Lebanese politician brands Palestinian attackers ‘suicide seekers’

Lebanese politician brands Palestinian attackers ‘suicide seekers’

Leader of Assalam party Roger Edde says Iran poses a bigger problem for Arab world than Israel does

Roger Edde, leader of the Lebanese Peace Party, in an interview on al-Mayadeen TV on January 20, 2016. (screen capture: MEMRI)
Roger Edde, leader of the Lebanese Peace Party, in an interview on al-Mayadeen TV on January 20, 2016. (screen capture: MEMRI)

The leader of a minor Lebanese political party told a local television station that Palestinian teens who carry out stabbing attacks against Israelis are “suicide seekers.”

Roger Edde, a Maronite Christian who is the founder and head of the Lebanese Peace Party (Assalam), also said in the January 20 TV interview that Iran poses a larger problem for the Arab world than Israel does.

“All the people who today call to fight Israel while downplaying concerns about Iran have a problem,” he told the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen channel, according to a translation of his comments on Monday by MEMRI, an NGO monitoring Middle Eastern news.

Edde also said he wanted Iran to give Lebanon “reassurances” following its agreement with world powers over its nuclear program.

Lebanon, Edde said, wanted Iran to “benefit from the normalized ties that have begun with the international community.”

“I don’t want it to ‘export’ the [Islamic] revolution in an effort to sow civil strife in the Levant and in the rest of the Arab World,” Edde added, apparently referring to the influence of the Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah.

When asked about the “132 young Palestinians” who, according to the TV host, “have been killed in cold blood by Israel in the past two months,” Edde replied that “Israel must not accept this under any circumstances, because anybody who tries to carry out any operation knows that he is heading toward his death.”

He added: “If he grabs a knife in order to attack a woman, he knows that this is suicide — because somebody will shoot him.”

The host, seemingly surprised by Edde’s response, asked: “Do you consider Israel to be your enemy?”

Edde answered: “Yes, of course. Why? Because we do not have peace with it, we are in a state of war. [But] we have a truce with Israel and we are committed to that truce.”

The Assalam party, part of the moderate March 14 Coalition in Lebanon, currently has no seats in the Lebanese parliament.

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