Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon

Why the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch feels this urge to visit Jerusalem?

Treaty of 1946: Between Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Maronite Church

The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon Bshara Al Rai (Ra3i) has decided to join the Pope in his visit to Jerusalem, on the ground of his responsibility to pay visits to the Maronites living in Palestine and Israel.

Many political parties and organizations in Lebanon have been contacting the Patriarch and counseling him from going ahead with his decision.

Mind you that the Jews in Israel have started a wave of widespread defamation of churches and removing crosses from Christian cemeteries.

The same behavior as practiced by the Islamic Wahhabi extremist fundamentalists anywhere they occupy a region and cities in the Moslem World.

And no one of these Jews have been apprehended or detained.

What are the implications of the creation of a minority Jewish state on identity politics in Lebanon?

Check article 4 for one of the reasons of this visit

Treaty between the Jewish Agency for Palestine (a political agency) and the Maronite Church

May 30th 1946

(Two years before the creation of the State of Israel when Lebanon was already recognized as a State by the UN)

“We, the undersigned:

1. His Beatitude Antoine Arida, the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon, acting on behalf of the Church and the Maronite community, the largest community in the Lebanese Republic with citizens residing in other countries, represented by Cheikh Toufic Aoud, ex-minister by virtue of authorization addressed to the President of the Jewish Agency, Professor Weizmann on May 24th 1946,which hereinafter shall be in this treaty addressed as “first party”.

2. Dr. Bernard Joseph, acting on behalf of the Jewish Agency for Palestine which is known in International Law as the representative of Jewish people around the world aimed at creating the Jewish National Home in Palestine,which hereinafter shall be in this treaty addressed as “first party”.
 

ART.1: The first party expressly and fully recognizes the historical link uniting the Jewish people to Palestine, the Jewish people’s aspirations in Palestine, and the Jewish people right to a free immigration and independence in Palestine. It also declares its approval on the Jewish agency’s declared current political program including the establishment of a Jewish state.

ART.2: The second party expressly and fully recognizes the independence of Lebanon and the right of its inhabitants to choose the regime they deem as appropriate. The second party also declares that its extending and widening program does not include Lebanon. On the contrary, it respects the state of Lebanon in its current form and borders. The Jewish immigration does not include Lebanon. 

ART.3: The two parties commit themselves reciprocally to abstain from undermining their respective aspirations and status; the so-called commitment has a binding obligation restraining the representatives of both parties – officials and non officials – in the country, abroad, in international conferences whether occidental or oriental, from expressing any kind of support to decisions or actions that may harm the other party. Also do their utmost to avoid taking such decisions or undertaking such actions. 

ART.4: The two parties commit themselves to provide mutual help at the following levels: political, commercial, security and social in order to promote the position of the first party and realize the aspirations of the second one. This engagement includes:

a) Raise the awareness of public opinion in the Orient and the Occident on the cause of each party, according to the spirit of the treaty hereby.

b) Concert their efforts to open the doors of each country with view to deepen cultural and social rights and promote commercial trades and the exchange of liaison officers to forge good neighboring relationships between one another.

c) The first party recognizes the right of every Jewish to immigrate to Palestine commits itself to help as much as possible in the realization of this immigration in the event that it shall pass through Lebanon.

d) The second party commits itself, after the creation of the Jewish state, to respect the sacred character of the holy sites in Palestine and commits itself as well after retaining the command of power to consider the treaty hereby as an integral part of the government program.

e) The two parties commit themselves to provide help, if requested, to one another in order to maintain security in their respective countries. This engagement has the binding obligation to take all necessary measures to block the entrance or exit of hostile elements capable of sowing public disorder and the obligation to refrain from providing any kind of help for such elements.

f) The two parties commit themselves to exchange information on all issues such as the politics of their countries, their economy, security, and relations with third parties.

g) At the industry, agriculture and scientific research levels, the two parties commit themselves to exchange information and advice in order to synchronize the Lebanese and Jewish efforts with a view to ensure the best development of their respective industries (including the tourism sector), agriculture and research on the basis of mutual cooperation.

h) After creating the Jewish state, the second party commits itself to reserve a friendly treatment to the representatives of the Maronite Patriarch, to facilitate the buying of a land and the construction of a Patriarchate worthy of the Maronite community.

i) The second party commits itself to require from its offices all over the world to support the cause of the first party and back its representatives in Washington, London, and Paris and in international conferences.

ART.5: In order to achieve the afore-mentioned obligations, and additional practical means of collaboration and mutual aid, the two parties will hold direct or indirect (through representatives) talks depending on the relevant advancement and circumstances. The first party has already chosen Cheikh Toufic Aouad to be its authorized representative till further notice.

ART.6: The treaty hereby takes effect upon signature. Each party has the right to terminate it within six months notice. 
 
In witness whereof the two parties have signed this treaty.”

Double original copy, Jerusalem, May 30th 1946.        

On behalf of His Beatitude His Grace Antoine Pierre Arida, Toufic Aouad    

On behalf of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Bernard Joseph

Source: Central Zionist Archives 525/3269

Note 1: The treaty was between the Patriarch of a church and a Zionist political entity. That the current Patriarch expect this treaty to still be valid and respected by the State of Israel is tantamount to committing a big political mistake.

In any case, Israel never respected any treaty that stopped serving the Zionist apartheid system and its annexation policies.

Note 2:

Laura Zittrain Eisenberg published a book that reports:

1. When General Ariel Sharon‘s troops slammed into Lebanon in the summer of 1982, their purpose was not only to drive out the PLO, but also to bring to power a friendly Maronite government led by Bashir Gemayel.

2. The idea of an “alliance of minorities,” based on the “enemy of my enemy” notion, had deep roots in Zionist thinking.

3. Before Israeli statehood the relations between Zionists and some Maronite leaders were far-reaching.

4. In 1946, a treaty of sorts was even signed with the Maronite religious establishment, but the peace proved as ephemeral as the 1983 agreement between Lebanon and Israel. (that was not ratified)

Eisenberg sympathetically explains the motives and misperceptions that led to the belief that Christian Lebanon could be detached from the surrounding Arab region as an ally of Zionism, but she also shows the project had no realistic chance, and she implicitly warns against ignoring the lessons of history.

Note 3: I cannot recollect that any Lebanese Patriarch ever visited Jerusalem after 1948, even when Jerusalem was administered by Jordan Kingdom.

Note 4: The visit has political connotation, regardless of the religious reasons and excuses. The Patriarch has to make a public declaration relevant to the treaty and to clarify the Lebanese political positions regarding the Israeli enemy.

Note 5: The Patriarch must avoid to land in Tel Aviv or cross any Israeli checkpoints. A helicopter from Jordan and landing straight in Jerusalem should be considered.

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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