How the U.S. and France Are Propping Up Hizballah’s Rule in Lebanon

Sept. 23 2021

After over a year of political deadlock, Beirut earlier this month announced the formation of a new government. On its surface, it seems as if the decision resulted from Sunni Muslim and Maronite Christian factions reaching an accommodation. Tony Badran explains, however, that the compromise was brokered by the Iran-backed Shiite militia Hizballah, which is the sole group that has come out ahead:

The prolonged paralysis only highlighted both sides’ insignificance, in contrast to Hizballah’s position as ultimate arbiter. Hizballah not only controls the new government, as it did Lebanon’s previous governments, but it and its immediate allies also hold two-thirds of the governing portfolios.

The French president Emmanuel Macron launched an initiative last year to push for a new Lebanese government. But Macron always viewed Hizballah as his primary interlocutor in Lebanon. . . . Macron has apparently resolved that, because Hizballah and, behind it, Iran are the dominant players in Lebanon, partnership with them is a prerequisite for advancing French interests—both geopolitical and commercial. In addition to its existing investment in offshore gas exploration in Lebanon, France has also been eyeing other ventures.

French policy in the Levant is hardly at odds with U.S. policy. In fact, in July, in a highly unusual move, the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon and her French counterpart jointly visited Saudi Arabia to urge the kingdom to reinvest in the Hizballah-dominated order in Beirut. Similarly, the U.S. secretary of state and his French counterpart have tried to press the Saudis on the matter.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at FDD

More about: Emmanuel Macron, France, Hizballah, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy

 

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror