Lebanon First

Can the International Community broker an Israel-Lebanon peace deal?

During the last decades the “Middle East pace process” focused on the Palestinians and the future of the West Bank / Judea and Samaria, notably with very poor results.

I won’t argue about the causes of the peace process stagnation nor about different approaches to this issue. Very smart people could not solve it so far and it seems it will take much longer, maybe generations.

It is indeed a complex situation that involves security concerns along with the holy grail of all international conflicts: a territorial dispute.

While the international community invested a lot of time and money on the complex “Palestinian track”, no one focused on a very easy deal that could be reached in weeks: an Israel-Lebanon peace deal.

Shortly after Israel unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, on 16 June 2000 UN Secretary-General reported to the Security Council that Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425 (1978) and met the requirements defined in his report of 22 May 2000. The line that was marked by the UN, the blu line, defines today the border between Israel and Lebanon.

Lebanon still claims a small part of the Golan Heights, the Sheba Farms, which the UN assigned to Syria but this a negligible issue. The fact is that there is no substantial territorial dispute between Israel and Lebanon.

So, here is my question to all the peace experts and envoys, to the UN, the EU and all other relevant international players: why can’t you broker a peace deal between Israel and Lebanon?

We have no material reason to be at war. We have no territorial disputes, no economical conflict…nobody really knows why can’t we live in peace.

Yes, I know, Hizbollah militia controls southern Lebanon and yes, I know, they have over a hundred thousand missiles targeting Israel. They claim their aim is the annihilation of the State of Israel and they will oppose to any peace deal. The reason is pretty simple: they don’t want peace with Israel because they don’t want Israel to exist into any borders whatsoever.

Which takes us to the real problem. The International community is unable to broker a peace deal with Lebanon, even tough there are no reasons for a conflict, because it cannot solve the profound anti Jewish hate. The international community cannot broker this deal because it cannot bring Lebanon to the table, to any table, as long as Israel exist.

So my next question is: if you are not able to solve a very easy deal that can be reached in a few weeks should the Lebanese government decide that they no longer requires the destruction of Israel, how can you solve the complex Palestinian issue? Palestinian version of Hizbollah, Hamas, has the very same agenda…

The Lebanese refusal for any peace negotiation is the ultimate proof that peace is not just and issue of land and borders. Peace is a matter of recognition and as long as there is no recognition of the Jewish State of Israel there is no point in discussing borders.

As a citizen of the State of Israel, I would really want my Government to say to all those peace professionals that protest after every Jewish house renewal in Jerusalem:

Let’s talk about Lebanon First.