I wouldn’t have used the term “dropped a bombshell”, but that’s just me.
Asked in an exclusive interview with France’s BFM television whether Lebanon was ready to make peace with Israel, he responded: “That depends. We have problems with Israel and we have to resolve them first.”
It was a shocking statement by a president whose rise has benefited from a more than decade-old alliance with Hezbollah, arguably the most powerful military force in the country.
Asked what he thought of the United Arab Emirates’ treaty concluded with Israel last Thursday, Aoun responded that the UAE “is an independent country.”
That suggested Aoun would not be held back from negotiations by any pan-Arab considerations.
This spells bad news for
- The palestinian Arabs who could find themselves further isolated after decades of feeling all the Arab countries had their backs, even as they committed any atrocities they liked.
- Never Trumpers. He clearly has helped paved the way for peace in the Middle East, despite his personal failings.
- Israel-haters, but especially Richard Silverstein, who has continually claimed that Israel bombed Beirut. In fact, in one of his recent posts, he tried to use the fact that President Aoun conceded there may have been foreign interference, to buttress his argument. This is another nail in the coffin of his fake news post – how on earth could the same Aoun say Lebanon may be ready for peace with Israel if he truly believed Israel had perpetrated such a thing? Not only that, but it further indicates he believes Hizbullah was to blame.