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Explosion exposes the root of Lebanon’s crisis: Hezbollah’s corrupt grip

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Published: 14 August 2020

Last updated: 4 March 2024

JAMAL RIFFI: If there is to be a new dawn, governments such as Australia’s must demand change. Foremost is a decision to declare Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation

JAMAL RIFI: Beirut explosion: Iran-aligned Hezbollah is destroying my old home (The Jewish Independent)
Lebanon’s descent into madness was almost complete before massive explosions at the Port of Beirut ripped the heart out of the country. The country of my birth.

For many Lebanese, it was the last straw. In October last year, mass protests swept across Lebanon. Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters from across the religious and class divide took to the streets, accusing the political elite of corruption and calling for social and economic reforms.

There were changes in government, but these were deceptive and cruel. The continued existence of Hezbollah in government, with its unswerving allegiance to Iran, dashed any hope that Lebanon could emerge as a strong, proud, independent nation.

If there is to be a new dawn for Lebanon, it will need governments such as ours to demand change. Foremost is a decision to declare and ban Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, in line with the US, Canada, Germany, Britain, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Lebanese government resignation: In Hezbollah's shadow, does it even matter? (Jerusalem Post)
On the one hand, the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab and other, such as the Hezbollah-backed Health minister, appears to show the government is being held to account

A desperate Lebanon may find a saviour in Beijing (Haaretz)
No one is going to put up the financing for reconstruction after the Beirut port disaster, except maybe China in order to expand its presence in the Middle East

Photo: Words written by Lebanese citizens in front of the scene of Tuesday's explosion (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

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