Lebanon. Little Lebanon continued to be characterized by conflicts in the region and by the interconnected power measurement between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
According to countryaah, the current population of Lebanon is 6,825,456. Saudi Arabia decided in February to withhold $ 4 billion that was promised for arms purchases from France to avoid the weapons falling into the Shiite Muslim Hizbullah movement. Shortly thereafter, Hizbullah was stamped by the GCC, a Sunni Muslim monarchy in the Arabian Peninsula. The classification was reported to be the result of “hostile acts” in the region; Hizbullah then fought for four years on the regime’s side in Syria, which also had Iran’s support.
According to thereligionfaqs, the Lebanese went to the polls for the first time in six years in May, when municipal elections were held for four rounds. The election was also the first since the war in Syria broke out in 2011 and contributed to the political stalemate in Lebanon; the parliamentary elections that would have been held in 2013 had not yet ended. A group of partyless candidates participated in Beirut in an attempt to challenge traditional power structures. However, the independent list received no mandate as the two dominant party blocs lined up with a common list and took all seats. The turnout was only 20%.
A crisis in the sophomore treatment that caused mass protests the year before was reminded again during the summer. Stinking garbage left in the streets was, for many Lebanese, a tangible result of the political stalemate in the country. The crisis occurred when a large dump was closed without a good alternative available.
After 2.5 years and 45 unsuccessful attempts to elect a new president, in October Parliament succeeded in appointing Michel Aoun as new head of state. He was able to take office after surprisingly being supported by, among others, his former enemy Saad Hariri. Aoun was allied with Hizbullah while Hariri was loyal to Saudi Arabia and accused the Shiite movement of the 2005 murder of his father, the former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
As part of the settlement, Saad Hariri was believed to have been promised the Prime Minister’s post and in December he was able to form a unity government with the majority of political parties. Saad Hariri was also head of government in 2009-11.
At the start of the war, many Lebanese criticized Hezbollahfor triggering the conflict in his arrest of 2 Israeli soldiers, but as the war unfolded with Israeli terror against the Lebanese civilian population, Hezbollah as the only force fighting the Israeli invasion force and the global community’s failure to protect the Lebanese population turned the mood. Hezbollah was avalanche-supported – across religion and ethnicity. A July 26 poll showed that 72% of Lebanese now support Hezbollah’s capture of 2 Israeli soldiers on July 12, and 85% supported Hezbollah’s defense of Lebanon against Israel’s attempt to invade the country in the south. The backing was greatest among Shia Muslims, but Sunnis and Christians also overwhelmingly backed Hezbollah. The country’s other major Shia militia – Amal – announced that it was also fully involved in the fight against the Israeli invasion forces. In early August, over 90% of Lebanese supported Hezbollah’s defense of Lebanon.
At the beginning of August, Israel recognized its extensive support and extended its bombing of Beirut to Christian neighborhoods, and southern Lebanon to Christian villages as well.
Hezbollah’s backing was not limited to Lebanon. The organization’s ability to defend Lebanon against the Israeli invasion forces caused its popularity to explode throughout the Arab world. Just a few months earlier, it was completely inconceivable to see Hezbollah’s flag in Sunni-dominated countries such as the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia, but quickly gained star popularity and its leader Hannan Nazrallah achieved a status that reached the level of the Nassers. This popularity was not limited to the Muslim population. Christian and secular Arabs in not only Lebanon and Palestine but the entire Arab world also expressed admiration for Hezbollah’s efforts, which in a few weeks destroyed the image Israel had built over 50 years that its army (IDF) was invincible. Israel launched after 1 week of terrorist bombings of the Lebanon land war and declared it would occupy southern Lebanon up to the Litani River, but Hezbollah’s resistance to the invasion force was so fierce and well prepared that both Israeli elite forces and reservists were repeatedly beaten and forced to retreat out.
In that sense, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was right in his view that the war would reshape the situation in the Middle East. It showed that even though Israel had unconditional air supremacy, its land forces could be run on flight, and at the same time the war intensified opposition to the United States and Israel. The well-educated middle class in Lebanon now turned openly toward the United States, having for decades held the United States as its ideal. The reason was its open support for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon. In the Arab dictatorship states that were allies with the United States – the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt – the rulers feared this development because it undermined their own positions of power.
Government formers give up
Mustapha Adib abandons attempts to form new government (see 30 August). The Sunni Muslim diplomat wanted to form an expert government, while the parties (which are based on different religious affiliations among the population) demanded to be allowed to fill positions of power. Critics say that the Shia parties Hezbollah and Amal in particular look more to their own interests than to the country’s. It will now be up to the president to find a new prime ministerial candidate, while Hassan Diab’s minister will remain as the expeditionary government. French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been personally involved in Lebanon’s future, is reacting by accusing the entire country’s political elite of “collective treason”.
Promises of damages in decree
President Aoun signs a decree that people who were affected by the giant explosion on August 4 will receive damages. It is said that 100 billion Lebanese pounds will be distributed. The city of Beirut and the Lebanese army will be responsible for setting up a payment mechanism. Financing is another matter: the treasury is empty, lenders set conditions and neither Lebanese nor others seem to trust that the money will arrive if the country’s own public bodies are given the responsibility (see 9 August).
Better conditions for guest workers in households
A new standard contract for the employment of migrant workers in the household has been announced by the Lebanese Ministry of Labor and will improve the conditions of guest workers. With the new rules (a detailed five-page document), migrants will be able to change employers, have their own lockable bedroom and be allowed to keep their passports, which has not been the case so far. About a quarter of a million women, most from Africa or Asia, work in Lebanese households. Ordinary labor market laws do not apply to them (nor to domestic domestic workers), but their jobs have been regulated by a system called kafala, which is based on, among other things, custom and makes migrant workers almost lawless. Some ambiguities remain: although the new contracts give the right to a minimum wage, employers can make deductions for food and housing.
Four die in search of terrorist cell
Four army soldiers are killed in an attempt to imprison the designated leader of a terrorist cell near Tripoli in the north. The man himself is shot dead during the hunt that follows. His group is being held responsible for the murders of two police officers and the son of a village leader in late August. Ordinary crime, such as robbery, is also reported to have increased during the crisis of recent months.
Large fire in the port of Beirut
Oil products and decks are burning in the port of Beirut, just over a month after the huge explosion in the port that claimed nearly 200 lives, left large parts of the city’s population homeless, demolished buildings and caused environmental damage. Managers and other officials in the port are among 25 people who are already with the police as a result of the disaster investigation.