This Week In Lebanon: 6/6/2022

Monday, June 6, 2022


June 6, 2022

Nabih Berri Re-Elected Speaker of Parliament for the 7th Time
In its inaugural session following the May 15th elections, the Lebanese parliament convened today and voted for its Speaker of Parliament. MP Nabih Berri, the head of the Shiite Amal Movement, was re-elected as Speaker of Parliament for the 7th time, a position he has held since 1992. AP News reports that, “in a reflection of the divisions and polarization in the new assembly, Tuesday’s session was characterized by tense back-and-forth shouting and arguing between Berri and indignant lawmakers.” [AP News]

The question for Mr. Berri is – what is your legacy going to be? Will you move forward on the investigation into the Beirut Port blast; provide implementing legislation for laws already passed dealing with reforms in the judiciary, electricity, anti-corruption, and other key sectors; and move ahead with the reforms spelled out in the Staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund? This is the time for leadership that serves all the Lebanese, and his stewardship of the Parliament will determine the pace and extent of Lebanon’s recovery from its economic and humanitarian crises.

-ATFL Vice President Jean AbiNader

Axios Scoop: Israel Wants Lebanon to Focus on Undisputed Waters
Prime Minister Bennett expressed to his security advisers that he hopes the new Lebanese government will focus on developing its own natural gas from reservoirs in undisputed areas. Israel hopes the new Lebanese government will come to an agreement on a resolution to the maritime boundary between the two countries. Understanding how the dire economic situation in Lebanon could also cause regional stability, Israel is also trying to encourage its neighbor to do what it can in the meantime to pursue revenue opportunities. [Axios Tel Aviv]


Lebanon needs to overcome the reluctance of the few to move ahead with the demarcation of the maritime boundary with Israel. If the government had moved more forcefully in the last three years on proposals shepherded by US diplomats, it could have claimed credit for hundreds of millions of dollars of new investments by international energy companies. Instead, the promised oil and gas explorations may finally start this fall with an international consortium in the lead. Israel is accurate in noting the benefits to Lebanon of focusing on what can be done while it resolves its negotiations. If anybody should know about “bird in the hand…” it’s the Lebanese whose souk skills seem to be eroding.

-ATFL Vice President Jean AbiNader

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed 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.