Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Someone please tell Siniora that charity starts at home

Posted by worriedlebanese on 09/03/2009

siniora-clinton-420-03309013049Siniora pledged 1m $ to Gaza last week. How considerate, how charitable, what a great signe of arab solidarity, right? nah.

What a PR stunt! What a typical arab face saving scheme!  What a pitiful action to obscure the fact that the Lebanese government did nothing when the battle was raging in Gaza. This kind of reaction is expected from the Gulf’ Petro-States. Petro-dollars are surely their best diplomatic and political asset.  But Lebanon is no petro-State, and the country doesn’t have a dollar to spare.

What it has is a relatively old diplomatic tradition, some very dynamic and imaginative diplomats (No, this comment is not intended for a regular reader), and quite a numerous Palestinian population born and raised in Lebanon. So why not start with that? Why wasn’t Lebanon more active in December and January? Why didn’t our diplomacy find a way to reconcile the two arab positions concerning Gaza? Why doesn’t the government find an imaginative solution to have a diplomatic representation in Palestine ? Why doesn’t Siniora use the million dollars he promised to Gaza to help out Lebanon’s Palestinian or to finance programmes (or a larger public institution) to advance the condition of this disenfranchised population and its relations with Lebanese nationals?

Instead of those necessary actions, all Siniora did was secure a photo-op with Ms Clinton.

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