Al-Rahi Says Israeli Withdrawal before Hizbullah Lays Down Arms

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Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s statements to al-Arabiya television will trigger wide responses locally, especially among the March 14-led opposition that had already criticized them, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Friday.

Sources told the newspaper that al-Rahi’s statements will have an impact on the Christians in Lebanon and they will confuse them.

Former Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir also expressed his dissatisfaction with al-Rahi’s statements.

The daily said that the ex-Patriarch might outspokenly object to them in the next Maronite Bishops Council meeting.

Al-Rahi told al-Arabiya on Thursday that sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites may emerge if the Syrian government is overthrown.

“If the regime changes in Syria, and the Sunnis take over, they will form an alliance with the Sunnis in Lebanon, which will worsen the situation between the Shiites and the Sunnis,” al-Rahi said.

He warned that the Christians will pay the price if the Muslim brotherhood succeeded Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In addition, the Patriarch voiced support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon probing the assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri “on condition that it is not politicized

Asked about Hizbullah’s arms, he responded: “The international community must pressure Israel to withdraw from the occupied Lebanese territories … and fulfill the Palestinians’ right of return, and consequently Hizbullah will have to lay down its arms.”

Concerning the Syrian people uprising, al-Rahi urged the international community to grant Assad more time to implement reforms and resume dialogue with the opposition.

“Assad cannot make miracles… The Lebanese have suffered from the Syrian regime’s meddling, however, I want to be objective,” he added.

Al-Liwaa newspaper noted that LBC wondered if the Patriarch will reiterate his stances during his visit to Washington, or if his stances in France will affect it, “especially since his stances in Paris were not welcomed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French officials.”

Comments 36
Default-user-icon Truth (Guest) 09 September 2011, 09:03

I hope Bkerké has not turned orange.......Oranges are out of season these days... Especially that the harvest in Syria hasn't been that good..

Default-user-icon Karim_M (Guest) 09 September 2011, 09:03

A slap in the face to the March 14 puppets of Saudi Arabia.

Missing moonsear 09 September 2011, 09:17

walla if he is serious this would have been the greatest surprise of all. This man used to be dubbed mini Geagea. Is it possible that he is a real visionary?

Default-user-icon Citizen-1 (Guest) 09 September 2011, 09:27

“If the regime changes in Syria, and the Sunnis take over, they will form an alliance with the Sunnis in Lebanon, which will worsen the situation between the Shiites and the Sunnis,” al-Rahi said.

So, is this what is driving your underlying support of the Assad regime? What about the Syrian people who are paying blood for their freedom? Are you not watching live executions on the streets of Syria.... Do you care about this or you turn a blind eye to it?

The Christians lived in Syria prior to the Assad regime, and will continue to coexist alongside their fellow Syrians!!!! Instilling fear in the Christians is a lame excuse in order to support the Assad regime.....!

I believe and I know the teachings of Christ support the poor and down trodden regardless of where they are, who they are and what sect they are!

Default-user-icon Muhamad (Guest) 09 September 2011, 11:31

This is a wise man talk, the Zionist multiple air space violation to Lebanon and the Lebanese government unable to deport Palestinian terrorists or criminals back to Israel where they came from. While the US keep deporting US born children from Lebanese parents Unconstitiutionally back to Lebanon.
Where is justice, it is nothing but political slavery and privilage.

Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) 09 September 2011, 13:02

rahi united the christians to gamble on the head of bashar, bashar used to protect the minorities now the minorities has to "payback" and protect his regime.
thks rahi for being so clear, 92 years ago monseigneur howayek went to paris to secure notre "grand liban",he fought prime minister clemenceau who was siding with sharif hussein, president point carre helped him and bilad el arz was pushed to be sacred...
riad el solh the sunni,helped in consolidating bilad el arz, and now rahi is going back to paris asking for the hegemony of a syrian dictator,and criminal too......christian dont need to be protected to live in THEIR orient, and it is unfair to connect their existence to a dictatorship.
rahi fell in the trap.

Thumb chad 09 September 2011, 14:00

Finally someone finds the courage and wisdom to take a patriotic stance in that camp.
The difference between Al-Rahi and his fellows is that he is using his brain and is being realistic! Not just talking bull***t to please mother America!

What could be wrong in asking Israel to get the hell out of our land before taking away our only real defense??
Only a fool or an unconscious would lay down his arms in front of such an infuriated barbaric enemy occupying your land and see..

Default-user-icon Youssef Haddad (Guest) 09 September 2011, 14:16

Al Ra3y is giving the Maronite Church's blessing for Hezbollah's weapons for ever! By mentioning the impossible "Right of Return" he is accepting the fact that Hezbollah should remain armed.
As for extremists Sunnis taking over in Syria we do all agree, even the Lebanese Sunnis, that this would be dangerous to all, but, I ask Alra3y, who is arming and harboring the extremists in the region? Assad's regime which Alra3y is so anxious to preserve is the one that provided and still do the logistical support to Sunni extremists while all Sunni regimes in the region fight them ferociously.
Alra3y lost his moral compass to political misconceptions and to distortions of the facts perpetrated by those Christians in Lebanon who want to justify their unpatriotic alliance with the Iranian and Syrian dictatorships.

Default-user-icon Beiruti (Guest) 09 September 2011, 15:04

The Patriarch is a realist. And as much as I hate it and find the outcome of the Syrian uprising a disaster, this is how it will come out:
The West and NATO, seeing the Muslim Brotherhood taking a major role in post-Mubarak Egypt and post-Gadaffi Libya do not want a third site for the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.
The West has given Assad the green light to "finish the job", much the same way that Bush and Rice gave Israel the Green Light to protract their attacks on Hezbollah in 2006. The West made the decision that a chasened Assad is better than what might follow. Assad survived Ramadan and so will survive. Weakened which is as the US would prefer.
He will owe his survival to the US and the West and to Israel. And the people of Syria, like the people of Lebanon have bled for nothing and have been screwed by the world.
Assad has flaunted the international order and will get away with it, not chasened, but emboldened to be even more barbaric. This is the reality.

Default-user-icon Dov Levy (Guest) 09 September 2011, 15:22

Our friend, Dr. Geagea, predicted that Al Rahi was going to be a disappointment to the other camp and that he will prove to be tougher than his predecessor, Sfeir. Mistakes, though, always happen. But those who keep making mistakes are definitely idiots and losers, whether he is a friend or not. Their followers are even more idiots than them. Truth must be told despite the pain it inflicts, but it is a healing pain, unless the one who should be in pain is an idiot.

Thumb bashir 09 September 2011, 15:25

It's sad when a religous leader's political stance is inconsistent with his own scriptures.

Default-user-icon M60 (Guest) 09 September 2011, 17:12

Our great patriarch appears to have a short memory of the misery the criminal Syrian regime put the Lebanese people through, especially the brave Christians who refused to conspire and collaborate with there twisted and corrupt ideology .Thank you patriarch Beshara I feel honored and thankful your supporting a regime that has massacred thousands of innocent Lebanese people and still as we speak slaughtering countless of there own.To the Syrian opposition,you have showed the world how brave and determined you are,may god give you the strength to continue and be victorious.

Default-user-icon Muta (Guest) 09 September 2011, 17:17

Any one who is afraid of "sunnis" taking over in Syria is stupid. Sunnis are 85% there and they will eventually take over whether you liked it or not. Just look at Iraq when the iranian insects entered the country on the American tank chanting "death to America", just right then, no more churches were found. I have never seen extrimists in the Syrian protests so stop standing by the regime or else you will face the consequences after it falls. Even the Iranian mullahs with their "tiqyeh" stopped supporting Assad. Dont be stupid, please.

Thumb nade 09 September 2011, 17:18

I just can't beleive what I am reading!!!!! Bkerki did not only went Orange but more like Yellow. this is a hard blow to March 14 and the Christian all over Lebanon and not to forget the Sunni and all the Syrian people.
Sorry, but I am very dissapointed with his stand and comments. Washington and the Lebanese community in the USA are not going to accept this at all. Maybe it'll be better if he does not come to the USA at all. I was to pay $125.00 a plate at his dinner in the USA... no more, he can eat alone

Thumb nade 09 September 2011, 17:24

Sorry Marie, this is not true at all. The opposite you mean? He was to say the opposite.
Did you forget what Assad did in Lebanon? Think back
Exactly what he is doing to the Syrian people.

Default-user-icon neutral (Guest) 09 September 2011, 17:29

I'm so sorry for the patriarch. I am with him concerning the withdrawal of israel and repatiating the palestinians.as for backing up assad and starting a rumer about a strife between sunni and shiites ...thats a bomb and it will widen the gap ..he openly declared on what side he is. That's a big surprise aimed at isolating march 14..there we go again . May God help the Lebanese people. I want to know who is killing the christians in iraq. The shiites or the sunnis? Is there a plot to kill all christians in the middle east? If so your eminence why don't you just say the truth? You made ennemies now . Your speech was not tactical at all .you better take cover

Missing allouchi 09 September 2011, 17:36

Do y'all notice how the many pro-Assad, Iran and OJ Aoun keep using the "Sunni Scare tactics" to scare us in accepting the evils of Hizballa and the dictatorships of the Assad regime? don't you see how they are trying to play on our fears of Al-Qaeda, Extremism and others? There are extremism in EVERY religion but believe me when I say that most Sunnis are not extremism. We need to demand freedom, liberty and justice... Please don't let them scare us to submission. HELL NO. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists etc..will flourish in a democracy.

Default-user-icon Wael (Guest) 09 September 2011, 17:55

The Patriarch is on the wrong side of history. Ya 7aram 3a Bkerké...saret ma3 Asaad, Hizballah, Aoun, and Iran!!

Change is coming and is inevitable. Patience is a virtue, and all those who took immoral positions will pay for it.

Default-user-icon jabal amel (Guest) 09 September 2011, 18:25

i see that the zionist information war department is very unhappy that they lost ally in a form of maronite patriarch

Default-user-icon Independence (Guest) 09 September 2011, 18:39

This is empty logic if i may say. let's look at it from another angle: aren't the Shiites in Lebanon allied and supported by the Shiites(Alawis) in Syria and Iran???? Is the Batrak then implying a shiite (Lebanon)-shiite (Syria) alliance is good for the christians in Lebanon but a sunni (Lebanon)-sunni (Syria) alliance is detrimental to the Christians????

Default-user-icon xen (Guest) 09 September 2011, 18:46

it what ways dear WAEL they will pay?? can u enlighten us?
jarabouna bel madde w ma mnosa7 hadan yjarebna this time it will be much worse than ever cause a new war will guarantee much nastier weapons than u & ur extrimists can ever imagine

Default-user-icon xen (Guest) 09 September 2011, 18:47

wlak kbir ya batrakna da5el hal de5ke we pray 4 u

Default-user-icon neutral (Guest) 09 September 2011, 18:51

poor batrak. He spat the bahsa. Now his followers are going to switch sides to isolate the innocent sunnis in lebanon instead of uniting all the sects in lebanon he created an earth quake. Baraka allah fik ya batrak. Like we need more divisions.i don't care if you are sunni or shiite as long as you work for peace in lebanon I am with you. Shame on you batrak your bible does not say that. Christ was with the poor and the oppressed he never differentiate. In stead of spreading peace and love you started hatred among fellow men . I am so discusted with you. I love sunnis shiites and druze and most of all I love lebanon.

Default-user-icon Voyager (Guest) 09 September 2011, 18:52

Every reasonable man/woman knows there will be no right of return for the Palestinians..... So Al Rahi is blessing the Hizb of thugs illegal possession of arms forever!!!!! I think the Batrak is not just meddling in politics but he has committed himself to some very serious matters..... something he may regret later on.

Default-user-icon Neal (Guest) 09 September 2011, 18:59

first of all a man such as the patriarch must have a vision of the impact of his words and this man does not , he virtually to a side in Lebanon's politics and that is wrong . secondly we keep saying Hezbollah must keep the arms to protect Lebanon ! the question is why do we have an army ? isn't the army's job to protect the country?why are we depending on a classified "terrorist organization" such as Hezbollah .
I'm a very proud Maronite , but i do not believe our patriarch have calculated the weight of his words before he opened the mouth therefor he must stick the the bible teaching and stay out of politics or he must go .

Thumb marc 09 September 2011, 19:31

Agree that Israel must withdraw from all occupied Lebanese territories but as far as Palestinian right of return, although I agree with it, it should be the Arab issue not just us! We have paid so much because of this since 1975... It is enough!

Thumb sunni 09 September 2011, 20:14

God bless you...it seems that some people can't be bought....you give us hope of a better lebanon....

Default-user-icon DWAIK (Guest) 09 September 2011, 20:34

Fikoon tshoofoo ? Can you see this ? http://bit.ly/ngUFgd

Default-user-icon Hitech (Guest) 09 September 2011, 21:06

What Rai said is unbelievable. His words do not protect the Christians, it actually endangers them. The Assad regime will fall, in a month, in a year, or in 300 years, one day it will end and that’s an unquestionable fact. When that moment comes, it will be remembered that when blood was being spilled on the streets of Syria, the Christians sided with the oppressors. Christians cannot change the course of events, so they should be neutral and especially not side with the oppressor. Patriarch Al-Rai spoke his opinion but it clearly shows lack of foresight. May God forgive him because killers are slaughtering innocent people and these people’s families, their brothers and sisters, their friends and relatives will probably never forgive, and for sure never forget.

Missing tarator 09 September 2011, 23:07

His hundred-day honeymoon is over. The wait is over. We now know where he stands. It's open season. Go after him just like the orange crowd went after Patriarch Sfeir anytime he said something they did not like.

Start saving your money. We are now officially a minority in need of protection. We will have to pay protection money to the Syrian regime which can choose to turn around and kill us anytime it chooses to, especially whenever it wants more money. The Syrian regime goons are as much our protectors as the mafia was the protector of the businesses they extorted regularly.

It took us centuries to get over our minority complexes. With a few senseless words pronounced by a gutless wimp, we all of a sudden need protectors and not just any protectors. We chose ones who are worse than the worst.

Default-user-icon aboul abed (Guest) 10 September 2011, 00:22

well done beshara now you have condemed the christians of lebanon to death!

Thumb ado.australia 10 September 2011, 04:35

Thanks to all those patronising losers, who are preaching to Cardinal and Patriarch of Antioch, Beshara el Rahi, Christian values and beliefs. Especially by those who have never set foot in a church.

Bkirki is not "turning orange or yellow" as some idiots suggest. His eminence is uniting the Maronites into a realistic position. he is stating the obvious, regarding what is happening in Syria and what could still occur if it continues. Promoting peace and unity among fellow Lebanese instead of the conspiracy that mustaqbul (saadadine hariri) and their foreign bosses, have been trying hard to implement here and in Syria. The batrak knows what his position demands. Unity! "United strong, devided we fall". God bless you batrakna!

Default-user-icon Tfeh (Guest) 10 September 2011, 04:40

Al Rahi is trying to protect the Christians in Lebanon. The Christians are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Whatever side he choses the christains in Lebanon are screwed. being a minority is not an easy position. I praise him for taking a position that best suits the Christians in Lebanon and syria.

Default-user-icon Anti Ado (Guest) 10 September 2011, 06:14

@Ado.Australia

Wlak your hatred for Harriri never ceases to amaze me!!!! How the hell did u manage to get Harriri involved in this article!!!!!!!

Missing realist 10 September 2011, 11:31

He's an idiot, what a horrible gamble at horrible timing.. this is a time to be friends with the revolution not an enemy, especially when you represent a minority in the region, why put them at odds with the vast majority of the Arabs (we are talking good 90 percent here)

Beiruti, you are an idiot who believes in empty conspiracies that only exist in your head... the US and Europe are not children.. when they tell a president you need to GO that means it becomes official foreign policy, they are not calling him in secret and telling him "kill them all" .. Nobody can accept Bashar after what he's done.. no one can greet him at an airport...invite him to dinner ...not even iran could publicly do it.. it is that bad sir.. you need to learn more about the world of politics/diplomacy.. this is the age where atrocities of such scale are no longer accepted. Did you forget that NATO pretty much saved the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo from Milosevich?? go do some reading.

Missing realist 10 September 2011, 11:34

especially since his stances in Paris were not welcomed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French officials.”

apparently the french, who are the prime protectors of christians in the east, are much smarter. If he comes to the US, I hope he meets with Mccain, I'm sure he'd love to hear his views lol