I will address later the poster, Citizen’s question if Lebanese dislike Palestinians or the insinuation they are all racist I will explain also later what is racist and sexist in Lebanon.
However, I have a few questions for the author, which were not clear in her article. 1) what is her citizenship, and from what country is her passport that she presented to Lebanese customs?
She states: “They said that other Palestinians have been refused entry for carrying passports with Israeli stamps on them, as called for by Lebanese law, however, my passport did not have such stamps”.
Then she states: “Ultimately, I was denied entry to Lebanon. The officers gave no clear reason or justification, but claimed I normalize with Israel. They said because I live in the occupied Palestinian territory, under the governance of the Palestinian Authority, I therefore was deemed to have also normalized with Israel. Lebanon and Israel have never had diplomatic relations are are still technically at war”
She would have had to present a passport that contained a Palestinian ID, but she does not clearly state this. The ones that I have seen from Gaza, the outside of the passport states Palestinian Authority and inside a stamp of Ramallah. The above is true about how the Lebanese government denies entry to any marks or stamps or Palestinian IDs linking one’s self to Israel, and it is not racist.
Lebanon refuses anyone who has an Israeli stamp in their passport—whether it be a stamp of citizenship or stamp of previous travel in Israel, and even if they have a Palestinian ID (Jerusalemite or WB-Ramallah), which as I indicated what I have seen is stated inside the PA passport—-because Lebanon views Palestine under Israel’s occupation. I am not defending the Lebanese government’s decision to do so, but their security concern is of Palestinian collaborators with Israel. In fact, on one of my returns from Gaza to the U.S. I stopped in Lebanon to visit some friends. I was told by them DO NOT MENTION YOU WERE IN GAZA. I responded, why? Lebanon has no relations with the Zionist entity, why should anyone here be upset. The friend responded, “you miss the point, they will think we are spies, collaborators of Israel”. Real fear or unfounded I am just stating this is a reason stated for security that Lebanon will not allow anyone to enter with Israeli stamps or documentation linking them to Israel.
Another anecdote: I have lived in Gaza for months at time for 5 years, and on one trip I decided to not go to Gaza but travel with a delegation to the West Bank in November 2015. I ended up getting banned from Israel for five years–HUGE DENIED ENTRY STAMP IN MY US PASSPORT (As it stands I cannot enter the West Bank, and if I want to enter Gaza not guaranteed each time, but in 2017 I was given rare entry to Gaza but 24 hours only to get into Jerusalem (Israel) from Jordan and enter Gaza the same day, no three month pass for me). After the West Bank delegation in 2015 I was planning to go on to Lebanon and Dubai, the latter a business trip to have a meeting with a Lebanese-born American to buy our car dealerships. Knowing that no way I could enter Lebanon or Dubai, but my fear of Dubai was allayed by finding out they were more lax than Lebanon on this policy. Even so I did not trust Dubai so I returned to Jordan after being banned from Israel and applied for a temporary US passport at the US embassy in Amman. I skipped Lebanon, frankly being paranoid about them finding out in some surreptitious way I had been denied entry to Israel and being banned also from Lebanon, so went directly on to Dubai. I was fine.
But I want to make it clear: If I had entered Lebanon with the former US passport with the banned entry to Israel, THEY DO NOT LOOK UPON IT AS A BADGE OF HONOR, BUT NORMALIZATION. Even though I am US born of Lebanese heritage on my paternal side, and back then did not have Lebanese citizenship, but do now through my late paternal grandfather—I have it as I plan to do some long-term research there, and do not want problems going in and out of Gaza like I do and Israel carelessly or unwittingly stamping my passport “ISRAEL”–even though I pleaded with them in 2015 not to stamp my passport THEY DID.
If I am in Lebanon I cannot even call Palestine the government blocks the call.
Now, if the author presented a passport from a country with whom Lebanon had relations an it was discovered that she was Palestinian and based their denial on that fact that is racist. The same action of denial into Lebanon would have happened to me if I had presented my US passport with a denied entry to Israel. As the author does not make it clear what traveling documents that she presented to the Lebanese government, she only states they were different than her traveling companions. The Lebanese government is very clear about no one entering with Israeli stamps or Palestinian IDs linking one to Israel for the security reasons I provided above.
NOW WHAT IS RACIST ABOUT LEBANESE GOVERNMENTAL POLICY—and not all Lebanese are racist or xenophobic towards Palestinians and Syrians.
Among sectors of the Lebanese population there is discriminatory attitude towards Palestinians that stems from hostilities spawned mostly during the Lebanese Civil War—even though at the time before the Civil War, the Lebanese government signed the Cairo Accord that allowed Palestinians to set up their own state within a state and bear arms. Within the Lebanese government, what is atrocious is their nationality law and personal laws that clearly discriminate against women, whether Palestinian or Lebanese who marry foreign nationals. Personal laws also affect ease of divorce and inheritance for a Lebanese born woman married to a foreign national or even a woman, who does not have Lebanese citizenship, married to a Lebanese citizen. Over the years there has been many protests, organized mainly by Lebanese women and non-Lebanese born women living in the country, to life the personal laws. When I was in Lebanon in 2010 I attended a meeting at the Le Serail concerning civil rights for Palestinians, right to work in formal jobs in Lebanon, health care, etc. there was a sub-committee within the Lebanese government devoted to this topic. It was very disheartening when the only changes made were minor to almost non-existent. The Lebanese government argues that if they grant citizenship to Palestinians there is the issue of tawatin (spelling?) of settlement in Lebanon that Israel will eschew its responsibility of UN 194 of allowing return of Palestinians to their original homes in what is referred to as “Israel”. Israel’s mantra has always been that is the responsibility of Arab countries to grant Palestinians citizenship not understanding that many Palestinians want to return to their homeland.
With respect to the Syrian situation, not all Lebanese are racist towards them, some of my relatives have Syrian spouses–my relatives some of them are Syrian as we are from the North. of Lebanon close to the border. Technically, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and artificially created Jordan, were all part of Greater Syria. When my paternal grandparents came to the U.S. all their documents stated Syria as the country emigrated from until Lebanon and Syria became their own sovereign countries in 1943, and 1944, respectively.
Lebanon has taken in more Syrians than any other country, and contrary to popular opinion not all Lebanese are rich, they depend on remittances from their more well-heeled and less well-heeled relatives abroad, who reside mostly in the West. Lebanon has received very little funding to care for the massive exodus of Syrians entering Lebanon. Blame should be placed on the U.S. government for not funding adequately Lebanon for bringing in Syrian refugees, THAT THE US GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED MISERABLY TO ALLOW ENTRY OF, and use as a pretext the Muslim ban.
I have more to say but have a manuscript to finish. More info is needed above as it is very unclear what documents she presented to Lebanese customs.
I am a U.S. born citizen as well as recently obtained Lebanese citizenship through my late grandfather. People who know me maybe from this blog, maybe not they know I lived for four months at a time for 5 years in Gaza, conduct research on various topics on Palestine, am an activist, and in no way a Zionist. Lebanon’s nationality law as well as its personal laws are discriminatory towards women as citizenship is based on a variant of jus sanguinus , patrilineally, i.e. the father or the husband is a Lebanese citizen. For years there have been a great deal of protests, especially among women, to change the laws not only for Palestinians, but for Lebanese women married to a Palestinian man