Friday, November 24, 2006

Lebanese Viewpoints

Three Lebanese people give their views on the significance of the past few days in their country: the assassination of anti-Syrian politician Pierre Gemayel, and the huge crowds attending his funeral rally.


I'm against saying Syria did this.

I think Israel and the USA are benefiting from the situation; but I don't know who did it. We should wait for the investigation.

It's intended to hit Lebanese unity.

I was at the funeral march. I might go to the Hezbollah demonstrations also; Lebanon can benefit from both projects.

I stood as an independent in elections at my university. Both parties were against me because I was talking to both sides.

I support the resistance activities of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a Lebanese party. It has support from Syria, but it doesn't bring Syrian influence into the country.

I think the assassination is helping the parties who are against Hezbollah, because Hezbollah's demonstration cannot go ahead.

March 14 people [coalition opposing Syrian involvement in Lebanon] say the death of Gemayel may help Hezbollah achieve its goal of destroying Sinioria's government. This is not my point of view.

I think the Siniora government should survive; they want to prove themselves.

Siniora is betting that Emile Lahoud will end his presidency and Lahoud thinks Siniora will fail. It's a challenge; I don't know who will win.


The bloody finger points at Syria, but you can't be sure. I don't think we'll ever find out.

We had high hopes when [Christian leader] Michel Aoun came back into the country, but it hasn't worked out the way we hoped.

Thursday's demonstration was a show of frustration, a show of dismay. Almost an outcry of grief.

People were hopeful last year after [the demonstrations of] March 14, they felt excited; but day-to-day politics took over.

The euphoria ebbed away. I think people are trying to get that back.

In a kind of obtuse way, I think the events of Tuesday [Gemayel's assassination] have strengthened the government.

It's such an obvious attempt to weaken the government and people are disgusted by it.

Hezbollah was very strong after the summer; they had planned some peaceful demonstrations. This has thwarted their attempts.

Hezbollah has the backing of a large part of the population and its voice has a right to be heard.

The Lebanese always respect others' differences. If Hezbollah are truly Lebanese, they should honour this history of respect between different faiths and political aspirations.

Most people just want a unified, peaceful country.


There's a growing feeling that this was an external job, most likely executed internally. But it's harmful to come out with accusations that are unfounded.

The funeral showed the Lebanese people expressing their sorrow at another young assassinated politician. They were saying enough is enough; we stand for an independent and free Lebanon.

It's unfortunate that we're being terrorised into silence. The bottom line is that people are more afraid; there are fewer job opportunities and there is less economic activity.

Neighbouring countries on all sides are threatened by Lebanon's democracy and freedom of speech. It's a real problem for them to see a Lebanon that's free.

What happened on Tuesday in no way benefited Hezbollah. On Thursday they were due to have a march and they couldn't.

I commend Hezbollah on their role in defending Lebanon during the Israeli attacks in the summer.

But I do take issue with them resigning from the government. If their allegiance is with a united Lebanon, they should find a way to carve out a constructive role in this government.

We need to continue moving forward.

I'm fearful of the security situation deteriorating, but I don't think we are headed to civil war.

I think the world community showed us in the summer that nobody stands by Lebanon.

The US' so-called support of democracy didn't come through this summer, did it?


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