Putting An End to Lebanon as a Playground

The introduction states that continuous work in the Monitor since 1997 has allowed cumulative knowledge and strengthened methodology of diagnosis and analysis based on more than one hundred indicators of coexistence.

The introduction reads: The Lebanese situation in its events and changes is torn between two trends: one that is rational and real in its consideration of the Lebanese pacts, and one that is based on rash reactions, instincts, and adventure. In this context, the Lebanese people led an intifada, in the aftermath of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri on February 14, 2005 to say: Enough, and to call for a change from Lebanon as a playground to Lebanon as a nation.

The works of the Monitor for the years 1997-2003 have already been published in a book (Civil Peace and Memory in Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace, in cooperation with the Center of Congresses in Aya Napa, Cyprus and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Librairie Orientale, 2004, 656p.).

In reference to a detailed report and a sequence of events and facts (set up by Tony Atallah) and in reference to the debates of the Monitor team at three work meetings on June 24, October 4, and November 18, 2006, there appears several positive and negative points.
The Coordinator of the program ‘Civil Peace and Memory in Lebanon’ published after these meetings the following documents:
- ‘Lebanon First, Common Awareness of Foreign Danger’, An-Nahar, January 17, 2006.
- ‘Lebanon, No More a Playground’, An-Nahar, August 28, 2006.
This latter document read: 
‘Our country will no longer be a playground, a battlefield for others  who – as is the case since the 1969 Cairo Agreement, the wars that broke out since 1975, and the summer war of 2006 – use Lebanese territory, through Lebanese and non-Lebanese forces in order to have a place on negotiation tables or in regional changes. Lebanon will no longer be the scene of international or regional conflict of power; it will not be used for regional settling of scores or to settle the Palestinian issue; no regional settlement will be made at the expense of Lebanon or the Lebanese people.’
‘Lebanon will not be a pavement – in the French sense of the word – since this is non-national covered up with embellishing terms (…).’
‘Our pacts are no longer tactic while waiting for a change in the balance of power; they are today strategic in a way to strengthen bonds between the Lebanese. The National Agreement Pact – the Ta’if Agreement – is our last pact; we should endeavor to ‘enrich not annul it’ as Rashid Karami put it in 1976 speaking about the 1943 pact. We no longer want a new pact; may there be no such dream pact as the one some dreamers of victories and expectations at the expense of people’s lives and businesses promise (…).’
‘Our historians are those who hold officials accountable for the costs and benefits, who create a trauma with the youth and the rising generation so that people learn from history and not through history and history would not repeat itself in Lebanon as is the case in backward countries (…).’
‘Our culture is that of life, not that of death or its glorification, not that of glorifying martyrdom. Did martyrs die so that we too die, and die, and die … without anything to stop the killing machine; did they not die so that we live on? (…).
‘To refugees, to people whose houses have been destroyed, to those who are building roads and bridges, to those who are seeking prosperity, investment, tourism, and development, and those who seek to check immigration … there can be no reconstruction or future should Lebanon remain a battlefield for others.’
‘Every reconstruction plan will have a prerequisite from now on: to prevent Lebanon from being a playground (…)’
‘No issue is more important than that of Lebanon today as it is at the core of three fundamental matters: inter-religious dialogue, the status of small States in the world order, consensus-based regimes and their efficiency.
‘The principle: Lebanon first is the utmost of nationalism, of democratic Arab allegiance, a world message, an anti-Zionist pattern, and a civilized image of Islam in the world (…).’
‘In our universities namely in Law and political science faculties there ought to be a return to the basic norms of understanding such concepts as the State, the Army, sovereignty and independence without any compromise, equivocalness, sophism, or ideologies or credos.’
The four following studies were set up and handed out to participants in the three meetings held on June 24, October 4, and November 18, 2006, then to those concerned with the matter:
1. Student citizenship: class representatives in schools and student representatives in universities, or Education in terms of public matters, 2006, 142p.
2. Education to the rule of law (content, application context, experiences from and for Lebanon), 2006, 230p.
3. Tony Atallah (preparation), Consequences of the 12 of July 2006 war on the Lebanese society and Human Rights, 2006, 153 p.
- Student citizenship: patterns of organization and democratic culture, 2006, 194p.
4. Antoine Messarra, (fundamental documentation sorted and colligated by), Consensus-Based Governments: Fundamental Documentation – Consensual Pattern of Democracy: Fundamental Documentation, 2 vols, 2007, 594 and 370p.
It was decided that during the years 2007-2010, a Program will be launched under the title of: ‘Social and Economic Rights Monitor in Lebanon’ in order to contribute in the creation of a social public opinion in Lebanon, for the three following reasons:
1. Social and economic rights are common ground to all Lebanese.
2. Checking dependence and nepotism used by political poles who exploit people and use them as shields in political mobilization aimed at stirring conflict.
3. Reconstituting politics to the people in the broad sense of the term politics, i.e. management of public matters and simply competition over power.