Interview with Samy Gemayel, member of the Central group loubnanouna movement

Posted in Broader Middle East | 06-Sep-06 | Author: Manuela Paraipan

Sheikh Samy Gemayel, son of former President Gemayel

WSN: How would you describe the current situation in Lebanon? Who is to blame for not disarming Hezbollah?

Samy Gemayel: The situation here in Lebanon is really, really bad not only because of the material destruction and the loss of lives, but also because of the moral state of mind of a majority of the Lebanese who lost hope for their country and wish to leave Lebanon.

All of the political society is to blame for not disarming Hezbollah. This is the Lebanese hypocrisy that we were talking about in our last interview. If you remember, I told you that the Lebanese people and politicians should sit down and discuss frankly their problems and once they know where the gaps are, they should accept their social reality and find a new political system that can fit this acknowledged social reality. The government worked on compromises but is not able to disarm Hezbollah, mainly because the Lebanese army is not solid enough to take on such a task knowing that 50% of the army’s soldiers are Shiia.

I think that the international community is to blame because during 15 years a mandate was given to Syria over the occupation of Lebanon. Indirectly they gave the green light to Syria to prepare Hezbollah for this battle. Syria did so because it knew that it would one day leave Lebanon. Therefore, Syria armed and trained Hezbollah in order to have a parliament in Lebanon that is 100% Lebanese but at the same time serves Syria’s interests.

WSN: Is Siniora's government up to the task of rebuilding southern Lebanon and most importantly of keeping Lebanon a sovereign and independent state? I know Sheikh Nasrallah promised to give money to all people who were left homeless in the past month, so he is once again doing what the state should be doing.

Samy Gemayel: Hezbollah, since its birth in 1982, always wanted to implement an Islamic state in Lebanon. It is starting to do so by imposing its sovereignty on the war decision and on the right of reconstruction. Meanwhile, Hezbollah is functioning as a state: Political power, economic power, social allegiance, military power, a region where it imposes its laws... all the attributes of a state.