Every once in a while in Lebanon, a politician takes a position that runs counter to the entire system in which he operates, challenges established traditions and accepted practices and angers pretty much every other politician.
I don’t like Charbel Nahhas’ economic policies, and for various reasons he rubs me the wrong way. But I have to admit that I’m impressed by his stance on foreign domestic labor in Lebanon. “Any labor law that takes into account the nationality of the worker is tantamount to racial discrimination” he told a surprised audience who never expected him to go that far. “Would the Lebanese who work in the USA accept to be regulated by laws different than the ones Americans are subject to?”.
Minister Nahhas went on detailing his ministry’s ambitious and progressive plans that can only be described as an outright attempt at abolition for the slave-like conditions of foreign labor in Lebanon. If he can pull off half the plans he was talking about, this will be nothing short of a social revolution in Lebanon.
Mr. Nahhas is an old-fashioned bleeding heart leftist. He’s not a practical man by any means and his strong convictions make him a bad politician and a liability to his own party. But let’s raise a glass to a conscience that we don’t see very often in public life nowadays. It’s like watching PM Salim el Hoss refusing to sign execution orders all over again.