Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich said in a May 20, 2022 show on MBC TV (Lebanon) that Lebanon must join the Abraham Accords and make peace with Israel. In addition, he said that Hizbullah has hijacked Lebanon, and that this will only change when there is change in Iran, in the same way that Communist parties throughout the world disappeared when the Soviet Union collapsed. For more about Nadim Koteich, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 9386, 8937, 8382, 8001, 7769, 7668, 7221, 7140 and 5675.
Nadim Koteich: "[Lebanon] has been hijacked. Our country is under occupation of an Iranian militia called 'Hizbullah.' It is as simple as that. Nobody in Lebanon has the ability to make this militia disappear, or to eliminate its basic capabilities, and its weapons in particular. Nobody is capable of doing this. When will this be possible? Only when there is a change in Iran. Communist parties all over the world remained strong as long as... In political science, a cluster of parties is as strong as the center. The Communist parties in Poland or in Yemen were as strong as the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed, all these communist parties became nothing but memories from the past. Today, it is hard to imagine that there is a single Communist party in the world. They are almost non-existent. There are more panda bears in the world that Communist parties, right? Simply put, there can be no change in Lebanon before there is change in Iran.
"A pessimist is an optimist who knows the truth. I am not pessimistic. Hizbullah will not last forever, and Iran will not be ruled by this backward regime forever. It's impossible. If we talk 10-15 years from now, I am certain we will see a different Iran.
"The only logical path for Lebanon is to have peace with Israel. What problems do we have with Israel? If we forget about the issue [evoked] by some ideologues — Palestine, Jerusalem, whatever... Fine, I support the Palestinian issue, I support Palestinian rights, I support their right to have a state... Whatever you want. But is the majority of Lebanese people convinced that one day they are going to wake up and not find Israel next to them? Whoever tells you so is a liar. Israel is a done deal in the Middle East. I do not have a problem with it, as a country. I have a few border problems with it, over the Blue Line. I think there are more problems of this kind between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, between Kuwait and I don't know who, between Mexico and the U.S., between Canada and Mexico [sic] and between France and Germany. There are no bordering countries that do not have some border problems between them.
" It is not only that Lebanon must be neutral — Lebanon must be a part of the Abraham Accords with Israel. It must sign a peace agreement with Israel. It must end this conflict in which it entangles itself for the sake of interests that no one really knows what they are, but they have nothing to do with the Lebanese people. [Lebanon] must be a part of the energy complex in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
"The next decade, 2020 to 2030, will be defined by two things: economic revival, based on modern criteria and foundations — not old foundations, like selling oil — like what is happening in Saudi Arabia and the UAE — a modern economy, and secondly, peace with Israel. These two themes will define the next decade. Those who will be in this club will be saved. Those who will not be in this club will suffer. Some people south, 'Death to America,' but it is the Lebanese who die, not the Americans."
Interviewer: "Why does Hizbullah always resort to such slogans?"
Koteich: "Because it is easy. It is easy to accuse people of treason and to intimidate them. Therefore, the Israel taboo must be broken. You will never be able to get rid of [Hizbullah's] weapons — you must get rid of the 'cause.'
"The biggest Sunni-Muslim block in the region is heading towards peace with Israel. Do you really think the three or four villages in South Lebanon can ruin this?"