Lebanon Daily News Brief 08/02/2022

Tuesday, August 2, 2022



Lebanon Authorizes Departure of Ship Suspected of Transporting Stolen Ukrainian Goods
The Laodicea, which arrived in the Lebanese port of Tripoli last week, was subject to a judicial order to be seized by the Lebanese authorities after the Ukrainian embassy and other Western nations flagged it as having transported stolen Ukrainian grain via the Russian-occupied port of Crimea. The ship has since been allowed to sail since the Lebanese judicial authorities did not come to the conclusion that any ‘criminal offense’ had been committed. Another seizure – valid for only 72 hours – however, was placed on the ship just yesterday by a judge based in Tripoli. [Reuters]

Lead Investigator of Port Investigation Refuses to Step Down
According to local media outlets, Judge Tarek Bitar, who has been the lead investigator into the tragic Beirut Port Explosion of 2020, said, “No one will manage to get rid of me or push me to step down . . . I have no political affiliation and I’m totally away from all of the state’s military and security agencies… I challenge anyone to stand and say that he is linked to me or an acquaintance. This doesn’t mean that all politicians and serviceman are bad, the same as not all judges are honest and upright, but in my character I don’t like having a relation with them. My home is only the judiciary.” [Naharnet]

March Organized to Commemorate Two Year Anniversary of Beirut Port Explosion
Organized by a group including the families of the explosion’s victims, rights groups, and other activists, a march will take place on Thursday, August 4th, 2022 in remembrance of the tragic explosion that killed over two-hundred people and that injured and displaced thousands more. [L’Orient Today]

USJ Alumni Win Pierre-Péladeau Scholarships for Entrepreneurship
According to The 961, As part of the celebration of the 24th edition of the Pierre-Péladeau Scholarships, two Lebanese alumni of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), Lynn Doughane and Albert Obeid, received the 3rd prize of the 2022 Pierre-Péladeau Scholarship 2022. Along with Nanette Sene, they were rewarded for their entrepreneurial activities that aim to develop a technology to effectively relieve menstrual pain that affects the lifestyle of active women.” [The961]


NOW News
Rearming The Lebanese Armed Forces Holds The Key To Combating Hezbollah’s Narrative

Adnan NasserNasser writes, Lebanon’s national security forces and army are in need of modernization if they are to reassert themselves as the sole defender of the Lebanese people. Unfortunately, this has failed in many instances, as Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed political party with its own military wing continues to strengthen in both weapons and personnel. This is partly thanks to Tehran’s consistent supply of material support for its Shite ally in Lebanon . . . Now is the opportunity for America to act on the momentum that has started in Lebanon to help put it back on the path of true independence, where its people, government, and army are one. If it chooses to look the other way and maintain the status quo, Hezbollah will have the pretext to keep its arms, arguing Lebanon has no alternative that can protect it.”

Read More Here

Diwan, Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Die Hard

Michael YoungYoung writes, “On August 1, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar led with a revealing headline, in which it mentioned “The Sadr-Maliki Bomb.” For a publication that is regarded as close to Hezbollah, the words betrayed more than a little anxiety that the two broad Iraqi Shia alignments, one led by Muqtada al-Sadr, the other including prominent pro-Iran Shia figures, among them former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, would soon enter into a military confrontation with one another. In an adjoining article by Hussein Ibrahim, the author pointed out that any conflict between these Shia groups would open the door to numerous developments in Iraq. These included a strengthening of the “separatist situation” in Iraqi Kurdistan, which would lead to “normalization with Israel,” as well as greater Turkish and Gulf Arab intervention in the country through “local agents.” While Ibrahim didn’t mention it, his point was perfectly clear, namely that inter-Shia strife would lead to a weakening of Iranian stakes in Iraq, to the advantage of regional powers whose interests clashed with those of the Islamic Republic.”

Read More Here


Human Rights Watch, Accountability Now, Daraj Media, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP), and the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
Pathways To Accountability For The Beirut Blast Two Years On: From Investigative Journalism To The Courts
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022 | 9:00 AM ET

East Policy (TIMEP), and the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) are pleased to invite you to an online briefing tomorrow, Wednesday, August 3, 2022 from 9:00-10:30am EDT (4:00-5:30pm Beirut time) to highlight domestic and international efforts to seek accountability for the Beirut blast two years on, focusing on the pathways to justice and the role that diverse actors are playing to dismantle impunity, from everyday citizens to investigative journalists and lawyers.

To schedule interviews, please contact: In Beirut, Charbel Salloum (Arabic, English): +961-71-982-634; or sallouc@hrw.org

Note: The briefing will be conducted in English with simultaneous Arabic translation.

Read More Here

Register Here

Our New Lebanon
Commemorating The Victims Of The Beirut Explosion
Thursday, August 4th, 2022 | 10:30 PM ET | 7:30 PM PT 

Los Angeles City Hall will light up with the colors of the Lebanese flag on Thursday, August 4 at 7:30 pm as a symbol of solidarity and love for the souls we lost on this day two years ago. This is not organized event, but we encourage you to attend, bring flowers, and raise our flag high. 

To contact Our New Lebanon, please write to info@ournewlebanon.org .

Our New Lebanon
Speaker Series: Dr. Saade Chami
Sunday, August 7th, 2022 | 3:00 PM ET 

Our New Lebanon’s speaker series will feature Dr. Saade Chami, the Deputy Prime Minister in the caretaker government and principal architect of the Lebanese financial recovery strategy.

Register Here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.