Monday, August 07, 2006

Our Arabness Is Not Conditional

I couldn't help myself but cry with my Prime Minister Seniora, as he cried too.

As he addressed the emergency Arab Foreign Ministers meeting in Beirut, he choked on the words: "Our Arabness is not conditional. It is not by force, but a choice." (Ouroubatouna laysat mashroota. Innaha laysat bil irgham, la bal bil ikhtiyar)

Very powerful words and very true. How much did my country pay the price for standing by its Arab identity? I believe more than any other Arab country.

To be Arab, we housed the Palestinian Liberation Organization, when other Arab countries expelled them. To be Arab, we got invaded by Israel time and time again and our lands occupied by them for 22 years. To be Arab, we fought each other for 20 years in a bloody civil war. To be Arab, we lived years through Syrian intelligence domination. To be Arab, we housed the last bastion of resistance, Hizbullah, when Jordan, Egypt and Syria, bordering Israel, have never had a shot fired across their borders since 1974. To be Arab, we had to live through years after the Israeli withdrawal from the south not knowing whether the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese or Syrian. To be Arab, we were not given Arab support to send the Lebanese Army to the south. To be Arab, so many more issues were taboo to discuss and resolve.

For the first time, live before the whole world, PM Seniora said these words to the Arab Ministers. He choked, cried, wiped his tears and continued on. Some of the attendants looked embarassed and moved.

It's a choice, a choice we have made to stand by our Arab identity. And it's also a choice we've made to be pluralistic and democratic, a choice to be open and modern, a choice to be a message of coexistence for the whole world.

Israel is a democratic state, but not pluralistic; it's a state for the Jews. And Syria, our other neighbor, is an authoritarian state that subscribes to one creed, Assadist Baathism.

It is a difficult choice we the Lebanese have made: we want to be different; part of the Arab world, yet different, democratic, yet pluralistic. Lebanon: the house of many mansions, and the death toll rises....

Update: It turns out that the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting came up with something more than just a statement - a group of Foreign Ministers are heading to New York to work with Security Council members rallying support for the Lebanese government's seven-point plan that aims at reaching a comprehensive solution to all hostilities.

Update 2: The Lebanese government has ordered in those who served in the Lebanese Army the past 5 years. Is this the first step towards sending the Army to the south?

Update 3: News sources are saying that Syrian Foreign Minister Moallem did not agree with supporting the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting's official statement, which endorses the Lebanese government's 7-point plan and which stressed on ALL Lebanese people's resistance towards Israeli aggression, instead of just hailing Hizbullah's resistance. The 7-point plan includes a provision to turn in the Shebaa Farms to the UN until it's resolved whether it's Syrian or Lebanese territories.

To Moallem: What were you thinking? That you're coming to Lebanon so all could bow to your demands? So you could challenge the 7-point plan and keep some gambling cards up your sleeve?

I should just say that our PM Seniora was decent enough to repel the rumors in his press conference that you left early because you were disgruntled. It turns out that the rumors were true!

And yes the reserves called up will be heading to the south. May God be with them!

Update 4: Shiyyah was hit, a heavily populated area, in the evening, when everyone is huddled home. The footage of the carnage is scary. Rescuers are scrambling around the rubble to save who can be saved. 10 are reported dead and more than 30 wounded.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

115 comments:

Pasdutout said...

Doha,

Powerful words. To wish for that which many people take for granted: Be themselves

moral ground said...

Doha, very nice post, but what the hey is this "Arab identity"? I for one don't identify with "Arabs", with the latter being the true Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula.

GSH - Observer said...

It's a choice, a choice we have made to stand by our Arab identity. And it's also a choice we've made to be pluralistic and democratic

We have payed dearly for that...
but it is worth every soul Lebanon lost and still to loose.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

" "Our Arabness is not conditional. It is not by force, but a choice." "

Speak for your sect.

Fighting Sullyvan said...

The Lebanese epitomize the best of the Arab and Muslim world. Hezbollah epitomizes the worst.

Doha said...

Vox,

Don't tell me that we're going to have the same eternal debate the Lebanese have been having. What are we god dammit? Phoenicians? C'mon. Seniora is saying that we are Arabs, but it's not pegged on being authoritarian, backwards, etc. It's a different kind of affiliation.

I mean what would you say about Lahoud? He does not speak for his sect. Does he? I can say that he does, for many. He subscribes to the Arab identity that is of the worst kinds: loves to sit in his seat forever and loves that other countries control his country.

Gosh, this Prime Minister is trying hard to save the country. and at this time, he's the only one who sort of speaks for me. of course not nasrallah or berri or lahoud.

Lirun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GSH - Observer said...

vox;

Speak for your sect.

how the hell did you get the sect in that ???

We are Lebanese first and foremost.
then we choose to be Arab or whatever we want to be.

Lirun said...

forever inspiring..

doha's posts make my head slow down and powerfully change my perspective everytime..

we need your voice dude..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

anthonyb said...

I would go with Phoenicians- just pull yourselves out of the whole mess and forge a new identity.

Doha said...

...and sects have nothing to do with it!

Doha said...

lirun,

i'm not a dude, not a guy, a girl.

Doha said...

anothonyb,

you know? i just want to be lebanese. that's all. but i guess in these critical times, the Lebanese government is trying to extend to every party that can help us. not that i believe that emergency Arab Foreign Ministers meeting will achieve anything on a political level...just the typical, "we support Lebanese sovereignty, and call for an immediate ceasefire, etc."

but at least in the meeting today, Seniora made sure to say the words about being Arab is a CHOICE. i like that.

Lirun said...

apologies.. dude is used for both.. ;) i'm a surfer - we would use it for the queen of england..

her royal dudeness the queen heheh

GSH - Observer said...

anthonyb;

if we choose to be Arabs that is not bad at all....we are and will always be the Creme de la creme of the arabs....

As Nizar Kabani said about Beirut

She is the Oasis of the arab world

as a matter of fact....we are the raw model for the arabs...we showed them that we can live together (more then 50 sects) in a democracy.

Lirun said...

i see lebanon as the jewel of the crown

GSH - Observer said...

indeed lirun...indeed

1earth said...

gsg:

It's a democracy when a few sects get to decide that the whole country is going to war without any say from the rest?

In that sense Lebanon is as authoritarian as the Baathists in Syria.

GSH - Observer said...

I have known Seniora as a minister (finance)....didn't like him....

But I've never thought i would respect this man as i do today...
He is a great PM, wonderful Lebanses....I'm Proud of him.

Abu Kais said...

Doha, thank you. I agree that Siniora is our only hope now.

GSH - Observer said...

1earth;

they are trying to get us....they are trying to destroy our democracy....
THEY HATE DEMOCRACY
THEY ARE SCARED OF DEMOCRACY

don't let them get you man...we are and we'll always be democratic...they can try to ruin us but they will NEVER succeed.

HA Hijacked our democracy....but we'll get it back...
Please don;t loose hope in your country...it's not perfect...but it's on the right path

barroon said...

his speech was very emptional and touchy .
Lebanies should and will walk with thier heads high. small country, small nation,bigger than life itself.

lebanese_in_paris said...

Very touching indeed.

Lebanon is an ARAB country. Discussing this topic is out of context now.

The issue now is to get a cease fire, an execution of Plan Sanioura which will lead to the sovereignty being established on ALL the Lebanese territory and that decisions be made by the government ONLY and army be only the Lebanese army.

Let’s hope for the best. Let's have always the optimism of PM Sanioura.

w

dougjnn said...

Doha—

Siniora--"Our Arabness is not conditional. It is not by force, but a choice."

Why don’t you be modern, cosmopolitan Lebanese, instead of Arab, in identification? I mean I’m an American of white English and Scottish extraction, but my self identification is that of many generations American. People in this country who put too much emphasis on being whites from north western Europe are generally considered suspect for racism.

To be Arab, we housed the Palestinian Liberation Organization, when other Arab countries expelled them.

What an unwise decision THAT was. Caused you no end of problems, now didn’t it?

To be Arab, we got invaded by Israel time and time again and our lands occupied by them for 22 years.

That had rather a lot to do with letting the PLO in, now didn’t it? And with not stopping the PLO from repeatedly attacking Israel from Lebanon, well before Israel attacked the PLO in Lebanon, now didn’t it?

moral ground said...

For God's sake Lebanese people, would you quit deluding yourselves? You convince yourselves of these illusions just to feel comfortable and victimized because we are being destroyed while the world watches. When did we ever live in democracy? Are you insane? Just because our government system is supposed to be elected, doesn't make us a democracy. A democracy represents the people. Lebanon government has never represented the people. Hey guess what? Egypt's constitution is based on a democracy as well. Does that make them a democracy? Even Syria voted for the late Assad in an internationally televised election, just like the Iraqis did for Saddam, and they both got elected at 99.99% or something ridiculous like that. Does that make them democratic? Fucking stand up and take responsibility for our mistakes. Our mistakes of repeatedly rallying behind the same animals who have ruled us for decades. Our mistakes of rallying behind those who would sell us to whatever foreigner who had interest in the region. Our mistakes of never saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Our mistakes of TAKING A BREAK from reality, whenever that reality allows for us to have time off, ie when there's war and death and killing, we are all passionate and excited and fighting, but as soon as the turbulance stops, we go back to partying and rejoicing and living life, instead of putting our foot down and changing things. For fuck's sake, why is it that most of us are out of the country in the first place? because we have democracy? OUR COUNTRY MADE US LEAVE, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR US THERE. So quit your talk about democracy, please, it is starting to sound like a broken record. Lebanese people saying "quit destroying Lebanon cause it's the only democracy" is starting to sound like Israel people saying "we don't mean ill to the Lebanese people, but we have no choice but to destroy Lebanon to eradicate HA".

JoseyWales said...

Screw Ourouba.

People are dying and buildings are falling and our idiots want to discuss (deadly) concepts and romantic ideas.

Hopeless.

Ourouba Unconditional (i.e. THOUGHTLESS) is what got us here Visionless Milquetoast Simiora.

JoseyWales said...

The bombs over our land right here/ right now, is the PRICE of Unconditional Ourouba.

The "umma's war whether you like it or not" Milquetoast.

Do you like it?

GSH - Observer said...

moral ground;

we do have democracy - that was on hold during the war - but now it's back.

we do elect, we don't have 99.99% votes to anyone.

You made a very important point:
Our mistakes of repeatedly rallying behind the same animals who have ruled us for decades

100% true.
it's not that we don't have democracy...no...it's the poeples fault to elect those "war lords" back to power.
if you look at our cabinets and parliment you see the same exact faces from Berri to Junblat to Jaajaa....Aoun....plus new embitious kids.
We have democracy, but we need to exercise it with RESPONSABILITY.

keep in mind that we're in this troulbe because we are democrats ( i'm not saying that HA last action is a breed of our democracy....democaracy and anarchy are totaly different)...if we had a system such as Syria trust me we would never have any war with anyone.
but on the other hand we would've had "Bashar"...

dougjnn said...

Doha--
a group of Foreign Ministers are heading to New York to work with Security Council members rallying support for the Lebanese government's seven-point plan that aims at reaching a comprehensive solution to all hostilities.

I’m for Seniora’s seven point plan, with some modifications. Everything he wants including on Shebba farms, but much more explicit language on Hezbollah agreeing itself to disarm and then in fact disarming before Lebanon in fact gets Shebaa.

But it will take weeks or maybe months to negotiate that.

So now Lebanon doesn’t want an immediate ceasefire anymore, unless all sorts of other conditions are met?

What’s on offer is a partial ceasefire. No more rockets for no more air bombardment. Except perhaps for close air support of the immediate area around the ground campaign in the South.

In other words, like the 48 hour Israeli pause, which Hezbollah met with a cessation of rocket attacks into Israel during that period.

Actually it’s not really on offer to the Lebanese government. Rather to the Security Council and to Hezbollah and Israel, and to the world community including the Arab community.

I think what that really mean is that if Hezbollah will stop rocket attacks Israel will stop bombing rockets and infrastructure. Israel won’t withdraw from Lebanon until the international force is in place, and perhaps until the full ceasefire agreement Lebanon seeks as well is in place. And Israel won’t stop it’s ground campaign against Hezbollah in the south until the international force has agreed upon rules, and has been organized and assembled and is ready to come immediately in. That’s going to take a while.

So does Lebanon want the air bombardment against the Beirut suburbs and Tyre and bridges and the like to stop in the meanwhile, or not? If so get Hez to stop it’s rocket barrages into Israel.

If Hez won’t take that trade, blame Hezbollah.

That’s what this is about.

Amon Ra said...

gsh;

very wise comments about how democracy should be executed but what will happen afterwardS, whenever a ceasefire comes..

Libanon has been destroyed and correct me if i am wrong but Lebanese do not acquire the capitals for establishing again not only democracy but the opeation of a decent state...

Thus, you will need help from abroad. I can imagine that even Israelis business will be capitalise on the results of this massacre... And of course your dearest foes from arabic world will be very keen to participate too....

It is a personal opinion but i dp not trust "democracies" which strive when the control is not in the hands of local people. And that is why Israeli tactis seem to be completely irrational or instigated by US. They will not achieve nothing more than increasing their isolation in the area.

P.S: Discourse analysis of UN resolution for almost a week takes place at the expense of civilians lives. How diplomats sleep at night???

Doha said...

Josey,

I'm with you. We've paid dearly in the name of ourouba.

You want a live example of stale ourouba? Syrian Foreign Minister Moallem asked that in the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting's official statement a line to be added which supports the mouqawameh. His suggestion was dropped and Seniora had a statement added that says that the Arab Foreign Ministers support the Lebanese people in resisting the Israeli aggression.

ronen said...

I feel mercy for all the lebanese whom could not actually defined themeselve as an independent entity. Lebanon as a nation cannot control terrorist groups such as Hizbollah who setteled in their country on behalf of syria and iran.
Israel has the right to defend her own citizens from rocket attacks and from kidnapping innocent soldiers. Don't blame Israel for attacking Lebanon. Israel has the right to bomb and destroyed any villege or even whole beirut in order to prevent attackes on Israel. Bear in mind that we havn't used but 30% of our potential power, and if necessery we will use our extra measures which will totally destroy Lebanon. This current opperetion is just the promotion for what will happen if Hizbollah will continue his aggression upon Israel after a ceasfire will take place at the region.
I feel mercy on the innocent Lebanese civilians, but look at the mirror and tell us honestly what was the ulternative to the current war when you know better than us that the aim of Hizbollah in south Lebanon is to destroy Israel.When it is clear today more than ever that Hizbollah use humen shields in civil areas and hide in Beirut and other villeges. Not that they will succeed on that goal but enough is enough, and if the lebanese army won't control Hizbollah than the whole world (except sirya and iran) will fully support Israel in attacking in much more power at Lebanon the next time, and believe me- Hizbollah havn't seen nothing yet just because we try not to harm innocent civilians in Lebanon.
My sympathy to the lebanese people. I know that vast majority of you want to get rid of Hizbollah as a militery group, but if you cannot be able to do the job, than someone else will do that.
Ronen from Pardess Hanna/Israel.

moral ground said...

Ronen, please follow one action from the following list:

1. Grow up.
2. Get informed.
3. Go to hell.

Muxecoid said...

I translated this to Russian and will post it into my blog if the translation will not appear on large Russian news sites.

Doha, does he expect to live long after this speach?

GSH - Observer said...

amon ra;

we can't give up democracy.
we are going to pay for it dearly.

we are going to need help, no doubt about it. which brings us back to an important point:
KSA gave our Central Bank 1B dollars to stabilize our "Lira", this help is not FREE.
remember what i said at the beginning of this war.
we are getting out of the Syrain military occupation to KSA financial/economical occupation.

we're going to have lots of construction companies rebuilding Lebanon...I assure your they won't be Lebanese companies.

GSH - Observer said...

amon ra;

check PM Saniora 7th band in his 7 points plan

Unfrozen Caveman Linguist said...

If your Arabness is not your tragic flaw, then your willingness to accept others' versions of it certainly is. Where is Lebanon's distinct identity? Where has it been asserted lately?

I once heard Rafiq Hariri describe his vision for Lebanon as something akin to Singapore. Well, were Singapore to assert its Chinese-ness in the same way, that little island would be just like any other Chinese province - dirty, corrupt, full of ill-mannered rich folks, and worse still, probably involved in regional conflicts. Instead, Singaporeans became Chinese-plus; ethnic Chinese may be a majority, but other groups are no less meaningful. They are Singaporeans - no more, no less. They have strong rule of law and a loyal, pluralistic population. They have loads of economic opportunity and they don't waste time and energy discussing identity issues at such a level as I see in Lebanon. If Lebanon could scrap this Arabness obsession in the interests of self-preservation for a moment, this kind of prosperity could be theirs.

GSH - Observer said...

unfrozen caveman;

Personaly Arabness is not an obsession - it may be to some of my country men.

I beleive i can be an Arab (by choice) without paying the tab on behalf all the Arabs (which is our mistake so far).

If I say I'm an Lebanese and an Arab I'll be doing the Arabs a favor...I'll be giving them some color to their monotone landscape and mentality.
That's my personal view.

dunes said...

moral ground:
yeah really really grown up response
let me guess you graduated from yale ?
if you have nothing to contribute just shut up.

Lirun said...

as someone who has spent meaningful periods of time in singapore and is well acquainted with its population.. unless it has changed over the past couple of years (which it may have).. i assure you that if i were singaporean i would hate to be anything but chinese..

i very much enjoy my time in singapore and have always enjoyed excellent hospitality..

however i dont envy singaporean indians more than i envy arab israelis

wishing that lebanon regain its light soon

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
we can do better than this $^$^&

moral ground said...

Dunes, please follow ALL actions from the following list:

1. Take your own advice.
2. read my original post.
3. lower your IQ by reading ronen's post.
4. worship me for not wasting precious calories by intelligently responding to Ronen's babble.
5. go to hell.

Doha said...

No one is going to hell, so stop your bickering!

Lirun said...

lists are great

1. finishing reviewing contract
2. issue RFP
3. go to gym
4. shower
5. blog till my hands drop off

(i may as well post my chores given this is all i look at)

Amon Ra said...

gsh;

I read the seven points plan and figured out your point.

However, and forgive me for being pessimistic again, you must take into consideration that when the hostilities come to an end, international community will not have in the centre of its agenda the rebuilding of Lebanon...

Overall, people tend to forget very easily. I understand Siniora's effort to achieve a commitment from UN but this will be only temporal. Whoever participates in the rebuilding will not do it for lick Lebanon's wounds, In any case, you have NO other option so it is the best he could advocate...

I read also that Nasrallah stated that this is the last battle of Hezbollah??? Is this info valid because i have never heard it again? How possible you consider the gradual inclusion of Hezbollah members in the Lebanese army?

Lebanese W said...

why are we so proud of being Arabs? what have they contributed to the world the past 100 years other than oil and problems?

Let us move on and build a decent life for our children instead of fighting a dead cause and being proud to be part of a bunch of egocentric losers.

Sarah said...

I, also Doha, broke into tears as I heard him via Radio Orient's online transmission.
But, just as I was about to give up on us the Lebanese who with our conflicting and contradicting ideologies and 'struggles', Sanyourah emerged to me as, at the risk of sounding cliche, Lebanon's saviour.
He will hopefully lead us to Lebanon's only chance at survival, military neutrality and diplomacy.

Lirun said...

i dont think you're identity needs to be compromised.. there is no need to tip out the baby with the water..

as an israeli i have often met people who have prejudged me all around the world..

i am a very proud israeli.. however i have also taken it upon myself to decide (a) what being israeli and (b) how i want to influence that definition for other israelis and "outsiders"

Lirun said...

sorry meant to say what being israeli means to me

GSH - Observer said...

amon ra;

the International community will give us money to rebuild and it will send it companies to do so.
just like a miniature Iraq.

Last Battle for HA...I doubt it...
we need to look closer at Iran and Syria's agendas.
Syria's "Moallem" said that if the Lebanses power ballance stay as it is he'll insight a civil war...he needs HA for that.

This is a very delicate and fragile situation we have here...
I think - I hope i'm wrong - we are in a 50\50 stituation to go into a civil war (pro-syrians vs. anti-syrians)

if HA is not included in our army and give up its weapons...then it is a civil war. no third choice.

I hope I'm wrong again, but i don't see HA desarming.(Iran and Syria still need HA)

ibn nagrela said...

"Our Arabness is not conditional. It is not by force, but a choice." It's a choice, a choice we have made to stand by our Arab identity. And it's also a choice we've made to be pluralistic and democratic, a choice to be open and modern, a choice to be a message of coexistence for the whole world. It is a difficult choice we the Lebanese have made: we want to be different; part of the Arab world, yet different, democratic, yet pluralistic. Lebanon: the house of many mansions, and the death toll rises....

Truly.

Robert18 said...

This is very powerful indeed.
But is it correct?

I always learned that the real Lebanese are desendants of the Phoenicians who lived in what we call now Lebanon from 1600 to 800 BCE, though there must be some Jewish blood left in some Lebanese, since they lived in Tripoli, Beirut and the Mount Lebanon area centuries before the Phoenicians. The Arabs imposed their will and Islam on Lebanon only in the 7th Century. Not much later a great number of Arabs were kicked out by the Ottoman Turks, with the help of the Christians........many fleeing to the east and south (!!). Then came the French and the Syrians who created and destroyed the state Lebanon respectively.

So where is this “We are all Arabs” nonsense suddenly coming from? In need of oil money? Pride is no longer an issue?

GSH - Observer said...

robert18;

where did you get this info ???

Please do more research on this subject.

stevedecatur said...

My foreign analysis:
It's going to embarrass the hell out of PM Siniora and the national government if the Lebanese Army deploys across the south but Hezbollah continues to launch attacks at Israel.

That would be Nasrallah outright challenging the elected government for control of Lebanon. The Lebanese army would be forced to confront Hezbollah or acknowledge Nasrallah and Hizbollah control the country. And I doubt they would confront Hezbollah. That means civil war, a battle only Syria and Hezbollah can win.

GSH - Observer said...

stevedecatur;

that's why i said above that we have a 50\50 chance of a civil war.

will Syria and HA win?
if the USA, EU, KSA and the others don't stab us in the back like they did this time I'll doublt HA will win.
but again we are counting ont he Spinless EU and KSA, and on the Stupid Forign policy the USA....Go help us :)

Unfrozen Caveman Linguist said...

It's all relative. Considering, though, that Lebanon needs a plan moreso than it needs more rhetoric, I might find it useful to look beyond simple indentity questions. Were I a third world country (with a strategic location) with malicious outsiders threatening to prosecute their own agendas on my territory, I might find Singapore to be a helpful model. Maybe it's not perfect, as no society is, but I didn't see any starving Indians, Malays, Singhalese, or anyone else there for that matter. When Lebanon achieves the prosperity and consequent welfare system of Israel or Singapore, then the debate can progress to issues related to everyone's self-esteem. For now, broad strokes will do.

sp said...

Doha, would Lebanon allow anyone with an Israeli stamp on their passport enter the country?

the answer is nope.

http://www.lebanonembassyus.org/faq.html

A visa application is declined if the passport bears an Israeli visa, or the passport will expire in less than six months.

Doesn't sound "pluralistic" to me.

stevedecatur said...

gsh; What can the international community do?

The USA doesn't seem to have much influence over Iran, Hezbollah's principle patron.
Syria won't separate its support for Hezbollah from Assad's desire to get the Golan Heights back. And that's a whole other issue.
By the time it gets worked out there will be little left of Lebanon from the civil war or fighting with Israel.

I don't see a 50% chance of a civil war and 50% chance at peace in the days to come. My uneducated guess would be >5% chance at civil war, 35% chance Nasrallah ordering quiet for the moment, and a 60% chance of PM Siniora protesting to the world that Israel is destroying Lebanon while Hezbollah continues the provocations.

Doha said...

robert18,

My family is originally Circassian. We were Mamlukes who ruled back in the 1500s and then when the Ottomans took over, my great grandfather stayed behind in northern Lebanon and took up the Arabic language so as not to be discovered as a Circassian Mamluke.

So what do I say? That I'm from the Caucasian mountains? No! I'm Lebanese first and an Arab, because I speak Arabic and my customs and traditions are Levantine Arab.

It has nothing to do either with oil; that's a pathetic analysis.

Lirun said...

i dont care if you're arabs or anything else for that matter..

i want peace with you

Doha said...

sp,

what does pluralism have to do with not allowing someone to enter the country if they have an Israeli visa on their passport???!!! SP, I think you don't know what I'm talking about; I'm talking about pluralism in a political sense.

Anyways, Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and we have not yet signed peace with Israel.

GSH - Observer said...

stevedecatur;

If HA is still around we will have no peace, Simply because we can't have a loose canon in Lebanon...
The Lebanese won't accept it (most of them that is), and Israel will keep on having fun in Lebanon under the pretext of HA existance.

very unstable situation.
if HA is ordered to came down...this will last till Syria or Iran are cornered again...and here we go...HA will be back in action (just like what happened last month)
HA is welcomed as a Political party, not as an armed group...that is a time bomb...

stevedecatur said...

gsh;

It seems the disarming of Hezbollah is entirely in their own hands. They have plenty of support from Syria, Iran and some Lebanese. Enough I would think to hold onto their weapons as long as they please.

How can PM Siniora confront Hezbollah without looking like he is working for Israel or America?

Are the troops deploying in the south merely for show?

Lebanese W said...

And about the peace treaty with Israel... I know it is kind of a taboo and specially now. But why don't we think ahead and consider signing such a treaty if it is based on balanced terms (land/prisoners/mines map/etc vs security)?

There can only be advantages: peace, security on southern border, economic exchanges and it will strengthen our position in the region and attract investments due to increased stability.

Thoughts?

Of course the more this war gets ugly the more difficult it will be to make peace...

I had started this post few mins ago and now I am watching the news of the buildings which just collapsed in Chiyah and it kinda puts a bitter taste on this post. How can we make peace if they keep killing our civilians. Really disgusting. When will Olmert & co understand that this war is making the most moderate of us filled with hatred.
But will send the post anyway... :(

ibn nagrela said...
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ibn nagrela said...
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Vox Cantor said...

My maternal grandfather left Lebanon for Canada in 1886. My paternal came here in 1910. They left because of the poverty and persecution under the Ottoman Turkish empire. Everyone wants a piece of this land. Watching from a far I cannot help but resent the Arab League/World and the rest of us for that matter, for expecting that Hizbollah would be disarmed by the government. What? Another civil war? Get out of Lebanon you Syrians and Iranians! Lay down your arms or get out of Lebanon you Palestinians and Hizbollah! Get out of Lebanon, Israel! Lebanon must be free, democratic, pluralistic for the Lebanese!

David Anthony Domet
Toronto, Canada

anthonyb said...

Rule of Law.

Everyone keeps talking about democracy but democracy is nothing without rule of law. The most successful and balanced democracies in the world have strong, fair and independant legal systems.

What is the legal situation in Lebanon?

ibn nagrela said...

unfrozen Caveman Linguist said... If your Arabness is not your tragic flaw, then your willingness to accept others' versions of it certainly is. Where is Lebanon's distinct identity? Where has it been asserted lately?

oh look. the caveman jingoist emerges from his hole only to lecture arabs and glorify ... singoporeans? we are curious. the caveman is a blatant zionist cheerleader; censor of dissent; unbeliever in free speech; why is he featured/listed among lebnan bloggers?

Singaporeans became Chinese-plus; ethnic Chinese may be a majority, but other groups are no less meaningful. They are Singaporeans - no more, no less. They have strong rule of law and a loyal, pluralistic population. They have loads of economic opportunity and they don't waste time and energy discussing identity issues at such a level as I see in Lebanon.

yes. this is the "caveman" way. singapore doesn't "waste time and energy discussing identity issues" because lee kuan yew [was, as his son remains] a free market despot, a troglodytic proponent of authoritarian capitalism that, in singapore political practice & effect (total subservience to economic false idols), is anything but "pluralistic."

It's all relative.

indeed. it is all relative to foreigners who could care less about lebanese, meddling in lebanese affairs only to protect their geostrategic interests. divide and conquer is their credo. petro politics and stability their obsession. that, and zionist expansion.

of course, what would "cavemmen" know about democracy or pluralism? busy as they are clubbing the rustle of democratic pluralism from their own blogs, even their own country.

meanwhile, we completely support the lebanese (7-pt) plan. israeli withdrawal fron lebanese territory is non-negotiable. a larger un mnf subject to negotiation.

3li- said...

Civilians are digging with their bare hands trying to rescue those buried in the rubble of the civilian building just bombed by a US-made Israeli jet...

HA is in the South-why does not Israel just stay there and fight?

The victims in this building were made refugees once already...Now Israel follows and kills them...

How long will this nonesense and brutality continue?

Lirun said...

hey nagrela..

not accurate.. i - as an israeli - spoke up earlier.. i dont want to live next to a contrived greenback/euro infatuated synthetic lebanon emulating the sungaporean model in our region..

while i have enormous respect for the achievements of the gulf emirates - the splendour of street lebanon is much more beautiful than any row of mansions that could be built on reclaimed land from dried up sea shores to which we have the likes of the beckhams and holywood stardom flocking..

i would much rather an organic and real society representing the best aspects of its own values and self actualising as the democracy it painfully aspires to be..

reading the last few comments - i need to say that i empathise with how easy it is to lose hope and how with each detonation our shared dreams seem further and further away from reality..

but please dont let go..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
while many wish that we fail.. many pray for our success

Itai said...

Doha said:"To be Arab, we fought each other for 20 years in a bloody civil war"

I hope it's not true, I hope this type of senseless violence isn't an integral part of being an Arab.
And if it is, I hope you'll give up on this part of the Arab identity.
You know your history so maybe you can avoid repeating it. You don't have to keep banging your head against the wall.

Dimitry said...

How can PM Siniora confront Hezbollah without looking like he is working for Israel or America?

How indeed can a prime minister dare, dare I say, to enforce the sovereignity of his nation over his entire country? Bloody collaborator!

HA's armed force is a slap in the face of the Lebanese nation. It's a bloody rebellion, assuming indeed the so called Lebanese government is indeed the sovereign and not just another militia.

Solomon2 said...

The Lebanese government has ordered in those who served in the Lebanese Army the past 5 years. Is this the first step towards sending the Army to the south?

How many Hezbollah are being called into the Army, and what will be their function?

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I hope that the Shias are aware now that next time they vote for warmongerers, well these warmongerers may well deliver the war they promised.

ibn nagrela said...

Rule of Law. Everyone keeps talking about democracy but democracy is nothing without rule of law. The most successful and balanced democracies in the world have strong, fair and independant legal systems. What is the legal situation in Lebanon?

the rule of law is not disputed. the interpretation of law remains contentious. the 1949 armistice agreement and syria's concession of shebaa farm in 1951 supersede & contravene un resolution 425 (1978), which incorrectly "certified" israel's withdrawal (from s.lebanon) as complete.

abou al jamejem said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ibn nagrela said...

lirun -- hey nagrela.. not accurate.. i - as an israeli - spoke up earlier.. i dont want to live next to a contrived greenback/euro infatuated synthetic lebanon emulating the sungaporean model in our region..

save it for caveman. it is he, not me, who dreams of singanon/lebapore.

Lebnese Liona said...

TO ALL THE IDIOTS IN THE WORLD,

THE REASON ISREAL BOMBED THE SUBS OF BEIRUT, ITS CALLED "UP THE ANTE"

ITS CALLED I AM ISREAL AND I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT.

I WILL KILL YOUR CIVILAINS TO GET YOU TO RE ACT, THE MORE THE HB REACTS THE BETTER FOR THE STATE OF ISREAL.

THESE SMART BOMBS WERE DIRECTED AT THE MUSLIM SHIITES PERIOD!!!

AT LEAST HB HAD THE EXECUSE OF NOT HAVING GUIDED MISSLES , I wONDER WHAT THE ZIONISTS EXCUSE THIS TIME IS?

OH WAIT , THERE IS NO EXECUSE, THEy ARE Flat OUT CHALLENGING THE UN AND THE ENTIRE WORLD BECAUSE NO ONE DARES TO STOP THEM.


EXCEPT FOR HB , OH BUT WAIT HB ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS , THEY ARE FIGHTING AN OCCUPYING FORCE ON THEIR LANd THAT IS KILLING THEIR FAMILIES AND THIER CIVILIANS , BUT

THATS DOES NOT MATTER BECAUSE BUSH SAID THEY ARE A TERRORIST GROUP.

WTF IS WRONG WITH U PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


U ALL MAKE ME SICK , EVERY AND EACH ONE OF U, U SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF U R SELVES

Doha said...

abu jamejem,

I deleted your comment, because I cannot tolerate your swearing comments. I was patient and thought that you'd swear shway, but you're doing it everytime.

This is a respectable public forum.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Helen said...

Doha
again I am proud of you and your posts I hope all Lebanese will stand up for Lebanon this time as Lebanese not according to their religious belief
Helen

Shmulik said...

Lebanese Liona

please explain to me how stockpiling 13,000 unguided rockets which can only be used as a terror weapon (since it can't target something smaller than a city) ok?
How is crossing the border, killing 3 border guards, kidnapping 2 others and firing some of this rockets on villages as a diversion, considered "FIGHTING AN OCCUPYING FORCE ON THEIR LANd"??

abou al jamejem said...

To doha, you guys are the same as the Syrian secret service(Moukhabarat) that we fought against during all these years. as I said if other bloggers don't like my comments they can blog at al Manar blog if they have a blog. I am sure that Hasen zabre Neseralla would like thir support. I am just angry of the lebanese media not telling the truth because they're afraid of el Huzeb.

GSH - Observer said...

MSNBC:8/7/2006 8:00:14 PM GMT-UTC
Breaking News: AP: Lebanese Cabinet approves sending 15,000 troops to south Lebanon

z said...

Kidnapper: I was sent to stop rescue force


http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3287889,00.html

moral ground said...

responding to z's posted article:

"...fired a Fagot-type anti-tank missile.." *snicker*

abou al jamejem said...

do u guys have the interrogation video

abou al jamejem said...

I meant do u guys have a link for the video

root cause said...

leb liona....if ur so sick of everyone here....please by all means go back to ur homeland and pick up a rifle. i'm sick of listening to ur rhetoric. must be rough sitting there in ur ivory tower in the states casting ur insults. i wish we were all as "wise" as you. (blatant sarcasm)

Doha said...

abou el jamejem,

i'm not against what you're saying, just dislike insults and swearing, that's all. we like "clean" debates.

sp said...

doha, to answer your Q. Lebanese citizens are able to get visas to visit Israel.

I don't see how a "pluralistic" country could refuse entry to say an american citizen just because that american citizen has an Israeli stamp on their US passport.

Carmel said...

Doha, this war was worth something only if your post will come true. I too was moved by siniora. as an Israeli, i still believe we got better chances of being different someday because we're closer, although many people have an issue with "others", there are more an more people who evolve past it and the formal stand of the law here allows and encourages it. i wish to God Lebanon will race us towards this worthy goal.

khaled said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
khaled said...

أِذا الرِّجالُ بَكَتْ ... أَفْصَحَتْ عمَّا فِي الفُؤادِ
وربَّ دمعةٍ ُذرِفـَتْ ... أَصابِتْ لبَّ الفؤادِ
كَدَمعـَةٍ مِن عَينيْكَ ... دولةَ الرئيسِ فُؤادِ

Ofer said...

To "Lebanese w",

Peace and hate do not contradict. The fact that you hate Israel more and more as the days go by should be irrelevant. The desire for peace is pragmatic and rational, it is not emotional. I am an Israeli, and I don't want to be your friend, but I do want peace with you very much. The best thing Lebanon can do (after this war is over) is to sign a peace aggrement with Israel. You don't have to like us, you don't have to forgive us. These things are irrelevant. All you have to do is sign a piece of paper which states your obligations toward us and our obligations toward you. Trust me, Israel will keep its end of such a deal. Everyone gains from this. And again, this has nothing to do with the anger and hate you may feel. You can hold on to those for as long as you want if they make you feel better.

anthonyb said...

Ibn Negrela-

I meant internal law - is there a solid legal system? Are the judges fair or corrupt? Can an individual citizen take the government to court? Can a polititian be arrested for illegal conduct?

That kind of thing. The underpinning of a democratic state.

Lirun said...

for me its not irrelevant.. because having lived extensively overseas and having enjoyed the friendship of many syrian and lebanese people.. i want that friendship and i wish they could visit me in israel..

sure.. the pragmatic aspect appeals to me.. but i was their friend in times of conflict and peace..

i get pissed off enough by people i actually do know.. why do i need to hate a whole country the vast majority of which i have obviously never ever met.. simply doesnt make sense in my mind..

wishing us all peace..
lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
i hate being told to hate strangers - only like to hate people i know ;)

Lirun said...

anthony - its called municipal .. domestic or even just plain local law.. your question is very broad.. my knowledge of lebanese law is non existent.. but im guessing it probably has an ottoman history - developed by a french civil law system and then supplemented by a combination of modern local laws with sectarian influences.. but thats no more than an (un)educated guess..

Loli said...

Lirun,

I agree :) but lots of people in Lebanon will be resentful for a while, and rightly so, for having lost their homes and loved ones. We can't ask them to like your people, just to accept peace, since it is the only thing that will garantee that this dark episode will not be repeat itself.

Btw, have you noticed that people here are now communicating better with each other? We seem less aggressive and more willing to listen to different points of views. We're on the right path.

loli
Peace to all of us

Lirun said...

bigtime loli

althought every now and then we get someone who disappeared for a while come back and flex verbal muscles and chuck an agro..

nevertheless - the standard of discussion has improved heaps

echoing your wishes for peace..

wishing a safe night to all

Loli said...

And even those who flex verbal muscles are just venting. If they really had no wish whatsoever to communicate, they wouldn't post their thoughts.

Great progress towards a better, peaceful world.

anothervoice66 said...

as an I Israeli, I find myself having great respect for Siniora. I wish he'll get all the power and support he can.

Ironically, I think that if not for the militia's harboring in Lebanon, Lebanon's culture and pluralism would have made Lebanon a potential great ally of Israel.

taihaiteki said...

Most of the time the arabs who come to my attention (news media and blog commenters) represent themselves in ways that dis-accord with my particular personal standards. I don't agree with what I hear and see them they saying and doing much of the time. Maybe those are the wrong arabs or something, and maybe the Lebanese ones are the ones I need to learn about. I'm half-Armenian American. I don't know anybody who's Lebanese. What I do know about them is that 1) Danny Thomas on his 1950s TV comedy show was Lebanese and made it part of the show's humor theme, 2) a lot of Armenian people ended up there from the 1915ff genocide in Turkey, 3) Lebanese emigrants run small commerce in places like West Africa and South America much like the Chinese in SE Asia or the Indians in E Africa. In other words, I'm pretty unconnected and ignorant when it comes to Lebanese. But currently they have my attention every day and all I can say is god bless the Lebanese, not due to their misfortune of the moment but their dignity and worthiness as a people.

Sherri said...

I just read a story that Christians were taking in and helping a lot of the displaced Hezbollah families. And this was generating more unity and togetherness in itself. Not to mention the opportunity to share our faith with them. I found that very uplifting. Does anyone know more about this? I remember being reminded at the start of this that in really bad times, God enters the picture and does some great things. Maybe, Lebanon can come out of this more unified and strong.

eyal said...

To everybody who does not know Lebnese Liona:

He is leaving in the US eating american food, following american rules, and seating in his american home.

HE IS A COWERED WHICH WONT COME AND FIGHT US.
HE IS HIDING BEHIND THE CAPS LOCK ON HIS KEYBOARD TO TELL LIES AND STORIES THAT HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO BELEIVE THEM...

poor man (is he a real a man ? I dont think so)

Robert18 said...

Doha said...
My family is originally Circassian. We were Mamlukes who ruled back in the 1500s and then when the Ottomans took over, my great grandfather stayed behind in northern Lebanon and took up the Arabic language so as not to be discovered as a Circassian Mamluke.
So what do I say? That I'm from the Caucasian mountains? No! I'm Lebanese first and an Arab, because I speak Arabic and my customs and traditions are Levantine Arab.


Doha,
I am surprised that you prefer to be an Arab over being yourself, a Circassian. Don't you have any pride of being what you are?
I assume you don't have any contact with the Circassians in Israel. They are still Circassians, and proud of it. I have a salesman who is Circassian: hard worker, smart, happy and a very pleasant person. His family is very hospitable, and their original dishes are great. We in Israel are glad to have these small groups of people of various origins (the list is long): they are all happy, and don't have that nasty Islamofascist goal in their lives: to massacre all the Jews.

Being a minority, it's nice to have some friends, albeit often also minorities.

Robert


From the Circassian Foundation Kafkas Vakfi website:
Circassians in Israel
Circassians arrived at their present location from Balkans in year 1880 after 10 years of residence at Marvel-border of Greece and Bulgaria, they migrated to Palestine, the Holy Land of the three monotheist religions. Ottoman Sultan asked them to reside at Rihania (Reyhaniye) and Kfar-Kama villages. About 1000 Abedzah Circassians live in Reyhaniye and about 2000 Shapsıg Circassians live in Kfar-Kama and scores of families live in various Israeli cities and towns near their jobs.
Kfar-Kama the larger village has Jewish settlements as neighbours. Children graduate from village school and continue their education at Jewish schools.
They learn Hebrew, English and Circassian at school, National Circassian Alphabet of Caucasus is used in teaching Circassian.Reyhaniye is closer to Arab settlements as neighbours and children are able to go both Arab and Jewish schools.
Circassians serve in the army and employed in the border and regular police force. Municipal and public services are wide open to the Circassians. Circassians living in these two villages communicate in own Circassian language.
The Circassian Law (Khabza) regulates the conduct of the Circassians and settles all matters among themselves.

Dimitry said...

sherri
I just read a story that Christians were taking in and helping a lot of the displaced Hezbollah families. And this was generating more unity and togetherness in itself. Not to mention the opportunity to share our faith with them. I found that very uplifting.

I find myself very concerned about the fate of a family that would try to introduce Christianity to the family of a Shi'ite fanatic. Well, let's hope those Lebanese have a better idea who they're dealing with than you do.

faiq said...

no matter how Democratic and pluralistic lebanon Israel will attack Lebnaon coz terrorist state know only one thing thats is killing people as much as they could...now palestinian is paying the price of Democracy,Believe me if their is democracy in Arab world Israel never dare to attack lebnaon..no arab leader stay in power by just sitting silently

Lirun said...

loli

i think your point is very valid..

the mere desire to communicate - even unsavoury messages - is better than solid silence..

at least there is a channel of communication and i'm sure even the most arrogant and unfortunate people who have been posting - have still had the benefit of learning something about the other side..

wishing peace and understanding to all of us

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com
sometimes it helps just to shut up and listen a bit ;)

rivka - Israel said...

As both an American and Israeli citizen I can tell the Lebanese people that with no doubt Israel does not want now or ever to be in Lebanon.

How did this war start in the first place? By Hizbullah launching rocket attacks at Israeli cities with the targets being ordinary Israeli civilians -men, women, children, elderly with no discrimination -not soldiers or military but people like you and me.

The Lebanese people have to take responsibility for their actions and by giving Hizbullah free rein and control of Lebanon is not an answer to living peacefully with Israel.

No country in this world should have to endure being attacked and seeing civilians slaughtered for no reason at all.

We cannot allow our civilians to be slaughtered with the aim of destroying our country and our people. Once Lebanon will take control of their country, government and army and decide to throw away these Hizbullah murderers then there can be with Israel.

We want to live in peace and we don't have any demands or any desires to be in or take over Lebanon or any other country for that matter. We want to live in our country not fearing attacks for no reason and to be left alone to live in peace.

AM said...

"Our Arabness is not conditional. It is not by force, but a choice."

I like that ... It only reinforces pride :D

The Middle East News Addict said...

I disagree. Lebanon's Arabness seems to be conditional. Only they were required to host the Palestinian terror groups, only they were required to host Hezbollah, only they were required to pay the price for this. Syria was smarter than that, so were Jordan and Egypt. They weren't required to host no one. Why should they when Lebanon, as the weaker party, can be required to bare the brunt for them? That is why I was pissed when I saw PM Seniora saying that Lebanon's Arabness was not conditional. It was very much conditional and his words proved it. Because I saw all the rest clapping their hands. They were not clapping for Lebanon as an Arab country; they were clapping for Lebanon as the only sucker to bare the brunt for their ambitions in order to be considered Arab.

Sylvia said...

To be Arab would mean be loyal to Lebanon. To be Arab would mean to kick Syria out and be independend not to cave in to terrorists like Hizbolla. To be Arab is to fight for Arabs not allow Iran to use Arabs to fight Americans on Iraq soil. To be Arab means to make peace with Israel so you would grow and prosper together. To be Arab would mean to be a showcase to the world and show them who you really are as people not so much like those mindless bombs. To be Arab would mean to allow the world to see your better side, your humanity and your concern for the big pictures. To be Arab would mean not to sell your soal to Iran. To be Arab means to stand up together as a middle East and be part of the G8..To be Arab means do it before Iran does.

taihaiteki said...

> I am surprised that you prefer to be an Arab over being yourself, a Circassian. Don't you have any pride of being what you are?...We in Israel are glad to have these small groups of people of various origins (the list is long): they are all happy, and don't have that nasty Islamofascist goal in their lives: to massacre all the Jews.

robert18, of his 2 ethnicities are you more concerned about this person's de-emphasis of the one, or emphasis on the other? If conversely he asserted his Circassian identity at the expense of his Arab one, would you chastize him for the lack of Arab pride?

Respectfully I think you're confusing 2 things. There's something wrong with the goal to massacre (I'm Armenian). But certainly not with beign Arab or whatever a person may be.

dick said...

Doha:

A very moving post. I'm lost for words. Other than: stay yourself - we love you for it.

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