Lebanese businessman and politician Neemat Frem said in a November 29, 2020 interview on MTV (Lebanon) that Lebanon is an advanced country with science, culture, and technology, but that its doctors and intellectuals are leaving the country, causing it to turn into a village. Frem, who recently resigned from the Lebanese parliament, said that today, even Gaza is better off than Lebanon, even though the rats in Gaza are bigger than cats. He added that the infrastructure in Lebanon is the worst in the Middle East and that he fears that in two years from now, it will be impossible to undergo open-heart surgery in Lebanon. Frem's statements generated a controversy online, and he was accused of mocking Gaza's "steadfastness."
Neemat Frem: "Today, the Lebanese doctors, professors, and experts have been leaving the country in front of our eyes for the past six months. Can you imagine what will happen in two years? Can you believe that in two years, a person might not be able to undergo open-heart surgery here? Personally, I refuse to accept this, and I am sure that you and everybody who listens also refuse to accept this. No. This is not Lebanon. Lebanon is not Gaza. Is that clear? Lebanon is not Gaza!"
Interviewer: "Okay. Nor is any other country, but what do you mean by that?"
Neemat Frem: "The Gazans have agreed to give up a certain standard of living and [they] live in a place where the rats are bigger than the cats... Listen closely. The rats are this big... We, in Lebanon, refuse to accept such a standard of living. In Lebanon, we have a certain standard of living. Yes, Lebanon is an advanced country. In Lebanon, there is science, culture, and history. Lebanon is a technological country. You have turned it into a village. Lebanon has the worst infrastructure in all the Middle East. Gaza is better off than Lebanon today."