Hizbullah Delegation in Bkirki to Tackle al-Rahi's Jerusalem Visit, Presidential Election

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A Hizbullah delegation tackled on Friday with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi pressing issues in the country foremost the importance of electing a president who represents all the Lebanese, holding onto the party's point of view regarding the patriarch's Jerusalem visit.

“We hope al-Rahi would take into consideration our stance on his visit to Jerusalem,” Hizbullah's politburo chief Sayyed Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, who headed the delegation, told reporters at Bkirki.

He explained that al-Rahi stressed that he will visit Jerusalem for “religious purposes.”

“Al-Rahi's visit would have negative repercussions on Lebanon and the region,” the official said in an attempt to deter the patriarch.

The delegation, which was greeted by Bishop Samir Mazloum, was comprised of Hizbullah politburo members Ghaleb Abu Zainab and Mustafa al-Hajj Ali and member of the Muslim-Christian Council Hareth Shehab.

The meeting comes in light of al-Rahi's controversial visit to the Holy Land and arising fears of vacuum at the helm of the country's top Christian post after political arch-foes failed to reach consensus on a candidate.

“There shouldn't be vacuum in the presidency and lawmakers have a responsibility to attend the parliamentary sessions,” al-Sayyed said despite Hizbullah Loyalty to the Resistance Parliamentary bloc MPs' boycott of the last three sessions set to elect a new head of state over sharp differences on the candidate.

He continued that Hizbullah “wants a president for all the Lebanese.”

“If there is an agreement among the different factions on a candidate, then we would head to parliament to elect a president,” al-Sayyed added.

Al-Rahi is expected to travel to Jerusalem to welcome Pope Francis during his brief visit to the occupied Palestinian territories on May 24-26.

The Patriarch's visit is diplomatically noteworthy because Lebanon remains technically at war with Israel and bans its citizens from entering the Hebrew state.

The expected visit was met with huge controversy in the country, with some considering it a “historical mistake that opens the door for normalization with Israel” and Church authorities repeatedly assuring that it has a strictly religious character.

Maronite clergy may to travel to the Holy Land to minister to the estimated 10,000 faithful there.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said last week that al-Rahi was not part of the official delegation heading to the Holy Land and was going on his own initiative.

Al-Rahi would be the first patriarch to travel to Israel since the Jewish state was created in 1948.



Comments 25
Missing beirutbastard00 16 May 2014, 11:37

Wow, so the Kuwaiti newspaper report was true...

Thumb -phoenix1 16 May 2014, 12:03

I am also with dialog between all the Lebanese, but without any arm wrestling by either side too. But then, His Eminence has the right to visit wherever he wants and is not obliged either to explain anything to anyone. But being the good example he is, let him engage in dialog, so long as Hezbollah doesn't push things any further. If Hezbollah starts wars with Israel, and meddles in Syria and this without even bothering to talk to the state or to the Lebanese, then I wonder what gives it the right to ask questions on what others are doing. The truth? Enough of Hezbollah's nonsense.

Missing georgeskyp 16 May 2014, 12:21

I really don't see what the issue is here. He's going on a pilgrim to welcome his Pope. He has to travel via Israel. So what???...he's not exactly waving the Star of David over the Temple Mount! or high fiving the IDF!

Missing beirutbastard00 16 May 2014, 12:39

Well, he's the first one to do so since 48, and the Vatican said he wasn't invited, but he was going on his own accord. So it'll be the first visit of a high ranking lebanese to visit, considering we aren't allowed to cause we're in a state of war. Hizballah doesn't wana open the door for other visits, and eventually normalization.

I don't mind him going, I'm just pointing out the issue.

Missing forces 16 May 2014, 13:40

phoenix1 agree with you here, they claim that they rather stay mum on the issue due to it's sensitive nature, then send a delegation to discuss his trip. Seems to me they are the only one's sending delegations to Bkirki, could it be they have the most to loose by such trips.

Missing phillipo 16 May 2014, 16:42

I think the only reason Hizballah objects to the visit of the Patriarch to Jerusalem, is that he will get there before them, and all that without spilling a drop of blood (Christian, Jewish or Moslem).

Thumb Maxx 16 May 2014, 12:32

Does this mean that he will now be barred an entry visa to Israel because he's been consorting with a terrorist organization?

Missing phillipo 16 May 2014, 14:14

Remember that it is Lebanon which denies its citizens (Moslems as well as Christians) from visiting Israel - the Holy Land,and not the other way round.
This is because it was the then Lebanese Government which tore up the proposed peace treaty in 1983.

Missing castro 16 May 2014, 15:06

Owned!!!!! @ FT: Jerry Serves you right.
Go back and make another attempt on building some form of intellect.

Thumb FlameCatcher 16 May 2014, 15:49

Hezbollah : "We hope al-Rahi would take into consideration our stance on his visit to Jerusalem"

Dear terrorists, did you take into consideration Al-Rahi's stance on your "visit" to syria ?

you are in no position to even have an opinion. Shut up, step aside and let the power of peace achieve what you were incapable of doing with all the weapons in the world !

Hypocrit terrorists you are !

Thumb cedre 16 May 2014, 16:01

israel and iran are both apartheid states discriminating sunnis...

Default-user-icon Nisch (Guest) 16 May 2014, 16:24

What would happen if the so called takriris took contol in syria? Would lebanese shiites stop visiting al sayida zaynab because the country is controlled by a politically opposing entity?

Default-user-icon Le Phenicien (Guest) 16 May 2014, 16:33

Quel culot!

Missing phillipo 16 May 2014, 16:37

Over one million Arabs in the State of Israel with many serving in the judiciary, police, army, hospitals.
According to Abu Mazen, there will not be a single Jew allowed to live in the State of Palestine.
So tell me "Southern", which of the two carried out "apartheid"?

Thumb cedre 16 May 2014, 17:48

'According to Abu Mazen, there will not be a single Jew allowed to live in the State of Palestine. '

recent quote please ? plo recognizes israel so what u wrote sounds dodgy...

Default-user-icon Ramy (Guest) 16 May 2014, 18:26

I think we should keep things within their context. His eminence is Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. If the highest instance of the Catholic Church (pope) comes to visit, he should assert his authority (and Lebanon´s) and receive him as his guest in the territories he represents. Furthermore it would be recommendable to maintain and even promote our Christian presence in Palestine, and even Israel. Why should we agree to be pushed out of Jerusalem? It is after all the highest symbolic place of Christianity, not Rome!
I think it is a courageous move that should be commended.

Thumb gma-bs-artist. 16 May 2014, 18:26

"A delegation from Hizbullah is expected to visit Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.. reported the Kuwaiti daily al-Anba on Sunday... The daily said that the delegation will indirectly attempt to persuade the patriarch against making the trip"

Guys lemme explain this to flamethrower terms from his daily life he would understand:
Some examples of Hezbollah assassinations: Hariri, Qassir, Hawi, Gemayel, Tueni, Ghanem, Hajj, Eid, el Hassan, Shath..
Some examples of Hezbollah assassination attempts: Hamadi, Chidac, Murr, Geagea, Harb..
Yeah I know there isn't much difference between the two except the outcome.

Missing phillipo 16 May 2014, 18:27

Arabic city?
What was there before Al Aksa? - the Temple Mount of the Jews, with the Western (Wailing) Wall still standing.
What has been found in the archaeological digs in Silway? - City of David, do you remember reading about that Jewish guy in the Old Testament of the Bible.
By the way, the "zionist" Israel does not stop anyone visiting their holy sites in Jerusalem. Ask all the moslems who have been visiting there even those from some of the countries which don't recognise Israel (Malaysia, Indonesia etc)

Thumb cedre 16 May 2014, 21:08

i've been visiting alqods. Most of the days, IDF was ok but on few occasions they didnt let people go to mosques to pray.

Btw what was before the temple mount ? didnt the hebrew find people in Palestine when they came ?

Default-user-icon YYY (Guest) 16 May 2014, 18:32

Yes, an apartheid state where an Arab judge can sentence a Jewish President to prison... Imagine in apartheid South Africa if a black judge could sentence a white president.

Thumb gma-bs-artist. 16 May 2014, 18:38

They're casing the joint.

Thumb gma-bs-artist. 16 May 2014, 19:05

What he said


Thumb scorpyonn 17 May 2014, 05:36

I am embarassed to be Lebanese with the likes of these Iranian worshipping types in our midst. What an insult to us to have to tolerate them as well as their medieval garb and their subservient headscarf wearing women.

Missing forces 17 May 2014, 11:58

rouh ent ya watane ya loubnani, ya gbir.. I read your post years ago whilst visiting a friend in dahyie. it was on a coffee coaster sold by HA. propaganda at it's best. inspirational words that are timeless.

Missing forces 17 May 2014, 12:05

lol M11er I have to laugh otherwise I will cry. It is clear as day any self respecting individual ( emphasis SELF RESPECTING), can see the contradictions day in day out, it is clear as crystal sadly though to others it is clear as mud