There is a wind of change in Lebanon. For the first time, the country’s leading Christian figure, the patriarch of the Maronite Church, has spoken out against Hezbollah and called for Lebanon to become “a neutral state,” the Switzerland of the Middle East, as it were.
To get a better feel for recent developments in the country, as well as mounting tensions on the Israel-Lebanon border, I spoke with Boutros (his full name is omitted for his safety), who was born and raised in Lebanon. He served for many years as an officer in the South Lebanon Army (SLA), Israel’s ally during the 18 years that the IDF controlled southern Lebanon. Like many former SLA soldiers, Boutros fled to Israel when the IDF suddenly pulled out of Lebanon in 2000. At the age of 60, he is today an Israeli citizen and lives in the north of the country with his family.
The interview was conducted on the same day Beirut was rocked by a major explosion. We also reminisced over the past 40 years and discovered...
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