Michael Totten proposes an interesting referendum – a non-aggression pact between Israel and Lebanon
Public opinion on the idea of a peace treaty with Israel is mixed. Some want a peace treaty now. Some even want an alliance with Israel, although they tend to keep quiet about that and are far more likely to share that opinion off-the-record with me than they are with their fellow Lebanese. Others don’t want a peace treaty until outstanding issues–the supposed occupation of the Shebaa Farms, and the hundreds of thousands of unwanted and dangerous Palestinian refugees–are resolved. Even some otherwise sensible Lebanese I know wallow in conspiracy theories and believe Israelis want to conquer South Lebanon and steal water from the Litani River. Hezbollah’s hard-core supporters don’t ever want a peace treaty with Israel. But a non-aggression pact? An agreement that we’ll leave you alone if you leave us alone? Put that on a ballot in a popular referendum and it would pass overwhelmingly.
Of course, the Lebanese government wouldn’t be strong enough to enforce it. Lebanon is tiny, weak, and under the gun from Syria, Iran, and their joint Hezbollah proxy. Too many Lebanese willingly submit to Syrian and Iranian vassalage, and they have by far the most well-armed private army in the country. Not even a non-aggression pact, let alone a peace treaty, is workable now.
Someday, though, all this will change…