جورج عبدالله: لن أتنازل عن موقفي ولا تُفاوضوا على براءتي George Abdullah: I will not give up my position nor negotiate my innocence

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Al-Akhbar

Lea Al-Qazi Thursday, April 1, 2021

I will not regret, I will not bargain, I will still resist

The visit of Minister Marie-Claude Najm and General Abbas Ibrahim to Paris, and their meeting with French officials to discuss the issue of the Freedom Fighter Georges Ibrahim Abdullah, reactivated the stagnant waters and raised the level of hope as his release approaches. “Negotiations are advanced,” according to follow-up sources, without exaggerating, because France still requires Abdullah to apologize for his past, while he rejects the principle of researching the origin of his political position on his struggle and from his present and his present.

«… I promise you That I will not leave you,” French President Emmanuel Macron told the Lebanese after his visit to Mrs. Fairouz last September… He was the one who came, leaving Georges Ibrahim Abdullah in French custody. Since the August 4 Beirut explosion, Macron has come twice to Lebanon, without seeking to erase the shame of his country in the Abdullah case. He spoke about the titles of “Reform” and gave lessons in “nation-building”, forgetting France’s flagrant violation of human rights in the subject of Abdullah and the continued detention of his freedom despite the expiry of his sentence in 1999. 37 years have passed since the son of the “Lebanese Revolutionary Brigades” was arrested in Paris. Since then, France has implemented the orders of the USA and ‘Israel’ enemy to prevent his release and to implement requests for parole. In 2013, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in France abstained from implementing the decision of the Paris Sanctions Enforcement Chamber to release Abdullah, and then it was entitled to reject many requests for parole.

In 2018, the Lebanese state, for the first time, embraced the cause of the fighter George Ibrahim Abdullah, to no avail. The French “blackmailed” Abdullah with his freedom and stipulated that he apologize for his past and announce his repentance, which George refused. But suddenly, his has returned to the forefront of the Lebanese scene, and talk of his release is coming to an end.

In her first is the visit to the prison of “Lanmezan”, the Minister of Justice in the caretaker government, Marie-Claude Negm, met with George twice in one day for a period of three hours. The goal of visiting France was not to meet Abdullah, rather it was basically a private visit. Before leaving Lebanon, She discussed with President Michel Aoun, Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab, and the rest of the concerned parties, if they would welcome her meeting with Abdullah, and the answer was positive.

President Aoun approached the French President, while he was in Lebanon, about Abdullah’s case. Macron raised the legal dimension, which led Aoun to decide to send a legal figure. Preparations for Najm’s visit to the prison took place after her arrival in France, and the French were keen to link approval of the visit request by not allowing the minister to give any information to the media before and after the visit, according to diplomatic sources.

Robert Abdullah, George’s brother, says that the latter “was comfortable during his meeting with Najm, especially since it was the first time that a Lebanese minister visited him, and she informed him that there is an official follow-up to his case.”

The French demand abdullah’s apology for his past to grant him a presidential pardon


The second development is the visit of the Director General of Public Security, General Abbas Ibrahim, France, and his meetings with French officials during which he discussed Abdullah’s release, as part of an additional agenda that includes the French position on the government issue in Lebanon and the background of French talk about sanctions against Lebanese officials on charges of obstructing the formation of the government.

“This time there is a French seriousness in the case of Georges Abdullah that we have not previously entrusted,” said sources following up on the issue, considering that “the negotiations have come a long way.” However, betting on the “French conscience” remains an obligation. The case did not reach the finish line, due to obstacles that the French authorities are still raising in the face of Lebanon. According to the information, before Najm’s visit accompanied by Ambassador Rami Adwan – and meeting prisoner Abdullah, she met with French officials who told her that “the key to resolving the issue is Abdullah’s issuance of a statement presenting his apology to the families of those who have fallen into the operations he was accused of carrying out and his remorse for the past, at which time a French presidential pardon will be issued for him. Set him free ».

George, who is celebrating his 70th birthday on April 2nd, reminded the Minister of Justice of his positions against imperialism, stressing his commitment to the resistance approach, reiterating his lack of remorse and refusal to apologize for his past. More importantly, George is sticking to what he had previously said: he refused to beg for his freedom, and he wishes the authorities in Beirut not to negotiate his release on French terms. He sees himself as a political prisoner, and France is responsible for his detention or even execution in prison.

Abdullah’s lawyer, Jean-Louis Chalansse, told Al-Akhbar that there were no new factors in the file, especially since “last September, we applied for a new parole for George, and we still have not received an answer until now.” The lawyer is currently considering transferring the file to the European judicial services.

The official French silence was matched by a rise in popular movements condemning the decision to arrest George. Robert Abdallah says that the movements are escalating “slowly but regularly, whether through popular solidarity or the letters that MPs send to the Elysee to release George.” It can be said that, to a certain extent, the subject has begun to turn into an issue of public opinion in France ». In this context, Alain Pujola, one of the founders of New Anti-Capitalism Party (NPA), says that in previous years, “we have been suffering from campaigns of intimidation and misinformation against George and his family in the French press.” Currently, participation in demonstrations and meetings is still relatively small, but they are widespread in many French cities.” Pujola is the founder of The Liberation Of Abdullah Rally, in an interview with Al-Akhbar, considered that “the ball is in the court of the Lebanese who have to exploit their relations with the French administration and press for release.”

The most basic rules of diplomatic work and international relations if it is committed to the release of Abdullah through the use of “legitimate” means, to suspend any cooperation with Paris until resolving Abdullah’s case ….
Not to allow Macron to restore his “colonial glories”, acting as if he were qualified to launch “rescue” initiatives, threaten political sanctions and appoint ministers and officials, Especially since Macron represents a continuation of the submissive French mentality in the face of “Israel” interests. His speech is still echoed at the Higher Institute of Business ESA before his election as president in 2017, when he announced from Beirut that he was “against France’s recognition of the Palestinian state without a peace agreement between the two parties, and against any pressure on Israel.” George is not accused of carrying out any operation against French citizens, but because his struggle was in the face of the forces of domination and colonialism and in defense of peoples, his “crime” will remain unpardoned.

جورج عبدالله: لن أتنازل عن موقفي ولا تُفاوضوا على براءتي

الأخبار

ليا القزي الخميس 1 نيسان 2021

جورج عبدالله: لن أتنازل عن موقفي ولا تُفاوضوا على براءتي
تقدّم محامي جورج بطلب إفراج مشروط في أيلول من دون جواب (مروان بو حيدر)

زيارة الوزيرة ماري كلود نجم واللواء عبّاس إبراهيم لباريس، ولقاؤهما مسؤولين فرنسيين لبحث قضية المناضل جورج إبراهيم عبد الله، أعاد تحريك المياه الراكدة ورفع منسوب الأمل باقتراب إطلاق سراحه. «المفاوضات مُتقدمة»، تقول مصادر مُتابعة، من دون أن تُبالغ بالإيجابية، لأنّ فرنسا ما زالت تشترط اعتذار عبدالله عن ماضيه، فيما هو يرفض مبدأ البحث في أصل موقفه السياسي من نضاله ومن حاضره«… أعدكم بأنّني لن أترككم»، قال رئيس فرنسا إيمانويل ماكرون للبنانيين بعد زيارته السيّدة فيروز في أيلول الماضي… هو الذي أتى تَاركاً جورج ابراهيم عبدالله في المعتقل الفرنسي. منذ انفجار 4 آب، قَدِم ماكرون مرّتين إلى لبنان، من دون أن يسعى في أيّ منهما إلى محو عار دولته في قضيّة عبدالله. تكلّم عن عناوين «إصلاحية» وأعطى دروساً في «بناء الدولة»، مُتناسياً انتهاك فرنسا الفاضح لحقوق الانسان في موضوع عبدالله واستمرار احتجاز حرّيته رغم انتهاء مدّة محكوميته سنة 1999. 37 سنة مرّت على اعتقال ابن «الألوية الثورية اللبنانية في باريس، ليُصبح في ذلك أقدم الأسرى السياسيين في أوروبا. ومن حينه، تُنفّذ فرنسا أوامر الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والعدّو الاسرائيلي في منع إطلاق سراحه وتنفيذ طلبات الإفراج المشروط. في الـ2013، امتنعت النيابة العامة في فرنسا عن تنفيذ قرار غرفة تطبيق العقوبات في باريس الإفراج عن عبدالله، ثمّ لحقها رفض العديد من طلبات الإفراج المشروط.

عام 2018، تبنّت الدولة اللبنانية للمرّة الأولى قضيّة المناضل جورج إبراهيم عبدالله، عبر ثلاثي رئاسة الجمهورية – وزارة الخارجية والمغتربين – الأمن العام، من دون نتيجة. فالفرنسيون «ابتزّوا» عبدالله بحريته عبر اشتراط تقديمه اعتذاراً عن ماضيه وإعلانه التوبة، ما رفضه جورج. لكن فجأةً، عادت قضية المُناضل الأممي لتتصدّر المشهد اللبناني، ويرتفع الحديث عن اقتراب الإفراج عنه.
تطوران «يُبرّران» هذه الإيجابية؛ الأول هو زيارة وزيرة العدل في حكومة تصريف الأعمال، ماري كلود نجم، سجن «لانميزان» ولقاؤها جورج مرّتين في يومٍ واحد، لمدّة ثلاث ساعات. لم يكن هدف وجود نجم في فرنسا لقاء عبدالله، بل كانت زيارة خاصة في الأساس. قبل مغادرتها لبنان، بحثت مع الرئيس ميشال عون، ورئيس حكومة تصريف الأعمال حسّان دياب، وبقية المعنيين، إن كانوا يُرحّبون باجتماعها بعبدالله، فأتى الجواب إيجابياً. الرئيس عون كان فاتح الرئيس الفرنسي، أثناء وجوده في لبنان، بقضية عبدالله. ماكرون شرح البعد القانوني، وهو ما جعل عون يقرر إرسال شخصية معنية بالجانب القانوني. التحضيرات لزيارة نجم للسجن تمّت بعد وصولها إلى فرنسا، وقد حرص الفرنسيون على ربط الموافقة على طلب الزيارة بعدم تصريح الويزرة بأي معلومة للإعلام قبل الزيارة وبعدها، وفق ما تؤكّد مصادر دبلوماسية. يقول روبير عبدالله، شقيق جورج، إنّ الأخير «كان مُرتاحاً خلال لقائه نَجم، ولا سيّما أنّها المرّة الأولى التي يزوره فيها وزير لبناني، وهي أبلغته وجود متابعة رسمية لقضيته».

يشترط الفرنسيون اعتذار عبدالله عن ماضيه لمنحه عفواً رئاسياً


أما التطور الثاني، فهو زيارة المدير العام للأمن العام، اللواء عبّاس ابراهيم، فرنسا وعقده لقاءات مع مسؤولين فرنسيين بحث خلالها إطلاق سراح عبدالله، ضمن جدول أعمال إضافي يشمل الموقف الفرنسي من المسألة الحكومية في لبنان وخلفيات الحديث عن عقوبات مفترضة على مسؤولين لبنانيين بتهمة عرقلة تأليف الحكومة.

«هذه المرّة يوجد جدّية فرنسية في ملفّ جورج عبدالله لم نعهدها سابقاً»، تقول مصادر مُتابعة للقضية، مُعتبرةً أنّ «المفاوضات قطعت شوطاً مُهمّاً». إلا أنّ الحَذَر وعدم المبالغة في الرهان على «الضمير الفرنسي» يبقيان واجبين. القضية لم تصل خطّ النهاية، بسبب عراقيل ما زالت السلطات الفرنسية ترفعها في وجه لبنان. تُفيد المعلومات بأنّه قبل زيارة نجم – برفقة السفير رامي عدوان – الأسير عبدالله، التقت مسؤولين فرنسيين أبلغوها أنّ «مفتاح حلّ القضية هو إصدار عبدالله بياناً يُقدّم فيه اعتذاره لذوي الذين سقطوا في العمليات التي اتُّهم بتنفيذها وندمه عن الماضي، حينها سيصدر عفو رئاسي فرنسي عنه ويُطلق سراحه». جورج، الذي يحتفل في 2 نيسان بعيد ميلاده الـ70، ذكّر وزيرة العدل بمواقفه ضدّ الامبريالية، مؤكداً التزامه نهج المقاومة، ومُكرّراً عدم ندمه ورفضه الاعتذار عن ماضيه. والأهم من ذلك، أنّ جورج مُتمسّك بما أعلنه سابقاً: رفض تسوّل حريته، وهو يتمنى على السلطات في بيروت عدم التفاوض باسمه حول إطلاق سراحه بناءً على الشروط الفرنسية. وهو يرى نفسه سجيناً سياسياً، ولتتحمل فرنسا مسؤولية احتجازه أو حتى إعدامه في السجن.

يقول محامي عبدالله، الفرنسي جان لوي شالانسيه لـ«الأخبار»، إنّه لم تطرأ عوامل جديدة على الملفّ، خاصة أنّه «في أيلول الماضي، تقدّمنا بطلب إفراج مشروط جديد عن جورج، وما زلنا حتى الساعة لم نتلقّ جواباً». ويبحث المحامي حالياً في نقل الملفّ إلى الدوائر القضائية الأوروبية.

الصمت الفرنسي الرسمي، قابله ارتفاع في التحركات الشعبية المُندّدة بقرار اعتقال جورج. يقول روبير عبدالله إنّ التحركات تتصاعد «ببطء ولكن بانتظام، أكان عبر التضامن الشعبي أم الرسائل التي يوجهها نواب إلى الإليزيه لإطلاق سراح جورج. يُمكن القول إنّه إلى حدّ ما، بدأ الموضوع يتحوّل إلى قضية رأي عام في فرنسا». وفي هذا الإطار، يقول أحد مؤسّسي «الحزب الجديد المناهض للرأسمالية ، آلان بوجولا، إنّه في السنوات السابقة «كنّا نعاني من حملات ترهيب، والتضليل الممارس ضدّ جورج وعائلته في الصحافة الفرنسية. حالياً، ما زالت المشاركة في التظاهرات واللقاءات ضئيلة نسبياً، ولكن نجد أنّها مُنتشرة في العديد من المدن الفرنسية». بوجولا هو مؤسّس «تجمّع تحرير عبدالله» يعتبر في حديث مع «الأخبار» أنّ «الكرة في ملعب اللبنانيين الذين عليهم أن يستغلوا علاقاتهم مع الإدارة الفرنسية والضغط لإطلاق السراح».

أبسط قواعد العمل الدبلوماسي والعلاقات الدولية، تفرض أن يُعلّق لبنان أي تعاون مع باريس قبل حلّ قضية عبدالله… إذا كان مُلتزماً بالإفراج عنه عبر استخدام الوسائل «الشرعية». لا أن يُسمح لماكرون باستعادة «أمجاده الاستعمارية»، ويتصرّف كما لو أنّه أهلٌ لإطلاق مُبادرات «إنقاذية» والتهديد بعقوبات سياسية وتعيين وزراء ومسؤولين رسميين، خاصة أنّ ماكرون يُمثّل استمرارية للعقلية الفرنسية الخانعة أمام مصالح «إسرائيل». لا يزال يتردّد صدى خطابه في «المعهد العالي للأعمال قبل انتخابه رئيساً سنة 2017، حين أعلن من بيروت أنّه «ضدّ اعتراف فرنسا بالدولة الفلسطينية من دون اتفاق سلام بين الطرفين، وضدّ ممارسة أي ضغط على اسرائيل». جورج غير مُتهم بتنفيذ أي عملية ضدّ مواطنين فرنسيين، ولكن لأنّ نضاله كان بوجه قوى الهيمنة والاستعمار ودفاعاً عن الشعوب، ستبقى «جريمته» غير مغفورة لدى «ورثتهم».

3 Lebanese Maronites: an exile, a warlord and the ‘Arab Nelson Mandela’

Monday, 25 November 2019 1:26 PM  [ Last Update: Monday, 25 November 2019 1:33 PM ]
US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (C), Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri (L) and Prime Minister Saad Hariri attend a ceremony marking the 74th anniversary of the founding of Lebanese Armed Forces at the military academy in Beirut, Lebanon, on 1 August 2019. (Via Presidency of Lebanon)

By Ramin Mazaheri

Tale of 3 Maronites: an exile, a warlord and the ‘Arab Nelson Mandela’

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.)

 

In a recent column I debunked the West’s primary propaganda lines regarding Lebanon’s ongoing protests: that Iran has somehow silently usurped a century of French colonial dominance, and that Lebanese Shia – represented by Hezbollah and Amal – should be held responsible for the nation’s corruption woes despite having always been the biggest victims of the French-penned system of anti-democratic sectarianism.

In another column I stated what all Lebanese know but which the West never admits: the Maronite Christian community has been given preferential treatment for a century – regarding the army, the central bank, and Western media tolerance for their militias – and this has been the primary catalyst for neo-colonial corruption, inequality and inefficiency.

This article will continue to insist that Lebanon’s problem is not Christian nor Muslim but a question of classic right-versus-left political ideologies. This reality is illustrated in the very unequal fates of three Lebanese Maronite Christians: Michel Aoun, Samir Geagea and Georges Ibrahim Abdullah.

Michel Aoun – the real, but bygone, patriotism of ‘petit de Gaulle’

To many people Michel Aoun is likely the only recognizable name among the three. However, many would still be at pains to explain why the right-wing Christian has had a political alliance with Hezbollah since 2006.

Despite all his faults, we cannot say that Aoun is not a Lebanese patriot. He chose exile rather than acceptance of the US-backed peace plan in 1991, which saw Syria occupy and finally pacify Lebanon.

Was Aoun also wanted for war crimes and corruption charges? Yes. Was he also defeated militarily by Syria? Yes.

However, we should acknowledge that Aoun’s mutiny against Washington was exceptional. Aoun exiled himself to France because he would not accept a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty. This decision helps explain his enduring popularity: “petit de Gaulle” is more appropriate than “Napol-Aoun”, though the latter is more popular recently.

Aoun has openly declared Hezbollah to be part of Lebanon, and it’s easy to see why he appreciates them: Hezbollah has defended Lebanese sovereignty from arch-reactionary and hyper-belligerent Israel. The alliance between Aoun and Hezbollah is understandable – both are patriotic.

It’s facile to say that the Aoun-Hezbollah March 8 Alliance is “pure politics”, because the reality is that neither group would degrade themselves morally and ideologically in a “pure politics” alliance with the divisive extreme-right Christian parties, as the Hariris have done with their March 14 Alliance.

It is only if we believe the sectarian-promoting, identity politics-obsessed Western press that we could imagine that total enmity between Hezbollah and Aounists must exist simply because they are of different religions. Both Aoun and Hezbollah oppose the corrupt Hariri clan, who are adored by Western neoliberals and Saudi reactionaries alike.

However, when viewing the anti-corruption protests of 2019 it is important to remember the political reality that many young Lebanese believe Aoun is beyond redemption – they will not look past Aoun’s Phalangist past, war crimes, corruption, and ardent neoliberalism. Such a view is very understandable: patriotism is not the ultimate virtue, contrary to the assertions of the conservative Aounists.

Aounism’s determined, yet flawed, form of patriotism is dying also because many young Lebanese have been hypnotized by the West’s “globalization” mindset. In this view “jingoism”, “nationalism” and “patriotism” are interchangeable, even though the latter is the admirable, unique and even necessary love and respect one has for their national community. Such a worldview is personified by French leader Emmanuel Macron, who repeatedly states that, “Nationalism is war.” For many young Lebanese Aoun’s patriotic virtues are totally lost on them.

Aoun is now reportedly asleep 12 hours a day and incapable of playing a direct role anymore – his worldview is equally tired, and will not endure because the Great Recession has accentuated classism and not his “semi-sectarian patriotism”.

However, I have related why Aoun does deserve some appreciation. His patriotic bonafides are strengthened by the fact that the most divisive and bloody battles were between Aoun and the rabid sectarian Samir Geagea.

Samir Geagea – freed, despite his crimes, because he has the wrong friends

I expected online commenters to object to my treatment of Aoun in my previous two articles. I did not expect anyone to publicly stand up for Samir Geagea – no one did. His supporters are the types who leave anonymous, racist, ill-informed comments.

Bombing churches, assassinations of Christian leaders, fighting alongside Israeli Defense Forces – his crimes were the most atrocious of his era, and he was the only warlord to serve jail time for that reason.

And yet he was released. (This is obviously in contrast to the ‘Arab Nelson Mandela’.)

Geagea may have been released to avoid national disunity, but his return to political prominence was no doubt aided by the fact that he worked for the “right” (far-right, in fact) people – the Israelis, French and Americans. From Ukrainian neo-Nazis to Al-Nusra to Bolivian Christian fascists and beyond the West is happy to work with religious fanatics who seek to subvert national unity and morality.

Image result for Geagea, Riad Salameh,Geagea’s primary ally is Lebanon’s top central banker, Riad Salameh, who for three decades has allowed Lebanese inequality to explode, its corruption to proliferate and who also unjustly serves Washington’s blockade on Hezbollah.

Crucially, Geagea’s divisive politics totally contradict any idea that he is reformed or repentant. That his party was the first to pull out of the government when protests started only fuelled speculation that any foreign-dominated “color revolution” will surely utilize Geagea.

You can find Western mainstream media releases which try to whitewash his crimes, but the West generally prefers to keep quiet about him. To many Lebanese Geagea is just a thug, the “biggest crook of them all”, and not worth my time, but he is critical to understanding Western influence and modern Western ideology in today’s Lebanon.

The West’s treatment, leniency and open support of the Maronite Geagea is far different from how they view another Maronite, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

Image result for georges ibrahim abdallah

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah – the man beyond reproach, and thus the most feared by the US and Israel

Abdallah is Europe’s longest-serving political prisoner, at 35 years and counting, and is known as the “Arab World’s Nelson Mandela”.

Every October there are protests in front of his prison in southwestern France, and PressTV is usually the only media covering the anniversary. That is a sad commentary on my French journalist colleagues, indeed.

In 1982, with Israel invading Lebanon yet again, Abdallah’s group took responsibility for the death of a US and an Israeli agent in Paris.

Image result for geagea in canada

It is incredible that Geagea, whose militia killed thousands, goes free yet Abdallah remains in jail over the deaths of two.

Geagea has remained the head of the Lebanese Forces, obviously ready to re-warlord immediately. After 35 years Abdallah wants to go back to his job as a schoolteacher.

Why is the Maronite Abadallah seemingly going to serve a life sentence while the Maronite Geagea, the undoubted epitome of 1980s Lebanese carnage, got released? Clearly, the sectarian/identity analysis pushed so strongly by Israel, the US and France does not truly trump all.

The problem is that Abdallah had the “wrong” enemies – the US and Israel. Abdallah’s pro-Palestinian stance, as well as his socialist demand that the lower classes are more important than the 1% and central bankers, are why France’s leaders willingly collude to condemn Abdallah to death in prison.

Contrarily, Geagea obviously had the “right” enemies: anyone opposed to imperialism, ruthless capitalism, racist sectarianism and the idea that Palestinians deserve to be treated like humans. Who upholds these ideologies more than Israel and the US?

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah is indeed the Arab World’s Nelson Mandela because both were leftists who used violence in defense (not in attack) and because Abdallah has been imprisoned so long and so very unjustly. Without any doubt Abdallah, who has always refused to renounce his actions, has stood up for justice longer than any person in Europe today.

Geagea’s release and public rehabilitation show how Lebanon has granted amnesty to all their wartime leaders – only Abdallah does not walk free. French judges granted Abdallah parole long ago and he was ordered to be released multiple times, but France’s executive branch will seemingly always work on behalf of Washington and Tel Aviv.

The sad reality which must be changed is that the prominent parties in Lebanon are not pushing for Abdallah’s release.

Hezbollah and Amal simply do not have any leverage to put pressure on Paris, but they should immediately do all they could to draw more attention to Abdallah – they obviously support Abdallah’s fight against imperialism and injustice, and they are present at pro-Abdallah demonstrations in Lebanon. Making Abdallah a more prominent symbol would also help demonstrate to their shameless accusers that their ideology is not sectarian, but universal and moral.

The Maronite Church fought extremely hard to get Geagea released but have done nothing for Abdallah because of his pro-Palestine and pro-socialist stances – Hezbollah’s members need to fill their regrettable, shameful void.

Clearly, all of protest-wracked Lebanon needs Abdallah more than ever.

Lebanon’s protests are extremely Westernized in the sense that they have no class component – they rightly reject Aounist “semi-sectarian patriotism” as inadequate, but how could a movement based on patriotism galvanize a Lebanon that is no longer under occupation? Answers to what many young Lebanese are blindly groping against – an end to Salemeh-led inequality, French-led sectarianism and US-Israeli accommodation with imperialism – can be found personified by Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

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Abdallah is the man of this moment in Lebanon, yet he cannot be there to help.

But is this not the case for the anti-imperialist left in so many countries? Their leaders have been jailed or killed by Western nations. Don’t young Lebanese realize that they are no different?

Many believe that the only way to keep Abdallah from unjustly dying in prison is via a hostage exchange. Abdallah is undoubtedly a hostage held by France’s leaders, but I don’t know who could be exchanged for him in 2019?

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Abdallah is also Europe’s oldest political prisoner and the hero of this article’s trio. His case disproves Western lies about “sectarian-religious conflict” in Lebanon, but also in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Mali, the Central African Republic, Ukraine, Bolivia, Western China, etc.

When viewing Lebanon, actions and ideology are the only proper lenses, not religion. French neocolonialism, Israeli Zionism and Western anti-classism all reject this modern view.

The man who was the least “warlord” in Lebanon is still imprisoned precisely because he was the most patriotic, the least sectarian and the most enlightened politically. Does not his case represent the depth of “Lebanese corruption” in every sense?

Lebanon’s protesters need to realize that an incorruptible Lebanese has remained in prison on their nation’s behalf for 35 years.

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The time is now – nothing could represent a renewed, united, moral Lebanon better than the return, finally, of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

 

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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