Summary: the business and sectarian elites that rule Lebanon, aided and abetted by Iran and Syria, are behaving with predictable selfishness.
Summary: Israel is positioning itself well when it comes to exploiting natural resources in the Middle East.
Summary: a leading analyst offers pragmatic solutions to ending the stranglehold Lebanon’s kleptocratic elites have on the country: support independent parliamentarians, sanction the elites and challenge Iran’s backing of Hezbollah.
Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is Lina Khatib, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the London-based think tank Chatham House. Their conversation focusses on the political and business elites that are plundering Lebanon. Ordinary people are suffering huge deprivation, with 80% of the population now below the poverty line, as the economic crisis caused by the insatiable greed of the elites grows ever deeper.
Summary: while the governor of the central bank eludes arrest and accountability, desperate Lebanese are resorting to armed ‘robberies’ to get the money that is theirs out of banks refusing to give it to them.
Summary: the Saudi economy sits at one end of the Middle East table, strong, assured and buoyant and at the other end sits Lebanon with a broken economy and political paralysis that the country’s wealthy elite are in no hurry to end.
Summary: an unresolved maritime border delimitation dispute has spurred Hezbollah into drone bravado, provided Yair Lapid with a platform and left the people of Lebanon in an ever-deepening energy crisis.
Summary: May’s parliamentary elections saw candidates for change emerge as winners and Hezbollah and its allies sustain significant losses so could this be the signal that the country’s long descent into economic chaos may finally be coming to a close?
Summary: as the captagon trade continues to boom in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, its security and geopolitical implications have become harder to ignore.
Summary: with a record number of independent candidates winning seats, the hold that Lebanon’s corrupt elites have over the country may be weakening but this still represents only a small step on a very long and difficult road to true reform.