• Kobi Tour Guide of Israel

Israel and Lebanon to Negotiate Maritime Border Next Week

Israel and Lebanon have fought two wars in the past 40 years as well as a "war between the wars" when Israel was stuck in Southern Lebanon in the 80's and 90's. Throw in the 1948 War, a peace treaty which lasted less than a year and is often forgotten about (the May 17 agreement), the Lebanese Civil War and rise of Hezbollah, and of course, the great hummus battles a decade ago, when the world record for largest dish of hummus went back and forth between the two countries five times. Now there may be at least a little light at the end of the tunnel.

Israel and Lebanon, surprisingly, are set to negotiate their maritime border next week at the UN base by Rosh HaNikra. If I took you to the grottoes there - as your tour guide of Israel - then for sure I pointed out to you the IDF base which is then followed by a UN base and a Lebanese army base. It is at this border that the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser z"l and Eldad Regev z"l were returned after negotiations following the Second Lebanon War.



Let's be clear. There is not going to be a peace treaty with Israel and Lebanon as long as Hezbollah runs Lebanon (which they do) and Iran runs Hezbollah (which they do). And there is not going to be a youthful revolution which will make peace, since 77% of Lebanese youth want to emigrate, the highest in the Arab world (due to the economic collapse, corruption and Hezbollah). What this is, is a chance to map the maritime border, which has been in dispute recently as Lebanon has seen how Israel has discovered and mined the gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean and wants in on the game as well. If we are lucky, maybe they will officially call the Blue Line the border (we have an armistice line from 1949, not an official border). That, however, would require Hezbollah to give up on their fraudulent fantasy that Mount Dov (Bear) - which they call Shabaa Farms - is part of Lebanon and not "occupied by Israel" [depending on your politics it may be - just from Syria, not Lebanon], which is how and why Hezbollah justifies their existence (and armament) in order to "resist Israel." The UN was very clear that when Israel pulled out of South Lebanon in 2000 that we had done it exactly to the line [the only "adjustment" was after the Second Lebanon War when Israel took over the entire town of Ghajar, which had been cut in half by the Blue Line in 2000].


For more on the Blue Line, check out this previous post of mine:

https://www.tourguideofisrael.com/post/what-is-the-blue-line-a-look-at-israel-s-northern-border


A good history of the maritime dispute between the two countries:

https://honestreporting.com/understanding-israel-lebanon-maritime-border-dispute/


Here are some articles on the upcoming negotiations:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54374030

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/01/world/middleeast/lebanon-israel-talks-border-gas.html

https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/israel-says-lebanon-talks-to-only-be-on-maritime-not-land-borders-644473


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