Word from Lebanon

 

Two communications below from: Beirut IndyMedia member and also our friend and colleague Raida Hatoum, and, Cyprus IndyMedia member Petros Evdokas.

Titled "Word from Lebanon" and "Two New Electronic Weapons of the Resistance, and a Strategic development in the war", respectively, they provide a cross section of the present reality and crisis in Lebanon, Gaza and our entire Eastern Mediterranean region, through lenses extending from the heart and the mind of these veteran colleagues.

indymedia: Cyprus | A word from Lebanon | Israel | Beirut
other grassroots websites: ElectronicLebanon | Tadamon | IMEMC | Electronic Intifada | Palestine News Network | Palestine Blogs | Mona's blog: From Gaza
photos: cmaq gallery

Word from Lebanon

A communication from Raida Hatoum in Beirut. 
Raida a is a founding member of Lebanon's IndyMedia organization in Beirut (imc-beirut); volunteer active with the Palestinian Solidarity networks working at the Shatila refugee camp and with the Najdeh Association; member of the group which publishes the Lebanese paper Al-Yasari (the Leftist); and a committed Socialist. 
 
 

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006
Subject: Re: I'm hoping you are safe
From: raida

Hi Petros

Thank you for writing to me, I am fine, and all the members of my family are fine, some of them had to sleep in the shelters as they live close to the bridge that was attacked twice yesterday and today by Israel, the house of my sister was damaged seriously yet she and her family are fine, of course the children are terrified. 

As for my coworkers in the Palestinian camps in the south, I am not able to reach them by phones, I lost contact with them in the 2nd day of the Israeli war, I hope they are fine. Israel destroyed Lebanon completely. We have electricity for 2 hours per day yet other regions have no electricity at all. 

I think you are following the news, 4 massacres till now, two families were killed, all members of the families, two civilian cars also were attacked and many were killed, till now 100 civilians were killed among them there is many children.

Israel says this war will continue for two weeks, this means the attacks will reach every region in Lebanon. Iraqis, Syrians and Kuwaities were killed also in the attacks. The photos attached are of people displaced or killed in the israeli shelling and bombing.

I will end my email now because I fear the electricity will be cut again now. Thanks again for your email and concerns, I salute you and Sue and all the other friends by your side hope always to hear from you 

Salaam
Raida
_______ 
 

Dearest Raida,

It breaks my heart to be aware of what is happening in Lebanon and Gaza. It's in times like this that I wish I were ignorant, unaware, knowing nothing.

I see the photos of the refugees, the photos of these children and I think of all the little ones my comrades and I have helped nurse back to health from illnesses and injuries, some from "incurable" conditions - some of them born straight out of the womb into our arms. The realization that a rocket might crush and rip 'em up, tear them to shreds, rend them apart and steal their lives, their laughter, just paralyzes me. Gives me the shakes. I can't navigate the storm of these feelings. 

I'm happy to hear you're safe. And then again, Raida, I know that in a time and place where reality is ruled by bombs, artillery shells and missiles raining from the sky, your safety of this moment might mean nothing ten minutes later. It can all be lost in a flash and a twist of hot shrapnel. All of us who have friends, lovers, comrades, relatives in Lebanon and Palestine in these days are in constant upset, worry, irritation. We pray that all of you will be safe, and at the same time we curse with the knowledge that prayers are not enough. And frustration is infinite.

Please be well.

Embraces,
Petros
petros at cyprus-org.net
from the Belly of the Beast 
____________ 
 

Two New Electronic Weapons of the Resistance, and a Strategic development in the war
by Petros Evdokas

"In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it. This is because there is nothing that can take its place.

The weak overcomes the strong,
And the submissive overcomes the hard,
Everyone in the world knows yet very few can put this knowledge into practice.

Therefore the sage says:
Only those who take upon themselves the humiliation of the people are fit to rule.
Only those who take upon themselves the country's disasters are worthy worthy of dominion over the realm. The truth often seems paradoxical." 
- Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu

It's horrible and beautiful when the time comes to announce new weapons in the hands of the Resistance. The Liberation Movement gains new ways to save lives and to pursue liberty; the conflict escalates. Who can judge what the final outcome will be? 

But the sentiments are real: 
horrible and beautiful, we have two new weapons that got thrown into the fray and madness that is now raining death and disaster on Lebanon and Gaza.

The first is a political development in electronic media, the second is a home-made military weapon with electronic components.

Electronic Lebanon

The group of independent journalists who publish the Electronic Intifada has launched the "Electronic Lebanon" project
ElectronicLebanon
to provide a central location for EI's coverage of the ongoing Israeli blockade and assault on Lebanon.

In its pages there is a large amount of material, photos, eyewitness reports, news and analyses which are entirely absent from and censored by the global Corporate and authoritarian State media. 

Truth and free information are indispensible weapons for the Liberation Movement. This new project by our colleagues of the Electronic Intifada group will enhance everyone's ability for direct access to news and information, especially for World Peace, Anti-War, and Anti-Imperialist activists and community organizers everywhere. 

Please visit their pages, and please donate and support this project anyway you can. 

The Remote Controlled Drone

Forces of the Lebanese popular resistance/ Hezbollah (Party of God) yesterday attacked an Israeli warship and destroed it by a Remote Controlled Drone - a Drone is an automatic craft without a pilot or staff, directed by remote technologies. 

Eyewitnesses from a University dormitory on the beach report that the Israeli ship was firing rockets into Beirut and all of a sudden it was hit by an unknown weapon, set on fire, and began to sink. Immediately, the Hezbollah television station announced this new development in the war, not only as an atack against the warhip, but as a qualitative leap into new weaponry enriching the arsenal of peoples' war. 

Israeli forces announced that they were able to prevent sinking and to tow the destroyed ship back to base. Also, that a number of sailors were killed and missing in the attack. 

It's a horrible feeling to feel the urge to cheer with a new act of violence, but when the oppressor sends out machinery to sow indiscriminate death and destruction on an entire population, shredding children to pieces and systematically destroying an entire county's infrastructure, what other solution is there for the people but to fight back for survival, by any means necessary?  And what can be more natural than to cheer when an effort is successful? Whenever the means of defence themselves are improved, there's an immediate potential for reducing the slaughter of innocents.

The word "drone" is a relatively new and fashionable term, which in recent years has been applied to weapons that have existed for many decades, actually. But in the last few years, the global Empire's military-industrial-university complex has improved these weapons to a great degree by miniaturizing many components and linking the weapon systems to satellite networks of surveillance and communication, signifying a new generation of these remote controlled weapons. So, the new name "drone" had come to symbolize a new degree of sophistication and accuracy in industrial high-tech warfare.

Even though the idea (and actual capability) of putting explosives on a remote controlled aircraft has been around for a long time, its use in improvised weapons has been very limited, and only experimental. The new strike by the Lebanese resistance utilizing this weapon had two immediate effects:

1. it destroyed an enemy warship which was in the act of attacking the defenseless civilians of Beirut,
2. it succeeded in a tremendous propaganda victory, boosting the morale of the people, not only locally, but in the whole Arab and Islamic world where millions of people are suffering death and degradation under the combined US/UK Crusaders and their Zionist allies.

This second effect of the appearance of new weapon is nowhere more visible than in how it was treated by the Empire's Corporate and State media.

At first, within a few minutes of the attack by Hezbollah, headlines all over the world proclamed "Hezbollah drone attacks warship". Spectacular descriptions of the event tried to compete with the coverage given by Hezbolla's own tv station. 

Soon, the editors (conscious political players of the highest degree on the global chessboard) realized that this was a tremendous propaganda victory for the popular resistance because the word "Drone" implies high-tech weaponry and military sophistication, and they began scrambling to modify the titles of their articles to "Hezbollah aircraft" adding the words "unmanned", "remote-controlled", etc.

Additionally, they began to blame the Government of Iran for supposedly supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon with "high-tech weapons" and at the same time began to minimize the image of sophistication that the weapon is assumed to have. 

So, they began to publish two conflicting and contradictory theories at the same time in a hope to demoralize and confuse people. On the one hand they claim the popular resistance could not have produced this weapon on their own and "must have" received it from Iran. On the other hand, they describe the device as a simple thing that might have been made in the secret underground workshops of the Lebanese movement, in order to illustrate its makers as poor, low-tech, crude and unsophisticated.

Sometimes the contradictory theories come out of the same mouth at the same time - here's a quote from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

"...Defense analyst John Pike of the Washington-based firm Global Security doubted that claim.
"I think Hezbollah has people capable of rigging explosives to a drone, but I don't think they could develop a UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] on their own," he said. 
Global Security's website notes that a leading Arab newspaper, London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, once reported that Iran sold eight Mohajer-4 drones to Hezbollah.
Iran fields several types of UAVs, including one, called the Ababil, with a 9-foot-long body, capable of flying for 90 minutes, and able to carry a 90-pound payload. Nasrallah [spokesperson for Hezbollah] was quoted in 2004 as saying Hezbollah's drones could carry 40 kilograms - 90 pounds - of explosives.
The drone's TV camera makes it relatively easy to mount such an attack, Pike said.
"It's not bigtime rocket science to put explosives on the thing and then use the TV camera to home in on the ship," he said."
Quoted from:
"Hezbollah 'air power' first flew in 2004"


A Stategic Development

Reality is in the details. 

In the month of June, Israeli forces killed more than 50 Palestinians - this was during a time of "peaceful operations". In the two weeks of July since Israel began its invasion of Gaza, more than 80 Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilian non-combattants and children.

Something incredible happened when the Lebanese Hezbollah attacked a military position on Israel's north killing a few soldiers and taking two prisoners. The entire war shifted.

The Zionist Government of Israel launched an unprecedented wave of destruction on Lebanon, and even though the entire world community, including many prominent countries' Governments voiced its opposition and horror at this move, the Israeli leadership continues unabated, and promises that it will not stop.

At the same time, Israel has been receiving a tremendous amount of military and financial aid from the United States, and to top it all, the United States used its veto power at the United Nations Security Council to prevent a resolution that would have told Israel to pull out of Gaza. 

And yet, even while it had the upper hand in Gaza, even while it won a victory in the Security Council with US support, the Israeli military was forced to withdraw. It remains in a tight grip around Gaza, but it removed its invading forces as soon as Hezbollah began to hit back at the Israeli invasion with rockets reaching all over northern Israel. 

No one is talking about it in these terms, yet there it is, the prime lesson on people's war from Che Guevara and Mao: open up more fronts than the enemy can handle. "What we need is two, three, many Vietnams".

The initiative by Hezbollah worked: it drew the lion's attention away to a new front. "When Spiders Unite, They Can Tie Down A Lion", says an Ethiopean proverb.

No matter what we may think of Hezbollah's social and religious politics, regardless of whether we agree or disagree with them, the reality is that in the absense of a viable and conscious socialist/ communist/ anarchist/ autonomist mass resistance to the Imperial and Zionist forces, nature itself throws up another form of people's war: Hezbollah right now are the only popular force putting up a credible, worhty, and at times victorious resistance to the invaders, even more so than the Lebanese government itself. Drawing Israeli forces away from Palestine - even if only temporarily - by opening a new front for Israel is a brilliant move. 

An Israeli army statement about the Gaza pull out said that the troops had "currently completed their activities in the area". Well, what are they going to say, "we can't support war on so many fronts right now, our military leaders and politicians don't know what they're doing"?

Petros Evdokas

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Further Readings:

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add a comment on this article

Pray for Truth.

Matthew T. 17.Jul.2006 08:38

Those of you following the latest in the Israeli conflict (one of the many euphemisms for "Israeli Brutality Within and Without Its Borders") who believe that the latest activity is best explained as Israeli defensive retaliation against unprovoked anti-Israel aggression...you owe it to yourselves and your country to read this and consider it. If you don't agree, or become angry, or do agree and want to confer feel free to email me at  demothsenes11@yahoo.com. I'll try to be judicious to those against me, but I do ask that you don't just cuss me out.

It is imperative that you do not depend utterly on newspapers and broadcasts of American origin, and additionally necessary to be discerning on what other sources you use. Frankly, the long-standing debate on the justness of the state of Israel and its mechanizations is impossible to consider rationally if one’s information is limited to sources that are under a wide sphere of influence that dictates self-censorship as a remedy to censorship from more drastic institutions. (The most notorious to my knowledge being the AntiDefemation League.) To escape this phenomenon it is unfortunately necessary to put in some effort. Obviously, it is easy to look to agencies hostile to Israel for “other versions” of coverage ongoing events and of recent relevant history, but this method is not in itself sufficient for obvious reasons.

The evidence, where it exists as such, demonstrates as matter of public record that:
- Israel is the notorious aggressor in its conflicts.
- That the tactics employed by its political regimes and military apparatus are brutal to the point of matching and often exceeding the worst of its people’s infamous sufferings in the last world war.
- Israel’s citizenry and daily affairs are less afflicted by the hostilities.

Moreover, when one focuses on Israeli political history, one finds a highly unique example of statecraft wherein the overt intention of the political structure is to promote the favoritism of a specific pseudo-ethnic religious identity above all others. In its promotion of this agenda, Israel consistently excuses itself from adherence not only to international law, and its own treaties, but also from nearly universally accepted principles of human dignity and justice.

Far from the characterization many of us are exposed to in our own media and schools of a state designed to rescue an abused and downtrodden people barely surviving the ravishes of a world war in which its people played a central role, Israel is best described as a pariah state. A state notorious for its brutality and unscrupulous implementation of violence and propaganda well on par of the ethical abandon which it accuses, often rightly, of WWII era states and political parties. One easy example of this lack of moral principle is Israel’s acceptance of American aide of all sorts, when America absorbed so much of the Nazi intelligence apparatus into its own ranks to thwart the advances of communist forces, much of that threat owing a great deal to Jewish communities and individuals for its own successes.

Some of the political crimes established by the public record include:
- Complete refusal to implement or recognize judgments, resolutions, and treaties by international bodies such as the UN and human rights organizations despite its legal obligations to do so.
- Overt promotion of its own “right” to pursue and execute individuals without any judicial process of any sort at home or abroad, of individuals it identifies as enemies, even when these individuals are so hunted and killed on sovereign foreign territory, like that of the U.S.
- Violation of human rights within territories of Israeli control or responsibility. (The list of such rights would be too extensive to list, but the apartheid style wall, home demolishing, shelling of civilians, assassination of political and cultural leadership, deprivations of schooling for children and even sustenance for people, and many others come immediately to mind.)
- Assassinations of non-combatant foreign visitors of all sorts including non-compliant journalists and peace keeping organizations, individuals like Rachel Corrie from the ISM, and basically any foreigner come to see the conflict who does not espouse the “approved” versions of events.
- The most egregious and outrageous hostile espionage campaign against the United States since Stalin’s preemptive espionage strike against the U.S. immediately following WWII, which quite literally caused the Cold War. This category in itself requires extensive listing of examples; fortunately they are easy to come by. Israel is almost never punished when its spies and their illegal activities are exposed. The U.S. government has long since been proven to be unwilling or unable to even limit the scope of Israeli spying, despite strident efforts by outraged patriots within elements of our government. The sheer magnitude of sabotage, blackmail, outright theft, political murder, and subversion of American foreign policy around the globe is stunning. Studying this history in itself goes a long way towards explaining how America and Israel were able to be essentially hostile to one another while nevertheless engaging in a perfect alliance…that is, neither state can afford to quit now. One particularly interesting saga in this history is that of the Venona Project which, once declassified, gave incredibly vivid accounts of Communist espionage in America. Of course, Israel is implicated in these activities when one reviews the Zionist role in Bolshevik enterprises. What would be conjecture is confirmed by contemporary publicly known accounts of modern Israeli/Zionist espionage.

What is important to understand is that the same mechanism that enabled a foreign nation (The Soviet Union) to find such fertile recruiting grounds for spies – that is, many Americans were ideologically inclined to support communism at that stage, the evil of that particular manifestation of anti-bourgeois revolution had not yet been exposed – has enabled Israel from its modern birth to the present day to find ideal conditions for espionage. Many Jews, Zionists, and Christian supporters identify with the spiritual or religious rightness of Israel’s fight, and experience a sort of duel loyalty between that for their country and that for their spiritual quest for “justice”. It is interesting to note that for the longest time it was precisely this fear of duel loyalty that plagued Catholics in America, since in theory they are answerable religiously to the Pope. The Pope, however, has not taken the Vatican Guard and ordered the ethnic cleansing of surrounding Rome from non-Catholics.

Another source of confusion for many people is the fact that the jingoistic fervor exhibited by Jewish communities in America is not nearly representative of that in local Israeli communities. That is to say, many Israelis (Jewish and otherwise) actually living in the Middle East are highly vocal in their criticism of Zionist aggression and the atrocities of the IDF. The best examples of this are actual conscripts from IDF service who risk everything to expose the illegal, horrendous activities in which they are forced to engage. Even aside from this, there is simply a more accurate, more clinical understanding of the conflict for local Israelis. Their media are not nearly as highly filtered as those in America. In Israel, the papers from right and left accurately quote official accounts, not to mention render them in the same language. When a government official advocates or denounces the demolishing of homes in Gaza because of the need for the Wall, or to punish a neighborhood collectively for accusations of individuals, the Israeli public knows much better than we what has occurred and what is disputed.

You have to remember that those who speak out and oppose Zionism in practice or theory often risk being identified as “race traitors”. The penalties for being so-called range from petty violence to political or social excommunication. The only thing akin to this person risk for dissidents in America is witnessed in the rare event of a public personality deriding the cruelties of Israel in print or TV. Behold the hammer-like demolition of such individuals…the cease to be heard from in the public. Noam Chompsky is the easiest example of such censorship.

Nevertheless in Israel there is much vocal opposition. There are simply too many informed Israelis who cannot in good conscience support methods and machinations akin to those their ancestors too recently withstood from forces such as the Nazi’s SS and fascist forces throughout Europe. Especially not in their name.

Many of these dissidents are responsible for dissemination damning evidence of Israeli crimes. Some of these critics expound, “They have gone too far!” This does not go far enough, for it is not even fair (or balanced) to say that Israel has been “too violent” in promotion of its cause. Israel, the modern state, was a crime at its inception and this status has continued unabated to this day.

The moral high ground was lost when the belligerents of WWII baited the Jewish Community (in the broad strokes) by brokering a deal with the Zionists to partition Palestine. In this, they were bargaining with the devil. They would receive tacit political support for an ethnocentric state in accordance with Zionist ideals, and among other things this was to have “solved” the Jewish “problem” for war ravaged Europe. Palestine was rightfully the sovereignty of Muslims, Jews, and Christians all of which include Arabs within the ethnicities they encompass. Now it is for no one, for it has become in a very real way, Hell on Earth. This was done for the least noble of reasons, and this is all a matter of record.

Another very relevant principle for the opposition of the Occupation and military recklessness and abuse is the observation that whereas in all conflicts (to my knowledge) atrocities are committed and then rationalized as having been “unavoidable”, “unfortunate but grimly necessary”, or some such; Israel invokes no rationale for atrocity. That is, Israel implements illegal, inhumane atrocities of all scales and extremes including outright ethnic massacres (try to assemble a complete list on that one, while you’re at it)…and she does so out of policy.

America is not unique in having its population be so ill informed of the realities of this horrible conflict. Though many would argue that the distortions are no worse elsewhere and in many places less severe. America does however bear the distinction of being the financial and technological savant for Israel and its activities. Your tax dollar is used less for buying textbooks for your children than it is used to purchase munitions for the IDF and bulldozers for village-razing.

As a loyal American, that loves my people and my country, I feel obligated to thwart the most abominable alliance we’ve made to this date. Disinvestment cannot happen quickly enough. It is through the fruit of American labor that Israel enjoys invincibility from political arenas, funding for its jingoistic endeavors, and arms for its self-defense and massacres of ethnic/political rivals.

Access to oil is that important to us. I however, will not sell my soul to these devils.
-Matthew T.
 demothsenes11@yahoo.com

Lebanon Resource Page for activists

infoshop volunteer 17.Jul.2006 18:01

Infoshop.org has created page on Lebanon to give people a brief but informed analysis of the situation, links to helpful sites and articles and also grassroots action people can take. If you have something helpful to add to the page please do so.

 http://www.infoshop.org/wiki/index.php/Lebanon

pathetic indymedia , victims can only be arabs in this distorted website

bruno 18.Jul.2006 21:29

no wonder how less and less people come here , as talking of biased information , you start compiting with communist or faschist media by giving only one side of the story. so just stop bitching about cnn etc. being pro israeli (it's simply not true) the most patetic it's all this "well read" dudes in psedo intelectual lingo bombared you with the fact (yeah, sure)using zionism as if it's some f word. it's all so funny and patetic left wing going into all this energy to kick ass of jews as if they are some fastshit group. oh probably it's not so far from what they are at the end of the day..

Wed 13 July Sun 17 July protests

gush shalom 19.Jul.2006 20:17







200 people protested against the bombing of Lebanon just hours after it started on Wed 13 July. 600-800 people protested on Sunday 17 July through the streets of Tel Aviv.

 https://israel.indymedia.org/newswire/display/4921/index.php
 http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en

"STOP THE WAR NOW!"

Wed 13 July, Tel Aviv: Only a few hours after the start of the attack on Lebanon, 200 peace activists gathered in front of the Ministry of Defense to protest against it.


"One - Two - Three - Four / We do not want this war!" shouted the demonstrators, members of several organizations, youngsters side by side with veterans. Other slogans (roughly translated from Hebrew) were:
"Artillery and Qassams / The occupation is bad for everybody!"
"Peretz - you promised education and pensions / And all we got is tanks and dead bodies!"
"Peretz, Peretz, for the sake of the North / Get out of Lebanon!"
"Jews and Arabs / Refuse to be enemies!"
"Exchange prisoners-of-war / Bring the soldiers home!"
"Peretz, Peretz, Minister of Defense / You have killed seven children today!"

The reaction of passers-by was much less hostile then anticipated. Some drivers shouted curses at the activists, but quite a number honked in agreement. Most drivers seemed to be fatalistic.

The police brought a much larger force than usual, including a special unit for riot control. It seems that they feared a blocking of the traffic by the demonstrators.

The veterans among the demonstrators were reminded of the first demonstration not far from there which took place on the first day of Ariel Sharon's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. That time, also about 200 activists gathered - but their number grew within a few weeks to ten thousand, until the 400 thousand gathered to protest the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

gush-shalom.org/pics/kirya-13-7-06/



"STOP THE WAR NOW!"

On Sunday (16.7.06), the fifth day of the war, the largest demonstration yet against it took place in Tel-Aviv. More than 600 people came to protest against the war, which is still very popular amongst most Israelis.

Among the demonstrators were veterans, whose hair has turned white since they first demonstrated against wars, side by side with youngsters, who have started to be active not long ago. Many of the soldiers who have refused to serve in the occupied territories were also there. Together with Gush Shalom, members of all the consistent peace organizations took part, including Yesh Gvul, Anarchists Against Walls, Ta'ayush, Women's Coalition for Peace, Courage to Refuse, Hadash, Balad, The Committee Against House Demolitions and The Center for Alternative Information. They shouted in unison: "Return to the Negotiation Table!", "All the Ministers are War Criminals!", "We shall Neither Kill Nor Die for the Settlements!" and more.

The demonstrators marched through the streets of Tel-Aviv until they were stopped by the riot police. Some of the demonstrators broke out and continued their protest in the neighboring streets, but there was no violence from either side.

"That's exactly how it happened after Ariel Sharon's invasion of Lebanon," an old-timer reminisced, "On the first day of the war we were a hundred, after a week we were a thousand, after three weeks we were 10 thousands and after two months, following the Sabra and Shatila massacre, we were 400 thousand."

Personal Appeal from Ameer Makhoul of Ittijah + Bat Shalom Statement

Alternative Information Center 20.Jul.2006 13:06

Haifa, 19 July 2006

Dear Friends,

Thank you to everyone who has contacted us at Ittijah to inquire about our safety. It is very encouraging to be in contact, and it is a reminder of what friends are for.

I, my colleagues and our families are safe and will take care of ourselves, but PLEASE keep one eye raised to the biggest crime of the terror state of Israel, in Lebanon. Keep the other eye trained on the ongoing destruction in Gaza. Also keep your ears tuned to two voices: one to the voices of the decision-makers of Israeli war and destruction in Tel-Aviv, and the other to the voices of the victims in Beirut, South Lebanon and Gaza.

In several places, villages and towns in South Lebanon and some neighborhoods in Beirut, there are no more voices to be heard because of the silence following the total destruction, ethnic cleansing and “mini”-massacres which are tolerable to the ears of the G8 leaders, the EU and the international community and even to several Arab leaders. This Israeli terror is, as usual, fully supported by the USA.

This is not war, it is Israeli aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity. As Israeli Head of Staff Dan Halutz declared on 16 July (to paraphrase), the southern neighborhood of Beirut (Al-DaHiya) no longer exists. Yet 81% of Israeli public opinion is urging the government to go ahead and escalate the aggression.

The state of Israel behaves as a terrorist entity; the Israeli government, as well the Israeli media, are over saturated with the support and understanding of the international community. The Head of Staff perceived this international support as a green light to continue with the destruction of Lebanon.

What’s this about the guilt? The guilt belongs to the whole world. Lebanon is being completely destructed by ethnic cleansing, war crimes and acts of “mini” genocide, with the total support of US and the EU’s silence and understanding. Tony Blair declared (17 July) the need to send international forces in order to protect the Northern Israeli borders!

International legitimacy has never had been useful in restraining Israel’s aggressive actions. It has instead become a tool abused by Israel to justify its crimes. It has been abused in order to oblige the Palestinians and Lebanese to conform to the roles of US-Israel hegemony in the Middle East.

I urge all of you don’t accept the Israeli language and narrative that is trying to give the impression of war. The media coverage which attempts to show a balance between Beirut and Haifa supports Israeli aggression. The Israeli foreign ministry and media strategy is to focus the international media on Haifa—not on Beirut and not on Gaza. This is an attempt to oblige the whole world to view the conflict through only Israeli lenses.

I also would like to make clear that We the Palestinian citizens of Israel reject the Israeli propaganda that is trying to say that we are in the same boat as the Israelis. We are not. We are not part of the Israeli total public support for the Israeli aggression, we are not part of the Israeli media that has adopted the position of war vehicle, we are not victims of the Lebanese resistance to Israeli aggression. We are rather victims of Israel, which is threatening our safety constantly through both its internal and external policies. We are part of the Arab peoples, and specifically Palestinian people who are suffering from the Israeli aggression in both Gaza and the refugee camps in Lebanon. This is our “boat”, and our hearts are there these days, not in Haifa where we are based.

So, please keep asking about our safety—it’s important for us and for you. But most important is to keep your eyes on Beirut, South Lebanon and Gaza, and decide what you can do to stop the recent Israeli crimes.

Sincerely,

Ameer Makhoul, Director
Ittijah – Union of Arab Community Based Associations
(UN ECOSOC Special consultative status)
P.O.Box 9577
Haifa 31095
Tel: +972 4 850 7110
Fax: +972 4 850 7241
Mobile: +972 54 4862 171
Website: www.ittijah.org
Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 July 2006 )





Bat Shalom Statement: The current crisis in Israel, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories



We, members of Bat Shalom, an Israeli women’s peace organization, dedicated to ending the occupation and achieving a just, sustainable peace based on a two-state solution, regard the continuously escalating use of violence and force in our region as a direct threat rather than a potential solution.

It is our belief that the current escalation is a direct result of lack of political process to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, including Gaza. Furthermore, the Israeli policy to de-legitimize a democratically elected Palestinian government, and thus unilaterally managing the conflict, led to the siege of Gaza and the violation of the basic human rights of an entire civilian population.

This political vacuum was misused both by Hammas and Hezbollah for their own political aims and the counter attacks on Israeli innocent civilians.

Therefore, as Israeli citizens, we call upon our government to enter into negotiations with the elected Palestinian government. An immediate step should be stopping the further destruction of Lebanon, a total cease-fire, and negotiations to bring about a prisoners exchange.

We call upon the international community, both individual states and through collective bodies, to bring the parties to the political track and to address the need for ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, which will lead to the two states solution.

Only political negotiations and a just and sustainable peace will guarantee security for all the civilians in the region.

Bat Shalom of the Jerusalem Link
20 July 2006