Lebanon: A Recurring Tragedy

This is the house I was born in in Lebanon. Before the civil war there was a vine on the roof, a Cypress tree on the left and a Toot tree (Blackberry) on the right. There was a Bougainvillae at the entry door. Now the house stands naked, not cared for and desperately empty. It started to empty gradually during the civil war with my brothers and I immigrating, my mother deceased and then my father joining us in another land in 1991. Should the civil war and the consequent events have not taken hold of Lebanon, I don't know where I would have been today but one thing I am sure of: the house would have been more lively and less desolate.

Last year, a picture of my mother was still standing in the living room and I took it with me to Montreal but I felt by doing this that I betrayed the house. The recent history of Lebanon is a cruel tragedy in which many countries but notably Israel have played an ugly role, destroying infrastructure, dictating policy, reingning in on militant groups, killing civilians, planting bombs, destroying the economy, all in total despise of human life and the aspiration of Lebanese for a better future.

However, I fear this tragedy will not be accounted for and may never be. I fear that my people are isolated and that the entire world is not listenoing.

While strolling Berlin's streets yesterday I walked in front of this synagogue situated in what is used to be the jewish quarter in Berlin. Jews who lived in this quarter came mostly here fleeing the persecutions in Poland and other eastern european countries only to face another and a bigger persecution. This synagogue was burned and destroyed on November 1938 during Crystal Night.
''"Crystal Night" is the name that's been given to the night of 9-10 November 1938. In almost all large German cities and some smaller ones that night, store windows of Jewish shops were broken, Jewish houses and apartments were destroyed and synagogues were demolished and set on fire.''
Crystal Night followed the assassination in Paris of a German officer by a Jewish German. The toll of dead people on Crystal night was about 91. However, it is said that it is after Crystal night that Hitler and Goebbels decided to get rid of German and European Jews and to finish the job.

One might say this is a disproportionate reaction to the assassination of one German officer. This is of course simplistic and it is to misunderstand the very nature of Nazis persecutions of Jews, however it facilitated, in front of the public opinion, the persecutions that followed.
Strolling in the streets of Berlin, this part of German and international history is at the same time very present and very distant. Berlin is a lively city and Germans seem to have come to terms with their troubled past and they have paid the high price for it.

Now that the state that emerged from this tragedy, the zionist state, is bombarding Lebanon and its infratsructure and killing Lebanese civilians, I hear that Israel's response is 'disproportionate', I hear Israelis citizens on TV telling reporters that their army must 'finish the job', I hear Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader saying that the war with Israel had just began, I hear world leaders Blaming Syria and Iran for the escalation. I hear the drums of war.

However, this is not the first time we are witnessing persecutions against Lebanese and destruction of the lebanese state infrastructure by Israel. Why Lebanon has to endure the agression of the zionist state repeatedly without the world intervening and stopping this tragedy ? Mainstream media are saying that it is all the fault of Hezbollah. I found most analyses on TV and in the news superficial.

The recent escalation is a clear signal from Hezbollah to unbearable pressure from the US and the Israeli state on the Lebanese government, in which Hezbollah is a member, to disarm this group. Talks between Lebanese factions have reached a dead end recently and the Lebanese government, in which other factions have clear allegiance to the US and Israel, must have signalled its incapacity to do what was demanded from him by the US and Israel. The kidnapping of the soldiers by Hezbollah is then a signal that it won't cave to the pressure coming this time from Israel and the soldiers kidnapping is an act meant to create 'winning conditions' in the coming struggle, monnaie d'échange. Of course, everybody understands by now that Isarel's response is not 'disproportionate' or that Israel is acting 'hysterically' in the sense that this is not a reaction; listening to Olmert and to Israeli officials, it is clear that this operation must have been planned and launched when conditions to win the international opinion were met (the kidnapping of the soldiers). Israel is acting as planned, should Hezbollah have kidnapped the soldiers or not, and it is acting to 'finish the job' and submit every group that won't accept its Diktat in the region.
Israel has the means to do that and to do it at the same time it is doing the same thing with Hamas and the Palestinians and it is having international tacit consent because it is presenting the matter as an answer to the kidnapping of its two soldiers by a 'terrorrist' group. The propaganda campaign is already in full gear. The Anti Defamation league, Israel's satellite in the West have paid for a half page ad in the IHT this week-end showing clandestine militants from the early days of the Hamas armed group, Kataeb El Kassam, the brigades of Al-Kassam, and citing France's foreign minister saying that 'Hamas must change but the world will not change'. The ad disinforms willingly in ignoring that just before the recent escalation Hamas gave its consent to a common declaration drafted by other Palestinian groups to recognize Israel in its pre 1967 borders and it disinforms in presenting an old picture of the armed branch of Hamas when this group was just an armed group and not a group elected to the government by the Palestinian people. So the recent escalation in Gaza and in Lebanon must be seen as the new Israeli's government willingness to get rid of both Hamas and the Hezbollah at the same time and to submit the entire region and make the Arab world accept its conditions for peace, if tehre was ever peace on their mind.

This is a coup de force that Israel is trying with the help of the US and the UK (you must listen to Tony Blair's recent declaration about the recent events, he was pathetic telling BBC World that the UN must intervene in order to stop rockets falling on Israel, and as I don't watch TV usually but only when I travel, I found his face lift ashaming, it makes him look more like a puppet than like a head of a government) and the tacit consent of the rest of the world. This is why I don't think Hezbollah chose the time to start the fighting because it previously promised the Lebanese government a ceasefire on all operations during the touristic season, Lebanon's main source of income. I think that the timing was not in the hands of Hezbollah and that the kidnappings were a reaction to an information on an imminent Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

My country, L
ebanon, will be taken once again in the spirale of the violence the Israeli state has created in the region and as the Iraqi adventure, which is another tragedy created by the Neo-cons in order to set the conditions for a total reddition of all hostile Arab regimes to the will of Israel, nobody knows how and when it will end, nobody knows how much dead civilans and destroyed infrastructre it will take, nobody knows how much suffering the zionist state is going to inflict on the region.


Anonymous said...

Sophia, Greetings to you and your family in Germany.

Our vacation to Lebanon was foreclosed by Israel's aggression on Lebanon. We too are going to Germany to visit family.

The world is ignoring our tragedy because all the powers that count are in collusion with Israel.

The British warned their citizens two months ago not to go to Lebanon this summer.They knew what was going to happen. If you listen to Western leaders they are so much as saying that Israel has a job to do and they will not act until it is done.

The West is trapped in a logic that will produce results that are contrary to their interest and Israel's.

I am more optimistic.The ME is undergoing a period of rapid change and the region will be unrecognizable in the next 10-15 years. Also empires come and go. Who will protect and pay Israel's bills when the US empire wanes and it cannot maintain its reach or help Israel " secure its realm".

Israel will be held to account by its neighbours first ,all 500 million of them. You are right- history is written by the victors but the images that people see are very graphic and damning to Israel,regardless of the propaganda.

Their arrogance and their perfidy are also unbearable and they are making many enemies.

We ,on the other hand, have a lot of work to do- rebuilding our country and getting our message out there.

Israel will win the military confrontation but will not come out of this war with any political victories or peace.


Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Bushmert doesn’t care about “collateral damages”: someone who enthusiastically destroyed Bagdad, the former capital of an empire stretching from Spain to India, won’t have second thoughts about razing a small Arab city-state with no oil to steal.

The Arab League and its Saudi and Egyptian “pillars” did nothing for Iraq in 2003, even though TeX-Aviv was then exclusively targeting their fellow Sunni Arabs…

Don’t expect the Wahhabi collaborators of Riyadh to lift a finger for Lebanon.

Three days ago, the house of Saud sent a crystal clear message to Bushmert- a man who appreciates “moral clarity” whatever that means:

“The massacre can continue. Please Sahib President, make sure Yahweh’s glorious air force destroys in priority the South, Beirut’s Dahiyehh, and the Beqaa valley. Allah blesses you. Saudi Arabia is your friend. You can always count on us. The Supreme Council of the Riyadh ‘Ulamas is praying day and night for your victory. We love you Mr. President. Allah loves you.”

Anonymous said...

So Hizbullah's attack and kidnapping of two soldiers was actually a preemptive strike on Israel, which was about to invade Lebanon anyway?

Nice conspiracy theory. But that's all it is - a conspiracy theory, meant to legitimize a terrorist organization's actions.

Behemoth101 said...

Thank you for a post that reassures me there is still reason in the Western world.

Gert said...

I fear that support for Israel will be even more unconditional than ever: the "Global War on Terror" has given the West, lead of course by the Bush/Blair tandem a golden opportunity to lump all forms of resistance, local, "global" or otherwise together and make things even simpler for the simpleton citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.

To them it's clear: the struggle is between "good" and "evil" and Israel is the good guy, constantly under "attack", they have the right to defend themselves. It's a movie to most people, John Wayne is Israel and pick your choice for the bad guy, as long as you make him look really, really bad.

Tell someone in the West that the West Bank is under Israeli military occupation and they look at you incredulously: "that's not true" or "surely the Arabs must have done something to deserve this?" is what you get.

And Lebanese civilian victims (now and back then): they're just Arabs, colluding with Iran and Syria, these bad, bad rogue states, who cares. But we're real quick to evacuate our own.

History is written by the victor: all moralism is really quite pointless when you're looking down the barrel of a very big and very loaded gun...

The Palestinians are the closest a people can get to becoming the "next forgotten people", already some two million of them are largely forgotten anyway, I guess it's a start... Truly depressing.

Anonymous said...

For a forgotten people they sure are in the news a lot.

Sophia said...

Thanks to Issam, Victor, Gert and Behemoth for your kind words. I am really distressed and your comments give me a sense of consolation.

Since March 29th 2006