Lebanon hit by severe power cuts, pharmacy strike
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern times of Tokyo
The multi-religious crown jewel of the Middle East is crumbling under the pressure of internal political cronyism. Equally damaging, the weight of endless power games by Iran, Israel, Syria and the Palestinians have all abused Lebanon. So, for many decades, Lebanon has been embroiled in the whims of non-Lebanese. These outside forces also used sectarianism for geopolitical gains as the Palestinians sought power under the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). Thus, the decades-long convulsions, alongside a high number of Palestinian and Syrian immigrants, are finally catching up with Lebanon.
On Friday, two major power plants were shut down. This resulted in a blackout in much of the country. At the same time, pharmacies decided to go on strike due to critical medical shortages. Therefore, the crisis is endless and increases in intensity due to the angle of the currency.
The BBC reports, “Lebanon’s two largest power plants, Deir Ammar and Zahrani – which together provide around 40% of the country’s electricity – were shut down on Friday,” said their owner, Electricité du Liban (EDL).
The current economic crisis that began about 18 months ago only underscores political inertia. As a result, cronyism and problems with the concentration of power continue. Thus, the Lebanese pound collapsed dramatically. Therefore, apart from the mega-rich and political elites who can channel their money in different ways, the feeling of abandonment prevails for the rest of society.
The American and French embassies in Lebanon issued a joint statement. He stated, “On July 8, 2021, French Ambassador to Lebanon Anne Grillo and United States Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea organized trilateral meetings with their counterparts in Saudi Arabia to discuss the situation in Lebanon. This initiative follows trilateral meetings between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud on June 29 in Matera, Italy, on the sidelines of the G-20 conference.
Therefore, the international community indicates that corruption and mismanagement must be combated in order to obtain greater international assistance. However, while this will be accepted by many in Lebanon, the international community must also recognize the interference of Israel, Iran, Syria and the Palestinians in the body politic of Lebanon.
In other words, internal political cronyism is a real problem and so is not tackling serious economic problems – and other areas related to the infrastructure of this country. Yet Israel and the Palestinians profiting from their proxy wars in Lebanon – to Iran treating Hezbollah as a bulwark against Israel – to Syria’s role in Lebanon cannot be brushed under the rug. Likewise, a sizeable minority of those residing in Lebanon are Palestinians and Syrians who have fled regional convulsions. Therefore, given the sectarian angle that already existed in Lebanon – and the fear that Christians would become future dhimmis in the predominantly Muslim-dominated Middle East – the issues are extremely complex.
Lebanon needs a fresh start and the help of friendly nations during the current economic and political crisis. This applies to the economy, to politics and to allowing the Lebanese to control their own destiny without the hands of other nations – and peoples – putting this country in danger.
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