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Constitution cast in stone.

Summary: A country's constitution is an inherent part of its identity and the foundation on which a nation is built.

A country's constitution is an inherent part of its identity and the foundation on which a nation is built.

With that in mind, U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal that refugees should be resettled closer to home instead of brought to the United States challenges the very core of Lebanon's essence.

The preamble to Lebanon's Constitution stipulates that its territory is one entity for all the Lebanese without any exception, and opposes any resettlement or division.

The Lebanese people, although they have conflicting opinions on many things including the number of months in a year, are in unanimous agreement on this article of the Constitution, which they have adopted with no ambiguity

In fact, their accord on this point is a strong shield against any designs that touch on this sensitive article, which by unanimous agreement was specifically aimed at previous attempts by foreign powers with Israeli encouragement to resettle over 400,000 Palestinian refugees.

And although it is natural to respond to Trump's remarks, that is only a confirmation of what's in the Constitution, which no political speech by any leader or group can alter. This article is cast in stone and was created for good measure.

Furthermore, the 10,452 square kilometers that make up Lebanon are not capable of resettling any number of people, regardless of their political affiliations or nationality. The land is far too small and its resources far too scarce to support any number of refugees, as demonstrated by the fact that the presence of around 2 million Syrian and Palestinian refugees has critically depleted Lebanon's resources.

And in the absence of any significant assistance to help with this burden, the country's deficit will continue to grow.

Trump's unreasonable statement, which was an indirect jab at Lebanon, should prompt the Lebanese government to lay out in no unclear terms the impossibility of applying such a notion.

In fact, from Lebanon's perspective, the best way the United States can express its good intentions toward this region is to increase its aid program until it is safe for these refugees to return home, and thankfully there finally seems to be light at the end of that tunnel.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Sep 21, 2017
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