Lebanon

On Brief Hiatus

Apologies for the current hiatus from posting. I’m in Beirut, attending a symposium about Arab cultural history hosted by the Orient-Institut and AUB, and have been occupied with matters medieval. Next week, I should have a chance to weigh in on the latest developments in Lebanonistan.

In the meantime, check out this essay contest launched by the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. I suspect that it may be of some interest to the prolific comment-thread participants on this blog.

 

 

Discussion

301 thoughts on “On Brief Hiatus

  1. Who’s the substitute teacher? Is he/she degreed?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 9, 2010, 5:43 pm
  2. The symposium is onto a real challenge here… To argue against the supposition of decline after the “Golden Age” of the Arab world is a tough ask. I suppose by concetrating on literature and culture its easier since they get to sidestep the big issues. But when was this “nahda” supposed to have happened?

    Posted by usedtopost | December 10, 2010, 10:25 am
  3. What’s going on? Why is it so quite?

    Asange is still in jail. Al-Akhbar is off line, and now QN himself seems to have abandoned us.

    Anyway, in case you wonder. There is lots going on:

    Aoun is very unhappy over Brigadier General Karam’s judicial proceedings and the possible hard labour sentence on treason charges. But FPM MP Nabil Nicola publicly threatens Major General Rifi will pay the price for Karam’s ‘humiliation’.
    HA seems not to care the least about Aoun’s predicament. HA sources believe ‘false witnesses’ have something to do with Karam’s indictment and it may well turn out the alleged treason encounters with enemies of the confederation were fabricated ‘as usual’. But who knows? It may turn out HA may have been in collusion with MoD Murr’s plan to blow up Mon General by Hizbi bodyguards. HNA will eventually make everything clear at the end of ‘Ashoura.

    Bashar Assad agreed after dining with Sarkozy and Carla that he can after all live with an STL indictment supported by some ‘clear’ evidence. Parisian cuisine may have had an effect. Looks like he’s had enough of basmati rice, kebab and chicken.

    Jumblat, on the other hand is still the master acrobat in Lebanon Stan and will not be outdone by Mon General. Jumblat now supports STL and also peace and security in the federation.

    Ministers in the council of ministers of Lebanon Stan still do not meet. Hariri will attend next Wednesday’s organized meeting only if no voting is called on certain issues.

    Posted by anonymous | December 10, 2010, 11:05 pm
  4. Sorry to burst your bubble anonymous…These are not new lol. 😀

    Posted by danny | December 11, 2010, 7:32 am
  5. Greetings from Beirut Lebanonistan, its very windy, most of those ugly billboards fell down, its miserably wet and MEA lost my luggage!sometimes i think they do it to me on purpose.

    Posted by V | December 11, 2010, 2:53 pm
  6. In QN’s absence, does anyone have any thoughts about what is possible by way of this much touted Syrian-Saudi compromise on the STL?

    What would be a scenario in which each side has actually compromised? Has HA left itself any room for compromise? Does Hariri have any room for compromise? Do either of them actually have anything to put on the table?

    Posted by Jonathan | December 12, 2010, 2:22 pm
  7. Johnathan,
    All the talk about finding a compromise regarding the expected indictment and eventually the trial of the accused is misguided.
    The STL is , as it stands, an international organization, set up on the behest of Lebanon under a chapter 7 of the UNSC. Indictments will be issued and trials held. Nothing can change that. So what is it that can be changed? The implications of the findings . The Lebanese are free to interpret the findings any way they so choose. If ; and it is a big if; the STL finds that the plannersand those that carried forward the assassination of former prime minister Rafic Hariri belonged to a group the STL will most probably accuse individuals and not organizations that these individuals belonged to. It is up to the Lebanese public to draw its own conclusions about the culpability of people behind the scenes and they will have to decide whether they want to continue to support such organizations or not. But this has nothing to do with the STL. It is a completely different matter and may I submit that it is the only thing that HA is worried about. They fear that they will be smeared beyond redemption if the evidence does show conclusively that those behind the assassination were closely connected to them.There is nothing that will change the course of the indictments by the STL. After all that was the whole idea behind setting it up wasn’t it? We cannot set up an organization to investigate and then accept the findings only if they are in our favour and dismiss them if they are not. That is not how a judicial system works.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 12, 2010, 3:43 pm
  8. Ghassan

    “They fear that they will be smeared beyond redemption if the evidence does show conclusively that those behind the assassination were closely connected to them.”

    Off course they will. They will be accused of ordering the hit. After all the prosecution has to provide motive why these ‘random’ individuals who had one thing in common; that is being member of this party’s “intelligence” wing.
    The prosecution has to provide why this group assassinated Hariri? The motive will point squarely to HA and most likely Syria.

    Posted by danny | December 12, 2010, 6:15 pm
  9. Ghassan,
    I agree with you that all the talks about finding compromise are meaningless.
    The STL indictment is out already, the evidence is out already, the names of the accused are known already, and maybe the verdict is out already. I think the accusations will be against individual, and eventually against organizations. The STL has giving itself the right to indict as it goes. Indictment can, according to new STL rules, be brought out in stages as developments require.
    Lebanese have already interpreted the indictment and the evidence.
    There are no secrets anymore. All they waiting for, is an official stamp on a hard copy of the indictment.
    Discredited witnesses, false accusations, dead-end investigations and three separate, failed prosecutors in 5 years, and Political influence from every western country don’t mean a thing.Credibility does not mean a thing.The UN does not mean a thing.
    The evidence is based on Cellular records, and if needed, they can easily find witnesses some people to fabricate stories.
    Lebanese Telephone Companies have been infiltrated at highest levels, by Israel. They had their hands in the phone records for a reason or two. No doubt that evidence has been compromised.
    No where else in the world would evidence that had been tampered with be presentable as evidence .But again this is the UN, any thing goes.
    Discredited witnesses, false accusations, dead-end investigations and three separate, failed prosecutors in 5 years, and Political influence from every western country don’t mean a thing. They will try people and organizations in absentee, and verdicts are ready to be passed.
    When they officially put out the indictment, we will remind each other , that this Tribunal has no secrets.
    When they put out the verdict, we’ll remind each other, that the verdict had been issued long time ago.
    At this point, the least of my concerns are the indictment. My concern is whether there will be a country called Lebanon, by the time they decide to put out the verdict.

    Posted by Prophet | December 12, 2010, 6:40 pm
  10. Prophet,

    We all know from day one Hizbistan and Syria killed Hariri and every other victim that follows.

    Come on now why are you presenting us with such a cheap lamentation about Lebanon Stan? As if anyone would believe countries can be built upon murders and by murderers.

    But it can only happen with Hizbistan as the saying goes:ضربني وبكى سبقني واشتكى

    I found it most ridiculous one night when I was in martyr square and hizbi men brought in a picture of HNA to be placed next to the grave of Hariri showing them both in the same picture claiming one was a liberator while the other was a mere builder. It looks like Hizbstan will take any opportunity even as morbid as it may be to stage any kind of PR to show off.

    You guys should hide be ashamed of yourselves instead of arguing as you do here and in other blogs.

    Posted by anonymous | December 12, 2010, 7:38 pm
  11. anonymous,
    I have nothing to be ashamed of. If you don’t agree with my views, that is fine with me.Your name calling ,and personal attacks are uncalled for.I will not allow myself to be provoked by your attacks.I won’t respond with insults or name calling. I will maintain respect for this forum.
    You know nothing about what I think or believe.You have no idea who I support, if any.
    You have not supported your reply with any logic or evidence, unless you believe in sealed indictments.
    Had the UN known that you are such a genius,and that you knew all the facts, they would have hired you to investigate this case, and get it over with.You would have saved the Lebanese treasury millions of dollars.

    Posted by Prophet | December 12, 2010, 8:00 pm
  12. “Discredited witnesses, false accusations, dead-end investigations and three separate, failed prosecutors in 5 years, and Political influence from every western country don’t mean a thing.Credibility does not mean a thing.The UN does not mean a thing.”

    Prophet, I assume this is just an opinion of yours and you do not believe that they are facts!

    There has been one prosecutor so far and it is Bellemare. Either you do not know the process or you seem to making up ala HA style as you are going on.
    Mehlis and Brammertz as well as Bellemare were Commissioners of UNIIIC NOT prosecutors of STL!

    Posted by danny | December 12, 2010, 8:14 pm
  13. “Had the UN known that you are such a genius, and that you knew all the facts, they would have hired you to investigate this case, and get it over with. You would have saved the Lebanese treasury millions of dollars.”

    But the UN doesn’t mean anything to you according to your previous comment. And also the UN would do anything to fabricate evidence and bend the rules and that is all according to your own argument. So why would the UN care to save money belonging to Lebanon Stan and seek advice from ‘geniuses’ like me?

    Come on straighten out your logic before asking logic from others. Is the UN engaged in a legitimate pursuit or is it simply bogus? It cannot be both, right? Which comment would you like to keep? Either #9 or #11. Can’t have it both ways, my friend! BY the way, do you think that UNIFIL which is a UN force doing a good job in South Lebanon? Before you answer, think of the more than 500000 South Lebanon villagers who were driven out of their homes as a result of Hizbistan’s ‘divine’ battle in 2006 and were only able to go back to their land when UNIFIL took positions in the south. Had it not been for UNIFIL we would be calling them refugees now and perhaps they would be living n camps just like other refugees we know about.

    And there were no personal name calling in my previous comment unless you’re part of hizbistan.

    On another note and speaking of name calling hizbistan MP Raad revokes his previous pronouncements in which he used every word in the dictionary of street talk levelling threats on every one using such terms as’ let them tile the sea’ and issuing few days ultimatums unless Lebanon Stan submits to hizbistan’s edicts in dealing with the so-called ‘false witnesses’.

    Posted by anonymous | December 12, 2010, 8:53 pm
  14. Danny,
    I did make a mistake,
    I meant to say three different commissioners. I’m aware of the fact that bellemare was the last commissioner of the UNIIIC, and later on He was appointed a prosecutor.

    Anonymous,
    I don’t speak for M. Raad, nor do I agree with what He had said anyway.
    I speak only for myself, and present my own personal views.
    To me, the UN never meant anything. I have had this view of the UN since it lost its credibility years ago. I’m surprised that people tolerate their presence in south Lebanon, unless they are adding something to the local economy.
    I didn’t have faith of the UNIFILL when they first came in 1978, and, I don’t have any faith of them now. They are useless, and they never add anything to Lebanon’s safety.
    The 500000 southerners started going back to their villages before the UNIFILL forces started arriving. You really need to review your information on the sequence of events that took place, when the war ended. There had been few thousand UN troops in place prior to the war of 2006, which could not save their butts, or the civilians who made the mistake of seeking their base for safety.
    So people didn’t return, because of the security and safety provided by the UNIFILL.
    These UN Troops never gave the southerners any sense of security, and they will never do. They have always been impotent, and teeth less.
    The UNIIIC was established by the UN; Therefore the UN is responsible for the conduct of the UNIIC, and STL. I didn’t say the UN, directly fabricated evidence or witnesses. I implied that the UNIIIC and/or had fabricated and/ or tolerated fabrications of witnesses and evidence.
    The STL has wasted every opportunity to salvage its credibility; there fore anything it does will be questionable.
    I Can keep both comments; #9 and #11. Had they picked you to do the inquiry, You would have had your report out in a day or two, since you seem to have known who killed Hariri from day one. That’s where you could have saved Lebanon some money, and the UN as, not-credible, as it is, would have accepted your conclusion right away.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 12, 2010, 9:59 pm
  15. CORRECTION:I implied that the UNIIIC and the STL had fabricated and tolerated fabrications of witnesses and evidence.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 12, 2010, 10:02 pm
  16. “The 500000 southerners started going back to their villages before the UNIFILL forces started arriving. You really need to review your information on the sequence of events that took place, when the war ended. There had been few thousand UN troops in place prior to the war of 2006, which could not save their butts, or the civilians who made the mistake of seeking their base for safety.”

    The war ended when 1701 was declared passed by the UN security council. So with your own logic, the Southerners began their trek back to their land after the UN helped bring the war to an end. Had the war not ended, these sourherners would be refugees now. Do you agree? (Unless you want to contradict yourself again which is completely up to you.)
    Second, the war started by Hizbistan provocation. How would UNIFIL save the Southerners’ butts in this case? I hope you’re not blaming UNIFIL for the southereners plight after the war started.

    MP Raad comments were not addressed to you personally.

    Posted by anonymous | December 12, 2010, 10:40 pm
  17. “The STL has wasted every opportunity to salvage its credibility; there fore anything it does will be questionable.”

    Prophet for a smart guy you sound a bit lovestruck with HA logic.

    STL released the four Generals for lack of evidence to hold them. They have gone out of their way inviting journalists to explain to them the transparency of the court and the process. That should give a positive view not the one you are expressing.
    You keep on harping on “false witness” hatched issue by HA/Syria/Iran. If you knew anything about the legal system(which I’m quite certain you do) you would not make statements that have no meaning. The trial has not started yet. No indictments have been issued and yet you are ready to attack the credibility of a court. There has been no trials and yet you are attacking some witnesses! What witnesses?
    That makes you a brainwashed and scared sectarian HA apologist as you seem to fear that your divine protection might be broken. You sound like a subdued person who’s looking for protection from the mafioso protectors. Time to let go of your fears and wait for due process to take its course. You pass judgments too quickly out of fear or guilt.

    Posted by danny | December 12, 2010, 11:15 pm
  18. anonymous,
    In your comment #15, you said: “think of the more than 500000 South Lebanon villagers who were driven out of their homes as a result of Hizbistan’s ‘divine’ battle in 2006 and were only able to go back to their land when UNIFIL took positions in the south. Had it not been for UNIFIL we would be calling them refugees now and perhaps they would be living n camps just like other refugees we know about.”
    I replied with the following: “The 500000 southerners started going back to their villages before the UNIFILL forces started arriving”.
    I stand by my comment that they didn’t wait for the UNIFIL to arrive or take positions so that they start returning.

    In your comment # 16, you twisted things around, and brought in 1701.This is a different subject. The fact that 1701 officially ended the war (no cease fire yet) does not mean that I Warship the UN or the UNIFIL forces.
    1701 was negotiated by all parties involved. It is not a gift from the UN. Israel needed 1701 as much as Lebanon. I truly think that Lebanon could have negotiated a better agreement, had it had a patriotic government in place.

    If you are asking me to be thankful for the UN FOR PASSING 1701, I’d say to you that I’m not thankful at all because 1701 was negotiated by the out of necessity to save the Israeli government ,and its leadership. They didn’t do it to save Lebanese civilians. If any of the UN Security Council members really cared about Lebanese civilians, they would never have allowed, and encouraged Israel to conduct this war.
    If you read GW BUSH’S book, you would understand that it was the US which was pushing Israel to continue the war. Not to forget some of our fellow Lebanese either, who were part of this ploy.
    So again, I’m not thankful for the UN at all for 1701.The UN is nothing but a front for powerful members of the council to conduct their policies.1701 forced itself on everyone.
    How about all the wars Israel had waged against Lebanon before that? How about the occupation of 20 years? How about the massacres that took place in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s? Did HA, which had not even been conceived yet, provoke them? I won’t mention the 70’s so you would not tell me it was the PLO’s provocations.
    I come from a town which had been totally destroyed during that War
    This same town had been attacked tens of times, since the creation of Israel. I grew up, spending sleepless nights in small underground cellars. I witnessed how useless the UN forces are. Don’t come back accusing me of being HA, just because I don’t have faith in the UN. I resisted Israel before ha was around. I don’t need HA tell me who my enemy is. I don’t need HA to convince me of anything.

    I’m done for the day; back to work tomorrow.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 12, 2010, 11:20 pm
  19. danny,
    Sorry,but I have to work tomorrow. I will respond to your comment tomorrow.
    Read my response to anonymous#18, It should answer part of your question anyway.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 12, 2010, 11:22 pm
  20. Anonymous,
    I am not a fan of Hizballah; however i am a fan of the people of South Lebanon since I am one of them. I cannot help but detect in many of your posts the arrogance and racism of the typical Lebanese or should i say phoenician rightwing militias of the past and i think you need to reconsider your condescending and at times racial comments. Regardless of your political views, when you talk about a very large portion of the Lebanese who experienced a devastating war in 2006 you should have some respect and sensitivity to what they went thru and do not think the people of South Lebanon will ever be refugees even if they settle in the heart of Jounieh and Keserwan. Lebanon belongs to all the Lebanese and you should be ashamed for gloating at the plight of your fellow Lebanese during a war whether it was their fault or not.
    Have some decency please.

    Posted by V | December 12, 2010, 11:23 pm
  21. V.,

    I have never been condescending to the people of the south in general. If you happen to have an extra sensitive detection mechanism then that is something I cannot do much about.

    With regards to me calling the southerners who migrated from their villages refugees as a result of Hizbistan’s adventure, it is no more than a statement of fact and please do not read any imaginary implications into it. Yes we do know that they can settle in schools and shelters in Kesrwan and Jounieh for a while. But God forbid their situation got prolonged what will they be called? You tell me – particularly the dispossessed.

    I used the term simply for the sake of argument with an apparently intelligent person who is dumb struck with a logic that defies any common sense. And for the record no apologies are due to anyone.

    But thanks for the observation. No personal offence intended.

    Posted by anonymous | December 12, 2010, 11:56 pm
  22. danny #17

    “STL released the four Generals for lack of evidence to hold them.”

    3 years too late, the investigation is comprimised it is not impartial.

    ” “Leaked WikiLeaks cables obtained by The Daily Star quote STL investigator Serge Brammertz telling US diplomats in 2006 that four Lebanese generals held by the STL were detained without legal basis but releasing them “would be a political disaster for Lebanon.” “

    Posted by tamer k | December 13, 2010, 4:51 am
  23. tamer STL was not holding the Generals. Also, I do not trust leaks of any kind. Those cables that have been written by a civil servant reflect his/her interpretation and we do not know within what context.
    I do not believe in hearsay.

    Posted by danny | December 13, 2010, 6:17 am
  24. Prophet #18,

    After giving us your cheap lamentation about Leabnonistan in #9 you come back to us with a shameless rehash of of the stupidity that HNA keeps feeding the gullible. And you claim that you’re not HA and that we know nothing about you?

    You really have no shame and actually we do know a lot about you. You’re are as clear as clear can be.

    Nevertheless, I am not a fan of long speeches particulaly the HNA type of nonsense.

    You did not answer the main question. Did HNA neeedlessly provoke the war of 2006 which caused your plight and the plight of the other southerners? What could UNIFIL do for you and for the other southerners after the war started?

    Posted by anonymous | December 13, 2010, 9:56 am
  25. Thanks for posting your personnal accounts of life in Southern Lebanon.

    Does this person’s POV count? Discuss amonst yourselves….

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=brigitte+gabriel&rlz=1R2ADFA_enUS407&aq=5s&aqi=g1g-s1g1g-s3g1g-s3&aql=&oq=Bridgett+&gs_rfai=CC2Olc0sGTePrE6eMggSv3sjSCQAAAKoEBU_QRBnh

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 13, 2010, 12:42 pm
  26. AP,
    You sure are entitled to bring to the readers of the blog the story of Ms. Gabriel, just in case someone has missed it by know. But you are not entitled to your snide remarks,actually they are very much unwelcomed by this reader.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 13, 2010, 1:47 pm
  27. It has been almost three years since the experiment of consensus governance has been started in Lebanon. The only tangible thing that we have to show for it is the HA and allies ministers withdrawing from the previous cabinet and then the March 14 delegation headed by the Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri doing anything but holding a cabinet meeting. Isn’t it about time that we declare this experiment in governance a total failure?
    I am willing to give those who thought that this arrangement will work the benefit of the doubt and will not judge either the motive or the rationality of the original decision but now that the evidence is in it is abundantly clear that none of the parties has made any real gains and that the Lebanese citizen is a clear looser.
    It would be unconscionable for any of the parties to insist that this unworkable and irrational arrangement be carried forward.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 13, 2010, 2:00 pm
  28. AP,

    I had read about her. What’s your point? She has a different opinion. Should everyone in the world have only one?

    Posted by danny | December 13, 2010, 2:03 pm
  29. Danny,
    The STL had no choice but to release the four officers. The STL had nothing on them. They should have never spent four years in jail without due process. It became an embarrassment to the STL and to the Lebanese authorities to keep them in jail for no reason.
    The fact that those four officers spent four years, based on false testimony, proves that either false witnesses or discredited witnesses do exist.
    The first commissioner of the UNIIIC had issued few reports accusing Syria of assassinating HARIRI, because of some false testimony; false testimony means false witnesses.
    I’m not brain washed by anyone. I’m just stating facts. I don’t claim to be a legal expert either, but many legal experts are saying exactly what I’m saying.
    You are right that the trial didn’t officially begin, nor has the indictment been officially put out, but why then, were those officers in jail for four years? The STL has never explained this. Thy always blamed the Lebanese authority when new all know that it was the head of the UNIIIC who had ordered their arrest. I won’t mention the wikileaks and what was revealed about that.
    All the evidence we see, indicates that this whole investigation has been impartial, and most likely the evidence has been compromised.

    AP, this isn’t worth responding to.
    anonymous,

    There you go again, accusing people of being shameless and so on.
    I’m proud of everything I believe in, I’m proud of where I came from, I’m proud of being a defender of Lebanon’s sovereignty where it really counts. Unlike you, I do care about Lebanon’s territorial sovereignty. Unlike you, I DO NOT distinguish between Lebanese based on what region they come from , nor do I generalize based on sectarian or regional background. I’m a proud secular Lebanese who is willing to defend every Lebanese regardless of their faith or political views.
    If that makes me a shameless person, then be it; I’M SHAMLESS. Shameless is a step ahead of being a coward. I refuse to die cowardly.
    It makes no difference whether HA did or didn’t provoke 2006 war. There are plenty of opinions on that subject.
    Whether HA did or didn’t provoke the 2006 war, Nothing justifies the killings and destructions brought on by Israel on Lebanon. The abduction of two soldiers can never be a n excuse for Israel to wage a n all out wars. If your trying to get me to answer your question , so that you can justify Israel’s war, and all the killings it did, I’m sure you do not need my answer, You have justified this already. You consider that abduction of two soldiers justifies the killing of 1400 people. If there is anything shameless, this is.
    Following your logic, Every time Israel kidnaps a Lebanese from across the border, Lebanon has the right to wage an all out war against Israel. Following your logic, You would agree then, that the Israeli violation of Lebanon’s airspace and land should be considered an excuse to launch an all out war against Israel

    Posted by Prophet | December 13, 2010, 6:47 pm
  30. Prophet #29

    Why are you getting so excited and jumping to conclusions? Who’s trying to justify the killings of 1400 Lebanese?

    You’re shameless because you’re defending an organization that behaves in a manner that threatens the very existence of the State you claim to be proud of. You’re using verbatim the text of a demagogue who hijacked the legitimacy of the State that you want to be its citizen. You are shameless because you’re defending an organization that may well turn out to be behind the worst political assassinations in the history of the country you want to co-exist with its various communities. You’re shameless because you refuse to acknowledge that this demagogue in the name of his ‘divine prerogatives’ was behind your plight and many others like you.

    You claim to be secular and you want us to believe you? Give me a break, will you? You’ve put shame itself into shame.

    But that would still make you proud of yourself, right?

    Posted by anonymous | December 13, 2010, 7:47 pm
  31. AP,
    You sure are entitled to bring to the readers of the blog the story of Ms. Gabriel, just in case someone has missed it by know. But you are not entitled to your snide remarks,actually they are very much unwelcomed by this reader.

    GK,

    What snide remark are you referring to? Did I say something wrong?

    I had read about her. What’s your point? She has a different opinion. Should everyone in the world have only one?

    Danny,

    No. That’s why I linked to it. I was wondering if her POV was worth noting.

    Prophet said:

    AP, this isn’t worth responding to.

    Can you give me a reason? Why is that? Why does Brigitte Gabriel’s experience in Lebanon get ignored or make people “uneasy”?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 13, 2010, 8:04 pm
  32. AP, I’m not uneasy with Brigitte Gabriel’s POV or experience.

    The issue I have is that it is a monochromatic view that does not allow for the good in non-Christian Lebanese, does not admit the horrible crimes committed by Christian Lebanese and sidesteps the fundamental unfairness perpetrated towards the Palestinians during the founding of Israel.

    Brigitte makes many good and valid points and, certainly, the Arabs would be well served engaging in some significant reform across all areas – from social justice to equal treatment and respect of women to evolution to a secular societal structure with fundamental respect for civics and fair treatment of all religions. At the same time, I think that reforms are required in Israel as well, by way of bucking the negative actions and decisions often incited by religious extremists.

    There is much that needs reform in the Middle East and it is unclear if and when an evolution towards real peace will happen. My own view is that until separation of church/mosque/temple and state is adopted, until education becomes the primary goal of all families, until true equality is gained by women, the embers of conflict and extremism will continue to haunt the region.

    Brigitte’s rather extreme position emanates from her experience. I don’t fault her for reaching those conclusions. With her experience I’d probably do the same. It is up to the cool heads and long-term thinkers to eventually prevail in bridging the gaps in people’s allegiances and thinking. Alas, moderates who try for such endeavors often get caught in the crossfire. The hope is always that the 90+ percent of people everywhere who just want a decent life and peace eventually find a way to overrule the loud and extremist few who so far have set the agenda and led it to conflict and suffering.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 13, 2010, 9:18 pm
  33. AP,31
    Brigitte Gabriel, Just like millions of other Arab American, is one individual that has her own experience and conclusions.
    She is free to think and believe what ever she wants. I don’t feel any obligation to discuss her views. I don’t consider her or her views to be that important. I don’t waste my time worrying about her or her opinions. I might be more interested in debating an Israeli on Israeli/ Arab issues than wasting my time on her.
    If she thinks that Israel is the perfect country, then it is good for her; she can move and live there. I don’t know how fast she can find some one to rent her an apartment nowadays, but again that is her problem, not mine.

    anonymous, 30
    Too bad you don’t like long speeches, but you are under no obligation to read or respond to this comment. This exchange didn’t have to take this turn, but it was your choice.
    You justified Israel war on Lebanon because of what you believe a HA provocation, and there fore you think that the shiaa of Lebanon had to pay the price. It is obvious that you were trying to get an answer from me on whether HA did or didn’t provoke Israel, so you can blame ha for the 1400 casualties, and turn around and say that the southerners should blame themselves for supporting HA.
    I’m not defending any one. I have little or nothing in common with HA ideology to begin with. I didn’t defend HA in any of my comments.
    It is obvious that you think that any one who is critical of the STL, has to be a defender of HA. This is a very narrow minded thinking, and very typical of most Lebanese, who either defend blindly or oppose blindly. I have o loyalty to any political party. Never did, and never will. That, in no way means, I can’t agree or disagree with some positions of this party or that party.

    There is no excuse to deny the sacrifices they made for the sake Lebanon. If it was not for the resistance, Israelis might have still been dinning in Juneih. If it was not for the resistance, I would not have been able to visit the place I was born at. These are facts, not fiction. If you can not understand these reasons, then I doubt that you can understand anything I have to say. If you want o be stubborn, be my guest.
    I will list for you the things I’m ashamed of; A State that abandons its citizens for 65 years, a state that does not defend its territories and citizens for 65 years, A state that was headed by two presidents who rode Israeli tanks to the presidential palace, a state that does not punish an army general who serves Israeli troops tea while they are destroying the country, a state that has a defense minister the likes of Mr. Murr, a state that forces its citizens to identify themselves with their sects instead of their national identity, a state where treason became a point of view, a state that does not respect itself, a state that exists on paper only. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
    I’m proud of being a Lebanese, but not so proud of the state you expect me to respect. This state you seem so proud of, owes its citizen a lot.
    I know that it was not this state that liberated south Lebanon. It was not this state that defended south Lebanon. So do not fool our selves with this non sense of .
    I’m ashamed of the people who warship their leaders. It is so sad that for most Lebanese, their heroes are nothing but war criminals. You expect me to respect those people and the state they run? Hell no.
    You can go on and on, and call me shameless all year long; it makes no difference to me. And I won’t call you shameless for anything because you don’t seem to understand what shame means.
    When I visit Lebanon, and the town I came from, I know for sure who liberated it, and who had helped Israel occupy it. I know who scarified his life to liberate it, and who imprisoned the southerners in al khiam.
    I’m not running for a popularity contest on this blog. If I did, I’d know I would come last. As for my secular views, It is up to you to believe what ever you want, I’m not here begging you to believe me. There are people that are blogging her that had exchanges with me for a long time, and they know where I stand on religion and sectarianism. Obviously You have no read much of my blogs , so I won’t blame you anyway.
    The day we have a state that respects its people and itself, then I will respect it.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 14, 2010, 12:21 am
  34. anon:

    You know that while I most certainly share your views in a lot of matters, I disagree with the statements you make above.

    I think there are many Lebs who irrespective of “religious” denomination or political inclination share the sort of view held by the Nabi.

    I don’t think that the Nabi’s stance betrays a “hidden” agenda. And while I may disagree with his reasoning in principle, there certainly is a romantic element to it, that cannot be scoffed at. And this romantic element cuts across political and religious lines.

    Israel’s offensive in 2006, irrespective of rationale, was barbaric, disproportionate, etc. I don’t think that the end justifies any means…. especially when those means come at a great cost to Leb.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 14, 2010, 12:44 am
  35. Nabi:

    I know you like belligerence and war, but just for future reference, it’s “worship” and not “warship”. You’re playing too many of those HA video games 🙂

    Whatever else you may believe though, I don’t think you should delude yourself into believing you’re holding the more righteous position.

    Khiam is not the only “Jail”.. They’re peppered throughout the Arab world. And the torture doesn’t feel any better in Syria (or elsewhere) just because the torturer is “brotherly”.

    Don’t throw words like “treachery” and “nationalism”. They ring hollow for those who don’t share as sympathetic a view of “brotherly” Syria. Those who you may not fully understand who would not be impressed to see HN oppose a Syrian withdrawal or to have any dealings with a Regime that was responsible for the deaths of- anyone has the figures?- countless Lebanese.

    Anyways, just food for thought.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 14, 2010, 1:02 am
  36. GK@27

    Your leaving me with nothing that “I Have To DisAgree” about 🙂
    Should change to “Couldn’t Agree More” CAM

    Posted by IHTDA | December 14, 2010, 4:49 am
  37. IHTDA,
    Maybe that’s a case of smart minds think alike lol.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 14, 2010, 7:42 am
  38. GK:

    Are you suggesting you’re smart :D.

    On point 27. What alternate solution do you propose?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 14, 2010, 11:46 am
  39. The problem with Hassan Nasrallah is that he himself has not offered any solution as to how Hezbollah can live within or be part of the Lebanese “state”.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 14, 2010, 12:28 pm
  40. What does Hassan Nasrallah propose for Lebanese to be part of Hezbollahnistan ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 14, 2010, 12:41 pm
  41. Prophet 33,

    I do not understand why you ask me not to respond to your nonsense while you make such a long and passionate demagoguery as usual. May be you’re just like most Hizbis who just revel at having the last word and insist on denying others the freedom of speech which is reminiscent of the first act these thugs committed when they ransacked Beirut CIVILIAN neighbourhood: they destroyed all the media outlet. Well in order to achieve this in blogosphere you may either have to get silent first and stop attacking others, or try some Hizbi tactics such as using warships and bands of thugs.

    First, I do not care if you are critical of STL. Actually I did not mention STL in any of my comments. STL is there where you like it or not and the more those who oppose criticize it the more it shows who has something to hide.

    Second, what is the exact role that the Shia played in Lebanon and particularly in the last 30 years? It will be unfair to the Shia in general address the subject as I phrased it which is nothing but a paraphrase of your claim about the Shia ‘sacrifices’. It will be best if we look at the various movements that sprang up from this community. It was first the movement of ‘Mahroomeen’ spearheaded by the late Mr. Sadr and later transformed into Amal movement headed by the current Mr. Berri. For your information, the Mahroomeen movement was armed and trained by none other than the PLO under Arafat. The incident in Ain Burdai in the hills of Baalbek in which over 70 were killed in an explosion while training under Fatah officer is a standing testimony to this fact. During the civil war relations between the movement and the various Palestinian factions would oscillate between outright hostility and common alliances based on who pays more. If you do not know, Fatah had lots of resources in the 70s. It was estimated, the Syrian government owed Fatah over $400 million sometime in those days.
    Documentations of major world news agencies (such as Times, Newsweek, BBC and others) are still available for those who would like to verify the fact that Amal received the invading Israeli soldiers in south Beirut in 1982 with rice and roses and relations were cordial until such time the Shia of the South realized that the invading army had an agenda of flooding Lebanese markets with cheap Israeli products killing the livelihoods of the southerners. Had the Israelis not committed this grave error, chances are they would still be in the south up to this day. You may want to check a little booklet by Talal Salman documenting this period of the Lebanese history. It is called Two Years or سنتان in Arabic.

    The first resistance acts were initiated in Beirut when there was no Hizbis whatsoever and the people who were involved were not Shia. To be exact, the first act of resistance took place in the famous Cafe Modka in the Hamra district against two Israeli soldiers. These acts continued unabated for over two years and I was fortunate to be present at the exact juncture in my car at the triangle which connects East and West Beirut and saw with my own eyes the last Israeli tank running away from Beirut as a result. Hizb had no role in it whatsoever.

    From then on, I was following on each and every operation that took place against the invading army and the records are still there for those who care to verify. Not a single operation was carried out by Hizbi operatives except perhaps the two bombings of the Marines and the French Paratroopers. These bombings were obviously politically motivated supported by outside actors and had no connection whatsoever to fighting Israeli invaders or liberating Lebanon. We all know these forces were dispatched as a result of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres and were not invaders. Most of the time Hizb and Amal were engaged in a tug of war in an effort to control the Shia community of the country. They would care less if Israel occupied or did not occupy the south or even all of the country.

    I was present in Lebanon during the famous Mountain war (or as they call it al-Karama). I can say for a fact that Hizb had no meaningful role whatsoever in this war. All the actors were leftist organizations. The rest of the eighties witnessed more of the same battles between Amal and Hizb.

    And then we come to the nineties. What did Hizb do during this decade? Simply it was a Syrian tool. It took over control from Amal and capitalized on something called resistance in order to establish credibility and legitimacy with the support of Syria and Iran. They conducted few daring operations in which some Hizbi men were captured by the Israelis and the tit for tat went on just like it used to be under Fatah land. The Israelis would commit massacres against the southerners and then Hizb would show up with its bravado.
    And you tell me who resolved the Qana debacle? Was it Hizb’s might and bravery or was it Hariri’s diplomatic skills. And who supported the Qana orphans and victims? And you tell who brokered the ceasefire deal in which Hizb gained for the first time some form of recognition? Was it the Hizb’s might or was it Hariri’s vast network of international connections? And what was his reward from this organization of thugs? Get blown up beyond recognition in the heart of Beirut?

    Listen, you and your HA thugs should go and burry your heads in a deep pit. Because you are not only shameless but a little kid who wants to belong to a league that you do not qualify for.

    Posted by anonymous | December 14, 2010, 12:44 pm
  42. Apart from Martyrdom being the highest level of personal or communal achievement ?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 14, 2010, 12:55 pm
  43. You may already know I’m not a fan of long comments. My last one was an exception. I wrote it in a hurry and didn’t review it carefully. Excuse the few errors that were overlooked.

    Posted by anonymous | December 14, 2010, 1:39 pm
  44. European Aristocracy should starve for the curse only they bestowed on the region and Americans understood was of the utmost importance for energy and the advancement of human species.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 14, 2010, 2:35 pm
  45. What has Europe given the world apart from Israel and Gucci bags?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 14, 2010, 2:51 pm
  46. “took place in the famous Cafe Modka”

    Three small points:

    Its Modca not Modka
    It took place in the Wimpey across the road not in the Modca
    The man who did it was called Khalid Alwan and no he wasnt Hizballah – But he was SSNP

    But then reading the rest of your version of Lebanese history (coupled with your obvious deep hate of the Shia) I can only imagine that these are but small holes in your knowledge.

    How is Dr Geagea these days?

    Posted by usedtopost | December 14, 2010, 7:41 pm
  47. Gabriel #38,
    There is only one possible solution; form a single colour cabinet and let the loyal opposition provide a critique and an alternative. Given the Lebanese political class, this will not be an ideal solution but will be far more superior to the current standoff.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 14, 2010, 7:48 pm
  48. GK,
    Are you talking about Lebanon or New Zealand?

    I think you are seriously under estimating the level of tension between the camps.

    We are nowhere near the kind of political calm that would allow a loyal opposition to sit on the sidelines and critique.

    We are in a maelstrom; We do not have political parties in a battle of ideologies. We have sections of society on every side of the divide that see the current situation as the equivalent of a wrestlers clinch and both sides believe they are fighting an existential battle. We have politicians who both represent that point of view and encourage it and some that are willing to go to any lengths and work with anyone in order to gain theupper hand locally.

    We are in a situation where one mis-step will at best see a repeat of 2008 and at worst plunge us back into civil war. I don’t think these are scenarios that are superior to the standoff at all – Well not for those living in Lebanon and would suffer the consequences.

    And given that any govt would rely on PSP votes anyway, it would have its nerves frayed to breaking point by the end of the first month wondering which way Jumblatt is going to flip 🙂

    Posted by usedtopost | December 14, 2010, 8:18 pm
  49. Gabirel,
    Thanks for pointing out my little misspelling of the word “worship”. I know I can count on you from now and on to correct me. Lol
    It’s obvious that you mistook my aggressive defense of my views as hostile attitude or war loving person.
    I have seen enough wars, destruction, and death in my life to hate war. No I do not like wars. That being said, we should only fight wars in case of defense and resistance of invaders, and occupiers.
    As for Syria, and its prisons, you won’t find a sympathizer for Syria or its regime in me. You won’t find an apologist for any of the Arab regimes in me. All Arab regimes are totalitarian, corrupt, oppressor of their own people. I view Syria as a supporter of the resistance for its own interests. It is a mutual interest, no more, no less.
    Nor would you find an apologist to what HA does or says. Like I said in my earlier posts, I don’t oppose blindly, nor do I defend blindly. Although I support the resistance, I don’t necessarily agree with everything HA or HA says.
    anonymous,
    There you go again with your cheap generalizations. I didn’t ask you not to reply, I simply gave you the option since you seemed to dislike long comments.
    And yes, when I’m right I will say my word and walk away.
    You say you don’t care if I criticize the STL. This whole debate started when you attacked me because of my criticism of the STL.
    Before I address any of your points in your long post, let’s back track a little. In my first post(#9) addressed to Ghassan Karam , You jumped the gun on me , and started throwing insults and cheap attacks. Now you Say; you don’t care if I criticize the STL. Which one is it? How did we get here?
    Back to your post; You ignored to address any of my points about the shameless state you want me to respect. You select the issues you like, and avoid what you can’t address. That is Very typical of guys that love to argue for the sake of argument. You keep dodging points and jumping to new ones. You left the UN and 1710 alone. Do I take that as an agreement with my point of view? lol
    Than you jumped to the Shiia. Are you going to jump to another topic after I reply to you? lol
    The role of the shiia in Lebanon is not different of any other sect or group. I don’t claim that Shiaa are more patriotic then others .But it is a fact that ,being at the border , they were exposed to more Israeli hostility than others,and there fore they were always at the forefront.
    As for Your claim that shiia welcomed the Israelis in 82, this is a distortion of the truth. I’m not a fan of Berri or his movement, but to be fair, it was David David ( Daoud Daoud DD) who was a renegade against Berris’ authority who cooperated with the Israelis. It was not Amal or the Shiia who welcomed the Israelis , it was a person who turned out to be an collaborator.
    For your information, DD never traveled north of Tyre since the day Israel invaded ,until the day He was lured to Beirut by the Syrians and Berri, and got killed on the way to Beirut.
    Don’t confuse the displeasure of the Shiia with the PLO abuse with what happened in Tyre. The PLO ,who was always its own worst enemy, didn’t treat the community ,which had offered lots of support the way it should have. DD and his handlers knew how to manipulate the community. That didn’t last long. DD was a traitor, and got what traitors usually do.
    Treason and collaboration have no religion or sect. Traitors are in every community.
    I made it clear to you in my earlier posts, that I supported the resistance before the creation of HA and before the Iranian revolution. I never claimed that the resistance started with HA. I never claimed that HA is the only party who sacrificed for Lebanon. I don’t think that HA can ,or has ever made that claim either.I know the history of the resistance very well. I know how it started and I Salute all the national and leftist parties , which where th e spear head of this resistance, starting with the martyr George Hawee.
    You are asking to many questions that only HA can answer, but as an observer I can tell you that wars are waged or fought on more than one front. Politics ,and diplomacy are some times needed to end a war . But it’s always the success or failure of military operations that determine the outcome of diplomatic negotiations during a war. If your losing, no one is going to talk to you. Only when your winning or holding your places, people negotiate with you. That goes to all the wars that took place so far;93,96,and 2006.
    In 2000 Israel could not negotiate the fate of its collaborator in south Lebanon. It literally abandoned them. Had it been in better positions, it may have tried to secure their safety at least. Not that it could have been successful but that’s another subject.
    When Israel invaded Lebanon, Lebanon was in no position to negotiate anything except for the shameful May 17 accord. Arafat could only negotiate his survivor ,and safe exist from Lebanon, because He lost his war.
    At the end, I’ll tell you that I and every Lebanese who ever resisted Israel, wether militarily or otherwise, will always be proud, and walk head up. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We have everything to be proud of. We’re only ashamed of the traitors and the cowards.
    What ever grudges you have toward people who succeeded in defeating Israeli, I hope you can heal your soul and mind. A rude as you are, I hold no grudges against you at all. I wish you well, and I assure I would defend you as hard as I would defend my own family. I do understand that hatred can blind people. And I really wish you very well.

    Posted by Prophet | December 14, 2010, 8:23 pm
  50. Gabriel,
    One more thing; I never claim to be righteous. I simply present views which, I believe in, the strongest way possible. I don’t present views that I doubt. I don’t compromise on principles, But I’m open to changing my views, if presented with logic and prove in a realistic,and objective debate.
    What you have witnessed in my exchange with anonymous is very unfortunate in the way things exploded ; I definitely prefer a come, and substantive debate instead of person attacks. I do apologies for any thing that , may have been offensive, to you or to anyone reading this threat.

    Posted by Prophet | December 14, 2010, 8:48 pm
  51. Anon @ #41

    Other than the mis-facts of your over-long diatribe, the butchering of recent history and your myopic analysis, your seething and deep-burning hatred of the Shia has overwhelmed any possibly redeemable intellectual qualities you have pretended for yourself.

    Pray tell, what does the Isagoge say about pure, unmitigated hatred, and the utter frustration that must come with it since there are few practical means to quench it?

    Even your buddy “Gabby” @ #34 is trying to tell you something…

    Posted by Saint | December 14, 2010, 9:00 pm
  52. Ya Nabi:

    Please let me set the record straight on a number of things.

    (1) I don’t think you love war, or are belligerent. My reference to “Warships” was simply a courtesy correction, and an attempt at a little humor, considering (and I think Anon was pulling your legs as well), you were being accused of being a closet-case Hizbi.

    (2) If you must know, (not that it matters), I imagine you a hopeless, passionate, romantic. Please don’t misread my words, my reference to Romantic is intended in a purely platonic and philosophical sense. I am not coming onto you :).

    (3) My reference to Syrian jails was not to open a discussion on Arab autocracy, or their poor record on Human Rights. I was simply attempting to flip your argument back at you. You mentioned the Horrors of Khiam, and recalled those who rode on those Israeli tanks. The intent, I can only assume, was to suggest that some factions within Lebanon openly sided with an enemy that abused, killed, maimed Lebanese. There was no hint in your analysis that maybe those marriages were no less of convenience, be it from the Shia early on trying to rid themselves of the Palestinian problem, or from the right-wing Xians later on spearheading the SLA and doing Israel’s dirty work for them.

    (4) Perhaps this is my most pertinent comment (and anyone can choose to agree or disagree). At the risk of pulling the “Sectarian” argument out… Lebanon is not about Shia and Sunni and Xians (all 1000 denominations of them). The “Shia”, by which I mean it in the Lebanese sense, those who have Shia in their identity cards (I think they may have stopped doing that already)… are the future of Lebanon.

    People like UtP, I mean CtP, will bark ad nauseum about Geagea and the right wing Xian presence. The truth is, they are a non-issue (looking forward). They are not the future. They are the Past. They are beating their last heart beats.

    In 50-100 years, there will only be a token “Xian” presence in Lebanon, and they will be the biggest proponents of a secular order in Lebanon (even if that means supporting autocrats as the Iraqi Xians did for many years).

    The Shia represent more than 40% of the Lebanese population. They are the future of Lebanon, and they alone will dictate whether the political order in Lebanon will be secular or not.

    So if you’re Shia, and you’re secular. More power to you. I wish your worldview spreads like the wildfires that recently hit Lebanon.

    When all the senseless bickering stops in these forums, and when you and me and Anon, and CtP are dust (CtP- please don’t keep posting from beyond the grave!), the sort of order we define today is what our children will inherit.

    This last generation has seen a regression in the Arab/Muslim world. We can blame X, Y, Z. But at the end of the day, it’s our land and our responsibility.

    I don’t see how any good can come out in Leb with a weak state, and a cult- HA- that provides for the medical/educational/etc needs of the people.

    That’s all I have to say.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 14, 2010, 9:21 pm
  53. UsedToPost:

    Why don’t you do us all a favor and change your name to ContinueToPost already!

    PS. Your comment #46 does not contradict Anonymous’s post. Go figure!

    Those long posts can be tiresome. Perhaps if you have some energy next time you’re taking a crap you can re-read it again.

    Mar (isn’t that Arabic for Saint?):

    While I love to be buddies with Anonymous. He is Martian. And since someone accused me of being his Mommy before, that must mean I am from Venus!

    Anon: Can the long-distance thing work?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 14, 2010, 9:34 pm
  54. UsedToPost #46

    I thought you’re watching the ‘ashoura video which I intentionally linked for you just in time for the occasion. There are only two days left. So hurry and get all the rewards. That Abu Malik must be some character you should admit. But the poet himself is the big star. Iraqis, by the way, are very talented in this respect. I once witnessed an elderly Iraqi who in front of a huge crowd presented an improvised poem on the spot which he sang accompanied by improvised music which he directed while presenting his poem. It was exhilarating.

    You think I hate the Shia? No I do not hate the Shia. I intentionally based my response to Prophet on Movements rather than Shia community as he put it out of respect to the community in general. But I hate what they do especially those things you could see in that video. Brush up on your Iraqi accent. It is one of the most beautiful once you get used to it.

    So it is Modca and Modka? Well, excuse my German accent.

    As for Dr. Geagea, he is doing very well in Mi’rab. Why don’t you drop in when you have time? It is wonderful time for skiing. You could also spend Xmass by the cedars after concluding ‘ashoura. It will be a double feat to accomplish just in one month. Next time you come back with a comment addressed to me I’ll bring you al’Hussein’s prayer he made against the Shia before his martyrdom, all quoted from authentic Shia sources this time.

    Prophet #49

    I did not respond to your criticism of STL in comment 9. I responded to the general theme of your comment which I described as a cheap lamentation of Lebanoninstan and I stand by that description.

    You cannot support or even agree with an organization which has hijacked the legitimacy of a state then come back and lament the situation. If you are a patriotic Lebanese, then you have to recognize all the harm this organization has caused the country since the inception of the organization.

    I did not forget about 1701 because to me that is a settled issue. 1701 ended the war which HNA provoked and by your own account (which I can dispute but there is no real need for that since the end result will be the same) allowed the southerners to go back to their villages.

    Hizbistan maintained overall monopoly over the south from 1990 until 2006. No government or army presence was allowed during those years. Its failure in 2006 has proven beyond any doubt that only a government supported by international legitimacy can safeguard the most basic interests of the southerners. Despite its shortcomings, this government role cannot be denied except by hypocrites.

    HNA claims that he made a mistake by provoking that war and also claimed ignorance regarding the level of Israeli response. He is lying on both counts. HNA intentionally provoked that war in order to divert attention and gain respite from pressures accumulating internally specifically because of issues relating to the political assassinations. This is a well known tactic used by such groups for reasons that everyone knows.

    In general, I am not against all citizens being treated equally and justly in a country such as Lebanon (when and if it becomes a real country) irrespective of their communal belongings. But I am in total opposition to any group that comes forward with a claim that it had made the ultimate sacrifices that no one else made. And hence it would imply by such false claims others must submit to its edicts. And as a digression to those who are arguing about the need to form a different government, I’d say this. The country itself is at a crossroads and not the government. When I say Lebanon Stan I do mean it verbatim. This is what Lebanon is at this point in time and every one would like to deny it of course.

    And no I do not need your protection or any of your comrades. In fact I can provide protection to you and many others if need be. And as for giving me options, I think I’m quite capable of making assessment on my own.

    As for DD and Amal, that does not give justice to what really happened. The reception of the Israelis by Amal operatives and even coordination is well documented and goes far beyond DD. We all know by the way that Amal people are ‘rascals’ in general and they are more like mercenaries than real organized group. But then we could also say the same thing about those who currently receive their paycheques from Tehran except that they are more ideologically motivated. So in short, not much changed since the seventies except for the bosses who met out the payments as deemed appropriate.

    Posted by anonymous | December 14, 2010, 10:02 pm
  55. No Gabriel I do not “bark ad nauseum about Geagea and the right wing Xian presence”

    (Bark?)

    I am not against their presence . I just dislike the racist, right wing politics they espouse.

    Anon,

    Hey you want to put yourself forward as an expert on the Lebanese Resistance then you should at least get the names and places right no? I’m just helping you out. But seriously, “Modka” is down to your German accent? One of the most famous cafes in Beirut for decades?

    You portray the Shia as money hungry and religious extremists. You are quite condescending and arrogant about a people you obviously think you know a lot about. If that isn’t hate you must have as yet unseen depths to you.

    And why should I care what some Iraqi is quoting just because he is Shia? Or is it that you have such little respect for the entire community that you think that whatever one says all must think? And why do you even assume I am Shia?

    And feel free to bring what you like? I can’t see how its relevant but knock yourself out.

    Posted by usedtopost | December 14, 2010, 11:18 pm
  56. “No government or army presence was allowed during those years”

    LOL another wannabe who obviously never visited the South from “1990 to 2006” and just likes to repeat talking points fed to him. If you had you would know what a stupid comment that is and you may have seen a Lebanese soldier or two all the way to the Occupied Zone before 2000 and the border before 2006.

    Posted by usedtopost | December 14, 2010, 11:21 pm
  57. UsedToPost,
    What is the relevance of your last comment?

    Do you deny that Amal operatives were and still are on the payroll of various benefactors?

    Do you deny the same for HA operatives?

    The honest answer is clear YES to both questions. But you have a tendency to argue needlessly and you can answer no and knock yourself out.

    Did I mention anywhere in my previous comment that the Shia in general are as you described? If you can find it please make a direct quote.

    That incidentally brings out an important issue. Which other groups in Lebanon besides these two (Amal and HA) behaved similarly and in effect put their loyalty to the country in doubt?

    You may say the Hariri people are paid by the Saudis. Yes. But the difference is huge. The Hariri’s are mostly involved in social philanthropy which is not the same as forming a militia paid for by the RG of a State with a political agenda that may jeopardize the very well being of Lebanon as an independent State.

    Am I assuming you are Shia? Yes I am. At least, according to you from previous comments you descend from a Shia family. Whether you truly believe in Shiism or not, that is something I do not know anything about. So make yourself clear and say here I am and do away with the guessing game. The video and the poet thing were meant to draw your attention to certain behaviours that are conducted by some members of this community which are quite repugnant IMHO. But that is beside the point. You are an ardent supporter of an organization which by its behaviour is threatening the very existence of the country you happen to be its citizen and also threatening to plunge it into yet another cycle of civil war.

    Again, do I hate the Shia as Shia? NO. I grew up with Shia and in fact have Shia relatives. But if these relatives behave in ‘ashore the way it is shown in that video, I will disown them and luckily they do not. Actually, I love these relatives more than any others, and when I visit Lebanon I like to stay with none more than I like to stay with them.

    Gaby 53,

    ”Anon: can the long-distance thing work?”

    For extraterrestrials the sky is the limit.

    Posted by anonymous | December 14, 2010, 11:53 pm
  58. Gabriel,52
    Thank you for a very sincere comment. I was not offended by your reference to my miserable spelling at all. I may have sounded more serious than I intended to.
    I may not be the only Lebanese who is feeling hopeless these days, and I’m not embarrassed to admit my frustration and anxiety. My passion for Lebanon goes beyond imagination, to the point of Romanism. Again, Romanism, in this case, is a sense of pride, and love .When you love something (or someone), you’d defend it fearlessly.
    I was, in no way, condoning or excusing anything the Syrians ever did in Lebanon. I know they abused, imprisoned, and executed many Lebanese. My family was, as much of victim of Syria’s presence, as many other Lebanese families. I have lost family members to the Syrian brutality, though it was “accidental”, we are told. Don’t take that as an excuse either.
    If you had read some of my comments in other threads, you would’ve realized how critical I had been of Syria’s presence and actions in Lebanon. My criticism has also included all Lebanese leadership, and warlords who fought, or benefited of, Syria presence.
    That being said, I never view Syria as an enemy. I blame Lebanese for allowing themselves, to be manipulated by Syria for the past 20 some years. People can only use you if you allow them to.
    As for Shiia being the future of Lebanon, because of the demographic changes with regard to numbers; it seems valid from the outset. I truly believe that Shiia, as a community, don’t have the desire to dominate Lebanon. They do desire to have a presence and a voice .They simply find it hard to believe that, having been the neglected and the abandoned ones are not being appreciated for what they consider their defense of Lebanon. This particular point is what draws them to HA. Even the secular ones feeling the threat, and are being forced to seek protection from an ideological party, which they would never have supported under different circumstances. This is a sad irony.
    I will take the risk and claim that the greatest majority of Shiia in Lebanon would want to have a multi cultural/faith Lebanon. They feel it is a safer bet for them, than having a shiia dominated Lebanon. I will also take the risk to claim that the sign of strength being flexed by Shiia, stems out of fear and insecurity about the future. They understand that Syria is not a guarantee on the long run, and Iran is still far away, there fore, they would not want a Lebanon dominate by them or others. They understand that strength has its limits, and numbers have their limits.
    Lebanon, in my views, can only exist if it can hold its mosaic picture. Lebanese, all Lebanese are feeling insecure, and they need to take steps which could make them trust each other. Having regional and international countries sponsoring different sects has to end, before Lebanese can think of ways to rebuild a modern state.

    anonymous, 54
    I didn’t offer you protection or defend you because I thought you need it, I offered to defend you as fellow Lebanese ,the same way I would defend my family , against Israeli aggression, even if you and I disagree on everything. Don’t be too sensitive now. I would love to see your capabilities put to use, and help defend me and my family. I’m not that sensitive. lol
    As for the rest of your comment, I’ll try to reply tomorrow.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 15, 2010, 12:17 am
  59. Prophet #58,

    Actually from the gist of your comment I would rather you go back and reflect on which party should be the one entitled to protect you and everyone else in cases as you describe.

    The logic you use implies further weakening of the government and army and therefore should be rejected outright particularly by those who claim romantic attachment to the idea of a country called Lebanon.

    Based on that premise you are until further developments ‘ir-redemptively’ trapped in the spiral of State Power erosion that HA finds convenient to spin to serve its agenda.

    So, are you romantic or a hardcore Hizbi?

    Posted by anonymous | December 15, 2010, 12:55 am
  60. UtP

    > (Bark?)

    LoL. Excuse the language. At times, Mother Venus screams, and I mean screams… Drama Queen!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 15, 2010, 1:13 am
  61. anon @ #57

    “You may say the Hariri people are paid by the Saudis. Yes. But the difference is huge. The Hariri’s are mostly involved in social philanthropy”

    I’ll let UTP handle himself, but This statement alone should disqualify you from posting any more nonsense.

    So…the logic then is: the Saudis fund Hariri because their primary purpose is supporting “social philanthropy” in Lebanon. Talk about one hopeless, if not delusional, romantic accusing others..

    This should stand on its own without comment for the sheer hilarity of it, but just a quick intro, because it seems you have lived on Mars much too long: Hariri senior was a shrewd politician whose tenure while PM was full of bribery, cronyism, and intimidation. Through a majority stake in Solidere while PM (can you spell the glaring conflict of interest?) he engorged his businesses at the expense of Lebanon’s national debt that saw his initial $1 billion turn into $20 billion by the time of his assassination, and turn Lebanon into another sorry IMF victim case. His son has funded wide-eyed Salafi groups and continues the business of dispossessing property owners so that he can turn Beirut into one giant shopping mall for Gulf Arab “permanent” tourists. Just for the sake of the culturally-barren behemoth they have turned downtown Beirut into and their de-civilizational vision, this family should be nationally disowned. The Hariris have financially dispossessed a country to feed a few loyalists…I can see why a hand-fed Hariri partisan would advance the kind of silly, obtuse statement you advanced above, but I thought your perceptions, if not your history, were more informed, delicate, subtle…”Isagogeous” in other words?

    Posted by Saint | December 15, 2010, 2:57 am
  62. To go back to my question (#6) and your response, GK: I agree that trying to negotiate over the STL is pretty much impossible because most things are non-negotiable, and this becomes absurd if the accused might be party to the negotiation (though not the guilty – not without trial). In any case, this my reading.

    HA may have to make the following concession:

    We agree to drop the false witnesses argument, and to wait and see how the witnesses are dealt with by the STL.

    While Hariri and March 14 may have to make some or all of the following concessions:

    1. We recognize the STL, we will continue to fulfill our obligation to the STL, including funding and cooperating with the investigation, but we will not authorize the arrest of any HA member for prosecution in the Hague. (Or is funding non-negotiable from HA’s point of view? Drop funding, or else…?)

    2. We declare that we are unsure of the credibility of the evidence that will be used in any prosecution, particularly as Israeli infiltration must be taken into account.

    3. We will declare the innocence of the Resistance, and its greatness and nobility, after the indictments are issued. (After or before? All its members? Or just the party as a whole?)

    4. We will request changes to the procedures of the STL (e.g. no trials in absentia). (Non-negotiable from the point of view of the STL, and would HA even demand it since they don’t recognize the STL?)

    I may have loaded the dice here because I’m pretty distrustful of HA, but in this case HA only have to give up a demand that is basically their invention in the first place. (I’m not saying there were no “false witnesses”. I’m saying it’s a non-issue because the UNIIIC and STL have already questioned the credibility of these witnesses.) I guess their argument might be that they are the one’s whose image is taking a battering, so why should they make any concessions. But there’s a big problem there: the accused in any court case will always have their reputation tarnished to some extent, but that can never be grounds for the accused to negotiate on the outcome of the trial.

    Posted by Jonathan | December 15, 2010, 3:22 am
  63. Saint 61,

    Make a case of your claims against Hariri Senior and raise it up in a heavenly manner with the Tribunal of Angels.

    We’re eager to know the Heavenly verdict. Please let us know here at QN as soon as you get wind. Please also send a copy to the terrestrial tribunal at the Hague in order to guide them through their ordeal.

    Posted by anonymous | December 15, 2010, 4:03 am
  64. Accusation yesterday that HA is actually significantly hurting the Lebanese economy and the Lebanese labor force through smuggling and tax evasion:
    http://www.beirutobserver.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=43826:kabbara&catid=41:2010-10-03-20-24-15

    Comments from HA sympathizers? You have a way to explain and justify this?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 15, 2010, 7:21 am
  65. Pete in Dubai asks:

    What has Europe given the world apart from Israel and Gucci bags?

    No extreme lovere of all things Eurpean, they have given us:

    BMWs, Jaguar, Audi, VW, Citroen?

    Cheese?

    Airbus?

    European Space Agency?

    CERN?

    Classic Art, Liberalism?

    And now we can ask the next logical question:

    “What has the Middle East given the world besides terrorists?”

    Algebra?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 15, 2010, 8:37 am
  66. Jonathan,

    You made me laugh!

    1.We recognize the STL, we will continue to fulfill our obligation to the STL, including funding and cooperating with the investigation,

    “but we will not authorize the arrest of any HA member for prosecution in the Hague”

    **You have contradicted yourself so easily. How can you promise to cooperate but not at the same time. Even HA logic cannot explain that lol.

    2.**Everyone who is accused will say the same thing you are saying.
    3.”We will declare the innocence of the Resistance, and its greatness and nobility, after the indictments are issued”

    **Is the the noble HA that ransacked Beirut in may 2008? Or the one who’s leaders keep on threatening the rest of the countrymen with “cutting off limbs and tongue” (barbaric but so Vogue in Persia)?

    4.”We will request changes to the procedures of the STL (e.g. no trials in absentia).”

    **great Jonathan. Hide the killers and say voila! you cannot try them . Even in fiction that would be impossible!

    Jonathan IF the HA members are indicted and convicted on credible evidence; then HA proves that they are a hit team for hire.
    If they are exonerated; they will gladly wave their flag and exhort the virtues of a divine intervention.

    Posted by danny | December 15, 2010, 10:12 am
  67. AP: You know that Israel is part of the Middle East, right? We finally see eye to eye. I too think there has been nothing positive from the Middle East since the development of Algebra.

    Thanks for pointing out that your coutrymen are nothing more than a bunch of terrorists like the rest of the neighborhood.

    shalom

    Posted by Johnny | December 15, 2010, 12:15 pm
  68. HP: It’s simple. Even my government appointed auditor encourages me to evade taxes. When I try to explain the concept of civic duty he says “that’s great for America where you get services (electric, water, etc.) in exchange for tax payments, here it goes straight to the politicians pocket.”

    You don’t need a HA sympathizer to justify evading taxes. Any government-appointed auditor trying to make an extra buck can let you know.

    Posted by Johnny | December 15, 2010, 12:19 pm
  69. GK,
    Amen. Let’s bring the whole shebang down. I take it as civic duty to stop paying taxes and more importantly paying attention to any dimwits who claim to represent the government – be they politicians, policemen or the hangman.

    To all Lebanese. This is your call to stop paying taxes, your phone bills, electric bills, VAT. Let’s send a real message to the criminals who pretend to be leaders.

    Posted by Johnny | December 15, 2010, 12:22 pm
  70. Anon,

    Do you really need additional proof that Hariri Sr. pulled off the greatest heist in Lebanese history?

    I wonder if the UNICCC (is eunuch a better descriptor?) or STL ever questioned those who Hariri dispossessed in the early 90s? Having a building in downtown Beirut taken away for pennies on the dollar and resulting rents skyrocketing is pretty good motive for knocking off a gangster.

    Posted by Johnny | December 15, 2010, 12:31 pm
  71. Terror Inc.

    Thanks for pointing out that your coutrymen are nothing more than a bunch of terrorists like the rest of the neighborhood.

    Johnny,

    Actually, I don’t believe Israel is anyting like the “rest of the neighborhood”. Although I am hoping one day Israel will be able to more positively influence the neighborhood, unfortunately, I think many non-Israelis are “resistant” and seem to be very “stiff-necked” when it comes to Israel.

    Many non-Israelis prefer to fight Israel than deal with their own problems, and in some cases, deal with their own lives.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 15, 2010, 12:35 pm
  72. Johnny, “To all Lebanese. This is your call to stop paying taxes, your phone bills, electric bills, VAT. Let’s send a real message to the criminals who pretend to be leaders.”

    Your kidding? right?

    Posted by IHTDA | December 15, 2010, 12:39 pm
  73. AP, “What has the Middle East given the world besides terrorists?”

    3 religions. Highest per capita in the world 🙂

    Posted by IHTDA | December 15, 2010, 12:47 pm
  74. AP: I was simply agreeing with what you said in 65 above. I will quote it here again for your convenience.

    “What has the Middle East given the world besides terrorists?”

    Algebra?

    If you choose to ignore the fact that Israel is in the Middle East that is your problem not mine.

    I have no problem with Israel as a sovereign State in the Middle East. It takes care of its citizens and gives a big portion of its inhabitants rights as citizens. I do have issue with certain policies related to denying a portion of its inhabitants rights. Let’s end the charade – one state for one people. Who cares what religion they are?

    Posted by Johnny | December 15, 2010, 1:10 pm
  75. IHTDA: We should not expect our politicians to step down on their own. They benefit from the status quo and will keep it as is until we force it down upon their heads. The whole March 8 & March 14 thing is a giant facade. It’s like Dems & Reps in the US. It’s two sides of the same coin. Why the typically cynical Lebanese intellectuals do not see this is beyond me.

    To answer your question, I am wholeheartedly serious. Unless we bring the house down we have no one but ourselves to blame. Lebanon’s hope lies in the hands of its people. We the people can choose to continue to blindly follow and end up butchering each other in the process, or reject any and all forms of this pathetic excuse for an authority that only preys on the weak.

    Excuse my ranting, but I am personally getting fed up with the armchair activism practiced from afar on this site. You want to have a say on Lebanon, come home and do something about it.

    Posted by Johnny | December 15, 2010, 1:21 pm
  76. Danny,

    I think you misunderstood me. I wasn’t claiming that those statements make sense. Some of them are ridiculous. But they are presumably the kind of statements that would be required by any negotiated “solution” that is apparently being discussed by Saudi and Syria. I was attempting to look at the kind of concessions that would be expected to be made by both sides. My point was partly that the whole idea of a negotiated solution is a little strange, even absurd.

    Posted by Jonathan | December 15, 2010, 1:34 pm
  77. Shou Qifa,

    Did u enjoy the live speech of Nasrallah?

    Will u be in Beirut tomorrow to witness the circus?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 15, 2010, 4:02 pm
  78. The Council of Ministers of Lebanon Stan ended its deliberations for the year with a happy new year note to all LebanonStanies from the minister of information.

    They discussed many issues including recent fires, drug use in schools, and the recent storm.

    They also discussed the so-called ‘false witnesses’ but not as the first item on the agenda as Mr. Raad ‘falsely’ predicted. Voting on the issue was also false.

    So why do the Lebanonistanies keep complaining about their ministers?

    On the other hand, no such thing as a Syrian Saudi negotiated deal on Lebanon is in the works.

    Brace yourselves for the end of ‘ashoura and another round of ominous predictions about cutting hands, tongues, limbs…of the conspirators against the ‘noble’, ‘purified’, ‘exalted’, ‘divinely inspired’, ‘the most honorable’ Resistors coming to you soon on the big screen of dahiya with the highest definition attainable through its ‘noiseless’ and ‘impeccably pure’ made only for the ‘pure’ fibre media.

    Posted by anonymous | December 15, 2010, 4:17 pm
  79. anonymous, 54 &59.
    You keep going back to the legitimacy of the state. I think in my comment number#33, I addressed the state and the legitimacy of this state. I would only add that this state was hijacked years ago by the right wing parties and their militias. There is no need to go over all the details .These parties collaborated with Israel, and sought Israel’s support so that they dominate the state and the country. Israel helped them elect two presidents. Once you condemn that part of Lebanon’s history, then you and I can discuss the state .
    Your claim that “No government or army presence was allowed during those years.” is laughable. You have no idea what you are talking about.
    I’ll give you a very brief history of the army’s presence in south Lebanon. Throughout the 90’s Lebanese army maintained checkpoints a mile or two away from every Israeli/Lahad check points ,at the edges of the occupied strip of south Lebanon.
    After the liberation, in 2000, the Lebanese army spread out throughout the liberated area, all the way to the border.
    All government establishments, security and otherwise had full presence in the area .All services were provided locally, including courts, passports, and so on.
    Please check your information before you make these statements.
    I will agree to disagree with you on the war provocations. It makes no difference anyway. But please tell me if you would wage a war next time Israel kidnaps a Lebanese from across the border. You seem to ignore all of Israel’s violations against Lebanon’s airspace, territories, and water. You seem to be ok with Israel’s infiltration of our communication system. You seem to be ok with all the spies Israel has planted in our society and establishments. I gather you are a part time supporter of Lebanon’s sovereignty.
    As for DD, I agree with you that what he did was nothing but treason, but disagree that this reception went much beyond DD. I’m not excusing anyone, I’m just telling you what I know as facts. Like I said before, treason has no religion or sect. All should be punished the same way, even if it was my own brother.
    As for the rest of your comments about Amal, I don’t speak for them I don’t apologies for them, nor do I endorse any of their corrupt activities. Just a reminder, all Lebanese militias act and behave the same. Remember how the LBF, and kataab, acted when they had weapons. You heard me say that all warlords of Lebanon are criminals, and they all should be tried for war crimes. It is so sad that they are seen as heroes now. Some of them are so prophetic when they speak too, and worse is that people believe them, lol
    As for my offer to defend you, you still don’t get it. I’ll put it this way; As a Lebanese, I would expect you to defend me. And I’m expected to defend you .What is wrong with this equation?

    Posted by Prophet | December 15, 2010, 4:32 pm
  80. The notion that HN “lied” and deliberately provoked Operation Just Reward is deeply demented.

    I wonder how many Lebanese actually believe this counterfactual bullpucky?

    Ironically, there are numerous reports from post-OJR analysts that directly debunk this utter idiocy who are in a position to know; Israelis from the military/security sectors. They don’t let hate-fueled false narratives contaminate the fields of battle that they’re striving to assess.

    Not that the facts matter to some of HA’s fellow “countrymen”.

    Posted by lally | December 15, 2010, 5:01 pm
  81. I got to give it to SHN, he’s a brilliant strategist.

    He outfoxed everyone, including the Israelis and the Syrians.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 15, 2010, 5:09 pm
  82. Even though it is morbid, I’m placing SHN on my 2011 death pool list.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 15, 2010, 5:22 pm
  83. The one thing I take against March 14 is that they are not willing to expose the false witness issue head on.

    Who are they trying to protect and why?

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 15, 2010, 5:55 pm
  84. PiD.

    SHN’s studiousness, flexibility and willingness to incorporate “lessons learned” contribute to the respect with which he is viewed by those Israelis whose professional lives have been directly concerned with those under their command who have and will be risking their own “skin in the game”.

    Those at the top such as former head of MI General Amos Yadlin and premier missile expert Uzi Rubin have recently described a vulnerable civilian Israel that could be at terribly affected by HA (and Syria’s) missiles. Rocketman Rubin bluntly states that these forces constitute “a revolution” and that the enemy has conceivably achieved aerial superiority without any planes.

    Whether or not their dire scenarios will act as a deterrent to more Israeli military adventures is unknown.

    From Arutz Sheva:

    “Lebanon: We Took Apart Israeli Spy Sites

    Reported: 18:45 PM – Dec/15/10
    Follow Israel news briefs on and

    The Lebanese army took apart Israeli listening posts and observations sites on two ridges deep within the country, Channel 2 television was reported Wednesday evening.

    The Lebanese claimed that, based on Hizbullah information, the army took apart two listening posts, a camera and a transmitter that were set up in hollow rocks at the top of the ridges.”

    (No doubt the public Israeli boasting about their clever “hollow rocks” did not go unnoticed by those concerned).

    Oops.

    Posted by lally | December 15, 2010, 6:18 pm
  85. lally,

    Sorry, but I wasn’t able to follow your thread of thought.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 15, 2010, 6:41 pm
  86. An interesting view on the “Wilileaks” issue (or non-issue)…

    Confidential views may be more heartfelt but, as Dalia Dassa Kaye of the Rand Corporation notes, “what Arab leaders say to U.S. officials and what they might do may not always track.” The masses hear policies; high-ranking Westerners hear seduction.

    http://www.danielpipes.org/9182/wikileaks-arab-leaders

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 15, 2010, 6:57 pm
  87. A.Palace. @86;

    The notion of the seductive Arab leaders directing their persuasive charms at haplessly clueless & willing American dupes is amusing ……in a very cynical way.

    My favorite example:

    “The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, who happens to also be the United Arab Emirate’s defense minister, is quoted in another cable saying “Ahmadinejad is Hitler.”He knows what OUR own dear leaders/officials want to hear and is happy to oblige

    We are really slipping into collective looneyland as the popularity of Sarah Palin inarguably demonstrates.

    Posted by lally | December 15, 2010, 8:05 pm
  88. Prophet,

    You are distorting facts. The national Lebanese army was effectively out of the south for the lats 40 years prior to deployment in Aug 2006,
    http://1stlebanon.com/lebanon-news/news.php?idactu=1159&debut=15&date=08+2006

    In my opinion you’re not just HA sympathizer but you are a hordcore Hizbi. That is your choice of course.

    The notion that you should defend me and that I should defend you runs counter to the very notion of strengthening a state that you claim to be romantic about.

    To lally who is so confident of the israeli military analysts assessment,

    Lebanese are also confident that HNA provoked the July war in order to sidestep the national dialog that was taking place just before the war,

    Click to access Lebanon%20power-sharing%20FINAL%20EDIT.pdf

    Go lecture to the Israeli analysts and leave Lebanon and the Lebanese alone. We, in Lebanon, do not need yours and your military analysts ‘superior’ analytical ‘truth-seeking’ skills. We are quite happy with what we got.

    Posted by anonymous | December 15, 2010, 8:33 pm
  89. Everyone except “post-OJR analysts that directly debunk this utter idiocy who are in a position to know; Israelis from the military/security sectors.” seem to think HNA deliberately provoked 2006 war in order to sidestep the ongoing National Dialogue,

    http://www.merip.org/mero/mero072506.html

    Click to access Lebanon%20power-sharing%20FINAL%20EDIT.pdf

    Prophet,

    The Lebanese Army did not have an effective presence in the south for almost 40 years before deployment in Aug. 2006,

    http://1stlebanon.com/lebanon-news/news.php?idactu=1159&debut=15&date=08+2006

    Posted by anonymous | December 15, 2010, 9:39 pm
  90. Johnny,
    “Excuse my ranting, but…”, you are excused 🙂

    “I am personally getting fed up with the armchair activism practiced from afar on this site.”, if you are referring to me, then I have to tell you that I’m not an activist of any sort, never were and never will be (hopefully).

    My point is that I’m for change that comes through a process that starts with laying the foundation for better education of the people that enables them to do a better job electing their representatives that in turn can set the laws for progress and development. This is a long process and in my opinion, there are no shortcuts. Can it be done in Lebanon? I’m not very optimistic.
    In a previous post about “Lebanon 2020” I have put two assumptions without which I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, and they are:
    1- No war
    2- No national unity government

    Now what I don’t believe in is “revolutions” and calls for “civil disobedience”. I don’t see how a country like Lebanon will benefit out of it ($50 billion plus debt) or what will be the outcome (same mutated clans will come to power).

    You obviously have different views which I respectfully disagree with or at least I can’t figure out how they can be implemented, at what cost to the Lebanese people and within what time frame.

    Posted by IHTDA | December 16, 2010, 3:32 am
  91. PeterinDubai, 83

    Neither M14 nor M8 care much about the false witnesses. M8 trying to use it to derail the STL by referring them to the supreme judiciary counsel and M14 are delaying it until the indictments are issued.

    This issue, or at least the witnesses, will be irrelevant when either the indictments are issued or a deal is brokered.

    Posted by IHTDA | December 16, 2010, 3:44 am
  92. Lally,

    Yes, I think there are a lot of examples that show Arab leaders saying one thing, and doing something else. The Syrian thug led the US government around for years.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-iran-leaders.html

    I’m not sure what this has to do with Sarah Palin, except possibly, she wouldn’t fall for all the BS.

    As GWB put it:

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 16, 2010, 7:53 am
  93. the stl is an usreal kangaroo court/tribunal. only jewry and its puppets give this star chamber any thing as honorable as spit.

    Posted by 5 dancing shlomos | December 16, 2010, 10:57 am
  94. Fine Jewry

    5 dancing Mahmouds,

    How long has “Jewry and its puppets” taken over your mind?

    I fear you will need the advise of the great al-Awlaki to free yourself of this.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 16, 2010, 11:06 am
  95. Viva France.

    Posted by lally | December 18, 2010, 3:52 am
  96. The Lebanese should be proud of the freedom of press that they have , the wikileak information is published more in Lebanon than in the US with all the fan fair about freedom of press in the US even though it covers more of the Lebanese than the Americans ,

    We have not seen any information about these cables in the American press, except second hand ,

    Posted by Norman | December 19, 2010, 2:42 pm
  97. Norman,
    I am not sure that your observation regarding Wikileaks and the US press is accurate.
    The “leaks” regarding the Iraq war and that in Afghanistan were very well covered by the US media. The fact that non of these stories had traction is due to the apathy of politicians and citizens alike but not the press. The 250,000 diplomatic cables ,on the other hand , were not about either cover ups or illegal activities. They were essentially about local politicians venting what they thought would be private conversations. Such revelations have very limited interest. You would not expect the NYT or the Chicago Tribune to carry a page one story about what Elias Al Murr told the US ambassador in Lebanon about what he thinks of Walid Jumblatt, would you?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 19, 2010, 5:35 pm
  98. Gahssan,
    I could not resist.This is comical in a way.lol
    I would expect a story about a defense minster assuring the US , that his army is instructed(by no one else but him) not defend his own country if and when Israel invade it.He is the defense minster after all.I bet if such a story is published, most people would think it’s April first.lol
    come on , it would a first ever such a story to be published,and maybe the last ever.
    Have a laugh , Ghassan,We’re always too serious when we debate.lol

    Posted by PROPHET | December 19, 2010, 9:51 pm
  99. Ghassan,

    It might be in the written media , but have not seen any discussions on TV which is more popular , from what i understand and heard is that it is banned to discuss the cables at American Universities,

    Posted by Norman | December 19, 2010, 11:01 pm
  100. I agree with GK (Post 97).

    Norman,

    Which American Universities is it “banned to discuss the cables”?

    Can you post a link showing this?

    Also, I was wondering, if there is no freedom of speech in Syria, is there freedom of speech at Syrian Universities?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 19, 2010, 11:41 pm
  101. Norman,
    Get real will you. How can there be a law prohibiting the discussion of a subject across the thousands of universities in the US. I talk about them every day.

    Prophet,
    You are right.There is never any need for personal attacks , adhominems etc… A little bit of levity does not hurt.

    Posted by ghassan karam | December 20, 2010, 12:37 am
  102. Norman,

    I think if you change your source of information from Al Watan and Cham Press to Qifa Nabki; you’d be served better lol. 😀

    Posted by danny | December 20, 2010, 8:59 am
  103. Norman,

    News Flash ! Lebanon and Syria arent the centre of the universe.
    The US media or public dont give a flying falafel about you.

    Posted by V | December 20, 2010, 9:58 am
  104. I believe that Norman may be referring to the warnings to students as per this report:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-08/justice/wikileaks.students_1_wikileaks-security-clearance-students?_s=PM:CRI

    Posted by lally | December 20, 2010, 11:51 am
  105. Thank You Lally ,
    Yes i it was CNN who reported .

    Are you happy now , i was trying to complement Lebanon and the Lebanese , but hard for you to see that,

    Posted by norman | December 20, 2010, 12:08 pm
  106. Norm,
    I think you confused the email warning, which was sent out to students in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) after an alumnus at the U.S. State Department contacted the school.
    The e-mail said that comments could harm students’ chances at landing government jobs due to intense background checks.
    This email targeted this school in particular since most of those students usually apply for federal jobs. The premise for this email was that “Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.” according to a state department spokesman.
    However, a spokesperson from the State Department said that the e-mail isn’t an official stance on the issue.
    There was no” law prohibiting the discussion of a subject across the thousands of universities in the US.”

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373889,00.asp

    Posted by Prophet | December 20, 2010, 1:21 pm
  107. The Lebanese are actually complimented for having a Cham Press and Watan like media such al-Akhbar.

    We’tre actually being told that Cham Press and Watan media are the standards that the rest of the world should follow which al-Akhbar is already in compliance with.

    You should never belittle the amount of loss the Lebanese have experienced over the last two weeks as a result of being deprived of al-Akhbar reporting. That was a huge blow to the efforts of the ‘parent’ media in ‘educating’ the masses as the case is in Syria.

    Posted by anonymous | December 20, 2010, 2:41 pm
  108. Norman, as became glaringly obvious during the run-up to the attack on Iraq, our media has become a mouthpiece for the regime-in-charge. “Speaking truth To power” has morphed into “Speaking For power’s truths”.

    Aside from widespread reporting/chortling over our Arab friendlies being on Israel’s side when it comes to attacking Iran, there hasn’t been much discussion of the details of the cables. I wouldn’t expect Murr’s perfidious suggestions to have gained much attention here, Lebanon is way too confusing for the American style of soundbite journalism. Imagine the context required to explain why a Christian Defense Minister is advocating the Israeli enemy attack his fellow countrymen while sparing his own religious cohorts.

    For a strongly nationalistic country such as the US of A, this kind of treacherous stuff would be incomprehensible to uber-patriotic Americans.

    In a similiar vein, today there are reports on a Tel Aviv cable depicting Israel Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin discussing Fatah/Abbas requests for Israeli aid in destroying Hamas in Gaza. While not “news” to those who followed events in real time, this story may gain traction as yet another Arab ally who is on the side of the Israelis. MSNBC just had a bit on it; we’ll see if this cable tale gains wider attention.

    Unfortunately, I have yet to find any links to the actual document as referenced above.

    Posted by lally | December 20, 2010, 3:14 pm
  109. Jumblatt ‘nominates’ WikiLeaks founder Assange for Nobel

    By Patrick Galey
    Daily Star staff

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    BEIRUT: With the international outcry against the damage caused by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks gathering force, the organization’s founder Julian Assange received an unlikely supporter Monday in the form of Progressive Socialist Party Leader Walid Jumblatt, who backed the Australian for the next Nobel Peace Prize.

    Jumblatt: Secrecy of Saudi-Syrian talks is important

    December 20, 2010

    Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt told Al-Manar television on Monday that the “most important thing about the Saudi-Syrian initiative is its secrecy.”

    Posted by PeterinDubai | December 20, 2010, 5:06 pm
  110. The latest on STL:

    Roux leaves Lebanon declaring contents of indictment will remain confidential even after submittal to Fransen.

    Khamenei, better known as Supreme Leader or SL with an appropriately missing middle T, declares any STL indictments or rulings null and void.

    Dr. Nouri Ali Zadeh (Iranian intellectual) belives Khamenei is afraid he may become an internationally outlawed ‘criminal’. Nour believes Iranian government itself is involved.

    Posted by anonymous | December 20, 2010, 7:28 pm
  111. PID #119,
    That is a priceless observation.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 20, 2010, 7:58 pm
  112. I thought this was amusing:
    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2715.htm

    Posted by AIG | December 20, 2010, 8:53 pm
  113. AIG, you realize that these are convictions of many folks, at the top of whom of course is none other than Ahmadinejad-san. The question, from a purely objective, detached, non-religious, non-tribal, purely humanistic point of view, is whether there is any validity to the argument that a forced movement of people to settle in an area, displacing other existing people in that area, can be targeted as unfair from a purely humanistic point of view, further arguing, as the woman does in the video, that the guilt of many Europeans about the Holocaust drove them to support the creation of the state of Israel – rather than other drivers that could have been better reasoned and more objective.

    No need to repeat all your arguments. I know them very well. I am not wanting to argue one point or the other. What I want to point out is the very large number of people who seem to adopt the view in the video as a strong conviction and belief. How is this to be addressed? Does might imply right, so that if those people become stronger one day, then their arguments become the right ones? How would rational people try to catalyze a transcendence beyond these narrow beliefs to a look to the future and the way forward that is the best chance for our children and grandchildren?
    The power of logic, rhetoric, and persuasion has got to be the answer, methinks. But, a necessary first condition is to have societies become truly civil and secular societies and limit any religious influence to the private lives of people. Wishful thinking? maybe but that this is a necessary condition is, I believe, an evident truism.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 20, 2010, 9:42 pm
  114. Oh, the part about “the Jews” being responsible for the death of Christ is truly truly pathetic. This one belongs to the nefarious effects that religion has on some people. Pitiful.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 20, 2010, 9:49 pm
  115. I think Sonya is saying: two wrongs do not make right.

    It is very simple, we use that expression almost daily.

    As for Jews killing Christ, I have a different perspective. If the Christians held for two millenia the belief that Jesus’ death was a necessary act of redepmtion for humanity, then how could they accuse anyone of killing him? It just doesn’t make sense. His death must be preordained to avoid contradiction, not to mention that He was considered by the church part of God and His Only Son. Can any human or group of humans really kill God?

    Posted by anonymous | December 20, 2010, 11:19 pm
  116. Imagine ,a UN investigation into the death of Jesus,and determine who was responsible for his death.
    That would make a real debate at this forum, just imagine.lol

    Posted by PROPHET | December 21, 2010, 12:08 am
  117. correction:”to determine”,instead of “and determine”.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 21, 2010, 12:10 am
  118. You can’t use Jesus again as a scapegoat to get away from STL.

    God can make His own investigation. He can also find His killers and punish them and doesn’t need UN.

    Humans need the UN to investigate their killers. Neither Khamenei nor HNA will get off the hook by creating such a blasphemous diversion. No one will fall into this trap.

    The STL must go on.

    Posted by anonymous | December 21, 2010, 1:26 am
  119. You guys are too funny. Right on, anonymous, in 115.
    This narrative about blaming “the Jews” for killing Jesus Christ is just about as moronic of a thought thread as there has ever been in history. Confirms the saying that needs to be applied to folks like Sonya:
    Better keep your mouth shut and let people stay in doubt as to whether you are stupid than open your mouth and leave no doubt about it.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 21, 2010, 4:43 am
  120. AIG,

    Welcome back. I know the founders of MEMRI and I try to donate a few dollars to them every year. No organization has come close to doing the work they have done exposing anti-semites in the Arab world.

    And not a hard job to do, apparently, if one is even slightly interested.

    Unfortunately, Jesus Christ wouldn’t be the only innocent person who ever faced an untimely death. Why is his death more important than the millions of women and children caught in the wrong place at the wrong time?

    I agree with anonymous and HP on this issue.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 21, 2010, 10:20 am
  121. Sonja is an “educated” woman and a daughter of a Lebanese president (Chelsea Clinton? 🙂 )

    If that is what she thinks…

    Posted by AIG | December 21, 2010, 10:22 am
  122. anonymous,
    You have no sense of humor,

    Posted by Prophet | December 21, 2010, 10:45 am
  123. LoL

    Jeeezus. Now we have sensitive Jews here.

    AIG. What’s so upsetting about the truth to you? Doesn’t the story say the Jewish establishment at the time call for the death of Jesus?

    And so what if they did? After all he was not the Messiah! Or was he! And if he wasn’t, that makes him a liar and Under God’s Talmudic law deserving of death!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 21, 2010, 11:29 am
  124. Gabriel,

    Not sensitive, but very amused. She can say whatever she wants, we have the IDF.

    Of course Jesus was not a god or a son of god. He was a simple Jew. And probably the Romans and Jewish elite had enough of him as a troublemaker and got rid of him. And this was used as an excuse to slaughter innocent Jews throughout the centuries by wisecracking Christians like you. And of course this was mostly sanctioned by the Vatican. Why don’t you try it again now, let’s see what happens.

    Posted by AIG | December 21, 2010, 11:50 am
  125. Since so many seem to be intent on discussing the spirit of Christmas allow me to suggest this video clip. It is , in my opinion, the most powerful compilation of images set to the words of the incomparable John Lennon and Yoko Ono ‘s War Is Over better known as And so this is Christmas, What have you done? ….

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | December 21, 2010, 12:03 pm
  126. AIG:

    >>Of course Jesus was not a god or a son of god. He was a simple Jew. And probably the Romans and Jewish elite had enough of him as a troublemaker and got rid of him. <> And this was used as an excuse to slaughter innocent Jews throughout the centuries by wisecracking Christians like you. <> Not sensitive, but very amused. She can say whatever she wants, we have the IDF.

    Why don’t you try it again now, let’s see what happens.<<

    To all those Hizbi sympathizers. Ya Mamma. Help Me! I may need some personal protection from Hassan Nasrallah!

    Hahaha.

    AIG: You shameless troglodyte. Your "elite" kill little Jeezuses every day. Those "trouble makers" that won't let them build their Vision of a state.

    Please take this verbiage and chest thumping machismo elsewhere, where it may be more appreciated.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 21, 2010, 12:35 pm
  127. AIG:

    >>Of course Jesus was not a god or a son of god. He was a simple Jew. And probably the Romans and Jewish elite had enough of him as a troublemaker and got rid of him.

    OK. Stop there.

    I see you are in agreement with “Sonja”. Of course you were. And all that meek talking about how an “educated” woman could talk like that was just you masquerading in these forums trying to get pity points.

    Take your nonesense to a forum where it may work.

    >> And this was used as an excuse to slaughter innocent Jews throughout the centuries by wisecracking Christians like you.

    The Passion of the Christ broke records. Mel Gibson got a lynching from your Co-Thinker Propaganda machine. America is probably the most Christian of nations and the most “Jewish” friendly at the same time. Despite the fact that those “Christians” believe in the New Testament.

    Why are the Jews living and succeeding in America… amongst all those Christians?

    Finally, I’m not a “Christian”. I’m an atheist.

    As noted above, take your nonesense to a forum where it may work.

    >> Not sensitive, but very amused. She can say whatever she wants, we have the IDF.

    Why don’t you try it again now, let’s see what happens.

    To all those Hizbi sympathizers. Ya Mamma. Help Me! I may need some personal protection from Hassan Nasrallah!

    Hahaha.

    AIG: You shameless troglodyte. Your “elite” kill little Jeezuses every day. Those “trouble makers” that won’t let them build their Vision of a state.

    Please take this verbiage and chest thumping machismo elsewhere, where it may be more appreciated.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 21, 2010, 12:36 pm
  128. AIG:

    –Of course Jesus was not a god or a son of god. He was a simple Jew. And probably the Romans and Jewish elite had enough of him as a troublemaker and got rid of him. —

    OK. Stop there.

    I see you are in agreement with “Sonja”. Of course you were. And all that meek talking about how an “educated” woman could talk like that was just you masquerading in these forums trying to get pity points.

    Take your nonesense to a forum where it may work.

    — And this was used as an excuse to slaughter innocent Jews throughout the centuries by wisecracking Christians like you. —

    The Passion of the Christ broke records. Mel Gibson got a lynching from your Co-Thinker Propaganda machine. America is probably the most Christian of nations and the most “Jewish” friendly at the same time. Despite the fact that those “Christians” believe in the New Testament.

    Why are the Jews living and succeeding in America… amongst all those Christians?

    Finally, I’m not a “Christian”. I’m an atheist.

    As noted above, take your nonesense to a forum where it may work.

    — Not sensitive, but very amused. She can say whatever she wants, we have the IDF.

    Why don’t you try it again now, let’s see what happens.–

    To all those Hizbi sympathizers. Ya Mamma. Help Me! I may need some personal protection from Hassan Nasrallah!

    Hahaha.

    AIG: You shameless troglodyte. Your “elite” kill little Jeezuses every day. Those “trouble makers” that won’t let them build their Vision of a state.

    Please take this verbiage and chest thumping machismo elsewhere, where it may be more appreciated.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 21, 2010, 12:38 pm
  129. Gabriel,

    Your kind always reminds me to be thankful for the IDF. Imagine having to be at the mercy of people like you for centuries. Look who gets all whiny when it becomes difficult to kill Jews at will. The difference between me and you, is that I will not kill you or Sonja for the BS you believe. In fact I don’t care what you believe. Just keep whining and stay away from me.

    You really do not understand the difference between “Jewish elites in Roman times” and “the Jews” do you? Never mind, a person that thinks that Jews doing well in one country is an indication that Christians have treated Jews well over the last 2000 years is not someone susceptible to reason.

    Posted by AIG | December 21, 2010, 12:52 pm
  130. Prophet,

    After second thought, and since we seem to have extra sensitive Jews appearing all of a sudden – an indication of suspicious behaviour regarding the nature of the ‘crime’, which could only be interpreted as an admission of ‘guilt’ – it may after all have been the Jews or at least one of them who committed the ‘crime’. And I have the proof and also the proof that ‘God’ can easily find ‘His’ killer(s) and punish them:

    “”Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

    “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

    “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.””

    So the crime was solved long ago before the UN was created.

    Posted by anonymous | December 21, 2010, 1:42 pm
  131. My “Kind”. What’s that? The kind that appreciates the immense cultural contributions of your nation?

    If you can’t live with my “kind”, what the hell are you doing in the Middle East?

    If you can’t live with my “kind”, what luck will have living with Hamas and HA and Revolutionary Iran?

    “The difference between me and you, is that I will not kill you or Sonja for the BS you believe. ”

    Is this slander? Do you really believe I would kill you for the BS you believe? Really? Where do you get the pomp and gaul to deliver such slander, and so shamelessly?

    -You really do not understand the difference between “Jewish elites in Roman times” and “the Jews” do you?

    Unlike you, AIG. I don’t busy myself characterizing people. Brushing them with identities. He’s a “Christian”. There’s a “Jew”. We are all human beings with different characters and views.

    Nor do I think- despite the best efforts of Memri to demonstrate otherwise- that the “Sonja” is oblivious to the difference between a bunch of Elites in Roman times colluding with the Roman powers and your average Shlomo who may be “Jewish”. Or should I say “Judaic”. You never know nowadays. You have “atheist” Jews, which seems a contradiction in terms.

    Nor do I think the believing “Xians” are oblivious to the fact that their Super Star was in fact a “Jew”.

    Or that back in Year whatever there were “Jews” that were neither here nor there.

    – a person that thinks that Jews doing well in one country is an indication that Christians have treated Jews well over the last 2000 years is not someone susceptible to reason.

    Treatment of “Jews” amongst “Xians” was Up and Down throughout history. There is no one single narrative. I’m sure you know your history well enough that you don’t need anyone to lecture you about it.

    But it defies all manners of Logic to suggest that there was any Jewry at all in Europe/Russia/etc if all they ever got from their experiences amongst Xians was Pogroms, Concentration Camps, etc.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 21, 2010, 2:00 pm
  132. Gabriel,

    Treatment of Jews by Christians was not Up and Down throughout history. The Vatican was antisemitic to its core so was the Reform movement. Luther was a raving anitsemite. Sometimes Jews were tolerated as second class citizens restricted to certain trades and forced to wear distinguishing clothes but were allowed to live in specific geographic areas. I would not consider this treatment “Up”. Often they were expelled or killed. The reason there were Jews in Europe is that they were useful, just like African slaves in the US. Yes indeed, why were there African Americans in the US if all they got was slavery? Slavery must have had its ups and downs. It is not as if the Jews had many options.

    Posted by AIG | December 21, 2010, 2:26 pm
  133. AIG;

    At the end of all discussions irrespective of all topics…It’s all about Jews right?

    Posted by danny | December 21, 2010, 4:39 pm
  134. Danny,

    No, it about live and let live and how to get there in the middle east. The Jews are just one sect in this huge mess. The Shias also for example suffered quite a lot of oppression over the centuries. So, how do we try to move forward? It is not by belittling anyones history or castigating the Vatican for excusing “the Jews” for the murder of Jesus.

    Posted by AIG | December 21, 2010, 5:01 pm
  135. AIG:

    Are you for real? Comparing world Jewry throughout the ages to Blacks?

    The blacks were slaves, brought against their wills to the New World. Where do you want them to go? Their skin color is their marker.

    Do yourself a favor and visit Europe some time. Perhaps you’ll find some Synagogues that are a little more ancient than 20th and 21st century edifices.

    The Jews in Europe in the 19th century and early 20th century will well-to-do. They were not riff-raff living in ghettos.

    As for the “Second Class” remark. Perhaps. But at least we can explain that away by arguing that their societies were not that evolved 1000 years ago.

    What excuse does Israel have TODAY to treat its Arab citizens as second class?

    Judenfrei’s equivalent to today is Arabfrei in Israel. Yes Yes Yes. Israel’s “excuses” and “arguments” are of course justified. Of course you poor poor AIG, you need a “Jewish-only” or a “Jewish-Clear-Majority” state with an IDF to protect you. Sort of like the arguments Hitler made back in the days when he said the Jews were draining the German economy making the German people weak.

    Same Arguments. Different Peoples.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 21, 2010, 6:35 pm
  136. The Jews in Europe in the 19th century and early 20th century will well-to-do. They were not riff-raff living in ghettos.

    Gabriel,

    You’ve been reading too much anti-Jewish propaganda.

    Life in the Roman Ghetto was one of crushing poverty, due to the severe restrictions placed upon the professions that Jews were allowed to perform.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_ghettos_in_Europe

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 21, 2010, 7:05 pm
  137. Thank you AP. Of course the last ghetto to be opened was the one in Rome, only after the Pope was defeated in 1882. So much for “ups and downs” under Christianity:
    “In 1565, Pope Paul IV created the Roman Ghetto and issued papal bull Cum nimis absurdum, forcing Jews to live in a specified area. The area of Rome chosen for the ghetto was the most undesirable quarter of the city, owing to constant flooding by the Tiber River. At the time of its founding, the four-block area was designated to contain roughly 1,000 inhabitants. However, over the years, the Jewish community grew, which caused severe overcrowding. Since the area could not expand horizontally (the ghetto was surrounded by high walls), the Jews built vertical additions to their houses, which blocked the sun from reaching the already dank and narrow streets. Life in the Roman Ghetto was one of crushing poverty, due to the severe restrictions placed upon the professions that Jews were allowed to perform. This was the last of the original ghettos to be abolished in Western Europe; not until 1882, when the kingdom of Italy conquered Rome from the Pope, was the Ghetto finally opened, with the walls themselves being torn down in 1888. Due to the three hundred plus years of isolation from the rest of the city, the Jews of the Roman Ghetto developed their own dialect, known as Giudeo-romanesco, which differs from the dialect of the rest of the city in its preservation of 16th-century dialectical forms and its liberal use of romanized Hebrew words.”

    Posted by AIG | December 21, 2010, 7:38 pm
  138. AP:

    My usage of the term “ghetto” was in line with its modern definition. An:

    •area of a city, especially a very poor area, where people of a particular race or religion live closely together and apart from other people
    As a child she lived in one of New York’s poorest ghettos.
    to live in ghetto conditions
    • old use in the past, an area of a city where Jews were made to live

    But thanks for this educational Wiki Link, as my educational sources betray my rabid Anti-Semitic Teachings.

    Today I learnt that some of those “ghettos” were:

    “The character of ghettos has varied through times. In some cases, the ghetto was a Jewish quarter with a relatively affluent population”

    Tell me, AP, as per the following note on Amsterdam:

    Jodebreestraat was a street “in the very heart of the Jewish quarter.”[11] In the mid 15th century the Ashkenazi Jews began to arrive in Amsterdam in large numbers from Germany and Eastern Europe – especially Ukraine, where 100,000 Jews have been slaughtered by the Ukrainian peasants during the Khmelnytsky Uprising.

    Why did those 100,000 Jews go to Amsterdam where there were a lot of Reformist Christians led by the very Anti-Semitic Martin Luther?

    Why didn’t they go to Turkey or North Africa instead where they lived in relative peace and harmony with the Muslims? I mean, for one, it is a just a boat ride across the Black Sea? I mean if those Vile Catholics and their Vile Vatican were so damn horrible!

    As I said to your buddy previously. Those sob stories don’t work around here. If you don’t like the horribly Anti-Semitic neighbourhood that is the Middle East, just buy a plane ticket and go to the United States.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 21, 2010, 7:58 pm
  139. Ghassan, #125
    Great post,
    Great video,
    Great message.

    There is another side of holidays’ experience (most religious holidays) that is often overlooked and ignored.
    Not only people are losing the true spirit of holidays, but they are overwhelmed by all the materialism, which is being forced on them.
    In this day and age (and the bad economy), the spirit of Christmas has truly become overshadowed by commercialism. With Christmas displays set up in the stores well before Halloween, it’s easier than ever to get lost in the materialism of it all and lose touch with the true meaning of Christmas.
    The pressure is on, very early, and most people are stressing their wallets, credit cards, and themselves to please others when they are in need themselves.
    Holidays in general, and Christmas in particular, often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it’s no wonder. In an effort to pull off a perfect holiday, people find themselves facing a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name a few.

    Marry Christmas to you and yours,
    Season’s greeting to everyone.

    Posted by Prophet | December 21, 2010, 8:31 pm
  140. Gabriel,

    If you haven’t noticed, it is you who is complaining about how Israel is acting. We like the middle east just fine in spite the fact it is filled with raving antisemites. If you have a problem, well, that is what the IDF is for. Or you can stand in line to get a visa like many educated Lebanese. It is up to you. Either way, I really don’t care.

    How typical to ask why the Jews went to Amsterdam instead of why 100,000 of them were slaughtered in the Ukraine because they “killed Jesus”. You will never learn. As for how the Jews were treated badly in Muslim countries, I recommend Martin Gilbert’s latest:
    http://www.amazon.com/Ishmaels-House-History-Muslim-Lands/dp/0300167156

    Posted by AIG | December 21, 2010, 9:00 pm
  141. How about this experiment.
    Erase all the past. Forgive all the guilt. Define the “initial conditions” and the “boundary conditions” as they exist today, add the constraint of desirable peace, justice, and prosperity, and then proceed to offer models and solutions for going forward.

    I think the lawyers that now form the majority of politicians should all be fired and replaced with scientists. Oh, and of course all those religious leaders should be still given state support everywhere, but only if they swear off any involvement in politics and limit themselves to purely religious and personal betterment of those who chose to follow a religion.

    I offer this pearl of wisdom for free to the readers of QN. In the old Arab days, a wise thought like that would have cost a few camels, but to you, my friends, it is my Christmas gift.

    Merry Christmas

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 21, 2010, 11:02 pm
  142. HP @140

    I like that experiment. Sounds great!

    Wait a minute, It sounds familiar… of course! it’s exactly what religions use to lure people. Are you establishing a new one 😉

    Posted by IHTDA | December 22, 2010, 12:42 am
  143. AIG:

    Remind me once again- why do you post here?

    — We like the middle east just fine in spite the fact it is filled with raving antisemites. —

    Well if you do. Then maybe you shouldn’t be posting videos of so-called “Anti-Semites”. Just learn to live in your environment! 🙂

    — If you haven’t noticed, it is you who is complaining about how Israel is acting. —

    Complaining? Not complaining actually. Just amused about how the Pot is calling the Kettle black. Complaining about being treated Second Class and then turning around and doing the same thing in the state when you get one. Just amused that the irony seems completely lost in you!

    Now you’re complaining about how the Muslims treated you? Fine, those Ukrainians should have moved to India. Just like the Parsis did when they were mistreated in Iran. And look they’re flourishing! Maybe the Hindus don’t have that same penchant for Anti-Semitism. The point of bringing up the Amsterdam story was not to belittle the suffering of Jewry under the various Pogroms. It was to demonstrate that unlike the Black Slaves in America, they didn’t have a mobility issue. Maybe in that Jewish district (oops “Ghetto”) in Amsterdam living with raving Anti-Semites who follow Martin Luther (your words- he was a Raving Anti-Semite)was not as bad as you’d like me to believe.

    I’ll end this post with Season’s Greetings. Not of course to celebrate the birth of that trouble maker Jeeezus. But a warm and friendly Happy Festivus! For the Rest-of-Us!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 1:03 am
  144. My Big Fat Black Arab Kettle

    Just amused about how the Pot is calling the Kettle black.

    Gabriel,

    When you can post some links showing…

    1.) Israel refusing to recognize a single Arab or Muslim state.

    2.) Israel forcing her minority citizens to live in ghettoes.

    3.) Israel forcing her minority citizens into certain professions.

    4.) Israel forcing her minority citizens to wear symbols on their clothing to identify their religion.

    5.) Israel making intermarriage illegal.

    6.) No Israeli NGOs or human rights organizations to help minority citizens of Israel.

    7.) No civil rights to Israeli minority citizens including freedom of religion, the right to vote, and freedom of speech.

    8.) Israeli minorities do not have the ability to testify in court against Israeli Jews.

    …then we will take you a little more seriously.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 22, 2010, 8:47 am
  145. AP:

    Do you really think you are worth my time digging up links? I mean really.

    Like I asked AIG before you: What’s your purpose here?

    But I would like to say something about this point:

    — 6.) No Israeli NGOs or human rights organizations to help minority citizens of Israel.

    Even in their darkest hour- Nazi Germany- the Jews got help from some Germans. You guys even made a movie about one of them- Schindler.

    You want a trophy because Israel allows NGOs to operate on its soil? Has Lebanon’s Hashish made it all the way to Israel already?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 9:36 am
  146. Like I asked AIG before you: What’s your purpose here?

    Gabriel,

    Speaking for myself, I am here to both learn from well-educated Arabs and to break-down centuries of ignorance.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 22, 2010, 10:56 am
  147. Gabriel,

    It seems you had a crush on Sonja and can’t get over the fact she is an ignorant bigot. Can’t help you there.

    I think you like this guy less:
    http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2536.htm

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 11:04 am
  148. “Six of the region’s leading operators have signed a construction and maintenance agreement to build the RCN (Regional Cable Network) — a multi-terabit cable system…Etisalat, Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Jordan Telecom (Jordan), Zain — Mada coalition (Jordan) and Syrian Telecom together with other European partners have joined forces to build the mammoth 4,000 kilometre diversified cable system, which will provide reliable telecommunication and internet connectivity for all users in those countries and the surrounding nations.”

    Lebanon was left out because ” who needs high speed communication when we have a fully operational NATIONAL UNITY government”

    Posted by IHTDA | December 22, 2010, 11:15 am
  149. AP:

    — I am here to both learn from well-educated Arabs and to break-down centuries of ignorance

    That’s good. So answer me this, since we are on the topic of Anti-Semitism in Middle Ages Europe. Why did those Ukrainians go to Amsterdam when they escaped the Pogroms in Ukraine?

    You entered the argument challenging the statement I made that the narrative of European Jewry was “Up and Down” throughout the ages. I assume the intent was to suggest it was only ever “Down”.

    And now that we’ve established you are here to “learn” from “well-educated Arabs” (that’s me 🙂 ), I will address your Post #143.

    In present day Iran, or Saudi Arabia. Not exactly bastions of religious freedom, minorities don’t wear distinctive clothing.

    I bring this up (and I focus here on one of the points you raised) because you are trying to get me to judge Israeli actions based on actions in Muslim Lands or Christian Lands (with the exception of Nazi Germany) in the Middle Ages.

    The year 2010 is not the same is the year 1200. We have TV, we have internet. We have Round-the-Clock-News. We have ID cards, and national databases. We have DNA markers and Fingerprints. We don’t need distinctive clothing to prove or disprove “Second Class”.

    In Israel, the Jew and the Arab are not equal. You don’t really need internet links and articles and Wiki entries to prove or disprove this point. It is true by construction. “Israel” is by construct, a “Jewish” state. Every law that exists follows from this simple construct. Every contentious issue that has arisen in recent years are derived from this simple construct.

    At this point, the existence of Israel is a given. But what are you going to do in 50-100 years when the Arab population mushrooms in size? When the country is 50% Arab, and 50% Jew? How about when it is 60% Arab and 40% Jew?

    To pursue policies that guarantee in perpetuity a “Jewish” state must invariably mean that you pursue policies that are more favorable to the Jew than to the Arab.

    You bring up “intermarriage”. Some years ago, a poll was conducted in Israel that suggested over 50% (I can’t remember the figure, but I am sure Google can help you find it) of the population believes intermarriage is tantamount to Treason.

    Maybe you fall within that category, maybe you don’t.

    You want to break down ignorance. That seems a good place to start.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 11:31 am
  150. AIG:

    — It seems you had a crush on Sonja and can’t get over the fact she is an ignorant bigot. Can’t help you there.

    All I know about Sonja is a 1 minute video clip on Memri, with her talking about stuff that apparently you agreed with (you confirmed that the Jewish “elite” and the Romans killed trouble-making Jeezus in Post # 124). So whether she is an ignorant bigot or not is not immediately evident to me.

    I’ve had more interactions with you on this Forum, and it is becoming increasing evident that you’re an Ignorant Bigot.

    I was sort of hoping you can help me there!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 11:40 am
  151. Gabriel,

    As far as I am concerned there is no difference between you and Nasrallah. You are both against a Jewish state, you are just masking your hate and bigotry with BS. 50 years ago you would have been a Nasserist. That did not work and Islamism is too much for you, so you now mask your anti-Israel rhetoric in the usual leftists mumbo jumbo. Eventually you will learn that criticizing others does not solve any of your problems.

    What counts are facts on the ground. The Arabs in Israel are richer on average and have more rights than the average Lebanese. Of course Israel is far from perfect, but when benchmarked against any of our neighbors, we are light years ahead. But go ahead, criticize, somehow you believe that will bring salvation to Lebanon.

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 12:17 pm
  152. IHDTA:

    Why would Lebanon want that? :). Given the European and Saudi involvement, the project may be political. You never know. The Israelis may sneak in some Snoopers in those systems. It’s better if we stick to Walkie Talkies.

    AIG:

    I am not too concerned about your concerns. Think of me as the Devil’s Advocate, or better still, the Devil personified!

    The questions I present above are the sort of serious questions Israelis should be addressing.

    As for you last comment. Yes, Israel is better, grants more rights to all its citizens, is more civilized than Iran, SA, Syria, etc. etc. etc.

    But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t treat its Arab citizens as second class.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 12:49 pm
  153. Gabriel,

    Israel has a free and vibrant press and frequent free and fair elections. We can ask ourselves the questions that we need. Nitpicking about your neighbor’s yard and giving them advice while neglecting yours will get you to where the Arab states are right now.

    I sometimes wonder how much more advanced the Arab countries would be by now if all this anti-Israel energy would have been directed to bettering society in these countries. But of course, this is what the leaders want, to deflect energies and attention from them to Israel. And you are falling for this.

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 1:03 pm
  154. AIG,
    Whenever some one criticizes Israel or the Jews, you always accuse them of being jew hater. When are you going to stop using these anti-Semite accusations as a tool in your debates? Don’t you think that you’ve already over used this cheap tactic?
    I have Jewish friends here, who are always criticizing Israeli racist policies toward Palestinians; does that make them Jew haters or anti-Semitic?
    Even Nasrallah, he never said a bad word about Jews or Jewry; He definitely hate the Israelis and the Zionist, but I never heard him say a bad word about Jews and the Jewish faith, aside from the all time differences between Jews and other faiths, which is not our topic here.
    Can you tell me if there is any Jew in Israel who does not hate Arabs in general and Muslims in particular?
    Even Nazi Germany, didn’t have German roads, and Jewish road, BUT Israel does have Arab roads and Jewish road. How racist can it get there? And you have the nerves to accuse people of being anti-Semitic when they mention such subject, or criticize Israeli.
    Not wanting a Jewish state does not mean anti Semitic. Being anti Israel does not mean anti Semitic, because I views Jewry as a faith, not a nation. You can believe whatever you want; I don’t have to agree with you, and you should not expect me to.
    Would you want a Muslim state in Palestine? I’m sure you would not. But what if one day the Palestinians decided that they wanted one? Do the have the rights to make that choice in your opinion?

    Posted by Prophet | December 22, 2010, 1:20 pm
  155. Jew-haters R-Us

    Prophet said:

    Even Nazi Germany, didn’t have German roads, and Jewish road, BUT Israel does have Arab roads and Jewish road.

    No, they had far worse:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Laws

    And as far as “Jewish Only Roads”, that myth still exists apparently. It should be termed “Israel-Only Roads”. Small little detail…

    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=38&x_article=1791

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 22, 2010, 1:39 pm
  156. Prophet,
    “I views Jewry as a faith, not a nation”
    Herein lies the problem, you think you know better than the Jews what they are. This is not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. It is just plain racist.

    Israel does not have different roads for Arabs and Jews. In the West Bank there are such roads for security purposes. Not wanting a Jewish state is unadulterated antisemitism. If you want to be less of a bigot you can say the Jews have a right to a state in general but not in Palestine.

    Criticizing Israel to improve it is one thing. Criticizing Israel to make it disappear is another. This subtle difference is the line between criticism and antisemitism.

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 1:39 pm
  157. AIG,155
    You didn’t address my question of Palestinian’s right to choose a Muslim state, if they chose to. The day you agree to a hypothetical future Muslim state, I’ll accept your Jewish state.

    You also ignored my question as to whether the Jews who criticize Israel are anti Semitic or not.
    There is a “Good” excuse for Jewish only road; security. Again, every racist Israeli policy has an excuse, and always security. They do exist, and you know it. I don’t care what excuse you and your state wants to use to justify these roads, but they exist, and they are racist.
    Some Arabs could also claim for the sake of Arab security there should not be a Jewish state. How would you like that?
    Is your security an excuse for every racist policy?
    You view your faith as a nation, when 99.99 % of the world considers Judaism a faith, and not a nation. You can’t change that. There is not any prove that Judaism is race or nation. There are Jews in every race and color.
    You can call me a bigot and anti Semite all day long; it makes no difference to me, AIG. It is in your nature to call people bigots when they disagree with you on Israel.
    It is not my responsibility to improve the state of Israel, it is yours.
    Israel can exist as a nation, but not for Jews only. I oppose a Jewish state or a Zionist state for two reason; I oppose states ,which are based on one religion, and for one religion only. I oppose all states, which are based on a racist idea, whether it’s Zionism or Nazism.
    I do not want any Muslim , Jewish , or Christian state in the whole world ,and in the middle east in particular.

    Posted by Prophet | December 22, 2010, 2:25 pm
  158. AIG:

    — Not wanting a Jewish state is unadulterated antisemitism. —

    You’re right. We all want a “Jewish” State. So I hereby declare, on behalf of all my fellow anti-semites here on QN, that we are commited to a “Jewish” state in Israel.

    Since the % numbers of those Pesky Israeli Arabs is steadily increasing, we encourage you to tear a page from the Inquisition’s policy manuals and expel, oops, I mean relocate, all those Israeli Arabs.

    It is the least we can do to demonstrate our utter commitment to a democratic “Jewish” state.

    Yahweh-forbid we should be thought of as Anti-Semites!

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 2:46 pm
  159. Prophet,

    How can we even have a discussion if you cannot accept what the Jews tell you they are? The Jews are a nation whether you like it or not because we have self-determined ourselves as such. Zionism is and was a SECULAR movement. I am an atheist and a Jew. I don’t plan on repeating all the arguments here, ask HP for a short course, I think I was able to get through to him.

    The bottom line is very simple, if you want to solve the problems in the middle east by negotiation, then you have to accept that the Jews are a nation, just like I accept that the Palestinians are a nation. Otherwise, we can solve the problems, if you call that solving, through war. We can compromise on many things, but we are not going to compromise on the fact that any solution must include a Jewish state in the middle east. It is that simple. If you do not like the idea, join Hezbollah.

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 3:30 pm
  160. Gabriel,

    I gave prophet a hint how not to be an antisemite. I will repeat it for you. Instead of denying the Jews the rights of nationhood or a state, how about saying that you do not mind a Jewish state, but not in Palestine? Then I can “demote” you from antisemite to wishful thinker, which is quite a lot better.

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 3:34 pm
  161. Ya AIG, Professor HP, please!

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 22, 2010, 3:51 pm
  162. Jeezus Christos AIG.

    Now you’re just being mean. Please re-read my post #157.

    I want to be neither an anti-Semite, nor a Wishful Thinker!

    I believe in the “Jewish” State and I will have it nowhere else but in “Palestine”. I have openly encouraged you to offload your Arab problem by “relocating” those pesky Israeli Arabs.

    What more do you want from me? A pass to set up gas chambers to get rid of your problem?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 4:02 pm
  163. Gabriel,

    If you want to be neither an antisemite nor a wishful thinker nor a wise-ass I would suggest you say to yourself the following:
    The Jewish state in the middle east is here to stay. Now, what is the best way to deal with it?

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 4:20 pm
  164. AIG,158
    I made it clear that your accusations to me of being anti-Semite are useless, and meaningless. You are as anti Arab, as any one could get.
    Being an anti Arab is as bad as being anti Semite, unless you think being a Jew is better than being an Arab. lol
    I don’t need hints from you. What I need, is for you to admit the truth about your own society and state that they are built on racist and religious ideas.
    Once you are able to do that, I think we can go on to the question of how we could find solutions. Solutions can only be found when the problem is defined and diagnosed.
    Racism has prevented Israel from making any real concession with Palestinians.
    Racism is what driving every Israeli government and Jewish organization to support, and build more settlements. More settlements mean no viable Palestinian state, and denial to the Palestinians rights.
    Unless, there is a different attitude, this peace process is not going any where. Negotiation for the sake of negotiations has been going on for over 10 years now.
    Racism is what preventing Israel from realizing its own mistakes. It the self righteous attitude, that is embedded in the Israeli mind, which will always prevent both sides from reaching any peace.
    Don’t ask me to recognize your rights to a Jewish state, while the idea of Palestinian state is nothing but an illusion. Don’t expect me to believe that a racist state , which is armed to the teeth, is willing to negotiate with defenseless people on equal terms. If and when that happen, the result would be an unfair solution, because the strong will impose his will. Those types of solutions will never last.

    Posted by Prophet | December 22, 2010, 4:24 pm
  165. AIG:

    Jeezus!

    How much more of an offer do you want! Shall I slay myself on account of my Second Rate Arab blood?!?

    The Jewish State is here in the Middle East. I have already made a proposal to you on how best to deal with its conundrums! Make it Jew Only, or should I say Arabfrei!

    Shall we empty out Lebanon and Syria as well?

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 4:26 pm
  166. AIG:

    On a serious note. There are only two viable solutions to the situation.

    Solution 1: A binational state that covers Israel and the Occupied territories. All citizens are treated equally.

    Solution 2: Gaza goes to Egypt, the WB to Jordan.

    I think most reasonable “Arabs” would agree with this sentiment.

    The problem is that over the long run, they both amount to the same thing for the “Jews”.

    If Option 2 (or a variant thereof) is pursued, then as the number of Arabs swell within Israel, the Jews are back in Square 1.

    The question has never really been what the Arabs were going to do about it. They’ve always had the upper hand, but unfortunately, fools amongst them followed authoritarian leaders and offered themselves as fodder to the “Cause”.

    The question will always be… what is Israel going to do about its presence, and the sort of Presence/Future it wants in the region. One of contempt, sectarianism, hatred? Or one of harmony and peace.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 5:00 pm
  167. Gabriel,

    No problem, let’s wait 50 years and see what happens. Have fun living in your Islamic states meanwhile.

    Generation after generation of Arabs keep thinking that time is on their side and that Israel faces some existential dilemma or internal weaknesses that will bring to its demise. But lo and behold, it is all BS, just as is the demographic issue. The percentage of Arab Israelis will never grow over 35% as their fertility rates are coming down substantially while that of Jews is not. If you disagree, let’s wait 50 years and find out.

    As for “harmony and peace”, don’t make me laugh. First implement that in ONE Arab country and let’s talk again. So at this point my choice is “contempt” but I am willing to change my mind quickly when I see true democratic reforms in Arab countries.

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 5:28 pm
  168. No No No. Me and the Middle East! :). I am proudly Canadian. This is my home now. Keep the crazy Muslim states there where they can be Israel’s friendly neighbours!

    Your problem AIG is that you don’t see just how much your idealogy promotes the type of neo-fanaticism we see today in your friendly neighbourhood.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 5:47 pm
  169. Gabriel,

    I imagined as much. The challenges of changing the middle east are not really for you. You are good at giving advice from afar.

    My very existence and very basic desire for a Jewish state promote fanaticism, nothing neo about that. Hajj Amin Al Husseini, Nasser, Nasrallah, Arafat etc. etc. are all fanatics from different eras but with the same basic ideology regarding me and my identity. And you and prophet are just links in this magnificent historical chain. The very notion of a Jewish state makes you go bananas. I have accepted a long time ago that this is never going to change. Maybe the ideology will have different names but it will always advocate getting rid of Israel. Oh well, c’est la vie.

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 6:16 pm
  170. AIG,
    IT must be Very convenient for you to avoid answering real questions (#164), by labeling me as fanatic (#169), and earlier as anti-Semite (#156).lol
    It appears that people have two choices when debating you; either agreeing with everything you say, or are labeled as fanatic or anti-Semite.
    The more I listen to Israelis like you, the more I’m convinced that Israelis are not ready to accept a solution where they live without dominating others.
    It is that same mentality that produces Israel’s leadership that can only think of wars and occupation as the only solutions to the tough questions.
    I finally found myself agreeing with you on something; that your: very existence as a racist state promotes fanaticism, your very existence as state that was build though terror and ethnic cleansing, promotes fanaticism.

    Posted by Prophet | December 22, 2010, 6:56 pm
  171. — And you and prophet are just links in this magnificent historical chain. The very notion of a Jewish state makes you go bananas. —

    Bananas, no. Apples, maybe 🙂

    The State is called Israel. That it is predominantly “Jewish” or not is not something that concerns me personally, and I doubt very much it concerns Prophet either.

    No-one would have a problem with Israel if it just Were. The problem is that it is a State that “has to be”. The adjective “Jewish” is just add-on. An adjective that betrays your nationalist fervor.

    My position (I will not speak for Prophet- he has fingers and can type) is true irrespective of what that State is. I am Canadian, and if the predominantly Anglo-Saxon populace were to say it is an “Anglo-Saxon” state, the notion would be no less “Racist” than suggesting that Israel has to be for eternity a “Jewish” state.

    This sort of criticism does not apply only to Israel, it applies to Arab states as well (who for instance suppress Kurds), or Turkey, or “Islamic” republics, like Pakistan and Iran, or “Islamic” kingdoms like Saudi Arabia.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 6:58 pm
  172. “Going Bananas” and the 19 Examples of Utopia

    The Jewish state in the middle east is here to stay. Now, what is the best way to deal with it?

    AIG,

    The following 19 states do not recognize the State of Israel (the remaining 172 member states do):

    The following 19 UN member states do not recognize Israel as a state:[15] Afghanistan,[16] Algeria,[17] Bahrain[18] Bangladesh,[19] Chad,[20] Cuba, Indonesia, Iran[21] Iraq,[22] Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,[23] North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria,[24] United Arab Emirates[25] and Yemen.

    Notice that the 19 countries listed above, constitute some of the most repressive regimes in the world.

    It’s all making sense now!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 22, 2010, 7:08 pm
  173. AP,

    Apparently the two favorite ways to deal with Israel is to move to Canada etc. or tell the Israelis what they really are and demand they accept it as a prerequisite for negotiation. Just two additional ways of not coming to grips with the problem: If we close our eyes and repeat to ourselves what we think the world ought to be like, it will magically change!!!

    Posted by AIG | December 22, 2010, 7:36 pm
  174. AP.

    Who knew you were such a fan of the UN!

    Here’s a nice way to spend your time, go through the list

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel

    And pick out which resolutions condemning Israeli actions were approved by Democratic Non-Repressive nations.

    It will be a fun exercise, and should keep you busy for a while.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 8:02 pm
  175. Gabriel,
    AIG knows the truth; He does not need this exercise. He knows all of that. He is just in denial, to say the least.

    AIG, I’m still waiting for a rational response minus the usual accusations Are you ok with a Muslim (Palestine) state as your neighbor?

    Posted by Prophet | December 22, 2010, 8:31 pm
  176. Prophet:

    I’m just toying with AIG and AP, and having a little fun. It’s a slow day at work. Of course they know the argument too well. But what can you do, what options do they really have. To admit they’re wrong would mean shattering their whole world-view. Do you really think any of them will have a serious intellectual discussion on the topic?

    AIG:

    I did some number crunching for you. I had to make some assumptions on population growth rates, and current demographics:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Israel

    Based on the numbers, in exactly 125 years, the population breakdown of Israel will be 50-50.

    I think you should take action now while the non-Jews constitute only 25% of the population of Israel. It’s easier to deal with the problem.

    You should just take me up on my offer. Expel those nuisances from Israel.

    Posted by Gabriel | December 22, 2010, 8:45 pm
  177. Gabriel,
    This reminds me of the guy who broke into someone’s house, and robbed it clean; Furniture and all.
    The owner of the house was humble, and unable to return his belongings by force, decided to go to the robber, and tried to negotiate the return of some of his essential items that he needs badly.
    The robber told him; the minute I return a tiny item to you, it means that, I admit robbing your house, and you will keep demanding your belongings. SO, I never robbed anyone’s house, I inherited all of the stuff I have, and you better not show up at my door anymore.

    Posted by prophettt | December 22, 2010, 9:01 pm
  178. Guys,

    You may want to read my comment # 130 which was just released by his highness mr. QN.

    Basically, I think I solved that mystery ‘crime’, and since QN released the comment, that would be an indication that there could be some merits to my ‘investigation’. My conclusion does not differ much from that of Sonya except that she did not rely on ‘reliable’ evidence as I did.

    (So, why the heck are you picking against me your highness?)

    Merry Christmass to everyone. At least we have the ‘solid’ evidence now to celebrate!

    Speaking of evidence, Mr. Bellmar is now telling us that his indictments will be based on ‘solid’ evidence. Looks like ’tis the season for ‘solid’ crime resolution,

    في حين يُرجح أن يشهد الوضع اللبناني المزيد من الاسترخاء في الأيام المقبلة ببركة الأعياد وفضلها، بدا أن المدعي العام الدولي القاضي دانيال بيلمار يحاول «تمهيد الأرض» أمام قراره الاتهامي وترميم مصداقيته من خلال رسالة تطمين وجهها الى من يهمه الأمر بقوله إن قرار الاتهام، عندما يُرسل إلى قاضي الإجراءات التمهيدية لتصديقه، سيكون مستنداً إلى أدلة موثوق فيها، ولا يرقى إليها الشك، مؤكداً أنه لن يقدم هذا القرار إلا إذا كان مقتنعاً به على المستوى المهني والأخلاقي.
    وقال بيلمار لصفحة التواصل على الموقع الالكتروني للمحكمة الدولية والتي أطلقتها «وحدة التواصل الخارجي» في المحكمة: أنا لم استخدم تعبير «شهود الزور»، لأنّ استخدامه ينطوي على استنتاج، أيّ إنك قد استنتجت بالفعل أنّ الشخص قد كذب، وأفضل استخدام تعبير «شاهد غير موثوق فيه».
    وأضاف: «سرت بعض الشائعات مفادها، أنّ قرار الاتهام قد يستند إلى أدلة قدّمها من يعرفون بشهود الزور أو الشهود غير الموثوق فيهم، وعلى سبيل المثال، عندما كنت أسعى الى إطلاق سراح من كانوا محتجزين، اعتمدت في ذلك على تقييمي للأدلة المتاحة، واستنتجت أنّ تلك الأدلة لم تكن موثوقة بما فيه الكفاية لتبرير الاستمرار في احتجاز هؤلاء الأشخاص، لذا فإنّ العنصر الرئيس في هذه العملية هو تقييم مصداقية الشهود، وإذا استنتجنا أنّ الشهود ليس موثوقاً فيهم، فإننا لن نعتمد على شهادتهم، خلافاً لما يقوله البعض عن أنّ قرار الاتهام، سيستند إلى أدلة يقدمها أشخاص يفتقرون للمصداقية».
    ورداً على سؤال بشأن الاتهامات للمحكمة بالتسييس، أجاب بيلمار: «هذه الاتهامات يطلقها الخائفون من قرار المحكمة او من الجهود التي تبذلها للوصول الى كشف الحقيقة».
    وأكد انه «لا يتلقى تعليمات من احد ولا يتأثر بالسياسة، وأنه يتخذ قراراته باستقلال تام ومن دون إملاءات من أحد».
    في هذا الوقت، عكس السفير السوري في بيروت علي عبد الكريم علي خلال زيارته أمس الى كل من الرئيسين سليم الحص وعمر كرامي، مناخات إيجابية تواكب المسعى السوري – السعودي، كما أكدت لـ«السفير» مصادر اطلعت على أجواء اللقاءين، مشيرة الى ان السفير السوري اكد لهما ان هناك أملاً وتفاؤلاً بإيجاد حل للأزمة في لبنان، لكنه مشروط بأن يتحرك المسؤولون اللبنانيون نحو الاتفاق على ترتيبات تؤدي الى تسهيل تنفيذ الحل، وهناك استعداد سوري وسعودي لدعم أي توافق لبناني.

    Prophet gets all the credit for his ‘blasphemous’ suggestion in 116!

    Posted by anonymous | December 22, 2010, 9:06 pm
  179. anonymous, In #116 I was just having fun.You were too serious to see the humor in it.lol
    I don’t attend any debate that deals with religion. POLITICS, YES, BUT NOT RELIGION.

    Posted by prophettt | December 22, 2010, 9:15 pm
  180. Gabriel,

    It’s no use arguing with AIG, unless as you say you would like to toy with him (I’m into the toying part camp as well). His position, historical and present day is so full of holes and does not measure up to any reasoned scrutiny. Others have tried to debate him in the past on these points(including yours truly) on this blog to no avail (di2 el may may).

    He says that he’s an atheist Jew. Never heard of that before!!! yet he claims that the jews are a tribe and that the piece of land on the eastern Med belongs to them. Based on what? I don’t know. Was this tribe first to occupy that land? Obviously not, since by their own historical account they left Egypt (not on so good terms) and had to fight the existing inhabitants of that a lot at the time (his tribe was not their first).

    However, when one reads the reasoning given by 99.999% of the jews’ claim to that land, it is always based on biblical account (promised land/chosen people, etc.). This position can at least be debated, especially the abstract part of God making special promisses to only one tribe and not to any of the others on earth (God playing favoritism here).

    AIG’s position does not add up.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | December 22, 2010, 11:34 pm
  181. Who knew you were such a fan of the UN?

    Gabriel,

    I am not a fan of the UN. Yet, a member state like Israel is recognized by 172 member states out of 191. Maybe one day soon Palestine will be a full member state. INGS is a great forum

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 23, 2010, 12:33 am
  182. (continued)

    The UNGA is a great forum for Arab and Muslim majority states (57) to “go bananas” about Israel. Apparently, this is an important part of Arab and Muslim culture and so there has to be a place for like-minded representatives to “vent”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_world

    Fortunately, UNGA resolutions are meaningless, but they do provide an important service.

    On rare occassions, the more useful UNSC isolates muslim regimes that terrorize the world (and the ME) like Saddam Hussein and Iran, or institutes murder investigations on the behest of ME countries overwhelmed by muslim terrorists like Lebanon and the STL.

    All-in-all, the UN is the best we can do under the circumstances.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 23, 2010, 12:49 am
  183. Professor HP (141)

    “How about this experiment.
    Erase all the past. Forgive all the guilt. Define the “initial conditions” and the “boundary conditions” as they exist today, add the constraint of desirable peace, justice, and prosperity, and then proceed to offer models and solutions for going forward.”

    I am intrigued by this proposal. HP, how do you foresee solving the field equations once you complete the formulation of your boundary-value problem? Are you going to be seeking a closed form solution or would you be resorting to numerical approximation techniques? If it is the latter (which I assume is most likely) how would you verify the solution? Just curious.

    Posted by anonymous | December 23, 2010, 2:42 am
  184. Prophet 179,

    But I too was having fun in 118 with your 116. It seems that you do not have the Canucks sense of humour. It is very very cold just like the country itself. Only Gaby seems to catch on to it easily. But he is also a Canuck. HP by the way thought we’re both funny in 119.

    I’ll try to get you the latest ‘funniest’ Canuck poem, but I need to be able to post pictures.

    Posted by anonymous | December 23, 2010, 3:27 am
  185. Habibi anonymous, I think we’re in resonance! 😉

    Of course my allegory was a metaphor to suggest that as long as bottled-up hatred based on the past guides how the adults brainwash the children, there will be only dim prospects for peace. Indeed it will be a numerical solution. Who the heck has event the talent nowadays to formulate closed-form solutions. It’s alas a lost skill, what with the plethora of numerical techniques and the ever increasingly powerful computing engines.

    I guess what I’m saying is that pragmatism is the key to a solution here. As much as they are maligned, Abbas and Fayyad do seem to have the right attitude and approach. So do the authors of the Beirut proposal for peace. The problem is that extremists – Hamas on one side and religious fanatics on the Israeli side – seem to be so far successful in foiling progress.

    Regrettably, as long as a stronghold is maintained over the brains of the youth by those two entities, peace will continue to be difficult. On the other hand, the long-term demographic shift, due to the imbalance in growth rate for Israelis and Arabs, coupled with what one hopes will be a more educated and illuminated youth (both sides) from the increasingly connected world, these factors do point towards a higher chance for peace in years to come.

    Amen

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 23, 2010, 10:29 am
  186. Oh, and it’s still free. No payments in camels needed, nor shall it be accepted. Altruism reigns king with HP. 😉

    Posted by Honest Patriot | December 23, 2010, 10:31 am
  187. Today’s “What if this happened in Israel” NewZ

    Iran hangs 11 “militants”…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12039745

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 23, 2010, 11:07 am
  188. Akbar Palace,
    Israel does not hang them; they just blow their homes on top of them, and their families, and then called it self defense. Does that sound familiar?

    Posted by Prophet | December 23, 2010, 2:34 pm
  189. Another Fatwa from a rabbi;
    Dialogue, and intellectual discussions are FEARED AND FORBIDDEN,by the Rabbi.
    Rabbi Aviner: Don’t read talkbacks
    One of Religious Zionism’s leaders says responding to articles on websites may lead to religious and moral transgressions. ‘Talkbacks can bring many blessings, but for the most part we see that they have many negative sides which means it isn’t worth it in the long run’
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3986921,00.html

    Posted by Prophet | December 23, 2010, 2:48 pm
  190. For the Record:

    Lousy google translation of Lt Col. Rick Burgess, retiring US military attache @ the US Embassy in TA in a farewell interview with the IDF magazine BaMachaneh:

    “$ 500 million to Lebanon

    While Iran, Israel and the United States combine hands, another Middle Eastern neighbor causes them trouble in relationships. As the last of telenovelas, *the White House now juggling between two lovers: Israel, the woman known, Lebanon, the new baby. According to foreign publications, the first eight months of 2010 State of the United States flow Cedar $ 400 million purchase of weapons used by the army. She was a huge sum in order to strengthen the legitimate government in Lebanon, led by Hariri’s son, thus indirectly weaken the grip of Hezbollah in the region. After the incident, was shot dead at the border where Lt. Col. (res.) Dov mountain late aid was suspended, but resumed last month with the transfer of an additional $ 100 million.

    Tightening the relationship between Lebanon and Israel to the United States raises many questions. Northern Command said that a long time goes beneath the surface cooperation between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah, suggest that Western money will be used for attacks against Israel. Burgess, it turns out, fearing exactly the same script, and maintains diplomatic language on the subject. “We move into Lebanon of arms can also reach the non-hands – right,” he admits. “Small amounts does come, we have a good idea about what comes into the hands of Hezbollah. But I would say the most important weapons do not come. It worries us, but not at the level that would cause us to stop economic aid to change our policy. Cessation of aid would cause more damage from some Small items that fall into the hands of non – correct. ”

    At one point, the colonel quickly qualified his remarks, rude and takes a step back. “You have to remember that the means of control, control mechanisms, to prevent weapons transferred to the hands of non – correct,” he says. “That’s kind of cases which have to look at the bigger picture. Immediately after the shooting on the northern border, the U.S. government stopped financial assistance to the Lebanese army for several months. During those months, there were countries like Iran offered our assistance to Lebanon, and that’s dangerous. If We will not be good relations with Lebanon, someone else will – we do not want countries like Iran and Syria, which Israel’s enemies, will help her. ties with Syria and Iran really worries us, and we know him well. That does not mean we stop the aid ” .

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=iw&u=http://dover.idf.il/IDF/News_Channels/bamahana/2010/2201/12.htm&ei=VpcTTc_JOY3ksQOs8ImzAg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://dover.idf.il/IDF/News_Channels/bamahana/2010/2201/12.htm%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26sa%3DG%26rls%3Den%26prmd%3Divns

    *Note that Burgess is fond of using analogies that liken relationships between countries to intimate human interactions. He also compares the US/Israel situation to a solid marriage that includes differences between husband and wife.

    Posted by lally | December 23, 2010, 4:06 pm
  191. Prophet,

    Yes, Israel defends herself against enemies that launch missiles at her. However, the 11 Iranians hanged were Iranian citizens, and apparently, they had 1 full week of due process before they were hung. Hear that pin drop?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | December 23, 2010, 7:13 pm
  192. How about the mayor of Nazareth Illit not allowing Christmas trees in the town square, calling them “provocative”.

    Talk about tolerance. Jesus spent a good part of his life in Nazareth and its surrounding, and christians should be able to celebrate his birth there.

    Besides, what is so provocative about Christmas trees and to whom? Maybe AP or AIG can enlighten us.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | December 23, 2010, 8:41 pm
  193. AK,
    First ,I oppose capital punishment anywhere.
    It ‘s Very true that this people had a week of due process,But at least they did have a process.
    But those who you think launch missiles against you, Don’t get any due process;Instead a whole neighborhood gets flattened on top of its residents. You call that a due process, don’t you?
    My point is ; clean your finger before you spot other people’s glass.

    Posted by Prophet | December 23, 2010, 9:23 pm
  194. Prophet 193,

    Why do you keep contradicting yourself?
    We already established thanks to Sonya that two wrongs do not make right.

    You should come forward courageously and spell it out clearly: Both Iran and Israel are villains and should both be equally condemned. So, are you going to post a comment condemning Iran? We already know you condemn Israel. But that is only half the picture.

    Posted by anonymous | December 23, 2010, 10:07 pm
  195. AP 191

    In my opinion, you won’t find many folks who would argue with you that Iran, KSA and a bunch of arab countries have dismal human rights record and mistreat their minorities. far from it.

    On the other hand, Israel practices the same things or even surpass them in many ways under the guise of security/war and illigal land grab. Yet portays itself as a lamb surrounded by wolfs.

    Israel needs to come clean and reach an honorable peace with its “Immediate” neighbors. An acceptable formula is there, and Israel knows it. It’s just the land grab and its current macho military capability is getting in the way of reason, and to do what is right.

    From a historical perspective, these “Immediate” neighbors of all creeds have been a tolerant bunch vis a vis religion and israel should capitalize on this, instead of radicalizing this audiance.

    Once a real peace is reached between these parties, the conflict with the outlaying players, such as Iran would be a non issue.

    The real question is whether Israel has a genuine desire to reach a respectful peace?

    At this point, I don’t see it. Which is a shame.

    Posted by Ras Beirut | December 23, 2010, 11:00 pm
  196. anonymous,#194
    I stated above that I was against capital punishment period, and I condemn any country that executes people. That includes Iran.
    That being said, you can’t compare oranges and apples. Iran captured 11 people who, supposedly were behind terrorist acts that killed tens of people. They were captured and tried. I condemn Iran for excuting those suspects. I think Iran should put them in jail if they were convicted by solid evidence.
    Israel on the other hand, is an occupying country that punishes people regardless of what they do. Their occupation and oppression of Palestinians are terrorist acts by themselves.
    I do condemn any Palestinian who carries any act of violence against civilian Israelis. Those who do should be tried as terrorists, provided that Israel refrains from targeting civilians as a mean of revenge, or due process.
    I condemn Israel for the collective punishment against entire Palestinians populations after any act of violence by Palestinian groups or individuals. I think Palestinians who are captured by Israel for opposing and resisting by military means, should be treated as war prisoners, instead of terrorists. They are at war after all.

    Posted by PROPHET | December 23, 2010, 11:54 pm
  197. OK now back to wikileaks.

    It is well known Assange is now out on bail. And incidentally al-Akhbar is back on line. Back to business as normal.

    But Apple iPhone does not support wikileaks anymore.

    Google Android however has taken the opposite approach and is still in league with wikileaks.

    Posted by anonymous | December 24, 2010, 12:45 am
  198. Any thought on achieving both stability and justice, as the PM would like us to believe?

    Posted by Badr | December 24, 2010, 3:48 am
  199. Time to stop politics for a moment.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

    Posted by danny | December 24, 2010, 8:55 am
  200. Season’s Greetings to Everyone…

    Will be back to blogging next week… maybe. 🙂

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | December 24, 2010, 11:57 am

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