Quotation from David Ben Gurion “It is clear that Lebanon is the weakest link in the Arab League” — Feb. 27 1954

Letter from David Ben Gurion to Moshe Sharett, then Prime Minister of Israel, urging him to implement a plan to dismember and destabilize Lebanon. Intended to remain confidential, this letter was nevertheless published, despite the protest of the Israeli government, by David Ben Gurion's son, in 1979, as an appendix to his posthumous memoirs.

Author : Thematics :
" « To Sharett, Moshe The Prime Minister
Sdeh Boker February 27, 1954

Upon my withdrawal from the government I decided in my heart to desist from intervening and expressing my opinion on current political affairs so as not to make things difficult for the government in any way. And if you hadn't called on me, the three of you, yourself, Lavon and Dayan, I would not have, of my own accord, expressed an opinion on what is being done or what ought to be done. But as you called me, I deem it my duty to comply with your wishes, and especially with your own wish as Prime Minister. Therefore, I permit myself to go back to one issue which you did not approve of and discuss it again, and this is the issue of Lebanon.

It is clear that Lebanon is the weakest link in the Arab League. The other minorities in the Arab States are aU Muslim, except for the Copts. But Egypt is the most compact and solid of the Arab States and the majority there consists of one solid block, of one race, religion and language, and the Christian minority does not seriously affect their political and national unity. Not so the Christians in Lebanon. They are a majority in the historical Lebanon and this majority has a tradition and a culture different from those of the other components of the League. Also within the wider borders (this was the worst mistake made by France when it extended the borders of Lebanon), the Muslims are not free to do as they wish, even if they are a majority there (and I don't know if they are indeed, a majority) for fear of the Christians, The creation of a Christian State is therefore a natural act; it has historical roots and it will find support in wide circles in the Christian world, both Catholic and Protestant. In normal times this would be almost impossible.

First and foremost because of the lack of initiative and courage of the Christians. But at times of confusion, or revolution or civil war, things take on another aspect, and even the weak declares himself to be a hero. Perhaps (there is never any certainty in politics) now is the time to bring about the creation of a Christian State in our neighborhood. Without our initiative and our vigorous aid this will not be done. It seems to me that this is the central duty - for at least one of the central duties, of our foreign policy. This means that time, energy and means ought to be invested in it and that we must act in all possible ways to bring about a radical change in Lebanon. Sasson ... and our other Arabists must be mobilized. If money is necessary, no amount of dollars should be spared, although the money may be spent in vain. We must concentrate all our efforts on this issue This is a historical opportunity. Missing it will be unpardonable. There is no challenge against the World Powers in this. Everything should be done, in my opinion, rapidly and at full steam.

The goal will not be reached of course, without a restriction of Lebanon's borders. But if we can find men in Lebanon and exiles from it who will be ready to mobilize for the creation of a Maronite state, extended borders and a large Muslim population will be of no use to them and this will not constitute a disturbing factor.
I don't know if we have people in Lebanon-but there are various ways in which the proposed experiment can be carried out.. » "

Yaacov Sharett (Israeli writer and journalist, son of the former Prime Minister), Le Monde diplomatique , December 1983.


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