Eyewitness accounts min Lubnan

Originally uploaded by marcynewman.

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:

Dear people,

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 w.maouad@gmail.com.

Thank you for your attention, do forward this mail to all people you
know [especially interested ones, and possible contributors].



2 thoughts on “Eyewitness accounts min Lubnan

  1. Of course. Hezb’ollah would never consider using airports, seaports or the road to Syria to bring in military supplies.
    Of course, Hezb’ollah hiding their 14,000 missiles and rockets in warehouses attached to houses in the middle of villages bear absolutely no responsibility for the targeting of those warehouses.
    Of course, the two Hezb’ollah “hostages” were tried and convicted of murder (multiple times) but they are most definitely worth sacrificing Lebanon for.

  2. Until now, I didn’t know how to give your people a message of peace when everywhere there’s chaos and an unnecessary war.
    I’m from Israel, but it doesn’t matter. What truly matters is that we’re all
    pieces of the same puzzle. We must unite with our hearts, believe in love and
    the possibility to heal the wounds between our nations. Our leaders, yours and
    mine, are only a few people, and they have gone mad. They don’t realize that
    they’re making the wound bigger everyday.
    We can change it, and it starts with Salam, Shalom, Peace. Find compassion in
    your heart, and let the world know- we don’t need this war. We can bring our
    boys home, we can build again from our ruins.

    I apologize in the name of my “leaders”, for all the hurt they’ve caused you. I
    hope that Nassralla will give us back our 3 soldiers that were kidnapped and
    because of the search for them that war began.

    Think about it. All of the suffering, just because someone won’t let 3
    miserable soldiers go… insanity! And I know that my “leaders” are over
    reacting. So… I send you love and I hope for…

    Peace. NOW.

    Shir Alony, 22, Tel Aviv (Born in Jerusalem)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s