On May 7th 2018 the BBC News website published a report about the results of the first election held in Lebanon in nine years. The website’s readers saw no further reporting on the subsequent failure to form a government over the next nine months.
On February 1st 2019 a report titled “Lebanon forms new government after long delay” was published on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page.
“Lebanese factions have agreed to form a new government of national unity, ending nearly nine months of wrangling.”
Readers were not given any meaningful insight into the background to that “wrangling”, which is explained by the FDD analyst Tony Badran as follows:
“Following its victory in the May 2018 parliamentary election, Hezbollah began orchestrating the formation of a new government. From the outset, the terror group laid out its non-negotiable demands and immediately received the acquiescence of Prime Minister-designate, Saad Hariri. Namely, Hezbollah wanted to control the lucrative Ministry of Public Health. It succeeded. The new minister, Jamil Jabak, reportedly is the former personal physician of Hezbollah’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah.
Then Hezbollah proceeded to manage the shares of the other sects and parties. The Lebanese Forces, a Christian party, gained seats in the election but Hezbollah marginalized it in the government formation process. Instead of obtaining the Defense portfolio, Hezbollah made sure that ministry went to one of their allies, Elias Bou Saab.
Hezbollah similarly managed the Druze share. Hezbollah forced Druze chieftain Walid Jumblatt to give up one of the three allocated seats to a figure approved by Jumblatt’s rival, Talal Arslan, an ally of both Hezbollah and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Hezbollah also demanded that Hariri offer a share in the government to a bloc of pro-Hezbollah and pro-Assad Sunnis. Not only did Hezbollah force the inclusion of an anti-Hariri Sunni minister, but it also forced its Christian ally, President Michel Aoun, and Aoun’s son-in-law and foreign minister, Gebran Bassil, to vacate a slot from their share. In so doing, Hezbollah stripped any one party, even allies, of the ability to veto government decisions independently.
Hezbollah now controls a majority coalition of all the Lebanese sects.”
The BBC’s anodyne portrayal of the new government in Lebanon is as follows: [emphasis added]
“The 30-member cabinet has four women, including the interior minister – a first for Lebanon. […]
Mr Hariri’s new government will be composed of most of the country’s rival factions, including the Iran-backed Shia movement Hezbollah which – with its allies – made gains in parliamentary elections last May.
One of the main sticking points until now has been how Hezbollah’s Sunni allies, who oppose the prime minister, would be represented in government. They were eventually awarded one position in cabinet, while Hezbollah took two seats.
Jamil Jabak was chosen as health minister by Hezbollah, although he is not a member of it.
Other key members of the new cabinet are Ali Hassan Khalil and Gebran Bassil, who both remain as finance and foreign ministers respectively.
Four women entered the government. Among them is Rhea al-Hasan, the country’s new interior minister.”
Nowhere in this report are BBC audiences informed that Hizballah is a terror organisation which is designated in whole by the US, Canada, Israel, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council and in part by the UK, Australia and the EU.
The BBC’s tepid portrayal of Hizballah as “Iran-backed” obviously does not facilitate audience understanding of the fact that Iran funds its proxy in Lebanon to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
And apparently the BBC finds nothing newsworthy about the fact that members of the new Lebanese cabinet belong to a terror organisation that has an arsenal of some 120,000 missiles, funds its terror activities through international drugs trafficking and money laundering and serially violates UN Security Council resolution 1701.