June 25 Appeal Speech of MP Robert Fadel
For the first time in Lebanon’s modern history, we gather today as partners of the productive community, despite our political, sectorial, and even confessional divergences, to join forces and launch this appeal, a shout-out to the political leaders against “collective suicide”
I have experienced the political parties and leaderships, first as a young man, then as a Member of the parliament. I remained opened to everyone, and kept myself away from all confessional conflicts, true to my convictions and loyal to my allies. I waited and strived for the improvement of the situation and the political performance, until I realized that the citizens’ silence and passivity towards the political class allowed us to unashamedly abuse both the people and the nation.
Yes, our conflicts, our dependences and our selfishness led the country to collective suicide.
When Governments refrain from reforming the electricity sector, which costs the citizens and the future generations more than 20 billion dollars, without being held accountable,
When a communication official has the power to delay the development of the internet sector, for more than a decade, jeopardizing the most important industry in the modern economy, while we do not have the power to replace him,
When the Government hesitates to allocate a USD 100 million credit to educate and habilitate 300,000 Lebanese citizens living with less than USD 2 per day, while it is wasting billions,
When MPs stop legislating or controlling the Government, limiting their role to some services a big part of which is law-breaching, unaware that they’re becoming destructors rather than legislators,
When the Government promises the adjustment of the salary scale and backs out several times, causing disagreement between employees and employers to cover a crime it had initially committed though random recruitment,
When the Government delays vital projects such as the clean-up of the Litani River that is polluting our food, or fighting the pollution caused by the collapsing power plants or handling traffic problems,
When the leaders evade accountability for mismanaging public facilities by delivering loud confessional speeches, unaware that they are turning Lebanon into a tribal society, or in other words, when the fight over the power and the State funds becomes more important than all development and living projects and more vital than the people’s misery,
Therefore, the Sate and the political class prove to have failed on all levels: morals, integrity and public interest.
Our conflicts, shares and axes seem to be more important than the 1.5 million refugees, the USD 70 billion debt or the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese citizens considering leaving the country.
Facing this situation, one wonders:
Who will stay in Lebanon, other than the politicians who will be governing a ghost land depleted from its potential, aspirations and values?
Fellow brothers, listen to me, I who belong to both the political class and the productive community, I, who was given a lot by this country and tried to give it back even more:
Lebanon will not survive if we do not change our political and financial performance
Lebanon will not survive if the Government and the productive community don’t double their efforts to ensure a minimum of social collaboration and address the problem of extreme poverty. This is a human and moral duty and most importantly, it is the reason of our existence. Be the voice of the poor before others take away the power of your voice and play with our fate.
Lebanon will not survive if both employees and employers don’t realize that they are in the same trench and that this State of embezzlement and corruption is thriving at their expense, covering its dues from the employees’ rights and wasting the employers’ work.
Lebanon will not survive if the Lebanese citizens keep on blindly conforming to the political leaders, at their own expense and the expense of their descendants. We do not seek to change the leaderships or shift from one party to another. What we really want is hold our leaders accountable and call for changing their performance and priorities.
And finally Lebanon will not survive if we do not realize and understand that, for decades, we’re been spending our ancestors’ inheritance and increasing the debts of our children. We’re like those who spend their parents’ heritage first and then live at the expense of their children.
We might be late but I can assure you that we still have the opportunity to leave for our children an open, clean, civilized and cooperative country. We will keep raising our voices until they give us back our country, first by electing a new president.
Our conscience and our responsibility towards our people are more precious than all Lebanon’s leaders.
To wrap up, I would like to thank you for considering me one of you, and for adopting my appeal. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be among you and respond with you to the call of duty so that, together, we write up a white new page of Lebanon’s civilized history.