[Marxism] Lebanon: About to Blow? NY Review of Books - Janine di Giovanni+
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Thu Jan 25 19:06:24 MST 2018
Clip - Lebanon’s resilience is fraying. Its infrastructure is badly damaged
and unemployment is high. It is also struggling to accommodate a large
refugee population—500,000 Palestinians, many descended from those who fled
the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and nearly 1.5 million Syrians, a majority of
them Sunni Muslims.
Most of the Syrian refugees I met in Lebanon do not want to be there—or in
Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, or Egypt. They are fleeing intense fighting, ethnic
cleansing, starvation, chemical attacks, and Russian air strikes that
devastated Aleppo and other rebel-held areas. It is clear that they are not
welcome in Lebanon, where they are increasingly seen as disrupting the
country’s delicate sectarian balance among Shia Muslims, Druze, and
Christians and as vulnerable to Islamist radicalization.
The Syrian war will eventually end—painfully, and without the result the
United States government wants to see: the end of the Assad regime. As for
the refugees, no one seems to have any idea what to do with them.
“Sometimes there simply is no solution,” Nadim Shehadi admits. “We’ll do
the same thing we do with the Palestinian issue, that is, turn a blind eye.
But the future is very alarming. If one percent of the refugees radicalize
and decide to take up arms to fight, that is 25,000 radicalized people.
Only one percent is in fact a lot.”
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