Political Statement Regarding Lebanon’s Gold

The coalition of the six leaders, the banks, and the Central Bank has seemingly taken the implicit decision to liquidate society, through the proxies of sectarian leaders and the crony billionaires in the Finance and Budget Committee on one hand, and through the irresolute government that wasted resources and time by draining in one year an amount equivalent to the overall value of the Lebanese gold reserves on the other.

After depleting the remaining billions with arbitrary decisions, rather the absence of decisions, they are now fixated on the gold reserves that are our last resource through which we establish free medical coverage and education for all residents in order to protect our society from disintegration and war. These are two pillars on which we build a strong and productive economy that would enable the Lebanese to live in dignity from their labor, capacities, and expertise, not under the logic of clientelism and beseeching for aid.

Our gold reserves are the wealth that our parents and grandparents have historically accumulated instead of investing it in the economy and development, and in a social security system that could have hindered the waves of emigration. It could have also limited the excessive accumulation and concentration of wealth, which was one of the reasons for the Lebanese civil war.

These gold reserves – that the Lebanese have paid for with their blood and the emigration of their children – are our last resource to establish a real state that protects its residents and preserves their dignity. The assault on these reserves by the warlords is an assault on our parents, their sacrifices and their blood, but not only. It would also be the squandering of an exceptional occasion to build a strong economy and an effective state.

We will oppose, by all means and along all fronts, its dissipation by the warlords who seek to extend the life of their regime by a few weeks or months in order for the Lebanese to remain prisoners of the current regime as they themselves are prisoners of their foreign backers.

They have decided to push the Lebanese into forced emigration for those who are able to do so, and into despair and humiliation those who remain and are trapped in their system. However, they did not consider that we have decided to fight to preserve our society from disintegration, collapse, and internal conflicts. A conflict that we are drifting towards because of their incompetence and lack of responsibility.

Confronted with the acceleration of the collapse, the impotence of the authorities and fearing for the remaining wealth – that could save the future of what is left of the society, the time has come for each of us to make a choice to transform this tragedy into a historical moment. A moment that will allow our society to break free from the grip of sectarian leaders towards a civil and lawful state. A state that is capable of preserving our dignity as well as protecting us from misery and the manufacturing of ignorance by implementing universal health coverage and free quality public education for all residents. In addition, this envisioned state shall be capable of redistributing the wealth and income including “foreign aid” – regardless of its form – in a just manner in order to protect the dignity of all residents. Instead of abusing this aid for purposes of clientelism by the traditional sectarian leaders’ authority or their “rejuvenators” in some organizations to prolong the life of this system and its instruments. This is our priority today. This is our battle.

The gold reserves are all that is left for this society to build an economy that provides a dignifying life for all of us and to establish a civil state that protects all of our interests as citizens.