Monday, July 17, 2006

What next for Beirut?

I watch the news on my television and read my newspaper everyday but the situation in Beirut gets worse day by day. How these people are suffering, a suffering they do not deserve at the evil hands of Israel. There are bloggers in Beirut at the moment and here is a snapshot of the feeling at the moment...

Where to Lebanon? writes...

The whole Hezbollah / Israel fiasco started a few days back. Each day it gets worse, and I guess it will get much worse before it gets better. I hate hearing the bombs, my heart skips a beat every time as I wonder how close am I to the bombing. Should I move to a room with no windows or stay put? I usual wait to hear my mom’s footsteps, to reassure myself that all is well. The booms seem to be always followed by a car’s alarm going off. Then silence. I am also tired of the lack of a full night’s sleep. I wake up to a boom then can’t go back to sleep. I look for any radio station to hear what is going on, but all I get is Fairuz or Marcel Khalife singing war songs. Then I go back to sleep to wake up to another boom. Morning comes, and I turn on the news for more of the same.

I know my neighbourhood should be safe. I don’t think the Israeli’s will target non-Hezbollah areas yet. I am in a much better position that those poor souls in the south or in the Dahia. Other than the noise, worry, boredom, anger, and jittery nerves, I am not suffering much. I even went to them gym yesterday. It is funny to be on a treadmill while watching pictures of war not too far from me.

Ur Shalim writes...

Far Beyond Collective Punishment. Lebanon: Collective Death

Haret Hureik and its surroundings are inhabited by about two hundred and fifty thousand [250000] civilians.
It has been totally destroyed. Two hospitals are damaged. Our home and homes of family and friend all gone. Their lives were barely saved. Some acquaintances are already dead.
And you tell me not to look at the TV as not to feel bad.
The rest of the suburbs has about 750000 civilians. It is now under renewed attacks. Some civilians are trapped.
Israel is warning civilians in cities and villages in South Lebanon to leave.
But Israel has damaged all roads and bridges leading out.
Internationally prohibited phosphorus bombs are used against civilians in South Lebanon.
More massacres will be committed by the Israelis, as usual.
The Israelis will also repeat that stupid line claiming that "terrorists" are hiding behind civilians.
And some expect me to understand, appreciate, excuse and justify this because the "morally superior" IDF (IOF) said it is only attacking HizbAllah.

Jamal Ghosn writes...

Islamist resistance movements are only new comers to the picture. Long before Hezbollah and Hamas, Israeli oppression of Palestinians and Lebanese created many resistance movements. None of them were Islamist. The initial wave of resistance was leftist and secular. Israel’s destruction of these movements aided the rise in Islamist movements. Israel preferred dealing with Islamists because waging a war on “religious wackos” would be an easier sell for their PR machine. The invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 were before Hezbollah even existed. Comatose Sharon’s claim to fame in Sabra and Shatila was one of the reasons Hezbollah started appealing to the populace. That was in 1983 long after 1948 and 1967 when Islamism was nowhere to be found.
We can thank Israeli policy for the rise in religious fanaticism in the region as its racist oppressive strategy since 1948 brought this upon us.

So when Israeli missiles blow up a bus of fleeing civilians and their spokespeople claim that "religious anti-semitic wackos" were hiding under the bus, they are only trying to make their ethnic cleansing practices more acceptable to the western audience.

This is a snapshot to paint a broader picture to what you can read in the newspapers and watch on our televisions safely sat at home in the UK. I think that the crisis is turning very quickly into a war. A very disproportionate war where an American backed state army is pulverising a small democratic country. Today's newspaper reports that 130 Lebanese have been killed since last Wednesday compared to 24 Israeli's - a ratio of 5 to 1 yet Israel claims it is making an appropiate response. How can the capture of 2 Israeli soldiers on Wednesday justify bombing the civilian population of Lebanon and reducing Beirut into a building site. The Israeli soldiers are employed in a dangerous job and I feel that them being captured, wounded or killed is part of the risk of their jobs. They must have realised this when they signed up for duty and no way should a country declare war on another country to find 2 missing soldiers. Israel is just using the 2 missing soldiers as an excuse to bomb Lebanon in the same way it has used the 1 missing soldier in Gaza to bomb the Palestinians. This is truly evil and goes against normal human nature yet the Israeli's elected Ehud Olmert as their Prime Minister, prime murderer more like.
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