Hill, Washington, DC, May 10, 2000
and Lebanese, we believe in the principles of freedom, independence,
sovereignty and human rights, which were passed to us by our ancestors
and have found solid root in the United States of America.
We call upon
the United States of America, the United Nations, the Arab League,
as well as the governments of the individual sovereign states
to make appropriate response to the legitimate claims of the Lebanese
people. As American citizens, we feel that these claims are in
the strategic interests of the United States.
years ago, an illustrious son of Lebanon, Dr. Charles Malik, was
the co-author and soul of the United Nations ¤Universal Declaration
of Human Rights.Ë For over a half century, this document has served
as the guideline for resolving multiple problems throughout the
world. Ironically, the Lebanese, whose historic record and support
of Human Rights has been clear, are now themselves subjects of
suppressive measures as a result of multiple occupation.
charter member of the United Nations, does not now enjoy the ¤inherent
dignityË of the human family of which Dr. Malik and Eleanor Roosevelt
spoke so eloquently. On the contrary, the events of recent years
and months have shown that, in addition to being the battleground
for the conflict of its neighbors, Lebanon now faces the prospect
of serving as the sacrificial lamb in the ¤peace process.Ë In
this critical time, Lebanon, whose history of tolerance and democracy
was unique in the region, may fall as the price of peace.
The 30 year-long war shattered Lebanon╠s
sovereignty, unity, culture, traditions of tolerance, and democracy.
In the year 2000, the peace process and the Israeli withdrawal
provide a new opportunity to restore that, which has been destroyed.
We call upon
the leadership of the United States, which is dedicated to the
cause of democracy in the world and peace in the Middle East
that the people of Lebanon are guaranteed the same inalienable
human rights shared by all other peoples of the free world, and
the principles of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the rectification of abuses outlined in the US State Department
February 25, 2000 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in
We call on
the international community to act to ensure that the people of
rights of self-determination and the right to self-government
free from subordination to any outside power.
of foreign occupation under any guise.
sovereign territory to include the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese
forces from the recognized international boundaries of Lebanon
according to UN Resolutions 425, 426 and 520, namely Israeli and
Embrace the final withdrawal of Israel,
which should be complete and in total adherence with the UN assessment
of the international border, and move to assure the safety of
all its citizens in the south guaranteeing justice and due process
of law, regardless of allegiance, by deploying the Lebanese Army.
Are afforded the opportunity to reconcile
themselves with the people of the south of Lebanon, a necessary
ingredient for Lebanese unity. The south has been neglected
due to the war and quick measures must be taken to re-establish
the confidence of its inhabitants. The people of the south must
be accorded the same amnesty that other factions have been granted.
We call on all agencies to ensure security and plan economic development
of the area.
Be free from
the unbearable burden of the Palestinian refugees presently in
the country as a consequence of years of regional wars. The problem
of the refugees is the responsibility of the international community
and they must be granted a fair and equitable solution. Until
such time, we ask our government to demand that the sovereign
authority of the Lebanese government be extended to every square
inch of the territory. No one living in Lebanon should be exempt
from Lebanese law.
And we ask
all parties to commit to the following:
the full sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon with
the complete withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon.
the interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon's
neighbors and demand reciprocation.
To seek the
establishment of friendly and cooperative relations between Lebanon
and all nations, including solidarity with the Arab world, to
the extent possible while safeguarding Lebanese interests
full freedom and democracy in Lebanon with equal rights to all
citizens, regardless of ethnic, religious or political conviction.
Lebanese national unity, refraining from all acts of retribution
and revenge for past actions so that the wounds of war can heal.
To open an
honest dialog among Lebanese to formulate a legal framework to
safeguard and guarantee the interests of all Lebanese.
To do all
in our powers to achieve the above within the rule of international
international community support for Lebanon by full implementation
and enforcement of all UN Resolutions regarding Lebanon.
To issue a
strong statement and send a clear message to all parties that
nothing less than full compliance and cooperation with the above
conditions can result in the Lebanese government╠s reception into
the family of nations and qualify it for either national or international
To the Lebanese
citizens in Lebanon, we say to behave as patriots as do the citizens
living in the great states of the Free World. You may have shared
interests with other countries but it is unacceptable when political
power and position are owed to outside support. This system is
a stain on Lebanon╠s national pride and contradicts the patriotic,
nationalistic aspiration of state building. We call on all Lebanese
to pledge their allegiance to the nation and work toward reconciliation
To the United
States, a nation that has nurtured democracy throughout the world
often at a great price in financial and human sacrifice in countries
that never knew democracy, we say care for Lebanon, which has
a history of democracy and freedom. Strategic American interests
in the Eastern Mediterranean demands that a stable, pluralistic
and democratic Lebanon rise in the post occupation period, lest
an unstable autocratic Lebanon rise in its stead. It would be
inconceivable that the United States allow such a compromise of
principle, and breach of national security to take place in the
name of securing ¤peaceË on the northern Israeli frontier.
To that international
community of nations, we caution against ¤peace at any price.Ë
To be a real and lasting peace, it must be equitable, fair and
participatory with all territory returned to the control of the
Lebanese government. Otherwise, a festering problem will be left
to grow and overwhelm the region. The Lebanese will never compromise
their freedom and we must never abandon them. The responsibility
will rest with the international community and the present ¤peace
makersË to determine what kind of peace they want and to be prepared
for the consequences of their decisions.