Walid Jumblatt Speaks Out on Gaza Situation: "Lebanon Could be Drawn In"

As tensions escalate in the Gaza region, renowned Lebanese politician and former military commander Walid Jumblatt weighs in on the implications of the ongoing crisis for Lebanon

by Faruk Imamovic
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Walid Jumblatt Speaks Out on Gaza Situation: "Lebanon Could be Drawn In"
© Getty Images News/Sean Gallup

As tensions escalate in the Gaza region, renowned Lebanese politician and former military commander Walid Jumblatt weighs in on the implications of the ongoing crisis for Lebanon. The 74-year-old veteran leader, known for his candid remarks, recently sat down with Politico magazine to share his thoughts.

Lebanon's Stance: Bystanders in a Potential Catastrophe

Jumblatt paints a bleak picture of Lebanon's current position in the Middle East crisis, warning of a potential spillover effect that could draw the nation into the conflict.

“There’s no one — we are alone,” he laments, expressing concerns that the Lebanese are becoming mere spectators to a crisis that may soon engulf them. One of his primary criticisms is directed at the United States.

Jumblatt believes the US has turned a blind eye to the Palestinian quest for statehood, thus fueling the turmoil. “The Palestinians have been abandoned by the international community,” he asserts, pointing out that the current narrative in the West portrays Arabs primarily as terrorists, rather than potential dialogue partners.

Hoping to change this perspective, Jumblatt mentions his recent discussions with key Lebanese political figures. “I was just with the prime minister and was the other day with [Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament] Nabih Berri.

We’re trying but what can we do?” he says, emphasizing the difficulty in finding a receptive Western audience. The Road to Resolution: Seeing Beyond the Surface For Jumblatt, the issues go deeper than just Hamas.

While addressing Israel's objectives to dismantle the group, he believes a more holistic approach is necessary. “Crushing Hamas will not solve the issue,” he argues. The politician calls for a renewed focus on the foundational issue at hand: the two-state solution.

Jumblatt criticizes the US for its recent show of military might in the region. He questions the intentions behind moving aircraft carriers to the area, challenging the notion that they are present for peacekeeping purposes.

As for the upcoming regional leaders' summit initiated by Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Jumblatt doesn't hold much hope. He dismisses Turkey and Qatar as "non-players", stressing that the real influencers in the scenario are Israel, Iran, and the US.

Reflecting on history, Jumblatt points out that the only instance when the US effectively restrained Israel was during the 1956 invasion alongside the French and the British. With his decades of experience in the region, Jumblatt's views offer an insightful perspective into the ongoing situation, emphasizing the need for inclusive dialogue and a holistic approach to conflict resolution.

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