Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 20th, 2014

News from Lebanon this week:

No different from boring California weather.

Actually, Lebanon “enjoys” 7 months of completely dry weather from May to October.

Politically,this week was pretty awful

This week in Lebanon:

1. We engaged in a small war on terrorism in the town of Ersal, which was occupied by ISIS advancing from the Syrian mountains (and the Lebanese army won),

Actually, the “Syrian insurgents” were allowed to vacate the town after killing dozens of citizens and soldiers and taking hostage over 40 soldiers with them.

What kind of negotiations are being undertaken and by whom to release the soldiers is a taboo story and we are in total darkness for how long the kidnapped soldiers will be held.

2. Still “No selection by Parliament for a President to the republic” and this immature and futile process has been dragging on for 2 months

3. No new election law that this Parliament promised in exchange for extending its tenure 2 more years against citizens refusal.

4. No resolution for the Syrian refugee crisis increasing steadily and representing 40% of Lebanon “approximate” population

 

Continue reading the remaing most boring though important stuff

1. Armed “Vigilantes” Break into Syrian Homes

(Image via Lebanese Forces)

Gunmen belonging to the Amal party were spotted breaking into Syrian homes in Msaytbeh and Mar Elias in broad daylight this week.

The gunmen, acting as self-dubbed vigilantes, are allegedly aiming to “help” the Lebanese Armed Forces by seeking out “terrorists”… their own way.

2. Saad Hariri Returns to Lebanon in Surprise Visit

After being in self-imposed exile for 3 years, Saad Hariri returned to Lebanon on Friday. The former prime minister told the press that he’ll be looking over the $1 billion in Saudi aid to the Lebanese army, and as for his personal safety, Hariri said: “May Allah protect everyone”.

Actually, Saad came to make sure if any Parliamentary election will be due this November, and if the answer was positive to spend the billion on his election campaign.

(Saad stayed less than 3 days in Beirut and returned to Jedda, and we never heard of him again, or his new location).

Apparently, the deputies have decided to extend their tenure another 2 more years, doubling the constitutional 4-year term.

As for the other $3 billion Saudi aid that the French were supposed to arm the army with, it totally evaporated into thin air and in many deep pockets: The army was horribly short on basic ammunition during the siege of Ersal.

3. Education Minister: Everyone To Pass Final Exams

(Image via Annahar)

The Lebanese education system has finally hit rock bottom. The last time the government let everyone pass their final exams was during the civil war that started in April 1975 and ravaged Lebanon till 1991.

But Education Minister Elias Bou Saab says he will let all students who took the exam receive a certificate.

The minister said his decision came after the UCC’s continued boycott to grade the exams until Parliament passes a new salary scale for teachers.

Bou Saab said he would suspend his decision for 48 hours upon the request of UCC representatives.

This massive 100% success rate of “Graduating” students from high schools will still sit for entrance exams in most public and private universities.

Note that the minister is one of the promotions who “passed” without exam correction in 1985?

4. ISIS Expelled From Arsal

(Image via Annahar)

After five worrisome days of joint military actions that involved the LAF and Hezbollah, Arsal is free of ISIS terror.

The damages left however are remarkable, and need immediate attention by the government.

Many Syrian refugees have been ordered to leave Lebanon putting in question what actually happened in Arsal, and why.

5. Syria Rejects Return of 1,700 Refugees from Lebanon

(Image via Annahar)

In a somewhat ironic development, after the Lebanese government decided to ship back 1,700 refugees to Syria, Syria rejected their passage through the border due to suspected ties between the refugees and the Resistance.

To everyone their opinion: Pay close attention to “demonstrating opinions”

Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away

To everyone their opinion.

The fact of the matter remains that tens of thousands formed an opinion today against the atrocities that Israel is committing in Gaza.

These were global, not Muslim opinions as I have witnessed today and as another commentator has stated below.

The fact of the matter remains that no matter how terrorist Hamas (or ISIS, if you want to dump them in the same category) is, this does not justify the killing of hundreds of civilian lives by the IDF.

We all followed how the Lebanese Armed Forces removed ISIS militants from town of Arsal (by the Syrian border) without sacrificing the life of any Arsal residents.

Yes battles are different, but today, many people saw no justification for the killing of innocent Gazans, and therefore they protested.

WWW.TIMESOFISRAEL.COM

Hanna Arendt:

Born in conflict, Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away

Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt

For the new year, here are some prophetic excerpts from two essays of Hannah Arendt’s, collected in The Jewish Writings (2007).

Note her predictions of the Nakba (Palestinians killed and transferred from their homes and villages in 1948), of unending conflict, of Zionist dependence on the American Jewish community, of ultimate conflict with that American Jewish community, and the contribution of political Zionism to world anti-semitism.

Just what Howard Gutman said recently.

For which he was denounced by– Zionists.

Zionism Reconsidered, 1944:

Nationalism is bad enough when it trusts in nothing but the rude force of the nation. A nationalism that necessarily and admittedly depends upon the force of a foreign nation is certainly worse.

This is the threatened state of Jewish nationalism and of the proposed Jewish state, surrounded inevitably by Arab states and Arab people. Even a Jewish majority in Palestine–nay even a transfer of all Palestine’s Arabs, which is openly demanded by the revisionists–would not substantially change a situation in which Jews must either ask protection from an outside power against their neighbors or come to a working agreement with their neighbors…

[T]he Zionists, if they continue to ignore the Mediterranean people and watch out only for the big faraway powers, will appear only as their tools, the agents of foreign and hostile interests.

Jews who know their own history should be aware that such a state of affairs will inevitably lead to a new wave of Jew-hatred; the antisemitism of tomorrow will assert that Jews not only profiteered from the presence of foreign big powers in that region but had actually plotted it and hence are guilty of the consequences…

[T]he sole new piece of historical philosophy which the Zionists contributed out of their own new experiences [was] “A nation is a group of people…  held together by a common enemy” (Herzl)–an absurd doctrine…

To such [political] independence, it was believed, the Jewish nation could arrive under the protecting wings of any great power strong enough to shelter its growth…. the Zionists ended by making the Jewish national emancipation entirely dependent upon the material intersts of another nation.

The actual result was a return of the new movement to the traditional methods of shtadlonus [court Jews], which the Zionists once had so bitterly despised and violently denounced.

Now Zionists too knew no better place politically than the lobbies of the powerful, and no sounder basis for agreements than their good services as agents of foreign interests…

[O]nly folly could dictate a policy which trusts a distant imperial power for protection, while alienating the goodwill of neighbors. What then, one is prompted to ask, will be the future policy of Zionism with respect to big powers, and what program will Zionists have to offer for a solution of the Arab-Jewish conflict?…

If a Jewish commonwealth is obtained in the near future–with or without partition–it will be due to the political influence of American Jews….

But if the Jewish commonwealth is proclaimed against the will of the Arabs and without the support of the Mediterranean peoples, not only financial help but political support will be necessary for a long time to come.

And that may turn out to be very troublesome indeed for Jews in this country [the U.S.], who after all have no power to direct the political destinies of the Near East.

It may eventually be far more of a responsibility than today they imagine or tomorrow can make good.

To Save the Jewish Homeland, 1948 [on the occasion of war in Palestine]

And even if the Jews were to win the war, its end would find the unique possibilities and the unique achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed.

The land that would come into being would be something quite other than the dream of world Jewry, Zionist and non-Zionist.

The ‘victorious’ Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded into ever-threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defense to a degree that would submerge all other interests and activities.

The growth of a Jewish culture would cease to be the concern of the whole people; social experiments would have to be discarded as impractical luxuries; political thought would center around military strategy….

And all this would be the fate of a nation that — no matter how many immigrants it could still absorb and how far it extended its boundaries (the whole of Palestine and Transjordan is the insane Revisionist demand)–would still remain a very small people greatly outnumbered by hostile neighbors.

Under such circumstances… the Palestinian Jews would degenerate into one of those small warrior tribes about whose possibilities and importance history has amply informed us since the days of Sparta.

Their relations with world Jewry would become problematical, since their defense interests might clash at any moment with those of other countries where large number of Jews lived.

Palestine Jewry would eventually separate itself from the larger body of world Jewry and in its isolation develop into an entirely new people.

Thus it becomes plain that at this moment and under present circumstances a Jewish state can only be erected at the price of the Jewish homeland…

One grim addendum.

In the heyday of the special relationship between the US and Israel, American Jewry felt itself to be one with the Israeli people. We Are One! declared Melvin Urofsky’s book of 1978.

That unity is today being dissolved. The haredi-secular conflict in Israel that is getting so much attention here is one means of that dissolution.

And the aim, unconsciously, may be a desire by American Jews to distance themselves from Israeli Jews so that when the Arab Spring at last brings a democratic movement to Israel and Palestine, and bloody conflict ensues, and the Israeli gov’t is cast as the bad guys, American Jews are emotionally prepared to regard the bloodshed as inevitable and not their problem.

After writing, “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” Arendt report of the Eichmann trial in which she suggested that had not the Judenrat, the Jewish councils appointed by the Nazis in occupied Europe, collaborated with the Nazis in their round-up of Jews to be sent off to the death camps to the point of providing them with lists, collecting valuables, and policing Jews who were non-cooperative, the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis would have greatly reduced, she became a non-person in the Jewish world.

It was not until the past few years that she was resurrected to the degree that her name could even be mentioned in the Jewish press, albeit usually critically.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.


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