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A Lebanese Journalist's Perspective on the Hizballah-Israel Conflict

This may well be the most important article on the Hizballah/Israeli conflict to date. Worth reading through all the way. The writer is not Israeli, nor Jewish, nor pro-Israeli or pro-Jewish. Just Lebanese and honest. And certainly pro-truth and pro-freedom, especially Lebanese freedom via a continuation of the Cedar Revolution. Published in TNR (The New Republic) Online via the Metula News Agency.

The most hypocritical people on earth
Sunday 30 July [ 21:23:00 BST]
By Michael Béhé in Beirut
[Translated from the French by Llewellyn Brown]

The politicians, journalists and intellectuals of Lebanon have, of late, been experiencing the shock of their lives. They knew full well that Hezbollah had created an independent state in our country, a state including all the ministers and parallel institutions, duplicating those of Lebanon . What they did not know – and are discovering with this war, and what has petrified them with surprise and terror – is the extent of this phagocytosis.

In fact, …

Free Freedom!

Below is a clarion call, from a grassroots level, to rise up against the plague of terror enveloping the world today. Everyone who really cares for a peaceful world should sign up.

Once again, it seems clear: no peace in the Middle East is possible until all of Israel's neighbors live in free, open, tolerant societies; only democracy can bring real peace and security to Israel and the region. Those who trumpet the call to "Free Palestine" are correct: we need to free Palestine and the Palestinians, not from Israeli control but from the dictatorial and repressive leaders and terrorist regimes which retard their progress and prevent peace from emerging.

Only then will we be able to help - yes, even encourage - a Palestinian state to be born, living alongside Israel in harmony. Ditto a free and open, democratic Lebanon... and Jordan... and Egypt... and even, yes, Syria (see the Reform Party of Syria at http://www.reformsyria.org/).

We must use all our power - not military …

Quck response about Israel in Lebanon

[Written in reply to a suggestion made by Gershon Baskin, co-director of IPCRI, in a policy paper which can be read here]
Gershon/Hanna et al –

Something’s strange here – Kassams raining down on Israeli cities AFTER Israel left Gaza, and Katyushas in the North with attacks on Israeli patrols on Israeli territory well AFTER Israel returned behind the internationally-sanctioned border with Lebanon, and all you have to suggest is that Israel’s PM Olmert make statements and carry out these actions? I have a better idea:Abbas announces (without any meetings with Olmert) the release of Shavit and the 2 soldiers captured in Hizbullah’s attack in the north, the Palestinians and Hizbullah/Lebanese cease all Kassam, Katyusha, Fajar and other rocket attacks and terror attacks/attempts on civilians throughout the region, and Hamas either resigns its government seats or fulfills the demands of the international community to recognize Israel and abide by the Oslo agreements and the Road…

Sharansky talks democracy with bloggers

I'll admit it's been a while since I've written; too busy with personal issues like moving house and making a living. But this brought me out of my stupor, at least temporarily.

In late June ('06) Natan Sharansky spoke to leading bloggers in a conference call. For those connected to the blogosphere and who have not had the opportunity to hear (rather than read) Sharansky articulate his philosophy of freedom overcoming tyranny it's worth listening, especially to the interaction in the latter half. The audio can be heard here courtesy of Atlas Shrugs.

A comment on Israel's election & Olmert's "victory"

The Definition of Real Victory

THE RESULTS are in. The pundits and parties claim a “victory” for those who propose further withdrawals from the disputed territories of Judea & Samara (the “West Bank”). Nothing can be further from the truth.

This is no “vindication of Sharon” (David Horovitz, Jerusalem Post, 29 March). It can be argued persuasively that many of the votes for Kadima, Leiberman’s Yisrael Beitenu, the new Pensioners party and the many smaller parties who did not cross the threshold for representation are in fact protest votes. Israel voted against the corruption and economic callousness of Likud, against the appeasement and economic socialism (and corruption) of Labour, against the ideological anti-religious stance of the hard-left and against the impractical inflexibility of the hard-right. And of course the majority of the electorate – of the 63% who voted, that is – voted against Kadima and Olmert by voting for other parties. 28 seats, representing less than 25% of t…

Sharansky on Hamas election

[For the record, I participated yesterday in a meeting with Palestinian civil-society activists evaluating the election results, and the one thing they all agreed upon was that the majority of Palestinians, including at least 30% of those who voted for Hamas in the district and national lists, recognize Israel, are against terror, and are desirous of peace. It is clear (from surveys, not gut feelings) that much of the vote was against Fatah corruption, not for Hamas. Not to be too sanguine about it: it is clear that at least 60% of those voting for Hamas are supportive of some part of their agenda. But of Palestinians eligible to vote that’s still only 40%, so it appears that a majority of Palestinians are in favor of accepting Israel’s right to exist, in favor of a peace settlement, and against terror. I’m still very afraid of the other 40%, especially the fanatics among them, but it’s a somewhat comforting sign. The question is who will emerge ascendant over the next few years. See …