Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Beirut Diary - July 18th

Not a ray of hope on the horizon that the situation will improve in the near future. Both sides, Israel and Hezbollah, refuse to modify their respective positions, such that Israel continues to bomb various areas in the country and Hezbollah continues to launch rockets across the frontier hitting several cities in north Israel. The Lebanese Government continues to meet in futile session after another. On the ground, all main and some minor bridges have been destroyed, such that motor transport in south Lebanon has virtually stopped. Wave after wave of villagers, whose homes have been destroyed, are on their way, on foot, to the nearest refuge, mainly in the mountains. During seventeen years of civil war, the situation was not as bad as it is today.

On the political front, we have not heard the voice of General Aoun, nor of his famous pact with Hezbollah. The man is undoubtedly a psychiatric case, at best "un officier mediocre" as his official military record shows.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is hidden somewhere. He appeared on television yesterday, exhorting the Lebanese people to stand firm and asserting that Israel was in for more surprises that it had ever anticipated. His rockets continue to fly across the frontier into Israel.

The U.N. envoys came and have gone to Israel. They had nothing to say except that Hezbollah should release the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers, a request which fell on the deaf ears of Hezbollah.

But what of the future ? More air raids, more casualties, more destruction will not resolve the issue. Only an exchange of prisoners can, and in the long run, a substantial multi national military force on the frontier between Israel and Lebanon.

15 comments:

BG said...

Dear Wizard,
I was sent the address of this blog by a friend of a friend of your daughter. In any case, I wanted to write and say that I agree completely with your view of the situation, and I deeply regret the U.S. government's turning a blind, or even, an apporoving eye toward Israel's rogue state and genocidal behavior. Not that it should matter, but I would like to add that I take this position as a Jew and a cousin of the late David Ben-Gurion. I pray for your safety and the safety of all those being abused by Israel and the U.S.
Best regards,
Bob Green
U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

hello from Israel.
Both side a getting hurt and things only can get better.
After Rafik Hariri's murder the Lebanonies people went to the street and a month later almost all the Syrian army was out of Lebanon.
Nassralla wanted you all to suffer. for him, it is too much to ask not to destroy the tourism season. Hizzballa has 2 of our soldier and for what. i guess that 250 people dead plus a lot of distruction is a good price to pay in order to get Samir Kuntar back. it could all be avoided if the Lebanonies goverment and citizens were stopping Hizzballa of making another indipendent state in southern Beiruth and Lebanon.
I believe, truly!!!, that if there wasn't hizzballa in Lebanon and now that the Syrian went our, we could have peace with you. we could give back all the prisoners and get ours, we could enjoy the tourism in here since Lebanon is a very pretty country and it sad for me and a lot of other to see you all suffer like that because of Hizzballa. YOU all need to start taking control on your country, kick Hizzballa and the rest of the syrian who treat you like an abused child. YOU all have the power!!!.
A lot of time it looks in TV that we are doing wrong with the Palestinians also. The common thing betweent the Hammas and the Hizzballa is that both organizations shoots and attacks out of civilians structures. the hide their rockets and bomb inside private houses with families inside, hide it in schools and kindergarden. This is a dirty war and people in both sides getting hurt. I've been surving inside Lebanon almost 10 years ago and we all were very glad to go out but we all were very sad to see a big yellow flag in the other side of the border instead your pretty flag with the tree. Lebanon is weak and the aim of this action beside bringing back the soldier is to allow the Lebanonies army to take control on the border nad take charge on YOUR country.
Syria and Hizzballa controls your life and you all know it. Syria is trying to hurt us threw YOU and YOU are the people who suffers.
WAKE UP LEBANON, we are the same people with the same goals which is live in peace and enjoy life.
We're sad that it's hurt but we had no choise.
We had enough, lets have peace, you'll get the prisoners and we all can start flurishing instead of waiting for the next conflict.

Yoav Moalem
Haifa, Israel

Anonymous said...

hello
!!

I am Morris, teacher and singer, I live in Haifa. I read what you wrote and many other people living in Lebanon. you are right in many things and I agree with them. Also our life is not life here since many years, since we declared as a free country by UN. Also you- Lebanon were under France as we were under Great Britain. We both got our freedom. Since then we are in war. The Palestinians are guilty. Why? They ran away at 1948, although our P/ minister asked them to be citizens of Israel. many of them remained, and now here living 2000000 Arabs with us- citizens. the others didn't want and ran away. They are the Palestinians that created all kind of terrorist groups. we made piece with them, we gave them back all cities they wanted. we went toward piece with them, but HAMAs went on sending RAKETAS and bombs to our cities, grabbed soldiers, sending suicide bombers. And Hezbollah? What do they want? We went out of Lebanon at 2000. There was a decision of un that Lebanon soldiers will take place, it was not done. The Hezbollah took the place and built 1000 of shelters and places to attack us. They got 15000 rackets and armory as well, they bombed us every now and then to disturb our life here. We didn’t do anything. And now they attacked us and grabbed 2 soldiers, killing another 8. Why? They got the green light from Iran to attack to start war so the Iranians can go on with their plan to prepare nuclear bombs. Why they need it? To protect or attack? What about the crazy president? The fundamentalist religion? They use the religion to make war and make the world to hate Islam. I can write more, but I am sure you understood. Hope to be friends one day, this is what we want. Live in piece and prosperity in this world whom we are it’s visitors for som 60-80 years – so why not be happy and live in piece?

Sincerely, Morris

Yaron said...

Yet another Israeli.
what can i tell you, we are both innocent people caught under fire, but we had enough.
no more would we be abused by our neighbours to the north and i'm not talking about lebanon i'm talking about hizballahstan!!!!
It's time to crush those evil bastard once and for all... no more turning the other cheak, this time we strike back with vengence.
After we get rid of them and turn nassrallah into our personal handpuppet, us the israelis and you the true people of lebanon (not iran's and syria's bitches of the hizballah) could live in peace.

hope for the best, Yaron.

Wizard of Beirut said...

To Bob Green.
 
  The wizard of Beirut thanks you for your very kind message, and adds that he knew your late cousin, David Ben Gurion very well, and that he had visited him in his home at Rehavia, Jerusalem several times. He was a great visionary and in his idle moments, a poet. There does not seem to be an end to this ridiculous situation, but with God's help, we pray that we all reach the end of the road safely.
 
  To Yoav Moalem,
 
  Your analyses of the situation does not take into account the history of the conflict as of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. In the meantime, we all want peace, and as you said, we are the same semitic race. Is it impossible to accept the principle of an exchange of prisoners ? I wish you and your family safety and health.
 The Wizard.
 
  To Morris.
 
  Thank you for your message. I suggest that you go back into history to 1917 onwards. You may finds the answer to many of your questions. In the meantime I wish you safety and health.

Anonymous said...

Et dire que le Liban est un si beau pays qui avait su ôter du code de commerce de l'hexagone les articles susceptibles de nuire aux développement des affaires.

Portez-vous bien wizard of Beirut et à bientôt

Anne d'Hattemer

Anonymous said...

Hello:
I am a good friend of your daughter in the U.S. Her friends here are doing our best to be very supportive and caring to her during this difficult time when we are all very concerned for your safety. The situation is terrible and we all wish we lived in a more peaceful world. We will keep you in our prayers.

I read your book and I loved it. It gave me a great education in an area of political that I had little knowledge. I share your book with my friends and family.

Hope and prayers for a peaceful resolve are with you.

-Teri

Anonymous said...

1)The lebanese "prisoners" in israel are failed TERRORISTS!!! people of the hizballah!!!

2)if we negotiate with a terror group now what would stop them from kidnapping our soldiers again?

that's why there can be no negotiations...

Anonymous said...

to Bob Green

David Ben-Gurion would've turned over in his grave had he knew that his cousin is such a traitor.

a Jewish American

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, there are only three alternatives:
- Israel destroys all the Arab world
- the Arab world destroys Israel
- We make peace
Peace is the only viable alternative if Israel wants a fair chance of existing in the next centuries.
The alternative at present envisaged, which is the survival of Israel in a very hostile environment is not viable on the long term. It is simply suicidal.
So let the past be the past, and let us look to a future where both can live side by side, collaborate, and create an extraordinary flourishing common market of the Middle East. It is the ony solution.
Jeannie

Anonymous said...

.....and let the flowers bloom , and let the rainbow glow , and let the butterflies fill the sky.

sorry Jeannie not everybody can look at the world through your pink glasses. us realistic ppl have to deal with the real day to day life here.

oh and btw israel has surrvived long enough against the arab nations surrounding it so there's no way israel will fall... not with the power of the IDF backing it.

no talking with terrorists!!! give us the prisoners and then we'll talk...

cheers.

Anonymous said...

I am at the Washington Post and wanted to chat with you. Please send me an email at postglobal@washingtonpost.com. Look at our coverage of Lebanon at blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal. We would love your input there, to share with our readers what it feels like to be on the ground - what you see and hear. My best wishes for your safety.

mkmc said...

Wizard,
I am reading your blog from America - and weeping for you all.

I wish you grace in the middle of this horrific situation, and prayers for an immediate peace.

Be Safe and Well,
Sincerely,
Micah McConnell

shalom,israel said...

the main goal of hizballa,which get his order from the s.o.b from iran, is to destroy israel (and make labanon another shiit theokraty)-do u realy expect us to do nothing after the second time our solider kidnapped by hizballa?

Anonymous said...

I like it! Good job. Go on.
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