How the Once-Great Defender of Lebanese Christians Put Them at the Mercy of Hizballah

In the early 1980s, at the height of the Lebanese civil war, Michel Aoun successfully led Lebanese forces against Syrian-backed militias, attaining a heroic reputation in the eyes of many of his compatriots. But like Philippe Pétain, France’s most admired general during World War I who would later surrender his country to the Nazis, Aoun has for over a decade served as Hizballah’s greatest Christian supporter. Alberto Miguel Fernandez writes:

Four years ago this month, Aoun was elected Lebanon’s president by the country’s parliament. . . . Feeling that he did not get his due from the anti-Syria and anti-Hizballah March 14 Alliance, the aging Aoun—still proud and ambitious—in February 2006 forged a political alliance with Hizballah that would not waver even during an astonishing series of events. This included Hizballah’s destructive 2006 war with Israel and a string of assassinations, blamed on Hizballah, of opposition figures, journalists, and military officers, many of them Christians (none of them Aounists, of course).

As recently as 2018, Aoun’s presidency, and this alliance, had not seemed to have hurt him much. The pro-Aoun coalition did quite well in parliamentary elections that year, allying with Sunni and Shiite parties in different areas of the country. An objective observer might conclude that Aoun’s four years in power have been nothing short of disastrous. . . . But as a politician he has been a resounding success, if measured in cynical terms of political survival and in aggressively climbing the ladders of power in this fragmented country.

Whether he is today only a passive symbol or still a willing collaborator in the catastrophic Lebanese status quo, Aoun, the brash champion of Lebanon’s Christian rights since 1989, has become the undertaker of the historic Christian presence in this country. He did not accomplish this on his own, of course. Lebanon’s implosion was a multi-confessional multi-party conspiracy bringing down the entire country. But since 2006, his alliance with Hizballah has given that terrorist group an extensive sectarian and political cover that it might not have had otherwise—only making a bad situation worse.

Read more at MEMRI

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Middle East Christianity

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus