By: Dr. Dania Koleilat Khatib
The countdown to Aug. 4, the anniversary of the port explosion that devastated Beirut and killed more than 200 people, has begun.
In the immediate aftermath of the blast, everyone was busy with relief work, and the visit by French President Emmanuel Macron gave the Lebanese false hope that a solution could be imposed on the country’s corrupt elite.
By: Elizabeth Hagedorn
Al-Monitor, May 20, 2020
Under a Joe Biden presidency, the United States would retain a military presence in northeast Syria as leverage against the regime, the presumptive Democratic nominee’s top foreign policy adviser suggests.
In an interview Tuesday with CBS, Tony Blinken indicated that the hundreds of US troops stationed in northeast Syria to advise partner forces fighting the Islamic State and secure the region’s oil fields would remain there if Biden were elected.
By: Tovah Lazaroff.
The Jerusalem Post, May 12, 2020
The Lebanese government and army should ensure the disarmament of Hezbollah, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said as he warned of the dangers of the paramilitary group’s involvement in neighboring Syria in advance of Wednesday’s closed-door UN Security Council debate on the matter in New York.
By: Amer Bisat, Marcel Cassard, Ishac Diwan.
Carnegie, May 11, 2020
With Lebanon facing a severe financial crisis, Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government has adopted an economic program and requested assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Discussions of the IMF’s involvement in Lebanon have ranged from describing the organization as an evil force at the service of exploitative capitalism to being the country’s ultimate savior. The reality is more nuanced and balanced. The IMF can help Lebanon if some conditions hold, but it is not a silver bullet.
Asharq Al-Awsat, April 17, 2020
The Kurdish-led administration that runs much of northeastern Syria said it had recorded its first death from the new corona-virus, according to a statement on Friday in which it cited the World Health Organization.
In the statement, the regional administration said a 53-year-old man had died at a hospital in Qamishli on April 2 and that a sample was sent to Damascus and tested positive for COVID-19, the lung disease caused by the corona-virus.
By: Mazal Mualem.
AL-MONITOR, April 17, 2020
“I don’t know where you are taking us,” hissed Shas Chairman and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a harsh conversation they recently conducted. Al-Monitor received this information, on condition of anonymity, from a high-placed Likud minister in whom Deri confided.
By: Dr. Dania Koleilat Khatib
Arab News, April, 14, 2020
The Lebanese government this week leaked its long-awaited “reform plan,” which is supposed to form the basis for its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international donors. The plan is well drafted with technical and professional language and it has many figures, numbers and charts that are guaranteed to impress at first sight.
By: Bradley Bowman.
Defense News, April, 1, 2020
As Lebanon struggles with an economic crisis and the new corona-virus pandemic, momentum is building in Washington to curtail or end U.S. assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces. Such a move could diminish U.S. influence and empower Russia and Iran. But the LAF is not helping its advocates to make their case.
By: Howard Schneider, Leika Kihara, Francesco Canepa
Reuters, Feb. 29, 2020
Cratering markets are pushing global central banks to the point they all warned against and worried about, of an evolving global economic shock hitting at a time when their capacity to respond in force is in doubt even as investors hound them for action.
Haaretz, Feb. 28, 2020
With three days left until Israelis head to the polls for the third time this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan are predicted to tie at 33 Knesset seats each, according to two election polls published Friday by Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom, i24NEWS and Maagar Mochot and Channel 13 News.