Claudine Aoun-Roukoz, who is the daughter and advisor of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, said in an interview that was uploaded to the Lebanese YouTube channel Spot Shot, that Lebanon is being “forced” to solve its border and water issues with Israel, and that once these issues are resolved, Lebanon should strive for peace with Israel. Emphasizing that even though she has no sympathy for Israel, she pointed out that many other Arab countries, as well as the Palestinians, have already normalized relations with Israel. She also said that the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have been there for 70 years and that this is a problem that must be resolved. For more information about Claudine Aoun-Roukoz, who is also the president of the National Commission for Lebanese Women, see MEMRI TV Clips no. 8318 and no. 8393.
Claudine Aoun-Roukoz: "I support peace, obviously only after we guarantee the demarcation of borders, the liberation of our land, and the water... People do not talk enough about the water..."
Interviewer: "You have no objection to peace with Israel after the demarcation of the borders?"
Aoun-Roukoz: "The constitution does not allow for this. If I say this in the media, I will be accused of treason and thrown in prison, but really, all the Arab countries have normalized their relations with Israel. I don't get it. Even the Palestinians... Look, I am not running in the elections, I do not expect anything.
"I meet the Palestinian cabinet members, men and women, when I go to Arab countries. I am familiar with their point of view, and I will not be more [Palestinian] than them. Do we want to continue living in a state of war, and never be able to go to Jerusalem? Never ever? Do we want to live in a continuous war? I don't get it.
"But this does not mean that we should give up our rights."
Interviewer: "It could take time... Some people are triggered by this. Israel, which has taken parts of our land..."
Aoun-Roukoz: "Nobody should be triggered or anything. We had countless martyrs in the war with Syria. Our wounds have not healed yet. Nobody can claim to be more patriotic than I am. When the Syrians marched on October 13 , I, personally, was in the Baabda [Presidential] Palace. I fled abroad. I was a refugee in France.
"So nobody can look down on my patriotism and sacrifice for this country. The Syrians marched in with the Israeli [planes hovering] above. I have no sympathy for Israel. They invaded Lebanon. But this bravado of the public and media is unacceptable...
Interviewer: "So you say that we are forced to sign peace with Israel..."
Aoun-Roukoz: "I did not say that we are forced to do this. We are forced to resolve the border crisis, and the sovereignty over our water... People don't talk enough about the water. Israel occupies our mountains. These water resources are worth millions. We have the right to sell this water. You also have the land border. Then you have the story of the Palestinians. We want to find them a solution.
"Their numbers have decreased. After all, they have been here for 70 years, but they cannot stay in refugee camps in this way. The issue must be resolved. Their situation is unacceptable from the humanitarian perspective, and also, it is unacceptable that we have so many refugee camps on the best Lebanese lands, right by the sea.
"These lands must return to us, so that we can invest in them and benefit from them economically.
"The weapons of the resistance should become the weapons of all Lebanese people."
Interviewer: "Was there a weakness in..."
Aoun-Roukoz: "These weapons should not be held by a party that deals with politics. The problem today is that Hizbullah is a resistance organization facing Israel... During the 2006 [war], I was the first to go down and help the displaced people. Back then, they were fighting against the Israeli enemy. Today, however, because Hizbullah deals with politics, and is represented in the parliament and government...
"This is why people criticize Hizbullah, and say that because it is a political party with weapons, it causes an imbalance."