Okay, well, not my eyewitness accounts, but those from friends in Lebanon. I finally got through to another friend who fled with her family to a village in the north and I hear that my other friend did the same thing and they are all safe. It’s really scary for them, though they are trying to keep cool. The country, especially in the south, is running out of blood and water and there is no way to get any supplies to them. Today the Israeli Occupation Forces bombed the hell out of the Lebanese harbor really strangling the country more than before, if that were possible. At night the Israelis are doing make believe attacks just to terrorize the people. There are now refugees in Beirut, sleeping in the parks, with no blankets, food, water. And, apparently, the PLO asked that all of the Palestinian refugees be moved to Syria–certainly a sign that things are not going to get better anytime soon. It’s unbelievable that no one in the U.S. is doing anything: no humanitarian aid (as if that could get in with the airport, seaport, and land borders closed off), no demonstrations in the streets to show support. It’s not like Lebanese people can organize anything from there. Everyone is just trying to stay safe, stay alive. Moreover, somehow the U.S. media has completely forgotten that the entire Hezbollah operation is about a prisoner exchange. And yet Ehud Olmert is choosing to bomb the hell out of Lebanon rather than negotiate as Israel has done in the past.
Even in Tel Aviv there will be a protest tomorrow night. Here is the text of Israeli activists call to demonstration:
We are calling upon all those who oppose the silent opposition to join our protest march this coming Sunday, 16.7.06, at 19:00, in Tel Aviv! Please, spread the word and come en masse!
Silence the Canons Start Negotiating!
The illusion that a ‘strong and firm’ Israeli government can unilaterally determine the borders and lives of Israel and its neighbors has shattered into a bloody reality. We can only expect more casualties, wounded, destruction, anxiety, economic and social paralysis for us and our neighbors are the price to pay if we continue to avoid the path of political negotiations.
Barak unilaterally stopped the peace process with Syria and preferred a unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon, without negotiations or agreements. Israel was left with the Golan Heights and with an armed Hizbollah on the border. We are now paying the price. Barak and Ben-Ami, Sharon and Ben Eliezer, Mofaz and Peres, and now Olmert and Peretz gave up negotiating with the Palestinians and tried, and are still trying, to withdraw from some of the territories while maintaining the occupation in the rest of the territories.
Now it is clear: No fence and no wall will protect Israel from hostile neighbors. The IDF has failed and will keep losing in the battle against guerrilla forces. Technological and instrumental superiority allows one to spy, destroy, liquidate, but it cannot prevent injuries in the border or the home front, among civilians and soldiers. After the long years of the failed military attempt to overcome guerrilla forces in Lebanon, how can we think that the current use of force will solve anything? We’ve been in this situation before!!! The only true defense, the only way to guarantee a different future, a future of peace and security, is to resolve the source of the hostility, to solve the conflict through negotiations, through compromise, by ending the occupation and establishing a relationship of equality and respect between Israelis and Palestinians and between Israelis and the neighboring nations. Does it sound crazy? It is the sane thing to do. The sounds of explosion, the smell of burning and the rivers of blood are the crazy things. Does it sound difficult? It is. We have realized already that the negotiations won’t be simple, that the conflict is complicated, that both sides will be required to make big and painful concessions. But does anyone seriously think that military solutions are possible?! Tomorrow, Sunday 16.7, we will hold a protest march in the streets of Tel Aviv: No More Military Madness! Stop the Unilateral Illusion! Stop Killing Civilians in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza!
Start Political Negotiations! We’ll meet at 19:00 on the corner of Frishmann and Chen Blvd.
I watched George Bush give a speech this morning at the G8 summit in St. Petersberg and was stunned to hear him say that he thinks that Israel has been working hard on a two state solution. What two state? The Bantustan scenario where Palestinians are closed into open-air prions by an apartheid wall because of illegal Israeli settlers? What two state where an 8 meter wall encloses Palestinians into ghettos? Where over 7,000 Palestinians, over 400 of whom are women and children, are political prisoners? Moreover, Bush seems to think that the root of the problem can be found in Hezbollah’s first strike at Israeli Occupation soldiers, not the imprisonment of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners. Not the ethnic cleansing of Ghaza. Not the ethnic cleansing that has gone on for years in various ways since European Jews first began occupying this land. Bush wants Hezbollah to show restraint and put down arms whereas no one is condemning the Israelis for the hundreds of innocent Lebanese who are dying. Who have been made refugees. What restraint has Israel shown? Dropping leaflets on a town in South Lebanon asking people to evacuate and then bombing them while they are on the road trying to flee? Cell phone towers in Lebanon have also been shot down, which is why it is so difficult to get in touch with people there. It’s a nightmare.
On top of all this it’s very difficult to find news out about Ghaza. Al Jazeera and Al Manar are both focused almost entirely on Lebanon all the while Israel is also bombing the hell out of Ghaza. One of my friends who is in Ghaza City right now said that a bomb was dropped a block away from them this morning. This is the beginning of the end, or so it seems.
For people who want real eyewitness counts, Ali Abunimah started Electronic Lebanon with many updates and accounts. It’s well worth a read.
Also, for people who want to do something here is one recommendation:
LEBANON UNDER ATTACK >> CONTRIBUTE
Israel is attacking our country in a weird disproportionate way.
Shelling, raids, villages torn, infrastructure being destroyed. we need
to act in any way. What can be done:
1) use the attached graphic on your websites / blogs / or by mail
2) contribute to lebanonunderattack.wordpress.com to update constantly the information, and spread the blog in the whole world for all to see.
Israel’s media campaign is called “War in the North”. They nearly seem like total victims. They are working hard. We shall work hard also to dismantle mis-information.
Anyone interested in contributing to the LEBANON UNDER ATTACK blog should open a wordpress.com account, and mail me the mail address he used to sign in at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your attention, do forward this mail to all people you
know [especially interested ones, and possible contributors].