Lebanon’s Issues Predate Israel
Lebanon’s last official national census was in 1932 when France controlled that country. Its fractious population is divided among Maronite and other Christians, Communists, Palestinians, Druze, Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims and others. Per its “National Pact” of 1943, Lebanon’s president must be a Maronite Christian and is selected by its Chamber of Deputies.
The Palestine Liberation Organization organized a “state within a state” in south Lebanon after being kicked out of Jordan in 1970. Lebanon’s brutal 16-year civil war, which started in April 1975, killed and wounded 250,000 people, internally displaced nearly a million and caused over 200,000 to emigrate. Meanwhile, the Syrian army invaded in 1976 and did not leave until April 2005.
As for Israel, it first invaded Lebanon in March 1978, four days after the Coast Road Massacre, perpetrated by PLO terrorists from southern Lebanon, killed 37 civilians and wounded more than 70. Israel withdrew several weeks later after the United Nations established a “security zone.” Four years later, Israel again invaded Lebanon after a Palestinian splinter group attacked an Israeli diplomat in London. Israel partially withdrew in 1983 and fully in 2000. In July 2006, war erupted between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon after that terrorist group raided Israel, killing and capturing IDF soldiers. That war ended a month later, with a UN resolution creating yet another “security zone.”
Yet Richard Cook, in his Lebanon letter (Aug. 21), ignores all of the above, including PLO and Hezbollah terrorism, in describing Israel’s policy toward its northern neighbor. Instead, he first quotes the notoriously hostile-to-Israel George Ball who brushes aside Lebanon’s “National Pact” by claiming Israel wanted to set up “a minority Maronite dictatorship.” Then Mr. Cook refers to 1948 wartime musings in David Ben-Gurion’s diary to explain Israel’s future policy in Lebanon. Ben-Gurion left political office in 1963 and died in 1973.
Lebanon’s problems predate Israel and will continue regardless of Jerusalem’s policy toward that country.
Jerry Levin, Baltimore
No Way to Age
Really (“Biden Must Confront Age Issue,” Aug. 21). There is only a three-year age difference between Trump and Biden.
Everyone that comes into contact with Trump has their temperature taken. Can’t say the same for those who come in contact with Biden. The former vice president is trying to be cautious and as safe as possible, unlike the guy in the White House, who feeds on crowd energy, whether they wear masks or not.
Biden is not the one who can’t pronounce things like Trump. Is it an age thing? Examples are bigly, yuge, Corinthians 2. It just goes on and on. How come Biden doesn’t do this? And he is older.
Age, you say? No way.
Lana Fink, Reisterstown