Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich said in a May 16, 2020 interview on LBC TV (Lebanon) that support for Lebanese President Michel Aoun, which he termed "Aounism," is a disease and that no Aounist politician has ever remained "normal." He also said that in Lebanon, each citizen's share of the GDP is $360. Koteich added that in comparison, each Israeli citizen's share is $3,600 per month. He said that Israel has become a scientific, economic, cultural, and military power, and that this makes him sad because in the 1960's, Israel had been a "silly little country" while Lebanon had been respected. He added that Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and President Aoun do not have the answers for restoring Lebanon's respected status.
Nadim Koteich: "The worst possible replacement for the governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon would be better than anyone who supports [Lebanese President Michel] Aoun..."
Interviewer: "But you are accusing a large movement. Maybe you can criticize certain people... Making generalizations is always a mistake."
Koteich: "Show me a single example of an Aounist who was appointed to a job and remained normal. When there were fires, they said that the fires took place in Christian areas, not in Muslim areas."
Interviewer: "This was an exceptional case..."
Koteich: "It was not. Aounism is not a political phenomenon. It's a disease. There is a mental illness called Aounism in Lebanon.
"The only important criterion is the citizen's share in the economy. The Lebanese citizen's share is $360. How did I calculate this? According to the budget plan, our GDP is $24 billion. Our population is 5.5. million. In Israel, which we 'vanquished,' and 'defeated,' and which is 'terrified,' 'confused,' 'scared,' and so on and so forth, this figure is $3,600 per month. Ten times more."
Interviewer: "The Lebanese figure can still be smaller if the Lebanese pound collapses..."
Koteich: "There is no other criterion. Any citizen can calculate this on his phone. The citizen's share in the GDP... I still haven't told you that yesterday Israel registered eight coronavirus-related patents."
Interviewer: "But you are talking about a country that gets international support."
Koteich: "We used to get international support as well. We used to be a respected country."
Interviewer: "People won't like it that you talk about [Israel] as a state. It is not a state. It is a plundering entity."
Koteich: "[Those people] never like anything. Israel has important shows on Netflix. This is soft power. We are talking about a scientific power, an economic power, a cultural power, and a military power. This reality does not make me happy. It makes me sad, because we used to be much more important. In the 1960s, Israel was a silly little country, and we were a respected country."
Interviewer: "In any case, the policy of making the Lebanese people poor is a crime."
Koteich: "This regression requires all of us to sit on our own and contemplate how we got here and how we can go back to being what we were. People like Hassan Nasrallah and Michel Aoun definitely do not have the answer."