Joumblatt prefers suicide to Assad and other controversial statements

Published September 18th, 2016 - 01:28 GMT
Walid Joumblatt heads the primarily Druze Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon (AFP/Joseph Eid)
Walid Joumblatt heads the primarily Druze Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon (AFP/Joseph Eid)

In an interview with the US-based think tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, prominent Lebanese Druze politician Walid Jumblatt said “I prefer to commit suicide on my own terms but not go to Syria and check in with Bashar (al-Assad).”

Jumblatt is a noted critic of the Assad regime, head of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and frequent commentator on regional affairs. In light of his recent controversial comments, take a look at some of his craziest statements over the years.

Even in the Carnegie interview, Jumblatt’s comments on Assad were not the only bold words he spoke. Jumblatt also endorsed peace with Israel and more US intervention in the Middle East, a summary of the interview by The New Arab noted.

Futhermore, in 2015, Jumblatt appeared to praise the then Nusra Front (now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham), despite the fact that Jumblatt isn’t an Islamist of any kind. “I cannot classify, like Western countries, Nusra as terrorist because most of Nusra are Syrians. The terrorist regime of Bashar obliged the Syrians to join Nusra,” he was quoted as saying in The Wall Street Journal.

On April Fool’s Day 2015, Jumblatt pranked his Twitter followers by tweeting that his party had developed a poison syrup to be used as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against its enemies.

Twitter is often the source of his wacky statements. In 2014, he endorsed marijuana legalization via his account @walidjoumblatt. “"It's time to allow hash to be grown and to overturn arrest warrants against people sought for doing so,” he wrote on the social media site.

Moreover, in 2014, Joumblatt called Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) Michel Aoun “Romeo and Juliet” due to their participation in the March 8 Alliance together.

The Carnegie interview certainly won’t be the last time Joumblatt’s speech raises eyebrows.

AL

 

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