This week Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, wrote in the Haaretz newspaper that the Saudis were meddling yet again in Lebanese politics, forcing Hezbullah into greater political prominence, to provide the pretext for Israel to renew its confrontation with the Lebanese militia and thereby stoke a new war between Israel and Lebanon and Syria.
In his words: “Israel and Saudi Arabia are fully aligned in this regional struggle, and the Saudis cannot help but be impressed by Israel’s increasing assertiveness to strike at Iranian threats in Syria … When the moment of truth arrives, Israel’s allies, with the United States in the lead, should give it full backing.”
Politics in Lebanon itself is complex, largely due to the confessional system inherited from French colonialism. Ghassan Kadi gives a brief background on Saad Hariri and offers some thoughts on the reasons behind Hariri’s sudden resignation. With events in the region proceeding at a dizzying pace, and especially the news of arrests in Saudi Arabia, which happened after Ghassan wrote this article, some of the thoughts expressed may merely represent a snapshot in time as the landscape keeps changing, but essentially his article analyzes Saudi Arabia’s attempts to regain control over Lebanon. – TS