Lebanese Amb to Lebanese Jews: All Citizens Must Unite to Save the Country

Some 50 Jews and other people from Lebanon or with roots in Lebanon participated in a “family reunion” at the Lebanese Embassy in Paris on Monday, after the embassy invited them last month to join the event.

The Lebanese News Source Annahar called the event a “diplomatic precedent … in the presence of representatives of all the spiritual families that make up the ‘Mosaic of the Land of Cedars.’

According to AnnaharChief Rabbi Haïm Korsia of France also participated in the event, along with Lebanese Jews of four generations, including those who left Lebanon and those born outside the country. A photo from the event showed crowds of people of all ages standing on the steps of the embassy, ​​along with the Lebanese ambassador and the chief rabbi.

According to the report, some of the Jews who participated in the event still visit Lebanon due to interests in Jewish donations in the country.

A 70-year-old woman who left Lebanon 30 years ago asked Lebanese Ambassador Rami Adwan “Why now?” Adwan replied: “The Lebanese state has sometimes failed in its duties. This state is currently in danger, and all its citizens belonging to different sects must unite to save it.”

Adwan stated that he insisted on the event to show Lebanese Jews that the government is there for them, adding that some parties tried to pressure him to cancel it due to claims that there could be “Zionists who support the State of Israel” in between. the assistants.

The event apparently drew some criticism from Lebanese community figures in France who claimed that the event was part of the agenda of Gebran Bassil, the head of the Christian Free Patriotic Movement in Lebanon, and was held for him, although Adwan denied. affirmations. , saying it was for the good of the whole of Lebanon, outside of party politics.

While many social media users expressed support for the event and saw it as a sign of hope, many social media users also voiced opposition, warning that such an event could be a prelude to normalization with Israel or simply an attempt. to appease the Western powers in the middle of Lebanon. ongoing internal crises.

“This is a special event for me,” Nagi Gergi Zeidan, author of the book “Jews of Lebanon,” told Annahar. “What Ambassador Adwan did, not all Lebanese officials have done. In this meeting, I found the Lebanon that it should be, and this homeland was expressed by Ambassador Adwan in his speech when he highlighted the need for the return of Lebanese Jews. to the native country. “

Lebanese citizens living in France told the Lebanese news source that they were comforted by Adwan’s initiative, as they feared having personal or professional contact with the Jewish community due to “political ill will.”

The invitation sent by the embassy to Lebanese Jews last month read: “The presence of the Lebanese Jewish community in Lebanon and in the countries where many Lebanese have made their home is a source of pride and marks the uniqueness of our country.” .

“Lebanon is today, more than ever, attached to promoting its inclusive model and we know very well that our future depends only on our ability to remain united, and on our willingness to remain open to the world and its wealth,” read the invitation.

The embassy added that it was organizing the “family reunion” in honor of the Jewish community, determined to find common roots and aspirations for a world at peace.

The invitation to the event was sent to several Lebanese residents of France of all sects, according to Annahar.

the Annahar The report on the event scheduled for October highlighted that ‘a country that presents itself to the world as a’ model of coexistence ‘cannot keep silent about the feeling of’ ostracism ‘of a group of its citizens, while Israel, which presents itself to the world on the grounds that it is the ‘state of the Jews’, it houses three thousand Lebanese who sought refuge there after their withdrawal from southern Lebanon twenty-one years ago. “

A report on the MTV Lebanon event stated that the event is “a step in reconnecting what has been cut off” and “an occasion to remember that Lebanese Jews were, and continue to be, Lebanese citizens.”

Lebanon once had a thriving Jewish community and its Jewish population grew after the State of Israel declared its independence in 1948, although the Jewish population fled much of the country after the 1967 Six Day War and the War Lebanese civilian that began in 1975 amid growing anti-Semitism. .

Only 29 Jews are believed to remain in Lebanon, although there are no official estimates of the number of Jews left in the country. Those left in the country live in hiding, praying in secret, despite the restoration of the Magen Abraham synagogue in Beirut in recent years.


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