Lebanon is facing yet another significant event in its turbulent political history, with parliamentary elections one month away. Both domestic and external forces actively seek to influence results in their favor.
To further discuss Lebanon’s challenging future, I’m joined here in the studio by;
1. Lt. Col. Res. Reuven Ben Shalom – Cross-cultural analyst and columnist for the Jerusalem Post
2. Dr. Nir Boms – Research fellow, Moshe Dayan center at Tel Aviv University
3. Prof. Efraim Inbar; President of the Jerusalem Institute for strategic studies
Nir Boms (2018): Israel’s Policy on the Syrian Civil War: Risks and Opportunities, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/23739770.2017.1430006
The war in Syria, which to date has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced almost half the country’s population, seems to be nearing an end. The Syrian tragedy, which drew in additional actors from throughout the Middle East and the world—paid militias, “volunteers,” and foreign armies—at unprecedented speed, seems to be stabilizing. This has created a new status quo, and will enable a smaller circle to wield control over the state still known as Syria when the smoke of battle ﬁnally clears. In August 2017, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) announced that over 600,000 displaced persons, some 10 percent of the total number of refugees, had already returned to their homes in Syria, many to the city of Aleppo, which, until several months earlier, had symbolized the battles between the weakened rebel camp and the regime forces.1 Syrian tractors are already clearing the way for new roads, and Russian cranes are building a new port terminal, while the Iranians have started constructing a modern “medical city” near Damascus. The year 2017 is also ending with Syria’s conquest (aided by Hizbullah)of the village of Beit Jann, one of the more signiﬁcant pockets of resistance supported by Israel.
Lebanon has been pushed to the center of regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, since the Saudi-backed Lebanese politician Sa’ad al-Hariri – in an unexpected move – resigned his post as the country’s Prime Minister, blaming Iran and its Lebanese-proxy Hezbollah of forcibly asserting Tehran’s interests in Lebanon, as well as sowing strife across the Arab world. To do so, I’m joined here in the studio by; 1. Dr. Nir Boms – Research fellow, Moshe Dayan center at Tel Aviv University 2. Prof. Efraim Kam, Senior researcher, INSS 3. Dr. Eran Lerman – Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for strategic studies and a lecturer at Shalem College Analyst: Amir Oren