What are the bloggers saying about the current crisis between Lebanon and Israel? Here is a sample. Although it is not all inclusive, it can give an idea.
Jamal in his own way supports Hizbullah's right to act and sees that they are a strong foe that PM Olmert has to deal with:
Hezbollah acted unilaterally and they will get some criticism for it in Lebanon, especially for endangering the precious tourist season. However, regionally they got millions of admirers for being the only group in the world to do something about the rape of Gaza. Sure, Nasrallah insists today was all about Lebanon and Lebanese POWs, but who is he kidding.
It wasn't and there is no shame in that.
Olmert disagrees with me and thinks he should kill, burn 5 month-old-baby-terrorists, kill some more, and then face the inevitable negotiations.
At the end of the day Hezbollah proves they are strong, very strong actually, and Israel is not used to dealing with a strong foe.
Here too Jamal continues with what he sees should and will happen:
Olmert can choose to annihilate Hezbollah completely. That would involve a major regional war that I don't think Israel is ready for or that the world community would allow. So that leaves Olmert with the only the choice of when to stop the killing and start the negotiations. Do it today with 30 civillians dead already, or do it next week with 300 dead.
I'm afraid 300 might be the number closer to quenching his blood thirst.
This is what Lebanon.profile saw in Beirut today:
The Lebanese political establishment is in complete disarray. Political party leaders have no idea how to respond to this situation. Prime Minister Saniora is in triage mode. He's in constant communication with foreign leaders.
Life is going on as normal in Beirut, although a bit quieter than usual. I had a few meetings this morning, and am busy working, as usual. I plan on going to the gym later in the day, and then attending a party.
The power is on. The internet is working. The cellular lines are just fine. None of my calls are being dropped, domestically or internationally. Only one phone call I received from Syria was garbled by static.
I am sure the situation is similar anywhere north of Beirut: Metn, Kesrouwan, Coura, Tripoli, Bsherre, and Akkar.
The situation in Beirut's southern suburbs and Southern Lebanon is bad, but not atrocious. It doesn't come close to Israel's 1982 invasion in scale or lives lost. Electricity and phone lines are out, but friends from Saida and Nabatieh tell me their families are tense, but fine.
Moussa reporting on how he is struggling to find a safe place to put his family here.
Abu Kais posts on what he heard and vents his anger at Nasrallah and Israel here:
26 civilians have died so far in Lebanon, according to al-Jazeera. LBC is reporting that ten belonged to one family. My family told me over the telephone that they are completely cut off from Beirut. They live south of Beirut, and they could see the Israeli jets bomb the airport runway. More than 10 bridges have been reportedly destroyed. There are unconfirmed reports the tunnels that go through the airport were destroyed as well.
The Rafik Hariri International Airport is closed. Lebanon's only link to the world is now through… Syria. […]
YOU GOT WHAT YOU WANTED NASRALLAH.
NOW SHOW US WHAT YOU CAN DO.
SHOW US YOUR MIGHT.
USE THOSE ROCKETS.
LEBANON IS BEING DESTROYED AND ALL I CAN THINK OF IS YOUR FACE:
AS FOR THE ISRAELI COWARDS, GO FLEX YOUR MUSCLES IN DAMASCUS AND TEHRAN. COWARDS.
Anarchistian stayed up late and wrote this at 1 AM in the morning:
It’s 1 am here. I’ve been keeping my ears open for any sounds of jets, and checking Israeli media while writing this. The latest reports (from local media) say that the IAF targeted a bridge in the coastal town of Damour close to Beirut, which cut off phone lines in some areas. Many injuries have been reported in the various strikes, including a hit on an ambulance and the injury of a number of reporters from NewTV and Al-Manar TV (VIEW AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION).
What is next, then? And where does this all end? And if these Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners are merely “security prisoners”, how come their incarceration is creating more insecurity? What are the implications? Should Israel turn the entire Middle East into one big prison and have “peace” its own way? Will that be real peace? Will Israelis go to bed with a clear, happy conscience, that they and their loved ones are safe, for many decades to come, while others’ children rot in prisons and camps, deprived of the most basic resources, water, food, health care. Will that put an end to this seemingly never-ending Israeli whining about how they are the weak, poor, oppressed, victimized, patient observers, David facing off Goliath? Or will there be more? More claims, more refugees (this time from refugee camps), to make way for Treppenwitzes? All this, and not once did I defend HezbAllah’s actions. Why should I? I don’t think it was justified, even if it was a smart, well-planned, effective strategy. If only the same could be said for our neighbours to the south.
Dove’s Eye View reflects:
For those of you concerned about the personal safety of my relatives, even the airport bombing is still not a direct hit. Remember, the Lebanese have taken this before. My mother's plane circled Beirut airport for an hour while Israel bombed Beirut in 1996. I am concerned for Lebanon. I am saddened at the news of the dawn raids (July 13) that killed 27 civilians, including twelve members of a family in a village in the far South. I am not yet concerned for my relatives. Let us be ugly and frank about ethnicity here: my village is Christian. The Israelis have had its coordinates for over a generation. They have never before bombed Christian Lebanese so I am not yet frightened. I am disgusted and bitter but I am not frightened for my own family. Yet.
I am sorry for the Lebanese families who grieve today. Don't ask me to say anything about anybody else right now, I am a flawed, selfish woman and my heart has only so much room this evening.
Finally, for now, a call for peace from Bob:
While shells are falling a few miles away from my home, I cannot but remember this afternoon, while I was driving back home from Beirut Hezbollah sympathizer where offering passerby cookies and candies!
While my ear rings from the sound of explosions I cannot but see the firecrackers Hezbollah sympathizer where launching this afternoon rejoicing in their “great victory”
And tomorrow when I will see the bridge linking my home town of Saida to Beirut, I will only say from the bottom of my heart: Enough! Enough wars, death and destruction! Curse you Hezbollah to hell and back! For all this destruction, for all this death! No it is not Israel fault! It is your own! Curse you!
We cannot continue on this path! People build and teach and try to live peacfully, while others think only of death, destruction and war… the time has come to stand and say one word: PEACE
I want peace with Israel! NOW! I do not care for your ideologies, or your lines drawn on maps! For your religions! For anything! PEACE NOW!
Mustapha reminds everybody of the uselessness of the measures that Israel is taking against Lebanon to free its soldiers:
The Israeli Navy is imposing a maritime blockade alongside the entire Lebanese shores. This will add to the de-facto air blockade that resulted from bombing the airport. Just to be clear, the blockade is NOT intended to prevent the smuggling of the two Israeli soldiers by sea. Had Hezbollah wanted to smuggle the soldiers outside of Lebanon, the easiest way would be to do it through the more-than-happy-to-help Syria.
The blockade has one clear purpose: To make life miserable for the Lebanese in order to exert pressure on Hezbollah.[…]
Will the plan work?
No it won’t. Israel constantly underestimates the bonds common misery can create. They are using the wrong channels and are needlessly starving an entire nation and making it angrier.
Vox writes a post with a title that calls Israel to send its message directly to Iran/Syria instead of bombing Lebanon.
Lazarus send a letter to Nassrullah and to Olmert. In his letter to Olmert he says:
Are you reading through some of Sharon's notes? I wonder if back home you are saluted for your bravery and courage. If you are looked at as the protector of Israel. If they even know what you are doing in Lebanon. I hope you die a gruesome death, in the same way those children were burnt today.
Turn around. Withdraw your planes. Sail your ships away. Go back to Israel.
What type of retaliation is this? We want exactly what Israeli's seem to claim: security and peace, yet you make it such that peace and security seem impossible to have with Israel as a neighbor. Is this procedure part of becoming a man – a rite of passage – back home for you? Killing Lebanese? Burning children alive? If so, then Sharon must be a great man. Peres must be great as well. As is Netanyahu.
And more from Anarchistian in this lengthy post on what is going on:
This new, very ugly, very dirty face of Israel will engulf the region in flames. I have been glued in front of my computer and the TV, watching scenes of raids. I must stop watching. It is quite depressing. Children massacred, entire residential buildings leveled. I captured some shots from TV with my digital camera, a man carrying a dead 10-month-old baby in a blanket, headless bodies, a dead little girl being show to the cameras, Qana all over again.
Finally (for now) Haitham warns that Israel's aggression will not go without a high price for the Israelis:
Hezbollah is not what Israel new six years ago. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah yesterday warned Israel of ‘big surprises’, and today he showed Israel some of these. Hezbollah now uses rockets that reached more than 30 km inside the northern of Israel and Hezbollah said that next target will be the City of Haifa. If this happens, this will be a disaster for Israelis.
Guys, this is not Gaza, and this is not the poor Palestinian resistance you are dealing with here. Hezbollah is well equipped and supported. So, if you think this game will end up soon, you are mistaken. Read back the history of resistance in Southern Lebanon and you will know what I’m talking about.
O’ Israel, play the music of your tanks, Lebanon will dance the Debke!
Is it strange that the only time the Sunnis and Shiites, Hamas and Hizbullah, can work together is against Israel?
Nonetheless, facing a crisis resulting from its own impotence and especially its loss of deterrence, Israel still has hope. Here is a step by step plan for the coming week.
1) Bomb Hizbullah positions before the Qataris circle a security council petition condemning violence on both sides, specifically Israel. There isn’t much time until the condemnations, so speeed and efficiency is essential.
2) Bomb military targets in Gaza that are most centrally located. With condemnations coming anyway along with UN resolutions, take out the most dangerous terrorists, most of whom reside in civilian locations. These terrorists live in civilian areas in hopes that Israel will fear the international ramifications of collateral damages. Palestinian residents will demand the terrorists leave their areas out of fear for the safety of their families. Unless of course, the saying is true that the Arabs hate Jews more than they love their children.
3) Allign with the Lebanese army and drive Hizbullah to Syria. Europeans and Americans would promise massive aid to Lebanon in secret meetings. With terrorists concentrated in Syria, Assad would bow to military and diplomatic pressure, specifically from the United States and force Hamas leader Meshal to flee to Africa, specifically Algeria, where he will undoubtedly be killed by Mossad agents. No Arab country would dare take him in. But Iran is not Arab so Iran remains an option, especially considering the fact that Hizbullah may transfer the two kidnapped soldiers to the Iranians.
That is my take on the next week or so. Long term predictions may follow, but work awaits me.
I am currently at work and have written this as quickly as I possibly can, so if there are any errors, I apologize. I look forward to reading more of these boards when I return home from work.
I’m sitting here listening to the helicopters flying northward overhead, listening to the TV commentators explaining that the rocketing of Haifa this afternoon almost certainly means that Beirut will be attacked tonight, listening to my inner voice asking ‘who needs this’?
I’m not going to comment on the politics- that’s starting from the wrong end. I only want to say to those of you over the border in Lebanon that there are Israelis who worry about you tonight even as hizbullah target us.
Our airforce is destroying bridges: we wish to build person-to-person bridges that they cannot knock down.
I don’t want to refer to the politics, not because it’s not important, but because tonight, when you and us are being attacked on both sides of this border, it is also important to give a thought to the common humanity which should connect us.
I pray that those helicopters will leave you in peace tonight.
Out of all those listing on this page, the only one that made sense to me was yours… funny it should be the last article on the page (even blog software is against peace!).
I am Lebanese, and proud to be. I currently reside in North America but my whole family is in Lebanon (suburbs of Beirut). However, I lived war up until the age of 19, so I know exactly the feeling that you speak off. It is a shame that all that is said and discussed about this crisis in the media is “who’s right and who’s wrong” and “who started it and what’s the other going to do about it”.
Although I respect your disapproval of discussing politics, I must do the contrary. Not because I want to, simply because the only thing that can stop it is politics (although evil in nature, still the most recognized and powerful form of remedy). Therefore, I am saddened to tell you that you, your family and your friends, joined by my family and my friends in Lebanon will not have peace any time soon. Instead, I believe this to be the beginning of a very long and painful war era for the people of this specific region.
It is obvious that the pressures on the Lebanese government are their to sway them into saying our army will deal with Hizbollah… but hey, Oil gases will be favorable for some people!
Israel’s violent move is a reaction to the slap in the face inflicted on Sahal, the powerful and intouchable pride of Israel. As usual, like the US have taught them to do, their reaction is excessive, violent and blind. The fact that Hezbolah is dictating the rules is such a shock that Israel is now trying to recover its
pride with blood… This country was born in violence and injustice and that will haunt them for generations. Lebanon is trapped between their own dissensions and the geopolitic game of the region. Its weakness, both politically and military makes it a target for all the conflicts of the area. Would the lebanese finally unite?
I can not understand as a Westerner why in the name of religion, populations of countries in the mideast can not tollerate each other because of what they believe. To name a few – Sunni,Shite,Kurd,Arab or Jew. Guess if your neighbor doesn’t believe what you do – Kill them – that will settle it.
Why don’t all the different sects move to the same countries and segregate the whole mideast by religion then leave each other alone. The END!
Impossible. Firstly, the Jews will ALWAYS be attacked by Islam because Islam cannot accept loss of land that they once controlled and please keep in mind that there have ALWAYS been Jews in Israel. You can rename a country, but it has always been Israel. The arabs have no intention of ever making peace with Israel. The terrorist groups fighting against Israel is just a way to fight Israel indirectly rather than the countries fighting Israel directly. They sit behind the terrorists and encourage them. They SHOULD get rid of the terrorists, but they won’t. Finally, if some terrorist organization was sending rockets into a western country – do you really think that country would sit tight? No way. They would blow the hell out of the organizations. If the people want this to stop – then turn over the soldiers….THE END!
Seriously, who are you guys kidding? Hezbullah is mighty against Israel? Why, because they have ancient technology rockets that have been modified? Israel is exponentially superior in military and technology. Its support from the west comes not only with a pat on the back but military technology that can level Lebanon and all its citizens.
As a Lebanese, I am furious that Hezbullah made such an irresponsible action. It has jeapordized all of Lebanon, not just its “precious tourism” as a previous writer condescendingly wrote. The memories of suffering and death are still fresh and the wounds have not healed. Hezbullah has thrown away all respect and political progress they have made in Lebanon, especially after Israel’s withdrawal in 2000. Since then they have been praised as heroes. But the truth has not been more evident. They are not there for Lebanon. They are not there for the Lebanese as they have been claiming. They are their for the furtherment of their version of fundamentalist and violent Islam. I am disgusted by their actions.
An act of war should not be commited by a militia or political party. It is an act reserved only for the head of state, for the government. A party that represents a whole people, not just a part.
There is no excuse for not expecting Israel’s response. From 1980’s, we have learned that they are unrelentless beasts who will stop at nothing and whom the world will condone. They have shut down the country within 48 hours. I fear that the worst is yet to come.
As an outside observer, I feel proud of the people of Lebanon. It is they who have worked hard to rebuild there country. They are people that have again started living the dream of peace and prosperity, not just for themselves, but for there children. They are the happy faces the world has been astonished to witness. It is a shame there dreams have been hijacked by a group of fanatical idiologist who have fooled them into thinking they are on there side. It is too bad they live on a border with a harsh hard line state that will act violently and foolishly anytime they feel a little threatened. It is too bad they share a border with an Arab neigbor that is corrupt and really working against them. I hope this will find you safe and protected against the evil that men do. The world is on your side, the side of peace.
Reply to Turner:
It is true that some people – a very small proportion of the world’s population – have always considered the land “Israel” and it is also true that another group of people, who call themselves Palestinians, also have always considered the land home. Both are correct, and arguing one does not leave the other false. How to make peace between two groups who want the same land? Each arguing in favor of their own rights while denying the other’s? Each selecting their own favorite facts and ignoring inconvenient ones? Politics – the art of deciding difficult issues without violence – is exactly what is needed. No one will be entirely happy with compromise, but the violence happening now is the result of having one side entirely unhappy, with nothing much to lose, and the other side having so much outside financial support, that it can act with impunity, not having to pay the economic costs all by itself. (The situtation for Israel would not be possible without the enormous financial support given by the US government and individual US citizens. Without that, the economic costs of this heavily militarized state could not be supported, and eventually Israel would have to negotiate.)
What will happen when the US needs to pay up for its own wars, social security bills come due, world trade deficits need to be rebalanced, and even the blank check to Israel can no longer be paid?
I find it amazing that all of this could be averted by giving the two soldiers back to israel and see if the viloence continues then you would have a gripe. Ccncerning the idiots from hezballah (Party of god what a laugh) party of idiots is what they are. You have pulled the tigers tail, You had better throw him some meat and run like hell.