Millions of words have been written by Bloggers on the conflict between Israel and Hezb'allah/Lebanon. But what do people really know? Those in the United States, protected by the geographical barriers of two vast oceans, lack from the immediacy of this war. To know a conflict is to truly grasp its immediacy and intimacy.
Thus we sought out, through a series of varying questions, the opinions of those affected by this war, first the Israeli bloggers and now their Lebanese counterparts, their homeland under attack by Israel. The Lebanese, a very hospitable people, coping together in very inhospitable times. Will there ever be peace in Lebanon?
In this In T View we present Lebanos, who maintains a strong presence in the Lebanese blogging community, appearing in such blogs as: Kadmous, Hamid Aouad, Sasar, Photo Lesson, Roula Awach, and ZouNazar.
MG: Why do you think Hezb'allah acted now?
Lebanos: Alan M. Dershowitz, a Jewish I presume, the Professor of Law at Harvard and the author of "Preemption" wrote today at jpost.com that Israel was attacked from areas that it does not occupy. And that last sentence says a lot about the situation. Hizbullah indeed attacked inside the Israeli borders, but Israel is occupying a 40 km2 of silver land, sending it's warplanes and sea destroyers to Lebanese territories, prisoning 3 Lebanese captives from earlier operations inside Israel lead by the Palestinians, and refusing to hand out the mines maps to the UN. Those points I stated above are the reasons which Hizbullah is exploiting to keep on it's political agenda, if any.
But (I) read again some lines from your interview with an Israeli citizen called "Amechad". Amechad answers to your question and says that Historian Dr. Michael Oren, another Jewish I presume, senior fellow of the Shalem Center, has written a convincing argument in favor of invading Syria. Not out of joy but out of necessity. Syria and Iran are arming Hizbollah so that they can murder our children.
So Israel, knowing that Hizbullah is merely a tool, or an entity financed and armed by Syria and Iran, choose to destroy Lebanon, the only democratic country in the Mideast, with entirely moderate groups and elites who want only to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the free world. Choosing to send us back to violence and counter violence, after freeing us from the most rogue occupation in 30 years: Syrian occupation.
Hizbullah created 1982 after the Israeli invasion, and since then they launched numerous attacks against the Israeli army. But year 2000, Israel left Lebanon. Syria then feeling that the heat is coming later on her to leave the country as well, supported the idea that Israel is still occupying a silver land called Shebaa farms. Thus Hizbullah under the slogan "Lebanese resistance" made it clear that they will not lay arms until Shebaa farms is liberated and the Lebanese prisoners are released from the Israeli jails.
In 2005, the Lebanese people, sensing that the international community is supporting them, specially the US, went in a one and half million demonstration against the Syrian occupation. Knowing that there is no need to any Syrian existence after the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon.
Without firing one bullet, and after constant demonstrations, the Syrian army left humiliated Lebanon after 30 years of occupation. Israel in July 2006 with the silence of the same international community destroyed Lebanon.
Did we give Hizbullah any more alternatives. Israel still occupy a part of my country and still has Lebanese prisoners and still violating our skies and seas, and the international community wants us to disarm Hizbullah and lead us to civil war. Is that an alternative? What act is left to Hizbullah and to us the Lebanese?
MG: Some would say, Lebanon is held hostage by the actions of Hezb'allah. Can you give us your opinion on this?
Lebanos: Lebanon is not held hostage by the actions of Hizbullah ONLY. This is half of the truth. Lebanon is held hostage by Hizbullah, Israel, Syria, Iran and the Arabs, specially the Saudi Arabia.
Israel and Syria are stopped by a ceasefire agreement signed 1973 which prevented them resuming the militarily actions on their OWN territories. Israel made one mistake: they forgot to include Lebanon's territory in this truce. Therefore Lebanon was the hostage, the battlefield in 32 years now. No bullet fired from Israeli-Syrian border since then. That is why we are not surprised to see both the Syrian army and the Israeli army flexing their muscles over this battlefield.
Iran followed the war games after the Islamic revolution lead by Khomeini, a revolution exported to Lebanon first due to the free open passage to an occupied Lebanon by both Syria and Israel. The receiver of this importation was obvious, the Shiaa Lebanese.
Saudi Arabia, the extreme Sunni Muslim regime followed the stream in defending the Sunni gains in the Arabic world, and fighting the Shiaas revolution, fearing a revolt by the Shiaas huge population in Saudi itself. The revolution exportation winnings in Lebanon meant to the corrupted Saudian regime one thing: our turn is coming. So they sided against Hizbullah.
And what this hostage can do against his kidnappers: wait and see. Maybe the international community and the US in particular can understand that we the hostage can do nothing. Instead we got the current crazy war.
MG: How has the Conflict personally affected you?
Lebanos: Like any human being during a war. Very sad and very frustrated. I feel helpless, specially when I see those chattered bodies of the kids who has nothing to do with this madness. I feel very desperate to read on the Internet that there is human beings expressing themselves like no human beings, justifying the killings of unarmed kids, stating that it's necessary to create pain to let those on the other side to understand.
Squeeze yourself in the arm and then tell me how much you can hold without releasing of pain. Imagine a piece of a 500 kg bomb is hitting your kid, your wife or your mother.
I am very angry because everybody knows that Lebanon and the Lebanese could do nothing against all this. We are a nation coming from a 30 years of different occupations, alone trying to build our country to regain our place on the world map. Instead everybody by silence or cooperation or bombing is smashing our dreams for a just free world where every nation live in peace and harmony. We never hated just to hate, we never been angry just for the sake of angriness, but to seek justice and freedom. What you think is happening now with our dreams, why destroying the love and lounge for life, what are they planting in our hearts.
MG: Does it take a special quality to be a Lebanese? You've been wracked by civil war, occupied by by foreign powers, seen a diaspora of your peoples... Do you ever say to yourself, "Oh God, this is enough for me, I'm out of here?"
Lebanos: NEVER tired, never giving up. Come again to this interview when this war ends and read these coming words: We will come again on our feet and we will build again our country. There is no power nor silence which can destroy our will or take our resignation to give up. This is not the first war launched on us. This is not the first occupation, first the Palestinians, then the Syrians and the Israelis. Why or how do you think we survived those 30 years of wars and occupations. We cant afford to loose this hope. We mastered the art of survive as our historians told us.
And I will tell you why. Because we are a nation who never asked or made a war. We love life. We love to live in peace. We love to love the beauty and the art. We make wonders in peace. We have proofs that we are a very great peaceful nations. Our diaspora and citizens sit on the top of huge companies, we have presidents with Lebanese roots, NASA scientists, prime ministers, Nobel prize winner, and the world is full of Lebanese successful in their jobs and places.
As the Jamaican journalist, Ian Boyne has said yesterday : " It's a pity that a country which has contributed so much to civilisation is being destroyed through an overdose of fanaticism and Great Power excesses. The first law school in history was located in Beirut by Ad 196. It had a depository of written constitutions where the oldest constitutions of the Roman Empire were safeguarded. The Phoenicians invented the alphabet, introduced the institution of the senate and by the tenth century BC had developed written constitutions which Aristotle cited as the model for all states. Jesus preached His message of peace to Southern Lebanon.
As we told the Syrians before when they left our land, again we tell Israel: We want to live in peace. Leave our country alone, respect our nation, don't violate our sea land sky, let us rebuild our relations based on mutual respect to our interests and rights, respect each other strive for life and prosperity. Stop the killings. Lets embrace the path for peace.
MG: So what's your biggest complaint with the Lebanese government's handling of this crisis?
Lebanos: Do you know that the majority of the Lebanese government consists of ministers belongs to political parties which cooperated with the Syrian occupation during the last 30 years. And those same political parties cooperated with the Israeli occupation in 1982-1983.
MG says: Our thanks go out to Lebanos.