Lebanese foreign minister acknowledges Israel’s right to exist, then backtracks

December 29, 2017 by J-Wire
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Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has drawn widespread criticism in his country for saying in a television interview that Israel has a right to exist.

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. Credit: Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken via Wikimedia Commons.

In an interview with the Lebanese Al Mayadeen satellite network, Bassil said, “I don’t deny Israel [has a] right to exist. We are not blind. We are a people who wants to live with others.”

Bassil later added, “We are not against Israel living in security.”

Lebanon’s government, however, does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. The foreign minister later clarified his comments by saying he does not believe in recognizing Israel and that his words were taken out of context, adding that Israel “is the enemy.”

Lebanon and Israel have had no diplomatic relations since the Jewish state was founded in 1948, with Lebanon joining other Arab states in seeking to destroy the Israel shortly after it attained independence. Nevertheless, Israel has had clandestine relations with Lebanese figures over the years, including Christian leaders during the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s and 1980s. In recent decades, Israel has considered the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah as one of its top national security threats. Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006.



5 Responses to “Lebanese foreign minister acknowledges Israel’s right to exist, then backtracks”
  1. Sam Tatarka says:

    Who cares if Lebanon or anyone else concedes “Israel’s right to exist”?
    What was clearly an issue in the middle of the twentieth century no longer has relevance.
    Israel exists and will if the past is anything to go by, continue to thrive in the decades and centuries to come.
    Supporters of Israel should simply cease any discussion about this “issue” and stop being driven by those who still think acknowledgement of a right of existence means anything to a nation State with an unmatched history of achievement over its 7 decades in the modern era.

  2. Gillian Miller says:

    This is why there will never be a 2 state solution and peace in the Middle East even though these Muslim controlled countries often accept Israel’s help. What Trump is doing at the UN is what is needed and I wish that the other useless wastes of space in Europe, especially the UK, stop pandering to the Palestinians and make them follow the conditions that they agreed to in the Oslo Accords.

  3. Lynne Newington says:

    I wonder who leaned on him is what I’d be asking.
    Keeping the political status quo running smoothly one can’t be blamed for wondering… https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/10/13/171013e.html

  4. john nemesh says:

    Gebran Bassil is the son inlaw of the turncoat president ex General Michael Aoun.
    Most of the multidude of factions, The Christian Maronite minority has been isolated since Bashir Gemayel was assassinated by Syrian agents in the 1980s.
    Bashir was a supporter of Israel.
    Now Aoun feels that to preserve the remnants of Maronite power, he has to throw his lot on with Iran, and the Shi’ites, ie Hezbollah.

    However there is major resentment towards this in the Christian community.

    Thus at first Bassil said what was in his heart and in his community’s heart—but after pressure he partly changed tack.

    Christians in Lebanon feel thet are in a vice without an answer.

    They do not like being allied to the Shi’ite fanatics, and also realize the next war will no longer spare them from Israeli retribution.

    But as per Aoun, they feel they have nowhere to go.

    The Pope, Catholic Church, Orthodox Church and the greater western powers have not backed this community. And thus they feel alone and vulnerable.

    The blame and the shame is the western powers and the Church which has shamefully retreated from standing up for their own principles and followers.

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