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Oppose Bill to Penalize Lebanon and Syria for Close Relations

Help Oppose H.R. 2056
On June 8, Rep. Michael Forbes introduced H.R. 2056, a.k.a. the “Lebanon Independence Restoration Act of 1999,” a bill of monumental hypocrisy and bad faith. The bill would penalize both Syria and Lebanon for the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon, while excusing and endorsing Israel’s brutal occupation, and terrorist attacks and bombing raids on Lebanon.
The bill claims that “There is a crucial distinction between the presence of Syrian and Israeli military forces in Lebanon. Israel exercises no control over the Government of Lebanon and in 1998 offered to withdraw unilaterally from the security zone in return for security guarantees, whereas Syria has never recognized Lebanon’s independence, or exchanged ambassadors with Lebanon, and effectively dictates the major policies and actions of the Government of Lebanon.” The crucial distinction is, of course, that Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon is one of the most brutal and egregiously illegal occupations in the world today, while Syria’s military presence in Lebanon operates in conjunction with the Lebanese government and does not violate any U.N. Security Council resolution or involve massive violence on a daily basis to the lives of thousands of Lebanese. Neither does it involve routine air raids against civilian targets, continuous acts of terrorism, or the cutting off of large sections of Lebanese society from the rest of the nation.
It further claims that “Syrian domination is so pervasive that Lebanon has effectively become a Syrian satellite state. This relationship with Syria does not reflect the will of the majority of the Lebanese public.” This passage parrots the line of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens who called Lebanon a “non-country” and is an affront and insult to all