The Lebanese incentive
Yaron London
Published: 04.12.07, 09:48
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1. a great plan! can we give France to Algeria?
oops they already have it
2. delusional
josef cohen ,   herzliya   (12.04.07)
Although Mr. London is probably correct in the pessamistic assessment of Lebanon's future. Syria is never going to renounce their claims on the Golan. They will no more concede Golan than they will concede Lebanon (even if they are less vocal on the Lebanon issue.) However it is most important to point out that Lebanon's sovereignty is not Israel's to concede. So such suggestion is as morally reprehensible as it is delusional. It is delusional in the extreme to believe that any Israeli 'concession' would be seen by anyone as having any validity. Israel has no influence or credibility in the region that would even suggest that they could arrive at such agreement. And in fact such an agreement would confirm the region's worse fears about Israel only serving to further alienate Israel even further (Is that possible?). Mr. London analysis is poor in so far as he greatly exaggerates the difference between Syria and Iran. Iran is increasingly Syria's master. Iran bank rolls the army (and other key institutions) pretty much the sole mechanism keeping the Shia Alawite sect entrenched in power in a largely Suni country. It can be reasonably argued that Iran's increasing ties to the Syrian military give them an effective veto over any independent political initiatives Syrians may want to embark on.
3. Now we are talking, Great Idea!!!!
dovid ,   Modiin   (12.04.07)
4. BottomLine:: Sooner or later, Shia control Lebanon!!
KMR ,   Middle East   (12.04.07)
Christians lose-out if not aligned with Isreal...this would be reality
5. Nice idea, Chamberlin!
John ,   Jerusalem   (12.04.07)
6. Israel is proving to the Lebanese
Akram ,   Paris / Beirut   (12.04.07)
That it's a real enemy. Well, in a situation where enemies are all around Lebanon (Israel, Syria & Hezbollah), anything bad that happens to any of them will be a joy to the Lebanese people. We (Lebanese) will have to push for a war among them all to make them all weak. Otherwise, Lebanon is OVER!
7. Daydreams presented as analysis.
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (12.04.07)
This is undoubtedly one of the strangest articles I've read in a long time. It would not be unfair to characterize this as fantasy-fiction. Mr London should write novels since he has such an active & creative imagination. We have zero influence in Lebanon as far as politics are concerned. We will not intervene in Lebanon militarily to stop a Syrian take-over which is being accomplished via proxies - Syria will not annex Lebanon anytime soon. There is no doubt that Syria aims to control Lebanon but to think that they would give up claims to the Golan is beyond un-realistic. Syria will be our enemy with or without the Golan & regardless of it's success or failure in Lebanon. It will be our enemy with the current regime & it will be our enemy under any other regime. It is certainly probable that the Christians have no future in Lebanon. This is basically their problem. They missed their chance to ally themselves with us long ago. Nothing short of regime change will stop Iranian influence on both Syria & Lebanon. Syria is far too weak to do without their Iranian ally & Lebanese Shi'ites cannot help but be influenced by Shi'ite Iran. Basically, Lebanon has been sold out by the West just as we are being betrayed by our supposed allies. In particular, the US should have acted militarily against Syria long ago. As a matter of fact, we should have attacked Syria during our misadventure in Lebanon. We have no national interest in signing any kind of peace treaty with Syria. We have two real options. One is preemptive military action, the other is maintaining an overwhelming military deterrence. Ceding the Golan will only make our strategic situation worse while obtaining nothing in return. If you think our treaty with Egypt is a big bust, imagine what a treaty with Syria would be worth. The most likely result of ceding the Golan would be an Iranian military presence over-looking the North. The Iranian strategy is obvious - they are moving their border to us thru various proxies - Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas - while making progress on missile technology, nuclear weapons, new submarines, & my guess, terrorist sleeper cells here in Israel. You guess what that means - it doesn't take a genius to figure it out. And as for Mr. London, good leftist liberal that he is, cannot bear to mention preemptive military action as an option. He much prefers his imaginative flights of fantasy to realistic assessment.
8. Christians in Lebanon since 5th century
elijah ,   Beirut   (12.04.07)
Israelies will leave the region yet again, US will become what roman empire became, and guess what we are staying here.
9. Shows lack of moral compass
Ilan ,   Ariel   (12.04.07)
Yaron London wants Israel to give away Lebanon to Syria as if the Lebanese are mere dust attached to the territory. Then again he wants Israel to give away the homes of Jews in Judea and Samaria because he also holds them somehow beneath normal human dignity. He might be a complete reprobate, but at least he is consistent.
10. Christians of lebanon
milo ,   lebanon   (12.04.07)
11. Too dumb to be Metternich, no better than Rice
Raymond from DC ,   Washington, DC USA   (12.04.07)
Only last week we saw Secretary Rice demonstrate her amateurish grasp of international politics. As if a simple gathering of antagonists will create a front against an expansionist Iran by sacrificing Israel. So too, here, does London show his lack of even good sense, not to mention lack of shame. Lebanon is the final opportunity to see if it's possible for any Middle Eastern country to exist without devolving into sectarianism. London is willing to throw them to the wolves, thinking Syria will then be sated. But it doesn't work that way. Does no one in Israel study history, even that of its own region anymore? Countries like Syria must be confronted by strength and determination. Israel must defend its own legitimate interests, including retention of the Golan, against the likes of Syria. And it must join with France and others to oppose a Syrian Anschluss of Lebanon.
12. Same logic different conclusion
Antoon ,   Lebanon   (12.04.07)
I think the same demographical changes are also happening in Israel... palestinians are having more kids than Israelis, soon Israel will be controled by the muslims that Israelis so much fear, so why trade lebanon to Syria, why not establish the great muslim lebanon (with Shiites from Lebanon and Sunnis from Palestine / Israel)... and let the Jews and Chrisitans go settle somewhere in new York... Sounds absurd, maybe but equally absurd as the suggestion of the author... Bottom line, Israel will always have a hard time in a region where it is artificially implanted... Screwing up Lebanon might give a breath of air but on the longer term will not help...
13. To #10
M. Hartley ,   Atlanta, US   (12.04.07)
Spoken like a true, out-of-touch -with-reality Christian. Without Jews, Christianity wouldn't exist and without an Old Testament, the New Testament would make even less sense than it does, already. What would Jesus, a Jew, have supposedly been fulfilling? The prophesies of the ancient Chinese, of the Oracle of Delphi, or maybe of the Popol Vu? The first Christians weren't Arabs, Persians, Indians, Romans, Greeks, Teutons or Gauls. However badly this may stick in your craw, they were Jews. Your 10 Commandments, too, were delivered by a Jew. If you have to believe in the tenets of a religion, at least, remember and honor their origins.
14. to #10 - head count - not many of you guys left.
aaron ,   ra'anana   (12.04.07)
you make up...what... maybe 40% of the population of lebanon? and thats on a good day. the whole point of lebanon was jerrymandering a CHRISTIAN state and even that turned out to be a failure.... look how well the christians are treated in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar AND ESPECIALLY in Gaza and the West Bank this is your future
15. Number 12, you're wrong...
Gidi ,   Jerusalem   (12.04.07)
Jews have plenty of kids. In fact, the arab population of Israel didn't change in % ever... you can see the arab parliament members. religious people have tons of kids, and so do many hilunim, also some immigrants have many many kids and aliyah will only become stronger. don't worry about us. in lebanon christians are ALREADY a minority.
16. INSANE!!
Secular Eagle   (12.04.07)
Some people don't cease to amaze me: the way they play with the lives of many as though it was nothing. Yaron London, have you asked the people of Levanon how they feel about your proposal?? Or do you think the high and mighty have the right to go and take whatever they want, whenever they want, from whomever they want? Wasn't that one of the principles of the ideology, which cost us six million Jewish lives?
17. European logic
Sidney ,   USA   (12.04.07)
Europe is willing to sacrifice Israel to the Arabs in order to pursue their own interests. This guy is willing to sacrifice Lebanon to Syria in order to pursue Israel's interest. What right does either have?
18. how does Yaron London dream up these ideas
zionist forever   (12.04.07)
Lovley idea but full of holes 1) ISRAEL DOES NOT CONTROL LEBANON. Lebanon is in theory today a democracy and its not for Israel to decide what Lebanons future will be. Its like The Canadians saying that we will let Mexico annex the United States. 2) There is a growing anti Syrian feeling in Lebanon now so how are you going to stop that. 3) Syria wants the Golan & Lebanon. For decades Syria occupied Lebanon but at the same time they were still demanding the Golan be given to them by Israel so why should Syria give up claims to the Golan if Israel allowed them to have Lebanon instead when Syria before had Lebanon and still wanted the Golan?
19. Good idea
jsm ,   toronto   (12.04.07)
goog idea. Lebanon is not an ally or friend Just promise not to interfere in syria taking over the place. After all do we care?
20. The issue is Pride, not Property!
David Turner ,   Richmond, US   (12.04.07)
The Golan is not about territory but about national humiliation. and how will Syrian dignity be restored by her much stronger neighbor allowing her to have Lebanon, while we keep the Golan. That wouldnt even work if we gave back the Golan but kept Shebaa Farms! think emotions, guys. How many wars do we have to fight to finally get the point that the point is PRIDE?
21. Is this guy nuts or what?
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (12.04.07)
Like an Arab is going to ever concede anything. Or that by appeasing a terrorist nation is going to do any good. I got a better one, let's give London to Syria either the person or the city it doesn't matter which
22. The US can use the same logic on Israel
Mordechai   (12.04.07)
If Christian Lebanon can be given to Syria because of demography and poltical convenience then Jewish Israel can be given to Palestine for the same reasons. G-d is punishing Israel for its betrayal of the Christian population of Lebanon when it withdrew under Barak. If Israel sells them out totally Israel will lose its right to exist.
23. christian forever
fady nori ,   beirut   (12.04.07)
i feel sad to hear that the christian people wont last long, lebanon is nothing witout christan ,so maybe we will be like saudi after few years..and israel surounded evrywere by muslim thts weird
24. This is worse than problem itself.
Jakov   (12.04.07)
While Lebanon is no friend, allowing Syria to invade it to keep the Golan is a horrid idea. Not to mention that it would be a nightmare at Israel's northern border. Firstly, Lebanon has been "over" for a long, long time. 1) There's the Beirut controlled areas recognized by the International community, which controls central and northern areas. 2) There is a de-facto Hizbullah entity controlling the south-not recognzed and never will be. 3) There's a no man's land in the Bekaa whose control shifts with the sand dunes, shifting between the above two. entities 4)There is a very small UN contingent controlling area between Israeli border and the start of Hizbullah area.5)Then, there are the Palestinian camps which polka-dot the country whose control is supposedly UNRWA, but may be actually something quite else. Now, if Syria went in, they would co-exist with Hizbullah AS LONG AS Hizbullah towed the official line. Once Hizbullah no longer suits Damascus administration, there would be a civil war between Damascus & Hizbullah. This would be a proxy war between Syria & Iran at Israel's doorstep. Not good at all. Syria in the end, will not give up their desire for the Golan-it would only get louder if they took Lebanon. Worse, it may embolden them to try to wrest control of the area. No such swap should take place, as it would only serve to destabilize the area. Also, should Israel need to go into the area, it's much better to work with a smaller theater of the Golan than to have to work on freeing the entirety of Lebanon of Syrian forces down the line.
25. #12, 8, 10 Demography
Logic ,   Israel   (12.04.07)
1. The author's Machiavellian idea is his own weird idea. I doubt you'll find any other Israelis who agree with him. In fact, I hope the normal people in Lebanon manage to wrestle themselves from the Syrian/ Iranian clutches and create a western-oriented, touristy country. 2. The demographics are changing, but not necessarily in the favor of the enemies of Israel. In fact, the religious Jewish birth rate on both sides of the green line is booming, while the Arab birthrate inside the green line is dropping. In 20 years, Israel will be a more religious and conservative country, less prone to giving up territory. 3. The "demography crisis" will always have creative solutions. The Jews did not come back to recreate their State in order to fail for such a petty reason. As I mentioned in a previous post, some of the options on the table include giving 1/2 million expatriates the right to vote, tightening abortion laws, continuing aliyah from North America and France, and even opening the borders to qualified third-worlders who are willing to join Israel and the Jewish nation. (If you haven't noticed, plenty of North Africans are banging on the door to get in to Israel.) Overall, don't count on Israel falling into the demography trap.
26. At what point did the state of war with Syria end?
Steve ,   UK   (12.04.07)
"Agreeing" to "give" Lebanon to Syria isn't exactly something Israel is either empowered to do, or would even want to. There is still an existing state of war between Syria and Israel, so telling your enemy "sure, come on down" is NOT in anyone's best interests, least of all Lebanon's. Time for the Lebanese to grow a pair and stand up for themselves to Syria.
27. Israeli dem great for Jews. Christian not good in Lebanon
David ,   Boston, USA   (12.04.07)
IF I wave my crystal ball or magic 8 ball, I predict Israel will be much more conservative and religious and higher JEwish percent of population in 25 years. Lebanon will have small minority Christians and majority Shia. Is this good or bad? YOu decide, but it is possible, even probable that is what will happen. Next prediction. Jordan will be renamed Jordan Palestine and be the default Arab Palestinian state it was partitioned to be. There will be no more talk of another Arab Palestinian state. Possible? yes, probable? maybe? hopeful, yes.
28. makes Lebanon sound alot like Israel!
SD ,   London   (12.04.07)
"The country’s establishment by imperial powers was meant to express the Christian uniqueness in the Mount Lebanon region, and a constitution like no other in the world guaranteed Christian-Maronite control" sounds familiar to me, just change a few words...
29. #10 not after all your cowardly brethren ran away to sydney
jack bauer ,   AU is full of lebs   (12.05.07)
there wont be enough of you left to continue any struggle. That is what happens when you act weak in front of your islamofacist enemies. Especially when the so called "brightest" all run away to whichever western country will have you
30. Another Solution
Sami ,   Syria   (12.05.07)
Why don't you just give away Israel to Syria, then the Syrian and Lebanese wont have any more problems. Israel is a big joke in this region, created on some fairytale that could not be further away from truth, but since most of the world is brainwashed by your propaganda, you are doing well so far, but dont ride you luck too far as it will came back to hunt you.
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