Qunfuz

Robin Yassin-Kassab

Why Hizbullah Won

with 13 comments

It was inspiring to see (on television) Shaikh Hassan Nasrallah address a crowd of 800,000 in South Beirut on Friday afternoon. As usual, he delivered a stirring speech, slipping easily between standard literary Arabic and Lebanese dialect, and aiming his comments at international, Lebanese and Arab audiences.

Over the last few months I have read and heard all kinds of criticism of Hizbullah in the Western media. It is hard to reconcile this with the tremendous admiration that the Arab and Muslim ‘street’ has for the organisation.

I have read that Hizbullah is a misogynist organisation, that its activists spend their free time throwing acid in the faces of women who don’t wear the hijab. This is simply untrue. There were plenty of non-hijab-wearing women at Friday’s rally. Anyone who’s been to Hizbullah strongholds in South Lebanon, South Beirut or the Bekaa valley will tell you that women in lipstick and short skirts walk unharassed in the streets with their muhajjiba sisters. Many of the women invited to speak on al-Manar, Hizbullah’s TV station, do not wear the hijab. Hizbullah women are not prominent in politics or military affairs, but they do play important roles in social welfare and media work.

I have read that Hizbullah is a fiercely sectarian organisation. It is certainly a Shia organisation, but the alliance it leads in Lebanese elections includes Sunnis and Christians. When the resistance managed to finally remove the Israeli occupation in 2000 (after 22 long and bloody years), many people expected the south to degenerate into sectarian mayhem. After all, there were Maronite and Orthodox Christians, Druze, Sunnis, Palestinian refugees, and collaborators with the occupation from all sects, living in the area along with its Shia majority. All these groups had fought each other during the civil war. But Hizbullah kept the peace. At Christmas time, Hizbullah sends cards to Lebanese priests. Never once have we heard from Hassan Nasrallah the kind of poison that we hear from al-Qaida or Salafis about ‘apostates’ or ‘crusaders.’ In Friday’s speech, he pointed out that Lebanon was now split along ideological rather than sectarian lines, and he praised this development.

I have read again and again that Hizbullah is anti-Semitic. The accusation is backed in particular by this statement, attributed to Hassan Nasrallah: “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” The source of this seems to be the New York Times. I can’t say whether Nasrallah actually said this or not. I can just about imagine a rhetorical context in which he might have said it. If he did say it, I think he was wrong. I know that other Hizbullah leaders have generalised from Zionists to Jews, and have used Quranic condemnations of 6th century Arabian Jewish communities to attack Zionism. This is unfortunate and doesn’t help anyone. But I also know that my English grandfather, who nobody ever accused of being a racist, admitted to a deep distrust of Germans (not Nazis) to the end of his life as a result of what he saw and heard in the 30s and 40s. It is not so surprising that Lebanese people, who have suffered several decades of massacre, seige and persecution at the hands of the self-declared ‘Jewish state,’ may sometimes make unwise generalisations and bitter comments. I admit I find it easier to forgive Lebanese blurring of the distinctions between Jew and Zionist than I do to forgive Zionist and Anglo-American blurring of the distinctions between violent resistance to occupation and Islam. And using the Quran to make points about a contemporary conflict is no worse than American Christians using the Old Testament to justify the current ethnic cleansing of Palestine. But I’m worming around here, I know. Anti-Semitism is wrong, even in a war situation. Wrong full stop. If Hizbullah is guilty of it, it is wrong.

I have never heard or seen Nasrallah or any other Hizbullah leader make anti-Jewish comments, and I’ve watched a lot of speeches and interviews. I can however report Nasrallah’s words (more or less) at one rally: Our slogan is Death to America. We do not mean the American people, most of whom are ignorant of the situation in the Middle East. We mean the American government, the American army, the American empire. Our slogan is Death to Israel. We do not mean the Jews, with whom we’ve lived peacefully for centuries. We do not mean the Jewish religion, which is a divinely revealed religion. We mean Zionism which occupies our land and murders our children.

And of course, I’ve read that Hizbullah is a terrorist group that needs to be dealt with for the sake of global peace. I accept that firing katyusha missiles into towns terrorises their inhabitants. My problem here is that the people who call Hizbullah terrorists seem to think that Israeli activity in Lebanon is not terroristic.

Here is the Encyclopedia Brittanica definition of terrorism: “the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective.”

Dan Halutz, the Israeli Chief of Staff, declared on the first day of the latest war that “Nothing is safe (in Lebanon), as simple as that.” And the ‘non-terrorist’ US and British backed onslaught showed the truth of these words. The civilian infrastructure of Lebanon was destroyed. ‘Legitimate military targets’ included factories, power stations, bridges, roads, a Greek Orthodox church, mosques, farm workers, refugee convoys, funeral processions, and thousands of homes. There was a new Qana massacre (the first happened in 1996). Depleted Uranium, cluster bombs and phosphorus were used. The aim of the attack was clearly to terrify the Lebanese civilian population in order to bring about the particular political objective of making them turn on the resistance. Terrorism, on a grand scale.

In contrast, while the overwhelming majority of Lebanese victims of Israeli fire were civilians, the majority of Israeli victims of Hizbullah fire were soldiers. Sadly, a disproportionate number of Israeli casualties were Israeli Arabs. There is a reason for this. While Israeli Jews and even the animals at Haifa zoo are provided with state of the art bomb shelters, the Arab villagers of the Galilee are not.

For more details on Israeli terrorist outrages in this war, and on direct military and political support for these outrages from the US and Britain, you can read this excellent report:

http://www.democratsdiary.co.uk/2006/09/britains-role-in-israeli-hezbollah-war.html

Hizbullah emerged from the murk of civil war Lebanon to become the recognised national resistance movement deterring the occupation in the South. When it pushed the Israelis out in 2000 – the first victory in all the years of Arab-Israeli conflict – it won support from the majority of Lebanese, of all sects. Since then its activity to try to release Lebanese hostages from Israeli dungeons, and to liberate the Shebaa Farms, has been measured and intelligent. It provided a shining example to the Arab world. For the first time, Israel was faced with a fighting force that could stand against it, despite its lack of hi-tech weaponry. For the first time, local people had organised themselves to fight back effectively. For the first time, Arabs were not waiting for their state machineries or the ‘international community’ to help them, they were liberating themselves. (In this last point there is more hope for future democracy than in a thousand years of Western initiatives). What’s more, a Shia group representing the poorest, most marginalised of Arabs was wildly popular amongst the Sunni Muslims of the region. Neither Israel nor America could tolerate the challenge.

Which brings us to the next criticism. I have read that Hizbullah took Lebanon to war. Perhaps the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers on the border was a miscalculation. It aimed to secure the release of Lebanese hostages, and to take pressure off Gaza, which has been drowning in blood since Palestinians kidnapped one Israeli in the hope of securing the release of almost 10,000 Palestinian prisoners. Whether it was wise or not, the border incident was not the cause of the huge onslaught. Condoleeza Rice made this very clear when she said the war couldn’t end until a ‘new middle east’ was born. In other words, until resistance and the possibility of deterrence was killed. The US and Britain did everything they could to stop a ceasefire, to give Israel time to ‘finish the job.’ When Israel was proven unable to even start the job, if the job was to defang rather than strengthen Hizbullah, then they rushed to implement an unfair ceasefire in Israel’s defence.

In any case, the border had been violated by Israel many more times than by Hizbullah. One of the many (unreported in the West) Israeli violations of the Lebanese border since its pullout was its shooting on an unarmed demonstration of Palestinians approaching the barbed wire to greet their relatives inside and to call for return to their villages. Several Palestinians were killed.

So why did Hizbullah call its rally on Friday a Victory Festival? People from countries which start rather than suffer wars find it difficult to understand the victory in having your infrastructure destroyed. And they have a point.

But think of it like this. Israel’s neighbours have been losing wars for decades. In 67 Israel launched a pre-emptive attack which captured the West Bank, the Gaza strip, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the vast Sinai Peninsula, all in six days. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, it took them a week to reach Beirut, which they proceeded to obliterate. The first world effortlessly walked over the third. The Arabs were defeated psychologically as well as physically. Arab nationalism was discredited along with the Arab state system. Arab optimism dissolved. The Arabs lined up to surrender. (This pyschological defeat is one of the factors leading to the rise of Islamism).

This time, yes, the infrastructure was destroyed, and 1200 Lebanese were killed. But in more than a month, Israeli forces were unable even to fully occupy the villages on the border. This is a historical turnabout, and the Arab peoples know it. None of Israel or America’s war aims were fulfilled. Lebanese of all sects rallied round the resistance. Arab puppet regimes lost more shreds of credibility. Hizbullah was strengthened.

In Friday’s speech, Hassan Nasrallah was far more forthright than usual in his comments on Lebanese politics. He accepted that Hizbullah’s arsenal would eventually have to become the property of the Lebanese army, but said that would only happen when Lebanon had a ‘government of national unity’ capable of protecting its citizens. In other words, he called for a non-sectarian electoral system in Lebanon, in which the vote of a Shia farmer is worth as much as the vote of a Maronite Christian.

Nasrallah’s approach to Arab regimes has previously been diplomatic. On Friday that changed. He said that they are not capable of making peace or war. Why would Israel want to make peace with the Arabs, he asked, if the Arabs are not willing to fight, not willing to boycott, not willing to use oil as a weapon. He said that they are more responsible than Europe and America for starving the resistance government in Palestine. He said that if the choice is between Jerusalem and their thrones, they’ll choose their thrones. The change in tone suggests that Nasrallah foresees a revolutionary future.

And then he said it is possible for the Arabs not only to win back the West Bank, but all Palestine, from the river to the sea. This is language that we haven’t heard for decades from Arab leaders (and when they said so they didn’t mean it). From Nasrallah, who means it, who believes the people can do it, it is music to the ears.

I hope that Israel will delink itself from American imperialism, come to terms with its traumatised origins, and work seriously towards a two state solution in Palestine as a stage on the way to a democratic, secular, unitary state. I honestly believe this would be in the interests of Jews as well as Arabs. I don’t think driving the Jews into the sea is either desirable or possible. But the option of fighting to end the ethno-state (as opposed to driving out the Jews) must be on the table. The Arabs have been trying to surrender for more than thirty years, and their surrender hasn’t been accepted by Israel or the US, who always want more. If a balance of terror is what we need to establish to make Israel think seriously about just peace, then let’s establish it.

Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

September 24, 2006 at 10:55 am

Posted in Islamism, Lebanon, Zionism

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13 Responses

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  1. Fares

    September 26, 2006 at 9:29 pm

  2. very good text Qunfuz; I have heard the same misconceptions about Hezbollah in the West and it is great that you have refuted them

    annie

    September 30, 2006 at 4:44 pm

  3. There is only one thing completely missing from your analysis. If you ever ventured to Israeli web sites you would see that it is a secular state already, and has been from its inception — for example it just accepted Gay marriages.
    As to ethno babble —
    and Arab Israeli is in charge of the 1st state channel of TV (Arutz 1).
    There is a Justice Salim Joubran on the supreme court, etc 20% of all Israelis are Arabs with full voting rights and Members of Parlament (Knesset).
    Either you are spreading lies willfully or you are just reading extreme-left (communist) Guardian and/or Arab world news outlets.
    The “Jewish” nature of the state of Israel is in the fact that a Jew has a “right of return”.
    Now — I am a Canadian citizen as well as Hungarian citizen. Do you know how I obtained my Hungarian citizenship: my grand father was Hungarian.
    The same rule goes for any European *secular* country.
    I don’t speak a word of Hungarian!
    But guess what — most Jews around the world have always known at least some Hebrew — for 2000 years.
    I think Israel would be better off somewhere in North America — the only place where Jews were never hated. But luck and the British Empire had it their way…
    If you are open-minded as you seem you are, please learn more about Israel. One day when there is peace, you will be able to visit
    Tel-Aviv beaches and see all the pretty Jewish and Arab girls in bikinis on the beaches between Jaffo and Tel-Aviv, or in Haifa.

    Anonymous

    November 22, 2006 at 4:45 am

  4. Thanks for your comment, anonymous. I assure you that I take every opportunity I can get to learn more about Israel. I read Haaretz online every day, and I greatly admire Ilan Pappe, Avi Schlaim, the late Israel Shahak, all those Israeli writers and researchers who are brave enough to expose the ethnic and exclusionary nature of the Israeli state. Of course I am aware that 20% of Israelis are Palestinians, and that they have voting rights. I am also aware that they are not allowed to live in Jews-only areas and that they receive far fewer government services than the Jewish population. There was a mini pogrom against them at the start of the second intifada. And 60% of Israeli Jews want them to be ‘transferred’ from the country.

    Of course I read Arab world outlets. I’m an Arab. And I read Israeli and Western outlets too. By the way, al-Jazeera gives a voice to a much wider range of opinion than the Western channels. When you refer to the liberal Guardian as communist you make yourself ridiculous.
    I’m glad that Hungary gave you a passport. It would be nice if Israel gave passports to the refugees who’ve been living in exile since Israel drove them from their homes (400 villages destroyed, cities depopulated) in 47/48.
    I think you should read more about Israel, beyond your usual sources. Encourage your friends to do so too. Then we may have the opportunity for a real peace, and you can visit the Lebanese beaches on which girls wear bikinis – but please stop visiting in tanks and warplanes.

    qunfuz

    November 22, 2006 at 6:27 am

  5. I am the same anonymous as before — my name is Alex.

    I am telling you from personal experience, not from some Zionist sources. I have been to Egypt, Israel and West Bank on many occasions. Contrary to the popular belief (of Jewish control of the media) the information you are getting from AP and BBC is extremely prejudiced against Israel (just look at the reporter’s names).
    In the middle of the war in Lebanon, several Arab MKs openly supported Hezbollah and then went to Syria. BTW, When they came back they did not face any consequences of talking to a country formally at war with Israel (give me another country in the world where this can be done). This was perceived by most Israelis as a betrayal. Also, remember that 1/3 of the country was in shelters and were very afraid of 4000 random missiles from the sky. That is why the poll was conducted to evaluate the damage — the results were horrific 60% of Jews did say that they would not have an Arab as their neighbor.
    Be honest if a poll was conducted today, how many Sunni and Shia in Lebanon would agree to have a Jew in their neighborhood of for that matter in any Arab country.
    Do you know what happened to the Jews in the most Arab countries over the last 50 years? I also know this from this from personal accounts.
    Do you know anything about Jewish communities of Egypt and Syria for instance.

    During the Oslo years, when everything was normal the polls were at about 20%. This was better than in most Western countries.
    I am sure you have been to London. The numbers are about the same.

    About the transfer.
    Where did you get the number of 60%?
    Many Israelis want to
    make a state in which
    there would be a Jewish majority (alongside a peaceful Palestinian state, with open borders).
    Do you know why is there a need for Jewish majority in most Jewish Israeli’s mind? I’ll try to present their point of view:

    Correct me about the intricacies of Lebanon’s political system. But, the representation is not direct in terms of numbers — Christians have 50% even though they do not represent 50% of the population.
    Why? Because, if they didn’t have 50% of decision making power they would be “mobbed” by the majority.
    The same reason is that Israelis after being attacked many times since 1948, wouldn’t feel safe in a regular multi-ethnic state.
    If I remember correctly the growth of Jewish population is 2.3, while that of Israeli Muslim Arab population is 4.7, while in Gaza the average age is 15.4!
    Now if you want to say that Israelis are more racist than, say the Dutch — I was in Amsterdam 2 months ago. They are terrified about the same thing 800,000
    Muslims. Dutch with negative birth rate, and Muslims with 9 kids each family.
    That is why there is pressure on burqa-ban and all that stuff.
    They want to make sure that Muslim children are not going to become an entity in itself and start demanding Sharia law in 50 years when they have more than 50%.
    Now about Guardian.
    It is a respectable paper, but its anti-US (and by extension anti-Israel) rhetoric
    dates back to the Communist era.
    It defines itself as left-to-liberal.
    Liberal is already center-left, so if you look at the circulation of major newspapers in England and you apply a Gausian distribution (telegraph on the right, guardian/independant on the left) you would see that it is around the Sigma-varians value — it is not the Communist party leaflet, but it is nowhere near the center.
    All this said, I just want to make sure that you understand.
    I deplore many of the right wing governments in Israel and I certainly deplore 250 religious settlers that have hijacked the state agenda after 67 together with Begin.
    But — newsflash — so do most Israelis.
    I saw the the Israeli army being attacked in the West Bank, on one side by Palestinians and on the other by Settlers (even though they were there to protect them).
    Many, if not most Israelis think that they are ungrateful bastards, not the least because they seem to be getting more money than contributing to the Israeli society.

    Now, did you know that virtually all highway signs in Israel are tri-lingual (English/Arabic/Hebrew).

    Now, I want to demonstrate anti-Israel bias in European and Arabic media:
    I personally think Avigdor Lieberman is a Fascist, who never really got the idea of democracy, but he is a realist.
    On the specific issue of “transfer”, he actually said in Hebrew, “we need to exchange the Galilee triangle for some of the settlements like Gush Katif”. Meaning,
    Muslim Arab towns would become part of the Palestinian State and Gush Katif part of the Jewish.
    Now Galilee land is more fertile than that south of Jerusalem. I don’t agree with almost anything he says, but
    that seems like a fair trade…
    Especially after seeing that as opposed to Arab population of Abu-Gosh or Jaffo, who serves in the army on voluntary basis, they clearly say they don’t want to be part of the Zionist entity.
    It would solve both
    problems.

    Now about the anti-Israel media bias: Robert Fisk, who speaks fluent Arabic and could thus learn Hebrew in 1 month, doesn’t even bother to look at what Lieberman actually said — he just jumps on the opportunity to resurrect the extreme-right wing idea from the late 70′s of population expulsion.
    Very few people in
    Israel would even dare utter such thing
    today in Israel.

    Now, just imagine if Israel didn’t except 800,000
    Jews from Arab lands – many of them driven by force, instead making them together with another 1,000,000 refugees from Europe into a permanent problem for 60 years – something to use whenever there was a problem against the Arab world.
    Do you know whether it is possible for a Palestinian to become a citizen of a Gulf country or Iran or Syria? It has never been possible. Why is that?
    When Pakistan and India were partitioned millions of people were moved both ways, some by force and after riots. Another British mess. Well to be true, Lebanon/Syria thing is a French mess.

    BTW, Where did you get the fact that Israeli Arabs are not allowed to live in Jewish areas?
    It is illegal to do so, and not only that it is very easy to refute. Go to Jaffo/Tel-Aviv or Haifa and you will see that the population is mixed in many areas.
    If you still don’t believe me, you could see that by looking
    at the list of Haifa residents and their addresses killed by Hezbollah (1/3 were Arabs, 2/3 Jews from very close addresses in the downtown area).
    Also, one of my best friends with whom I studied, lived and worked at Intel – Jerusalem is a Christian Arab.
    He is now in Canada and I am in close contact with him. If you want I’ll invite him to tell you himself, and what exactly he thinks about Hezbollah.

    One more thing, did you know that Druze Arabs almost all serve in the IDF.
    A lot of Beduim do, too.
    If you don’t believe me, check about that BBC reporter that was killed by IDF in Gaza when he approached the tank — it was a mostly druze armored brigate involved.

    For instance muslim Arabs from Abu-Gosh serve in a rescue briage.

    Do you know why Israel doesn’t force all Arabs and all Hasidim Jews to serve in the Army — not because of the racism , but because it would cause them to go against their beliefs.
    Apart from being stupid to have an Army of people forced to serve, it was declared inhumane by the courts to force and Israeli-Arab to possibly face their cousins in a war.

    Hope to hear from you more,
    Alex

    Anonymous

    November 22, 2006 at 8:36 am

  6. hi, the same anonymous Alex again:

    I know that you believe every word you wrote in the article,
    the problem with basing your analysis on misinformation whether for emotional reasons or for lack of access to true facts, causes you to constantly make wrong decisions.

    It is like trying to hit a baseball with a bat that is not straight.

    If you must admire Hassan Nasrallah, admire his only quality that differentiates him from other Arab leaders.
    He deals with true facts,
    not with what
    was served to
    him by a horde
    of yes-man,
    like that dimwit Bashara-Assad with Hariri’s murder.

    He certainly doesn’t suffer from lack of willingness
    to sacrifice his own population for himself.

    The only reason he withstood Israel’s assault was that he knew the truth about Israel — they will not do what Assad did in Hama, or for that matter in Lebanon over 30 years of their occupation.

    Have you ever heard of an Army in the history of war that drops leaflets and phones in advance of a strike.
    It is totally counterproductive.

    Anonymous

    November 22, 2006 at 9:06 am

  7. If you doubt that Guardian and Independent in their today’s form have “new-communist” inclinations take note
    that Robert Fisk features on counterpunch.com
    (which is quite extreme left by most accounts).

    As to Ilan Pappe and company — why do you think you need to be brave to say something like that in Israel — you read Amira Hess on Haaretz every other day don’t you.

    Ilan Peppe works for a government funded University, and he has better job security than I do.
    And probably earns more than I do, too.

    I know why you think
    you need to be brave.
    You are seeing things from your own perspective (in psychological terms, you are projecting)

    If Israel were like Lebanon or Russia Amira Hess and Ilan Peppe would probably be assassinated or disappeared.

    If Israel were Syria
    they would probably be electro-tortured to death.
    Syria certainly have no qualms doing that to Candian citizens.

    For Syrians, boy they must think of Amira Hess as some super hero.

    In Iran she would be
    stoned.
    In Iraq that militia lunatic leader would use a power drill on her.

    But, know this —
    most “New Historians” don’t deal with reality in the West.
    In fact Ilan Peppe’s and especially Benny Moris’s work has many factual inaccuracies, and avoids putting things into a context in order to point out our own moral failings.
    This is done in order to improve our own morality.

    This is something the grand grand children of Hassan Nasrallah might do over the ruins of ancient Western civilization.

    Amira Hess fashions herself as taking on all her nation’s sins. In the same way
    Robert Fisk was masochistically delighted when he was
    beaten by an angry mob in Afganistan.
    He probably thought that he is taking on Western sins or something.

    But, make no mistake — they don’t deal with reality –
    Robert Fisk stated that he agrees with Amira Hess on this —
    when she says “to monitor power and the centers of power.”
    Not objective reporting.

    Anonymous

    November 22, 2006 at 10:30 am

  8. my final word for today:

    For me the point of reading media outlets is not in finding facts that would collaborate my point of view, it is in understanding the other side.

    qunfuz: When you quote Amira Hess and Ilan Peppe, I can see that you missed the whole point.

    I for once think I have nailed the point of view of your article:

    Pride and Dignity –
    You seem to feel that Hasan Nasrallah has restored pride.

    I can really identify with that.

    In fact this was done once before in the history of Arab-Israeli conflict:

    Although the 1973′ war was militarily won by Israel,
    Sadat did get Sinai back — and restored Egyptian pride.
    He was a great visionary and used that credit to sign peace with Israel.

    What is Nasrallah using his credit for exactly?
    Toppling the government?

    Don’t you see that if
    proportionality in vote (and decision making) would probably make most Christians leave the country…

    Anonymous

    November 22, 2006 at 10:55 am

  9. Dear Anonymous Alex

    A lot to deal with there. I only have time to be very brief, which will probably not satisfy you, but anyway:

    It’s not enough to say that Pappe etc ‘do not deal with reality.’ These people are serious historians.

    Syria and the massacre at Hama: If you read my post about Syrian opposition you will see that I am not afraid to mention this. I have no interest in denying the crimes of Arab regimes. Arab countries are third world countries, nations in conflict with themselves, in which classes and sects battle to define the polity. It’s ugly. And none of it in any way excuses an invading population and settler state like Israel.

    Hassan Nasrallah: you make him look like someone sitting comfortably while his people die. Nasrallah is of his people. His eldest son was killed by Israel. In the summer of 1982 alone 29, 000 Lebanese and Palestinians were killed by Israel. The south witnessed more than 2 decades of Israeli occupation and massacres.

    I know what Lieberman said about exchanging the triangle for settlements in the west bank. He has also, on numerous occasions, talked about expelling the Arabs of the West Bank as well as the 1948 Arabs.

    I most recently read about the polls supporting transfer (not about having an Arab for a neighbour) in an article by Jonathon Cook. I’ve seen the same figures in Haaretz. Your comparisons with anti-immigrant feeling in Europe are not logical, because the Arabs of Israel are not immigrants. They are the remnant of the Palestinian people that was driven out in 48. In any case, the rising Islamophobia and racism in Europe is lamentable. I presume you are a Jew. You should not be so understanding of European racism.

    I know plenty about Jewish communities in Arab countries. Been for many a stroll along haaret el yehud in Damascus. Arab regimes should have been much more careful to keep their Jewish communities safe and happy after the creation of Israel. The migration of the Jews was against Arab interests. In many cases, however, Israel actively worked to destabilise those communities. Read The Lure of Zion by Abbas Chiblak on the bombs in the Jewish quarter of Baghdad in the early 50s, and think about the Lavon affair.

    third of country in shelters. a shame that shelters were built for the animals of Haifa zoo but not for Arab villagers in the Galilee.

    Arab MKs such as Azmi Bishara naturally supported Hizbullah, and were not prosecuted in Israel (despite being threatened and vilified). This is a good thing. Well done, Israel. It’s not unique amongst Western countries. George Galloway in Britain visited Saddam (so did Rumsfield, but that;’s another story), Ramsay Clarke in US defended Saddam in his trial, neither have been prosecuted. True, Arab regimes would imprison or murder people in a similar situation.

    I know Arabs live in Haifa and elsewhere. Apartheid only functions fully on the West Bank, with the Jews-only settlements, roads, etc. I didn’t mean to generalise so. But I remember well, for instance, the case of the Arab Israeli doctor who wanted to move to a town in Israel which was in effect Jews only. He took legal action to be allowedin and failed.

    qunfuz

    November 22, 2006 at 3:00 pm

  10. Just a quick reply there is simply to much to be said:

    I have never seen a poll that suggest transfer of population (not territorial swap)
    that would even remotely indicate 60% support.

    As to Syrian being a third world country and thus not susceptible to the same scrutiny as Israel, simply invokes the “moral/cultural relativism” argument.

    Also, we agree that West Bank is a different story than Israel proper.
    As about the Israeli-Arab doctor in Jewish neighborhood, please find the details.

    Ilan Peppe and Benny Morris are disputed on many facts, just like any other historian that asserts something — it needs to be peer reviewed — In real science that is.

    Besides Abu-Mazen wrote his PhD denying the Holocaust that he later said was factually incorrect (based on false facts).

    Now about the reference to Holland — being afraid that your children will live under Sharia’ law is not racist, sorry.

    Anonymous

    November 22, 2006 at 5:12 pm

  11. Re : The Guardian’s alledged anti-us anti-Israel standpoint. Ive noted down the years that the Guardian is one of the few British newspapers that actually reflected what was happening in the north of ireland asd I experinced it myself as oppossed to the other British newspapers , who were of the opinion that the Troubles in Ireland were due to the natives been inherently savage rather than respoding as anybody would do to a brutal oocupation, although relatively speaking Ireland is such a cake walk compared to Palestine, the IDF make the British Army look like a bunch of beatniks.
    So I assume if the Guardian ia almost alone amongst British newspapers in not reverting to cliche and lazy racial stereotypes in it’s reporting of Ireland, I assumr#e that it gets somewhere near the truth of the Israel Palestine issue.

    Anonymous

    November 16, 2008 at 11:46 am

  12. I’ve come back to this after a couple of years. I could write a book on the the false logic of anonymous but of course I don’t have time. But one little thing: he says it isn’t racist for Dutch people to fear their children will live under Sharia law. There is no possibility that Holland will be ‘taken over by the Muslims’. The fear that Sharia will be imposed on the next Dutch generation is similar to the fear that our children will be subjected to the dictates of conspiratorial Jewish financiers. In the 20s and 30s half of Europe thought like this. Now there is a new target. It’s very sad to see Jews collaborating in this racism, in fact, in some cases, for the sake of zionism, generating it.

    qunfuz

    November 16, 2008 at 12:12 pm

  13. [...] – once in 2000, when the brutal occupation of south Lebanon was brought to an end, and once in 2006, when Israeli troops attempted to reinvade in order to dismantle the resistance, but bled on the [...]


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