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Oct 02, 2020
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Lebanese Journalist Rami Naim: Peace With Israel Is Coming No Matter What; Normalization Started When Speaker Berri Announced Border Negotiations

#8345 | 02:54
Source: MTV (Lebanon)

Lebanese journalist Rami Naim, the publisher and general manager of Lebanese news site elsiyasa.com, said in an October 2, 2020 interview on MTV (Lebanon) that Lebanon's recent agreement to border negotiations with Israel, mediated by the U.S., is a sign that Lebanon will eventually normalize relations with Israel. He said that the fact the Parliament Speaker Berri, who represents the Shiites in government, is a party to these negotiations means that Lebanon has recognized the existence of the State of Israel and that Lebanon is no longer conducting an "existential struggle" against Israel, the struggle has now become limited to border demarcations. Naim said that these negotiations spell the end of the resistance against Israel and that peace is coming even if Lebanon is the last country to sign a peace agreement with Israel.

Rami Naim: "What happened yesterday marked a new phase in the relations between the State of Lebanon and the State of Israel. Today, we have relations with and we recognize a state that we used to consider to be an enemy, which plunders and occupied the Palestinian lands. Yesterday, something else happened..."

Interviewer: "Did Parliament Speaker Berri recognize Israel yesterday?"

Naim: "Yesterday... Speaker Berri, on behalf of the Shiite Arabs... Their role in Lebanon has changed."

Interviewer: "The Shiite Arabs including Hizbullah?"

Naim: "Absolutely. Berri speaks on behalf of the Shiite duo [Amal and Hizbullah], and not just on behalf of the Amal Movement. The war [with Israel] has transformed from an existential war to a war over borders. There is no longer an existential war with Israel. Israel's statehood was accepted [by Lebanon]... This means that there will be no resistance from now on. I believe that the resistance has started to sense that it must undergo a change. It has learned the lesson of the Maronite duo – the Lebanese forces and the Aounists. When these two failed to recognize the situation, the result was that Geagea ended up in prison and Aoun in exile.

"I believe that the resistance is reading the global changes well, and it is lowering its head to weather the storm. It's only problem is how to release this change to its public that has sacrificed martyrs, has had people taken captive, and has made many sacrifices over the years. Soleimani was martyred nine months ago today. To this day, there hasn't been even a slap on the wrist in retaliation. The game has changed in the world. Peace is coming no matter what, and the normalization with Israel started with Berri's speech yesterday. I believe that Speaker Berri laid the cornerstone for normalization with the State of Israel.

[...]

"You cannot tell me that you want to negotiate with Israel over the border demarcation, and then say that you do not recognize Israel. If you do not recognize Israel, you cannot negotiate with it.

[...]

"Okay, we may be the last country to sign peace and normalization accords, but yesterday we declared that we are ready. Even if we will be the last country, we are willing to do it. I believe that what happened yesterday was the last nail in the real resistance against Israel."

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