Libanon-Mosaik / Lebanon Mosaic 9

Libanon in den Medien: Rückblick auf Hariris Zwangsaufenthalt bei den Saudis - Israel baut Mauer an Grenze - Streit, Propaganda um Rolle der Hisbollah - Flüchtlinge / Hariri-Hezbollah-Refugees
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

27. Dezember 2017 / December 27, 2017

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

cp2 Innenpolitik / Interior politics

cp3 Hisbollah / Hezbollah

cp4 Jerusalem

cp5 Libanon und Jemen / Lebanon and Yemen

cp6 Propaganda

cp7 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp8 Mehr / More

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

cp1 Weitere Verwicklungen / Further implication

(** B)

Why Saad Hariri Had That Strange Sojourn in Saudi Arabia

The story behind Lebanese PM Saad Hariri’s long, strange sojourn in Saudi Arabia

Hariri’s month-long saga, in which he announced his resignation and then rescinded it, showcases the heavy-handed and arguably clumsy tactics of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Lebanon’s prime minister, Saad Hariri, was summoned at 8:30 a.m. to the Saudi royal offices — unseemly early, by the Kingdom’s standards — on the second day of a visit that was already far from what he had expected.

Hariri, long an ally of the Saudis, dressed that morning in jeans and a T-shirt, thinking he was going camping in the desert with the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

But instead he was stripped of his cellphones, separated from all but one of his usual cluster of bodyguards, and shoved and insulted by Saudi security officers. Then came the ultimate indignity: He was handed a prewritten resignation speech and forced to read it on Saudi television.

This, it seemed, was the real reason he had been beckoned to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, a day earlier: to resign under pressure and publicly blame Iran, as if he were an employee and not a sovereign leader. Before going on TV, he was not even allowed to go to the house he owns there; he had to ask guards to bring him a suit.

As bizarre as the episode was, it was just one chapter in the story of Prince Mohammed, the ambitious young heir apparent determined to shake up the power structure not just of his own country but of the entire region. At home, he has jailed hundreds of fellow princes and businessmen in what he casts as an anti-corruption drive. Abroad, he has waged war in Yemen and confronted Qatar.

The day Hariri was ordered to report to Riyadh, he was just a pawn in the crown prince’s overall battle: to rein in the regional ambitions of Saudi Arabia’s longtime rival, Iran.

This is the back story of Hariri’s long, strange sojourn in Saudi Arabia last month, as revealed in behind-the-scenes accounts from a dozen Western, Lebanese and regional officials and associates of Hariri.


Intense diplomacy followed by France, the United States, Egypt and other countries, producing a deal that allowed Hariri to leave Saudi Arabia.

But Prince Mohammed sent him home with a task: to get Hezbollah to withdraw its fighters from Yemen, Lebanese officials and Western and Arab diplomats involved in the deal said. That demand proved, the Western and Arab diplomats said, that the prince was not well-informed on Yemen, sometimes called “Riyadh’s Vietnam.” Hezbollah, a Western diplomat said, had only about 50 fighters in Yemen, with Iran playing a much larger role in training and aiding the Houthis.

To end the war in Yemen, a Lebanese official said, Beirut is “the wrong P.O. box.”

Riyadh did get something out of the turmoil. Lebanese officials are seeking a deal with Hezbollah that could include toning down Hezbollah’s anti-Saudi rhetoric — as Hariri requested even before the Riyadh episode — and shuttering a pro-Houthi television station in Beirut.

It remains unclear if Hariri can deliver enough to placate Riyadh. Nasrallah’s speeches have omitted critiques of Prince Mohammed lately, and on Wednesday, he called for peace talks in Yemen, a major step.

Then again, on Tuesday, Yemen’s Houthis fired another missile at Riyadh – by ANNE BARNARD and MARIA ABI-HABIB =

and shorter reporting by other media:

(* B)

Wikipedia: 2017 Lebanon–Saudi Arabia dispute

The 2017 Lebanon–Saudi Arabia dispute began when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri abruptly announced his resignation while he was in Saudi Arabia on 4 November 2017. Shortly thereafter, the foreign relations between both countries and allied regional neighbors have become increasingly strained. On 6 November, Saudi Arabia claimed Lebanon declared war between the two states, despite leaders of Lebanon stating otherwise. On 9 November, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates asked their citizens to leave Lebanon. The conflict is thought to be part of the larger Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict.

Lebanon's president and some Lebanese officials believe that Hariri's abrupt resignation was made under coercion by Saudis and have claimed that the Saudis have kept him hostage.[1]Iran, Hezbollah and some analysts also believe that this was to create a pretext for war against Hezbollah.[2] On 21 November, Hariri declared in Beirut that he had suspended his resignation, and he rescinded the resignation completely on 5 December.


Resignation of Hariri

War declaration accusations


International reactions


Lebanon has entered a new phase: Hezbollah MP

Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad Monday said that Lebanon has entered a new phase of rejecting any breach of its sovereignty "with fury." (subscribers only)

Beirut-Riyadh Tussle over Ambassadors to be Resolved 'Soon'

Lebanon's ambassador to Saudi Arabia and his Saudi counterpart are caught in what appears to be a diplomatic tussle over representation, with each country delaying accreditation of the other's diplomat, though both were named months ago.

The delay highlights tension between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon following the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh.

A Lebanese diplomat told The Associated Press that the issue will be "resolved soon."



Report: Diplomatic Ties with KSA 'Growing Worse'

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon are reportedly “strained” lately as the diplomatic accreditation of ambassadors remains unsettled so far, al-Akhbar daily said on Tuesday.

SA has not yet accredited Lebanon's ambassador to the Kingdom, Fawzi Kabbara, although he was appointed five months earlier by the Lebanese government, said the daily.

(** A)

„Israel wechselt die Strategie“: Libanesischer Ex-General zu Mauerbau an Blauer Linie

Israel bereitet sich laut dem libanesischen Präsidenten Michel Aoun auf den Bau einer Betonmauer an der Blauen Linie vor, die von der Uno als Grenze zwischen den beiden Ländern gezogen wurde. Der Libanon fordert, mehrere Abschnitte der Blauen Linie nach Süden zu versetzen.

Der libanesische Brigadegeneral a. D. Amin Hteyt sagte in einem Interview mit Sputnik: „Michel Aoun setzt sich für die Einhaltung des Völkerrechts einerseits und für die Rechte der Libanesen andererseits ein. Die Blaue Linie ist keine Grenze zwischen den Staaten, weil sie teilweise über das libanesische Staatsgebiet verläuft. Sollte eine Mauer entlang der Linie gebaut werden, wird der Libanon sein Territorium an drei Abschnitten teilweise verlieren.“ Aus diesem Grund trete Aoun gegen den Bau der Mauer auf, fügte der Ex-General hinzu.

„Die Errichtung einer Mauer oder die entsprechende Nutzung einer natürlichen Landschaft ist ein weit verbreitetes und populäres Mittel. Israel hat sich für den Bau einer Mauer an der Grenze zum Libanon entschieden. Wir sehen hier einen Wechsel der militärischen Strategie Israels – von der puren Angriffsstrategie zu einer komplizierteren Angriffslinie und zum Selbstschutz“, so Hteyt.

Sollte Israel trotz aller Proteste mit dem Bau dieser Mauer beginnen, werde der Libanon zwischen zwei Möglichkeiten entscheiden, so der Ex-General. Der erste Weg sei die Eingabe bei der Uno mit dem Ziel, die Bauarbeiten in den umstrittenen Gebieten stoppen zu lassen. „Der Libanon wird keinen Einspruch gegen den Mauerbau dort erheben, wo die Blaue Linie mit den Staatsgrenzen übereinstimmt.“ Der zweite Weg sei eine bewaffnete Konfrontation. „Dafür gibt es die libanesische Armee und die Widerstandskräfte, die gegen die israelische Aggression Front machen würden“, so Hteyt. und zur Blauen Linie auch und

(* B)

Israel verletzt Grenze zum Libanon

Israel hat die Grenze zum Libanon mindestens 11 Tausend Mal verletzt.

Der Staatspräsident des Libanon, Michel Aoun empfing die neue Libanon-Beauftragte der UNO, Pernille Dahler Kardel im Baabda Palast in Beirut.

Das Pressebüro des Staatspräsidiums veröffentlichte eine schriftliche Erklärung über das Treffen.

Der libanesische Staatspräsident Aoun habe gegenüber Dahler Kardel betont, dass Israel bisher mindestens 11 Tausend Mal die Grenze zum Libanon verletzt hat. Israel setze dies fort. Libanon dagegen halte die Bestimmungen der UNO ein und verteidige sich.

Aoun bedauerte den Mauerbau Israels entlang der Grenze zum Libanon. Dies verstoße gegen internationale Grenzregeln.

UNO-Generalsekretär Antonio Guterres ernannte Pernille Dahler Kardel aus Dänemark zur neuen Libanon-Beauftragten. Dahler Kardel löst Sigrid Kaag ab, dessen Amtszeit am 22. November zu Ende ging.

(** A)

Aoun: Israeli Separation Wall with Lebanon Incompatible with International Boundaries
“Israel is preparing to build a wall along the Blue Line,” with Lebanon, Aoun told visiting Pernille Dahler Kardel, the Acting United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

“Lebanon adheres to the UN resolutions and insists on its implementation, foremost of which is Resolution 1701. Israel continues its repeated attacks on Lebanon, and so far more than 11 thousand violations of this decision have been registered,” he added.

“The Blue Line does not match the international boundary lines where Israel plans to build a wall,” said Aoun, raising concerns the wall would be constructed on Lebanese territory.

The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon.

Israel has reportedly started preparations for the construction of a 7 meters high cement wall along the southern Lebanese border which will run from Ras al-Naqoura in the west, through Isbaa al-Jaleel to the Shebaa farms and Jabal al-Sheikh in the east.


Hariri says Gulf states not planning measures against Lebanon

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday Gulf Arab countries were planning no action against Lebanon after a political crisis last month thrust it onto the front line of rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In an interview broadcast from Riyadh before he returned to Lebanon and rescinded his resignation, Hariri warned of possible Gulf sanctions on Lebanon and of a threat to the livelihood of Lebanese workers in Gulf states.

His remarks on Thursday seemed aimed at reassuring that no such action was in the cards. “This is not going to happen. I assure you we have the best relationship with Saudi Arabia, we have a very good relationship with the UAE, and most of the Gulf,” he said at a business conference.

“The Gulf has a problem with one political party in Lebanon and does not have a problem with the whole of Lebanon,” Hariri added, alluding to Hezbollah.


With dollar peg, Lebanon risks currency hit from regional strife

With fixed exchange rates and some of the world’s worst debt and balance-of-payment ratios, Lebanon risks serious economic crisis next year should worsening relations with Gulf states choke off the capital flows sustaining its currency’s dollar peg.

Lebanon’s ability to dodge financial disaster has for years confounded critics, whose warnings of debt defaults, balance of payments crises and a collapse of the pound currency, have all come to nought.

What could change that equation is the foreign policy shift in Saudi Arabia, whose new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has thrust Beirut back into a regional power struggle between the Sunni monarchy in Riyadh and Shi‘ite Iran.

(* A )

Security Council Commends Situation in Lebanon

The Security Council issued a statement on Wednesday on the general situation in Lebanon commending PM Saad Hariri's decision to continue his term.

The members of the Security Council commended the convening in Paris on December 8, 2017 of a ministerial meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG), chaired by the United Nations and France and attended by Hariri, and the Joint Statement issued at the end of the meeting. They also welcomed previous efforts which contributed to the resumption of the Council of Ministers on December 5, 2017.

The Council reaffirmed strong support for the stability, security, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence of Lebanon, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1701 (2006), 1680 (2006), and 1559 (2004), as well as other relevant Security Council resolutions and statements of the President of the Security Council on the situation in Lebanon.

Recalling the need to protect Lebanon from the crisis that are destabilizing the Middle East, the Council called upon all regional States and organizations to work for the political, social, economic, and financial stability and security of Lebanon, in full respect of its sovereignty and integrity.

Members of the Security Council called upon all Lebanese parties to implement a tangible policy of disassociation from any external conflicts, as an important priority, as spelled out in previous declarations, in particular the 2012 Baabda Declaration.


Mogherini Meets Lebanon's Leaders, Reaffirms EU Support for Country

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini held talks Tuesday in Lebanon with the country's top officials, reaffirming the European Union's strong support for Lebanon in the wake of the November political crisis.

Mogherini met with President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil.

Aoun told the EU official that Lebanon appreciates the European Union's support and hopes its member states will participate effectively in global conferences aimed at supporting the country.

(* A P)

Saudi Arabia's folly, Iran's smart diplomacy

However, the resignation has already seriously affected the existing balance in Lebanon's domestic issues and the whole region. It demonstrates the formation of new anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah policies. Evidence for this argument is that Representative Edward R. Royce, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently issued a veiled threat to Lebanon over Hezbollah's role in government, according to Foreign Policy. Royce called Hezbollah's presence in the government as a political party one of the great misgivings he has on Lebanon because this has increased their political and diplomatic influence. Similar were Trump's efforts to persuade U.S. Congress to approve a bill to intensify new sanction on Hezbollah and Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and pay compensation to the families of the 241 U.S. service members killed in the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, as U.S. President George W. Bush did in 2008, aiming to renew accusations of Iran and Hezbollah with some other evidence.

the question arises here whether the evil United States-Saudi Arabia-Israel triangle is seeking a way to form a new political coalition in which Hezbollah has no place.

( A P)

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah's billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House's desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.


How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

Comment by Ben Norton: The corporate media is playing its role and helping sell Trump's war against Iran and Hezbollah, with a thinly sourced Cold War-style report accusing Hezbollah of being part of an elaborate Hollywood-esque cocaine ring -- the kind of ring the CIA organizes

cp2 Innenpolitik / Interior politics


Riachi Hits Back at Moussawi over 'Civil War' Remarks

Information Minister Melhem Riachi of the Lebanese Forces responded Sunday to remarks by MP Nawwaf al-Moussawi, an outspoken member of Hizbullah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc.

Moussawi had said Saturday that the March 8-March 14 rift no longer exists and that Lebanon is now divided between a camp “that puts national accord and civil peace above all else” and another “that has expressed its willingness to execute the orders of some regional and international regimes, even if that leads to restarting the civil war.”

“These are an isolated minority and their isolation should be maintained,” the MP added.

My comment: The permanent strife between the two main camps in Lebanon, labeling themselves March 8 and March 14 blocs.

And more of this:


Aridi Says March 8 to Win Elections, Warns of Israeli Attack on Lebanon

MP Ghazi Aridi of the Progressive Socialist Party on Sunday said that the May 2018 parliamentary elections will be held on time and that the Hizbullah-led March 8 camp will emerge victorious.

“The so-called March 8 camp will win due to the nature of the electoral law, which is marred by the distribution of districts according to the interests of the political parties,” Aridi said in a radio interview.

Separately, the lawmaker and former minister warned that “Israel is still targeting Lebanon, and certainly there is a threat of an Israeli attack on Lebanon.”

and this:


Karam Slams FPMers 'Sowing Discord' between LF, Mustaqbal

MP Fadi Karam of the Lebanese Forces on Sunday accused some Free Patriotic Movement officials of “sowing discord” between the LF and Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal Movemen


Hariri: This is the Best Time to Invest in Lebanon

Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Thursday that “this is the best time to invest in Lebanon,” after the Lebanese showed “wisdom” during the November political crisis.

“This is the best time to invest in Lebanon because, thanks to this political stability and security in our country, we have been able to establish that the country is capable of confronting crises in a wise manner,” Hariri said during a discussion with the participants in the Global Business Summit, organized by Endeavor Lebanon and LIFE at the Four Seasons Hotel.

(* A)

Hariri Says March 8, March 14 Can't Rule Country without 'Partnership'

Prime Minister Saad Hariri stressed Tuesday during meetings with his visitors that “partnership” among all political components is essential for the country.

“This country is a magical, unique and wondrous formula among the countries of the region and the world. After the martyrdom of ex-PM Rafik Hariri, we in the March 14 camp tried to lead the country on our own, and then the March 8 camp also tried. We both failed,” Hariri said.

“We disagreed over the one-third veto power and the 'kingmaker minister' and all of this was futile. We believe that partnership among everyone is what holds the country together, and through accord among each other we have made a lot of achievements during this period,” the premier added.

My comment: That is what the Saudis will not like to hear, as they tried to force Hariri to end this partnership with Hezbollah.

cp3 Hisbollah / Hezbollah

Siehe / Look at cp1, cp4, cp5

(** B)

Stabilizing Lebanon Is Iran's Way of Helping Hezbollah Take Over

Despite issuing threats through its proxies, Iran shares the international community's interest in Lebanon's near-term stability, but its motivations are hardly benevolent.

Hariri's return protected Hezbollah from a crisis that it preferred not to deal with at the moment. Prior to his resignation, the group had managed to keep him as prime minister of a "National Unity Government" that provided political cover for Hezbollah operations at home and abroad. His reversal preserved that cover—since returning home, Hariri has been more critical of his own allies than of Hezbollah. Tehran does not want to spark a fight in Lebanon, which is far too important to Iranian interests to be turned into another battlefield—at least not before Hezbollah solidifies its grip there in the coming months.

On November 30, he told Paris Match magazine that the group is a regional problem, not a domestic one: "In Lebanon, Hezbollah has a political role. It has weapons, of course, but it is not using them on Lebanese soil." This caused outrage among his supporters, who were quick to note that Hezbollah members used weapons against the Lebanese people during the domestic unrest of May 2008 and are still under indictment for assassinating Hariri's own father in 2005.

Such critics are now under fire. Hariri has made hostile statements against former justice minister Ashraf Rifi and "Lebanese Forces" party leader Samir Geagea, while public figures and journalists associated with the March 14 coalition have been summoned for interrogation by security authorities. A number of other individuals—including Kataeb Party leader Samy Gemayel, March 14 member Fares Souaid, and journalist Marcel Ghanem—are being prosecuted for criticizing Hariri and President Michel Aoun as well as questioning the prime minister's rumored business partnership with Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a Hezbollah ally.

Amid this intimidating context, Hezbollah can now proceed to take advantage of international support for Lebanon in order to prepare for its next move.

Hezbollah and its Iranian patron do not want war in Lebanon for many reasons, so the status quo works very well for them in the short term. Tehran is still trying to establish its presence in Syria while awaiting the Iraqi parliamentary elections in April 2018, which it hopes will consolidate its influence in Baghdad. Yet Lebanon is more important than these other client countries because Iran wants to keep using it as a stable operations room for regional conflicts. Khazali's video tour was just the tip of the iceberg—all of Iran's Shia militias have a strong presence in Lebanon, and they are increasingly establishing political offices and media institutions inside the Dahiya suburb of Beirut. They also receive military training at camps in Lebanon, often by Hezbollah operatives.

Preserving Lebanon's stability remains important in a region rife with sectarian wars, but any state of calm that empowers Iran and fails to challenge Hezbollah will be a transitory one. Likewise, stability cannot safeguard Lebanon's politics or economy if it compromises democratic freedoms and bolsters corruption. – by Hanin Ghaddar, a veteran Lebanese journalist and researcher, is the Friedmann Visiting Fellow at The Washington Institute.

My comment: This article is strictly anti-Hezbollah, anti-Iranian – and even anti-PM Hariri and anti-President Aoun now. By this, the author even seems to blame the “historical compromise” of the three main Lebanese religions and their political representatives. – The institute presents the author :

It seems helpful to have a closer look at the “Washington Institute”. In the Wikipedia article we can read:

The organization has been criticized for having strong ties to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC and for being founded by a former AIPAC employee.[35]

In a December 2003 interview on Al Jazeera, Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American professor and director of Columbia University's Middle East Institute, sharply criticized WINEP, stating that it is "the fiercest of the enemies of the Arabs and the Muslims", and describing it as the "most important Zionist propaganda tool in the United States."[36] In response, Martin Kramer, the editor of the Middle East Quarterly and a visiting fellow at WINEP, defended the group, saying that it is "run by Americans, and accepts funds only from American sources," and that it was "outrageous" for Khalidi to denounce Arabs that visited WINEP as "blundering dupes."[37]

John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago political science professor, and Stephen Walt, academic dean at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, describe it as "part of the core" of the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States.[38] Discussing the group in their book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt write:

"Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a 'balanced and realistic' perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel's agenda ... Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP's ranks."[38]

(* B)

Hezbollah, Iran, Hamas seek new strategy for resistance

Just a week after Hamas agreed to reconcile with rival Palestinian faction Fatah and curb its

[Hamas' No. 2 leader Saleh] Arouri also met Nov. 1 with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon to discuss the latest developments. "Both parties stressed the intersection between resistance movements and solidarity against the Zionist aggressions and all that is being plotted against the resistance movements in the region," a media statement said. In other words, Hamas and Hezbollah, under the new Hamas leadership, are becoming closer than before. This also confirms reports that Arouri, who was asked by Qatari authorities months before to leave Qatar, was now based in Beirut.

Moreover, according to the Hamas source, “Relations with Hezbollah are at their best, and both Arouri and Nasrallah have a hotline [to] discuss whenever necessary issues of common interests [arise].” The source told Al-Monitor that with the war in Syria coming to an end and all the “past misunderstandings put aside, Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic [of Iran] stressed that their priority is backing the Palestinian resistance’s fight against Israel, and this means putting all their capabilities at the resistance’s service.”

For six years, specifically since the Syrian uprising, Iran and Hezbollah shifted priorities for what they saw as the existential threat they were facing in Syria, and later in Iraq. This came amid a rift with Hamas on their polar positions over the regime in Syria, which the movement did not support. This didn’t mean halting all the support to the movement and other allied movements, such as Islamic Jihad, but support was limited in the case of Hamas to its military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which later played a main role in bridging the gaps between the two sides. The brigades lobbied for change in Hamas leadership, and pressured the Iranian side to halt the media campaigns launched by allied outlets.

During the years of the Syrian war, the main narrative adopted by the resistance axis was that fighting in Syria was necessary because “if Syria falls, Palestine will fall

In fact, Hezbollah is openly supporting a third “intifada” in Palestine, which would lead to mounting pressure on Israel and a new challenge and threat to Netanyahu’s government. To the group, Israel had in recent years been dealing with minimum threats, which gave it the chance to take advantage of the Palestinians, and even of Hezbollah itself. Israel launched airstrikes in Syria on targets affiliated with the group, whose participation in the Syrian war limited its options to respond, hence providing Israel with the luxury of setting its rules of the game in Syria.

Now that the war in Syria is no longer the main challenge for the resistance axis, Hezbollah is looking forward to re-emerging as a main player inside the Palestinian territories and creating new rules of engagement. Thus, it would revive its priority of resisting Israel, after more than five years in the role of a nonstate regional player with the mandate of keeping defiant Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power, besides fighting or assisting in the fight against radical Sunni movements in both Syria and Iraq.

In this regard, Hezbollah will have to invest on the political and media levels to achieve its goal. Besides, the group’s rhetoric is probably going to change to emphasize Islamic unity, after it was dominated in previous years by politically driven sectarian incitements, given the nature of the battle in Syria.

Yet this isn't all, as the axis is anticipating that Israel will launch a war on Hezbollah once the Syrian war ends. On several occasions, Nasrallah has discussed a strategy for a different path of confrontation: He wants to make use of all the groups that fought with the axis in Syria. This means he wants to engage Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi and Pakistani fighters with the Lebanese in the expected war.

(* B)

Sessions orders review of abandoned Hezbollah-linked drug prosecutions

Inquiry follows POLITICO report that potential cases languished amid Obama drive for Iran nuclear deal.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the Justice Department to dig into allegations in a POLITICO report that a series of potential drug prosecutions related to the pro-Iranian militant group Hezbollah were abandoned as the Obama administration pressed to strike a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Sessions indicated that he was troubled by allegations that Project Cassandra — the Drug Enforcement Administration's drive to target Hezbollah's foray into drug trafficking — ran into high-level roadblocks that stymied many of the cases agents wanted to bring as well as efforts to get suspects extradited from overseas to the U.S.

(* B)

Um Iran-Deal zu schützen: Blockierte Obama Drogenermittlungen gegen die Hisbollah?

Hat die Obama-Regierung die Drogengeschäfte der Miliz Hisbollah protegiert? Diesen Vorwurf erhebt das US-Magazin „Politico“. Demnach torpedierte die Administration jahrelange Bemühungen eigener Drogenermittler, um das Atomabkommen mit dem Iran nicht zu gefährden. Damit sei es der Hisbollah ermöglicht worden, ihre kriminellen Geschäfte auszubauen und damit ihre terroristischen und militärischen Aktivitäten zu finanzieren.

Die US-Drogenbehörde DEA hatte dem Bericht zufolge jahrelang an der Sprengung des Drogenrings der Terrormiliz gearbeitet. Die Ermittlungen waren im sogenannten Projekt Cassandra gebündelt. In einem Tweet zu dem Artikel sprach „Politico“ Klartext: „Indem sie Projekt Cassandra unterminierte, hat die Obama-Regierung dabei geholfen, dass sich das kriminelle Unternehmen der Hisbollah zu einem bedeutenden globalen Sicherheitsrisiko entwickeln konnte, das ihre terroristischen und militärischen Einsätze finanziert.“

Dem Bericht zufolge hatte die DEA das Projekt im Jahr 2008 angestoßen. Damals habe sich die Hisbollah von einer auf den Nahen Osten konzentrierten Militär- und Politorganisation in ein „internationales Verbrechersyndikat“ verwandelt. Diese soll Schätzungen zufolge jährlich bis zu eine Milliarde US-Dollar durch Drogenhandel verdient haben.

In den folgenden Jahren arbeiteten laut „Politico“ Dutzende Sicherheitsbehörden aus den USA und dem Ausland zusammen, um das kriminelle Netzwerk der Hisbollah zu durchleuchten. Die Machenschaften seien auch vom Iran aus gesteuert worden.

Dann soll die Obama-Regierung jedoch konkrete Schritte zur Ergreifung von Schlüsselfiguren der libanesischen Miliz verhindert haben. Das hätten Dutzende von Beteiligten zu Protokoll gegeben. Das bis dato gut unterstützte Vorhaben sei von oben her geradezu zerpflückt worden, sagte der Finanzanalyst David Asher, der für das Verteidigungsministerium maßgeblich an dem Projekt beteiligt war. „Das war eine politisch-strategische Entscheidung.“

Frühere Regierungsmitarbeiter räumten „Politico“ zufolge ein, dass die angestrebte Deeskalation der Beziehungen zum Iran Einfluss auf einige Strafverfolgungsaktionen hatte. Sie dementierten jedoch, dass Schritte gegen die Hisbollah oder deren iranische Verbündete aus politischen Gründen gestoppt wurden.

and also

(* B)

Politico: Obama beschützte Drogen- und Menschenhändler der Hisbollah um den Iran zu beschwichtigen

In einem umfassenden Bericht des POLITICO wird die Obama-Regierung beschuldigt, die Drogen- und Menschenhandelsringe der Hisbollah ("Partei Gottes") beschützt zu haben um sicherzustellen, dass ein Atomabkommen mit dem Iran zustande kommt.

Diverese Anekdoten zeigen, was in DC hinter den Kulissen tatsächlich abging: Ali Fayad, ein bekannter libanesischer Waffenhändler und mutmasslicher Top-Agent der Hisbollah wurde im Frühjahr 2014 in Prag festgenommen, aber wegen mangelndem Interesse seitens der Obama-Administration niemals in die USA ausgeliefert. Er stand unter starkem Verdacht die IS-Söldnertruppe mit Waffen beliefert zu haben. Zudem war er bereits wegen Waffenhandel und versuchten Mordes angeklagt.

cp4 Jerusalem

(A P)

Im Libanon fanden zwei Proteste im Südlibanon bzw. im Nordlibanon statt.

war die erste an der libanesisch-palästinensischen Grenze, wo ein Sit-in in Solidarität, die Zusammenführung verschiedene politische Figuren, statt.

Der libanesische Abgeordnete Qassem Hashem sagte bei dieser Gelegenheit, dass “Widerstand allein AlQods und Palästina und die Golanhöhen befreien kann”.

Im Norden des Libanon, in Tripoli, eine beliebte Marsch fand statt, während die Mohammad Fayyad eine Rede im Namen der palästinensischen Fraktionen geliefert, in dem er betonte, dass „‚Alqods Araber bleiben“.


Qaouq: Hizbullah to Spare No Effort in Support of Palestine

Sheikh Nabil Qaouq, deputy head of Hizbullah's Executive Council, said on Saturday that his party will give full support for the resistance in Palestine after a US decision that recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

“Hizbullah does not give significance for the American or Saudi anger because it does not suffer from any sense of appeasement or weakness for America and its followers in the region,” said Qaouq at a memorial service.

“Saudi normalization and concessions with the Israeli enemy are more painful than the Trump decision. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has failed Jerusalem and the sanctity of Muslims," he added in reference to a statement made by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir about the US decision.

cp5 Libanon und Jemen / Lebanon and Yemen


Saudi Daily Says Three 'Hizbullah Experts' Killed in Yemen

Three Hizbullah military experts have been killed in a Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen, a Saudi daily reported on Monday.

Al-Riyadh newspaper said the strike targeted a house near the Grand Mosque in the Haradh area, which lies in the Hajjah Governorate that borders Saudi Arabia.

“One of the experts was part of the (Huthi) militias’ communications unit while the two others worked in the domain of explosives and the planting of mines, especially sea mines and the rigging of boats used by the militias on the western coast,” al-Riyadh said.

“The bodies of the three Lebanese were transferred to Sanaa while the bodies of seven members of the Huthi militias were placed in the al-Thawra Hospital in Hajjah,” the newspaper added.

My comment: This is the well-known Saudi propaganda on Yemen.

(* A)

Hizbullah Calls for War Cessation in Yemen, Urges Political Solution

Hizbullah on Wednesday denounced “Saudi Arabia's persistent battle” against the Huthi rebels in Yemen stressing the need for a cessation of war as it called for a rapid political solution.

In a statement issued as Yemen marks 1000 days of a Saudi-led coalition war against the Huthis, Hizbullah criticized “Saudi insistence to continue its war against Yemen,” stressing the need for a “comprehensive and rapid political solution.”

Hizbullah's statement added: “Arab, Muslim people, leaders, governments, parties and conscientious people in the world must help stop the humanitarian catastrophe, which has been unmatched for decades.”

“We affirm our absolute support for the oppressed and patient people of Yemen, its wise and brave leadership and its valiant heroes who stand before all mercenary armies that have come from all over the world," added the statement.

(* A)

Hariri Strongly Condemns Huthi Attack on Riyadh, Urges 'Dialogue'

Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday strongly condemned the firing of a ballistic missile at Riyadh by Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

“The repeated targeting of Saudi territory by missile attacks from Yemeni territory does not only threaten the security of the Kingdom and the safety of its people, but also exposes the region to serious dangers and exacerbates existing divisions and conflicts,” Hariri said in a statement.

He added: “We strongly condemn such attacks and stress the need to abandon these aggressive methods and refrain from policies that fuel conflict.”

Hariri also called for “resorting to the path of dialogue to solve the difficult problems.”

My comment: It’s obvious how both blocs in Lebanon differ in their view on Yemen.

cp6 Propaganda


2017: Lebanon’s year of surprises

The main takeaway from 2017 for Lebanon was that Hezbollah’s involvement in various conflicts in the region — and the group’s huge domestic influence — poses a serious threat to the country’s relationships with Arab states. In fact, if it were not for the international consensus that Lebanon’s stability and security must be maintained, the country would likely have slipped into the pit on the edge of which it is still standing as we enter 2018.
The year began with a Saudi-Lebanon summit between President Michel Aoun and King Salman in Riyadh. In his first official trip outside of Lebanon, Aoun was attempting to diffuse the crisis sparked by Gebran Bassil, the foreign minister in Lebanon’s former government led by Tamam Salam, when he refused to support a statement issued by the Arab League’s foreign ministers condemning assaults on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Bassil said he “protested” the statement “due to its mentioning of the Lebanese Hezbollah organization and accusations of terrorist activity.”

Remark: By saudi media.


A tribute to the Lebanese national resistance

If you think that these words are directed to the terrorist faction organization Hezbollah in Lebanon, do not read the rest of the article.

Because these words are directed to national and honorable opinions and exceptional stances defending freedom by those who have paid the price with their health, nerves, dignity and sometimes life, to keep the voice of free opinion and truth heard.

There is a clear conflict in Lebanon today, but it has been a cumulative struggle in the hands of tyrannical regimes including the Syrian regime, which once occupied Lebanon and practiced terrorism by acting through Hezbollah. There is a systematic campaign today against free, independent, bold and different opinions.

In the campaign to suppress opinion, different methods are used to attack well-known people and to exhaust them by establishing judicial proceedings on the pretext that what they have said is “very strange”. Important people, such as Kamel Marwa and Salim al-Lawzi, have been killed by tyrants who have besieged Lebanon’s regimes and politicians.

There were those, such as Gebran Tueni and Samir Kassir, who struggled for the right to have freedom of speech and who met the same fate. May Chidiac is also in the forefront of those leading the honorable national resistance in Lebanon.

My comment: Saudi Arabia struggling for free speech in Lebanon – what a joke.


Beirut in the eye of the storm

The resignation of Saad Al-Hariri less than a year after being elected prime minister of Lebanon came as no surprise to many observers of the political scene. There are many overlapping domestic, regional and international factors that can be reflected in the following points.

What we see these days is repercussions of a crisis that goes back to the fact that the Lebanese crisis is deeply rooted in the structure of the regime itself. The regime suffers from political sectarianism enshrined in the 1926 constitution, which in turn led to institutional sag, especially in security institutions, caused by sub-state loyalties that serve as substitute institutions to the state. The weakness of the state allowed foreign intervention that poses restrictions on any deterrence by the state, which resulted in institutional paralysis.

Last October, President Trump declared a new strategy to curb the Iranian destabilizing policies in the region and to end its support for terrorism. Hezbollah is Iran’s most destructive tool in the region. Via Beirut, the Revolutionary Guards and Quds Forces move arms, ideological supplies and influence to Syria, Yemen, Iraq and the Gulf states in order to undermine political stability and social harmony. In addition, Lebanon has become a training center used by Hezbollah to train other militias in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Gulf states in order to be re-exported for political instability in those countries. Directed by Iran, Hezbollah intervened in Syria to back Assad, in Yemen to back the Houthis, in Iraq and in the Gulf states. Consequently, the said countries became a frontline for the extended Iranian military and economic influence through Hezbollah and Iran’s other arms.

cp7 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

(* A)

UNO: Zahl der syrischen Flüchtlinge im Libanon auf unter eine Million gesunken

Erstmals seit mehr als drei Jahren ist die Zahl der syrischen Flüchtlinge im Libanon nach UN-Angaben auf unter eine Million gesunken. Ende November seien 997.905 syrische Flüchtlinge im Libanon registriert gewesen, teilte das UNHCR mit.

Die meisten von ihnen seien Frauen und Kinder.

(* A )

Syrian refugees in Lebanon drop below one million: UN

The number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon has dropped to below one million for the first time since 2014, the United Nations told AFP on Tuesday.

As of the end of November, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) counted 997,905 Syrian refugees -- a vast majority of them women and children -- registered in Lebanon.

"The number reached one million in April 2014, and this is the first time it drops below that," UNHCR spokeswoman Lisa Abou Khaled told AFP.

Numbers were decreasing, Abou Khaled said, as refugees had resettled in third countries, returned to their homes in Syria, or passed away.

(* A)

How Did Lebanon Misplace a Quarter-Million ‘Palestinians’?

The results of a first-ever official census of “Palestinian” refugees taken in Lebanon were released Thursday, with a figure drastically below that which is quoted by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on its official website and for that matter, which is often quoted by other aid groups.

The census, carried out by the country’s Central Administration of Statistics and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, revealed there are 174,422 Palestinians today living in Lebanon, the New York Timesreported Thursday.

But the official website of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) claims, “Some 450,000 refugees (449,957) are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, with many living in the country’s 12 refugee camps. Palestine refugees represent an estimated ten percent of the population of Lebanon.”

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri said the official data will put to rest the speculation over how many Palestinians are actually living in the country.


(* A )

Lebanon Census Finds Number of Palestinian Refugees Only a Third of Official UN Data

A census in Lebanon finds 175,000 Palestinian refugees living in the country, while the UN figure put their number at 500,000

Around 175,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon, 45 percent of them in 12 refugee camps and 55 percent in 156 population centers throughout the country, according to a census conducted by Lebanon’s Central Administration of Statistics in partnership with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The total is much lower than the official figure of 500,000, cited by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. It has been known for years that the UN figure was inaccurate, since many Palestinian refugees have emigrated from Lebanon. But the census finding was also below other estimates, such as that of the American University of Beirut in 2015, which put the figure at between 260,000 and 280,000.

(* B)

Sie halfen schon, bevor die NGOs kamen

Im kleinen Libanon ist der Krieg in Syrien am stärksten zu spüren: Vier Flüchtlinge kommen auf einen Einwohner. Ohne den Fußballverein würde nichts funktionieren.

Der Libanese Firas Khalaf arbeitete vor einigen Jahren noch in der EU-Repräsentanz in Beirut. Dann kamen die syrischen Flüchtlinge in den Libanon. Und Kalahf ging dorthin, wo die Not am größten war: in die Bekaa-Ebene, nach Bar Elias. Wo die ohnehin extremen demografischen Verhältnisse des Libanon noch weiter zugespitzt sind.

Sportvereine sind der Hebel für viele Dinge. Sie sind Rückzugsort und Anlaufstelle. Sie helfen, um Kontakte zu knüpfen, verleihen Menschen Würde und lenken Flüchtlinge von den Nöten des Alltags zumindest kurz ab. Manche Sportkurse finden auch beim Nasser Club statt. Der Club aus der zweiten libanesischen Liga ist beides: sportlich ehrgeizig und die beste Nachbarschaftshilfe, die man kriegen kann - Von Tom Mustroph, Bar Elias

(* B)

Grosse Armut unter Flüchtlingen im Libanon

Mehr als die Hälfte der syrischen Flüchtlinge im Libanon lebt nach Uno-Angaben in extremer Armut. "Syrische Flüchtlinge im Libanon halten sich kaum über Wasser", teilte das Uno-Flüchtlingshilfswerk UNHCR am Freitag mit.

58 Prozent der Haushalte müssen demnach mit weniger als 2,87 Dollar pro Person und Tag auskommen. Dies seien fünf Prozent mehr als im Vorjahr.

Insgesamt leben 76 Prozent der syrischen Flüchtlinge im Libanon laut Uno unter der Armutsgrenze und haben weniger als 3,84 Dollar pro Tag zur Verfügung. Fast 90 Prozent von ihnen seien verschuldet. "Die meisten Familien sind äusserst verletzlich und sind auf Hilfe der internationalen Gemeinschaft angewiesen", sagte die UNHCR-Vertreterin Mireille Girard.

Einziger Lichtblick in dem Bericht des Flüchtlingshilfswerks war der Bildungsbereich. 70 Prozent der syrischen Kinder zwischen sechs und 14 Jahren besuchen inzwischen eine Schule im Libanon;art46446,1162950 = =

(* B)

Palestinians in Lebanon: 'It's like living in a prison'

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are treated as second-class residents, restricted from working in most fields, banned from owning property, forced to live in run-down camps and barred from formal education.

Mohamad Jabbar makes $10 a day at his butcher shop, just a tenth of what he could earn if Lebanese authorities allowed him to operate outside the military-guarded camp in Beddawi.

"It's like living in a prison," Jabbar said. "The government controls where I live and where I work."

Palestinians cannot own businesses in Lebanon and are banned from most decent-paying professions, including medicine and law. An estimated two-thirds live in poverty. The government will not give citizenship rights to Palestinian refugees, for fear it could make them stay forever.

"This is a cruel and false hypothesis," Bassam Khawaja, a Beirut-based spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera. "Nothing prevents Lebanon from respecting Palestinians' basic human rights while withholding permanent residency or citizenship. But instead, generations have grown up in limbo, without basic protections."

Today, Palestinians are competing with nearly two million Syrian refugees in Lebanon for jobs and aid.

"The vast majority of international humanitarian aid coming into Lebanon is focused on the Syrian refugee crisis, which means we are overlooking the long-standing human rights violations that Palestinians have faced here for decades," Khawaja said.

Nearly 20 percent Palestinians between the ages of six and 15 - and 30 percent of those aged 16 to 18 - are out of school in Lebanon, often because they are forced to work when their parents cannot. More than 30 percent of Palestinians leave school due to low achievement.

cp8 Mehr / More


Libanons Protest gegen Gewalt gegen Frauen (Bilder)

Dutzende von Menschen zündeten Kerzen an, versammelt vor dem Nationalmuseum in Beirut, um gegen Gewalt gegen Frauen zu protestieren, nachdem mindestens 3 Frauen im Libanon getötet wurdeninnerhalb einer Woche.

"Ich könnte ich sein" war das Motto der Mobilisierung durch Social Networking-Sites nach organisiert eine Initiative von Aktivisten, die sich für die Rechte der Frau einsetzen. Ihr Ziel um es abzulehnen "Gewalt gegen Frauen in öffentlichen und privaten Bereichen".

In der Zeit zwischen 13 und Dezember 18 wurden mindestens 3-Frauen ermordet auf dem Land, nach den Organisatoren.


Lebanese Hold Candle-Lit Vigil for Murdered Women

Dozens of people have gathered with candles in Beirut to denounce violence against women after at least three were murdered in Lebanon in less than a week.

The victims included British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes, whom an Uber driver admitted to killing after he tried to sexually assault her last week.

Days before, a 22-year-old was found shot in the chest and her husband was detained, vigil organizers said.

In a Facebook post before the event, organizers deplored a lack of "legal, social and political systems" to address what they called "systemic" violence against women, from harassment to murder.

"We reject the normalization of violence against women and justifying it as separate incidents at a time where it's clearly a structural and systemic violence that haunts us in private and public spaces," they said.


Kritik während Libanon-Krise: Gabriel mäßigt Ton gegenüber Riad

Einen Monat nach dem diplomatischen Eklat mit Saudi-Arabien hat Bundesaußenminister Sigmar Gabriel seinen Ton gegenüber Riad deutlich abgeschwächt. "Meine Kommentare zur Libanon-Krise sollten kein bestimmtes Land in der Region angreifen - auch nicht Saudi-Arabien", sagte Gabriel in einem Interview der saudischen Zeitung "Al-Scharq al-Awsat" (Mittwoch). Seine persönliche und politische Sorge sei lediglich auf die Bevölkerung des Libanons bezogen gewesen.

Angesichts der dubiosen Rolle Saudi-Arabiens bei dem - später zurückgenommenen - Rücktritt des libanesischen Regierungschefs Saad Hariri hatte Gabriel Mitte November in Richtung Riad gesagt, "dass gemeinsam aus Europa das Signal kommen muss, dass wir das Abenteurertum, was sich in den letzten Monaten dort breit gemacht hat, nicht mehr bereit sind, einfach sprachlos hinzunehmen". Daraufhin kam es zum Eklat: Das Königreich rief seinen Botschafter aus Berlin zurück und protestierte gegen die Äußerungen.

Im Interview der saudischen Zeitung betonte Gabriel nun: "Saudi-Arabien ist der größte Spender humanitärer Hilfe im Jemen, aber dieser Fakt wird in Deutschland leider von einigen ignoriert."

Mein Kommentar: das ist jämmerlich. Gabriel hatte damals vollkommen recht. Nun ist er wegen irgendwelcher Geschäfte in Saudi-Arabien und möchte den Saudis schöntun. – Was im Jemen geschieht, hat mit der damaligen Krise um Libanons Ministerpräsident Hariri nichts zu tun. Der Hinweis auf den Jemen war zudem ein voller Griff ins Klo: Die saudische humanitäre Hilfe für den Jemen schrumpft zum Nichts im Vergleich zu den saudischen Bombenangriffen und der saudischen Blockade – die Gabriel mit dieser Äußerung dann en passant auch noch für völlig nebensächlich erklärt.

(* B)

Film: Libanons illegaler Waffenhandel boomt

Die Sicherheitslage im Libanon verschlechtert sich von Tag zu Tag, und die illegalen Waffenhändler des Landes erleben auch dank des Bürgerkrieges in Syrien den Boom ihres Lebens.

Die poröse Grenze zu Syrien und die Massen an Waffen, die noch aus dem libanesischen Bürgerkrieg stammen, erlauben es jedem, der genügend Geld in der Tasche hat, jede Waffe zu kaufen, von der er nur träumt. Fragen werden keine gestellt. VICE News hat sich auf eine Shopping-Tour in den Libanon begeben.

Frühere Berichte / Earlier reporting

Berichte über Jemen, Saudi Arabien, Naher Osten / Reports on Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Middle East:

08:45 27.12.2017
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
Schreiber 0 Leser 22
Dietrich Klose