In response to the interim report submitted to the U.N. Security Council by Detlev Mehlis, Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation Commission into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which stated in Article 203 that "there is converging evidence pointing at both Lebanese and Syrian involvement in this terrorist act," and as the December 12, 2005 deadline for the issuing of an additional report draws near, the Syrian government media has begun accusing various elements of the assassination. Among these elements are Rafiq Al-Hariri's son Sa'd Al-Hariri; the State of Israel; and even an organization called the Government of Free Lebanon, which they allege is operating from Jerusalem in cooperation with the Lebanese government. 
The rejection of the Mehlis report was not restricted to the government media, but was also evident on the popular and public level: in a satirical play, in a popular song, in a propaganda film, and on the Internet.
The following are excerpts from the reactions:
The Syrian Government Media Points to Al-Hariri'sSon, the State of Israel, and the "Free Lebanese Government"
The Syrian daily Al-Thawra, wrote: "...Who stands to gain from the assassination of the [former Lebanese] prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri? Should we draw a connection between Al-Hariri's heirs, who benefited [from the assassination] and the [political] 'lobby' which anticipated it and derived political and economic benefit from it, and those who derived regional benefit [from it], primarily Israel?... Why didn't the [media] outlets [owned by] Al-Hariri - whose profits [from the assassination] are equally divided between his sons and close aides coveting his money- raise questions about Israel's interests [in the assassination]?...
"The Lebanese investigation and the international investigation... ignored two factors: Israel, which is considered to be the greatest benefactor from Al-Hariri's assassination... and Al-Hariri's heirs - whether his sons, his close aides, or those who stood to benefit from his disappearance and were closest to him. [These] were the first to build themselves and their financial and political futures over Al-Hariri's body and blood." 
The Syrian government daily Teshreen, wrote: "[The Free Lebanese Government] is a collection of agents and soldiers from the South Lebanon Army who were trained by the Mossad and now operate alongside the Israeli forces and alongside American forces in Iraq." 
According to the article, "The Government of Free Lebanon... posted on its website [the names] of the prominent Lebanese figures, whom it considers 'Syrian agents in Lebanon,' who must be eliminated. [The list] is headed by President [Emile] Lahoud, [former] prime minister Rafiq A-Hariri...  These names remained [on the website] for a long time, but were removed... only nine hours after Al-Hariri's assassination!..." 
Satirical Play in Damascus Mocks Mehlis's Report
The satirical comedy Standing... Sitting... Silence, by Syrian poet Muhammad Al-Maghout and Syrian author Mahmoud Abd Al-Karim, has been playing at the Ramita Theater in Damascus for several weeks now. The comedy is critical of Syrian domestic policy, but at the same time supports Syrian foreign policy; the dominant element of this support is criticism and ridicule of Mehlis, whose report was, according to the playwrights, "dictated to him in advance a year before Al-Hariri's assassination."
According to a review of the play in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "The play includes the following lines: 'If you want to light a cigarette and you can't find a match, light an entire homeland. Signed, Detlev Mehlis.' One of the play's characters says: 'They dictated his report [to Mehlis] a year before the tragedy of Al-Hariri's assassination."
The review also noted that the play was attended by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his wife. 
Propaganda Film Circulates on CD-ROM in Syria: Mehlis Signs Deal With a Witness Who Will Fabricate Evidence
The London daily Al-Hayat reported that Syrian attorney Bassam Sabbagh handed over a CD-ROM containing the film The Integrity of Mehlis - From Berlin to Damascus that connects Mehlis's investigation of the 1986 attack at the La Belle Disco in Berlin with the Al-Hariri assassination. 
According to Al-Hayat, Sabbagh refused to say how he had obtained the film, which was in German with Arabic translation. The daily also reported: "The commentator [in the film] states that Mehlis is relying [in his investigation] on 'signing a deal with a docile and obedient witness to create evidence,' which explains his refusal to have the attorneys present during the investigation's meetings. [Mehlis] is also relying on fake intelligence and cases, and maintaining secrecy in order to use the press and to create an atmosphere to convict whomever he wants. In addition, he is relying on evidence taken from some anonymous person in some unknown place. Sending Mehlis to a country about which he knows nothing (like Lebanon) makes him a prisoner of the intelligence files.
"The film claims that Mehlis's appointment to the case of the Al-Hariri assassination raises many question marks, since he is known for his hatred of Syria. [Likewise,] the film stresses that [Mehlis's] staff includes intelligence personnel, and that in every crime [he investigates] Mehlis finds it improbable that the real perpetrators [are the ones who actually committed the crime]. The film wonders why no one from the 'Government of Free Lebanon' or from Israel was investigated - even though the film shows a 'document' reporting a tail on Al-Hariri's car." 
Syrian Song Addressed to Mehlis: "Oh Evil, Oh Invader... Your Report Isn't Worth a Plugged Nickel"
A local Syrian radio station aired a song harshly critical of Mehlis, performed by a popular Syrian singer. The lyrics, sung to the tune of a well-known traditional song, are as follows:
"My fence [is made] of thorns, oh evil one, oh invader. If only my blood were atonement for the sake of Arab Syria.
I am an Arab who turns to Syria.
Your whole report, Mehlis, isn't worth a plugged nickel.
[It] is political, and its goal
Is to expel and murder and imprison.
I am an Arab who turns to Syria.
You come and want witnesses from us, when you bear [with you] sulfur and gunpowder.
A game well-planned for a long time now.
Everyone knows [this] since yesterday, everyone knows [this] since yesterday.
I am an Arab who turns to Syria.
Lebanese! The Syrian is next to you, and the situation is exhausting, a flood [that harms] me and you - Awaken, listen to me, and beware,
I am an Arab who turns to Syria.
If they want war from us, we will prepare the paths of the front.
We want to live, but if we are killed, death at the front [is] like a wedding.
I am an Arab who turns to Syria." 
Internet Posting: Mehlis's Mother was a Jewess Killed by Syrians and Mehlis Seeks Revenge
An article titled "Who is Mehlis?" that was posted on the independent Syrian judicial website Al-Nazaha  by an unknown writer named Khaled Khaz'al stated:
"The selection of the German judge Mehlis to head the committee investigating the assassination of [former Lebanese] prime minister Al-Hariri... was no coincidence... Mehlis was born on March 13, 1947 in East Berlin, after it was divided following World War II, when the city was still destroyed and in ruins... In the shadow of this tragedy, the wretched Mehlis was born on a cursed day, the 13th, in a cursed month, the third, and in a cursed year, the year of defeat and the establishment of the Zionist entity.
"He was born of mixed parentage, to a German Christian father and a Polish Jewish mother. Together with her wretched infant, the mother very quickly left Germany for Palestine following the declaration of the establishment of the Jewish state. There, the mother began to work for the Jewish immigration organization, and was sent to Jewish families living in Germany and Poland to urge them to immigrate to the Promised Land. Thus, Mehlis's mother played a pioneering role in bringing Jews to Palestine, and was given a distinguished medal for her services by Moshe Dayan, may he be remembered for ill, during the period when he was war minister...
"Before [Mehlis] finished his studies, his mother was killed in the 1967 war after volunteering to be a medic in the Israeli army at the Syrian front!! It was in this atmosphere that the young Mehlis finished his high school studies in West Berlin. Afterwards, he enrolled in law school, and finished as an attorney [craving] revenge against his mother's Syrian murderers. Mehlis, who became a brilliant judge, participated in many well-known international trials in which the accused were from among the enemies of the U.S. and Israel, or from among the friends of the Arabs...
"Mehlis specialized in international criminal law, and the American intelligence agency cultivated him, as it had in the past cultivated his father, and consulted with his legal consultation firm in Berlin...
"In 1990, the U.N. General Assembly assigned him to write a book on international criminal law... The book was published in 1992 in New York, and its title was International Criminal Law... The General Assembly accepted the book as a legal authority upon which it relies...
"[Mehlis] visited Tel Aviv a number of times, where he was officially and cordially received, and lectured to students at the Hebrew universities. During one of his visits, former prime minister of the Jewish state Ehud Barak received him, and Mehlis asked to visit the grave of his mother on the Golan Heights. He was sent by Israeli army helicopter, and there the son laid a wreath on his mother's grave and said a prayer for her - I don't know whether it was Christian or Jewish...
"[In his book,] Mehlis takes us to the law of the jungle, and reveals to the world the first shoots of the world government heralded by 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. '"
It should be noted that Abd Al-Wahhab 'Adas, deputy editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya, published a similar article, stating that "Mehlis was carefully selected [as chairman of the commission], since he is German but his mother was a Jewess who lived in Germany, emigrated to Israel in 1948, and witnessed the birth of the Zionist state... It was her will and testament that Mehlis too would emigrate to Israel, the Promised Land." 'Adas added: "Mehlis's mother played a major role in bringing Jews from Germany to Palestine... Mehlis himself was a close friend of Israeli leaders... Mehlis's mother was killed on the Golan Heights by Syrian sniper fire, as she was serving as a medic on the Israeli-Syrian front." 
 In October 2005, MEMRI reported that the Syrian government press had published a number of articles making strong personal attacks against Mehlis, who, they claimed, "was spending his time drinking wine on yachts." See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1005, "In the Syrian Media: Personal Attacks on Head of International U.N. Committee Investigating Al-Hariri Assassination," October 11, 2005, In the Syrian Media: Personal Attacks on Head of International U.N. Committee Investigating Al-Hariri Assassination .
 Al-Thawra (Syria), October 14, 2005. See also MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1022, "Syrian Government Papers Insinuate: Sa'd Al-Hariri is Involved in the Assassination of His Father and in Attempts to Kill Other Lebanese Figures, " November 11, 2005, Syrian Government Papers Insinuate: Sa'd Al-Hariri is Involved in the Assassination of His Father and in Attempts to Kill Other Lebanese Figures.
 According to Teshreen (Syria), "some of these agents... were trained in the most advanced methods of preparing explosives and car bombs. These [agents, together with 'Lahd's forces,' who were recruited by the Israeli unit known as [Unit] 504, headed by General Yigal Carmon who was notorious for crushing the bones of children in the West Bank, as the highest-ranking Israeli military officer in South Lebanon, [responsible] for leading [Antoine] Lahd's army."
 The other names on the list are: Lebanese Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Beri, former deputy prime minister Asam Fares, former deputy prime minister Michel Al-Murr, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Al-Murr, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, former information minister Eli Al-Farizli, and Eli Hubeika [a senior official in the Christian militia forces "The Lebanese Forces" during the civil war in Lebanon].
 Teshreen (Syria), November 20, 2005.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), November 25, 2005.
 It was Mehlis who investigated the 1986 bombing at the La Belle discotheque in Berlin. At the end of the investigation, he claimed that those responsible for the bombing were Ahmad Jibril's Popular Front - General Command in cooperation with Syria. Several years later, Libya acknowledged that it was responsible for the bombing.
 Al-Hayat (London), November 20, 2005.
 The article was posted on the non-government Syrian site for law and attorneys, www.alnazaha.net, on November 17, 2005. It should be noted that the article was originally posted at http://www.allforsyria.org/Daily-Bulletin.htm, which is an independent Syrian site that posts articles by Syrian intellectuals.
 Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), January 12, 2005.