Lebanon Daily News Brief 11/11/2022

Friday, November 11, 2022
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DAILY NEWS

Lebanese Parliament Fails to Elect President Once Again
According to the National, Lebanon’s parliament failed to elect a president on Thursday when it convened for a fifth electoral session to elect a new head of state. It was the first session since the end of previous president Michel Aoun’s term.” [
The National]

PM Mikati: IMF Deal Still Reachable without President or Fully Formed Government
According to Reuters, “Lebanon could still finalise a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $3 billion bailout despite having no president and no fully-empowered government, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Thursday.” [
Reuters]

Stray Bullet Strikes MEA Plane on Approach into Beirut Airport
According to AP News, “A stray bullet hit a Middle East Airlines jet while landing in Beirut on Thursday, causing some material damage. No one among the passengers or crew was hurt, the head of the Lebanese airline company said.” [
AP News]

USAID Announces $50 million Supporting Matriculation to AUB, LAU, NDU
According to Naharnet, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power announced Thursday that USAID will provide $50 million for Lebanese and refugee students to attend the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanese American University (LAU), and Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU).” [Naharnet]

OPINION & ANALYSIS

Innocent Victims Of Beirut’s Politics
Jean AbiNaderAbiNader writes, “Lebanon’s fragility is underscored by its gravely weakened education and health sectors; the miserable condition and cost of public transportation; its devalued economy; and the ongoing threats to its security and stability. Anyone who says that these are temporary conditions has not been in the streets of Lebanon lately. Consider the cholera-infested areas of the north, Lebanese dumpster diving in Beirut, or the littered streets and beaches. While there is some agreement that a consensus president is needed, the lack of agreement on implementing the IMF reform package is less reassuring . . . The hollowing out of state institutions and protections of civil and human rights will delay the reconstructing of a credible, professional public sector. The first needed remediation is a package of social support services that are inclusive, equitable, and transparent. As of now, the social contract between the state and its employees is frazzled, fraught with omissions, exclusions, and nepotism, and subject to the whims of political leaders ensuring their survival by pandering to their constituents.”

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Brookings
Hezbollah’s Dilemmas
Daniel L. BymanByman writes, “The Lebanese Hezbollah is no longer the same organization that in 2006 battled the Israeli army to a standstill: the group today is more global, but has a weaker domestic position than in the past. For the last decade, Hezbollah has focused its formidable energies on helping its longtime ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, win the country’s civil war. As that conflict winds down with Assad secure in power, Hezbollah is pulled in many competing directions. Lebanon itself is in crisis, with Hezbollah’s own legitimacy declining. Iran is pushing Hezbollah to be even more expansive, continuing to help fight Israel and to bolster militant groups in Iraq, Yemen, and other countries. Hezbollah retains its enmity towards Israel and remains a dangerous threat, but the group appears careful to avoid activities that might escalate into all-out war. The United States can put more financial pressure on Hezbollah and otherwise attempt to weaken the group, but the group’s fate will ultimately depend on Lebanese and regional dynamics, with the group exercising considerable influence in Lebanon and the region, though not necessarily seeking greater conflict with Israel or the United States. Until the Lebanese themselves put their own house in order by reducing corruption, engaging in economic reform, and improving transparency, there will be limits on how much the United States can, or should, engage with Lebanon.”

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L’Orient Today
Why is the Mediterranean Basin Warming Twice as Quickly as the Global Average?
Lyanna AlameddineAlameddine writes, “Snowfall in the middle of the desert, sandstorms, extreme heat, prolonged drought, uncontrolled rainfall: severe weather is increasingly affecting the Middle East. As the COP27 climate conference continues in Sharm el-Sheikh, we shed light on climate issues facing the region.”

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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.