This issue regularly pops up now and then with Lebanon’s neighbors believing that the solution to the country’s problems involves handing it over to Israel or Syria. Take for instance the editorial by Turki Al-Sudairi, the editor-in-chief of the Saudi newspaper, Al-Riyadh:
“We [therefore] say, ‘Why shouldn’t Lebanon return to Syria?,’ because Syria has a strong regime that is capable of dissolving the plurality of governments within Lebanon. As a matter of fact, Syria will not be the primary beneficiary of this difficult solution. Rather, it is Lebanon who will be the primary beneficiary, and also many Arab investors… and tourists…”It was the Sykes-Picot agreement that separated Lebanon from Syria, [so] why shouldn’t it be returned to Syria based on its Arab identity?”
Though he does acknowledge that this is a difficult notion and is akin to proposing that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman become one country. Apparently, our problems would be solved if we lived under the authoritarian rule of Damascus.
Some Israelis would actually back that idea, sort of:
The State of Lebanon has failed…but the West refuses to permit the only solution: partitioning Lebanon between Israel and Syria, with a Christian enclave in between.
Though I would be curious to know which part Israel would take: the Hezbollah-loyal South or Al Qaeda-inspired North?
But then there’s the infamous “New Map of the Middle East” which reportedly has been circulating the corridors of NATO since 2006, where Lebanon actually grows in size and takes a portion of Syrian territory along the Mediterranean coast, and is renamed Greater Lebanon.
In the end, one things seems certain: Lebanon will either grow, shrink, disappear or remain the same.