This week’s statement by Bahaa Hariri has shaken the Lebanese public and brought the country into a new phase. He gave hope to the Lebanese people who really want a drastic change. They have found in Hariri a potential savior for a country that has been decaying due to the corruption of its politicians.
Hariri started off with a briefing about the coronavirus disease pandemic. His words captured the spotlight and became the center of attention because of what all Lebanese people are going through during these hard times — from the virus to economic disaster.
His statement provoked the current corrupt and greedy political class because he shed light on their state and got them wondering what his next move will be. They fear what is coming because of his new agenda, which meets the Lebanese people’s aspirations — the same people who are fed up with all the lies and promises that were never kept by the corrupt authorities.
Hariri took them by storm. Even the Future Movement of his brother Saad was given a green light to attack and defame him for being a successful businessman that wants to take his success in the business world into politics.
The Lebanese people almost forgot about the pandemic, the poverty, the unemployment, the skyrocketing dollar-lira exchange rate, and the high prices of everyday commodities. They are interested in the analysis of Hariri’s statement, especially the Sunni sect, which has been failed numerous times by the Future Movement.
The Lebanese people are hoping this man will play a great part in saving the country from corruption
Social media platforms were abuzz because of this statement. The Lebanese people were discussing its potential and were very much welcoming it. They are hoping this man will play a great part in saving the country from the corruption of the current and all previous administrations. Politicians have for years stolen the public’s tax money and made fortunes out of it for themselves, leaving the country drowning in debts.
The people welcomed Hariri, demanding that he returns to Lebanon and take over the affairs of his brother, who, during his years as prime minister, brought them nothing but settlements with a party accused of killing his martyr father. Saad Hariri is accused of giving in, leading to the destruction of Lebanon, its bankruptcy, the boycott of the Gulf states, and the loss of international confidence in Lebanon. The rest of the Future Movement’s supporters attacked the statement and Bahaa Hariri as they sensed danger for his brother — a leader who brought nothing but humiliation, silence on the crimes of May 7, 2008, and talks and alliances with Hezbollah from both under the table and above it. This led to a settlement that brought President Michel Aoun to the Baabda Palace and the alliance with Gebran Bassil.
It is well known that Bahaa Hariri is a strict man who adheres to the principles of his martyr father Rafik, does not accept settlements or concessions, and has declared his hostility to Hezbollah and its illegal weapons in an open and public manner. He previously issued a statement in 2017 that included a fiery attack on the party, describing it as “Iran’s surrogate party in Lebanon” and saying that Tehran is a “pernicious outside actor.” He, on the other hand, enjoys great international support and is against normalization with the Assad regime — a red line that he says can’t be crossed.
There is no doubt that the statement of Bahaa Hariri spoke to the pain of every Lebanese. He did not speak in the name of any sect, but in the tongue of the people. His message reached every citizen who wants to resurrect his country from rock-bottom.
• Jerry Maher is a Lebanese political writer and analyst specializing in the Middle East and Iran.