Monday, August 21

Personal shoutout to a Beirut blogger

Jos (is that a dimunitive for a longer name?) writes at "Another Blog on the Block" - correct me if I'm wrong - from Beirut and has a lot of well-spoken, "from-the-heart" things to say about day-to-day life in wartime in the Land of the Cedars, inter alia; coping with painful Israeli airstrikes aimed at Hizbullah targets; musing about regional repercussions of the war, but mostly anger - anger and deep disgust at Hizbullah and Iran over what they have inflicted on her land.

While I certainly disagree with her take on Israel, Israelis and our rationale and scale of response to Hizbullah's behavior - and would welcome a fruitful dialogue with her on this - after traveling throughout northern communities hard-hit by month-long, near-nonstop Katyusha strikes, I more than share her rage at the toxins Iran and Hizbullah have injected into her country, from Tyre to southern Beirut, from Baalbek and the Bekaa valley to Aita el-Shaab.

What I can't share are her contentions about the extent and intentions of Israel's bombardment, or the knee-jerk assumption that all that were hit were innocent and purposely so. Example? Here's a map of areas targeted, in comparison to the rest of Beirut. The talkback comments below it are also instructive. There are many other examples readily available.

(UPDATED paragraph) But what really I don't share is Jos's compatriots hostage-like passivity in the face of the rape of her country by IranCo - an all-to-common reflex attitude towards despots in the Arab world - and the Lebanese' passivity in allowing them to subcontract their country into a terror base against Israel and the West. Jos, on the other hand is proud to show her colors on her site, and hopefully elsewhere.

Example (one of scores):


Israeli military sources said Hizbullah fighters and operatives were seen returning
with tens of thousands of Lebanese residents to the communities from which they had
fled in July. The sources said some of the Hizbullah fighters were seen with weapons
and communications equipment.
"They are quite open about it," a source who tracks Hizbullah movements said. "The
Lebanese know it and even our soldiers at their posts in Lebanon see them."
Under a United Nations-arranged ceasefire, Hizbullah operatives were not allowed to
bring their weapons to southern Lebanon. The Security Council resolution also called
for the surrender of Hizbullah weaponry.”

You hate Israeli for its attacks in Lebanon? You are a citizen of a sovereign nation - act like it and throw Syria
out! You almost succeeded once:

Mass protest demonstration in
Beirut after Hariri assassination

Along with many Israelis, I was positively impressed seeing that massive open square in Beirut turned into a sea of red and white flags held up against Syria, Hizbullah and Iranian influence after the Hariri assassination. I remember watching film clips on Israeli news showing cadres of nighttime marchers at that and similar rallies shouting, "Cus Emmmm-ek, Assad!" at the Syrian boy ophthalmologist reputedly behind the massive land mine (one of many "warnings" from Damascus) that killed their leader and plunged them "back 20 years" - long before Israeli leaders threatened it over Hizbullah.

What was even more brave was allowing themselves to be filmed, faces exposed, shouting it at the top of their lungs. Where is that bravery against the dark forces of militant Islam now?

Jos, no one here is happy about being in Lebanon, nor about noncombatants killed, maimed and damage done to civilian areas and infrastructure. And certainly not about having to do the work that your government should have done against Hizbullah years ago, with the loss of Israeli lives - soldier and civilian. I am sure you read the Israeli press, and see that now. But – really now - what else would you have expected us to do? Wave a white flag? Roll over and die from close to 4,000 Katyushas? Call for the laughable United Nations "peacekeepers” to get our kidnapped soldiers back? Hizbullah did, has, is and will continue trying to bring about Israel's destruction and the eradication of Jews in the region - they have been quoted umpteen times saying, writing, and praying for it for the last six years, and doing any and everything possible to bring it about.

Many Israelis are interested in a strong, independent Lebanon, just as you are. Why can that not be mutual about Jews and Israel – for the benefit of both our peoples?

And to think, I even made her blogroll.

On a similar note, The Jerusalem Post has an article about a Lebanese woman, Juanna Sharvit, who is married to an Israeli and lives in eastern Jerusalem:

"In 2000, when we left southern Lebanon," says Sharvit, who is married to an Israeli, "it was done badly and only increased the popularity of Nasrallah, who claimed he was the one who chased Israel out of southern Lebanon.
"He comes out of this conflict even more powerful and influential, because it seems that Israel didn't achieve even one of the goals it set for itself prior to this operation. I hope and believe we will get our soldiers back, but it will only be achieved through diplomatic efforts and negotiations. And this is exactly what Nasrallah said during his televised address on July 12."
An anchor and a journalist on Israeli Channel 1, she closely follows the developments in her native country, although right now she says she feels "100 percent Israeli."

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