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Maronite Patriarch calls for ‘active neutrality’ to unite and save Lebanon

Do you support the Neutrality pact proposed by Patriarch al Rahi ?

  • Yes

    Votes: 16 69.6%
  • No

    Votes: 7 30.4%

  • Total voters
    23
Resign

Resign

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Is Lebanese unity threatened? This is what the Maronite patriarch, Card Beshara Raï, strongly affirms, in a nine-page "Memorandum on Lebanon and active neutrality" published yesterday, August 18, in which he declares himself in favour of this "non-alignment" which he considers essential for the survival of the country and its historical vocation. The "various and deep seated conflicts threaten not only the State but the very being of the nation", or rather its raison d'etre and its very existence amid “radical changes that continue to shape the present and future of the entire region".

"Lebanon’s neutrality is indeed the guarantee of the country’s unity and its historical role, especially in this period characterized by geopolitical and constitutional transformations," the patriarch writes in the preamble of his memorandum, recalling that in a homily on 5 July he asked the 'UN "to work for the consolidation of Lebanon's independence and unity, for the application of the United Nations resolutions concerning it and to recognize its neutrality".

This request had won the support of some and raised the reservations of others, he admits in substance. In his memorandum, the patriarch tries to explain the "why" of his request and to dispel some of the ambiguities he had raised. The patriarchal document explicitly cites the preponderant and disproportionate place taken by Hezbollah in the life of the nation as the raison d'être of the campaign in favour of "active neutrality".

But before arriving at this, he begins by specifying that this neutrality, although it did not assume the aspect of "constitutional rank", was no less present in the spirit of the founders of the State of Greater Lebanon (1920), "it certainly proved to be the driving force behind Lebanon’s foreign relations and defense policy that this small and emergent nation adopted to assert its right to self-determination and to preserve its independence, unity and identity”.

He adds “this political constitutional framework was confirmed in 1943 when the government, which secured independence, declared that Lebanon was committed to “neutrality between East and West".

"Lebanon’s relative distancing from regional conflicts—between 1943 and 1975—created prosperity, wealth, growth, and rising individual income, as well as declining unemployment, which has earned Lebanon the title of “Switzerland of the East," assures the patriarch. Thanks to this policy, he stresses, "Lebanon has managed to preserve the unity of its territory, despite plans for Arab unity, and the many Arab-Israeli wars".

The first, serious departure from this policy of non-alignment occurs "with the ascendency of the Palestine Liberation organization as a military power in its armed struggle against Israel. This destabilizing factor divided the Lebanese into two camps: those who supported the PLO and those who opposed it. A situation that led to the outbreak of the civil war in 1975” the memorandum continues.

"Under pressure from internal divisions and external interference, the Lebanese government made crucial concessions and signed the Cairo Accord in 1969, compromising its sovereignty. The Cairo Accord authorized Palestinian groups to carry out military operations against Israel from Lebanese territory, especially in the southern region of the country". This is, in some ways, the original sin.

From that moment on, “these events caused the Lebanese government and various ideological and political groups to be drawn into regional conflicts, which were mostly aligned along political, religious, ideological, and military considerations. As a consequence, Israel occupied Lebanon (1978-2000); Palestinian organizations controlled most of southern territory, reaching as far as central Beirut (1969-2005); Syrian army entered Lebanon (1976-2005); and continuing the same trend of outside interference and dominance, Hezbollah was established and molded religiously, ideologically, and militarily to be the instrument that spreads the ideas of the revolution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1981-…).”. In doing so, the Maronite patriarch accuses the pro-Iranian party and the policies that follow from it of being a factor in the disintegration of Lebanon, which must be corrected with a return to "active neutrality".

"All these events took place because of the country’s deviation from the policy of neutrality, which was tacitly recognized but without a supporting constitutional text" continues the memorandum. In this way the state has lost its internal authority, the country its territorial sovereignty, the nation its political role, the formula of governance its balance and society its specificity at the level of civilians.

This imbalance has also produced secondary internal conflicts, but just as violent as the main conflicts. And so Lebanon, in this way, today finds itself oscillating “between unity and division”.

"The experience of one hundred years (1920-2020) of the life of the State of Greater Lebanon has shown that it is difficult for Lebanon to be the country-message without adopting the politics of neutrality. Alignment with the conflicts of the Middle East and its peoples has affected the principle of partnership between Christians and Muslims, in its spiritual, national, and human aspects. Lebanon has thus entered a state of disintegration, and the various attempts at a solution and compromise have failed. This is why nothing would save its unity, its independence, and its stability except neutrality, knowing that these various and deep seated conflicts threaten not only the State but the very being of the nation.”

"The declaration of the neutrality of Lebanon is a founding act, like the declaration of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, and the declaration of independence in 1943. The creation of Greater Lebanon as an independent State prevented the Lebanese from being absorbed by various attempts at Arab - Islamic unity and gave them a democratic system of governance which allowed them to peacefully coexist together. The independence of Lebanon legitimized its existence as a sovereign nation with a central authority to protect its citizens from internal and external threats. Political neutrality, which is yet to be achieved, prevents the division of Lebanon, protects it from wars and retains its specificity. Neutrality is thus the “pact of stability”, after the two pacts of existence and sovereignty".

But what exactly does Lebanon ask of the UN?

In addition to the historical account that becomes an argument in favour of neutrality, the document calls on "the United Nations, along the countries concerned, find a solution for the half a million Palestinian refugees and almost one and a half million displace Syrians present on its territory ". And, in general, that the resolutions of the Security Council that concern it are applied. In this way it dispels the confusion surrounding a request for "international recognition of Lebanon's neutrality", to which the interpretation of the homily cited at the beginning of the article lent itself. What the patriarch seeks is a greater understanding of what makes Lebanon's historic vocation "a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for the East, as well as for the West" as Pope John Paul II affirmed with unforgettable words in his Apostolic Letter to all the bishops of the Catholic Church on the situation in Lebanon (1989). “If this country - the pope warned - were to fail, the very cause of freedom would suffer a dramatic setback (…) The disappearance of Lebanon would undoubtedly become one of the greatest remorse in the world. Its safeguard is one of the most urgent and noblest tasks that the contemporary world must undertake”. There could be no greater plea.

 
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  • Resign

    Resign

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    Akhbar Iranian Bouq accused the Patriarch of treason

    البطريرك يسوّق للسلام مع العدو ويتماهى مع الدعاية الاسرائيلية ضد المقاومة

     
    Resign

    Resign

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    "القوات" دعت شباب لبنان إلى الالتفاف حول البطريركية المارونية


    رأت مصلحة الطلاب في حزب "القوات اللبنانية" في بيان، أنه "مع كل أزمة يمر بها لبنان، تكون البطريركية المارونية وراعيها رأس حربة في خط المواجهة والدفاع عنه وعن وجوده. ولطالما كانت بكركي ملجأ لطلاب القوات اللبنانية ولكل الأحرار في الأزمنة الصعبة والحرجة. وبعد مبادرة البطريرك مار بشارة بطرس الراعي ودعوته إلى حياد لبنان الناشط، لا يمكن أن تكون مصلحة الطلاب في حزب القوات اللبنانية، إلا بجانب راعي الكنيسة ومبادرته، فهي في صلب حزب دفع ثمن البقاء في هذا الشرق وهذا الوطن آلاف الشهداء".

    ودعت "شباب لبنان إلى الالتفاف حول البطريركية المارونية أمام حملة التخوين والتهجم التي تتعرض لها من أقلام مأجورة ومن فئة تجاهر يوميا بولائها وانتمائها إلى دول لم تجلب للبنان، إلا المعاناة والحصار والمآسي. كما تعترف علنا أن مرجعيتها هي خارج الأراضي اللبنانية، وهذا الوطن بالنسبة إليها ليس سوى ولاية في مشاريعها المشبوهة".

    وأكدت أن "الهجوم على الكرسي البطريركي مرفوض ومستنكر، خصوصا أنه موجه ومنظم من أفراد وجماعات وصحف وأحزاب لم يحملوا يوما في ممارساتهم مشروعا لبنانيا حقيقيا، بل كانوا وما زالوا أدوات لتصفية الحسابات وشن حروب لا علاقة للبنان بها".

    واعتبرت أن "مطلب بكركي يشكل بارقة أمل لمنع تهجير الشباب اللبناني من أرضه وإفراغه من قدراته على المستويات كافة. كما أن مبادرة صاحب الغبطة هي خشبة خلاص من المشاكل والهموم التي لا تزال ترافق الشعب اللبناني من جيل إلى جيل. كما أنها تنهي ظاهرة الدولة الضعيفة من خلال فرض سيطرتها على كامل التراب اللبناني، مع تأكيد حقوق الإنسان والمطالبة بإنهاء كل احتلال والتمسك بعودة كل لاجئ ونازح إلى أرضه وبيته".

    وشددت مصلحة الطلاب على "وقوفها بجانب البطريرك الراعي في هذه الظروف، فهي تحمل في تاريخها مسيرة من النضال قدمت فيها خيرة شبابها للدفاع عن هذا الوطن، ولأجل العيش فيه بسلام وأمن"، مشيرة إلى أنها "لن تألو جهدا في تأييد المبادرة وحمل شعلتها وصولا إلى تحقيقها. وبالتالي، تحقيق الحلم الذي لطالما سعى اللبنانيون للوصول إليه".

     
    Resign

    Resign

    Well-Known Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Katter khairak ya 7aj


    فنيش ردا على دعوة الراعي للحياد: لولا المقاومة لكان زال لبنان
    الاثنين ٢٤ آب ٢٠٢٠ 10:52سياسة

    فنيش ردا على دعوة الراعي للحياد: لولا المقاومة لكان زال لبنان

    اشار الوزير السابق محمد فنيش الى ان المقاومة اثبتت فعاليتها وجدواها، وعلى اثر ذلك يتم الهجوم عليها. واوضح بأن مسؤولية الانفجار في مرفأ بيروت تقع على المسؤولين المباشرين عن الموضوع ان كان على الصعيد الاداري والسياسي، ولفت الى ان هناك اجهزة قضائية وامنية يجب ان تقوم بدورها في هذا السياق، واكد بان هناك اجهزة تستطيع القيام بالمهمة اذا لم يكن هناك تدخلات سياسية.

    ولفت فنيش في حديث تلفزيوني، الى ان اتفاق الطائف فتح منافذ اصلاحية رغم سوء التطبيق، وحزب الله دعا في وقت سابق لحوار ليس من اجل الانقلاب على الطائف بل للبحث في كيفية استكمال تطبيقه. وسأل "ما دخل السلاح في موضوع بناء المؤسسات في البلد؟"، والبعض في هذا البلد لا يريد الا ان يكون اذن لرهانات خارجية، وهناك من يريد اطفاء اي شعلة اصلاحية. واكد بأن حزب الله لا يحمي الفساد واتهامه بذلك هو لزجه في صراعات داخلية، وحزب الله تجنب الكثير من الافخاخ التي نصبت له.
    وذكر فنيش بأنه بعد انفجار المرفأ والدمار الذي حصل والتدهور الاقتصادي والحصار الاميركي على البلد، وجد الرئيس الفرنسي ايمانويل ماكرون الفرصة لزيارة لبنان بعد تحرره نوعا ما من الضغوطات الاميركية. واكد بان علاقة حزب الله مع فرنسا قائمة قبل زيارة ماكرون وبعدها. واكد بان الاميركي وحلفائه الاقليميين يعطلون الحياة السياسية في البلد.
    وردا على مطالبة البطريرك بشارة الراعي بالحياد، اكد فنيش بأنه لولا المقاومة لكان زال لبنان، والتحرير لم يتم بالتمنيات، ولبنان كما يشمل بيروت والجبل يشمل الجنوب ومزارع شبعا والحدود البحرية. وسأل "كيف يكون لبنان محايدا ولبنان جزء من الصراع في ظل ارضه المحتلة وتهجير الفلسطينيين، وفي ظل الازمة السورية عند حدوده الوحيدة"، وسأل "هل يكفي ان احمل شعار كي ارضي به جهة اقليمية ودولية؟، وعليه حين يتم الانحياز لجهة معينة ينتفي الحياد". وشدد على ان حزب الله تدخل في سوريا عام 2013 في القصير بعد ان فقدت الدولة السورية السيطرة على حدودها واصبحنا على حدود دولة داعش.
     
    J

    Joe Lebanon

    New Member
    It may be time for the Aounists to pay this Batrak a visit similar to the visit to Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir!
     
    Jacques Hirac

    Jacques Hirac

    New Member
    I think these are just distractions from the real issue in Lebanon, the real reason people are protesting on the streets: Corruption.
    Any memorandum that does not address the issue of corruption is, to me, irrelevant to the direct cause of our crisis. It's an important subject to discuss, but it just isn't our most urgent. The Patriarch's memorandum can be even interpreted as him pointing fingers elsewhere to absolve himself and the church from any investigation once (if ever) forensic audit gains traction and everyone is inspected including religious intitutions. "Look, Lebanon was ok in the past when it was neutral, so the problem today is just in its lack of neutraliry, nothing else!"
    I can't help but remember how vehemently Patriarch Rai defended Riad Salameh when his post was in danger. Since then, the Patriarch does not seem as a "neutral" side in any fight against corruption.

    Because of corruption, a failed state *can* exist even if it were neutral.
    And if it weren't for corruption, the crisis in Lebanon *could* have been avoided even if Lebanon is not "neutral" to his neighbors in the south.

    The number of participants in the 6 June 2020 protests, can be an indicator to how many Lebanese people truly think HA is the reason for our crisis in Lebanon. It was the only advertised protest since 17 October that had a clear anti-resistance demand. The numbers were extremely low and disappointing even to Sami Gemayel.
    Obviously, the problem in Lebanon is not just because of HA's opposition to Israel.
    I would like to know more about the Patriarch's initiatives in fighting corruption.
    I want it explicitly written with clear proactive actions. The church can start by investigating into the bank accounts of its own clergymen, and it could invite/challenge other religious institutions to do the same.
    Only then, I would be supportive of a neutrality memorandum that is proposed by the Patriarch.
     
    Resign

    Resign

    Well-Known Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    I think these are just distractions from the real issue in Lebanon, the real reason people are protesting on the streets: Corruption.
    Any memorandum that does not address the issue of corruption is, to me, irrelevant to the direct cause of our crisis. It's an important subject to discuss, but it just isn't our most urgent. The Patriarch's memorandum can be even interpreted as him pointing fingers elsewhere to absolve himself and the church from any investigation once (if ever) forensic audit gains traction and everyone is inspected including religious intitutions. "Look, Lebanon was ok in the past when it was neutral, so the problem today is just in its lack of neutraliry, nothing else!"
    I can't help but remember how vehemently Patriarch Rai defended Riad Salameh when his post was in danger. Since then, the Patriarch does not seem as a "neutral" side in any fight against corruption.

    Because of corruption, a failed state *can* exist even if it were neutral.
    And if it weren't for corruption, the crisis in Lebanon *could* have been avoided even if Lebanon is not "neutral" to his neighbors in the south.

    The number of participants in the 6 June 2020 protests, can be an indicator to how many Lebanese people truly think HA is the reason for our crisis in Lebanon. It was the only advertised protest since 17 October that had a clear anti-resistance demand. The numbers were extremely low and disappointing even to Sami Gemayel.
    Obviously, the problem in Lebanon is not just because of HA's opposition to Israel.
    I would like to know more about the Patriarch's initiatives in fighting corruption.
    I want it explicitly written with clear proactive actions. The church can start by investigating into the bank accounts of its own clergymen, and it could invite/challenge other religious institutions to do the same.
    Only then, I would be supportive of a neutrality memorandum that is proposed by the Patriarch.
    Sorry but that’s a bit naiive.
    Top to bottom.

    The Lebanese identity is in danger
    The mini state took over the state
    And this guy still thinks he can fight corruption.
     
    JustLeb

    JustLeb

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Neutrality is a stupid idea
    To be neutral and enforce it you need to be strong.
    قوة لبنان بضعفه is BS, you must understand this
    No one cares about your neutrality if he thinks he can use you for his own interest and profit and you are weak enough to face him
    If the patriarch is an a$$h*le it does not mean we should be too.
    you need neutrality ? fine put a plan to arm LA so that it can enforce it
     
    Resign

    Resign

    Well-Known Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    تصعيدٌ بين بكركي وحارة حريك..

    كشفت مصادر متابعة للسجال القائم بين بكركي من جهة، و"حزب الله" وفريقه الإعلامي من جهة ثانية، لـ"الأنباء" أن "تشديد البطريرك في خطبه عن السلاح المتفلّت، وعن مخازن السلاح المخبّأة بين البيوت وفي الأحياء السكنية، أنه قد يؤسّس لمرحلة جديدة من المواقف والاتّهامات التي تندرج تحت هذا العنوان".

    المصادر وصفت ردّ بكركي على إعلام "حزب الله" بأنه، "الأعنف منذ تسلّم الراعي سدّة البطريركية، ما يعني أن الأمور متّجهة إلى التصعيد أكثر في الأيام المقبلة، وعلى الأخص ما تضمّنه بيان بكركي من إلقاء اللوم على الفريق المسيحي الذي يحمي هذا السلاح، بالإشارة إلى فريق العهد".
     
    Rock

    Rock

    Well-Known Member
    Neutrality is a stupid idea
    To be neutral and enforce it you need to be strong.
    قوة لبنان بضعفه is BS, you must understand this
    No one cares about your neutrality if he thinks he can use you for his own interest and profit and you are weak enough to face him
    If the patriarch is an a$$h*le it does not mean we should be too.
    you need neutrality ? fine put a plan to arm LA so that it can enforce it
    Was Switzerland strong enough to defend itself surrounded by German, French, Italian, Austrian and Russian armies for centuries?
     
    Apostate

    Apostate

    Your will, my hands.
    Orange Room Supporter
    Neutrality is a stupid idea
    To be neutral and enforce it you need to be strong.
    قوة لبنان بضعفه is BS, you must understand this
    No one cares about your neutrality if he thinks he can use you for his own interest and profit and you are weak enough to face him
    If the patriarch is an a$$h*le it does not mean we should be too.
    you need neutrality ? fine put a plan to arm LA so that it can enforce it
    Neutrality doesn't mean you have to be weak. It means that you don't have to fight in Yemen to boost Iran's regional plans... It means that you don't have to massacre Syrian children and women to save a tyrant called Bashar. It means that you don't have to attack friendly nations (e.g: gulf countries) to please Iranians.
    Neutrality means using your strength defensively for your country's interest and not to advance a foreign axis/agenda.

    The patriarch never called to sit idle if Lebanon is under attack. We will defend ourselves if attacked, but we don't wanna engage in hostile actions against other nations at the expense of our national interests.
     
    JustLeb

    JustLeb

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Was Switzerland strong enough to defend itself surrounded by German, French, Italian, Austrian and Russian armies for centuries?
    yes it was, read history
     
    Rock

    Rock

    Well-Known Member
    yes it was, read history
    Really, please point me to that book you are reading
    let me point you to an example:
    WW2, swiss army size 800K, german army 13 million, Italian 2.5 million
    swiss territory surrounded by the axis and both germany and italy had bad intentions against it
     
    JustLeb

    JustLeb

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Really, please point me to that book you are reading
    let me point you to an example:
    WW2, swiss army size 800K, german army 13 million, Italian 2.5 million
    swiss territory surrounded by the axis and both germany and italy had bad intentions against it
    if you have ever got interested about why Switzerland was never invaded, you would have done your research and learned from historians and military experts, that due to its geography, few men with rifles can hold an entire enemy division.
    So any invasion will be made extremely costly and will outweigh any gain from it.
    Plus during WWII swiss airforce intercepted and downed several amercian warplanes that have breached its airspace.
    read history then we will talk
     
    Last edited:
    Rock

    Rock

    Well-Known Member
    if you have ever got interested about why Switzerland was never invaded, you would have done your research and learned from historians and military experts, that due to its geography, few men with rifles can hold an entire enemy division.
    So any invasion will be made extremely costly and will outweigh any gain from it.
    Plus during WWII swiss airforce intercepted and downed several amercian warplanes that have breached its airspace.
    read history then we will talk
    To This Day, The Myth Still Abounds: Why Didn't The Germans Invade Switzerland?
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    they had no need to invade switzerland, otherwise they would have invaded it the same way they invaded belgium to get to france.

    belgium was also a neutral state, and yet they invaded it without hesitation to maneuver around the maginot line on their way to invade france.

    enough false marketing please. the patriarch proposal has some merit bass wa2fo tokhbis. we need to regain our neutrality but that is not the magic solution that will fix everything, our problems are endless even without the intervention of iran, ksa or other foreign nations. we are unable to govern ourselves because of our rotten mentality, that is our biggest problem and that is why foreign nations can so easily interfere in Lebanon.
     
    JustLeb

    JustLeb

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    it seems you didn't read the article

    For one thing, it would have been far too costly in terms of manpower and materials to conquer the mountainous region. To a certain extent, General Guisan was right. The Swiss army would have been able to withstand the Nazi juggernaut for many years before being overrun. The Alps were simply too big an obstacle.

    Furthermore, other small nations like the Netherlands and Belgium were far more strategically important in both economic and military terms. Both countries had access to the North Sea, and their economies were more or less aligned with the Reich.

    Switzerland was different. As long as they played along, an invasion of the country was not worth the investment in manpower and materials.


    this is exactly what I have told you, too much cost for little gain, while if he had succeeded in USSR it would have been much more beneficial despite the cost.
    Plus add to that, the article also says that Switzerland was not really neutral, it collaborated with the Nazis on several domains.

    Bottom line, neutrality as expressed by the Rahi is not possible.
    Rahi has a hidden agenda of removing HA weapons, I would agree if he can tell us his plan to arm the LA effectively
     
    Rafidi

    Rafidi

    Legendary Member
    When people are calling their fellow Lebanese i7tilel Iraneh, this is a call to war. And I, as a Shia, not affiliated with any party feels targeted and offended. And I will stand by my sect to defend itself against all these rogue voices and treacherous snakes, even if it means all out war from within and outside and we would have to witness a fight between two camps like in Syria - between the axis of the resistance against the Zio-Wahhabi camp. That is to put it short and direct. There are are some people, like the Gmayyel rats who dont want to respect others and they dont want to behave their size.
     
    Resign

    Resign

    Well-Known Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    When people are calling their fellow Lebanese i7tilel Iraneh, this is a call to war. And I, as a Shia, not affiliated with any party feels targeted and offended. And I will stand by my sect to defend itself against all these rogue voices and treacherous snakes, even if it means all out war from within and outside and we would have to witness a fight between two camps like in Syria - between the axis of the resistance against the Zio-Wahhabi camp. That is to put it short and direct. There are are some people, like the Gmayyel rats who dont want to respect others and they dont want to behave their size.
    Come back to your Lebanese
    This is not about your sect, but your geopolitical affiliation and its repercussions on this country and our lives.
     
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