In this second letter, VJ, a Lebanese Beirut resident, continues with his discussion with our correspondent, of what has caused, and continues to cause, the ongoing conflict between his country and the State of Israel. As in Part I, his comments are posted in his own words.
Thank you for your reply. True, there are many grey shades over the Middle East conflict ever since it first began, especially that there are many historical narratives to it. To some, Israel is an illegal state that was founded on the basis of deportation and wars. To others, Israel is a fully legal state that was properly and lawfully established, just like the rest of the countries in the world.
As for me, I am totally with an independent, sovereign and LEGAL Israeli state for all its people to live in peace. I am aware of the historical overview that you mentioned, and let me add by saying that the Arab governments and leaders at that time were not that smart or wise in dealing with the Palestinian problem.
However, the Arab mistakes do not justify the Israeli brutality. And the Arab mistakes, do not rule out the fact that Israel did and still does violate International law just like I explained before.
My main point from my previous e-mail is that Israel, by violating international law and acting too aggressively over all its neighbors over the many decades, has generated the hate, the fanaticism and the terror which Israel itself is fighting against today. And I gave you the example of how Hezbollah was born. I’ll say it again in those few lines:
In 1978 the Ambassador of Israel in London is shot and wounded. 6 hours later, 28,000 Israeli-soldiers invaded the Lebanon. They occupied 20% of Lebanon for the next 22 years.
In 1982 Israel re-invaded the Lebanon and occupied another 43% of it. That is when and why, Hezbollah was born………
Israel’s “claim” that this war was against the PLO was false: Everything in Beirut was destroyed, from civilians to infrastructure to hospitals. Nothing was spared. And for what? For an Israeli “ambassador” in “London” that was “wounded”. So, for that ambassador, Israel killed thousands in Lebanon. It violated international law, the PLO got more support, and other groups started popping up, like Hezbollah.
Do you think it was a smart move from Israel?
So again, every time you hate Hasan Nasrallah, remember that it was your government’s present and previous wrong and unjust strategies that made Hasan Nasrallah powerful, making him by far the most popular man in Lebanon and the Arab world today.
I know the justifications about Israel’s occupation of Lebanon and other violations. But the fact remains: it is a violation of international law, and it remained not 1 or 2 years (like 1559), but 22 consecutive years. And what made things worse, is that it was an occupation of a residential land, where people live. Schools, hospitals, mosques, churches and homes were around the place. I am sure those people would praise and worship Hezbollah when they know that Hezbollah is fighting an occupation which has been in their land for so, so long.
As for the suicide bombers; first of all I do not support them. I am against all sorts of violence that targets civilians.
But many, many Palestinians were put in situations like this:
People around are still being targeted
How do you expect them to react?
They lost everything, and have no hope in a future. They have a “living body”. That’s it. That’s all what they have. And all of that are because of Israeli policies.
How do you expect such humans to react?
Again, I do not support suicide bombings…but once again, try to analise “why” are they happening and continuing to happening and even being taught in schools. Be careful. I’m not “justifying”. I’m simply trying to “explain” why. I might be totally, totally wrong.
To me, those are the root causes, behind Hezbollah, Nasrallah and a lot of the terrorism in this region.
I hope you would agree with me somewhere. Unless you believe violating international law is justifiable, and that it has no consequences.
August 16, 2006 at 9:43 am
Something has to happen to stop this ‘chain reaction’ of hatred. Sheikh Narsrallah is not the answer as his rather ‘frank’ opinions towards Israel and “The Zionist Enemy” is known to all.I assume by ‘Zionists’ he lumps all jews, no matter where they live, into this category as well.
Israelis do not hate the Lebanese – they really don’t. They do hate Hezbollah though – and have very good reason to. After all, more private citizens were hurt and killed in this 30 day war than in any other since the War of Independece in 1948. More private and public property was damaged or destroyed as well.
Now, with the war (temporarily) over, and with the Sheikh strutting around and crowing like a Cock Rooster outside his henhouse, it’s back to square one again in regards to dealing with this problem. I only hope that the Lebanese people can pull together and not rely only on the Hezbollah to put their country back together again. Hezbollah has it’s own agenda -and that one does not include Western liberalism. More and more Christians will likely consider leaving now, giving the Sheikh an even greater opportunity to increase his power base.
August 17, 2006 at 6:36 am
Just out of curiosity, do you think anyone in the Middle East will ever get around to noticing that religion seems to be the common theme to all of these conflicts?
Wouldn’t it be ironic if all of today’s religions turn out to be no more based in reality than Greek mythology, or for that matter, Harry Potter? I’m quite sure the Greeks were just as certain that Zeus existed as the Pope is in his belief in God.
Ultimately I think the real enemies of peace in the middle east are ignorance, poverty and oppression. And in the case of oppression the west is certainly partially to blame for propping up dictators who create a climate for virulent strains of religion to thrive; but still Islam predated the Saudi oil empire. So the seeds were sown long ago.
It would be interesting to see what the world would like if all the religions of the world suddenly evaporated into thin air. I’m sure we’d just find some other reason to kill each other. At the end of the day we’re still animals; aggressive, predatory and willing to kill to ensure our own dominance.
As an American I can honestly say that the majority of the people in this country wish everyone in the Middle East, Muslim, Jewish or whatever, nothing but peace and prosperity.