Joseph Hitti: Lebanon’s Syrian Refugees/دراسة مهمة للناشط جوزيف حتي، تلقي الأضواء على ملف “اللاجئين السوريين في لبنان، وعلى وخطرهم الوجودي على الديموغرافيا، وتحديداً على المسيحيين

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Syrian refugees eat their lunch outside their tents at a refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese border town of Arsal, Lebanon, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. Tens of thousands of impoverished Syrian refugees living in tents, shacks and unfinished buildings throughout Lebanon face a miserable winter as aid organizations scramble to meet their needs, constantly overwhelmed by ever-more Syrians fleeing their country’s war. Charities have already distributed blankets, mattresses, kerosene heaters, winter clothes and coupons for fuel ahead of the region’s unprecedented storm this week that blanketed parts of Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Israel and even Egypt’s deserts with snow, amid icy and rainy winds. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

دراسة مهمة للناشط جوزيف حتي، تلقي الأضواء على ملف “اللاجئين السوريين في لبنان، وعلى وخطرهم الوجودي على الديموغرافيا، وتحديداً على المسيحيين

Lebanon’s Syrian Refugees
Joseph Hitti/July 25, 2022

Welcome to a new Lebanese War between Lebanon’s Christians and the Syrian refugees who may not want to return to Syria, and who may try to seize power with the aid of Hezbollah and the pro-Syrian regime of Michel Aoun. On the part of the Christians, I hope they have learned the lessons of 1975, namely the need to win the war first and foremost in the media where they utterly failed in 1975 by meeting Palestinian savagery with their own savagery. If the Christians this time around want to win the war, both militarily and in the media, they have to remain within the bounds of decency and wage a clean and truly ‘Christian’ war.

أهلا بكم في حرب لبنانية جديدة بين مسيحيي لبنان واللاجئين السوريين، الذين قد لا يرغبون في العودة إلى بلادهم، والذين قد يحاولون الاستيلاء على السلطة اللبنانية بمساعدة حزب الله ونظام ميشال عون الموالي لسوريا. من جانب المسيحيين، آمل أن يكونوا قد تعلموا دروس عام 1975، وهي ضرورة كسب الحرب أولاً وقبل كل شيء في وسائل الإعلام، حيث فشلوا تمامًا في عام 1975 من خلال مواجهة الوحشية الفلسطينية بوحشيتهم. إذا أراد المسيحيون هذه المرة كسب الحرب، عسكريًا وإعلاميًا، فعليهم البقاء ضمن حدود الحشمة وشن حرب “مسيحية” نظيفة وحقيقية.

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The Palestinian Precedent
In 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians crossed the borders of Palestine into the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, chased by the Jewish Zionist terrorist organizations Haganah, Lehi, Irgun, Stern and others (later to coalesce and become the “most moral army of the world”, the Israeli Army. Perhaps the ‘moral’ qualifier was a typo error whereby the intended word was ‘mortal’). These Jewish terrorist organizations had been conducting a campaign of terror against the native Palestinian population and against the British mandatory power.

Irgun bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, killing 91 people and injuring dozens. But most tragically, these European Jewish terrorists, having “trained” under the Nazi regime in Germany before invading Palestine, supposedly as refugees fleeing Europe, became the butchers of their Palestinian hosts.
Lehi assassinated in 1948 in Jerusalem Count Folke Bernadotte, the Swedish envoy of the UN trying to mediate the civil war between the native Palestinians and the foreign Jewish colonists.

More than 600 Palestinian villages were attacked, their inhabitants killed, raped and forced to flee (just as Joshua was commanded to do by his God Yawheh: every man, woman and child of the native Canaanites were to be killed whilst Yahweh gave the Hebrews the Promised land), and while many of these villages became Jewish colonies with new names, the vast majority with their old stone houses and their olive orchards were burned, destroyed, demolished and razed to the ground.

Today, the millions of Palestinian refugees who descend from the original refugees live in the squalor of refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, in the West Bank and in, ironically, Israel itself. Jewish colonists from Brooklyn New York move to Israel, kill a few Palestinians in the West Bank, uproot their olive orchards, claim the lands of the Palestinians by virtue of obsolete and suspicious Ottoman and British laws, and build themselves high-end houses overlooking the very same refugee camps in which they herded the Palestinian owners of the land. Just as white British colonists did in the nascent America of the 1800s with the native Indian population, herded into reservations after their lives, livelihoods and lands were taken from them. No wonder the US and Israel are as united as they are: They share the same barbarity and indecency of their birth and growth at the expense of the millennial native populations.

In 1965, less than two decades after their eviction from their ancestral Palestine, the Palestinians founded the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which proceeded with US and Western collusion to undermine Lebanon. Henry Kissinger, who had sealed the truce between Syria and Israel after the October 1973 war, enrolled the two countries into a programmed destabilization of Lebanon with the goal of making Lebanon a substitute homeland for the Palestinian refugees. All Arab countries joined Syria and Israel in undermining Lebanon, sending money, weapons, mercenaries and terrorists to fan the flames of wars. Those Arab countries included Saudi Arabia, Libya, Irak, Jordan, Kuwait and others, all of whom sided with the Palestinians against the Lebanese Christians.

If the Palestinian refugees settle permanently in Lebanon, they will no longer claim the Right of Return to their ancestral Palestine, thus relieving Israel of that problem. Since the vast majority of the Palestinian refugees are Sunni Muslims, their settlement in Lebanon would demographically favor the Sunni Muslims of Lebanon and by extension the Arab countries. And so it was that, in the aftermath of the Lebanese War between the Palestinians and the Christians of Lebanon, the Lebanese Sunnis came out as victors, a victory personified by one Rafik Hariri who proceeded to Islamize the country and sideline the historic role of the Christians.
The Current Syrian Refugee Crisis

Fast forward to 2011 when millions of Syrian refugees cross their country’s borders into Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, fleeing not a foreign invader but their own government, the Assad dictatorship. Bashar Assad, aided by the equally barbaric Russian military, destroyed city after city of his own country and murdered close to 600,000 of his own people. Close to half the country’s population lives today in tents and refugee camps in the countries adjacent to Syria.

In Lebanon, an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees have settled ‘temporarily’ with the hope of returning some day to Syria, nearly all of them Sunni Muslims. Same pattern as with the Palestinian refugees, thus furthering the demographic collapse of Lebanon’s diversity in favor of the Sunnis. But Bashar Assad, the dictator in Syria, is not Sunni; he is an Alawite Muslim, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam comprising about 12% of Syria’s population before the Syrian War of 2011. Which means he has no interest in the return of these Sunnis to Syria because, without them, the Alawites now represent 40% of the population after the exodus of the Sunnis.

In Lebanon, the Syrian refugees represent a third of the country’s total population. In addition to 4 million native Lebanese, there are 1.5 million Syrian refugees, and another 0.5 million irregular non-refugee Syrians who cross the border daily, smuggling cheap Lebanese government-subsidized goods (flour, gasoline, medicine, etc.) into Syria where they bolster the decrepit Syrian economy while bleeding the Lebanese economy. Moreover, each Syrian refugee in Lebanon receives $100 a month in aid from Western countries and colluding non-governmental organizations whose sole concern is not the welfare of Lebanon or the welfare of the refugees for that matter; their sole concern is to prevent a wave of emigration to Europe, thus doing all they can to keep the refugees in Lebanon. The argument for not encouraging them to return to Syria is that the Syrian dictator will seek revenge on them, even though the vast majority of the refugees adore Bashar Assad and demonstrate in the streets of Lebanon in favor of the Syrian dictator.

The Syrian refugees receive the same services (electricity, water, Internet, etc.) as the Lebanese population but they do not pay for these services. Not only does this deny the Lebanese Treasury much needed revenue, but it also curtails the availability of these services to the Lebanese the population. This is in part why Lebanon is in the throes of a major economic crisis: The burden of the Syrian refugee population. The refugees have settled in camps, but they also live and work in nearly every municipality of the country. They receive all manner of assistance off the back of the Lebanese population.

The refugees have no environmental concerns for their host country, literally trashing the country everywhere they happen to be. Environmental standards in Syria are abysmal to say the least, and the refugees have brought with them an absolute carelessness when it comes to garbage and waste disposal. Lebanon’s roads, streets, and rivers are littered with plastic, which further exacerbates the garbage problem of Lebanon. The Syrian refugees are responsible for the skyrocketing crime rates (theft, kidnappings for ransom, rapes, murders, etc.), including stealing electric cables off the electricity grid and manhole covers and every possible source of metal they can resell. In addition, having being brainwashed by the Baathist regime of Damascus to hate Lebanon as a renegade country they describe as a former Syrian province that was detached from Syria by the French mandate, the Syrian refugees viscerally hate their Lebanese hosts. Having also ridden the Islamic fundamentalist wave of the past 3 decades, they hate the Lebanese because it has a large Christian population and has a Christian president.

The Syrian refugees work in all sectors of the economy, open businesses, smuggle goods across the border, and overall live better off than the average Lebanese whose income has dwindled to about $75 per month. Finally, we must not forget that the Lebanese people have been more than courteous and generous with a Syrian population whose parent generation constituted the Syrian army of occupation that smothered Lebanon for 30 years, killing and stealing, kidnapping and torturing, shelling and bombing just as it does today in Syria, only to be evicted by an angry populace in 2005.

It has now been 11 years since the Syrian refugees arrived in Lebanon. If the Palestinian refugee saga is any guide, I predict that the Syrian refugees will soon organize into social-political-military groupings to demand their “rights” and a war will ensue between, on one hand, the refugees and their Lebanese allies (Hezbollah and President Michel Aoun’s populist party), and the other political and religious components of the country on the other, thus repeating the War of 1975. There already is a lot of seething anger among the Lebanese, and there are daily reports of local fights and skirmishes in which the Lebanese demand their local authorities to deny entry and housing to Syrians living among the population. Flyers have been found in the mountain villages in the Christian hinterland in which people are demanding that the Syrians leave their villages.

The Lebanese government, essentially Hezbollah and President Michel Aoun’s party, the Free Patriotic Movement, are caught in a bind. On one hand, they love Bashar Assad and do not want to embarrass him by demanding that he take back the refugees, but on the other hand, they know their own governance of the country is in absolute disarray because of what the Syrian refugees are doing to Lebanon and its people. Meanwhile, foreign governments refuse to pressure Assad to take back the refugees.

Since 1972, Lebanon has been in this sordid state of affairs for close to 5 decades. It is disintegrating in a slow death that neither the local politicians – half of whom are traitors affiliated with foreign countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia – nor the foreign governments seem to want to stop. When one thinks of how an armada was assembled in the Indo-Pacific to help 200,000 East Timorese secede from 250 million Indonesians, or of when NATO led by the US forcibly sliced off Muslim Bosnia and Muslim Kosovo from the old Yugoslavia to create two new Muslim nations in the heart of Europe, or how the Europeans are welcoming millions of Ukrainian refugees and NATO is supplying Ukraine with all manner of advanced weapons, while abandoning Lebanon, a founding member of the UN and a co-drafter of its Human Rights Charter, especially its Christians, to 50 years of torment, wars and instability, it becomes difficult to ignore the conspiratorial view that the West is deliberately killing Lebanon with its complex makeup of Christians and Muslims of 18 sects, in order to reduce the entire Middle East to an easy to understand (by dumb Americans and Europeans) simplistic Jewish-Sunni duality that is already on the mend with the ongoing normalization of relations between Israel and virtually all Sunni Muslim Arab countries.

When the West used to interfere in the Middle East, back from Crusader times through the Ottoman occupation, it would cite Lebanon’s Christians as the minority to be protected. Nowadays, the deliberate killing of Lebanon by a colluding West is simply because they no longer need Lebanon’s Christians as a Trojan horse to meddle in the region; today the Middle East question has its newer, more European “victim” in need of protection, and that is the Israeli colonists. While Lebanon’s Christians have been in Lebanon for millennia, before and after they became Christians, Israeli Jews were never a part of historic Palestine, they don’t even descend from the original Hebrews: They converted to Judaism in the 16th and 17th centuries, and with their blond/red hair and blue eyes (Central European Jews), or their African looks (Ethiopian and Egyptian Jews), or the many different ethnic Jewish groups in India, China and elsewhere, cannot have any serious claims to be genetic descendants of the Hebrews or to own the land of Palestine, except perhaps by some horrific tenuous religious claim from the Bronze Age that no sane human being should countenance in this 21st century.

What exit for Lebanon? How can the country return to some normality? Many hypothetical answers to one question that only the history unfolding before our eyes will answer. In the meantime, suffer you miserable Christians of Lebanon. But when war erupts, beware the wrath of the Lebanese Christians. They were patient for 10 years with the mayhem and plunder that the Palestinian refugees did to the country in the late 1960s and 1970s, trying to accommodate their presence with a number of agreements that the Palestinians kept violating. But finally, in a spontaneous uprising they waged a war of liberation that ultimately sent the Palestinians back into their camps.

Nowadays, the Christians have been patient with the Syrian Muslim refugees for a decade now, welcoming them into their villages and towns, working and living with them side by side. But tensions are building, the Syrian refugees are casting a shadow over any sense of humanitarian feelings by a destitute Lebanese population that increasingly sees the refugees as thieves, criminal, rapists, and worse, as supporters of the very Syrian regime that chased them out of Syria.

Welcome to a new Lebanese War between Lebanon’s Christians and the Syrian refugees who may not want to return to Syria, and who may try to seize power with the aid of Hezbollah and the pro-Syrian regime of Michel Aoun. On the part of the Christians, I hope they have learned the lessons of 1975, namely the need to win the war first and foremost in the media where they utterly failed in 1975 by meeting Palestinian savagery with their own savagery. If the Christians this time around want to win the war, both militarily and in the media, they have to remain within the bounds of decency and wage a clean and truly ‘Christian’ war.