Wednesday, July 12, 2006

an oblivious resident

It appears that the "warriors of the South" have went ahead with another apparently successful kidnapping operation. Well... so much for their claim of "defending Lebanon from Israeli aggression."

Over here in Ras Beirut, I am completely oblivious to Hizballah's shenanigans - social, political and military! I hope the Israelis don't change that. In fact, the way I learnt of this new escalation in the South was through the efforts of the erstwhile journalists of BBC.

On that note, I'm gonna turn on the TV and try to get what the hell is goin' down.

Update: It appears that Israel has limited its retaliation to the South. Fighter aircraft have destroyed three or four bridges/overpasses and one power transmition station. As for the rest of Lebanon, well... so much for the tourist season!

Update 2: I just saw a video feed on LBCI that showed a Lebanese Army checkpoint that was destroyed by an Israeli missle. I saw several overturned cars, and at least one lightly injured man. Several ambulances were also on the scene.

Update 3: BBC reports that two Lebanese civilians have been killed.

Update 4: Former President Amin el Gemeyel was just interviewed on LBCI. His talking points included referring back to the 1969 Cairo Agreement, preventing individual parties from taking decisions that affect all Lebanese, returning the focus onto fixing Lebanon's internal order, and avoiding a war that is bigger than Lebanon and one that thousands of Lebanese have already died for. He has called for an emergency Hiwar Watani session to deal with the latest developments.

Update 5: Butros Harb says that this Hizballah attack was a complete surprize. Especially considering the delicate political situation and the tourist season. "decisions pertaining to war and peace can only be taken by all Lebanese, not just one party.... I call for an emergy session of the Hiwar el Watani.... Hizballah's operation breached Lebanon's sovereignty.... Hizballah must now act responsibly and take into consideration the interests of all Lebanese and Lebanon's infrastructure.... Hizballah's operations must be overseen by a legitimate body...."

Update 6: LBCI reports six dead Israeli soldiers.

Update 7: My mom and I are now discussing where would be the safest place to take the family.

Update 8: LBCI reports that three more civilians were killed underneath a bridge targeted by Israeli fighter jets on the North-South highway next to Sour/Tyre.

Update 9: The Zahrani power station may have just been hit.

Update 10: The Zahrani power station actually was just hit.

Update 11: EDL rejects claims that the Zahrani power station was destroyed.

Update 12: Israelis have destroyed several more bridges including one in Wadi el Akhdar

Update 13: Israeli jets continue to fly and hit targets all over the South (esp. over Nabatieh and Marjouyoun). Warships of the Israeli Navy have also been seen on Lebanese territorial waters

Update 14: Hizballah supporters in Beirut are celebrating by driving around, honking horns, and using firecrackers.

Update 15: Tele Liban, Lebanon's official state television channel, is currently running a live cooking show.

Update 16: Hizballah claims that two of its soldiers were killed during the operation. One of whom is Sour/Tyre resident, Nasim Nisr.

Update 17: Shi'a Sayyed Mohammad Hassanein Fadlallah has called and congratulated his counterpart, and Hizballah leader, Hassan Nasrallah

Update 18: Future TV is now playing an Egyptian soap opera. the only two channels with live coverage are LBCI, Hizballah's Manar, (and just recently, New TV).

Update 19: Palestinian refugees are celebrating in their camps, and al Manar filed a report with Samir Quntar's family at their home in Abey, in which they congratulated and thanked Hizballah for the operation.

You know what's funny... these past couple of days as I walked around Beirut and took all those pictures, I thought to myself: "maybe if we're actually given the time to rebuild our country, without interludes of war and complete destruction every ten to twenty years, maybe we could actually start getting things right!" How Naive!

Update 20: My sister just walked in and asked: "so what did stupid Hizballah just do?"

Update 21: New TV is just playing reruns of "no comment" shots they recorded earlier in the day. LBCI continues live coverage. Reports that Israeli Appaches have joined the fray over Jezzine.

Update 22: Druze Sheikh el Akl Bahjat Ghaith has just congratulated Hizballah, after receiving delegations from the SSNP and Wiam Wahhab.

Update 23: Three New TV journalists just injured by Israeli missle. They have been trasported to a hospital.

Taking short break. Will be back to report any significant developments.

Update 24: New TV journalists were hurt because they drove into a crater left by an Israeli missle. Their injuries are light. There were just two of them, not three. One of their last names is Aridi - I forgot their full names, but Aridi stuck in my mind for obvious reasons.

Update 25: Samir Jaejae: "What just happened is dangerous. From this point on decisions to launch military operations can only be made at the level of Council of Ministers. The Lebanese government must make the decision to fire even one bullet. We cannot allow simply one party to wage a private war against Israel. You can't have one person act and then have the Lebanese government cover their mess. The government will collapse that way. If the situation continues like this, we'll have a collection of militias in Lebanon. We have tens of prisoners in Syria, how would people react if we start kidnapping Syrian soldiers?"

Update 26: AP reports that the Israeli military announced killing several Hizballah militiamen attempting to infiltrate into an Israeli position.

Update 27: Hassan Nasrallah is giving a press conference. He is out of breath. He is sweating.

Update 28: NASRALLAH (rough translation): The operation took place at 9:05 AM. The Israeli response began at 10:30 AM. The . This is the only way to move forward. This is the natural choice. It is the only way to free the prisoners. If anybody has any options please tell me. Also let them tell me why those means have not succeeded over the past 20 years. We are highlighting to the world our cause. There are over 10,000 Lebanese, Palestinian and Arab prisoners that need to be released. Our aim is to close the issue of prisoners completely. And the only way to do so is to take Israeli prisoners of our own. We also seek to help the Palestinians in Gaza. This is a message to the Israelis: our self-control is not weakness. It is merely taking calculated moves.

We tell the Israelis that the only way to free the Israelis is through indirect negotiations and a prisoner exchange. The Israelis and the World can do whatever they want, but they won't get anywhere. No military operation will get anywhere if the objective is to free the soldiers. If the military operation is intended to punish Lebanon, then they should expect surprizes. We have been preparing for an Israeli invasion since the day the Israelis were kicked out.

Message to Lebanese: Nobody should behave in a way that would encourage the enemy. now is the time that we should unite. All politicians should act in a patriotic way. The government should act in a patriotic way. We acted in a patriotic way - you can agree or disagree with me. The government is asking us to keep Lebanon in mind. I say okay. But the way to keep Lebanon in mind is to prevent its exposure to Israeli aggression. I have gotten a number of phone calls saying that we should return the soldiers as soon as possible without asking for anything in return. That is not a reasonable request.

He goes on to convey messages to the Palestinian people and the Lebanese press. Couldn't really translate for this entry. sorry.

Update 29: An Arab news channel reports that the two Israeli soldiers captured are Druze.

Update 30: LBCI reports that US Secretary of State Rice is pressuring the Syrian regime to pressure Hizballah to release the Israeli prisoners.

Update 31: Nasrallah says that Hizballah has been working on this operation for five months.

Update 32: Lebanese government held a meeting, but could not agree on a unified position.

My eyes are about to pop out of my skull! Taking a break.

Update 33: Just came back from a walk on Beirut's Corniche. Everything seems normal. People are walking on the streets. Traffic is bad. People seem oblivious.

Going to relatives. Who knows... maybe I'll be exposed to some new information there.

Udpate 34: Nothing from the relatives. However, the Council of Ministers released a statement essentially declaring that they were not informed of the operation that Hizballah conducted in the South and that consequently, they will not be held responsible for it. Amal and Hizballah Ministers had the audacity to disaprove of that statement even though Nasrallah himself said that no state authority was informed of the operation.

Update 35: Future TV reports that a considerable number of Israeli Aircraft are now flying over the Chouf and Bekaa regions.

Update 36: The Damour Bridge (just south of Beirut) has just been destroyed.

I wouldn't want to be in General Michel Aoun's shoes right now! For the past month, he's been screaming about the unconstitutional way the majority has been execizing its powers while in government. And now, his erstwhile allies go and do something like this! Will be back in a couple of hours with more updates.

Wednesday, June 12, 2006.

Update 37 - 12:36 AM : Just got back after a drive around Beirut, and Aramoun/Khalde, just south of Beirut. I had to drive through the airport highway - which was a terrifying experience. But Beirut is quiet. The police are everywhere. The streets have emptied. It seems too much like the calm before the storm.

Update 38 - 12:47 AM : A well-connected highschool friend called me from Washington DC. I am to expect the worst. I am preparing for it.

Update 39 - 1:15 AM : Future TV reports that Prime Minister Seniora is in contact with World Leaders, and will be in Cairo on Saturday. Phone lines with Southern Lebanon have also been cut as a result of the Israeli raid that destroyed the Damour Bridge.

It's almost 2 o'clock in the morning. I'm going to bed. If something wakes me up, and I can update this blog, I'll do so.

88 comments:

The Sandmonkey said...

dude, keep me informed!

david said...

stay in your own house, don't steal, don't kill.
That way, it works. Otherwise, no.

Youssef said...

Thanx for the updates!
I hope it won't escalate over there.

yaman said...

I smell Syrian involvement... will this lead to renewed calls for Hizballah's disarmament, and will these calls be serious enough to be carried out violently, do you think?

Jamal said...

Thanks,saving me all the channel flipping.


By the way, The Dog that barks doesn't bite. So sleep tight :)

erydan said...

Thanks for the updates. As someone who is stranded in Lebanon and doesn;t speak Arabic you have been the only source of updated news.

Charles Malik said...

Thanks for keeping the updates flowing, Raja. You're better than LBC. How many TVs do you have on simultaneously?

I'm waiting to hear the jets.

Suha said...

I don't have TV bil-mahjar and I really appreciate the updates. Thanks, Raja.

Could you possibly add time to your updates?

Freaking out.

Raja said...

suha,

I'm not sure how I can add you to my updates... All I know how to do on this thing is add links and post entries. sorry. maybe if you click on "site feed," that might be of some help.

LP, Jamal, erydan and youssef,

Thanks for the kind words. Let's all see how Israel responds.

As for hizballah's recent actions, my opinion, pure and simple, is that Hizballah should just take South Lebanon as an independent country, do whatever it wants militarily and use Iranian money to prevent the population under its control from starving.

This kind of behavior... this prerogative it has claimed to declare war and peace whenever it wants, disregarding the desires of other Lebanese is completely irresponsible.

Solomon2 said...

Hezbollah isn't stupid. They just don't operate with the interests of Lebanon in mind.

I am upset that Israel is manipulated yet again to invade your beautiful country to battle terrorists that Lebanon is too weak to tackle itself.

The least the Lebanon could do is declare Hezbollahland occupied territory and openly appeal to Israel and the rest of the world to help cleanse it. That would keep political interference in Lebanon's internal affairs to a minimum.

Suha said...

Look at the clip here.

Hizballah are certainly behaving irresponsibly. What are they going to do to ward off that? Play muqawama tapes?

The Raccoon said...

Sane Lebanese - please, take the power back from the psychopaths. Please?

At least one of the kidnapped/dead soldiers is an Israeli Druze. I hope that his family notice Sheikh el Akl Bahjat Ghaith and have the money to have the fuck removed. If I had any, I'd donate it to them for this purpose.

The Hizballah have destroyed the lives of by far too many Lebanese. They have also killed my friends and ruined my life. I just wish I was still fit for service so that I could put a bullet between the eyes of the fuck that murdered Elad Litvak.

And back when he was killed, we all thought at the funeral - here lies the last Israeli to die in this war.

Take the power back!

Anonymous said...

Our Chief of Staff promised to "take Lebanon to 20 years back", and I do not think he meant you will become 20 years younger. Why did not you disarm Hisballah during last years?
Why you want to pay for Syria and Iran?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:47

"Why you want to pay for Syria and Iran?"
We do NOT want to pay for Syria and Iran, but Israel wants us to pay the price anyhow.
If that wasn't the case, it would have bombed Bashar a long time ago.
Enjoy you blissful innocence.

The Raccoon said...

Anonymous at 10:52

Sure. Israel should destroy the Syrian regime in a massive war, losing thousands of soldiers... only to be attacked by the rest of the Islamic world and to be condemned by all the rest.

Israel will not commit suicide for Lebanon... sorry.

Take the power back!

Anonymous said...

But guys, Israel was attacked from Lebanon by Lebanese. Isn't it your duty to control what happens in Lebanon? If you are independent state? If not, then just declare yourself a Syrian province, and then Bashar will be bombed.

Anonymous 10:47

Anonymous said...

Take the power back! and anonymous 10:47 (cute names btw)

This is precisely what is happening. We (Lebanon) cannot take the power back because foreign powers (Syria and Iran) are dicating Hezballah's actions and thus are protecting them. The lebanese government is helpless against those (stronger and larger) foreign powers, and this is why Lebanon can't disarm Hezballah. The only way to stop this is to strike at the source, not at Lebanon. Of course, Israel don't want to attack Syria, so here we are, being bombed for the actions of foreign agents, and relapsing into war.

(Sorry for explaining for the nth time this bloody conflict)


Anonymous 10:52

AbdulKarim said...

Thank you Raja for your continuous feedback. So far your blog has been the most reliable source of news here in London.

carine said...

raja, THANK YOU... i've had this page open all day and refresh it each time i come back. you are without a doubt the most comprehensive source of information on what's going on here.

btw, you misread suha's comment, and i want to second her request-- can you add a timestamp to the updates?

aiii... this is all so insane... and i can't believe that geagea is the lone voice of reason!!!

carine said...

abdulkarim-- IMO, he's the most reliable source in here in lebanon, too!

The Raccoon said...

Anonymous 10:52 -

Israel dares not go for the source of the disease without global support, which it is not getting. So it tries to take care of the sympthoms... stupid, I know, but it would appear that the alternative is full-fledged WW3 - or slow and agonizing death for Israel.

I know that you guys are buggered... and you have my condolences. But do you see a better course of action?

And I would also like to thank Raja... the Voice of Lebanon!

carine said...

But the way to keep Lebanon in mind is to prevent its exposure to Israeli aggression.

umm... am i missing something here?? if that's how you define "patriotism," hassan nasrallah, then what the hell are you doing right now?!?

Anonymous said...

If only the Israelis would be able to go freely into Lebanon, tourism would really flourish in the country. Unlike the current situation. If Nasrallah is really patriotic he would seek for peace with the Israelis instead of acting stupidly.

Same goes for Hamas and co, btw.

Anonymous said...

"Lebanese government held a meeting, but could not agree on a unified position"

Why the fuck am I not surprised ??

AbdulKarim said...

Definitly Samir GeaGea spoke for me today. I'm interested to see what would Jounblat's comment will be.

Unfrozen Caveman Linguist said...

Right place, right time, Raja. Keep the information flowing. And of course, I hope that you and your family are safe.

Norman said...

Thanks for the continous updates. Nasrallah should have arrested at that news conference and held until the Israeli soldiers are released by the Lebanonese. One person, or one miltia should not have the ability to involve the entire nation in a shooting war with Israel. Action must be taken against Hizbullah. If Israel moves I hope they clean out southern Lebanon and head straight for Damascus.

EvilConCarne said...

Raja,

Great job! You are currently my number one source of news. Can I just trouble you to put a time stamp on your updates??! Just to make sure that we are up to the minute?

Many thanks,

Evil CC

libnanews said...

i saw anti arplanes weapons belonging to the leb army on their way to beirut while passing in jounieh ...

libnanews said...

the bridge of the highway next to zahrani was destroyed ... they didnt target at all the electricity infrastructure ... for the moment

Unfrozen Caveman Linguist said...

Update 32 does not surprise me one bit - government calls emergency meeting under threat of war, cannot decide anything. Only in Lebanon.

Ramzi S said...

There are no Egyptian or Jordanian prisoners held by Israel. If Lebanon can have a non-divided government we can negotiate a cease-fire with Israel and get the Lebanese prisoners back.

If a major Arab power like Egypt can have peace with Israel why can't Lebanon?

Why does Lebanon have to keep sacrificing itself for Arab and Palestinian causes??

AM said...

Hey thank you for a very helpful re-run of today's events, greatly helpful as i have no access to any Lebanese channel in here.
I linked you to my blog, hope you don't mind but I guess I will hear from you if you do ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Raja for the updates. I spoke with my family earlier today, and apparently in Beirut everything is normal. People are a little bit tense, but are going on with their daily life. Judging by the severity of the events, I was under the impression that it would be otherwise....

I'm trying to locate on the map the bridges that were hit (Google Earth anyone?). It's a long shot, but does anybody know the exact location (long/lat) of those bridges?

VB

bandarlog said...

I'm sorry that the hopes the majority of the Lebanese people are being hijacked yet again. Be safe, and thanks for posting the updates.

Anonymous said...

what was really ironic during LBC coverage, was right after showing bombing scenes and such, they played the guide to Lebanon commercial, plugging advertising the country as a tourist destination. Nice try LBC !!

Butros

Anonymous said...

Judging by the above comments, Hizballah is as much a problem for the Lebanese goverment as the Israeli one. Is there any way they could come to some quiet arrangement to make their problem go away permanently?

Michael McCullough said...

Please keep us updated: I've linked a post to this thread and hope that you will continue to update this post as things transpire.

Best regards,

Michael McCullough
Stingray: a blog for salty Christians

Anonymous said...

Well I am reading a lot of:

"Well why are we responsible for Hizbollah?"

And:

"We can do nothing about it."

People, it's your country. If it's worth living in it is worth dying for. You can't expect to sit idly by while a rogue element decides YOUR fate and then whine when the offended party bombs the crap out of you.

Lack of action is practically like approval.

Stop making excuses and waiting for someone to bail you out. If you don't want Hizbollah, take frigging responsibility and rebuild your own country. Countless others have.

Doha said...

what can we do? what can we do? all we can do is just here and feel helpless and angry becuase of what's happening.

israeli warplanes are getting closer to Beirut. the damour bridge is destroyed. Hizbullah wants to get lebanon into something we are not only unable to take up, but also not willing to.

we are tired of bombs, raids, and killing. lebanon is so divided.

and where is our president? we have no president? let's face it, the government is what's left in the country as a governing institution. but what can statements do? please let's fact it: what kind of action can be taken by our governmetn? to send the army, where? to fight hizbullah?

Anonymous said...

Listen you all Lebanese passive bastard. Instead of posing as an advanced, self-thinker who are actually just blogging around - why don't you take some real steps and start to demonsrate against The Lebanese goverment not exluding Syrias and Iran.

I mean, I don't get you guys (ladies), and I'm not trying to inflame this 'dialog' over here, but damn it - I hear some of you comlpaining about the tourists season coming to and end and stuff like that. If you all agree these Hizballah are one of the inhumane organization (after all, it's a fucking terrorist organization) why don't you step away from you PC for a second and start protest! do something instead of just claiming how your goverment can't do a thing...

Crazy world.

Anonymous said...

You are not helpless people! You managed to kick the syrians out, just by demonstrating! Why not demonstrate against Hizballah?

Tsedek said...

Thank you very much Raja for showing me a humane and diverse sound (first I thanked Free Cedar - whom's blog I saw first) - after seeing the celebrating Lebanese on tv this evening I thought I was losing it....
Thanks God not all Lebanese think like they do.

I hope your country stays intact and won't get to swallow the blow. I truely wish the Evil would get uprooted from it's rotten root: Syria.

Still I heard people on tv (here in Israel) mentioning this - so maybe just maybe for one time "we" are gonna do something to have it destroyed and I hope Lebanon won't be getting the hit again....

Tse.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:07 PM: because the members of Hizballa are Lebanese - and currently part of the parliament and the government. Where exactly do you want to "kick them out" to?

VB

Anonymous said...

Dear Raja,
I'm Ami, a Blogger and a Journalist from Israel…
I am enjoying very much reading your blog, especially your last post ("an oblivious resident") regarding the current situation.

Your vivid and objective description, as well as the interesting comments giving by your readers, enabling us in Israel to have a direct and first-hand impression of what's is really going on with civilians in the other side…

While I'm writing these sentences, our government is having a special meeting in order to decide what to do, and how to react to Hizballa aggression. Commentators in Israeli TV channels are raising certain militant scenarios, and the word "war" is keep popping up while asking civilians in the streets…

Time now is 22:29. It was a sad day. What will come next? I was thinking to my self… maybe we could take advantage of the Blog power , and open a direct channel in the WEB, open to bloggers from Israel and Lebanon as well. For that purpose I'm going to put this text at my Blog . Please feel free to comment.
ami
my Blogg:http://www.notes.co.il/benbasat/20968.asp

lisoosh said...

Doha -
Why not send your army to fight Hizbollah? They attacked a foreign country and put your entire nation in danger. This is treason. Their leaders should be arrested and the militants should be rounded up.
I think you can rest assured that Israel will be working to clean them out from the other direction and the arrest of Hizbollah leadership would be seen as what it is - the actions of a responsible and independant country.

Chicky, Tel Aviv said...

Sad days to all of us. Without Hizballah and the IDF, The Israelis and the Lebanese will be brothers.

Los Angeles is watching. said...

Thanks for the great updates. The mainstream media here in Los Angeles is treating this as a third rate story. Your posts are being copied around Los Angeles. Stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Raja, thank you for your updates. Half of my family lives in Lebanon. Canada feels worlds away from them right now and the news networks are not the quickest over here. Please continue to let us know what is going on and be careful.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I get this right. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rufik Hariri is assassinated and links point to both Syria and Hezbollah, the Lebanese people line the streets and Syria is at least partially pushed out of Lebanon.

Hezbollah, and we all know they are supported by Syria, attacks Israel and takes two Israeli soldiers hostage thrusting both Israel and Lebanon into war where it is all but certain innocent Lebanese civilians will get caught in the cross-fire, and the reaction is one of condemnation but "what can we do about it?"

Maybe I am just too far away living accross the globe here, but I don't get it. Why is there this strange reaction to this latest attack by Hezbollah in terms of the Cedar Revolution that everyone here in the United States followed and was very supportive of? I am not talking about the Lebanese who support Hezbollah; we all know they are not representative of all Lebanese people and they'll do what they'll do. The rest of the nation reacted to Hariri's death with large, peaceful protests that brought about the international attention, thus pressure, needed to push Syria out of your nation. Now I certainly realize Hezbollah is a Lebanese group therefore you can't really force them out, but you can silence them by making their voice less than your own.

These calls of the dismissal "what can we do" and "Israel should punish Syria instead of us" need to be re-centered just a bit. What can you actively do to end this nightmare that lives in the southern part of your own nation rather than a passive response of just sitting around and laughing at the Hezbollah responses? And I fully admit there is much humor in what Hezbollah has said regarding this issue.

Just as every Lebanese commentator here has written, you didn't want this war. Neither did, I presume based on the events, Israel. Only Hezbollah wanted this war and your fire should be directed at Hezbollah rather than muted responses of "what can we do." Worry about the puppet masters later and deal with those who pushed two nations into war first. And in no way am I advocating violence so please don't take my statements as incitement to violence, but rather incitement towards an action rather than inaction.

Chad (Sorry, I don't have a Blogspot ID)

Corinna Hasofferett said...

Oh, how tired I am, and not just owing to the late hour - past 01:00!

Reading through Raja's report from Beirut and the multitude of comments brought me to see behind the clouds of war and all the Hizballa mighty presentations of innocent patriotism: there is an intention there, so I detect, to create an atmosphere of despair and, wait and see! soon we'll have demonstrations of calls to Syria to drop by and save Lebanon from its weak goverment.

Yet, since we are not just on the same moon but actually mirroring each other - I fear the day such a call will spread here in Israel as well, to bring about a strong leader.

Israeli, Not Syrian...

Meanwhile our civilian Ministers, play hostages to our generals.

All in all, the boys games go on ad infinitum.

Or until we step in and stop them for awhile.

Raise the Black Flag, people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6nJDCA6ST4

Let's have some rest of all these stupid games of war.

Thanks Raja!

Ron said...

I am sitting in frot of my computer in Tel Aviv and reading this blog post. And find it so sad.
I do understand the furstration. I do understand the "What can we do" statements. It is not easy to do something against such a great evil.
But something needs to be done.
And I think the sane and smart majority that is what Lebanon really is, can do something.
The first thing Lebanese people can do is force their government to take responsibility. That simply means to make a stand. To claim - we don't like the way things are. We don't want Hizbollah in our country. Not as a member of the parliament. Not as a "democratic" player". Just like so many Lebanese people are saying... why can't the politicians say that? Are they that affraid?
A hard thing to do? sure is. But necessary.

I hope so much that none of the fire will reach Beirut. I hope to wake up tomorrow to a quiet day.
Let me ask though.. how can Israel wake up tomorrow to such a day when it goes to sleep knowing that two of it's soldiers were kidnapped into a country it had no state of war and no official conflict with just this morning? And noone on the other side of the fence even planning on getting to release the soldiers? Can Israel simply go to sleep and try to forget? Is that a good advice?

Lets hope the Lebanese people find the strength to turn the tables around and drive hate, violence and terror from it's land, like it was before it arrived there in 1972 when a certain individual was expelled from Jordan and brough terror with him to Beirut. Let's hope the Israel people get some sign of that hapenning and gather the strength to bith their lips and wait till the soldiers are safely returned to their families. One thing I sadly think... if they are not retuned, my hopes will not be met :( But maybe hope is all we have tonight?

Youssef said...

I'm going to sleep now and silenty hoping that by tomorrow everything will be resolved. A false hope, I know.
It's just hard sleeping knowing that Lebanon is under attack and that Hezbollah is laughing.

I really hope that the issue will be resolved in a civilized manner and that the 2 soldiers can return to their families.
The Lebanese people should take a stance on this. I know it's hard because of the sectarian and political sensitivities but somehow, someway it should happen.

G'night.

A worried Moroccan in the Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Hate to say this, but it is time to take to the streets against Hezbollah or head for the hills.

Israel is mad and seems to be winding up for war. http://euphoricreality.com/2006/07/12/israel-to-declare-war/

Choose your enemy. Those who take your choices away (Hezbollah) or those who won't have their choices taken away (Israel).

It sucks to be in the middle. You need to make a move, now. If 10,000 are in the streets protesting Hezbollah, it will probably save those streets...

You may not have a choice about where you are, but you can have a choice about where you're going.

Good luck

R said...

What I find completely mind blowing in this whole mess:

1- HA's logic in terms of the prisoner swap in which they capture two Israelis but cause the deaths of at least two lebanese civilians. Are the lives of the lebanese in israeli jails - who made a conscious decision to go to war against israel- more valuable than the lives of the civilians who did not ask for any of this ? Why won't the March 14 politicians focus on this ?

2- Israel's retarded policy of targeting civilian infrastructure (and civilians) in Lebanon, thereby playing into HA's propaganda game by which Israel is portrayed as an aggressor and HA as the legitimate resistance to it.

3- Israel's failure to succesfully target HA's military capability in the south, in addition to them blaming the Lebanese government? Is it not in their best interest that the Lebanese government succeed? Why not lay the blame on Syria and Iran who are the real sponsors of HA?

The last two points seem to indicate a few things. Either Israel still views lebanon, as a country, as a threat to it and will waste no chance at setting it back, or it has not reassessed its retaliation strategy since the israelis withdrew from lebanon and since all the developments after the hariri assassination and syria's withdrawal.

Ron said...

It will be Syria & Hizballah that takes the brunt of what is coming. The good people of Lebanon are 'trapped' in the middle of it - but they can help in tens of thousands of ways - and more than likely cause an early end to this dust-up, if they find their collective voices and get them on the streets, and in front of hungry news cameras.

Get going, peace loving Lebanese... I'm rooting for you, praying for you - and betting you can win. But, you MUST do your part.

May God be with you...

Ron said...

Humm... I see that I'm not the only 'ron' here. This and (hopefully) the just prior post is from Ron in LA...

Y. Dorman said...

Y. Dorman (Tel-Aviv, Israel)

This one is for all passive Lebanese. Instead of posing as an advanced, self-thinkers who are actually just blogging around - why don't you take some real steps and start to demonsrate against The Lebanese goverment. We had it of all of these "what can we do?!" statements (which is also being used by the Lebanese goverment itself!).

1st thing, force (that is, get to the streets and shout as hard as you can!) your goverment to take a stand. We all know it's a puppet government but 1st thing 1st, make it declare that "something has to be done to eliminate Hizballah presence" - before taking actions, directions must be decided upon.


I mean, I don't get you guys (ladies), and I'm not trying to inflame this 'dialog' over here, but damn it - I hear some of you comlpaining about the tourists season coming to an end and stuff like that. If you all agree these Hizballah are one of the inhumane organization (after all, it's a terrorist organization) why don't you step away from you PC for a second and start protest! do something instead of just claiming how your goverment can't do a thing...

Peter said...

First of all, to all the Israelis on this blog, the best thing you can do is keep quiet. Israel has inflicted an enormous amount of devastation on Lebanon, devastation that far outweighs anything done to Israel by PLO or Hizbollah from Lebanese territory. Even those Lebanese who oppse Hizbollah do not believe Israel has the best interests of Lebanon at heart.

Second of all, for the Lebanese readers, it needs to be recognized that as long as Hezbollah maintains the overwhelimg support of Shiites, it will be able to resist pressure to disarm. This is why I recommend Reinoud Leenders' article on how US/French/UN pressure to disarm Hizbollah is counterproductive, impedes political reform, and actually gives Hizbollah a pretext to escalate the conflict.

"Ironically, without the heavy external pressures for it to disarm, Hizballah’s military agenda would likely become less pertinent by the day. Hizballah’s position in south Lebanon would return to the low-intensity conflict preceding the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, with the added complication for the party that Israel could now hold the Lebanese government, in which it takes part, directly responsible for any attacks in the south. The US and the EU could further demand that Israel stop its intimidating and almost daily incursions into Lebanese airspace, and withdraw from the Shebaa Farms -- steps that, after the party cried victory, would make Hizballah fighters appear to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hizballah would surely try to find alternative pretexts for continuing its armed “resistance.” But it is unlikely that even its own supporters would get excited about a jihad on behalf of others, whether Palestinians or Iranians, or rally behind the party’s remaining quarrels with the Blue Line separating Lebanon and Israel. Driven out of the limelight, Hizballah fighters would have nowhere else to go than the Lebanese army barracks. Only in such a changed atmosphere could any Lebanese government become attentive to the pressing need to finally embark on a serious reform program and start addressing the high expectations expressed in the spring of 2005."

Anonymous said...

While I agree with you in principal peter, what you propose amounts to appeasement. Israel cannot tolerate such attacks. Retribution will be swift and painful. You will want to kill Hizbollah yourselves for what they will have inflicted upon you. I honestly wish you the best of luck, because you sound like an intelligent man who wants to make a difference. I hope you do.

Solomon2 said...

No, Peter. The voices of Israelis MUST be heard, lest the vacuum be filled by the demented ravings of the terrorists - and people subject to them aren't able to speak otherwise, for they will be executed. For non-Lebanese citizens, there are lesser limits (see Michael Totten's blog).

That includes foreign academics residing in Lebanon - even Leenders, I guess. The U.N. says Sheebaa Farms is Syrian territory yet Leenders doesn't mention that. A sure sign of oppression to me.

Note that whenever tensions lighten up around the border Hezbollah always starts up again. Leenders is correct in the sense that if Hezbollah doesn't maintain an aggressive stance they can't justify keeping their arms.

No one ever said that the Israelis don't act in their own interests. However, my guess is that those interests are probably far closer to the desires of the Lebanese populace than those of Hezbollah or the Baathists of Syria.

Reading in between the lines, all the destruction so far appears to be carefully targeted. That isn't "enormous devastation". Enormous devastation was the Civil War. I think the Lebanese know the difference. Doubtless reports are incomplete, but that does that justify your judgement of the situation?

Anonymous said...

Excellent Peter. I hope there are more Lebanese who can accurately analyze the Lebanese problem as you did.

Peter-Australia said...

Raja, thank you for the updates. Until Hezbollah started up this trouble again I was looking forward to visiting Lebanon. I like many other Australia cheered the Lebanese on when the pushed the Syrians out and gaining there freedom again. I wish you had been able to push Hezbollah out too.

My wish is that the government of Lebanon would stand up and state that they are not going to put up with Hezbollah pulling them into a war. The best thing, by my humble opinion, would be for Lebanon to stand by Israel and get rid of Hezbollah. Then Lebanon could be truly free.

Guy said...

I'm reading all of this with mixed feelings. It's a shame that many people will suffer for this.

Israel's message is that Lebanon is responsible for what happens within its borders. It will push that message through by force. To the people who worry about Syria and Iran, their time will come unless they change course (unlikley). The Hezbollah does not care about Shebba farms, it cares about the total destruction of Israel.

To blame Lebanon's historic destruction on Israel is totally unfair. If anyone is to blame I would think the Palenstinians hold most of the blame.

The readers should also remember that this is by no means Hezbollah's first aggression against Israel since Israel's withdrawl. They should also remember that Hezbollah has been acquiring a huge aresenal of rockets that are aimed at Israel from Lebanon's territory.

Israel is also still waiting for information regard air navigator Ron Arad who is either dead or held prisoner by Hezbollah or Iran.

I feel sorry for the Lebanese people but Israel really has no options unless the captured soldiers are returned. In the kind of neighbourhood where Israel lives you have to be the one everyone is afraid to mess with.

carmel, tel aviv said...

looking for someone to blame won't help either of us. actually it seems that is what keeps getting us to the same clash. in our everyday life we just wanna live our lives safely and pursue happiness. but time after time we get dragged by a few who have other agendas, who live by meta-stroies of "us" and "them". they are on both sides and i don't wanna make the same mistake and call them "them" now, as opposed to peaceful modern liberal "us". i hope that as long as all of us keep in mind a more complex picture, the reality won't drag us to extremes. i'm praying for the safety of citizens and soldiers on both sides.

moon said...

Thank you Raja for your continuous feed backs.
As an Israeli, I'm shocked and overwhelmed by the aggression of Hezbollah towards my country and towards you Lebanese people who host them.
they are playing on your ground, and many innocent Lebanese people who want to live in peace are again will suffer from the extreme Muslim aggression.
only 2 days ago, we saw the disaster of the train bombs in India made by extreme Muslims groups, we saw what extreme Muslim can do in 9/11, and then in Bali and all around the world.
this extreme Muslim Arab, are creating the tomb for all other Arabs and all the other citizen of the world, who want to live in peace and prosperity.
Israel is willing for peace, she wed-row from Gaza as first step for letting them form their own country
we see how well they do!
they are more concerned by destroying Israel, then taking care of their own people.
the money they got from the world, is going to the corrupted people in power there, while the mass of the people living in poverty, and is feed by those - only with hatred and murderous ideology, instead of thinking how to develop for them working place and flourish Gaza.
now Lebanon, that even here in Israel, people still recall was called many years ago, the Switzerland of the middle east. Lebanon is paying for not acting, why don't you act? you are entitled for living your life normally

Poul said...

Raja, great updates, thanks a lot!
One thing I don't understand is why Lebanese are toletating Hizballah's militias. If you don't have military capacity to disarm them, why not ask UN, NATO, Europeans? If asked by legitimate Lebanese government, I am sure some of them would be happy to oblige. Now that you have Syrians out, it's definitely a political possibility. So why isn't there a political will to do so?

Jad said...

well first, i'm surprised to see so many israelis following up on this, its good to know that u dont hate the lebanese.
Now as for Hizbollah actions, well, for all those who are telling us to go to the streets like we did against syrians, we did so coz the "outside" powers gave the green for go, and u saw on tv how the lebanese politicans started their sequential media attacks, but the wierd thing, in the HA case, the word isnt out yet. Now why this "green light" is important, well becoz we've been living in frustration for 35 years, since that bastard (may his soul rest in hell) lay foot on our soil, and since then, we've been fighting amongst ourselves and the hatred was fuelled by the various propaganda machines, now, after 16 years of peace, the frustration is still there, frustration leading us to fear going back to war, to the civil war. Yes we drove syria out coz we were more united, but thats not the only reason, the damn "warlords" that are on the chairs today had their "green light", so they massed the people using their propaganda machines without mentionning anything about civil war. NOW, everytime negative feelings increase against HA's and call for going to the street rise, those same bastards freighten the frustrated war-fearing people from a civil war, although i doubt the Shiite would raise a gun against the rest of the lebanese, so in reality, if there will be war, it will only be against committed HA's militants and not the entire Shiite population. Now as its the case with all small countries, we have to wait for the outside "green-light" or else there wont be so much MASSING in the streets except those who meet on forums and blogs, and that will not gather enough people, it needs MEDIA, and MEDIA is controlled by those warlords that wait for "green lights".

Jad said...

well first, i'm surprised to see so many israelis following up on this, its good to know that u dont hate the lebanese.
Now as for Hizbollah actions, well, for all those who are telling us to go to the streets like we did against syrians, we did so coz the "outside" powers gave the green for go, and u saw on tv how the lebanese politicans started their sequential media attacks, but the wierd thing, in the HA case, the word isnt out yet. Now why this "green light" is important, well becoz we've been living in frustration for 35 years, since that bastard (may his soul rest in hell) lay foot on our soil, and since then, we've been fighting amongst ourselves and the hatred was fuelled by the various propaganda machines, now, after 16 years of peace, the frustration is still there, frustration leading us to fear going back to war, to the civil war. Yes we drove syria out coz we were more united, but thats not the only reason, the damn "warlords" that are on the chairs today had their "green light", so they massed the people using their propaganda machines without mentionning anything about civil war. NOW, everytime negative feelings increase against HA's and call for going to the street rise, those same bastards freighten the frustrated war-fearing people from a civil war, although i doubt the Shiite would raise a gun against the rest of the lebanese, so in reality, if there will be war, it will only be against committed HA's militants and not the entire Shiite population. Now as its the case with all small countries, we have to wait for the outside "green-light" or else there wont be so much MASSING in the streets except those who meet on forums and blogs, and that will not gather enough people, it needs MEDIA, and MEDIA is controlled by those warlords that wait for "green lights".

Jad said...

sorry for the double post, Server error.

ummm, for the israelis on this site, can anyone of u contact me, for 2 reasons:
1- i made so much research on the Jewish history, would be glad to discuss them with a native and enrich my knowledge.
2- Believe it or not, there is a synagogue in downtown beirut (abandoned and no one is allowed IN), and i visit it (from the outside) everytime i go jogging or cycling there, and take every foreigner that comes to lebanon to visit it, and always intrigued about its history, so if u could help me out with that!
my MSN is: redminister@hotmail.com

Joel said...

Realistically, the Lebanese appear to have the choice of taking on Hizbullah or the IDF.

I'd suggest that, all in all, taking on Hizbullah is likely to be less destrictive, in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Well, my first more erudite post hasn't appeared. Gotta wonder if there's some BushBot sitting on this site to keep my effort from coming through, since I'm posting from the US.

The short version:
Israel is not the enemy.
Lebanon is not the enemy.
Hizbullah is the enemy.

Hizbullah is not a country.
Hizbullah does not control a country.
Hizbullah has no legal authority over a country although it participates as a *part* of a political system.
Hizbullah has no authority to get Lebanon into a war.

Hizbullah reminds me of the gangsters of Chicago during Prohibition (1930s), who essentially controlled the city and kept the legitimate government there cowed. Their military arm is essentially a bunch of thugs and criminals and should be treated as such. Israel and Lebanon should not be fighting each other on this, but should for the moment set aside their various disagreements and unite to capture and prosecute these criminals as *criminals*. To respond to them with military action is to elevate them to the level of international politics, when all they really are, is thugs.

If they are instead treated as criminals in a unified action from both Israel and Lebanon, then they will be treated as they deserve.

It will be hard for Syria to support Hizbullah if all its members are in prison.

At least that is how it looks from my admittedly naive position.

Jad said...

and that is how it will be, the military operation conducted by israel is not hated at the moment as much as Hizbullah, and u can hear all people saying: "kick their asses". and this is how the 14th of march demonstration started, this is the kind of psychological state of mind the lebanese were in.... so the more damage Israel inflicts, the more anger will be channeled on Hizbullah.

Lazarus said...

To Raja - Thanks for your efforts. You're better than the main stream media PLUS you make it human for us so far away. Hang in there son and rest when you can. There are people who hear and are searching for someway to help (if possible.)
To All - I don't think we need to be telling the Lebanese people what to do while they are caught in the middle of a nasty situation. What we need to do is find a way to assist them and the Israelis to pull this damn thorn from their collective side.
I'm in Texas. Sixty-plus years ago the Texas Rangers (the State's Peace Keepers) offered the King of England their personal protection at a time before the U.S. was in WW2. It made some people in the U.S. mad but it also woke a number of people to the facts of what was happening there.
We need to do something like that. Get to someone in some authority whose ear you can bend and tell them you expect them to do and say something. For us in the States, email your congress persons and tell them to speak out. Tell them if they don't raise three-types of hell, you will back home in their state/district.
Contact your local Boy Scouts and get them in the street telling everyone that passes by about Raja and his friends and the mess they are in. Damn it, tell everyone you can, these good people are in a fix and you want something done.
Do whatever you can, just don't leave Raja and crew alone to fight this. They, and Isreal too for that matter, have been through enough of this crap. It's time for right-thinking Americans and people all over the civilized world to say ENOUGH!
We've got to help people. It's not right for them to do it alone.
I've got to go. I've got some ear-bending to do.

Lazarus said...

I'm not sure but I believe the blogger is Hassan, not Raja. To whomever is doing the blogging, THANKS.

Anonymous said...

To peter,
sorry but Hezbollah does not need a pretext to attack or provoke israel. Nor would a lack of pretext curb their support or actions. They openly profess the destruction of israel as a whole and use these sub arguments as an excuse to further their aim. Iran and syria backing them gives them all the power and pretext they need. They want this to escalate because they think it will rally all muslims to their cause and distract the international community from their own increasingly negative spotlight. What they dont realize is that the more their involvement and backing is uncovered the closer they get to an ass whooping of immense proportions at the hands of not just the israelis but the U.S. as well. I do hope those lebanese trapped in the middle are spared their potential fate.

Anonymous said...

The Hezbollah will continue to be a cancer on the bones of Lebannon until both Syria and Iran are burned to the ground and those ashes kicked to the wind.

asher said...

hi all
its nice to see people can talk freely and chat though the situation.
no one here in israel hate lebanonise,more than that,we see lebanon people the real peace seekers and toerd of wars.
the problem with your poor country is that christians hate the muslims,and muslims fanatics are rolling you by the suport of syria.
we just want a clean boarder with no missiles on us with no reason!!
israel gave lebanon her lands as the UN asked for,but steel,there are some terror groups that want us to extinced,and just cant get enough.
its not a war against lebanon,WE WANT PEACE!!!
we are more tierd than you from all this situation belive me.
take out hizbullah from your country,they are only 4000 soilidgers and your army is 75000.
the army should be on the border and not terror groups.
i pray for you saftey as i pray for my family.
i wish one day we can all sit together and hug each other.
WE ARE ALL PEOPLE!!!
asher

Anonymous said...

Non of your lebanese politicans nor such parties condemned Hizbollah actions in the abduct of the two israeli soldiers two days ago, and during six years since the withdraw of israeli forces from southern Lebanon.

Haz said...

an eye for an eye leads to a world full of blind people..

Haz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
peacepelgrim said...

the first question in any criminal investigation is; 'qui bono', who profits?

is it not the arms manufacturers and defense contractors?

who 'they' are you'll have to work out for yourself, but until this changes, war will always be part of our world.

Eran , Israel. said...

Man , I really hope that this war will end already..
I'm sick of it.
They are ruining so many families . Why are they it ?
I just don't get it.
For a small piece of land ? what for ? stop the war. Fuck the war , Fuck the killers , Fuck God.

Y, Israel said...

Hizballa presence and influnce in Lebanon and along the Israeli border is a very unfortunate reality for both sides. Hopefully the international community, Syria and Iran will come to the resolution that the Lebanese people, who my heart goes to, have suffered enough and will act to end Hizbala's presence as an armed militia in the area.

Sorry for the suffering caused for your people and I hope there will not be any more civilian causualties on your side although I know that unfurtunately Hizbala hides and acts in populated areas.

Stay safe. peace is the hope for the middle east, it may be a fools hope but its our only chance.

No More War - No More Bloodshed.

Ronit Ne. said...

hi Raja-
how are you today?
i wanted to thank you for sharing with us your blog.

it seems that we, the lebanese people and the israeli people want to promote new energy in our area.

lets pray for the end of this unbelievable war,

lets hope that our leaders - both sides-
will get some homan-love and common sensce -
and stop this terrible events.

we have such a beautifull area;
just imagine if we could go freely without fear to visit eachother.

our mother-earth never asked for borders-
she provides us with food and nature and water-
and what do some people do ?
destroy it.

i believe that the terorists are people who really suffered in their early life.
maybe they did not get enough mother's love...
cause there is no other explenation for so much hate that comes; in my opinion-
from deep deep fear and ignorence.

i send you, my brothers and sisters in lebanon-
prayers for a better future.
(INSH'ALLA)

regards from Israel;
Ronit N.

wishyoupeace said...

hello, is there anybody out there?
real pepole i mean.
does anyone know what we all really, really want?
deep inside we are all one. one big ball of light that created from god's love. the evil of darkness is our ego that torn us apart. one day we will all be as one.
the most basic things that we wish for are th same.
life is love and oneness
death is all the rest.
may god's love be with us all
and may this endless light of god's love will guide us to find wisdom within us.

i'm dancing at the feet of my lord
all is blessed
all is
all is one and,
one is all

wishyoupeace said...

p.s.
i'm also from israel
and let us remember that many of us here in israel are from arabic origin. my mother is from iraq and my father is from libia.
and in our culture there are a lot of arabic influenses. food, music, and so on and on. so your are muslim and we are juish, so what? there is only one god for us all, and does'nt mater in what name we call him, his word will always be of love and peace. i use to live with muslim family from maroco, and i learned with mr. abdalla my naibore that the islam is also have the way of peace, so no matter what the evil of the crazy fanatics say. war is not the islamic way peace is.
wish you peace
gabriel from bat-yam
israel

Diablo (israeli) said...

I am so disgrace of my country , we all have seen the horrible pictures in qana massacre .though we will never feel the pain these families are feeling in the loss of their love ones , we can only imagine the immensity of the mental wreckage that will pursuit them through lifetime.
we are sick of politicians, we are sick of wars , we are sick of dignity issues, we just sick being inhabitants of this disgusting region of the globe.

ENOUGH ....

(isrleb-imm team)