Fondation Libanaise pour la Paix Civile Permanente

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Annual Report of
“The Lebanese Civil Peace and Memory Monitor”



Deriving the Advantages of March 14, 2005
And Doing Away With the Concept of Lebanon as a Pavement


The Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace has just published its eighth annual Report of its “Civil Peace and Memory Monitor”.

The Report includes two parts: a chronological analysis of the events in Lebanon in the light of a grid set up by the Foundation of more than one hundred ‘Indicators of the Lebanese coexistence Pact'; and concrete action proposals in order to strengthen the national pact and build a collective and shared memory.

 

Positive Facts and Unfavorable Factors

Four positive facts may be pointed out:

- The March 14, 20005 movement.

- The publication of documents related to the threats ant the assassination of the Mufti of the Republic Hassan Khalid, as well as numerous revelations namely that of Tripoli 's Mufti Sabounji.

- International support in favor of Lebanon , which ought to be distinguished from any sense of interference.

- Instituting commemoration rites of April 13, as well as numerous works and publications to “forget, yet remember.”

 

Four unfavorable factors have been pointed out:

- The fact that Lebanon remains for some a confrontation ground ( sâha ) and one where “the war of others” is waged; it is still a pavement in the French sense of the term, i.e. used to settle regional conflicts whereas Lebanon “ is no longer today a map but rather a trap”.

- The communitarian structuring (pillarization) that emerged from legislative elections despite an evolution towards pluralism between communities and within them.

- The regression of the structuring of civil society namely parties, unions, professional organizations, and NGOs, as support forces for public policies and social stakes.

- The return to allegations calling for a ‘new' national pact, “ whereas all haphazard experiences were made in Lebanon and we ought to adopt Rashid Karame's words in 1976 facing the wave against the 1943 Pact : Let us work to enrich the Pact not to annul it ( na'mal limâ yughnîhî wala ‘ulghîhî ).”

 

Action Proposals

The Monitor brings forward fourteen concrete action proposals to ensure “immunity, national contrition and the passage from the war memory to a culture of peace” :

 

•  Foreign policy culture :

1. The motto: Lebanon first is the height of Lebanon's Arab affiliation since it avoids fragmentation, the interference of brothers, sisters, cousins and other Arab kin in the Lebanese case as well as Arab ‘sacrifices' in favor of Lebanon.

2. Lebanese-Syrian relations that are ‘most natural' without a state of uncertainty or any wager on behalf of the Lebanese for endogenous or prompted changes in Syria's political regime or any other Arab state's regime.

 

•  National pact culture :

3. Endeavoring to conceptualize the Lebanese political system in the light of comparative research and endogenous experience without “ intellectual laziness that is showed through global statements and pre-judgments.”

4. Promoting a national pact culture also in the light of comparative research and the Lebanese experience of conflict and consensus.

5. Renewing political discourse in order to re-establish trust between generations.

6. Promoting the love of Lebanon among youngsters as many of them wonders: ‘ Why should I love Lebanon ? For the perpetual risks of staying in this country? For the widespread corruption? ”. The Report states very clearly: ‘To do away with Lebanon as a ground ( sâha) as a pavement is the sine qua non condition to retrieve confidence in the future.'

 

•  Collective memory and immunity:

7. Trying to reactivate and vitalize the Civic Education and History curricula set up in 1997-2001 in the CRDP (Council for Pedagogical Research and Development) under the Direction of Professor Mounir Abou Asly.

8. Building memory sites and municipal museums to keep the memory; they ought to be centered around the Lebanese history not be exclusively about governors and about ‘ Lebanon '.

9. Promoting educational cultural programs that help transmit past experiences in order to learn from them and acknowledge them.

10. Underlining the fact that the Army ought to use all its sovereignty prerogatives.

11. Re-establishing the authority of norms, the principle of legality, which was baffled during the war years by selective justice and instrumental legality.

12. Diffusing and applying integrally and effectively article 49 of the amended Constitution; by virtue of this article, the Head of the State is the guardian of the principle of legality, somehow a constitutional council before the constitutional council since he ‘sees to it ( yashar ) that the Constitution be respected.'

13. Conciliating between power sharing in a consensual system and the separation of powers, and the limiting of the bad effects of an elite-governed system from the top, namely through support to MP Neemtallah Abi Nasr ‘s law proposal in order not to have both a ministerial and parliamentary post.

14. Seeking to increase citizens' actions on the local level based on the principle: thing global, act local.

The works of the Lebanese Civil Peace and Memory Monitor in the years 1997-2004 have already been published in one volume (dir. A. Messarra, in cooperation with Ayia Napa Conference Center and Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Beirut , Librairie Orientale, 2004, 656p.).

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