Lebanese Jester

Me, my Lebanon, and I.com weblog

My take on Palestinians civil rights in Lebanon.

Before you go any further in your reading, allow me in all modesty to point out to you once again my (few) readers the fact that I do not adhere to any political party; and moreover I am for the harsh prosecution of all our (past and present) political leaders.
Having said that, and keeping in mind that the bloggosphere has been busing lately (after a long period of silence) with two main topics which somehow are related; One that of breaking the Israeli embargo on Gaza, and second, that of Walid Beyk (imminent) proposal for Palestinian (refuges in Lebanon) human and civil rights.
I have read many articles about the later subject and participated (shyly, in order not to offend) in some “web” debates, and still (as a human) I could not be swayed.
So here is my view on this particular “hot” topic, regardless of what I think of Walid Beyk.

Yes every single human being has the right to a decent life, to have his basic rights protected, access to basic medical care, schooling, a roof over his head, to live with dignity, to be able to work and be a “constructive” part of society..etc.
BUT:
In order to enjoy and be given such rights a person should abide by certain rules, especially when he is a host in a foreign land (to say the least and not use the term “refugee”).
The Palestinian problem was not caused by Lebanon, and it was not the Lebanese who deprived the Palestinians from their homeland; on the contrary, Lebanon (albeit forcibly) not only accepted a big influx of refugees, but (wrongly) signed the Cairo treaty giving Yasser Arafat and his group of thugs a free hand not only to cause mayhem, but also (at a certain point in time) try to establish the state of Palestine within the Lebanese borders.

No I won’t join; nor would I root for any flotilla trying to break the siege of Gaza, for according to me those who voted for a (so called) terrorist governance knew what they were getting themselves into. Why should I help people who are not only divided amongst themselves, but people who tried to take over my country and contributed greatly to the 180,000 dead during our 15 years of war?
Before you get on your high horses and burn me to the stake, allow me to remind you of a sample of what took place in Lebanon between 1975 and 1982 (in order to keep this post relatively readable) at the hands of those refugees which some of our leaders are now claiming to be oppressed by their host country.

1)May 20, 1975
Five people were killed and 24 were wounded in Dekwaneh
Violent confrontations opposed Palestinians from the Tell El Zaatar camp and Phalange Party members. Businesses were closed in protest against the lack of security.

2)January 20, 1976
Damour massacre
Avenging the massacre of Karantina by Christian forces 2 days before, Palestinians and leftist Muslims attacked the Christian city of Damour, located about 20 kilometers south of Beirut, and murdered 350 civilians.

3)August 17, 1976
The Upper-Metn battle started. Over 600 shells fell on Faraya-Oyoune El Simane while Palestinians and Progressive forces continued their insane bombing of the capital.

January 6, 1978
The Begin Plan concerning the settlement of Palestinians in Lebanon made some noise.
The Lebanese reacted with firmness and indignation to the conspiracy initiated by foreign countries. According to Salim El Hoss, ‘Every project expecting the settlement of Palestinians outside of their land is rejected.’ The President of the Republic also rejected any project stipulating the permanent settlement of Palestinians in Lebanon. ‘Our country should determine itself what it is able to offer. It is unfair to solve the Palestinian question by creating a Lebanese problem. We will make every effort to let our right prevail, he said.

4)May 2, 1978
A fight opposed the UNIFL and the Palestinians. The French barrack in Tyr was bombed and the commander of the French contingent was seriously injured.

5)April 14, 1982
A general war was raging between Amal and the Palestinians. Meanwhile, the fights continued in the South and reached Beirut and its suburbs where 15 deaths were reported.

6)July 19, 1982
While Beirut was still under blockade, sporadic confrontations opposed the Israelis and the Palestinians, and innocent victims continued to fall. The President of the AUB, David Dodge, was kidnapped in the middle of the campus.

The above mentioned facts, are whether we like or not, part of our bloody history; and more recent are the rockets fired from our homeland (after the 2006 war) into our arch enemy Israel from Palestinian factions such as Ahmad Jebril. What if Israel retaliated then? What rights can you give to people who have no respect towards the well being of the people of their host country? Would you give, let alone accept, into your own home someone who raises his children on hate (and teach him at a young age how to use weapons) towards “some” of your fellow citizens? Please do not even attempt to reply with Sabra and Chatila, for I have seen firsthand what the PLO, Fath and Al Sa3ika did to fellow Lebanese (before Sabra and Chatila), including to those who now are the “prince valiant” to the Palestinian cause (Iztaz included).

Walid Beyk, sorry! Go suck on an egg. “Atfal Al hijara” go free Palestine, but not from my country!

N.B: For a comprehensive list of events from 1974 to 1990 visit: 111101

Advertisements

June 24, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Commemorating a lesson NOT learned !

No matter how hard you try (especially my generation) to move forward and turn the page, the (bloody) past has a knack to come back and bite you in the arse.
On the 13th of April, and for a few years now, this holier than thaw attitude has been the subject of competition between the “competing” local TV stations ,which are the bullhorn of most militias whom I hold responsible for the death of 150000- 200000 fellow Lebanese. Amazingly enough they all seem to agree (wrongly) on the image of Ain El Roumaneh bus as the start of all evil that cursed this Biblical land of ours. In order to keep this latest rambling of mine short, I might grant all those who believe in this fallacy the pleasure in dwelling in this false pretext for the (according to me) war started with the Imposed signature of the Cairo treaty and the “flint” was the Kissinger plan. Call me a conspiracy theorist or even a moron, but this was, and still is my conviction.


On the eve of the 13th of April, I do not want (or at least I try not to) lay the blame on anyone anymore.
On the eve of the 13th of April I wish for this new generation to finally draw lessons from our bloody past.
But how could they???
This same generation I am referring to, is being brought up in an environment more entrenched in sectarianism and fanaticism then I ever witnessed in the late 70’s when I was still a teenager. Before the war broke out (because of the bus incident or not is now irrelevant, but not to me) teenagers did not (in general) pay much attention to religious following according to family names. My generation, intentionally or not, made the divide even greater. Rebellious teens found a new slogan to use against their parents, such as “la lil ta2fiah” which they proudly put as bumper stickers on their cars; but when push came to shove they were more than happy to use derogative terms towards their fellow citizens.
Friends of mine published a humorous blog on their page, which prompted me to write tonight. It is not the contents as such, but the mere picture of the Holiday Inn hotel, and the vivid memory of a man plunging to his death trying to evade an even worst fate. What followed I will spare you, for it is too painful for me to recall, although many have lived even worst.
And you think that we have learned our lesson.
How can we; when we are still harboring all sorts of banned fanatic clerics, mullahs, terrorists, Schizophrenics child murderer (Samir Kuntar), convicted murderers (Ahmad Gibril), strive towards peace, prosperity and most of all security for our children. All those who died during the 15 years of “civil” war are turning in their graves.
Why you might ask?
One example will suffice, and that of the man who threw himself from the Holliday Inn and is now rotten in his grave watching goatee Saad shake hands with Geagea. And this is only one example. 15 years of war and 150000- 200000 martyrs never would they have shed (in their majority) their blood if they knew that Hassouna will be the ultimate dictator treading the same grounds they are buried under. Even the Imam Moussa Al Sadr is turning in his grave.
I sure hope that the day will not come when we will commemorate the 7th of May as the day when HIzbollahistan was born.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Lebanon, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A butcher’s knife

In reply to my friend’s request, and with regards to the “butcher’s knife” comment I have posted on his page; I will recall a sad chapter which will never be written in our history books (nor will it be taught to our children in our schools).
In order to make this story seem more plausible to the foreign (non Lebanese) eye, one has to understand the animosity that is ingrained not only amongst Lebanese, but within those who were envious of such prosperity.

butcher-main_full

Another consideration is that when the war first broke out, the means to fight were somewhat archaic and not widely available. The power (fighting power that is) balance was far from equal; on one hand we had “so called refugee’s” armed to the teeth (thanks to the Cairo treaty), and on the other side a bunch of what some might call a bunch of fascists armed men with (mainly) hunting weapons .This was the case in the VERY early stages. Soon enough a wide array of combat arms was flooding the streets of the capital. Demarcation lines were (artificially) drawn, and the capital was split in two. Each warring faction started building its arsenal, spreading terror and committing heinous crimes against not only its fellow man, but also against it fellow citizen.
And now I come to my story about my first encounter with the “butcher’s knife”; trust me it will not take long.
On one faithful journey in the seventies trying to cross towards what was then labeled as the west side of Beirut, and on the crossing between Chiyah and Ain El Roumaneh was a check point for “fatah” (a Palestinian faction). We stopped two cars shy of oblivion, for the three passengers in the car that was stopped at the check point, were all taken out, and had their throats cut from ear to ear on the side of the road (with a butcher’s knife). Luck was on our side, for the check point was dismantled and we went our way.
Those people who used such a primitive way had within their arsenal SAM6 missiles, but they chose the most painful and degrading way to kill a person who’s only sin was to have “Christian” written on their ID card.
This is nothing but one story amongst many. I have entered Tal Al Zaatar after it fell and caught a glimpse of the horrors that were planned against my people, yes MY people. Granted I knew a guy in my Christian neighborhood that had above his bed rest human parts in pickle jars, but those parts were not of Lebanese, but of those who tried to take over.

March 3, 2009 Posted by | Ekios, Lebanon, PLO | , | 41 Comments

What ever happened to the Arabic dream?

Yes the video is long and so are the lyrics, but so is the way towards an equitable solution to the Palestinian problem. Keep in mind that the clip was made before the rise of Hamas, and when many Arab nations still “relatively” cared about the plight of the Palestinian people.
After this last war on Gaza, I wonder how many representatives of those Arab nations would have participated in this clip, and what the lyrics would have read.
If you have time (and only time) to kill, watch and read; and draw your own conclusions.
N.B: Enclosed are the only translation of the lyrics I could find in English, since I am not capable (nor do I have the time) to translate them myself.

Our dream will live in the hearts of generations after generations.
And what we say today will be our life-long commitment.

Chorus:
Perhaps the darkness of the night will distance us,
But the light’s rays can reach the furthest sky.
This is our dream, for all our lives, an embrace to enfold us, all of us.

The dream is not impossible, so long as its fulfillment is conceivable.
And if the night becomes long, definitely afterwards there will be dawn.

Live up to all that you are, even when the truth is the difficult path.
Try, and you shall arrive; the dignity of the attempt will suffice.

Prove yourself to your own Time; believe in your ambitions, you will succeed.
Let your eyes see the truth, and the truth will be seen by others.

Challenge the world and revolt, and learn to remain courageous.
The journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step.

Justice needs strength, so that you can protect it.
Never, by rhetoric and complaints, will the rightful land return.

Love has fire and spark, and eyes filled with hope.
Children, with stones in their hands, will reinvent the world.

From anywhere in the world, we speak the Arabic language.
And in the loudest voice and heartbeat, we call unity a rebirth.

Our children everywhere, are the light of the nations’ eyes.
Fairness, Love, Goodness … , are our message for all Time.

Sing and say with us: Art is aspiration and success.
From sadness, we create joy, from our thoughts, a path and a life.

A word of truth in a song, is spoken and passes in a second;
Perhaps after years, it may change the world with it.

Let the songs be true, and plan your time for action.
Love will find a door for all the closed paths.

The song cancels borders, and the heart is its nation;
As long as we live, we’ll sing; as long as we can, we’ll love.

Love is not by words, but by actions and feelings.
Be a light, a smile, a song, and a guide for the paths of others.

Our dream, for all Times, is the unity of all nations.
All the disagreements will disappear; it is enough that you are human.

Your art is your homeland in the exile; you’ll find the proof wherever you go.
Sing of people and friendship, you’ll find the world to be beautiful.

Love, in all the world’s languages, and condense the years into seconds.
The bird’s destiny is to fly, and our destiny is to sing these songs.

We hope the dream will become real, and break all hardened silences.
It is not too much for the truth to be bright, even while they call it foolishness.

The tree was a seed, and the story was an idea.
And since we love and dream, we’ll reach the path of tomorrow.

[words printed in the video…]
The seed began with a vision …
and the vision was a dream …
A dream … ended with a touchable reality
Operetta … The Arab Dream
23 Arab dreamers participated in the singing …
They came together from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf.
95 performers, in love with the dream, fulfilled the dream
… and the dream continues

February 20, 2009 Posted by | Fath, Palestine, Politics | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A voice from our bloody past !

Not long ago this following statement was painted all over the walls of what was once known as the Christian sector of Beirut “it is the duty of every Lebanese to kill a Palestinian”. Such words were deemed extreem by many on both sides of the divide, to the extent that the political party who had such “propos” documented in ink within its dogma, never gained too much ground. Almost no one in the mid seventies paid much attention to the rest of this party’s political agenda and philosophy (this politcal party in question is the Guardian Of the Cedars). What follows is a recent interview conducted with its founder Etienne Sakr AKA Abou Arz.

“1 – What is the status of the Guardians of the Cedars Party?
The question is indeed more painful than it is embarrassing. It is painful because of the feeling by party members that the generous sacrifices they made for Lebanon during the war, without anything in return, particularly the dead martyrs and the handicapped, have all been in vain. The dream that we promised them has also faded, namely to build a new and modern state that is worthy of those sacrifices and the aspirations of the Lebanese people. Underlying this feeling is that the state which came to being after the war is much worse than the state that existed before the war, and this is what really hurts me, my comrades, and the Lebanese in general.
The party’s supporters and partisans who are in Lebanon and in the Lebanese Diaspora worldwide feel alienation and estrangement, as well as disgust and frustration, not to say despair, at this situation. The feelings of alienation and estrangement stem from the absence of the party’s president from the headquarters in Beirut (19 years to date) and the inability of the presidential board which we formed in 2005 to substitute for the president, which is due to three reasons. First is the fact that the president is also the founder of the party, which makes filling the vacuum difficult and complicated. Second, the wrongful judicial pursuits against members of that board as a result of the press conference they held in September 2005 and from which they were exonerated. And third, the decaying political environment in which the country finds itself, and the control exerted by parties with non-Lebanese allegiance over every facet of public life, prevent the Guardians of the Cedars Party – which holds Lebanese nationalism as its sole ideology – from maneuvering in an environment that is 100% hostile to its own.
As for the feelings of disgust and frustration, they are shared by the majority of Lebanese, having reached this point after losing any hope in change, particularly through the existing political establishment which is corrupt in its vast majority and by any measure of corruption, and whose sole concern is to renew its grip on the country every 4 years. People are despondent and disheartened. Young people’s ambitions have become limited to securing emigration visas that get them out of the hell in which the political establishment keeps them. Life without hope is a true hell, let alone the stifling living conditions that continue to humiliate people and that have eradicated the middle class. The wealthy have become wealthier and the poor have become poorer.
2 – Has your cause won?
The answer is no, at least for now. If our cause had won, Lebanon would be in great shape. But right now, unfortunately, the anti-Lebanon side has won, which is the side whose allegiance is to outsiders before its allegiance to Lebanon. The sectarian, religious and fundamentalist mini-states have won over the one Lebanese state; the private armies have won over the one Lebanese army; the security zones have won over broader national security; and the political merchants and traitors to their nation who have generated this sick, impotent, corrupt and dismembered state have won over the capable, clean and healthy state for which we have always called in our conferences, statements and party literature. All of this reinforces in us the idea that the state of clinical death in which Lebanon finds itself, rather to which they have brought Lebanon, is no longer responsive to ordinary medicine; it requires another kind of treatment, or divine intervention maybe. Who knows?
Hence, in short, the Lebanese Resistance which we launched in 1975 has failed. The so-called Islamic Resistance has instead succeeded, even though the chances for success were stronger for the former than they were for the latter, and this is due to the stupidity of political Maronitism, at both its spiritual and temporal levels, which became adept at missing all opportunities. In addition, the struggle between Maronite leaders for power and money has been ongoing since the early 1940s and to this day. This is the bitter truth that ought to be said, and incidentally, “The Bitter Truth” is the title of the new book which I will publish upon my return to Lebanon.
3 – Are you with March 14 or March 8?
A question that many ask us every day. The March 14 group believes in an Arab Lebanon allied with the Saudi-Egyptian axis, and we all know the negative role played by that axis at the time of the Palestinian-Syrian war against Lebanon and during the infamous Syrian custody over Lebanon. The March 8 group also believes in an Arab Lebanon allied with the Syrian-Iranian axis, and no one is oblivious to the danger posed by this axis to Lebanon, in the past, at present and in the future. We, on the other hand, believe in Lebanon’s Lebanese identity, in a constant and absolute faith, and we believe in a complete and final Lebanese nation that belongs to no other nation. We declared this belief from the first day we took up weapons, i.e. on April 13, 1975, we continued tirelessly to reiterate this position, and we will never abandon it, regardless of the cost, the pursuits and persecution campaigns to which we are subjected. Speaking of pursuits, we draw the attention of the “honorable” regime that it has to hunt down the intellectuals of Lebanese nationalism, the likes of Charles Corm, Michel Chiha, Youssef al-Sawda, Said Akel, May Murr and others, and ban their books from the schools before it thinks of hunting down the Guardians of the Cedars. Let us not forget Fakhreddine, the founder of modern Lebanon on the basis of Lebanese nationalism.
Going back to the struggle of the axes between March 14 and March 8, the axis to which the Guardians of the Cedars Party belongs is the one extending from the Orontes River in the north to Naqura in the south and not one inch farther. The two axes of March 14 and March 8 belong to the same political school that is responsible for converting Lebanon into this crippled and disfigured state. Without false modesty, I say that the honorable Lebanese, deep down in their hearts and even though they don’t express it, belong to the school of the Guardians of the Cedars.
4 – What is your position vis-à-vis General Aoun and his visit to Syria?
No doubt that General Aoun today is not the General we knew during the battle of liberation of Tal Zaatar as chief of operations in Mar Shaya Monastery. He is not the General leading Battalion 13 which defended the frontlines after the two-year war. He is not the General who led the 8th Brigade in waging the glorious battles of Souk al-Gharb. He is not the General who led the War of Liberation against the Syrian occupation, militarily and politically, from inside and outside Lebanon. As for the arguments he gives to justify his new positions – such as: the problem with Syria is over after it evacuated Lebanon; or we must turn the page of the past and look to the future; or his defense of the weapons of the so-called Hezbollah and his choice of the Syrian-Iranian axis, or his demands to release the four officers…. etc. – they are groundless and unconvincing arguments.
We say that Syria has not left Lebanon. It remains very effectively involved in Lebanese security and politics. Its ambitions of hegemony over Lebanon remain where they are, albeit in a different approach. Also, looking forward to the future should not make us forget the past. We must benefit from the lessons of the past in order to handle the future in a sound manner, especially since this past is full of tragedies that have afflicted every Lebanese home and family. How can we seek reconciliation with Syria when it continues to hold our young men in its prisons? How can we forgive Syria when we have yet to hear one word of apology for all the individual crimes and the collective massacres it perpetrated against us like the hordes of Tatars and Mongols once did? How can we defend an axis that brought us nothing but destruction? How can we demand the release of officers whom the international investigator ordered to be held? Is it reasonable that international investigators are biased to one political side against another?
Making pretexts and arguments with the goal of justifying or covering for one’s actions is one thing. But to actually believe them is another. As for the visit to Syria, we commented on it at the time, and we said that we reject it in substance and in form. Attached is the text of our statement.
5 – Why doesn’t Abu Arz return to Lebanon?
When I went to Jezzine in 1990, after the fall of the Eastern regions to the Syrian occupation, judicial warrants were issued against me in absentia on charges of dealing with Israel. Everyone knows that when dictatorial regimes occupy a country, they resort to eliminating their opponents, either by military liquidation or by way of the judiciary. We thought that these warrants will be dropped with the fall of the Syrian occupation, but these warrants remain standing, which goes to show that nothing has really changed in the Lebanese regime. The regime in power today is one way or another an extension of the regime that existed before the liberation, and this is truly unfortunate.
It is incumbent on me to clarify here this ambiguous aspect that has become the hallmark of our political history:
1-We dealt with Israel in the same way that all the parties of the Lebanese Front dealt with it: Phalangists, National Liberals, Tanzim, Lebanese Forces, and others. No more, no less.
2-We say that we dealt with Israel and our relation with it remained one of peers, in contrast to those parties which dealt with Syria and were tools, let’s say “cheap tools”, in the hands of Syria.
3-We dealt with Israel for the purpose of defending Lebanon and to serve Lebanon’s highest interests. Others dealt with Syria against Lebanon and in order to achieve personal goals at the expense of Lebanon’s highest interests.
4-Syria’s agents occupied the highest positions in the state. They pilfered the country’s resources together and in collusion with the Syrian occupation, while we went into exile enduring the anguish of separation and the harshness of life.

Consequently, we leave it to the people to decide who is the agent and who is the patriot. We accept the people’s judgment because, as a matter of principle, all authority comes from the people.
6 – What is your position on the weapons of the Resistance?
We don not consider Hezbollah a “resistance” in defense of Lebanon. It is an Iranian detachment holding a fundamentalist ideology that is alien to Lebanon. Its weapons, therefore, are a danger to the country, today, tomorrow and forever. Those weapons must be removed in application of resolution of 1559. Otherwise, there will never be a State in Lebanon, and all the talk about coexistence between the State and [Hezbollah’s] mini-state is nonsense and merely delays the solution. As for the “defense strategy”, it is a ridiculous contrivance whose objective is to throw a smokescreen; pursuing it is like pursuing a mirage.
Lebanon, at your service”
Abu Arz

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Guardian of the Cedar, Israel, Lebanese Forces, Lebanon, Palestine, PLO, Syria | , , , , , | 6 Comments

My shinning

Turmoil wreaking havoc in my half rotten soul. A deluge of pictures on my TV screen rekindling sad chapters of my past. One sentence comes to mind (“all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”) with a vivid memory of the elevator door opening to a pool of blood.
And I wonder why!

pic016

I wonder why such choking pictures do not move me anymore. I can easily sit in my own comfort, watch gruesome pictures while giggling, when other spectators (watching the same movie) puked their guts out (and I am referring to the SHINING).
And I wonder why!

pic207

Is it because I have witnessed (and still am) such atrocities first hand, that I can dismiss the redness of blood on my TV screen and still have ketchup with my fries? Or is it a masked acknowledgment of the helplessness I feel?
15 years of war, over 150,000 dead, 480,000 refugees spread over 12 camps (harboring terror), a state within a (so called) state, failed attempts to take over, AND here I am watching. Watching and still shedding tears. When on my TV screen the ketchup turns into blood. The blood of children.
30 odd years ago (not to revert back even further) YOU drew first blood with disregard to the only (Arab) nation that stood by you and was FORCED to take on your “cause”. What did you do then? Attempt to take over is what you did. You bit the hand that was feeding you.
I am not running for elections on any level, nor do I have to appease business partners; but I have a duty towards myself and towards my child whose innocence is still untouched (for the time being).
The difference is that I would not raise my child within a culture that idolizes the cult of martyrdom, engraving within their mind that their sole duty is to die for the cause (and a false one); but to live and love.

war004

All those who daily point their fingers in aggression pretending to have your best interest at heart (the likes of Mechaal and Hassouna), all those who refuses international mediation to end this useless bloodshed should pay with their own blood. Yes there is savagery in the war against Gazza, but there are also savage and criminal leaders who get their kicks from the massacres of their own people.
Enough with this culture of hatred (on all sides), we have “created” a new generation that has been impregnated with the seed of hatred and self destruction. What will the future hold for such nation?

fath-vs-saika-tripoli-83e

And I still wonder why !
Why is it that I hold little if no sympathy towards what has become of the Palestinian cause, from oppressed, destitute, refugee, abused…etc to blind murderess rhetoric which holds no more sway. This feeling I started having in the mid seventies, and now it is growing stronger.
Yes once again you will see me as a typical son of Zion, devil incarnate, deprived of a human soul; but I do not give a toss. I am only saying out loud what many (including Palestinians) don’t even dare murmur amongst themselves.
The MAIN responsibility of this current slaughter lies with Hamas. Having said that Israel is no angel.
Maybe my sentiments are still tainted by personal experience with the PLO, Fatah, Saika, Jibhat al Tahrir…etc; they won’t make my words more acceptable to many; but once again I DO NOT GIVE A TOSS. I am sick and tired of all this violence, although now relatively far, but who is to say that Lebanon will not once again be dragged into yet another war that started with Palestinian hands.

yasser-george-habash-ahmad-khatib

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Hassan Nasrallah, Isarel, Palestinians, PLO, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments