Lebanon Suffocates under the Coronavirus

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah - The Covid-19 pandemic has destabilized Lebanon's fragile body-politic and confirmed that Hizbullah is the real power-broker. Hizbullah has overruled regulations forbidding people coming from Iran to land in Lebanon, insisted that the government allow the return of 20,000 Shiite Lebanese from Africa, and forced the government to stop short of declaring a state of emergency, which would have put the army in charge of the country and would have put Hizbullah under army control. The pandemic outbreak has been of great assistance to Hizbullah since it has ended public anti-government protests. Certain very powerful people, with the active complicity of some banks, have smuggled more than $6 billion out of the country in less than three months, defying emergency laws forbidding the withdrawal of more than $1,000 per week. The writer is a special analyst for the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center.

2020-04-08 00:00:00

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