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Oct 28, 2020
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Lebanese Journalist Raghida Dergham: There Needs To Be Peace Throughout The Region, With Israel Too; I Support The Naturalization Of The Palestinian Refugees In Lebanon

#8414 | 02:47
Source: Al-Jadid/New TV (Lebanon)

Lebanese journalist Raghida Dergham said in an October 28, 2020 interview on Al-Jadeed TV (Lebanon) that ensuring the Lebanese government's and military's complete control of Lebanese territory is the issue that is most important to her. She said that once this takes place, and once Lebanon's borders with Israel and Syria are demarcated, then normalization with Israel would be a logical step. Dergham stated that "there needs to be peace throughout the region," with counties such as Turkey, Iran and Israel. In addition, Dergham said that she would support giving Lebanese citizenship to the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon if necessary in order to remove the weapons from the refugee camps.

Interviewer: "The topic of normalization... In the past, and also in the media, there were limitations... It was taboo. Today, there is flexibility even when it comes to the way it is phrased. You've spoken about 'normalization' and the 'State of Israel.' In the past, if someone were to say 'Israel' without calling it an enemy, it was a catastrophe, and people paid a price. Today, it's as if there is flexibility. It's as if they are priming people [to believe] that it's okay."

Raghida Dergham: "The term 'normalization with Israel' doesn't matter to me. What's important to me is to claim my rights from Israel. I want our sea and land borders with Israel and Syria to be demarcated. I want the Lebanese state and army to control our land and its entirety. It is my right to think this way. Whoever thinks I am wrong has a right to disagree with me.

"The demarcation of the borders is the primary objective, so that we can benefit from our natural resources. It is natural for the sea and land borders to be marked. Afterwards, there either will or will not be normalization... It will be a normal thing to have normalization. In fact, we were already close to it, but the fact that the Syrian and Lebanese negotiations tracks were combined prevented this from happening. Syria decided for us that we cannot have a peace deal with Israel, because we almost got there. There needs to be peace throughout the region – with Iran, with Turkey, with Israel. This is the talk today. People talk about a new structure, a new mechanism, and new framework for general cooperation. I don't think that it will happen tomorrow, but..."

[...]

Interviewer: "Do you support the naturalization of the Palestinians in Lebanon?"

Dergham: "I am in favor of establishing the control of the Lebanese state and army throughout our land. If the Palestinian camps are completely incompatible with this idea, then of course I am inf favor of giving them citizenship. Either way, we're talking about 150,000 [Palestinians] who are being treated poorly. This has nothing to do with normalization with Israel. The most important thing for me is Lebanese sovereignty. This is why I support this naturalization. This would solve a problem. Why do they still need to have weapons in the camps? It's impossible to know what will happen as a result of their destitution."

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