Lebanese love imbroglio

From the June 30 issue of al Hayat, we learn that the Lebanese government's top priority of the day was deciding whether or not to approve a wedding between two Christian Maronites.

Why is that so important?

Because the bride happens to be an Israeli citizen.

So, instead of dealing with the rationing of electricity, or the price of gas, or the Middle East political situation, the government of Lebanon focused its latest cabinet meeting on a love story.

Michel and Nathalie met and married recently in Los Angeles. When they decided to register their marriage with the Lebanese Consulate, they were met with a refusal because Nathalie, even though she is a Lebanese Maronite Christian, is a citizen of Israel. The Consul forwarded the case to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who could not make a decision and brought it then to the vote of the whole cabinet.

This affair has become well—publicized and highly politicized in Lebanon. For example, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization Hizbullah called it a Mossad—CIA conspiracy.

Lebanon has a very strict law on the boycott of Israel, not only regarding commercial and trade issues but also on a more political level. Thus, if someone even implicitly recognizes the existence of Israel, this person is to be jailed.

So, now the government has to decide if love is also one of the levels included in the boycott. If they decide in the affirmative, not only Nathalie but also Michel —— a full Lebanese citizen —— will be sentenced to a few years in jail in the event one of them returns to Lebanon.

Michel's crime would be to have had 'contact with the Zionist enemy.' In the only sense that a crude law can be delicate, the precise nature of the contact remains unspecified.

This story shows the ludicrous level of hatred against Israel, coming from what most consider a 'moderate' Arab State. Even matters of the heart cannot escape the veil of hatred which has descended over so much of the Arab world.

From the June 30 issue of al Hayat, we learn that the Lebanese government's top priority of the day was deciding whether or not to approve a wedding between two Christian Maronites.

Why is that so important?

Because the bride happens to be an Israeli citizen.

So, instead of dealing with the rationing of electricity, or the price of gas, or the Middle East political situation, the government of Lebanon focused its latest cabinet meeting on a love story.

Michel and Nathalie met and married recently in Los Angeles. When they decided to register their marriage with the Lebanese Consulate, they were met with a refusal because Nathalie, even though she is a Lebanese Maronite Christian, is a citizen of Israel. The Consul forwarded the case to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who could not make a decision and brought it then to the vote of the whole cabinet.

This affair has become well—publicized and highly politicized in Lebanon. For example, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization Hizbullah called it a Mossad—CIA conspiracy.

Lebanon has a very strict law on the boycott of Israel, not only regarding commercial and trade issues but also on a more political level. Thus, if someone even implicitly recognizes the existence of Israel, this person is to be jailed.

So, now the government has to decide if love is also one of the levels included in the boycott. If they decide in the affirmative, not only Nathalie but also Michel —— a full Lebanese citizen —— will be sentenced to a few years in jail in the event one of them returns to Lebanon.

Michel's crime would be to have had 'contact with the Zionist enemy.' In the only sense that a crude law can be delicate, the precise nature of the contact remains unspecified.

This story shows the ludicrous level of hatred against Israel, coming from what most consider a 'moderate' Arab State. Even matters of the heart cannot escape the veil of hatred which has descended over so much of the Arab world.