Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 4th, 2020

American professor proposes that Israel “flatten Beirut”? Why?

And how Israel is planning to “flatten Beirut”?

This current one million-person city has been previously decimated and flattened through several earthquakes and pandemics

Note: Re-edit “Amitai Etzioni, who teaches at renowned universities, says Israel may have no choice but to destroy Lebanon — again February 22, 2016″

A prominent American scholar who teaches international relations at George Washington University, and who has taught at a variety of prestigious U.S. universities, including Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley, has publicly proposed that Israel “flatten Beirut” — a city with around 1 million people — in order to destroy the missiles of Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.

Professor Amitai Etzioni served as a senior advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration — made this proposal in an op-ed in Haaretz, the leading English-language Israeli newspaper, known as “The New York Times of Israel.” Haaretz represents the liberal wing of Israel’s increasingly far-right politics.

Etzioni’s op-ed was first published on Feb. 15 with the headline “Can Israel Obliterate Hezbollah’s Growing Missile Threat Without Massive Civilian Casualties?” (the answer he suggests in response to this question is “likely no”).

The rubble of Beirut’s southern suburbs (Dahiyat Janoubiyat) in August 2006, after Israel’s war in Lebanon, which destroyed tens of thousands of homes (Credit: Reuters/Jamal Saidi). It also look as Gaza under the ruin.

“Should Israel Flatten Beirut to Destroy Hezbollah’s Missiles?” was the next, much more blunt title, chosen sometime on or before Feb. 16.

As of Feb. 18, the headline is “Should Israel Consider Using Devastating Weapons Against Hezbollah Missiles?”

Etzioni served in the Haganah — the terrorist army that formed Israel after violently expelling three-quarters of the indigenous Palestinian population — from 1946 to 1948, and then served in the Israeli military from 1948 to 1950. He mentions his military service in both the article and his bio.

(Question: If a Palestinian or an “Arab” was discovered to have joined any military group, would he be teaching in the USA)

In the piece, Etzioni cites an anonymous Israeli official who estimates that Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles in Lebanon. In January, the U.S. government put that figure at 80,000 rockets.

The anonymous official also says the Israeli government considers these weapons to be its second greatest security threat — after Iran. (Actually, Israel repeatedly claimed that Hezbollah is the first and foremost threat to Israel existence)

Etzioni cites Israel’s chief of staff, who claims that most of Hezbollah’s missiles are in private homes.

Whether this allegation is true is questionable. Israel frequently accuses militant groups of hiding weapons in civilian areas in order to justify its attacks.

On numerous occasions, it has been proven that there were no weapons in the civilian areas Israel bombed in Gaza.

Assuming it is true, Etzioni argues, if Israeli soldiers were to try to take the missiles out of these homes one at a time, it “would very likely result in many Israeli casualties.” (Why am I still reading this stupid article?)

In order to avoid Israeli casualties, Etzioni writes: “I asked two American military officers what other options Israel has. They both pointed to Fuel-Air Explosives (FAE). These are bombs that disperse an aerosol cloud of fuel which is ignited by a detonator, producing massive explosions. (What? They want to destroy Beirut or burn 1 million Lebanese citizens?)

The resulting rapidly expanding wave flattens all buildings within a considerable range.”

“Such weapons obviously would be used only after the population was given a chance to evacuate the area. (Really? Like in Gaza, where people were supposed to flee to?)

Still, as we saw in Gaza, there are going to be civilian casualties,” Etzioni adds. “The time to raise this issue is long before Israel may be forced to use FAEs.” (As people in Gaza were given 5 minutes to vacate an area and succumb to the shrapnel?)

Etzioni concludes his piece implies Israel has no other option but to bomb the city of Beirut.

“In this way, one hopes, that there will be a greater understanding, if not outright acceptance, of the use of these powerful weapons, given that nothing else will do,” he resumes his foolish racist idiosyncrasy. (How about desist from the preemptive wars strategies and abide by UN resolutions?)

Belén Fernández, an author and contributing editor at Jacobin magazine, published a piece in TeleSur responding to Etzioini’s op-ed, titled “No, Israel Should Not Flatten Beirut.” Fernández points out “that Israel has already flattened large sections of Lebanon, in Beirut and beyond.”

She recalls visiting a young man in a south Lebanon village near the Israeli border who “described the pain in 2006 of encountering detached heads and other body parts belonging to former neighbors, blasted apart by bombs or crushed in collapsed homes.”

A day before the agreed upon cease fire, upon the urging of Israel to US to work on it, Israel flattened 5-block radius in Beirut.

And Blair PM of England dispatched 1.5 million cluster bombs to spread in South Lebanon. Thousands of Lebanese have died or injured due to these illegal bombs.

Note 1: Beirut was destroyed by 2 major earthquakes in 550 and 560. The first earthquake destroyed Beirut and the second set fire on the city. Between 150 and 250, Beirut was the Central Jurisprudence  of Rome and 5 eminent jurists set the laws for the Roman Empire.

Beirut and Lebanon was shaken with an earthquake in 1958. I was in boarding school and the adults carried out the sleeping children to the outside yard. For an entire decade, Lebanese had to pay the additional “Earthquake Tax”

Note 2: Lebanese journalists and activists have expressed outrage at the article.

Kareem Chehayeb, a Lebanese journalist and founder and editor of the website Beirut Syndrome, said in response to the piece “Should Israel kill me, my family, and over a million other people to destroy Hezbollah’s missiles? How about that for a headline?”

Chehayeb told Salon Etzioni’s argument is “absolutely absurd” and reeks of hypocrisy.

“If some writer said the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just to bomb Israel,” he said, “people would go up in arms about it.”

“I’m just speechless. It sounds ISIS-like, just eradicating an entire community of people,” Chehayeb added.

Salon called Etzioni’s office at George Washington University’s Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies several times with a request for comment, but no one answered.

After this article was published, Etzioni emailed Salon a statement. “I agree with you that any suggestion to bomb or ‘flatten’ Beirut (or any other city) would be beyond horrible and outrageous,” he said. He said Haaretz had changed and then later corrected his headline.

“Ethics aside — Beirut is not where the missiles are housed,” Etzioni added. “The issue though stands how is a nation to respond if another nation or non-state actor rains thousands of missiles on its civilian population?”

Salon also reached out to the university.

Jason Shevrin, a spokesperson, told Salon “the George Washington University is committed to academic freedom and encourages efforts to foster an environment welcoming to many different viewpoints. Dr. Etzioni is a faculty member who is expressing his personal views.” The spokesperson did not comment any further.

Etzioni is by no means an unknown scholar. He notes on his George Washington University faculty page that, in 2001, he was among the 100 most-cited American intellectuals. He has also served as the president of the American Sociological Association.

Note: Hezbollah General Secretary, Hassan Nasr Allah, replied: All we need is launch a couple of small-range missiles on the Ammonium plant in Haifa. The conflagration is as powerful as an atomic bomb.

Last potter in town of Beit Chabab, Lebanon?

In this town of traditional pottery, bell casting, Silk clothes… that No longer fabricate anything?

Who is Fawzi Fakhoury?

Note: Re-edit of “Last potter in Beit Chabab? In this town of traditional pottery? Who is Fawzi Fakhoury? June 22, 2013″

BEIT CHABAB, Lebanon:

Fawzi Fakhoury’s hands are calloused and brown. Hours  of shaping tough clay and standing in front of a burning wood oven have stained them shades darker than the rest of his body and toughened them so they are like  leather.

Fakhoury stand of potter. There were at least 6 families making a living from that art 3 decades ago, and their products were exported to the adjacent States of Jordan, Syria, Palestine and even Iraq.

Fawzi is rather short for a western standard, with salt and pepper hair and bushy eyebrows, and dressed  in simple, mud-stained clothes.

His weathered hands stand testimony to the  thousands of pots he has created for the better part of his life. He inherited that job from his father and the entire family helped in the family “factory”, until one of the members decided to resume the work.

Actually, it seems that Fawzi is the last working potter in Beit Chabab and pretty soon will retire: No vaible trade to export to.

I have posted many articles on Lebanon, and Michelle  Ghoussoub has this latest.

Michelle  Ghoussoub published in The Daily Star, this June 20, 2013: “Meet  the last potter in Beit Shabab

Fakhoury, left, works with his brother Assad, who helps out occasionallyin the shop. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

The scenic village is nestled in Lebanon’s mountains just 17 km outside of east Beirut.

Sixty years ago, dozens of Beit Shabab  families produced traditional  pottery, and the heat from 40 burning ovens could be felt on the streets during  the summer, Fawzi explains.

The town’s name was synonymous with pottery, and people came from around the  country to purchase the artisanal clay pots, used for storing everything from arak to grains, olive oil and wine.

Now, he is the only one left.

Fakhoury’s workshop resembles a hermit’s cave.

Though dark and dusty, it  remains well used and loved.

Perched precariously on the edge of a small but  steep ravine, Fakhoury’s working space has a crumbling old stone facade nestled into the mountain itself.

An elegant stone archway frames the entrance, with rusted scrap metal and  broken pieces of mortar piled on top to prevent rainwater from flooding the  small room. Bits and pieces of fragmented pots are piled haphazardly in a back  corner.

A traditional stove, or babour, for kerosene burner, commands the  center of the room. It doubles as the only heat source during the winter months, as nighttime temperatures can occasionally drop below freezing.

An old television set crackles in the background, the colors and shapes on  the screen disfigured by poor reception. A fine, white film of dust covers every surface, and it puffs out of antique pillows on the faded couch when it is sat  upon.

No one knows or remembers exactly how long the workshop has been running.

Fakhoury believes the family folklore. He says that Roman potters trained his  forefathers when they came to construct the ancient, colonnaded citadel of  Baalbek in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley around 300 B.C. (Baalbak is as ancient as 7,000 years, before Rome or Athens existed)

When the Romans left, his ancestors searched for the purest clay in the  country, and eventually settled in Beit Shabab to be close to the best natural  source: a small and muddy lake in the forest beneath the village (the mawsel).

Fakhoury’s creased wrinkles deepen and his brown face cracks into a crooked  smile as he recalls a childhood of running among the clay pots.

He’s worked as a  potter for 60 years. His father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and  great-great-grandfather all worked in this same space before him.

At no moment in his life did Fakhoury, now 66, wish for an alternative career  path. He loves this job, he says.

Years of hard labor have given him a worn appearance and demeanor, but they  have also kept him strong and tough.

Toiling in the workshop where he was  raised, he cuts the figure of a surviving Chinese terracotta warrior, stained  by the mud that has defined his livelihood for half a century.

Fakhoury left the village temporarily during the Lebanese Civil War and  worked in trade in West Africa. He always dreamt of returning to his workshop to  continue his family’s legacy.

“I lived there, but I dreamed in Lebanon,” he says with a smile.

Fakhoury returned to find a wall of the workshop blown out by a bomb, but his  tools intact. He wasted no time in repairing the room and reopening his  business.

His wife and he have three daughters, all of whom are married and have long  since left the house.

Women don’t do pottery, he says, at least in Beit Shabab.

His face falls, however, when he reveals that he has no heir to continue Beit Shabab’s trademark industry when he retires.

“This workshop has been running for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, and  when I go, it may all have been for nothing,” he lamented, looking wistfully  around the chamber.

Though customers used to flock from across the country to hand pick his pots,  the advent of plastic containers has slashed demand massively.

Nowadays, customers are often decorators seeking a rustic look, or tourists looking for authentic Lebanese craftsmanship.

He still ships a couple of hundred pots every year to a Jordanian arak  producer, who uses them to store the anis-flavored liquor., like Ouzou in Greece

Producing pottery is like cultivating a crop, he muses. The clay is collected  in the spring when it has the right consistency, then handspun into pots using a  potter’s wheel.

The kiln, an oven designed especially for pottery, is fired up in August, the hottest month of the year, to accelerate the baking.

During these scorching weeks, Fakhoury stays up throughout the night to  monitor the ovens and rotate the pots, making sure that months of intensive  craftsmanship and exertion do not go up in flames.

The work is hard, and the fruit of his arduous labor much less plentiful than it once was.

While his father would light the oven 8 times in one  summer, he now only produces one batch of pots a year.

A pottery festival and exhibition in Normandy, France, once invited Fakhoury  to learn different pottery techniques.

He says it was an honor to be recognized,  but that he found himself underwhelmed by the developed industrial techniques of French potters. Having made thousands of pots in his life, he says he prefers to stick to what his father and grandfather taught him as a child.

Nassar Fakhoury, Fawzi’s neighbor and former landlord, says “Fawzi is a part of this village in the same way that these streets are. He’s  always in his workshop and his family has always been there. The children call  him ‘the pottery man.’ There’s just no other way to describe him,”

Nassar shares Fawzi surname but is not sure exactly how they are related. Family lineages and histories go so far back in the village that they are sometimes impossible to keep track of or  untangle.

When asked what has changed about the business since he began over half a  century ago, Fawzi’s answer is simple: “Nothing. I still do business the way my father and grandfather did.”

It’s a legacy that may end without an apprentice or heir devoted to following  in his forefathers’ footsteps.

It is almost impossible to picture the village without its main attraction,  and for now, Fawzi will continue to fill that role. He says he cannot imagine  himself anywhere else.

“My grandfather and father died here, and one day, I will join them,” he  says. “What I want is to die here.

Note 1: In my childhood, I visited and was acquainted with three families of potters in the lower part of Beit-Chabab, like the Tannous family. The entire family members participated in the production, especially in summer time. Traditional pottery is vanishing quickly in Lebanon, and not even replaced by mass production facilities. There are a few potters in Rashaya Fokhar, and are closing shop for no family members are willing to replace the older ones.

Note 2: A couple years ago I assisted in one of these night vigil. It was supposed to be the night the fire in the kiln (oven) for the pots to be suffocated. Annish played the guitar and sang Lebanese songs. We were a dozen gathered around the oven and a few kept joining in. Fawzi would get up from his couch and check on the readiness of the pots and add a few more woods. Around 2 am Fawzi decided it was time to kill the fire. We joined in bringing to the entrance of the oven the special “bumblebees” to stuff in to kill the fire.

Note 3: A couple centuries ago, pottery was started in the upper quarters of Beit Chabab, but the clay was whitish. The potters in the lower part of Beit Chabab had the reddish and better clay to use, and they supplanted the upper families in that art and industry.

Note 4: A  version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June  20, 2013, on page 2.
Read more:  http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Lifestyle/2013/Jun-20/220923-meet-the-last-potter-in-beit-shabab.ashx#ixzz2WpopbDU6 (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::  http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

A gift of grace: First line in a poem

Note: Re-edit of “Today Lucubration (January 5, 2009)”

We may spare the ground floor, wide open to winds and nature, bare of walls, doors, and windows.

We may spread on the dirt floor a carpet of dry leaves, dry nuts, and dry hay, straw, and chaff; a couple of buckets of fresh water in corners.

The neighboring animals have the tendency to pray a lot in a shelter; most of their prayers are for the kindred spirits.

Animal have acute subconscious: a caged canary sings for the hunter to remind him of its hopeless and unnatural conditions to be ended.

The first line in a poem should be the gift of grace; the remaining lines a proof of skills: only skills are materially rewarded.

Details, describing living details are the art of writers; only when he feels the approach of death should the writer focus on distilling the honey of wisdom.

A liked poem has already conveyed an act of resistance for capturing human dignity.

I read an article on wordpress.com where the roles are reversed between the Palestinians in Gaza and the Zionist State: how the world community and the US and the European Union would respond to a 3-month siege of famine and air strikes if the Palestinians of Gaza had cut off Israel from the world.

In what terms the war would be labeled (genocide, war crime, holocaust…) and how quickly the US would have maneuvered to end the war?

Note:  The death toll of the Palestinians in Gaza, after 13 days of Israel savage genocide, climbed to 700 and 4000 seriously injured.

If we discontinue the martyrs of the first day of bombing on all the Palestinian police posts, then the ratio of babies and children is over 60% of the total number of casualties.

This genocide is mainly targeting the next generations of Palestinians and the Bush Junior excuses are beside the point.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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