The population of Lebanon in 2017 was 6 million people, with the majority living in urban areas. The economy of Lebanon is largely based on services, manufacturing and tourism, with a GDP of $55 billion and a moderate per capita income. Lebanon is a member of the United Nations, Arab League and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). It has close ties to many countries throughout the Middle East as well as its former colonial masters. In terms of politics, it is a parliamentary republic with President Michel Aoun as its head of state. The Prime Minister is Saad Hariri who leads the Future Movement which has been in power since 2016. See militarynous for Lebanon military and defense.
Lebanon. According to Countryaah.com, the ban in March to bring computers and tablets into the cabin on direct flights to the UK and the US included Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.
In protest of the country’s rape laws, which say the perpetrator may be pardoned if he marries the victim, in April women activists hung up 31 wedding dresses on a beach in the capital Beirut. One for each day of the month. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Lebanon.
In August, Lebanon’s army launched an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization on the border with Syria. With rockets, artillery and helicopters, IS positions were attacked near the city of Ras Baalbek. In a short period of time, a third of IS controlled areas were recovered. About 20 IS members were killed while ten Lebanese soldiers were injured. Shortly thereafter, a ceasefire was announced by Lebanon pending negotiations, including the nine soldiers believed to be held hostage since August 2014.
On August 30, a unique agreement was reached between the Lebanese army, the Shiite Hizbullah and the IS. The terrorist organization was moved from the border with Syria, which was now controlled by Lebanon and Hizbullah. With the help of buses, the IS fighters and their families were moved to the IS controlled area. In exchange for the buses, Lebanon received the bodies of eight dead Lebanese soldiers. This is probably the first time that IS has allowed itself to be moved. In early November, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, on a visit to Saudi Arabia, announced in a televised speech that he would resign. The reason was that he feared for his life; he accused both Iran and the Shiite of Hizbullah of undermining the stability of the country. al-Hariri believed that the situation in the country was similar to that of the early 2000s; his father, Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, was assassinated in 2005. A week later, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait urged their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately. At that time, al-Hariri was still in Saudi Arabia, and rumors claimed he was under house arrest. However, this was denied by al-Hariri. On November 18, the resigned Prime Minister traveled to France where he met with President Emmanuel Macron to return to Lebanon on November 22. President Michel Aoun refused to accept his Prime Minister’s resignation if he did not do so in his home country. Once at home, however, al-Hariri was persuaded to remain on the post of prime minister for the time being.
The UN Security Council expressed dismay at the massacre late Sunday. US UN Ambassador John Bolton routinely barred criticism of Israel for the massacre and demanded immediate ceasefire. The United States wanted Israel to continue its war in Lebanon. As a result of the condemnation of the world, Israel declared on Sunday that it suspended the bombing of southern Lebanon for 48 hours, but continued the war crimes in the rest of the country. Lebanon on Monday, July 31, declared National Mourning Day for the victims of Qana.
Israel’s bombing of southern Lebanon caused Hezbollah to simultaneously fire its rockets at Israeli cities. Hezbollah has argued since the start of the war that it only shoots Israel with rockets in response to Israel’s attack. Prior to Israel’s start of the war on July 12, no rockets fell on northern Israel. Only when Israel itself broke its bomb stop on the 2nd day did Hezbollah slowly resume its rocket fire.
In a recent desperate attempt to reverse the war’s development, more than 10,000 Israeli soldiers invaded southern Lebanon after the bombing ceased, in an attempt to conquer Lebanese land. They encountered stiff resistance from Lebanese militia groups. On August 1, an Israeli commando unit attacked Baalbek 100km north of the border, abducted 5 Lebanese and killed 19 civilians. On the same day, 230 rockets rained down over northern Israel. The highest since the start of the war. Shortly before, Israeli Prime Minister had declared that Israel had largely eliminated Hezbollah’s ability to protect Israel. A claim that did not quite match reality. On August 3, Israel resumed its terrorist bombings of Beirut.
Denmark supported the start of the war behind the US and Israel, and despite the Danish seat in the UN Security Council, the Danish government failed to use this opportunity to support efforts to end the war. The official discourse was that “Israel’s attack on Lebanon was not disproportionate” (Left Foreign Minister Troels Lund Poulsen), “the conflict could not stop until Hezbollah was defeated” (Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller), and Denmark was at an EU foreign minister meeting to prevent the EU from working for an immediate ceasefire. The EU should only work to stop the fighting.
Under the Danish bourgeois government, Danish arms exports have exploded. F-16 fighters end these weapons in Israel, used actively in the Israeli state terror against Lebanon and Palestine.
While foreign media quickly developed a more nuanced coverage of the war, the Danish media – with few exceptions – served as a spokesman for Israeli military propaganda. The Jutland Post went so far as to declare “We are all Israelis”. For more nuanced information and news sources, see: BBC World coverage, CNN, al-Jazeera and the Lebanese bourgeois daily Daily Star.