Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem and the Story of Lebanon | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem made some important comments in Beirut and the Lebanese must welcome these comments in the same way they welcomed him, especially Mr. Nabih Berri who, within earshot of the Qatari guest, relayed what he called “the story of Qatar in Lebanon.” The truth is that Sheikh Hamad is the one who summarized the entire “story of Lebanon” within earshot of Berri and other Lebanese when he said that “there are numerous threats in the Arab world, particularly regarding Lebanon, and you can face these threats with unity and not weapons.”

What Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem said is what rational people were and still are repeating in our region, some of whom are in Lebanon, especially since the 2006 war and following Hezbollah’s occupation of the Sunni part of Beirut. This is always responded to with curses and [accusations of] treason. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem said what he said openly; in fact after this he met with Hassan Nasrallah as well as other Lebanese, so did he get the message across?

The significance of Sheikh Hamad’s comments is that there cannot be unity in Lebanon and peace on the land when there is a party that is monopolizing political decision-making, and the decision of peace and war, simply because this party owns an arsenal of Iranian weapons, and is serving the Iranian agenda which does not benefit Lebanon at all. The importance of this statement also lies in the fact that it is coming from Qatar which was singing a completely different tune in 2006 when Hezbollah took the risk of kidnapping two Israeli soldiers which cost Lebanon significantly in terms of lives and material losses, and Lebanon has yet to recover from this. In fact Lebanon is still looking towards the international community for help to recover from this crisis in which Lebanon served Iran, and in turn, Iran did not offer Lebanon anything corresponding to what was offered by the Gulf States, other than rearming Hezbollah’s military wing in order to serve its [Iran’s] interests.

It is odd that we did not hear any responses from Hezbollah and its allies to Sheikh Hamad’s statements in the same way that the party responded to the statement made by UN Special Representative for the implementation of Security Resolution 1559, Terje Roed Larson. Hezbollah described him as spiteful and an agent for Israel when last Thursday Terje Roed Larson said, “The presence of heavily armed militias impedes the implementation UN Security Council Resolution 1559, knowing that the articles of the resolution that was adopted in 2004 stipulates disbanding and disarming all militias that exist in Lebanon.” With regards to Sheikh Hamad’s comments, perhaps Hezbollah and its allies were shocked into silence, or perhaps somebody else silenced them and they therefore reluctantly swallowed the Sheikh’s comments.

What concerns us today is saying that it is important that Qatar is now speaking the same language as Saudi Arabia and the Emirates and most importantly that the Arabs and the Gulf States are talking to the Lebanese in a similar language and with the same clarity. This is for the sake of Lebanon’s wellbeing and so that the Gulf States are not forced to rebuild what they built in Lebanon following the 2006 war with regards to their projects, the most recent of which are the Qatari projects [in Lebanon], following the Saudi, UAE, and Kuwait ones!