Lebanese foreign minister blasted over Israel comments

Gebran-Bassil- NYCLebanese politicians on Thursday criticized Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil over a television interview in which he was shown saying that Lebanon did not have an ideological problem with Israel and was not against it having security.

The comments, made to al-Mayadin television channel during a long interview on Tuesday, had just started attracting attention.

Lebanon has no official relations with Israel and tensions have risen this year between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. Israel and Hezbollah, the group it describes as the greatest security threat on its border, have fought wars against each other.

A former government minister called on Bassil to resign and a member of parliament also criticized him.

Bassil’s office later said al-Mayadin had distorted his comments through its editing of the interview, without explaining how.

“We are not against Israel living in security,” he was shown saying in a clip that circulated widely in Lebanon on social media.

Israel has targeted Hezbollah positions several times this year in Syria, where the group, which is in Lebanon’s coalition government, is fighting on the Syrian government’s side in the civil war against rebels and Islamic State.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said this month that after the group’s success in Syria, where rebels are on the back foot and Islamic State has been militarily defeated, it will focus on its confrontation with Israel.

He called on allied Shi‘ite militia in the region to join Hezbollah in developing a strategy against Israel.

The al-Baqer Brigade, a militia in Syria, posted a picture on its Facebook page on Dec. 26 of what it said was one of its commanders identified as Haj Hamza Abu al-Abbas visiting the Israeli border in southern Lebanon.

An Iraqi militia commander also appeared in a video recently on Lebanon’s border with Israel, in what was seen in Lebanon as a demonstration of the growing clout of Hezbollah and its regional allies.

REUTERS

  • Danny Farah

    Now Bassil has to kneel before Nasrallah and explain himself. You better double up on criticising Saudi Arabia to make up for it.

  • Jack

    Well the only normal person in Lebanon.
    He should look under his car……. Booooom the Lebanese way.

    • Hannibal

      Nobody will dare touch him.

      • elie

        why?

        • Hannibal

          From the why question I will write you an algorithm:
          If you are Lebanese
          you know why
          else if you do not know why
          you are a moron
          else you are not Lebanese

          My money is on the last iteration 😛

          • Y K

            I know why, and no one can suspect me of being Lebanese. Your algorithm ain’t worth shit. 🙂

          • Hannibal

            Know it all! 😛

    • Danny Farah

      Well the boom boom boom started with the Mossad where they put them under the PLO cars and blew them up as well with remotes. He needs hezbollah as much as they need him. For now he is still safe.

      • Jack

        As all Low Level creatures blame the mossad if it makes you feel good…….
        Learn your Lebanese specialist Car bombing history, The Lebanese STFU way.:

        2004 – Marwan Hamadeh assassination attempt
        On 1 October 2004, a car bomb exploded next to the motorcade carrying Druze MP Marwan Hamadeh. Hamadeh was injured, but survived; his driver was killed. Hamadeh had been a critic of Syria and was a member of the opposition to then president Émile Lahoud.

        2005 – Rafiq Hariri assassination
        Ministry of the Interior soldier guarding the site of the attack that killed former Prime Minister Hariri A massive explosion on 14 February 2005, killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in Beirut, near the St. George Hotel. Also killed was the former Minister of the Economy, Bassel Fleihan, and 19 other people. About 220 others were wounded.

        A group calling itself “The Nasra & Jihad Group in Greater Syria” claimed responsibility for the blast. The group had not been heard from before. A tape aired by Al Jazeera showed a bearded man, believed to be a Palestinian named Ahmad Abu Adas, claiming the attack. Adas’ apartment was raided but he remains missing; however, it is now thought he was forced to admit to the plot and was killed by those who planned the assassination.
        According to the United Nations report by Detlev Mehlis, released 20 October 2005, the blast was the result of a truck bomb. A security camera captured a white Mitsubishi truck driving near Hariri’s convoy moments before the blast; investigators determined this truck carried the explosives, estimated at 1,000 kg. Since Hariri’s convoy had jamming devices meant to block remote control signals, the attack was carried out using a suicide bomber. The report cited a witness who said the bomber was an Iraqi who was led to believe his target was Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who had been in Beirut just days before.

        The report concluded that top Syrian and Lebanese officials planned the assassination beginning in mid-2004.

        New Jdeideh bombing A car bomb exploded in the New Jdeideh suburb of Beirut on 19 March 2005. The blast happened in a part-commercial, part-residential area, and wounded eleven people. Reports said that the driver had tried to park in front of a bingo hall, and was turned away and parked next to an apartment building instead.

        Kaslik bombing On 23 March, a bomb left in a leather bag exploded at the back entrance of the Kaslik shopping center in Jounieh. Three janitors, two Indians and a Pakistani, were killed, and two Sri Lankans and two Lebanese were injured. The roof of the mall collapsed.

        Ali Ramez Tohme assassination attempt – The car of Ali Ramez Tohme, a journalist and president of the Dar al-Haitham for Journalism, Printing and Press, was bombed early on 15 September in the area of Mazboud. Tohme escaped the assassination attempt. There was speculation that the attack was motivated by an article written by Tohme defending Rafiq Hariri or his book on Hariri.

        Sad el Bouchrieh bombing – On 26 March, a car loaded with explosives and parked between two factories exploded in the Sad el Bouchrieh area of Beirut, wounding six people. It caused a blaze which destroyed several workshops.

        Broummana bombing On 1 April, a bomb ripped through the Rizk plaza in the Broummana resort village, 20 km (12 mi) east of Beirut. Twelve people were injured.

        Jounieh bomb aftermath Jounieh bombing On 7 May, a car bomb exploded between the Christian Sawt al Mahaba radio station and the Mar Yuhanna Church in Jounieh. The radio station was destroyed and the church suffered major damage. Twenty-two people were wounded.

        Samir Kassir assassination Anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir was assassinated on 2 June when a bomb detonated in his car outside his home in Beirut’s Ashrafiyeh district, a largely Christian residential area. Kassir was a front-page columnist for the An Nahar newspaper, where he wrote columns criticizing the pro-Syrian government.

        George Hawi assassination George Hawi, former Lebanese Communist Party leader and a critic of Israel, died when his car exploded as he was driving through Beirut’s Wata Musaitbi district on 21 June.

        Elias Murr assassination attempt A car bomb wounded then Lebanese defense minister, and son-in-law of Emile Lahoud, Elias Murr, as his motorcade drove through Beirut’s Christian suburb of Antelias on 12 July. Two people were killed and 12 others were injured. This attack was unique in the series of bombings in that Murr was considered a pro-Syrian figure.

        Monot bombing On 22 July, a bomb exploded in a car parked in front of a restaurant on Monot Street in Beirut, wounding twelve people. The bomb was estimated to be 50 lb.

        Zalka bombing In the mostly Christian neighborhood of Zalka, on 22 August, a bomb placed between a shopping center and a hotel damaged shops and windows, wounding eight people. It consisted of 20 to 30 kg of TNT and was set on a timer.

        Jeitawi bombing An explosion, believed caused by a car bomb, rocked the largely Christian area of Ashrafieh on 17 September. One person was killed and 23 injured. Two cars were blown up and buildings near the blast were severely damaged.

        May Chidiac assassination attempt Christian journalist and critic of Syria May Chidiac was seriously injured when a bomb exploded as she got into her car in Jounieh on 25 September. She lost her left leg and arm. Chidiac was a news anchor at the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation.

        Gebran Tueni Assassination A prominent anti-Syrian journalist and lawmaker, Gebran Tueni, was killed by a car bomb on 12 December. He had returned from France only a day earlier, where he had been staying for fear of assassination. Two other people were killed — his driver and a passerby — when a car bomb exploded as his motorcade drove through Mkalles, an industrial suburb of Beirut. Another 30 people were wounded in the bombing, and at least 10 vehicles were destroyed.

        On 28 December 2005, Lebanese newspaper An Nahar reported it had received a statement signed by “The Strugglers for the Unity and Freedom in al-Sham,” the group that claimed responsibility for the death of its former editor Gibran Tueni with a car bomb on 12 December. The statement said outgoing UNIIIC chairman Mehlis was lucky to escape death and threatened any new chairman with assassination if he too implicated Syria.

        2006 Pierre Amine Gemayel Pierre Amine Gemayel, anti-Syrian MP, son of Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel, nephew of assassinated President Bashir Gemayyel, and Minister of Industry at the time was shot dead in Beirut on 21 November 2006.

        2007 Walid Eido Walid Eido, another anti-Syrian MP, was killed by a car bomb on 13 June 2007 in Beirut, along with eight others, including his eldest son Khaled Eido.

        Antoine Ghanem assassination Anti-Syrian Lebanese MP Antoine Ghanem and four others were killed in a car bomb attack in a Christian suburb of Beirut on 19 September 2007.

        Francois Elias Hajj assassination Brigadier General François al-Hajj from the village of Rmaich was killed in a car bomb attack in Baabda, along with three other people, on 12 December 2007.

        2008 Wissam Eid assassination Capt. Wissam Eid who was a computer engineer and a senior terrorism investigator at the Lebanese Internal Security Forces was assassinated on 25 January 2008. At the time of assassination, Eid was also top Lebanese investigator into the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.[16] More specifically, he was analysing the telephone intercepts concerning the assassination when he was killed.

        Tripoli bombing On 13 August 2008, sixteen people, including seven Lebanese soldiers, were killed by a bomb targeting a civilian bus in Tripoli.

        Saleh Aridi assassination A pro-Syrian Druze politician of the Lebanese Democratic Party, Saleh Aridi, was killed in a car bomb on 10 September 2008.

        Second Tripoli bombing On 29 September 2008, five people, including five soldiers, were killed, and 35 were injured, by a car bomb which destroyed a bus in Tripoli

        2009 Kamal Naji assassination Kamal Naji, also known as Kamal Medhat, was the deputy representative of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Lebanon and a former Fatah intelligence chief in the country. He was killed by a roadside bomb while visiting a refugee camp to calm recent violence.

        2012 General Wissam al-Hassan assassination Main article: October 2012 Beirut bombing
        Wissam al-Hassan, was assassinated on 19 October 2012 in a car bomb that was located in Achrafieh district of Beirut. He was killed along with two citizens, while a hundred and twenty others were injured. Wissam al-Hassan was the head of the information branch of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces and one of the country’s key security officials. His death comes a few months after he investigated ex-Information Minister Michel Samaha, who was charged with smuggling bombs from Syria with the help of Syrian Security Chief Ali Mamlouk, in order to launch a series of terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

        2013 Bir El Abed bombing On 9 July 2013, 53 people were injured, by a car bomb in Bir El Abed neighborhood Beirut. The blast erupted in a parking lot near the Islamic Cooperation Centre.

        Mohamad Chatah assassination Main article: Assassination of Mohamad Chatah
        27 Dec 2013: Mohamad Chatah, a former Finance Minister of Lebanon was killed in a car bombing in Beirut. Seven others were also killed.
        Al-Salam and Al-Taqwa Mosques, Tripoli bombing

        On 23 August 2013, over 400 people were injured by 2 car bombs planted in front of the Mosques, 62 people were murdered, the bombs targeted the 2 Imams of the Mosques, the Former General Director of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, Ashraf Rifi,Sheikh Bilal Baroudi in the second bombing, and Sheikh Salem Al Raf’i in the first bombing, The First Car bomb exploded in the Bab- Al Tebbane area which targeted Al Taqwa mosque, The Second Car exploded 10 mins later in Al- Mina which targeted Al Salam mosque, and General Rifi.

        The Leader of the Alawite Community in Tripoli Ali Eid, was blamed for the bombing, due to the fact that the men who were driving the cars, were from Jabal Mohsen where most of the Alawites in Tripoli live in, and that Ali Eid claims that all Jabal Mohsen and Alawites in Tripoli are protected by the Arab Democratic Party, which is led by Ali Eid and his son Ref’at Eid

        2015 On November 12, 2 bombings took place in the Southern suburb of Beirut killing more than 45 people.

    • Y K

      Nothing about Nasrallah’s boot-polisher Gebran Bassil is “normal”. This incident is just him slipping on a banana peel, and will soon be forgotten.

      • Hind Abyad

        No back bone to accept other reality than yours. Fuhrer?

        • Y K

          I can readily accept there are possibly an infinite number of parallel realities. I bet you’re genetic garbage in all of them.

          • Hind Abyad

            I’m Semite what the hell are your genetic garbage?
            Why are you here?

  • Niemals

    It seems that I’ll will never understand why an interview showing Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil saying that Lebanon did not have an ideological problem with Israel and was not against it having security can be so intensely criticized.

    As far as I understand the obstacle to end the tensions between Israel and Lebanon is the Hezbollah group.

    Evidence have been the fact that Israel and Hezbollah, have fought wars against each other – NOT Israel and Lebanon.
    So it is nor surprising that the Hezbollah is the greatest security threat on its border.

    We witnessed when Israel has targeted Hezbollah positions several times this year in Syria, where the group, which (regrettably) is in Lebanon’s coalition government, is fighting on the Syrian government’s side in the civil war against rebels and Islamic State.

  • Y K

    Lebanon has a real Foreign Minister, and his name ain’t Gebran Bassil. The same person is also Lebanon’s War Minister, Minister of Justice & Police, Economics & Welfare Minister, and last but not least, Information Minister. Three guesses as to that guy’s identity? 🙂

  • Hannibal

    I just watched the interview… Bassil said nothing wrong. Most Lebanese want peace. The road to peace is to live and let live. There is no place for absolutism.
    We all want two states solution and the return of the Palestinians to their homeland. Jerusalem is the city for ALL. NOT just Israel. We Lebanese have no problem with Israel when Israel and Palestine recognize each other’s sovereignty.

  • elie

    what is wrong with israel living in security along with everyone else? lebanon will only prosper again when israel is on their side and the threat is gone.