Analysis- Why the resignation of Makkawi from LPDC?

AlBared– Al Bared emphasizes the news about the resignation of the ambassador Khalil Makkawi from Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC) today’s morning. It is said that the reason is due to the new ministry headed by Wael Abu Faour that will take responsibility of the Lebanese Palestinian relations, which annoyed Makkawi who considered it as “power overlap”. Al Bared knew also that an accumulation of power conflicts between different Lebanese departments concerned with the Palestinian issue has accelerated Makkawi’s decision.

 

The issue of power conflicts between the different Lebanese departments became an issue in the last period. In a conference help by the LPDC in Tripoli yesterday, Wednesday, some Palestinian presentations raised the issue of hindering the reconstruction process because of “conflict between state departments,” according to them. When Al Bared asked about the issue, it knew that there is an invisible conflict between LPDC, headed by Makkawi, and the PM’s consultancy office headed by Satei Arnaout. It is worth mentioning that the presentation by Arnaout in the conference was not printed out like other papers, and LPDC heard it only during the conference like all other audience.

Two sources, one from a leading international organization working in Al Bared and another from one of PLO’s factions, said that Arnaout “has been hindering the reconstruction process…he raises the issue of law all the time in a place where Palestinians are discriminated from many laws, while it is an emergency post war situation”.

One of the presentations in Tripoli conference pointed out that LPDC was facilitating the reconstruction process and the participation by the Palestinian local community, while calling for “other state departments to learn from”. The presentation did not identify which departments it means. When Al Bared asked an employee from LPDC about the issue, she laughed implying that the story is true while refusing to reply through words.

Adib Nemeh, identifying himself as speaking independently, and Joseph Hawli from Al Minyeh Development Association pointed out in the conference that the decisions are centralized by the government without proper local participation and coordination. On the other hand, a Palestinian presentation raised a question about the absence of centralized Lebanese official body implementing the clear will by the PM to reconstruct the camp quickly, “apart from politics” as it said. It added that “the governmental decision is filtered and dispersed and even hindered by state departments”.

Would Abu Faour’s ministry be a new state department added to LPDC, the PM’s consultancy office headed by Arnaout, DGU, army as an official planner, DGA, CDR, and CFD? Or it would be a ministry emphasizing the implementation of the governmental decision of reconstruction in participation with the Palestinian side?

In a quick appraisal of Makkaw’s achievements since the establishing of LPDC in 2005, he facilitated the reconstruction process of Nahr al Bared, and “introduced some discourse change in relation to Palestinians in Lebanon” according to a Palestinian official. However, close followers to the Palestinian file point out that the most important aspect in the Lebanese Palestinian relations represented by the hegemony of security considerations has witnessed no change in the last four years. No single law discriminating against Palestinians has been amended during that period. Even the non-ID issue was not resolved. Critiques say that Makkawi has been “behind imposing a security model on Nahr al Bared more than he has been concerned about resolving the human crisis of the displaced of Nahr al Bared” according to a civil society activist.

It is worth mentioning that Abu Faour, and the political party behinds him, is open to better Palestinian relations. The deputy Walid Junblat wondered publicly about the halt of the reconstruction in the last months, and called for quick reconstruction. Junblat also donated a land to UNRWA as a Palestinian cemetery before a month.

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