Lebanese parliamentary elections did not bring a positive change in the country and seem to show there is no path towards getting Lebanon out of the bottleneck.
Political and economic suffocation continues to hold the state by the neck and to worsen the crises that pose an existential threat for the country that’s no longer attractive on the economic, political or media levels.
Elections provided no solutions
These elections have further highlighted the transformation in the country’s sense of identity. The shift focuses on abandoning the Lebanese Arab identity, which is characterized by political and social pluralism and diversity, and adopting an identity that’s disconnected or hostile to its surrounding. This latter identity is characterized for its unilateral tendency that cancels political diversity while maintaining an appearance of formal diversity that has no influence in the political sphere and has no political significance in Lebanon's relations with its Arab environment.
The unilateral orientation and the monopoly of power over the state and public life are what contradict the Lebanese identity and its peculiarities which have always been the source of political and social vitality and of freedom, a platform for myriad media outlets and a reservoir for economic vitality that attracts investment from all over the world.
The crises revealed by the parliamentary elections that were held almost ten days ago confirmed that Lebanon is no longer capable of confronting this siege and has become more submissive to the power that’s suffocating the state. Meanwhile, the Lebanese people face the state institutions’ accumulating crises and have no way out of the crisis except by drowning further.
The unilateral orientation and the monopoly of power over the state and public life are what contradict the Lebanese identity and its peculiarities which have always been the source of political and social vitality and of freedom, a platform for myriad media outlets and a reservoir for economic vitality that attracts investment from all over the worldAli Al-Amin
Faced with the predicament of the state’s absence or weakness, the statelet is expanding and solidifying in political life. With the lack of economic and social vitality, there is an increasing submissiveness to the logic of unilateralism and guardianship. The likelihood of breaking free from the formula of seizing the public realm to enhance the grip of the party and militia is thus decreasing. Lebanon cannot prevail and flourish without a special bond with its Arab surroundings, particularly with Gulf states.
An Israeli clone
This special bond is an existential element. It’s an economic, cultural, political and national reality that cannot be refuted.
These vital elements for the survival of Lebanon and its significant roles are being overlooked today. It’s like Lebanon is committing suicide or it’s being killed. This submission has manifested itself in being dragged in the path towards altering the Lebanese identity and which greatly resembles the idea of separation and isolation, similar to the Jewish idea in the Israeli version. The Israeli entity is the model that was and still is established on the idea of the all-encompassing enemy. It is an entity based on the strategy of hostility and rupture of ties with its surroundings and on the culture of intimidation and bullying as well as on the concept of exploiting this hostility and fear to win international support. This path also promotes a colonial tendency that has prevailed ever since Israel’s existence in the Arab region.
What’s happening in Lebanon today is an attempt to clone the Israeli model, whether consciously or unconsciously. It’s a model that is characterized with burning bridges with its environment, deepening rifts and promoting a culture of fear and hatred against anyone who is different.
Today, the authoritarian discourse that is expanding in Lebanon on the political and media fronts is focused on one point and it’s that the actual enemy and the real source of threat are Arab countries, i.e. the ones that are not friendly to Iran or that are hostile to Iran’s policies. There also persistent efforts to impose this rationale on those who oppose it.
Cloning the Israeli experience in reproducing a new identity for Lebanon, an identity that is hostile to its surrounding and that is detached from its surroundings while being linked with countries from outside the region, accomplishes a regional and international task that opposes the system of Arab interests.
Culture of fear
The most dangerous aspect of the recent parliamentary elections is this inclination towards solidifying a culture of hostility and fear that has penetrated the behavior of the state which has become lenient towards the conditions of its national existence while also being concerned with the international and regional interests of Iran. Not all the Lebanese share this vision, but the surrender to this formula is what makes the progression of the Israeli model at the core of its psychological, political, cultural and arrogant facets a reality that cannot be neglected. This surrender also links whatever is left of Lebanon to the task of protecting stability with Israel on one hand and with investing in rifts with its Arab surroundings on another. This is in addition to looking after the interests of Europe, the United States and Russia in a suspicious manner that raises a lot of questions given the rhetoric which the ‘axis of the resistance’ has often used against colonialism and occupation.
These powers of ‘resistance’ that control the institutions in Lebanon are incapable of opposing the course of history, but they will definitely suffer from the catastrophe of failing to achieve what they have had in mind. Lebanon is starting to witness the beginnings of this catastrophe. The West, Iran and of course Israel are incapable of making Lebanon a state that’s capable of going on outside the system of its national interests. The more Lebanon is distant from its Arab surrounding, the more unsustainable it is as a state. In light of the Iranian victories in Lebanon, the country has regressed politically and economically.
What they want Lebanon to be is a model with partisan inclinations that are based on a unilateral and eliminatory tendency that rejects diversity. It’s a model that rejects allowing Lebanon to be a free platform for the media and that does not attract Arab investments. It is a model that is harmonious with the West and Israel on condition of clashing with the Arabs.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Ali Al-Amin is a journalist based in Lebanon and is the Editor of news site Janoubia.com.