Lebanon Daily News Brief 11/22/2021

Monday, November 22, 2021


Lebanon’s Navy Rescues a Boat in Distress Carrying Migrants
Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s office announced on Saturday that Lebanon’s navy rescued migrants who were illegally traveling west across the Mediterranean Sea from Lebanon. The country’s desperate circumstances has led to an increase of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians attempting to travel across the sea to the EU. The PM’s office statement said there would be an investigation into the case as smugglers have made a business of selling passage to Europe. [AP]

Lebanon’s Bar Association Holds Elections
Lebanon’s Bar Association held elections yesterday to select nine new members and the new head of the association. Around 7,600 lawyers voted and 36 candidates stood. Former President Amin Gemayel said, “We hope that the elections will come out with results that embody Lebanon’s ambition, and that this Bar Association will be an example for all syndicates.” Winning members included Imad Martinos, Nader Kaspar, Elias Bazrelli, Abdo Lahoud, Iskandar Najjar, Fadi Al-Masry, Marwan Gabr, Wajih Massad, and Maya Al-Zaghrini. [Arab News]

Russia Sends Beirut Port Blast Images
Following a request earlier this year for satellite images of Beirut’s port before and after the August 4 explosion, Russia has sent the images to Lebanon’s government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the update after talks with a Lebanese official in Moscow. [Reuters]


Is Hezbollah Overplaying its Hand Inside Lebanon?
Stephanie T. Williams

Williams writes, “As Lebanon prepares for much-needed national elections next year, one can hope that independent candidates representing the cross-sectarian movement that emerged in October 2019 could help change the balance in the parliament. Hezbollah will continue to enjoy substantial support amongst its Shiite base, given the organization’s historical role as protectors of this once-marginalized community, but as their co-religionists recently demonstrated in the Iraqi elections, there are increasing complaints of an overreliance on Iran at the expense of the community’s Arab roots.”

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Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington
Is Hezbollah Overplaying its Hand Inside Lebanon?
Hussein Ibish

Ibish writes, “The de facto abandonment of Lebanon by most of the Gulf states has been developing for at least a decade. These countries have long been uneasy with the decisive political power in Lebanon of the pro-Iranian Shia group Hezbollah. Those concerns have been steadily mounting along with the rise of Iran’s regional influence and reach following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the successful intervention by Russia, Hezbollah, and Iran in the Syrian civil war beginning in 2015 in support of the Damascus regime. Since the main part of the Syrian conflict has ended with the fall of Aleppo to pro-regime forces, Hezbollah has come to occupy a regional role far beyond its function as a Lebanese political party and militia. It effectively serves as the vanguard of Iran’s extensive network of allied militia groups in Arab countries such as Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and beyond with a presence and effective role far beyond Lebanon’s borders.”

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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.