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Biden Should Not Try to Resolve Lebanon-Israel Border Dispute

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If Lebanon’s economy deteriorates further, one silver lining might be the collapse of Hezbollah (Arabic for Party of God). That collapse would serve important US interests, but American officials are working to stave it off. They should reconsider.

The US administration is pushing for a maritime boundary deal between Lebanon and Israel. If achieved, it would provide a political and financial windfall to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. It serves as a proxy of the Iranian regime, and it dominates the Lebanese government, oppressing the Lebanese people, by controlling two-thirds of the cabinet. All of these points are arguments for why the United States should be seeking ways to constrain rather than enrich Hezbollah.

The Lebanon-Israel maritime dispute began a decade ago after Israel discovered significant natural gas deposits off its coast. The US Geological Survey estimated that 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas is in the offshore region near the Lebanon-Israel border. Israel has since become energy self-sufficient and is a gas exporter. Lebanon, lamentably ill-governed, started drilling only last year and has yet to discover commercially viable fields.

Today, Lebanon’s economy is in shambles. The Hezbollah-controlled government in Beirut is desperate for a political victory, which the maritime boundary agreement would provide. Its officials are eager for foreign investments, which resolving the boundary........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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