members for one year and a half to become eligible for forwarding an application for the citizenship? The other question is: who is going to decide on the applications under the occupation umbrella.

4- You must never forget that any Lebanese organization be in Lebanon or in Diaspora that does not practice politics in its right concept would be betraying Lebanon. Any organization that names itself Lebanese must advocate strongly for Lebanon’s independence, freedom, sovereignty, distinguished identity, history and culture. Otherwise it does not have the right to carry Lebanon’s name. Sheik Mohamed Shams-Eddine said: “Politics is our daily bread, and if we don’t practice it, others will to impose on us their believes and pattern of life”.

5- In case your intentions are genuine, and we doubt much this is the situation, you should take certain practical and simple measures to bridge the relationship with the Diaspora. We suggest that your first initiative should be the implementation of a modern computerized system through the world-wide Lebanese embassies to help immigrants, who still have the citizenship to exchange their Identity Cards without any difficulties. The second thing to do is to grant the immigrants the citizenship of their fathers and grandfathers. After such decisions, you the regime officials will have the right to say that you are actually trying to help the Diaspora.

6-You should understand that any Diaspora organization that does not address both the Syrian and the Israeli occupation and advocate for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon is not actually Lebanese, and would not be working for the Lebanese, but for their enemies.

Lebanon’s 6000 years of deeply rooted history is a live witness for the Lebanese on going heroic struggle for liberty and freedom. Their affiliation for Lebanon be they in Lebanon or in Diaspora is not decided by a passport, identity card or any other document provided by a puppet regime. Their affiliation to Lebanon is holy, eternal, spiritual and intellectual. It is an affiliation based on love devotion, faith and hope.

Lebanon and the Lebanese shall be victorious as they have always been, and their enemies will be defeated sooner or later with shame and disgrace.

We call again on the Beirut regime figures to understand these facts and to be wise and learn from history?
Long Live Free Lebanon