Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Hassan Nasrallah

Israeli proposal to flatten Beirut in 2016: Done this August 4, 2020

At 6 pm, two conflagrations shook Beirut and demolished all of the port installations, neighboring streets 2 miles away, all buildings…

Half of public institutions located in the area, the central Electricity building, the Foreign minister., the hospitals around, about 5 of them., the sturdy wheat silos crumbled., newspaper dailies (Al Nahar), all the newly expensive and luxury high rises on this sea front..

So far, over 170 deaths and increasing and more than 6,000 injured and patients dispatched outside of Beirut for overflowing and for the poisonous environment due to the burning of 2, 750 tons of nitrate ammonium and other kinds of chemicals stored in the port hangard #12.

The latest news are that these highly flammable and detonating chemicals were stacked in the port since 2014 after requisitioning a Turkish ship that was transferring these chemicals from Georgia and was meant to stop in Beirut port and be discharged.

Why Beirut instead of Mozambique as the manifest declared?

Mind you that it was the US that built this nitrate of ammonium plant in Georgia.

Mind you that Hillary Clinton admitted that the US was highly involved in creating ISIS (Daesh) to occupy Mosul in Iraq. And all these Syrian insurgent factions since 2011 needed plenty of explosives.

A tsunami-kind of conflagration, red colored (color of depleted uranium/miniature atomic bomb detonation), that mushroomed in the sky like a small atomic bomb and advanced instantaneously inland and toward the sea at the speed of 750 m a second.

The hole that this conflagration left was 65 m deep. And generated a 4.3 earthquake scale.

A wide area of total devastation that remind people of picture of Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki…

People vacating Beirut to higher and far regions in order Not to be affected by the dangerous chemical inhalation.

How Israel would have reacted if the port of Haifa experienced the same devastation? I bet more than half the injured Israelis would have died for lack of individual zeal to come to the rescue.

In Lebanon, minutes after the conflagration people were busy transferring the injured to the hospitals. 5 of the hospitals close to the seafront were totally devastated and the injured had to be transferred and hundreds were welcomed in Damascus.

Israel refuse to admit that it attacked the port with depleted uranium missiles, though Israel knew very well of these stored chemicals: Netanyahu mentioned two years ago that hangard #12 contained Hezbollah missiles, in preparation for this attack

Trump declared that Beirut was attacked, but was not precise. (Just the message that he doesn’t give a damn of Beirut and the Lebanese pseudo-citizens)

So far, most countries are proposing “humanitarian” and clinical aids to Lebanon and movable hospitals.

The question is: And what afterward?

The government resigned because more than 7 ministers sided with their sectarian militia leaders.

As usual, Lebanon is bound Not to have a working government.

What kinds of help and aid to this totally bankrupt pseudo State that treated the Lebanese as pseudo-citizens since “independence” in 1943?

Currently, the Lebanese high security command ordered the army to take full control of Beirut for 2 weeks.

I have seen a video of 10 bodies flying in the air after the second conflagration: they were the first fire fighters who arrived to the scene.

And this clean-handed government could Not confront the militia/mafia clan and had to resign.

Amitai Etzioni, supposedly a prominent American professor, and who teaches at renowned universities, says Israel may have no choice but to destroy Lebanon — again and flatten Beirut

A prominent American scholar who teaches international relations at George Washington University 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 — who has taught at a variety of prestigious U.S. universities, including Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley, and who 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 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.

(If a Palestinian or any “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.

Etzioni furthermore 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. But that was beside the point for Israel.

Assuming it is true, the American scholar 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.”

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.

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. 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 implying Israel has no other option but to bomb the city of Beirut. “In this way, one hopes, that there be a greater understanding, if not outright acceptance, of the use of these powerful weapons, given that nothing else will do,” he writes. (How about desist from the preemptive wars strategies and abide by UN resolutions?)

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.”

He called it “ludicrous” that a prominent American professor “can just calmly say the solution is to flatten this entire city of 1 million people.”

“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.

Israel has already flattened Beirut before

Writer Belén Fernández, an author and contributing editor at Jacobin magazine, published a piece in TeleSur responding to Etzioni 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.”

Note 1: Hezbollah General Secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, replied: All we need is to launch a couple of missiles on the Ammonium plant in Haifa. The conflagration is as powerful as an atomic bomb.

Israel executed this idea and stored an amount of ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut and let it be forgotten.

Apparently most of these tons of nitrate of ammonium were sold, transferred and whisked away to Syrian insurgent factions. Possibly, from the extent of the conflagration, only about 300 tons remained in the port

Note 2: Who still believes that this calamity is a simple matter of laziness of every responsible during the last 6 years?

Who is still unable to believe that Israel is Not able to prepare for a long-term catastrophe and that hangar #12 was being prepared and targeted for a timely decision to flatten Beirut?

The next article will try to answer the why and how Israel/US wanted Beirut flattened.

THE ANGRY ARAB: US Violated Unspoken Rule of Engagement with Iran

When did the USA administrations felt like speaking with the people in ME?

By As`ad AbuKhalil  
Special to Consortium News

Something big and unprecedented has happened in the Middle East after the assassination of one of Iran’s top commanders, Qasim Suleimani.

The U.S. has long assumed that assassinations of major figures in the Iranian “resistance-axis” in the Middle East would bring risk to the U.S. military-intelligence presence in the Middle East.

Western and Arab media reported that the U.S. had prevented Israel in the past from killing Suleimani.  But with the top commander’s death, the Trump administration seems to think a key barrier to U.S. military operations in the Middle East has been removed.

The U.S. and Israel had noticed that Hezbollah and Iran did not retaliate against previous assassinations by Israel (or the U.S.) that took place in Syria (of Imad Mughniyyah, Jihad Mughniyyah, Samir Quntar); or for other attacks on Palestinian and Lebanese commanders in Syria.

The U.S. thus assumed that this assassination would not bring repercussions or harm to U.S. interests.

Iranian reluctance to retaliate has only increased the willingness of Israel and the U.S. to violate the unspoken rules of engagement with Iran in the Arab East.

For many years Israel did perpetrate various assassinations against Iranian scientists and officers in Syria during the on-going war. But Israel and the U.S. avoided targeting leaders or commanders of Iran.

During the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the U.S. and Iran collided directly and indirectly, but avoided engaging in assassinations for fear that this would unleash a series of tit-for-tat.

But the Trump administration has become known for not playing by the book, and for operating often according to the whims and impulses of President Donald Trump.

Different Level of Escalation

The decision to strike at Baghdad airport, however, was a different level of escalation.

In addition to killing Suleimani it also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a key leader of Hashd Forces in Iraq.

Like Suleimani, al-Muhandis was known for waging the long fight against ISIS. (Despite this, the U.S. media only give credit to the U.S. and its clients who barely lifted a finger in the fight against ISIS.)

On the surface of it, the strike was uncharacteristic of Trump.  Here is a man who pledged to pull the U.S. out of the Middle East turmoil — turmoil for which the U.S and Israel bear the primary responsibility.

And yet he seems willing to order a strike that will guarantee intensification of the conflict in the region, and even the deployment of more U.S. forces.

The first term of the Trump administration has revealed the extent to which the U.S. war empire is run by the military-intelligence apparatus. 

There is not much a president — even a popular president like Barack Obama in his second term — can do to change the course of empire.

It is not that Obama wanted to end U.S. wars in the region, but Trump has tried to retreat from Middle East conflicts and yet he has been unable due to pressures not only from the military-intelligence apparatus but also from their war advocates in the U.S. Congress and Western media, D.C. think tanks and the human-rights industry.

The pressures to preserve the war agenda is too powerful on a U.S. president for it to cease in the foreseeable future.  But Trump has managed to start fewer new wars than his predecessors — until this strike.

Trump’s Obama Obsession

Trump in his foreign policy is obsessed with the legacy and image of Obama.  He decided to violate the Iran nuclear agreement (which carried the weight of international law after its adoption by the UN Security Council) largely because he wanted to prove that he is tougher than Obama, and also because he wanted an international agreement that carries his imprint.

Just as Trump relishes putting his name on buildings, hotels, and casinos he wants to put his name on international agreements. His decision, to strike at a convoy carrying perhaps the second most important person in Iran was presumably attached to an intelligence assessment that calculated that Iran is too weakened and too fatigued to strike back directly at the U.S.

Iran faced difficult choices in response to the assassination of Suleimani.  On the one hand, Iran would appear weak and vulnerable if it did not retaliate and that would only invite more direct U.S. and Israeli attacks on Iranian targets.

On the other hand, the decision to respond in a large-scale attack on U.S. military or diplomatic targets in the Middle East would invite an immediate massive U.S. strike inside Iran.

Such an attack has been on the books; the U.S military (and Israel, of course) have been waiting for the right moment for the U.S. to destroy key strategic sites inside Iran.

Furthermore, there is no question that the cruel U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran have made life difficult for the Iranian people and have limited the choices of the government, and weakened its political legitimacy, especially in the face of vast Gulf-Western attempts to exploit internal dissent and divisions inside Iran. (Not that dissent inside Iran is not real, and not that repression by the regime is not real).

Nonetheless, if the Iranian regime were to open an all-out war against the U.S., this would certainly cause great harm and damage to U.S. and Israeli interests.

Iran Sending Messages

In the last year, however, Iran successfully sent messages to Gulf regimes (through attacks on oil shipping in the Gulf, for which Iran did not claim responsibility, nor did it take responsibility for the pin-point attack on ARAMCO oil installations) that any future conflict would not spare their territories.

That quickly reversed the policy orientations of both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which suddenly became weary of confrontation with Iran, and both are now negotiating (openly and secretively) with the Iranian government.

Ironically, both the UAE and Saudi Kingdom regimes — which constituted a lobby for war against Iran in Western capitals — are also eager to distance themselves from U.S. military action against Iran.

And Kuwait quickly denied that the U.S. used its territory in the U.S. attack on Baghdad airport, while Qatar dispatched its foreign minister to Iran (officially to offer condolences over the death of Suleimani, but presumably also to distance itself and its territory from the U.S. attack).

The Iranian response was very measured and very specific.  It was purposefully intended to avoid causing U.S. casualties; it was intended more as a message of Iranian missile capabilities and their pin point accuracy. And that message was not lost on Israel.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah, sent a more strident message. He basically implied that it would be left to Iran’s allies to engineer military responses. He also declared a war on the U.S. military presence in the Middle East, although he was at pains to stress that U.S. civilians are to be spared in any attack or retaliation.

Supporters of the Iran resistance axis have been quite angry in the wake of the assassination.  The status of Suleimani in his camp is similar to the status of Nasrallah, although Nasralla, due to his charisma and to his performance and the performance of his party in the July 2006 war, may have attained a higher status.

It would be easy for the Trump administration to ignite a Middle East war by provoking Iran once again, and wrongly assuming that there are no limits to Iranian caution and self-restraint.  But if the U.S. (and Israel with it or behind it) were to start a Middle East war, it will spread far wider and last far longer than the last war in Iraq, which the U.S. is yet to complete.

As’ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of the “Historical Dictionary of Lebanon” (1998), “Bin Laden, Islam and America’s New War on Terrorism (2002), and “The Battle for Saudi Arabia” (2004). He tweets as @asadabukhal

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Note 1: The US military base in Iraq, Ain Assad, was demolished by the Iranian missiles, and scores of US military personnel were injured and dispatched to Germany and Kuwait. The Netherland decided to vacate its soldiers from this base to Kuwait: They experienced the fright of a lifetime.

Note 2: Hezbollah of Lebanon delivered a final warning to Israel: Any assassination of its members anywhere around the world by Israel, Hezbollah will retaliate. And Hezbollah delivered on its promise and did retaliate on the assassination of 2 of its fighter in Damascus. Israel had vacated all its military bases in the Galilee and the civilians went into shelters for 3 days waiting for the attack.

Note 3: So far, Syrian regime avoided any clear declaration for retaliation on assassinations on its soil or the frequent Israel missiles destroying weapon depots in Syria.

Latest Speech of Hezbollah general secretary Hassan NasrAllah

🔵 بعض مما ورد في كلمة السيد نصر الله خلال الاحتفال بيوم القدس العالمي:

عندما يجمع الفلسطينيون على رفض صفقة القرن لن تمر هذه الصفقة وعندما يجمع السوريون على ان الجولان سوري سيسقط اعلان ترامب واذا بقينا حاضرين فإن المستقبل هو للقدس ولفلسطين

نحن باستطاعتنا تصنيع الصواريخ الدقيقة وبيعها لدعم الخزينة اللبنانية واتمنى من ساترفيلد ان يدوره ويغلق هذا الملف ويتوقف عن اطلاق التهديدات

اذا الاميركي سيبقى يفتح هذا الملف سأقول لكم نحن لدينا القدرة الكاملة للتصنيع وسنؤسس مصنعا للصواريخ الدقيقة في لبنان

أصل فتح النقاش مع الاميركيين في هذا الموضوع غير مقبول لانه من حقنا ان نمتلك اي سلاح ونصنع اي سلاح للدفاع عن انفسنا

لو لدينا اي مصنع للصواريخ الدقيقة اليوم كنت اعلنت عن ذلك

لا توجد حتى الآن في لبنان مصانع للصواريخ الدقيقة

العدو لا يقصف الصواريخ لانه يعرف اننا سنرد الصاع صاعا إن لم يكن صاعين

ان اي قصف اسرائيلي لاي هدف للمقاومة في لبنان يرتبط بمسألة الصواريخ نحن سنرد عليه بشكل مباشر وبقوة

نحن لدينا صواريخ دقيقة وبالعدد الكافي وتطال كل الأهداف المطلوبة في الكيان الصهيوني وهذه الصواريخ تستطيع ان تغير وجه المنطقة والمعادلة

في موضوع ترسيم الحدود نقف خلف الدولة اللبنانية، نحن نثق بالمسؤولين اللبنانيين الذي يفاوضون لتحصيل حقوق لبنان

نحن نعتبر موقف الوفد اللبناني الى القمة العربية لا ينسجم مع البيان الوزراء، أين هو النأي بالنفس ايها الوفد الرسمي اللبناني؟ نحن نعتبر هذا الموقف غير مقبول ومرفوض ومدان ولا يعبر عن موقف لبنان بل يعبر عن موقف الاشخاص المشاركين والاحزاب التي يمثلوها

لو تحدثوا بلغة فيها حوار وانفتاح مع ايران كانت بقيت لهم اموالهم وكرامتهم

من واجبنا ان نشيد بموقف العراق ورئيس جمهوريته وهو موقف شجاع ومتميز وممتاز

اخر بند في بيان القمة العربية بمكة تحدث عن فلسطين بمعدل سطر ونصف فقط بينما هذه هي القضية المركزية للعرب والمسلمين

السعودية ليست في موقع قوة بل في موقع ضعف وارتباك ووهن

السعودي دعا الى القمم الى الاستقواء بالخليج الذي مزقه وبالعرب الذين حطمهم والمسلمين الذين نشر بينهم فتنة التكفير

السعودية التي فشلت وهزمت في اليمن هل بامكانها شن الحرب على ايران؟

النظام في السعودية ومن معه علموا ان لا حرب اميركية ضد ايران وان ترامب لن يأتي للقتال عنهم وهذا كان آخر رهان لديهم

المؤشر الآخر على عدم وقوع الحرب هي القمم التي تعقد على عجل، والبيانات اظهرت ان السعودية لا تجد اي حل امام الصواريخ اليمنية وهذا فشل عظيم وهو انجاز عظيم للاخوة اليمنيين

أولوية ترامب هي الحرب الاقتصادية على ايران وغيرها من الدول

ليس لترامب مصلحة ان تتصالح ايران مع دول الخليج بل من مصلحته ان يواصل تخويف انظمة الخليج من ايران

معادلة القوة هي التي تمنع الحرب بينما هؤلاء المساكين يريدون من ترامب ان ياتي ليفتعل الحرب بينما هو حساباته الدولار والنفط والمصالح

ما يهم ترامب انه عندما تشتعل المنطقة سيصل برميل النفط الى 200 او 300 دولار وبالتالي سيسقط بالانتخابات

ليسمعني العالم أجمعه، ان ترامب وكل اجهزة استخباراته تعلم ان الحرب على ايران تعني ان كل المنطقة ستشتعل وان المصالح الاميركية في المنطقة ستباد وكل من تواطؤ سيدفع الثمن واولهم اسرائيل وآل سعود

الامام الخامنئي قال إنه لا حرب ولا تفاوض،

ولكن برأينا لا حرب لان ايران قوية مقتدرة بشعبها وبنظامها وقائدها ومراجعها وبخاصتهاو عامتها ولانها اولا واخيرا تتكل على الله

بولتون ومحمد بن سلمان وخليجيون اخرون كانوا يدفعون للوصول الى الحرب ومن يشاهد بعض وسائل الاعلام الخليجية يقول إن الحرب ستقع وكأن ترامب يعمل لديهم

البعض اليوم يهول بوقوع الحرب بين اميركا وايران وهناك من كان يدفع بالوصول اليها وعلى رأسهم جون بولتون الكذاب

هذه الانظمة العربية نفسها هي التي تواطأت على ايران منذ انتصار الثورة الاسلامية وحتى اليوم

ايران هي نقطة القوة في محور المقاومة، فهي دعمت العراق وسوريا والمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين وموقفها حاسم وواضح ولذلك هم يحاولون محاصرة وضرب ايران بهدف ضرب المحور، فالعين كلها على ايران

أغلب الدول العربية والاسلامية مشغولة بحالها، هذه النقطة سلبية لكن فيها شيء ايجابي ان هؤلاء لو لم ينشغلوا بأوضاعهم الداخلية كانوا سيقفون الى جانب الاسرائيلي بدل الوقوف الى جانب فلسطين

ترامب صاحب هذا الفكر والحسابات هو رجل حرب؟ هو يراهن على الموضوع الاقتصادي وايضا أدواتهم بالمنطقة خائفة ومتضعضة من العناصر التكفيرية الى النظام السعودي وغيرهما من الانظمة العربية

اوضاع اميركا الاقتصادية لا تتحمل الارتفاع باسعار النفط واين موقعها في العالم؟ فهي تخوض مواجهات على مستوى العالم واهم شيء في الادارة الاميركية الجديدة التهيب بالذهاب الى حروب جديدة

حتى اميركا اليوم ليست نفسها التي كانت قبل 50 او 60 سنة، هي ارسلت جيوشها الى المنطقة وخرجت مهزومة وقواتها ضربت في الكثير من دولنا

في اسرائيل هناك فقدان للقيادة وهي تحتاج للدعم الاميركي المباشر في اي حرب مقبلة والحاجة للاساطيل الاميركية للحماية من محور المقاومة، متى كانت اسرائيل بهذا الشكل والضعف؟

Hezbollah is pressured to navigate among treacherous and poisonous waters of “Arab’ States

The all encompassing and elevating speech of Hassan Nasrallah

نبيه البرجي
السيد نصرالله يعلم أن هذه منطقة اللامنطق , منطقة اللاعقل , منطقة اللارؤية .

غابة من القبور (البشرية) المشرعة على الرياح الآتية من ليل الأمم , ومن ليل الأزمنة .
ثلاثة قرون , لا ثلاث ساعات , من الكلام , كلام المنطق, وكلام العقل , بل وكلام القلب , لن يؤثر في تلك “الجوراسيك بارك” , حديقة الديناصورات التي أقامتها الامبراطوريات فوق أكتافنا .

ولسوف ترى , أيها الرجل الرائع , أنك تحمل الراية وحيداً في هذه الصحراء , في هذا العراء …
حين كان يتكلم , كان هناك من يمسك بمفاتيح جهنم . عرب ويلقون المفاتيح في وجهنا “أنتم وفلسطين الى جهنم “.

هل تعني فلسطين غير ذلك , في المفهوم الايديولوجي, وفي المفهوم الاستراتيجي , لصفقة القرن ؟ رقصة القهرمانات حول الهيكل , سواء بني بخشب الأرز أم بحجارة الكعبة .

هؤلاء الذين حوّلوا التراجيديا الكبرى الى الكوميديا الكبرى . كم يبدو صائب عريقات بائساً , كم يبدو محمود عباس ضائعاً , حين يكون الرهان على مفاوضات هي مطحنة التراب مثلما هي مطحنة الدم ؟

من لا يدري ما في العقل الاسرائيلي الذي لا يفقه سوى لغة القوة . من بنيامين نتنياهو الذي ورث عن أبيه ثقافة زئيف جابوتنسكي “العرب الحفاة … العرب الذئاب) , الى الملياردير النيويوركي شلدون أدلسون الذي أقسم أمام الملأ , وأمام يهوه , بأنه سيبني الهيكل من عظام العرب .
في نهاية المطاف , ودون الاستئذان من توماس هوبز , العرب ذئاب العرب …

قال السيد …
لو كنا دولة , لو كنا شعباً (ويفترض أن ننحني أمام أولئك المسيحيين الكبار , وآخرهم موريس الجميل , الذين أدركوا ما تعنيه أمبراطورية يهوه في عقر دارنا) , لانحنينا لحسن نصرالله , وهو يتحدث عن الصواريخ التي تصل الى صدر بنيامين نتنياهو (لاحظتم كم كن مضحكاً وساذجاً في تعليقاته), والى صدر أفيف كوخافي , بل والى صدر دافيد بن غوريون وتيودور هرتزل .

حتى في العتابا والميجانا نتغنى بكبريائنا (نحنا والقمر جيران) , ونتغنى بعنفواننا (هاالكم أرزة العاجقين الكون) , قبل أن نكتشف أن بعضنا عبيد العبيد في المنطقة .

هل يتصور السيد أنه لو أتى بمفاتيح بيت المقدس , ووضعها بين ايديهم , سيكون هناك من يقول له بوركت الدماء , وبوركت الأيدي , التي فعلت هذا ؟ ان وحيد القرن ذهب بهم بعيداً في صفقة القرن !

ما قاله الأمين العام لـ”حزب الله” حول الامكانات العسكرية ليس سوى النزر اليسير . ليعلم كوخافي أن طائراته التي يرى فيها الحاخامات الملائكة المدمرة في الميتولوجيا اليهودية , لن تستطيع , قطعاً , أن تفعل ما فعلته منذ عام 1956 وحتى 2006 . هنا الكارثة الاسرائيلية الكبرى .

الأبحاث في معهد جافي هي التي تتحدث عن “المفاجآت التي تحت عباءة نصرالله” . أحد الباحثين تحدث عن اللحظة اتي يجد فيها الجنرالات أنفسهم داخل الدوامة .

ما قاله السيد يفترض أن نتوقف عنده مليّاً . لن يتجرأ نتنياهو أن يشن الحرب (النزهة) على لبنان . يعلم ما ينتظره لا على الأرض اللبنانية فحسب . على الأرض الاسرائيلية أيضاً . هذيان داخل هيئة الأركان …

ارتجاج في العقل الاسبارطي الذي اعتاد أن يرى الدبابات العربية اما محطمة , أو هاربة , أو خاوية . ثمة واقع آخر بعد وادي الحجير . العالم كله شاهد كيف تنتحب الميركافا , وكيف ينتحب قادة الميركافا الذين طالما وصفوها بـ”الدبابة المقدسة” .
هكذا تكلم السيد حسن . يد حديدية الى ما وراء الحدود , ويد حريرية داخل الحدود . الرفاق في الوطن , الاخوة في الوطن , ولطالما هزجوا لتراب الوطن , أنوفهم في مكان آخر , جيوبهم , أيديهم , في مكان آخر .

مللنا من تلك الكليشهات الرثة تعليقاً على كلام السيد . هل ثمة من رجل دولة يتكلم بتلك الشفافية , وبتلك الدماثة ؟ تابعوا تعليقاتهم التي لكأنها استخرجت للتو من مقامات بديع الزمان الهمذاني , أو من أفواه السلاحف .

منذ القرن التاسع عشر الى جمهورية الطائف (جمهورية الطوائف) , لم يكن هناك لا بيسمارك اللبناني , ولا غاريبالدي اللبناني , لكي يجعل منا شعباً , لا شظايا متناثرة. الآن , المنطقة امام مفترق . اما أن نكون ضيوف شرف على سوق النخاسة , أو نكون حملة الراية الذين ننتشل العرب من الركام , لبنان من الركام .

ما تناهى الينا يفترض بنا كلنا , ودون استثناء , أن نرفع رؤوسنا . اسرائيل في مأزق وجودي . أكثر من أن يكون مأزقاً استراتيجياً حين لا يكون في العقل التوراتي مكان للآخر . نحن الآخر الذي يزعزع الهيكل , الآخر الذي يزلزل الهيكل .

هذه ليست باللغة الفولكلورية . كلام السيد كان كلاماً في العقل , وكلاماً في المنطق . ارفعوا رؤوسكم (أطرقوا أبوابهم بالشواكيش) . المنطقة أمام احتمالات البقاء واللابقاء, ونحن في صراع الأرقام والحقائب . أيتها … السيدة الفضيحة !
هنا في لبنان (الذي لم يعد وسادة القمر) , اختزال “الجوراسيك بارك” . لنتوقف أن نكون اللاعبين الصغار في العملية الكبرى (اغتيال الزمن) , كما حذرنا , ذات يوم , فيلسوف الأمل روجيه غارودي .

كلام السيد الذي كما الزلزال في اسرائيل , ما صداه في لبنان؟ اسألوا من يتباهى بـ”ليلة الشامبانيا” في ذلك القصر الملكي !!

Fahed Rimawi describing Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah

Abu Hadi, (father of Hadi, the elder son of Hassan Nasrallah who fell martyr fighting Israel) is Not a leader of a country, Having no official army, Not an oil billionaire or any kind of multinational, who has no multinational media outlet, who don’t pay official visits to State leaders (except Iran and Syria), and yet is the most listen to when he delivers a speech and all his foes know that he can deliver and do deliver on what he promises.
From the bottom of despair and helplessness in Lebanon and most “Arabic States”, Hezbollah, led by Hassan, reaped victories after victories and cornered Israel into a defensive position, after Israel conducted 8 pre-emptive wars on Lebanon and destroyed the infrastructure of Lebanon 8 times since its creation in 1948.

 كيف يقود ابو هادي قافلة الانتصار في زمن الانهيار

فهد الريماوي*
رئيس تحرير صحيفة
المجد الاردنية

August 24 2017

ما اروع ان يخرج الحي من صلب الميت، وينبجس الماء من عين الصخر، وينبت الخير في بوادي الشر، ويطلع الفجر من غياهب الليل، وتنبعث العنقاء من كومة الرماد، وتنطلق البطولة من جراح الشعوب المقهورة، وتنبثق المعجزة من تضاريس الزمن الصعب، وتشرق شمس السيد حسن نصرالله وسط آفاق عربية ملبدة بالهزائم والهموم وعلامات التعجب.

هذا الرجل سيد جليل في قوله وفعله، وليس فقط في حسبه ونسبه.. وهو قائد مقدام في المعارك السياسية والاعلامية، وليس فقط في الحروب العسكرية والامنية.. وهو مبدع خلاق في عوالم البلاغة والخطابة والجملة السحرية، وليس فقط في ميادين التعبئة والتنظيم والادارة اليومية للمستجدات الطارئة والقضايا الواقعية.

هذا الرجل له من اسمه نصيب كبير، فهو نصرالله وناصر العرب الذي ما دخل معركة حربية الا وكان النصر حليفه، وما خاض مساجلة اعلامية الا وكان النجاح رفيقه، وما اطل من الشاشة التلفزيونية الا وكان مالئ الدنيا وشاغل الناس، وما طرح فكرة او اطلق رؤية الا وكانت محل اهتمام واحترام العدو قبل الصديق، والبعيد قبل القريب، والمختلف معها قبل الموافق عليها.

هذا الرجل/الرمز ليس رئيس دولة وازنة، ولا ارطبون جيوش عرمرمية، ولا زنكيل مليارات نفطية، ولا قيصر امبراطورية اعلامية، ولا سندباد رحلات وجولات ومؤتمرات دولية.. ومع ذلك فقد بز كل قادة العرب ورؤسائهم واثريائهم وادبائهم وجنرالاتهم في الشهرة العابرة للقارات، وفي القدرة على حصد الانتصارات،

وفي الشجاعة الطالعة من كربلاء، وفي التضحية البالغة حد الجود بالابن البكر، وفي المصداقية التي يشهد العالم بها ويبصم باصابعه العشرة عليها. هذا الرجل يشكل منحة سماوية جادت بها الاقدار، ويجسد صدفة عبقرية وفرها لنا التاريخ، ويمثل ظاهرة كاريزمية لم تتحقق لغير جمال عبدالناصر بالامس القريب، ويعبر عن اعلى درجات النبل والترفع والاريحية، سواء في مواقفه السياسية، او مبادئه الوطنية والاسلامية، او شمائله الروحية والاخلاقية والطهرانية.. وسيكون من سوء حظ العرب وبؤس طالعهم، ان يفوّتوا فرصة وجود هذا القائد الملهم في مقدمة صفوفهم، دون ان يلتفوا حوله ويشدوا ازره لكي يحرروا التراب الفلسطيني ويمحقوا الكيان الصهيوني الغازي والدخيل.

من حق اي عربي ان يعارض حزب الله، ويختلف مع بعض مواقف السيد نصرالله وطروحاته، فاختلاف الرأي لا يُفسد للود قضية، كما تقول الحكمة المعروفة..

ولكن من العيب، بل العار، على من تسري دماء العروبة في عروقه، ان يمقت هذا الفارس الشهم، ويتحامل عليه، ويشكك في غاياته وولاءاته، ويشترك مع امريكا واسرائيل في محاولات تشويهه واتهامه بما ليس فيه من مثالب ومعايب ونعرات طائفية ومذهبية وجهوية ضيقة.

حسن نصرالله ليس فرداً، بل جمع مذكر سالم، وقاسم مشترك اعلى لابناء امته العربية كافة، وليس لطائفته الشيعية، او ديرته اللبنانية، او ركيزته الايرانية.. وهو صاحب حضور شعبي هائل يتجاوز الارقام القياسية لدى ملايين العرب والمسلمين.. وهو على موعد حتمي مع التاريخ الذي طالما فتح صفحاته الذهبية للزعماء العظماء.. وليس في صالح هذا الرجل، او في حسبانه، ان يهبط من علياء هذه المكانة المرموقة الى درك المربعات الفئوية والمسطحات المذهبية.

هذا الشيخ المعمم ليس يسارياً ولكنه اقرب للكادحين واحنّ على الفقراء والمظلومين من اساطين اليسار واقطاب الاشتراكية..

وهو ليس قومياً ولكنه رفع رؤوس العرب عالياً حين هزم اسرائيل بالنيابة عنهم جميعاً..

وهو ليس مسيحياً ولكنه من اشد المسلمين احتراماً للمكون المسيحي العربي، والتزاماً بالعيش اللبناني المشترك..

وهو ليس فلسطينياً ولكنه اكثر حرصاً وولاء واخلاصاً لقضية فلسطين من بعض زعاماتها وقياداتها التي سكرت بكؤوس الوهم، وهرولت لعقد “سلام الشجعان” مع رابين وبيريز ونتنياهو وتسبي لفني.

مشكلة هذا الرجل ليست كامنة في ذاته ومواصفاته، بل موجودة لدى اعدائه وغرمائه.. فهم مغتاظون من استقامته وليس اعوجاجه، ومن امانته وليس انحرافه، ومن تسامحه وليس تزمته، ومن نجاحه وليس اخفاقه، ومن مجمل فضائله وحسناته وليس سلبياته وسيئاته..

شأنهم في ذلك شأن المثل الشعبي المصري الذي طالما ردده المرحوم ياسر عرفات : ‘مالقوش في الورد عيب، قالوا له يا احمر الخدين’.

اما جريمة هذا الرجل الكبرى التي لا تُغتفر عند الاعداء والعملاء، فتتلخص في كونه صاحب مشروع كفاحي تحرري حاسم ومتصادم على طول الخط مع الصهاينة والمتصهينين العرب والاجانب،

وليس في حياته وبرامجه واجنداته ما يتقدم على هذا المشروع الاستراتيجي العظيم، وليس لديه ذرة شك ان الصراع العربي مع الصهاينة صراع وجود وليس حدود، وان الجغرافيا الفلسطينية وحدة واحدة لا تقبل القسمة على اثنين، وان العدو الاسرائيلي لا يفهم سوى لغة واحدة قوامها النار والبارود.

من نقاء العقيدة استخلص’ابو هادي’ قوة الارادة، واكتسب مضاء الهمة والعزيمة، وامتلك بُعد النظر وعمق البصيرة، ورفض الدخول- بالمطلق- في لعبة الكلمات المتقاطعة والاواني المستطرقة التي تورطت فيها منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية..

فما هادن ولا ساوم ولا فاوض ولا تنازل ولا اقترب من اثم الصلح والتطبيع مع الكيان الغاصب..

ذلك “لان ما اخذ بالقوة لا يسترد بغير القوة”. في خطابه الاخير الذي اعقب تحرير جرود عرسال اللبنانية من قبضة جبهة النصرة الارهابية، زف لنا ‘ابو هادي’ بشرى الانتصار الوشيك في سوريا،

ورغم ان كل الوقائع الميدانية تؤشر الى هذا الاتجاه، الا ان للبشرى الصادرة عن هذا الرجل نكهة عذبة، وعبق طيب، ومعنى فصيح ومريح وباعث على الثقة والتفاؤل..

وطوبى لهذا البشير الذي يبصر بعيني ‘زرقاء اليمامة’، ويرى قبل الآخرين، ويحظى بفراسة المؤمن، ويغشى الوغى ويعفّ عند المغنم.

Visite de Tillerson à Beyrouth : ce qu’en dit la presse libanaise

(See notes at the end of the article)

Fermeté à l’égard du Hezbollah, écarts protocolaires : la visite, la veille, du secrétaire d’Etat américain, Rex Tillerson, à Beyrouth a été abondamment commentée vendredi dans les grands titres de la presse libanaise.

“Tillerson depuis Beyrouth : inquiétez-vous du Hezbollah”, titre le quotidien de référence an-Nahar, en référence aux propos tenus par le chef de la diplomatie américaine, lors de son escale à Beyrouth, selon lesquels l’engagement du Hezbollah “dans les conflits régionaux” menace “la sécurité du Liban” et a des “effets déstabilisateurs sur la région”.

Dans son article, l’éditorialiste Rosana Bou Monsef a vu dans les déclarations de M. Tillerson un “message adressé à l’Iran”, notant qu’elles tranchent avec celles qu’il avait tenues la veille, à Amman, lorsqu’il a reconnu que le parti chiite faisait partie du “processus politique” au Liban.

De son côté, le quotidien al-Joumhouria est revenu, dans l’un de ses articles, sur les écarts protocolaires qui ont marqué l’escale beyrouthine du secrétaire d’État, qui ont provoqué le “mécontentement” de la part des Américains.

A l’aéroport de Beyrouth, M. Tillerson n’a pas été accueilli à sa descente d’avion par son homologue libanais, Gebran Bassil, mais le directeur du protocole par intérim du ministère des Affaires étrangères. (Les coutumes de faiblesse d’antan n’oblige pas a perpetuer ce qui n’est pas du protocole international)

Et à son arrivée au palais de Baabda, un peu en avance, le responsable américain a trouvé le fauteuil présidentiel vide et a attendu quelques minutes l’arrivée de M. Bassil et du président Michel Aoun.

Le journal relate également les sujets de discussion qui étaient au menu des entretiens de M. Tillerson avec le chef de l’Etat et le Premier ministre Saad Hariri, notamment sur les dossiers du mur israélien à la frontière avec le Liban et l’exploitation des ressources offshores au large des côtés libanaises près d’Israël.

Al-Joumhouria publie par ailleurs un entretien avec le ministre de la Jeunesse et des sports, Mohammad Fneich, membre du Hezbollah, qui affirme que “les prises de position de Tillerson sur le Hezbollah ne nous concernent pas”.

Pour sa part, le quotidien al-Moustaqbal, propriété de M. Hariri, titre “Tillerson à Beyrouth : partenariat ‘stratégique’ et ‘médiation’ frontalière”, notant que les responsables libanais ont réitéré leur engagement envers la politique de distanciation des conflits régionaux et la résolution 1701.

Dans son article, Thouraya Chahine souligne que “le message de Washington est clair : la stabilité et l’armée libanaise sont des lignes rouges”.

Le journal al-Akhbar, très proche du Hezbollah, indique dans un article que “M. Tillerson a répété la même chanson américaine classique : désarmement du Hezbollah, assèchement des sources de financement du Hezbollah, retrait du Hezbollah de Syrie, préservation du calme au Liban-Sud et soutien à l’armée libanaise”.

“Le Liban refuse les diktats américains concernant la frontière”, titre le quotidien selon lequel les  Etats-Unis ont recommandé aux responsables libanais d’accepter les propositions au sujet de la frontière de l’émissaire du département d’État, David Satterfield, qui doit s’entretenir dans la journée avec Gebran Bassil.

Selon notre correspondant diplomatique Khalil Fleyhane, M. Satterfield a proposé une formule de compromis au sujet du bloc 9, prévoyant que la compagnie chargée de l’exploration des hydrocarbures offshore verse au Liban les deux tiers de ses ventes et le tiers à Israël, en attendant que le conflit frontalier soit réglé. Une proposition sur laquelle les dirigeants libanais ont exprimé des réserves.

(Pourquoi Israel ne verserapas le tier de ses ventes en attendant que les zones maritimes soient regle’?)

Note 1: After the visit of Tillerson on Thursday, Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech on Friday. He bolstered the position of the Government by assuring them that Hezbollah can counter any Israeli land or sea encroachment on Lebanon. “Lebanon army is denied adequate weapons, but Hezbollah has all the necessary means to defend Lebanon’s rights”

Note 2: President Aoun responded to Tillerson that the military readiness of Hezbollah cannot be negotiated before a lasting peace on Lebanon borders and the return of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

Note 3: Any negotiation on borders land swapping is meant to erect a Wall of Shame along our border with Israel

Lire aussi

Face au secrétaire d’État, le Liban campe sur ses positions de principe, le décryptage de Scarlett HADDAD

Aoun : Tillerson était « à l’écoute et compréhensif »


How the Syrian Civil War Has Transformed Hezbollah

The Lebanese Shiite militia, which has played a central role in defending the Assad regime, is now a powerful regional player.


Shiite Ritual Draws Historic Parallels: Bloody. And belittled

The blood oozing from the cuts in the top of Ali Rassoul’s head on Tuesday had crusted in streaks around his eyes and ears and soaked the front of his long, white gown.

But his wounds had nothing to do with the car bombs and urban battles that have torn Iraq apart:  they were his way of commemorating a much older battle: that of Karbala, where in the year 680, the army of  Omayyad Caliph Yazid slaughtered Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and cut off his head.

Baghdad- For many Iraqi Shiites who commemorated the death of Hussein on Tuesday in an event called Ashura, the current threat against their community from the extremists of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has profound historical parallels.

“This year Ashura is more important because of the threat against us from ISIS,” said Mr. Rassoul, who runs a woman’s shoe store and had a long dagger in a shiny scabbard hanging from his shoulder. “They have come to kill us, just like Yazid came to kill Hussein.”


Shiites in Baghdad bled Tuesday to commemorate the slaying of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in 680. Credit Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Mr. Rassoul spoke from a street in the Kadhimiya district of northwest Baghdad, in front of an ornate mosque that houses the tomb of a martyred Shiite leader.

While millions of Shiites across the world observe Ashura, Kadhimiya is one place where a minority pays homage to Hussein through the contentious practice of self-cutting called tatbir.

As the sun rose, hundreds of mostly young men gathered in a street here dressed in white robes.

While a few beat drums, the crowd chanted, “Haidar! Haidar!” invoking Hussein’s father, Ali. Some waved colored flags. Others carried long knives brought specifically for tatbir.

When the time came for the procession to start, Amer Matrouk, the leader of one group, drew his blade and the men, some of whom had shaved their heads, knelt before him so he could give them swift blows to their scalps, just enough to open the skin and start the bleeding.

“Not everyone knows how to do it,” said Mr. Matrouk, 63, who said he has been practicing tatbir since he was a child and had a row of straight scars on his scalp to show for it.

He rejected the idea that it could seriously hurt anyone.

“We have never had any accidents,” he said. “Sometimes there are those who are not very strong and they get dizzy from all the blood, but they are fine in the end.”

The practice of tatbir is debated among Shiites and many respected clerics have spoken against it.

Some argue that it is a form of self-harm, which is religiously forbidden.

Others have written it off as a folk practice, that may have seeped into Islam from Christian Passion plays about the crucifixion or from indigenous mourning rites that communities brought with them when they became Shiites.

Still others have argued that it makes Shiites look bad, which is reason enough to avoid it in a region where they are a minority and often looked on with suspicion by Sunnis.

These practices used to be limited and no one paid attention to them, but they have started to spread and defame the image of the event in a huge way,” said Abbas Shams al-Din, a Shiite cleric and writer during an interview in his book-lined Baghdad home. “If you search for pictures on Google and type ‘Ashura’ or ‘Shia Muslim,’ you won’t see anything but blood. It’s terrible!”

Ayatollah Khomeini went on record against tatbir, and it has become punishable by law in Iran, although some still do it in secret.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, too, has criticized it, and his movement has sought to channel the fervor in a more productive direction by holding Ashura blood drives. But other Shiite groups in Lebanon still do it.

And it persists in Iraq, where clerics who have spoken against it have faced popular criticism, Mr. Shams al-Din said.

“There are some who do not want to issue a fatwa because they know that people will do it anyway,” said Abbas Kadhim, a senior foreign policy fellow at Johns Hopkins University who has studied Shiite theology. “If you do this, you set them up to be sinners.”

But those arguments meant little to the hundreds of men marching in Kadhimiya, blood dripping from their heads, soaking their white robes and pooling in the street.

A woman who gave her name as Um Salah sat with two friends on the sidewalk, thumping her hand rhythmically on her chest as the procession passed.

“Yesterday, there were attacks and explosions, but we are still here,” she said, saying that the event showed the steadfastness of the community.

Two of her sons were serving in the Iraqi Army, she said. They never told her much about what they saw, other than calling to say they were fine and making progress “in the fight against the terrorists,” she said.

A short drive away at the Kadhimiya Blood Donation Center, an employee said that many people had come to donate.

“It can help the wounded person or the soldier,” the employee said, giving only his first name, Jassim.

But when a visitor observed that the clinic was deserted, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “People come.”

Others wish tatbir would go away.

“Why do they do it?” said Haidar Abu Yassir, a taxi driver, screwing up his face in disgust. “Did Hussein do that? No! He was cut into pieces!”

Mr. Abu Yasser said that he felt that donating was better than “letting all that blood drip off your head for nothing.”

But when asked if he knew anyone who had donated, he paused to consider the question.

“Nope,” he said. “They all want to do tatbir.”

Do you need to change anything in Lebanon? Are Lebanon’s youth in political parties waiving off reforms?

Who needs change?

Are Lebanon’s youth in political parties waiving off reforms within their parties?

For decades, Lebanese politics has been ruled by a small group of men.  The obvious question is “why not get some fresh faces in government”?

How can you bring fresh faces in government if the political parties have no incentives for bringing fresh faces within their ranks?

This seemed to be the underlying subtext of a United Nations report on youth in politics, released earlier this week to a small audience at Parliament’s third floor auditorium.
Though many youth are active in parties, few are given decison-making positions, the report found.

The political parties also lack transparency, with budgets and political platforms either secret or nonexistent.

Perhaps most interesting of all, the report found most Lebanese political parties do not even hold elections.

The report, which was carried about on behalf of the UNDP by governance consultants Beyond Development and Reform, recommended term limits for party leaders as a possible way to see new faces in leadership positions–and to chart a path toward future growth.

“What will happen when the leader is gone,” posed BRD consultant Carmen Geha.
But many of those in attendance, including youth representatives from Lebanon’s dominant parities, balked at the suggestion of term limits for their leaders.

Tashnag’s Bakradonian

“Who are you to force a change in leadership,” asked Ashod Bakradonian, representative from the Armenian Tashnag party.

“This is an internal issue. We should be able to keep our leaders for as long as we want.”
“You are so right,” said the representative from Hezbollah. “We want the Sayyed,” he added, in a reference to Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayer Hassan Nasrallah. (Time to split the political leader from the spiritual leader?)

If someone has a problem with the leadership, they should change parties, he explained– a comment echoed by the others.

Youssef Bassam from Hezbollah’s youth delegation

It was one of the few moments of agreement among the partisan youth representatives, who frequently mocked one another throughout the two hour session.
Another recommendation called for a free access to information law. Following the civil war, television licensing had been restricted largely to groups associated with the parties in power, thus leaving a gap in objective reporting on government and party affairs.

When the question of transparency came up, some joked about seeing transparency in Hezbollah’s military wing. The Hezbollah member answered: “We are all the military wing.”
When the moderator explained some parties didn’t respect the rights of women–others suggested there were parties that didn’t respect rights of the army.

The report also revealed that some parties have not even been officially registered with the government.
“Raise your hand Youssef,” a delegate who did not identify himself sitting with the March 14 members shouted out, pointing at the Hezbollah representative.
“We were registered in 1992,” Youssef shot back.

Despite this penchant for rules, the accuser spent most of the time playing games on his phone, pausing for the occasional snicker.

Other representatives, such as those from the Kateab party, argued that Lebanon lacked political culture and identity– impediments to reform. But the same participants also rejected a recommendation to  mandate all Lebanese parties have a minimum 1% membership in every qada (district/county), which could force the factions to be more inclusive and less territorial.

“Look at him,” one pointed toward the Armenian delegate. “He’s not Arab, why should we force him to be Arab?”
“Are you guys joking or speaking seriously,” Gilbert Doumit a consultant with BRD asked the delegates, urging a return to the study recommendations.
“Power corrupts. There should be a ceiling for power,” he said.

Others in the room rejected dealing with Lebanese parties altogether.
“We cannot build a political future on a false foundations,” a representative from Min Ajel El Joumhouryia (For the Sake of the Republic) commented. The new political group was part of efforts to occupy downtown Beirut earlier this year, protesting the postponement of elections and the lack of accountability for MPs.

A delegate from Min Ajal El Joumouriya rejects the party system

But a Syrian Baath party representative countered, warning the new movements not to sideline official parties, “who had sacrificed many martyrs for this country.”
I guess we’ll need martyrs to get recognized,” the Joumhouriya member murmured quietly.

Of all the incumbent parties present only one conceded the need for change.
“I would like better youth representation in my party,” Marada representative Rebecca Hosary said, to applause from the audience.

But after we wrapped up, one of the UN delegates felt ill about the general atmosphere. “It makes you want to cry,” the representative said of the constant bickering and rude interruptions–the general lack of listening to the other side.

Moderator Carmen Geha had at one point noted that the room served as a microcosm of the political atmosphere at large. Rather than focus on local representation, the delegates argued fiercely over foreign policy issues.
Perhaps this hints at the heart of the matter.

The study had found that many youth join parties based on family or sectarian ties, rather than actual policies or positions on issues that affect the citizenry.
I would add existential fears to that.

How does one reconcile with a mindset perpetually at fear of the other–enough to support the same leader indefinitely (and cynically so), to avoid the perceived danger of appearing divided and weak before the enemy?
Is it even possible to work with an existing system that uses fear of your fellow citizens as political currency?

Note: From my experience, elections within political parties for leaders are done by consensus. Otherwise, the current leader is re-elected. It does not matter how fair and convoluted the election laws are, the end result is to bring back old faces, and in few instances “a la Poutine and his side kick”… I was amazed lately that one of the oldest and most historic political parties re-elected its 95 year-old leader…

Lebanese kidnapped in Syria: What kinds of retaliations?

Many Syrian workers are virtually trapped in Lebanon because their Syrian home cities are war zones. Syrian workers are the backbone of Lebanon Real Estates development: When they have to flee back to Syria or go on vacation for the Eid of Adha or Ramadan or…, construction simply stops, and the Lebanese engaged in civil works also take the opportunity to take a vacation…

For example, Egyptian workers mane the gas stations and the health care in hospital and private homes for the elderly

On May 22, news broke of the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese men in Aleppo , of the Moslem Shia sect returning from pilgrimage in Iraq, by a Syrian opposition group. Scores of angry Lebanese men took to the streets, intent on revenge, and they were looking for handy simple Syrian workers in the vicinity.

Fortunately, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah intervened with a speech saying, “The Syrian nationals in Lebanon are our people and attacking them is an offense.” Nasrallah’s words hold much sway among followers and fans, and he saved many from being beaten, or worse.

Moe Ali Nayel published on July 29, 2012 under “Syrian Workers in Lebanon: No Time is Safe...”


One of the Syrian workers (Photo: Haitham Moussawi)

That incident of mutual kidnapping activities and retaliations is not unique in Lebanon’s history with its Syrian labor force. Whenever Syria-related political unrest threatens Lebanon, the Syrian workers are the first to suffer. As if they were official representatives of the Syrian regime, the workers are an easy first target.

“It’s becoming dangerous for Syrians working in Lebanon,” Jihad, a 29 year-old Syrian worker from Daraa told me.

“My friends were stopped in Ouzai [Beirut suburbs] by thugs who erected a checkpoint in the middle of the street.” Jihad expressed relief at Nasrallah’s appeal: “I was relieved when Nasrallah came out and asked the masses to leave us alone. His call saved us.”

Jihad, who has worked in Beirut for many years, does menial jobs that many Lebanese consider beneath them. This attitude holds true for the vast number of foreign workers in Lebanon — many of them Syrians, Egyptians, Ethiopians,… — who come to work as cleaners, domestic help, construction and agricultural workers.

Lebanon’s labor laws provide a further incentive for Syrians to emigrate here. The interpretation of these laws make it easy for businesses to import foreign labor, thereby avoiding minimum wage regulations and calls by local workers to improve working conditions.

Itani says he would rather have ten Syrian workers than five Lebanese. 

Jihad the foreign workers like him have a continuing sense of instability. For example:

Following the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri — in which Syria was accused of involvement — there were violent attacks on Syrians throughout Lebanon and many were forced to flee. Today, Jihad explains, “It’s ironic, I’ve been working here in Ras Beirut for 20 years. When Hariri was killed we were attacked by the residents… We had to flee back to Syria. We returned after the hate against us lessened and the Lebanese realized that they need us to get things done.”

Many Syrian workers are virtually trapped in Lebanon because their Syrian home cities are war zones. There has been much focus on the safety of Syrian activists taking refuge in Lebanon, while the safety of Syrian workers has been overlooked. Activists have made their stories heard while a multitude of workers’ stories have gone unnoticed.

Ali Atiyeh a 34-year-old Syrian who has worked in Lebanon for 15 years as an electrician, has experienced daily racism. “Any interaction with the Lebanese people always brings the possibility of a racist encounter. It’s all good until they ask me where I’m from, and when I say I’m from Syria their faces change.”

Atiyeh who speaks the Lebanese dialect adds that he feels slightly different from most Syrian workers. “I have been integrated into the Lebanese way of life. I spend money, go out, and always buy new clothes”. But even with his integration he never feels totally safe. “For example if I’m coming back home from work late at night and there is a police checkpoint and I get stopped, I’m automatically a suspect because I’m Syrian.”

“The latest trend is men driving around at night stopping Syrian workers. The men claim that they are security forces. They mug the worker and drive away,” Atiyeh says.

Racism doesn’t stop there either. According to Atiyeh, “Now that the Syrian revolution is fashionable it has become cool for some Lebanese girls to go out with Syrian activists, while two years ago this was out of the question. I once loved a Lebanese girl and we went out in secret. I knew her family and they treated me as one of them. I decided to propose and asked her father if he agreed to us getting married. After that I was outcast from the family — the mother told me that she would never let her daughter marry a Syrian.”

Many Syrian workers live in extreme poverty; several may share small apartments while others live in tents, shacks, or outdoors on the construction sites where they work. They are therefore visible and an easy target for attacks by Lebanese.

Raed, 17, a Syrian shoe shiner and freelance worker in Beirut — his many other jobs include washing stairs in apartment buildings and delivering food and gas — is scared of being attacked. “Now, since the news about the kidnapped Lebanese, people have warned me not leave this neighborhood because they fear for my safety.”

He speaks about an incident in a stronghold of the Amal Movement. “The other day I was in Hay al-Lija and felt that I was not welcome…A man marched up to me and asked me where I’m from in Syria. I told him Aleppo. I did not dare say I’m from Daraa. Then men gathered and showered me with insults about my sister and mother. I was getting scared and a slap to my face came from nowhere. I pushed them and ran away.”

Raed’s story is not unusual, he says: “Workers can never feel secure in Lebanon. Here, where I live now, our burden is a bit easier than before the Syrian revolution. Now people in this area are seeing us as the sons of one sect. They see us now as Sunnis more than Syrians.” The area that Raed is talking about is traditionally a Sunni neighborhood.

Attacks against Syrians have always crossed sectarian lines. All Lebanese sects have at times been hostile towards Syrians. However, the recent uprising has made old enemies into new comrades.

Supporters of Saad Hariri, the son of Rafik, support the Syrian opposition. “Now,” Jihad says, “these same Lebanese greet us, smile and seem to be fond of us. It makes one wonder what this sudden love for the Syrians is — from the same Lebanese who just a few years ago insulted and looked down on us, as if we were not human.”




September 2020

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