As a wave of peace washes across the region, the daughter of the Lebanese president expressed on television her belief that peace with Israel is imminent. Her statement takes on great importance since Claudine Aoun, like her American counterpart Ivanka, plays an important role in her father’s administration.
A celebrity in her own right
Claudine Aoun, the daughter of Lebanese President Michel Aoun and a celebrity in her own right, has come out yet again with statements promoting peace between her country and Israel.
As the presidential daughter, Claudine is, in many ways, similar to her American counterpart, Ivanka. In addition to being a Special Assistant to her father, Claudine is the media consultant of the president, she runs the “National Commission for Lebanese Women”, is an environmental activist, and also runs Clémentine, an advertising company. She is married to General Chamel Roukoz and is the mother of five children
‘Not object to the prospect of a peace agreement’
In an interview on Lebanese television on Sunday, Auon said that she was amenable to an agreement normalizing relations with Israel under certain conditions.
“Once these problems are solved, I would not object to the prospect of a peace agreement between the Lebanese state and Israel,” Aoun said. “I defend the interests of my country, Lebanon. So, should we remain in a state of war? I do not have an ideological dispute with anyone, but my dispute is political.”
She reiterated this position in an Arabic-language tweet on Sunday.
The demarcation of borders, the resolution of the Palestinian refugee file, and the protection of the natural resources that we depend on for the advancement of our economy are among the basic steps that must take place, to talk about peace with Israel. I defend the interests of my country first and for its sovereignty and independence,” Aoun wrote.
Her father expressed similar sentiments in August,
Israel and Lebanon are currently negotiating a dispute concerning maritime borders that affect rights to offshore natural gas deposits. Access to natural gas would help Lebanon which is in the midst of a financial crisis that was exacerbated by the catastrophic explosion in the Beirut Port in August that killed over 200 and leveled much of the capital. It caused $15 billion in property damage and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
Aoun’s remarks drew ire from some segments of Lebanese society that object to peace with Israel. The terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel is part of Lebanese society, compromising fully one-third of the parliament. Financed and armed by Iran, Hezbollah is stronger than the Lebanese Army, having the armed strength of a medium-sized army. Hezbollah is generally considered the most powerful non-state actor in the world. But more significant than its conventional military is its rocket arsenal which has been estimated at 40,000-150,000, which is considerably more than most countries.
A peace agreement with Lebanon would, perhaps more than such an agreement with any other country, signal the beginning of a new era that might be more conducive to the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. When David’s son, Solomon, began to build the first Jewish Temple In Jerusalem, he immediately turned to the government of Lebanon to play an essential role in its construction.
Shlomo sent this message to King Huram of Tyre, “In view of what you did for my father David in sending him cedars to build a palace for his residence— see, I intend to build a House for the name of Hashem my God; I will dedicate it to Him for making incense offering of sweet spices in His honor, for the regular rows of bread, and for the morning and evening burnt offerings on Shabbatot, new moons, and festivals, as is Yisrael‘s eternal duty. II Chronicles 2:2-3
The cedars, the national symbol of Lebanon to this day, were also used as a major element in the construction of the Second Temple.
They paid the hewers and craftsmen with money, and the Sidonians and Tyrians with food, drink, and oil to bring cedarwood from Lebanon by sea to Yaffo, in accord with the authorization granted them by King Cyrus of Persia. Ezra 3:7