BEIRUT: Shiite scholar Sayyed Ali Fadlallah Sunday criticized Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai’s announcement that he was trying to bring back those Lebanese who had fled to Israel in 2000, saying that they were traitors.
“If we don’t call those who were tools of the enemy that killed and arrested people traitors, then whom should we use this description for?”
Fadlallah asked in a statement. Rai made the comments during his trip to Israel while addressing a group of former members of the South Lebanon Army who fled after Israel ended its occupation of Lebanon.
SLA members are considered traitors by many Lebanese for working and fighting alongside Israel in the south.
“Can we say that they’re the truest to Lebanon? Even more than those who sacrificed their own and children’s future?”
Fadlallah asked. “What came out of the patriarch at the end of his visit was surprising to the Lebanese, who sensed a change in the pastoral visit’s general character.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 02, 2014, on page 3.