US official in Lebanon to discuss border dispute with Israel

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield, left, holds talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 15 May 2019

US official in Lebanon to discuss border dispute with Israel

  • David Satterfield arrived Tuesday, beginning a two-day visit to meet with Lebanese officials

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has received a US official as Washington mediates a maritime border dispute with Israel.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield arrived Tuesday, beginning a two-day visit to meet with Lebanese officials.

Satterfield’s visit comes a week after President Michel Aoun presented the US ambassador to Lebanon with a “unified stance” regarding the demarcation of the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel.

Last month, Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Stefano del Col, that Beirut is ready to establish the maritime border and special economic zone with Israel.

There are some 860 sq. km of waters claimed by the two countries, which are technically in a state of conflict.

Torture allegations

Separately, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for “a thorough, effective and independent investigation” into the death of a Lebanese man who was allegedly tortured by police intelligence.

Michelle Bachelet said Hassan Diqa died Saturday despite numerous interventions by a variety of UN entities with Lebanese authorities after he was allegedly tortured while detained on drug-related charges in November.

Bachelet said Tuesday that Diqa’s death “highlights what appears to be a number of very serious failings in Lebanon’s legal and prison systems.”

She said those who ordered the crime must be held accountable.

Diqa’s father, Toufic, said his son suffered partial paralysis of his left leg. 

He was admitted to hospital in early April and remained there until his dea

Hate preacher Al-Qaradawi gets ‘best seat in house’ at Qatar emir’s banquet

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi pictured with Sheikh Tamim in Qatar Television footage. (YouTube)
Updated 8 min 10 sec ago

Hate preacher Al-Qaradawi gets ‘best seat in house’ at Qatar emir’s banquet

  • Appearance came within 24 hours of latest anti-Semitic rant
  • Cleric known for extreme views, including justifying suicide bombings

LONDON: A notorious hate preacher has been pictured at the top table at a Ramadan banquet thrown by Qatar’s emir, pictures on state TV show.

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi — who is known for his extreme views, including justifying suicide bombings and attacks on Jews — was pictured at the iftar reception hosted by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the current emir of Qatar.

In lengthy footage of the reception, Qatar Television shows Al-Qaradawi as apparent guest of honor, sitting next to Sheikh Tamim and chatting cordially with him. Sheikh Tamim apparently kissed Al-Qaradawi, who was sitting in a wheelchair, on the forehead.

Al-Qaradawi’s appearance at the iftar came in the same 24 hours in which he published a vile anti-Semitic rant in a Qatari publication.

It quoted claims that “the straight path is a separate way (for the Muslims); it is not the path of the Jews,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. 

David A. Weinberg, Washington Director for international affairs at the Anti-Defamation League, flagged Al-Qaradawi’s appearance in a tweet.

“Fact: In the same 24 hours extremist preacher Yousef Al-Qaradawi published his latest dehumanizing slander against the Jewish people, he was also kissed on the forehead by #Qatar’s ruler and given the best iftar seat in the house, by Tamim’s side & ahead of all other preachers,” he wrote.

Al-Qaradawi has been a guest at such events for several years running, Weinberg said.

Named in Arab News’ series “Preachers of Hate,” Al-Qaradawi has justified suicide bombings, especially in Palestine, has repeatedly spoken out against Jews as a community, and has issued fatwas (religious edicts) that demean women.

On Al Jazeera Arabic in January 2009, he said: “Oh God, take Your enemies, the enemies of Islam … Oh God, take the treacherous Jewish aggressors … Oh God, count their numbers, slay them one by one and spare none.” 

Despite such hate speech, Al-Qaradawi continues to be based in Qatar, where he is given a platform by the government, said a member of the Counter-Extremism Project (CEP), a non-profit organization that combats extremist groups.

“Yusuf Al-Qaradawi remains a vociferous purveyor of Islamist propaganda and bigotry. Rather than condemn his vile rhetoric, the Qatari government continues to provide Al-Qaradawi with a platform and hold him in a place of esteem,” Josh Lipowsky, senior research analyst at the CEP, told Arab News. 

“It is incumbent on the Qatari government to recognize Al-Qaradawi’s hateful propaganda and cease providing him with a safe haven and media platforms.”