Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘channel Al Jadid

Who is Ali Shabaan, photo journalist of the channel Al Jadid? Robert Fisk in The Independent

Robert Fisk wrote (with slight editing):

“The people in the town of Maifadoun (Lebanon) buried Ali Shabaan as a “martyr-reporter” yesterday. This time around, a Lebanese journalist is to die in action by the Syrian army. Ali Shabaan, unknown in the West, is loved in his little south Lebanon village, not least by the girl to whom he was to have become officially engaged this Saturday.

Fatima Atwi clung to the railings of the balcony over the road from the beautiful village cemetery – all ficus trees and firs – crying tears that splashed on her yellow-and-black blouse. She wore a black veil and was inconsolable. All Shabaan’s three sisters could do was embrace her.

Shabaan – I met him once, briefly, in 2006, during the Israeli-Hezbollah war – had worked this past weekend on the Lebanese-Syrian border so that he could have next weekend off for his engagement ceremony.

Shot in the heart. By the Syrians. Forty bullets hit the cameraman’s car and that of his fellow crew at Wadi Khaled. (The latest news is that the car was the target of over 70 bullets). A quick death, I suppose. A quick funeral according to Muslim tradition. The mourners said the fatiha (opening) prayer to the soul of Shabaan and placed his body in the dark earth of the little cemetery.

Every journalist who dies in violence in Lebanon is called a martyr. (The latest count is that 8 journalists died in action since 1992. Not a bad description of all of those who die trying to report the truth, that subtle narrative that must name the guilty party. However, Al-Manar, the television station of the Hezbollah, did not speak of Shabaan as a “martyr” but as a “victim” of a battle between Syrian troops and “terrorists”.

(Hezbollah, “Party of God” of the Shia sect in Lebanon, is demanding a political resolution of the uprising in Syria and will oppose any foreign military intervention in the Near East)

As one of Shabaan’s employers said yesterday, he was wiped off the news agenda of Hezbollah as a victim of “crossfire”, the old explanation of Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israelis.  The employer said: “But for God’s sake, this wasn’t an Israeli television station – this was a Hezbollah station!”

In the Husseinia mosque, a portrait of Imam Moussa Sadr, the Lebanese imam murdered by Muammar Gadaffi’s killers in Libya, more than three decades ago, was larger than that of Iranian Messers Khomeini and Khamanei. There was a guard of honour from the Lebanese internal security police and a strong clutch of local Shia imams and two representatives of the Hezbollah and a larger clutch of Lebanese journalists who believed that this was the result of  “a planned murder, Don Corleone-style”. According to them, and to New TV (NTV) officials, Shabaan’s killing was “a message”.

But what was this message? Tahsin Khayat, owner of AlJjadid, and his son Karim are overwhelmed. Shabaan’s dad is Tahsin Khayat’s driver. His sisters were cared for by Karim Khayat’s sister and his brother-in-law. In Lebanon, companies really are families. The Khayat family’s television station has always carried a Syrian “point of view” – they were even allowed into the Syrian city of Deraa at the beginning of the Syrian revolution and their senior cameraman in Deraa was Shabaan.

The Khayat family, all Shia, are demanding a “full investigation” – whatever that means – and they have received the support of the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman.

But why did Shabaan die? He and his crew had passed the Lebanese customs at Wadi Khaled in northern Lebanon on Monday to film the border and shouted across to the Syrian immigration officers that they were filing for New TV on the Lebanese side of the frontier.

The story from his colleagues yesterday was straightforward: after they had identified themselves, the crew began filming and were then told to stop by uniformed Syrian troops. These soldiers reportedly shouted: “Go back.” The crew was reversing its car when a fusillade of bullets crashed into it and Shabaan was hit by the first round.

NTV’s staff is adamant that at no point did they enter Syrian territory. Thanks to the old post-war 1914-18 French mandate, the border was not delineated as carefully as it might have been – but that’s no reason to kill journalists.

There was a range of feeling in Maifadoun yesterday. “We are with the Hezbollah when they fight Israel,” one villager said, “but we are not with the Syrians when they kill their people.”

Ahmed Shabaan watched the body of his only son placed in the earth. Muslims out here have no coffins. And oh yes, Syria sent its official condolences.

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority, those self-appointed President, PM, and negotiators in the name of the Palestinian people (in the West Bank, in Gaza, in refugee camps all around the world…) that refused to have another democratic election for fear of Hamas winning all the way, have been under contemptible situations as leaks of their cowardly negotiations with Israel surfaced in the public domain.

The Palestinian Authority is blaming the Emir of Qatar, since Al Jazeera is headquartered in Qatar, to leaking enormous amount of documents that robbed any remaining legitimacy to the Palestinian Authority:  This Authority is holding simply because the US and the western States want them to remain in power. The Palestinian Authority, represented by the defunct President Mahmoud Abass, Fayyad PM (stooges to the IMF and US Administration), Ahmad Korey3,  Saeb Erakat…are claiming that the maps are those presented by Israel and not their own version of land concessions; that the negotiations didn’t waver from what Arafat signed on in Oslo in 1993…

It sounded so disgusting; an “illegitimate government” endeavoring to negotiate from positions of total impotence and helplessness.  This Authority has not the backing of the Palestinian people and has been behaving as an oligarchic political system:  The Treasury is considered as belonging to the Fateh faction and the miniature other factions, factions that relinquished resistance to the occupier and insist on licking asses at every opportunity. This Authority has been cooperating fully with Israel in capturing and assassinating Hamas operators, under the excuse that the Oslo agreement in 1993 was to safeguarding Israel’s security.

This Authority has been cornered since Sharon assigned Arafat to his quarter in Ramallah and then assassinated Arafat by poison.  This Authority has been functioning under a prison mentality and trying its best undignified posturing for being recognized by the western nations are “legitimate negotiators” on behalf of the Palestinian people.

You have commentators saying that the leaks didn’t divulge any strategic shift in the concept of independent State for peace but simple tactical giving away parcels of lands.  A parcel from here and a parcel from there and pretty soon there is no land to give away.  The quarters of Har Homa and Gilo are already under constructions for some years, and Ariel, and Maaleh Adumin well established.

Fact is, this Authority has been governing as an oligarchy to such an extent that the Palestinians living in Jerusalem would rather apply for Israel citizenship, if given choices, and refrain from living under abject conditions and lacking basic rights under this Authority.  What kind of Palestinian State these backstabbing and slandering negotiators are discussing?  Tzipi Livni was pretty crude, responding to Erakat, on the kind of military defenses the Palestinian State should have: “To create your State, you have got to agree with Israel in advance on everything.  Your only choice is to relinquish any choices in the future.  Those are the founding bases for negotiation.”

Rumors would like us to believe that:

First, the negotiation between Arafat and Uhud Barak failed during the Clinton Administration simply because Uhud wanted “what is underneath the Great Mosque” of Haram El-Sherif to be Israeli territory;

Second, Hamas refuses that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria to return to Israel but exclusively to the long-awaited Palestinian State

Third, the sticky parts in the negotiations is whether the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem should revert to Israel, or that the Armenian quarter should return to Israel…

What if the remaining West Bank land reserved for the Palestinian State barely constitute 30% of the original land before the 1967 borders, since all the 400 Jewish colonies distributed in the West Bank and special highways joining the colonies are to be Israeli territory…

What if the Palestinian State has no borders but with Israel and all its economy is based on Israel?

So far, No party discussed or asked the opinions and input from the Palestinians living in Israel and having Israeli citizenship and passport.

A unified negotiating team, including all the major factions, especially Hamas, is the only viable alternative to resuming a dead negotiation process.  Anyway, with the fall of Mubarak (Egypt), the last “strategic State” in the region to Israel, this Zionist State is no longer in a position to playing coy.  Not a single State around Israel is scared of Israel’s military retaliation of any kind.

In Lebanon, the channel Al Jadid has been diffusing videos of questioning sessions of the International Court representative to Lebanese political personalities,  related to the assassination of Rafic Hariri PM in 2005.  You cannot imagine how these politicians slandered and reviled their opponents in front of a foreigner, simply because he is a UN representative.  Lebanon has been ruled by those same leaders for 60 years; they claimed that stability and peace of Lebanon are linked to satisfying their family, clan, and sect interests.  The newly appointed Mikati PM has a small window of opportunity to demonstrate that he comprehend that the Lebanese people, before the fallen Mubarak, Ben Ali, and Saad Hariri, are no longer the same and demand drastic reforms.

Note:  Mubarak is denied political refugee status everywhere, even in Saudi Arabia.  Otherwise, Mubarak would have resigned a couple of days ago.  The US Administration is calling around to finding a resting location for Mubarak.  I suggest that the UN designate an Island State to be the refuge to all deposed Presidents in order to save thousands of casualties in mass upheavals.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

March 2020
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