My friends, leaders of the Lebanese-American
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is regretful that we have to meet while Lebanon
is being destroyed and its population killed and
displaced. Lebanon today is going through a
crisis with regional and world wide
As we mentioned in our invitation we are here to
discuss the roots of the problem and to try to
find solutions which will hopefully get Lebanon
out of the current crisis and provide permanent
stability and peace for its war tired population.
As we all know, Hezbollah, a radical sectarian
party, a legacy of the Syrian occupation and a
proxy of the Iranian regime continues to pose a
threat to Lebanon’s sovereignty. The Hezbollah
militia has refused to disarm, and has been
preventing the Lebanese armed forces from
deploying over all of the Lebanese territory under
the pretexts of "deterrence" and "resistance" and
the threats of starting a sectarian strife .
While having a minister in the Lebanese cabinet
and 10 members in parliament, and while
participating in the national dialogue, Hezbollah
decided, on July 12th 2006, to
unilaterally deflagrate the situation with Israel,
dragging Lebanon into a major regional conflict.
This unnecessary war has entered Lebanon into an
uneven military confrontation with Israel. This
war was never agreed upon or decided by the
representatives of the Lebanese people. According
to Mr.Nassrallah, Hezbollah's leader, it is a
fight to regain the "dignity of the Umma" the
(Nation in its broader sense)." It is the blessed
Islamic resistance fight to destroy the Zionist
We ask Mr. Nassrallah :
Where is the dignity when 4 million Lebanese are
left defenseless under the relentless deadly
fire power of the Israeli armed forces?
Where is the dignity when half a million people
are displaced begging for food and shelter?
Where is the dignity in dying uselessly under
tons of rubble?
When did the Lebanese agree to become martyrs
for the Islamic resistance?
Didn't your "deterrence" strategy fall apart
when it did not deter Israel from destroying
whatever it liked?
We are here to try to stop this madness. To do so
we have to be frank and direct in addressing all
the issues away from rhetoric and generic slogans.
Verbal condemnations and inflamed speeches have
produced no result so far. The main question we
should all ask today is: Do we want to return
Lebanon to where it was before the July 12th
disaster? Our answer is a sure and non
negotiable NO .
As a consequence of the presence of the illegal
militias sponsored by regional rogue states, a
great injustice is being committed today against
the Lebanese people. Lebanon was turned to a
battleground for promoting the agenda of Iran with
the complicity of Syria, and for the confrontation
between those supporting peace and stability in
the region and those benefiting from extremism and
disorder. Any permanent and effective solution
should include the disarming of all non government
forces in Lebanon. Hezbollah should be asked to
put the Lebanese interests first and to concede
that its declared strategy of single handedly
defending Lebanon has failed.
Lebanon is dying, we call on all the Lebanese
leadership to understand the gravity of the
situation and abandon any regional and sectarian
allegiances for the sake of their homeland, we
call on all friends especially in the US to exert
all possible efforts in order to assist Lebanon
and to pressure all regional parties to this
conflict to take their fight elsewhere.
And now, I would like to introduce our friend, a
friend to Lebanon, and to the Lebanese-American
community, Congressman Darrel Issa.
I have known Congressman Issa for several years
now. I have known him and respected him as a
dedicated, committed man proud of his Lebanese
He is a regular traveler to the Middle East and to
Lebanon. Although I heard he is not much welcome
in Syria anymore. He was in the region just a few
days ago, amidst this terrifying war. And while he
has been trying to engage, to build bridges, to
mend fences, he never wavers or negotiates when it
comes to the sovereignty and freedom of Lebanon.
I watched him on C-Span a couple of days ago, and
I have to say, I rarely see such clarity, such
truthfulness in addressing complex and sensitive
issues, like the ones facing Lebanon and the
Middle East, coming from the mouth of a
politician, let alone a politician with Lebanese
blood…Thank you Darrell.
Dr. Joseph Gebeily
American Lebanese Coalition