Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #LEBANON

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Oct 22 - Beirut, #Lebanon
Sixth day of peaceful demonstrations against poverty, unemployment, government corruption & #Iran's influence through Hezbollah continues.

Reports indicate rallies in Tripoli, Sidon, Baalbek & other cities.
Oct 22 - Tripoli, #Lebanon
More scenes of hundreds of thousands of people taking part in ongoing peaceful demonstrations calling for a revolution and the government to resign.
Oct 22 - Beirut, #Lebanon
Protesters display a petition carrying thousands of signatures calling for the government to resign - via @Joyce_Karam.
Demonstrations gaining momentum and escalating across the country.
Read 4 tweets
#LEBANON, in Summary

1- Leb government got involved in a Ponzi (facilitated by Ramses XIII, Riad Salameh) that sucks up all funds from the system. People have no incentive to put $ (say inheritance from a childless maternal aunt) in a business; get >10% interest from the bank.
2- Luckily the Ponzi involves only 2 parties, Leb Gov (via Ramses XIII Salameh) & the banks. Hence easy non-inflationary cancellations w/clawbacks from those who made millions are possible.
In the meanwhile Gov is taxing back the banks to cover secondary deficit, very smart move.
3- Meanwhile the Gov is that of a federation, which is good (via healthy sectarianism) but government service is simply PATRONAGE, for each sect to get the max from the system. A healthier federation is to do it according to geography, via municipal power.
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#BREAKING: #Lebanon is not #Iran. #Hezbollah/#Amal supporters failed to use #IRGC's Tharallah HQ tactics to suppress protesters. #Lebanese Army confronted tens of supporters of #Hezbollah & #Amal who had come to streets to scare peaceful people who are protesting the government.
#Lebanese Army well confronted tens of supporters of #Amal & #Hezbollah who had come to streets of #Beirut to scare & suppress peaceful protesters. #Beirut is not #Tehran & #Hezbollah terrorists can't employ #IRGC's Tharallah HQ tactics to suppress peaceful protests.
Same tactic used by members of #IRGC's Tharallah HQ for suppressing & scaring protesters in #Tehran during #IranProtests on 31 December 2017. Armed with knives while were riding their motorcycles in groups, #IRGC & #Bassij militia members were chanting "#Hezbollah, Mashallah".
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A thread on the “sweeping economic reforms” announced in #Lebanon today:
Let’s start with some simple math. Lebanon needs to run a primary surplus of 4-5% just to keep its debt ratio stable (not even to bring it down sustainably). That is a tall order for any country.
Interest payments run at around 9.5% of GDP. Interestingly, that’s almost exactly how much Hariri has pledged to cut the deficit by next year. So a nominal deficit target of 0.6% of GDP in 2020 (from around 10% now), would bring the primary surplus well within the comfort zone
In fact, Lebanon probably doesn’t even need an adjustment that severe for sustainability purposes. Which makes me think the numbers are both unrealistic and more for show (both domestically and to appease CEDRE donors+ foreign investors)
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Kleptocrats in #Lebanon should realize is that every financial transaction done on Planet Earth since 2005 is traceable (the aftermath of Sep 11). Even if one uses prête-noms. Even if one uses cryptocurrencies, art work, etc.

You cannot hide anything anymore.
Corruption is veryyyyyyyyyyy traceable.
Remember that 5 out of 5 former Presidents of Peru are currently in jail. We have more tools today to dig stuff in the past.

Would like to see a dozen kleptocrats in Lebanon behind bars.
Past corruption is easy to catch because of perpetrators were unaware of future technology. Subsequent corruption can be hidden (diamonds, etc.), but by then it's too late.

Read 3 tweets
Oct 20 - Beirut, #Lebanon
Demonstrators issued a statement saying 1.7 million people in six locations across the country poured into the streets on Sunday. This was Lebanon's largest demonstration in the past 14 years.
There are calls for a general strike on Monday, October 21.
Oct 21 - #Lebanon
Demonstrators refuse to leave the streets despite the government cancelling various plans.

#Iran's regime is extremely concerned of this uprising's success, losing its influence in Lebanon & such scenes being repeated inside Iran.
Oct 21 - Tripoli, #Lebanon
Protests continue as large crowd seen in Nour (light) square, chanting: Rebels, rebels, we will continue. (via @Joyce_Karam)

Strikes, protests and road blocks to continue on Tuesday.
Read 6 tweets
Wow. This is what a real Revolution looks like.

Incredible footage from #Beirut, #Lebanon today.

More than a million people are in the streets demanding an end to decades of government corruption. #LebanonProtests
After the “Arab Spring”, I understand the skepticism about #Lebanon... But thus far, there is 0 indication these protests are anything but a genuine, spontaneous uprising against US-Saudi-French-backed elites and the corrupt-to-the-core system they’ve presided over for 30 years.
Why #Lebanon is revolting: Because our country has no proper working electricity, plumbing or health care; joblessness is rampant and living costs are high.

And all the while, the oligarchy that controls this awful system lives in lavishness.

Now Lebanese are saying “enough!”
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On Lebanon's civil society: I have noticed that a number of observers are trying to understand the #LebanonProtests. The protests are not magic.They’re product of years of work:The work of Lebanon's civil society that needs to be acknowledged. #لبنان_يثور #لبنان__ينتفض #Beirut
1)Many remember the protests in 2015 that were covered by international media- now since that year, activists managed to achieve successes in some areas for first time, challenging the existing political system they're fighting. I will focus on elections in 2017/18:
2) In 2017, civil society won in the Beirut Order of Engineers polls. Jad Tabet, backed by Beirut Madinati coalition was able to beat a candidate supported by traditional parties. That was a major victory for civil society. Read here:…
Read 8 tweets
People in #Lebanon are figuring out spontaneous crowdd order.…
It is important to note that corruption is NOT necessarily in the government (often composed of transient ministers) but deep in the opaque administrations.
Which is why decentralization makes things salient.
Read 5 tweets
Oct 19/20 - Beirut, #Lebanon
Midnight hours

Scenes of a peaceful demonstration as protests continue across the country against poverty, unemployment, government corruption & #Iran's meddling through Hezbollah.
Samir Geagea, head of the Lebanon Forces Party, announced the ministers are resigning & called for a new Lebanese government.
Oct 20 - Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Beirut & other cities of #Lebanon demand political change.
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Since these false accusations are regurgitated ad-nauseum here, use this #Thread to counter accusations of #Apartheid, and reply to tantrum tossing lifelong losers who squeal that the world should #Boycott, #Sanction and #Divest from #Israel #BDS
An attempt to disguise hatred and propaganda with a facade of humanitarian concern is quite apparent for all to see. As stated on many occasions if you're looking for apartheid in The Middle East and accuse Israel you have the wrong address!
In #Israel #Arabs have more rights that they would have anywhere else in the region, and every poll result shows they consistently prefer to remain in Israel rather than live in a future #Palestinian state.
Read 10 tweets
Do you remember this picture from Beirut last night? Many people tried spread rumors that it was fake. Well its one of the most real things that happened. In this thread I share 12 short videos documenting the testimony of one of the men. #Lebanon #LebanonProtests
"I was arrested, they tied my hands to my back. They tied my hands really tight, do you know how they made sure to tie them tight? The guy would put his foot on my back and would push forward-like that" - He was among the men who were arrested lastnight @hrw @amnesty #Lebanon
"You can still see the marks on my wrists, it was so tight, it was so tight .. our faces to the ground, and then they took us to a car that looked like a box, so that they transfer us, the car really looked like a box" #Lebanon @hrw @amnesty
Read 14 tweets
Oct 19 - Jbeil (Byblos), #Lebanon
Third night of demonstrations against poverty, unemployment, government corruption & #Iran's meddling.
Oct 19 - Sayda, #Lebanon
The entire country is rising against poverty, unemployment, government corruption & #Iran's meddling through Hezbollah.
Oct 19 - Downtown Beirut, #Lebanon
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Unbelievable protest happening in Lebanon.

People around the world are done with government corruption.

Some unprecedented developments taking place in Sour and other parts of South Lebanon.

#LebanonProtest 's in Sour (Tyre)have been attacked by heavily armed men affiliated to Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and Nasrallah Hizbollah leader
Read 12 tweets
Protesters attack the office of Mohammad Ra'ad, a representative of #Iran-backed Hezbollah.
Oct 19 - Beirut, #Lebanon
Minutes prior to a speech by Hassan Nasrollah, head of the #Iran-backed Hezbollah, a crowd of Lebanese people are chanting against him.

People across the region are rising against Tehran's malign influence in their countries.
While demonstrators on the streets are protesting poor living conditions, government corruption & #Iran's interference in their country, Hezbollah cells are vandalizing public/private property to depict a negative image of these demonstrations.
Read 13 tweets
#Lebanon Prime Minister @saadhariri speaking from the Grand Serail - very close to Riad Solh Square where protests are taking place.

"In spite of everything, we are one family... What we saw yesterday is the pain of the Lebanese. I with them as long as they are peaceful."
#Lebanon PM Hariri: "The question is how do we move forward and find solutions.

"Though people expressed their pain on the streets yesterday, I've been working for 3 years to fixing these problems... we are spending more than we make."
#Lebanon PM Hariri: "Electricity costs $2b a year, and we are committed to increase public sector worker salaries but they cost another $2b

I said the solution is to lower the deficit of the budget.

I told everyone the true solution is to increase investment into the country
Read 6 tweets
The elephant in the room that prompted #Lebanon's protests. A Whatsapp tax? Who came with this silly idea?… #IMF
You don't tax a population without first providing services. The Lebanese state doesn't provide basic services. However, the #IMF has one size fits all policy to make the state collect taxes when it lends money, and it doesn't care about other aspects of the economy.
Let's talk about services the Lebanese state provides to its citizens:
Water? Barely
Health care? A big No
Internet? Slowest in the world
Electricity? No
Infrastructure? No
Qs arise to where did international loan money go & why shld citizens pay taxes w/o receiving services?
Read 19 tweets
Oct 18 - Beirut, #Lebanon
Peaceful demonstration protesting poor economic conditions & government corruption near the Prime Minister's palace.
People are chanting for a revolution. Other cities are also witnessing such demonstrations.
Oct 18 - Beirut, #Lebanon
Tension rising in the streets of the Lebanese capital as security forces resort to force against demonstrators.
60 reported injured.
Scenes of protesters chanting, "People demand government overthrow!" being escorted by security forces.

My take:
Reports on Friday of security forces attacking demonstrators indicate #Iran's role, similar to Iraq where snipers targeted civilians.
Read 8 tweets
Thread for my non-Lebanese followers on on-going protests in #Lebanon.

1. It did not start yesterday. Different sectors/syndicates/groups have been staging limited protests against harsh austerity measures; demanding that the corrupt elite start with themselves.

2. Protests intensified yesterday, paralysing the entire country. Unlike 2015 protests (garbage crisis), this is not "civil society" organisations taking it to the streets. This is "the actual street", society at large, spontaneously showing up (as @bassel67 put it to me).
3. Yesterday's protests were triggered by the introduction of a list of new taxes (including a fee on Whatsapp!). Minister of Communications went live on TV & pledged that proposed taxes were reversed. Yet protests continued to grow, raising broader demands against corrupt rulers
Read 8 tweets
Oct 17 - Lebanon
9 pm local time
Demonstrators chanting:
"People demand the government's overthrow!"

Lebanon, like Iraq, is under #Iran's influence through Hezbollah. People are fed up & are demanding change.
#UPDATE - #Lebanon
-Demonstrations in various regions across the country, including Beirut
-Reports of people fainting due to extensive use of tear gas by security forces, ambulances transferring the injured
-Protesters stormed a telecom company in Beirut
#UPDATE - #Lebanon
People reporting masked supporters of #Iran-backed Hezbollah are vandalizing shops to portray a negative image of the Lebanese people's demonstrations.

My take:
Tehran has taught its proxies well.
Read 7 tweets
ِA thread on #Lebanon: The depth of the protests are much more than expected & does not exclude any leader, including Nasrallah & Hariri. Protests took the political class by surprise, Hariri is expected to deliver a speech soon, here's where things stand politically:
Joumblat wants Hariri to resign & Aoun wants him to convene the government, these contradictory requests are at the core of the country's political crisis, which has nothing to do with the protests: Hariri will have to decide whether to stay in the 2016 presidential deal or exit
#Hezbollah has been concerned about protests in Shiite areas & Nasrallah has been trying to rally political allies to deal with the economic crisis, including the prevention of new taxes. Criticism of Hezb & Berri were unprecedented today, this will impact Nasrallah's calculation
Read 8 tweets
Protesters in Lebanon are gathering downtown and blocking some roads with burning tires against government attempts to increase taxes. Though it’s unclear, disorganized and chaotic, one thing is clear: people are frustrated w/ the economic situation.
This comes after fires that spread across the country and the state was helpless to put them out bc the government didn’t pay to maintain the aircraft capable of putting out fires. People have had enough it seems
Protests in Lebanon continue. So much discontent over decades of corruption, economic stagnation and decline and a political elite that enriched itself while the country crumbles. This is similar I think to the frustrations that provoked protests in Iraq.
Read 21 tweets
The fires destroying #Lebanon are not of Mother Nature but of ignorance, corruption, greed & petty sectarianism- the latest manifestation of total moral, social & political meltdown- toxic rivers, overflowing landfills, skyrocketing cancer rates & financial collapse #لبنان_تحترق
There is no doubt this catastrophe is in fact man made, but not as their conspiracy theories suggest, but of the systematic environmental degradation & the heaps of trash dumped daily throughout once green valleys.
Lebanon is reduced to begging help from Cyprus, Greece & others while the fire fighting helicopters gifted to it only few years ago sit idle, no longer operational due to lack of service & parts.
Read 7 tweets
For the past week, #Iraq has been burning in the flames of the protests of a disgruntled population over the poor state of people's livelihoods. A key #slogan in the nationwide popular uprising since Oct 1 has been the call to expel #Iran's regime and its agents from Iraq.
On Sept 20, 2019,#AliKhamenei's representative in #Mashhad said: "Today #Iran is not limited by its borders. Today #Iraq's Hashd Al-Shaabi is Iran. #Lebanese Hezbollah is Iran. #Yemen's Houthi militia is Iran. The #Vatani front in #Syria is Iran. #Palestine's #HAMAS is Iran."
The #diplomatic cover for the activities of #Quds Force officers and #MOIS agents has given the regime the ability to use #Iraq as a serious base for meddling in other regional countries, including #Syria, #Lebanon, #SaudiArabia, #Jordan, and #Turkey.
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