A wide variety of topics were highlighted in the Lebanese blogosphere this week. There are campaigns against sectarianism, child abuse and AIDS as well as minorities speaking out. There are attempts to define the shades of grey in internal Lebanese politics. We also have posts about the media, nice photos from Lebanon and some political cartoons. Countries around Lebanon also had their share of criticism. Anyway enough of that now and let’s check out a sample of these posts:
The Jews of Lebanon think it’s time to speak up:
Is it time to speak out? We have been seriously considering approaching the Lebanese government regarding our concerns and issues and getting an official response. Every indication suggests that the government regards the Jewish community as any other minority in Lebanon and as such, we expect a favorable response.
Lebanese Bloggers Forum has a post on the campaign against sectarianism in Lebanon:
I have recently received the images below by e-mail from a couple of friends under the heading of “Stop Sectarianism Before It Stops Us”….And given the recent rise in sectarian political tensions in Lebanon, I thought this would be as good a time as any, and this forum as good a place as any to air these fresh, smart, provocative and highly relevant images, and the ideas they raise.
Annie highlights the November 19th International Day Against Child Abuse, saying that abuse can manifest itself in different forms, from verbal abuse to GBV (Gender-based violence) and sexual abuse, school and domestic violence.
While Liliane tells us of 12 ways to join the fight against AIDS.
Moving away from campaigns to the media, Pierre Tristam has the following to say about Al Jazeera English channel not being allowed to broadcast in the US:
Al-Jazeera's English edition has been in the works for a couple of years. In the past year new cable channels for toddlers, for homosexuals (not that there's, etc…), for blacks, for shoppers and alleged Christians have been added. The spectrum widens perpetually. It's America's other obesity problem. And you want to tell me that there was no room for Al-Jazeera's channel? I'm not attacking al-Jazeera here, but pointing out the duplicity of America's cable barons.
Politically, Mustapha has a primer on the different shades of political groups making up the Lebanese opposition.
And Remarkz explains the shades of Lebanese politics in general:
Let me summarize the political reality: 1- Syria and Iran need Hizbullah 2- Washington and Israel need the 14th of March 3- Hizbullah has proven to be unbeatable, has a strong social base, is an example of strength for the world at large, has always shown to be very straight in their actions, etc. 4- The 14th of March is a collection of feudal/sectarian lords and their employers one hiding in the mountains, the other crying whenever things get out of hand or reality does not match what the chancellor has promised, another being happy to see that the country could be divided, etc. 5- I won't even go into who is corrupted and who isn't. With all this in mind do you still think Syria and Iran's influence on Hizbullah is more harmful then Washington's on 14th of March? Come on, it's basic political “mathematics”.
There is also this interesting thread of discussion/debate between Michael J. Totten and a member or supporter of Hezbollah who calls himself Al Ghaliboon.
Political cartoons are a way Marxist From Lebanon expresses his opinions on the events in the Middle East.
Sophia posts about Zionism and Islamic extremism:
Zionism is always arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to blame on Arabs and Palestinians. To that effect, Zionist narrative is always struggling with memory when it comes to pin the blame of the ongoing conflict in a precise fashion and not only on Arabs and Palestinians in general; in this case ‘Islamic’ extremism as Foxman words it. This is ironic because memory, but only Holocaust memory, is the bread and butter of Zionism. It is also ironic that when Israel conquered land in Palestine, it was mainly thanks to Jewish extremism at a time ‘Islamic’ extremism did not exist in Palestine and the Arab world! Of course, for history and news illiterates and media sheep, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict starts on September 11th! Zionism is then culpable of the most blatant revisionism of our modern history. Now, Mr. Foxman, when would you like me to start your Holocaust in order to shift the blame from Nazis to someone else, and why not Zionists? History has never been an exact science and the media have never been History luminaries. So why not take advantage?
Making amends and what Olmert should do after he apologized for the killing of civilians in Beit Hanoun is the topic of one of Leila Abu-Saba's posts.
On the lighter but interesting side Maya[at]NYC tells us about what she considers irritating traits that some people have:
The modern gent. Don’t rush (almost throwing me out of the way) to beat me to opening the door. I can do it easily on my own. Also, for your information, I can and like to pay for my food. Just don’t make me pay for yours!
The down-sizer. “My job is better that your job. My car is better than your dad’s car. My mom’s hair is better than your mom’s”…. go practice your inferiority complex somewhere else…
Any one related to Nayla Mouawad. Although that is punishment in itself, keep your miseries in your family. (cheap shot, I know: I can’t help it! Please understand.)
The liar, the ignorant, the racist, the stiff, the very religious (any religion), the stingy, the obsessive…
Sietske tells of how she got her wallet back after losing it at the “Victory Rally” of Hezbollah 60 days ago.
Finally here are some beautiful pictures from Lebanon by Blogging Beirut.
Violence and Assasinations are evil. This is the only important truth. Lebanon and the whole middle-East have a problem in solving differences democratically. Iran and Syria are obviously the sources of the string of assassinations, no one without their explicit permission would ever dream of doing anything like that without being caught. They are not democratic states and want to impose their ways and ideologies to Lebanon to further their own goals and interests. Is the Hezbollah really Lebanese? This is the true question. Not all Shi’a are part or even approve of the Hezbollah. The group was created by Iran in the 80s to “help” Lebanon (the same way Syria, Israel and anyone really in these days of total chaos) while unconspicuously growing and increasingly trying to take over Lebanese Democracy and the government. Ask yourself, who is the hezbollah ultimately accountable to? and you’ll find Iran and Syria are the answers. The rest of the country is the Lebanon all Lebanese without distinction of religion have loved and continue loving. This is the Lebanon of beaches, clubs, good food, business, tourism, fashion and interaction with the whole world. The lebanon of the hezbollah is a Lebanon plunged into the dark ages, dependent on Iran for everything and closed to any comtemporary idea of globalism or exchange with the rest of the world. We are seeing the evolution of Iran, it’s going from bad to worst. If the country didn’t have some petrol to fall back on and weapons to terrorize the free world, it would fall down and collapse economically and politically. At this time of uber crisis, the solution is simple, get rid of the hezbollah and any narrow-minded pseudo-political party and dissolve any political party based on religion, muslim and christian. All those who say that anti-Syrian Lebanese are obeying Washington are being over-simplistic. There is a huge difference between being created by the Iran of Khomeini in the 80s and being Lebanon, a country that has always had a priviledged relation with everybody, the west, the east and the rest of the M-East. There has been no victory anywhere in the past year in Lebanon, only blood, more blood and growing despair and frustration from all sides. The end goal of every REAL LEBANESE should be to find a way to have a prosperous and autonomous Lebanon. The end goal is to have no weapons but those of the army and a tacit understanding between all lebanese that Lebanon comes first and should depend on no other nation. Can the hezbollah truly say their ideals are Lebanese? Can they deny the fact that they were created by Iran and obey its government rather than the average Lebanese?