Donations from readers like you allow us to do what we do. Please help us continue our work with a monthly or one-time donation.

Donate Today

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to receive daily or weekly MEMRI emails on the topics that most interest you.

Request a Clip

Media, government, and academia can request a MEMRI clip or other MEMRI research, or ask to consult with or interview a MEMRI expert.
Request Clip
May 18, 2020
Share Video:

Lebanese Political Activist Dr. Naji Hayek: Lebanon Must Become A Federation, Develop A Technology-Based Economy; Syrian Refugees Detrimental To Lebanon

#8020 | 05:40
Source: OTV (Lebanon)

Lebanese Political activist Dr. Naji Hayek of the Free Patriotic Movement said in a May 18, 2020 interview on OTV [Lebanon] that Lebanon should become a federation like the U.S. or Canada. He said that a federal system is most suitable to the Lebanese people and that the majority of Lebanese people, especially the Christians, feel this way. He also stated that Lebanon should maintain good relations with the U.S. and European countries. He said that Lebanon’s economy should be based on technology, like Israel, and that it should not wage wars on behalf of foreign causes. Furthermore, Dr. Hayek said that Syrian and other refugees in Lebanon cause the country great financial losses, and that the "hidden Syrian civil occupation of Lebanon" is one of the reasons the country has collapsed. For further information about Dr. Hayek see MEMRITV clip #7294.

Dr. Naji Hayek: "We live in a federal country and this is something we must understand. Some of the Lebanese people started a [civil] war in 1975 because they thought that political Maronism plundered part of [Lebanon]... The Christians must come to an agreement, demand their rights in full, and agree on a system of government that is not the aforementioned 'consensus democracy.' Consensus democracy has proven to be a failure. In my opinion, federalism is the only system of government that will please all sectors of the Lebanese people. Federalism is demanded by the majority of the Lebanese people, and by a vast majority of the Christians.


"In my opinion, a federal system would limit fiction between people - friction that creates problems. Let's establish provinces and districts - 'Little Lebanon' and 'Middle Lebanon,' it doesn't matter what we call them - like counties in America. Accordingly, everyone will take responsibility for their actions. It is unacceptable that when a generator supplies electricity to an entire building, one person uses 80% of the electricity and another person uses only 10%.


"The Lebanese people don't need to be ashamed to talk about this. Our [Christian] political parties - the Free Patriotic Movement, the Phalanges, the Lebanese Forces the National Liberal Party - they shouldn't be ashamed to say this. They shouldn't call this a 'system of expanded decentralization.' Why not? Call it a federation. America is a federation, Canada is a federation. This will not harm national unity, this will not harm the army, this will not harm the designation of enemy countries or friendly countries. It will not harm anything at all. Even our finances and our way of life... In Jezzine, you will be able to sell wine, while in Sidon, you will not be able to sell wine. This is how it should be.


"We should have excellent ties with the U.S. and European countries. If you tell me that we don't need to bow down to them - the Americans help Israel more than they help us and Israel is a hostile country. But ultimately you need to know your size. America gives the Lebanese Army $500 million and it gives Israel $10 billion. Okay, it gives Israel more. But why must we stifle [the army]? Who else can give it $500 million a year?


"Our society must be an open society, with a strong economy. Lebanon's society is full of bright minds. Lebanon should be filled with platforms for technology, electronics, and the Internet. We should have advanced agriculture and so on. What is the difference between us and damned Israel, which is 100 km from here. There the Tel Aviv stock exchange has 1,000 energy companies? Why don't we have any? Are they smarter than we are? Of course not, we are a hundred times smarter than them. We must understand that this country belongs to all its people. When you work, you are not only working for yourself. They threw [former PM] Ehud Olmert into prison, also that president [Moshe Katsav] went to prison. We must understand that Lebanon can only rise through its economy. It cannot be based on a militarize society. It is unacceptable that every 20-30 years a cause is created and the Lebanese pick up sticks and guns and storm [Israel] ahead of [the Palestinians] themselves. No! In the 1950s, we fought ahead of Abdel Nasser, then we fought ahead of Arafat. This is what brought us to where we are.


"Every year, we lose several billion dollars because of who-knows-how-many millions of Syrians on our land. They are eroding our economy directly and indirectly. They eat our subsidized bread. This is true. This causes us losses. If you say that I shouldn't call them to task for eating - this means that I will be left starving. When an airplane loses oxygen, do you know what they tell you? First, place the oxygen over your own face, not over those sitting next to you, even if it is your son. If you cannot breathe, those next to you will not be able to breathe either. If you suffocate, the person next to you will suffocate too. The oxygen that we need... Lebanon has collapsed for several reasons, one of which is the concealed Syrian civil occupation of Lebanon."

Share this Clip: