“Lebanon, Israel held ‘productive’ border talks – U.S. and UN statement“.
Lebanon is going through its worse economic crisis since last October 17, 2019.
Yes, soon it will be a full year since the Lebanese revolution against the corruption of its whole political elite (all of them, including those who think they are morally superior to other peers).
This is when the crash of the Ponzi scheme abruptly took place, pushing the Lebanese people into the streets. Bambi has posted on the latter many times. As a reminder, this type of fraudulent investing scam has promised high rates of return, with low risk, to investors. How sad to see the Lebanese citizens victims of this fraud caused by the duo of their own government/central bank. As explained to Bambi by her good friend George, all Ponzi schemes ends up eventually by collapsing (i.e., as it becomes more and more difficult to recruit new investors and/or when MANY investors ask to cash out at once).
Of course, there has been many events since the collapse or crash of the Lebanese Ponzi scheme, including the covid-19 pandemic with its further impact on a collapsing economy and, of course, the Beirut explosion of August 4th, 2020. In turn, the latter tragedy put even more toll on the economy as well as on the moral of the Lebanese people.
Now, to come back to the story behind this post, it is about two countries in a state of war and boycott for decades. It is touchy because one country occupied the other for a long time. In turn, the other country is being hijacked by a militia that decides the fate of war and peace with this country post-liberation.
Today, it seems that everyone is aligned on what matters the most here: the economy. Indeed, the Lebanese government as well as the Israeli government, and of course the Hezbollah (or Hezbollah/Amal) are all on the same page. If Hezbollah did not accept in the first place, today’s first talk would have never taken place, after a decade of failing negotiations about this dispute (or no will to negotiate?). For sure, Hezbollah is proud and wants to remind everyone that this is not part of any peace (or normalization) negotiation. Israel is also careful in its language.
Mind you, even if this is not peace (and we all get it!), this is the closest it can get to something that resembles common sense/peace. Bravo to all the players involved and thanks to the hosting UN and the mediating USA!
Of course, if those talks to solve the maritime borders’ “technical” issue are eventually fruitful (in weeks or months), it is win-win situation for all. Indeed, both countries have been badly impacted by covid-19 (like the whole planet, including us in Canada). However, everyone knows about the tragic situation in Lebanon. The latter badly needs both reforms and a sustainable economy. Yes, for that, it definitely needs natural gas in order not to be too dependent on other countries. More specifically, Lebanon badly needs electricity for its economic growth (and to pay its huge public debt). If Bambi understands well, natural gas is now the main energy source for electricity production in Israel (also used in industry but to a much lesser extent). They are now self-sufficient and they even provide Jordan and Egypt with natural gas. Lebanon has a lot to win from these talks. Good luck!
To conclude this post, it is Bambi’s hope that those who govern Lebanon will begin to fix corruption, to seriously punish it, to reform sector after sector, file after file (and ideally to considering retiring from political life to allow new blood, unrelated to civil war, into the political system). The people of Lebanon are beyond desperate for any positive change, even a small OR possibly large one (it is unclear yet how much natural gas is present).
In Bambi’s non-expert citizen’s opinion, this is a good development in the Middle East. If Lebanon has natural gas like the rest of its neighbours, she hopes that no one will steal its richness, neither internal nor external forces. This richness should benefit the Lebanese citizens and bring some hope for a more dignified future for their country!