US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just held a meeting with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, where the latter expressed his country’s worry and anger at multiple “Israeli” challenges to the territorial integrity and sovereign rights of the Lebanese Republic.
Lebanon has recently held emergency cabinet meetings after “Israel” threatened Lebanon with war over Beirut’s desire to cultivate its off-shore gas fields which Tel Aviv has suddenly claimed as its own. This comes as “Israeli” soldiers continue to build an illegal border wall on Lebanese soil which seeks to cut Lebanon off from its ally in occupied Palestine.
Aoun who previously addressed “Israel’s” aggression stated,
“We hope to put an end to this matter through diplomatic channels, yet our military has been given the orders to confront any threat to our sovereignty”.
Although the relations between the US and Lebanon remain ambivalent due to the multi-party realities of Lebanese politics, president Aoun has reached out to the US in an attempt to avoid a conflict with “Israel” that Lebanon neither needs nor wants, but which it has been preparing for in the eventuality of a renewed “Israeli” attack. During his talks with Tillerson, Aoun implored the US to “work on preventing Israel from continuing its assaults on Lebanese sovereignty”. Tillerson in return pledged continued US support for Lebanon, but this promise has already been met with scepticism among those who recognise a pattern of the US siding with “Israel” in every dispute it has with its neighbours. While Tillerson’s statements in Beirut were largely unsurprising, he did show a rare moment of pragmatism when he stated, “We also have to recognize the reality that [Hezbollah] are also part of the political process in Lebanon”.
While the US tends to defend “Israel’s” multiple indefensible actions against Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, the challenge to the US is clear from Beirut’s perspective. “Israel” is violating the territorial integrity of Lebanon with its illegal border wall and is attempting to provoke a war over Lebanon’s legal right to cultivate its own maritime gas fields. As with Palestine which has recently turned to both Russia and China in attempts to find a more neutral peace broker, if the US fails Lebanon again, Beirut may well also begin looking for another arbitrator to prevent a renewed “Israeli” war on Lebanese soil.