Sunday, July 30, 2006

chasing oil

yesterday, a few of us got into a car and drove up the Lebanese coast line, northwards...in order to document the oil spill. we took pictures, video, and prepared a map that traced the movement of the oil slick.

though i was on the edge of having a panic attack the whole time, being afraid that at any time, the road, bridge or tunnel we were on could be bombed... it felt good to finally get out of beirut for a few hours... first time in a long time.

what we saw was horrendous. our glorious beaches... all covered in black. bays, rocks, crevices, hidden under a blanket of oil. i can not tell you how big this spill is. we went as far up as Anfe (which is about 10 minutes before Tripoli) before we had to turn back to Beirut in oder to make it to our evening interviews on time. the oil slick continues to travel north, eating up everything in its path. we heard it was reached Syria now.

Byblos (Jbeil) bay is completely smothered. this once picturesque and touristic town, also the oldest port city on Earth, is in ruins. we could smell the oil before we were anywhere close to the bay. this summer, the town was planning to celebrate its 7,000th birthday! there were huge festivities planned... so much went into it... now... nothing but this black plague.

we stopped to speak with a few fishermen. they are completely devastated. they have no means of income anymore. so many of them had fixed up their boats for this summer i hopes of giving tourists small boat trips around the coast. now, that is gone too.

i had a really bad headache all day... we were driving on the coastal road, stopped every few minutes to document.... the smell was so strong. when i got home, i blew my nose and the tissue was all black. i made sure to take a really good shower.

we were going to send out the press release, pics and video today, but we got even worse news...

there had been a massacre in Qana early this morning. history repeats itself. the Israelis dropped a bomb on a building that was sheltering refugees. the news at this point is that 55 were killed. mostly women and children... but the numbers are growing. the news is still fresh. it was only a few years ago that the Israelis did the same thing, except last time, it was a UN building that they hit. and over 100 people were killed. mostly women and children killed... why?? how can anyone be so inhumane?

i think Israel is the only country in the world that is allowed to hit UN posts and get away with it. only a few days ago, an UN post was hit in the South. UN peacekeepers died. to their families, i beg forgiveness. Lebanon is a beautiful country.. full of beautiful people. we all mourn your loss.

this whole attack has been one massacre after another. and still they persist. and still, it continues...

102 Comments:

Blogger GXYu said...

I am listening to your inverview with CNN right now, you are responding wonderfully. I wish you well and hope you make it through safely. Questions about who is to blame seems to becoming increasingly irrelevant, and it's time politicians started to think about the people who are suffering, on both sides of the border.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous ano said...

I am just listening to you on CNN.

just wanted to let you know that 2000 people stood with you in Oslo yesterday.

2000 demonstrate in Oslo «Stopp Israels terror mot Palestina og Libanon»

"stop Israel's terror against Palestine and lebanon"

http://www.aftenposten.no/
nyheter/iriks/article1403815.ece

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely appreciated your words on CNN. Take care.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

I heard yo on cnn - go further with this blog!

With kind regards from germany..
Peter

3:02 PM  
Blogger Adrastas said...

Just saw you (heard?) you on CNN. Loved what you said. Violence does indeed beget Violence. Let's end this. One day at a time. Stay strong, and please, Watch yer six!
Keep up the excellent work.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel so terrible for the people of Lebanon. Whilst Israel has a right to defend itself what it is doing is so far beyond defense it beggars belief.

Not all westerners blindly support Israel the way the US Government does. Maybe one day soon more reasonable and peace loving people will be in power on all sides and finally kids wont have to die in bombing attacks.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Jan Van Nieuwenhove said...

My thoughts and sympathy goes out to you, your loved ones and the entire lebanese people.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Cyba Audi said...

Hi Zena,

I just saw your interview on CNN and wanted to both congratulate and thank you for your views expressed therein. You handled it very well and made me proud. i am sure many other Lebanese watching that would have felt proud to have you speaking on our behalf in that occasion.

Stay safe.


Cyba Audi,
Dubai - UAE

3:05 PM  
Blogger Adrastas said...

Tell it like it is. Loved your Interview on CNn. Violence, does indeed, beget Violence. Keep up the good work, stay strong, and watch your six.
Ad

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,
I am in california, united states. I have been watching what is going on in your area. I am praying that this will end soon. My heart goes out to all of the people in the region. I wish there was a easier way to settle this conflict.
Dale

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You handled the CNN interview gracefully. I got the impression the guy was trying to get you to say "I blame Israel", but I agree with you--violence begets violence.

- Your friend in the USA

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just heard you on CNN. You did an incredible job communicating your horror and frustration. That you for giving me a new sense of what it is you are enduring.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous farfromeyes said...

Like many others around the world who heard u over the CNN few minutes ago, I did too...I want u to know that we symphatize with u and the whole Lebanon (from Bosnia). WE pray to God that slaughtering stops soon. Our thoughts are with u because we know how it is...may God bring peace to u soon. Take care.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous andrew said...

i heard your piece on CNN and i wnated to thank you , and to use this opportunity to say that I pray that you and your fellow Lebanese are rescued from this terrible onslaught as soon as possible. Let humanity prevail.
I had heard nothing of the massive oil spill before i read it on your blog; can you give any pictures of the situation? Have you told CNN about it?

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Serbian in Holland said...

I watched your interview on CNN and it was inspiring.
I like your closer in the interview very much.

Wish you all the best.
Salam - Peace be upon you!

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zena, I'm writing from Melbourne, Australia, I want to say that your interview on CNN a couple of minutes ago was so moving. It is saddening to see again and again, as you mentioned, that politics stands in the way of humanity. My heart goes to all the peaceful people (dead and alive) of Lebanon (Qana included) and Israel

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and your people!

Like so many others, I must comment as "anonymous", such is the confidence I feel in speaking "freely" from this "democratic" country.....

3:10 PM  
Anonymous aavManila said...

We extend our condolences to the those who lost loved ones in Qana.Many weep for the dead children of Qana.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done on CNN, I was very impressed the way you didnt get into their petty argument of blame.

You are right this is not the time for blame, stop the killing, violence, hate and let the people of Lebanon (and Israel for that matter) live.

My thoughts are with all those living in fear in the Middle East in this difficult time.

Mark - Ireland

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done on CNN, I was very impressed the way you didnt get into their petty argument of blame.

You are right this is not the time for blame, stop the killing, violence, hate and let the people of Lebanon (and Israel for that matter) live.

My thoughts are with all those living in fear in the Middle East in this difficult time.

Mark - Ireland

3:13 PM  
Blogger Noblese said...

Have just seen your interview on CNN, very good interview. Keep up the good work. Hope this whole escalation ends soon. There was a demonstration yesterday in Bern/Switzerland to protest the ongoing war in Lebanon.
Good luck and stay safe.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous ano said...

please consider adding these links

www.democracynow.org
I recommend the interview with Noam Chomsky


www.antiwar.com/

www.fromisraeltolebanon.info


I hope you and all the people of lebanon and palestine surive this crisis.

If you can please please plee to Hezballoah to stop firing toward israel, it is like hiting your fist against a cement wall. please please do not give them any more excuses to masacare you

3:15 PM  
Anonymous farfromeyes said...

just to add..in any war, civilians,esp. children, women and old people shouldnt be a target of attacks...it is a war crime and i think the whole world know what happened in Bosnia during the war...case of Srebrenica is very well known...there is no winner in any war and the one who wants to prove himself to be strong, dominant and the best should fight in a decent way, not harming the human rights and according to the war conventions...and when somebody kills women and chidren, who cant be terrorists- by common sense, then the conclusion comes by itself..that one wants to destroy the future of that country. Except for the bombing attrocities, have there been cases, when they entered parts of Lebanon, that they captured and killed civilians???

3:16 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Thank you for your blog. You are so correct, it's not about one side or the other, it's about violence begetting violence. This does so need to stop. We are one...there is none but the one.
Love and Blessings, Nancy

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am a middle aged american born woman who is appalled by what israel is doing to the people of lebanon. i want you to know that many, many americans are against what israel is doing to your country. do not believe that all americans agree with president bush, we do not! i wish i had the power to stop it, but my government won't do what i want, just what they want. i am so, so sorry for what is happening & i just want people of lebanon to know that some of us americans are disgusted with the killing that is happening to innocent people. israel says they should have left, but how can they when trucks & cars are being bombed on the highway! what are the poor citizens to do? stay safe & maybe some day my government will step in & not just stand by doing nothing.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listened to you on CNN in Vienna. Great writing and keep safe.

Philip Ou
Singapore

3:20 PM  
Anonymous majd said...

i just watched your intrview on cnn it is my first time ever to write on a blog
i would like first to express my gratitude as a lebanese peace seaker for your extremely mature reports on what you have seen downtown
i just want to ask any person reading me, what nation seaking for durable peace would do what the israeli government and army are doing to a country as peaceful as lebanon the whole problem is the logic of preventive war defended by the irrational american administraton as well as some diabolic maps seen now and then of a new middle east displacing millions and creating new nations
as for whose to blame i would like to remind everybody that war is being held on lebanese land and what israel is whitnessing isnt in any way comparable to the systematic mass destruction and bombings on civilians and forcing people to leave ther homes
i cant believe the insanity of an israeli army spokeman saying that they have told civilians to leave villages so they can destroy everything i just see in front of me murderers
i call upon an instant complete cease of fire

3:21 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

thank you for your interview. You are sooo right, violence begets violence. This needs to stop at all levels. The world needs to understand that there is 'none but the one.' We are all one. Be safe and careful. Nancy

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi iam from india and was shocked to find this attack at qana.on cnn news.well i think the whole problem lies with the politics being played by diff nations..with the middle east coz it rich in oil..well all these big nations dont care a shit about the lives of innocent people...they can be of any country..i think people on both sides...israel and lebanon are suffering...and the the people in power are having to face no bombs...no shells ..nothing..so y shud they take it so seriously..well i think the human race has to rise collectively with the active medium of media against these politicians and policy makers...otherwise they are going to destroy this gr8 place earth for us to live in...well i dont think any religion preaches hatred...well here in india we are also sufferers of terrorism and bomb blasts..seems like everywhere this hell is taking place.....well i hope peace returns to this world as it was many centuries ago..jess.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are always Justified...they are always right....wow

how you going to live in peace while you kill more children..

how you sleep the nights when your hands are so bloody with innocent civilians blood..from Lebanon to Palestine

wake up Israel..stop this massacare now

End the occupation now ... Let People live FREE

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Michel said...

Zena,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of Lebanon. I am so saddened by the destruction of the beautiful country, people and environment in which you live. I feel so naive, because I cannot believe or understand how humans can do this to one another. It is surreal to be able to witness this tragedy from the comfort of my home, while you have to live through the chaos. There will be a peace rally in D.C., NY and other major cities on 8/12/06. While all the marching and protesting will not change the stone hearts of man, it will help those of us who care show our support for those who are suffering.
May God bless you and your family, the innocent people of Lebanon, and the civilians in Israel. Hate begets hate and it can never produce anything good...

3:25 PM  
Anonymous majd said...

although i am against street violence i was overwhelemed by the assault on the UN building downtown we dont need luxurious buildings decorating our capital of so called security counsil or peace organization monopolized by one nation which is clearly a party in the conflict the hell with the UN organization if it is to stand aside watching and waiting the US administration or GONDI to feel sad to just condemn. what could we wait from an organisation that watched 2 days ago 4 of its employees murdered coldly by a well informed army

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Zena, i have read most of the responses to your blog. you bring a saneness to this war. it's time to bring humanity into this, there will be enough time for blame when the deaths stop. those that have brought these unjust deaths will ultimately face their GOD to explain Why!

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is all about money water and oil

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zena, the most important thing you said all along is that you refuse to hate. Grab on to it, it's people like you who give peace in this beautifull and warthorn region a chance.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zena, I am writing from Germany, I am Peruvian and I want to say that you were great on CNN. I am proud to know that there are people like you around there to speak up!

I am terrible sorry for Lebanon and its people. I hope this massacre will end shortly, but I think that Israel and USA are just executing a huge plan made many years ago... and they won't stop until get what they want which is dominate all Middle East.

Many keep saying that Muslim Extremists are the real terrorist, but I ask myself... how would they act if their country is destroyed, dominated and violated? Will anyone in the world stay quite or do nothing? I will certainly not... I do not want to justify Terrorist, but I just want to remember US people that they got their Independence standing up against domination…. The Arab and the Middle East are doing the same… stop domination then!!!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Just heard you on CNN. I was impressed by your poise when you were pressed for a political opinion.

We are all Lebanese today. Keep safe.

3:39 PM  
Blogger clodhopper said...

Peace is not a destination. A road map implies a destination and movement, both of which are false. Peace is like rain, it comes into being if the conditions are correct otherwise it cannot be. It never came from the barrel of a gun and never will. Peace also requires vulnerability and open hearts. This is why politicians and so called religious leaders can never bring it about. Both are enclosed within their unbreakable shells of opinion, ideology or faith. Their hearts are closed and hard. Children of any race or culture will play happily together; race, religion and political boundaries mean nothing to them at all. The conflict can never end until we have learned this lesson from them. It is not that they are bad teachers it is just that adults are too stupid for words.

Violence begets violence.....period.

May peace come soon to you. Stay safe Zena.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Nancyleroux said...

Peace begins inside all of us. May you be safe, may your country and peoples be safe. May we find as a human species the sense that we are all one with our earth.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous NASR said...

SAW YOUR INTERVIEW. IT IS VERY VERY SHOCKING TO HEAR AND TO SEE INNOCENT PEOPLE GETTING KILLED...

ESPECIALLY SMALL GIRLS WHO WHEN I SEE I THINK OF MY OWN GIRL WHO IS ONLY 4 YRS...

WE START WONDERING, SHOULD WE PROTEST IN OUR COUNTRY TO WHO....US EMBASSY.....

I END UP DECIDING THAT IT IS TIME THAT WE START PROTESTING IN FRONT OF ALL THE ARAB STATES EMBASSIES WHO JUST SIT AND WATCH....THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CAN MAKE A CHANGE....

HOPE THAT YOU STAY SAFE ALONG WITH ALL OTHERS,,,,,,

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Bernard said...

Zena,

J'ai entendu votre interview sur CNN. Merci de hurler à la face du monde entier les atrocités et la barbarie commises par le gouvernement de criminels et d'assassins israéliens ! Je prie pour vous et tout le peuple du Liban. Be safe and careful ! With love.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, I just heard you speaking on CNN. Your words touched and impressed me very much. Your blog- even though or maybe just because it reflects your personal view - is very valuable in telling the world what´s going on in your country. When I read your report on the oil desaster I got tears in my eyes. Hope others - more important as I am - read your blog as well.
I think you are a very brave woman. Go ahead but take care.

I wish you all the best.

Klaus from Germany

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

37 children dead as of now...Just In Qana......


More Justification ..

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Kevin Hayden said...

Anonymous, she puts her name forth and speaks for humanity, most of which longs for peace and justice and hope, no matter which country they come from or religion they practice.

You say she's in denial, while you stay in hiding, unable to back your assertions with the goodness of your own name. Why is that?

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zena Thank you for blog,Its going to sound strange, but we only here what CNN And Fox News Wants us to here, Not all Americans are full of hate. And There are two sides to every story,I will Check your Blog every other day Please keep us informed on whats going on.And You were wonderful,keep up the good work,
C.H. Upstate New York

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Felix said...

Zena,

Its so good that people like you are reporting about the disaster that is hitting Lebanon. I have been several times in your beautiful country and I have pain in my heart to see this destruction and loss of life. This must stop. We have to try in every way to make people aware what is happening to Lebanon. Israel is commiting war crimes, and untill now has a carte blanche from the US. We as world citizens have to rise up, to stop this insanity. Here in Holland we have started a daily Night Vigil in front of the Israelian Embassy in The Hague.

I wish and pray that this madness will stop.
Love for Lebanon.

Felix (Netherlands)

3:55 PM  
Blogger albanian atlantis said...

Loved what you said on CNN.
I am on your side.On the side of Lebanon people.I just hope that USA makes the same choice soon before it,s to late.I belive it is going to hapen so.
Hang on my friend.The rightous always get rewarded.You are not alone.
I am watching CNN now and some Lebanies children are talking.I did,nt know that Labanon had such smart(they speak perfect english) and beutiful kids.
My heart is broken when I see them suffering this way.

3:59 PM  
Blogger serafina delarosa said...

Dear Zena
I don't know what to say.
I just cry. I try to pray, but it is getting hard.
Peace, please, stop now, I don't want to wake up to such news ever again.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zena:

As an older American I have lived since WW II. The last Great War was to have been WW I. But that was a Euro-North American view. The smoldering was growing in the Middle East over the crusades and from centuries of mistreatment and misunderstanding of Mideast culture. I believe the current crisis, like all wars, comes from a limited view of people and of the world. Thank god for the internet because US TV is, well, US TV - except for CNN. At the very least, we should be able to enjoy great Canadian and Mexican TV but we do not - probably because US entertainment industry is protecting itself. The last problem is education. In this country, the education system is largely in chaos. Uneducated people are ripe for demogoguery at most; misconception at the least. So if the US is to "blame," for a part of this mess (and we are) then I lay it at the feet of decades of naieve and narrow vision and growing lack of education. Finally, there is that overlay of corporate greed that is financing and pushing our policies. We have no business trying to force our way of life on other nations. We need to stay home and clean our own house. Hezbollah is a response to all of the above. Yes, they are terrorists but we need to stop and ask: Why are they the way they are? How did this happen? We need to clarify and refresh our vision but, as you said on CNN, this kind of exercise can wait until after hostilities have been stopped. We need to stop the guns. No one will have the upper hand in this situation. All sides will be loosers unless we stop the guns.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zena
I just read some of the other replies, And I'm truly sorry as a American And Peaceful person that some would just like to write hateful things,I'm A chatholic By Faith And 44 years old.
In My home I have old Antique rugs And yes pray rugs as well.( point is everything and every belief means something to me,I try every day to understand everyones beliefs and welcome it in my home)
People need to end the hate that we are all rasied with.If we all stopped for a brief second to think,
If we all rasied our children not to hate and they had good schooling some day They would become world leaders.And The old timers would be gone,Our leaders of the world our full of hate and coruption
Again I'll watch your blogspot
Your on to something here.
Keep up the great work.Our Prayers and hearts go out to everyone in the middle east,noone should half to die.
Take Care
CH
Upstate New York

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

zena... i thought you were wonderful on CNN. you'd think that with alllll the history of the tragedy's of war, that eventually people would be smart enough to avoid such suffering... be safe, kind regards,
canada

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Kevin Hayden said...

For the history-impaired: Hezbullah drove out Israel after a long occupation about 16 years ago. I do not argue that their current actions are right or justified, but it should be understood why some Lebanese view them as liberators instead of terrorists.

Outsiders meddling in Lebanon for the past century, from the British and French to Israel and Syria and Iran are all to blame, but what good is yesterday's blame when tomorrow's solutions is what we all should be focused on?

4:14 PM  
Anonymous majd said...

CNN please stop naming this war "middle east crisis" please call it lebanese war

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel should stop the policy of "survival" upon the destruction of the others.I dont know but its sound to me like the same policy of the nazis of "living space".Same horrors, different actors and sides are switched.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous peter sampson said...

Agression based on group identity must always be condemned. Disproportionate aggression against innocent Lebanese civilians is unholy...cowardly...and unheroic. Well done for your blogspot. Just the amount of comments here reveals worldwide empathy ...

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Again Zena
Your Blog Is proof, that there is hate and alot of it.Its Sad to see your being attacted for caring enought to let us all know whats going on

We all need to let go of the past

Its over

Tommorow is a new day for all of us
The world is a very small place

We all have our own views and when we a wake everyday We need to leave them at our own door steps.

There is more good then bad, does not seem like it.

Please Let us know in your blog what we can do to help.

Children our gods gift to the world no matter what faith you are.

I would be very happy to send items to you for the children
Please let us how we might help.

Sincerely Chris Hemmer
Upstate New York

4:34 PM  
Blogger tarheelcantonfire said...

Thank you for your ongoing commentary of what is going on in Lebanon. Living in Ohio, we don't get an accurate picture of what is going on in Southern Lebanon, even from CNN. What a devastating turn of events and you and the Lebanese people have my utmost sympathy, which certainly isn't worth much.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zena,

I've seen your interview on Cnn and you did so well ! I especially appreciated your last answer... you'r right we can't loose time asking who's right, we I have to act to stop this Genocide. From my own point of view it's clear that Israel has gone too far and against all international convention since the very beginning of the conflict; that's terrorism, I don't know other names for killing civilians. The worst thing is that Israel will not pay anything for this aggression 'cause occidental countries cover it. I'm from Rome and I really hoped that the peace conference could be useful... but it was not, I feel so sorry for that.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard your interview on CNN, its unbelievable what Israel is doing with the ful support of the 'great peacekeeper' U.S. Those who are putting the blame on Hezbollah and trying to justify this terrorism of killing more than 700 civilians for the sake of two well trained soldiers, have just no sense of humanity. What the arab world is doing, I have no idea. Latest supply of laser missiles and weapons by U.S to israel shows just how much condi rice is 'intersted' in peace. U.S has instead given Israel the lisence to kill. It will not erase Hezbollah, infact it will give birth to new generation of Hezbollah. No one has right to destroy civilians and country for the sake of 2 prisoners. It was planned. Hezbollah's act of 2 soldiers is just an excuse. Stop this massacre. Humanity must come first. May GOD help you go through these difficult times. My prayers are with all lebanese brothers and sisters.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous an american said...

Condoleezza Rice , Bush, Blair, Dick Cheney should go on trial for crimes being committed in Lebanon


with profound dismay and deep sorrow

http://democracynow.org

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Sandra said...

It is a shame that the international community do nothing to stop Israeli bombings. It is a shame that Israel is that only country allowed to go ahead with this kind of behaviour. If it was the contrary, world leaders would be calling the responsible people for these death war criminals.
Our thought are with Lebanese people.
Regards from Portugal.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just stunned by the justification given by Israeli government as per CNN about the recent massacre in Qana. First they said, they informed the civilians about the attacks and had told them to leave. Its like I am looking for a criminal who is hiding some where in New York, and so I tell the people of New York to get out of their homes because I am going to bomb their houses. Is this justified? Secondly, Israel has given the reason that civilians were being used as shield by Hezbollah in that building so 'casualities' had to happen. For God Sake, no matter what no one has right to kill the civilians. Those who are supporting these acts by Israel have no sense of humanity. I wonder if they also justify Hitler's 'jewish ambitions' as well... I guess Hitler might have seen this coming so he wanted to 'erase' them for good. How does that feel, (to those who are supporting this massacre)??? After watching biased coverage on CNN and FOX, I wont be surprised if american public supports Israel. Please dont fall for that. Forget about the peace U.S government is 'interested' in (to give more time to Israel so that he can kill every single lebanese). Istead Israel has to be stopped from this terrorism. We ahev to stand up against humanity. Oh Lord Help the Lebanese... Bring the world together against Israel to stop this madness. Zena our prayers are with you people, be strong and let the world know the truth, which the media covers.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT KIND OF BLOG, TAKES OFF ALL THE CONS FROM IT'S ENTRIES....

YOU ARE A TYPICAL ARAB, THERE WERE PRO-ISRAELI COMMENTS ON HERE EARLIER, TO WHICH I CUT AND PASTED, AND WILL GLADLY FORWARD TO ANY NEWS AGENCY TO DISCREDIT YOU....

HEAR ME, YOU ASK FOR PEOPLE'S OPINION, AND YOU GO AND TAKE AWAY THOSE WHO SUPPORT ISRAEL, AGAINST YOUR FELLOW ARAB MURDERS, HIDING AMONG CHILDREN, WHICH WE ALL KNOW IS THE CASE.

AND ISRAEL ISN'T THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT OPERATES THIS WAY AGAINST TERORISM

SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, LIBYA, CHINA, RUSSIA ALL HAVE SO CALLED MASSACRES, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THIS TIME, HEZBOLLAH ENTERED A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY, KIDNAPPED TWO PEOPLE AND FIRED MISSILES....

HEZBOLLAH IS NOT A COUNTRY OR GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BEEN ELECTED, IT'S A TERRORIST GROUP

PEOPLE WAKE UP....AND I HAVE WILL ALSO CUT AND PASTE THIS PORTION FROM YOUR SITE, BY KNOW IF IT'S EDITED LIKE ALL THE OTHER PRO-ISRAELI COMMENTS, I WILL PERSONALLY HAVE YOU DISCREDITED BY THIS, CAN'T HAVE PEACE, IF YOU ARE ONE SIDED, REMEMBER YOUR VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE COMMENT HYPOCRIT.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Bojana K. Grabar said...

censureship, hhmmmm ... a blogger giving a political lesson on literacy and freedom of expressing of oppinions.!? from 106 she reduced to 66 + this one, which questioned how long it shall remain ...

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT KIND OF BLOG, TAKES OFF ALL THE CONS FROM IT'S ENTRIES....

YOU ARE A TYPICAL ARAB, THERE WERE PRO-ISRAELI COMMENTS ON HERE EARLIER, TO WHICH I CUT AND PASTED, AND WILL GLADLY FORWARD TO ANY NEWS AGENCY TO DISCREDIT YOU....

HEAR ME, YOU ASK FOR PEOPLE'S OPINION, AND YOU GO AND TAKE AWAY THOSE WHO SUPPORT ISRAEL, AGAINST YOUR FELLOW ARAB MURDERS, HIDING AMONG CHILDREN, WHICH WE ALL KNOW IS THE CASE.

AND ISRAEL ISN'T THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT OPERATES THIS WAY AGAINST TERORISM

SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, LIBYA, CHINA, RUSSIA ALL HAVE SO CALLED MASSACRES, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THIS TIME, HEZBOLLAH ENTERED A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY, KIDNAPPED TWO PEOPLE AND FIRED MISSILES....

HEZBOLLAH IS NOT A COUNTRY OR GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BEEN ELECTED, IT'S A TERRORIST GROUP

PEOPLE WAKE UP... I WILL ALSO CUT AND PASTE THIS PORTION FROM YOUR SITE, IF IT'S EDITED LIKE ALL THE OTHER PRO-ISRAELI COMMENTS, I WILL PERSONALLY HAVE YOU DISCREDITED BY THIS. WILL FORWARD TO ANYONE THAT YOUR ONE SIDED EVIL HEART CRIES TO. CAN'T HAVE PEACE, IF YOU ARE ONE SIDED, REMEMBER YOUR VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE COMMENT HYPOCRIT.

6:41 PM  
Blogger mikealpha said...

On April 18th 1996 Hezb’allh launched missiles next to the UN camp In Qana. A Fijian Unifil soldier asked
the terrorists to move away and was murdered by them just before the Israeli response.

Hezb’aalh has been quite succesfuls murdering women and children at Qana. Same method too.
This time they didnt get to kill any UNIFIL soldiers though.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Buthaina Al Othman said...

My family and I heard you talking on the CNN earlier today and strongly agree with you. We do believe as you‘ve stated that it’s not a matter of whom to blame; what has been happening in Lebanon since July 12th , particularly that of this morning is considered a Devastating Blow to Peace, in the Middle East.

I was hoping to move to live in Lebanon by the end of 2006. Israel’s aggressive, inhumane actions have killed our dreams of living in peace.

Zena, we, peace loving people anywhere in the world, strongly support your great effort toward peace, justice, and hope.

Finally, I also recommend MIT professor Noam Chomsky’s interview at http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/1



Peace!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Buthaina Al Othman said...

Sorry, Zena, here is the correct direct link to MIT professor Noam Chomsky’s interview:
http://tinyurl.com/jbxwr

OR

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/14/146258

Peace & Love!

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Zena,

I congratulate you on removing comments that use insults and hatered from both sides. I read strong hatered comments against Israelis and Lebanese that are not there anymore.
For those who disagree on this move and think that this is censorship, just know that all news agencies (BBC, CNN, etc.) check if the comments are insulting or not before posting them.
If for example I want to write about my sex life the owner of the blog should be able to remove my comment.
I think we can all express our thoughts and ideas, without using words such as "pig" and "f**k".
And for the person who threatened to send the deleted comments to the media, please, go ahead; because the deleted comments are from both sides and not only pro-Israel, showing the that the reason for deletion is the bad way of expression. Sending the deleted comments will only prove that those comments should be removed.
And me as pro-Israel, I found many of her comments level headed, such as:
"hizuballah continues to fire into israel.
israel continues to fire into lebanon.
civilian targets are still being hit."
Zena, please, don't be discoraged by all the negative comments. If all the people in the region think and feel the same way as you, we wouldn't have had wars. We need you. We all need you.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Eliane said...

Like many others, I heard your interview on cnn, and was so pleased to hear a clear heart speak. The two journalsits had nothing to add to this! You set the records straight with lots of grace.
Thank you.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as an american, i am sick over what israel is doing. why my government lets this continue, i do not know. we, the people of america do not blindly follow this administration. mr. bush' approval rating is 30% now. 70% of americans have no faith in our president. i hate that this makes americans look like war mongers. we want peace for you & your people. no one will listen to us , i'm afraid.

kim
dallas, texas
usa

12:07 AM  
Blogger swampknot said...

You sound like a special person in a special land Zena- Best wishes from an embarrassed American-

3:03 AM  
Blogger Anna Limontas- Salisbury said...

Much blessings, peace and love your way. Keep your head up!

We are praying for all to lay down their weapons.

With much love from Bedford-Stuyvesant and Harlem!

3:04 AM  
Anonymous fragitsa said...

i cry with you every night.

8:11 AM  
Blogger euro-discounter.com said...

personally I completely fail to understand why the lebanese people still stand with hezbollah after all this. it was them who started the war and unless the lebanese people is able to understand that, there will be no peace and prosperity. there is no prosperity possible with islamofascist ideologies such as hiding women because horny males are not willing to reign in their primitive urges, and that is exactly why islam makes primitive people because it gives right to neanderthalism.

I heard your speech on CNN and I am not even starting to think about what I would feel if france was under attack (for example by an antiunionist uk ;)and of course you have all the right in the world to feel emotional about this whole bloody mess.

I was feeling vandalized by the mob who burned our flags last winter after some only remotely funny pictures of an oriental genie were published in a danish newspaper, the mob who were exactly the same lousy folks who now shoot artillery at israeli civilians, the guys who hide behind women and little kids to wage a transparent propaganda war against the ethics of the west by at the same time forcing us to act in contradiction to our values. this is so sad I can't even begin to tell you people how sorry I feel that you are in the center of this ugly struggle, but all I can tell you is that you really have to choose your side and you really need to choose wisely, for your sake and everybody else's !!!!!!!!

11:29 AM  
Anonymous petros said...

im very new to this way of obtaining news but i must tell you that as i read the things you said the tears just flooded to my eyes. as a 34yr old man living in the united states, it breaks my heart to hear and see the things that are happening in your part of the world. i want to understand, but its so hard to get past the suffering i see. thank you for bring these things to my attention. i believe the media shield us here in the US from a lot of what is really happening thank you

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are a freaking hypocrite zena. A barbarian like the rest of your islamic terrorist friends

4:40 PM  
Blogger Tate said...

Thank you for your courage in documenting this horror.

I hope the world's people and government will get involved to stop the insane PNAC and Israel government from destroying the whole world.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about everything that is happening to your beautiful country. From the senseless murder of children to the oil slick that is doing unimaginable damage to your costline. It sickens me.

I want you to know that not all of us in the west agree with the stupidity of our "Leader" in these matters. There are a lot of people here in the US that are disgusted with Isreal's actions. As well as the lack of action on our governments part.

All I can say is I am so sorry. I am sorry for your counrty and it's people.

I wish you well and hope that you can keep yourself safe. Peace to you and yours.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous mohabbat said...

Dear Zena,

I am so sorry that you have to seee a few hostile comments as above (fortunately the majority are positive and suportive).

Have you thought about deleting the anonymous post option, and only allowing those who are willing to sign up to post.

if you sign up for en email just for your blog and post it as aname at .... dot com then people can contact you if they want to help etc

going through what you are already experiencing is horrific enough and you do not reading some of these agitated comments with no logic.

I have experienced war and had to flee our home and really undrstand the trauma you are going through. today, I called a humaniterian organization in 2 countries in europe and offered that I am willing to go to lebanon to help.
with best regards,
many hugs

PS. this is your blog and you have all the right to delete any message you find offensive.

again we love you and hope for immediate permanent peace.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those of you who have a problem with the fact that Zena removed some posts from her blog should put together your own blog. That way you can leave up comments that are hateful. This is her blog to do with what she will. If she wants to remove hate filled comments that is her choice. It is after all HER BLOG.

Peace

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a HUGE difference between leaving comments with opposing views, and leaving comments filled with hate-speech, stereotypes, and racial epithet. When you learn the difference, feel free to come back and post. In the meantime, Zena is just trying to keep a positive tone to her blog. If you were in her situation, I doubt you would want to spend all day stressed out about what part of your country is getting blown up next, and then see negative people personally attacking you on your blog. How about a little sensitivity here, champ? I think it's a perfectly reasonable request that the owner of this blog requests no flaming.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mohabbat, you are a freaking hypocrite too. What do you have to say about hezbollah eh! Arn't they wrong mohabbat, do you believe that the Israelis are going to conquer the world. You better believe that, biblical history tells you that. But first of all you must admit that the cowardly hezbollah terrorist, who hide behind women and children, have to be stopped, admit that they are evil. You know for a downright factor that nobody wants war and that goes for the Israelis too, and they have a right to defend their land. Or are you going to go into denial and shy away from answering questions like darling zena.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous mohabbat said...

to the Anonymous (dare to say your name)

I do not buy your lies and bullshit and you are not worth an answer

11:09 AM  
Anonymous http://frontpage.fok.nl/nieuws/66846 said...

In de Noorse krant Dagbladet is een spotprent gepubliceerd over de Israëlische premier Ehud Olmert, die afgebeeld staat als commandant van een naziconcentratiekamp. De Israëlische ambassadeur in Noorwegen heeft een officiële klacht ingediend tegen de cartoon bij de Noorse persraad.



http://frontpage.fok.nl/nieuws/66846

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mohabbat is not even your real name, so don't talk much. You don't believe me, but you believe the crap the terrorist tell you. Man you are one sorrowfuul soul. Go seek the light mohabbat, then your heart won't be full of hatred. I may sound forceful, but I really feel sorry for people like you and zena. Go pray mohabbat, but make sure it is to the right God, I don't think you will get far with hezbollah's god.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous http://hrw.org/ said...

http://hrw.org/

Human Rights Watch:

This report documents serious violations of international humanitarian law (the laws of war) by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Lebanon between July 12 and July 27, 2006, as well as the July 30 attack in Qana. During this period, the IDF killed an estimated 400 people, the vast majority of them civilians, and that number climbed to over 500 by the time this report went to print. The Israeli government claims it is taking all possible measures to minimize civilian harm, but the cases documented here reveal a systematic failure by the IDF to distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Since the start of the conflict, Israeli forces have consistently launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military gain but excessive civilian cost. In dozens of attacks, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some cases, the timing and intensity of the attack, the absence of a military target, as well as return strikes on rescuers, suggest that Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians.

The Israeli government claims that it targets only Hezbollah, and that fighters from the group are using civilians as human shields, thereby placing them at risk. Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack. Hezbollah occasionally did store weapons in or near civilian homes and fighters placed rocket launchers within populated areas or near U.N. observers, which are serious violations of the laws of war because they violate the duty to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties. However, those cases do not justify the IDF’s extensive use of indiscriminate force which has cost so many civilian lives. In none of the cases of civilian deaths documented in this report is there evidence to suggest that Hezbollah forces or weapons were in or near the area that the IDF targeted during or just prior to the attack.

By consistently failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, Israel has violated one of the most fundamental tenets of the laws of war: the duty to carry out attacks on only military targets. The pattern of attacks during the Israeli offensive in Lebanon suggests that the failures cannot be explained or dismissed as mere accidents; the extent of the pattern and the seriousness of the consequences indicate the commission of war crimes.

This report is based on extensive on-the-ground research in Lebanon. Since the start of hostilities, Human Rights Watch has interviewed victims and witnesses of attacks in one-on-one settings, conducted on-site inspections (when security allowed), and collected information from hospitals, humanitarian groups, and government agencies. Human Rights Watch also conducted research in Israel, inspecting the IDF’s use of weapons and discussing the conduct of forces with IDF officials. The research was extensive, but given the ongoing war and the scope of the bombings, Human Rights Watch does not claim that the findings are comprehensive; further investigation is required to document the war’s complete impact on civilians and to assess the full scope of the IDF’s compliance with and disregard for international humanitarian law.

While not the focus of this report, Human Rights Watch has separately and simultaneously documented violations of international humanitarian law by Hezbollah, including a pattern of attacks that amount to war crimes. Between July 12, when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight, and July 27, the group launched a reported 1,300 rockets into predominantly civilian areas in Israel, killing 18 civilians and wounding more than 300. Without guidance systems for accurate targeting, the rockets are inherently indiscriminate when directed toward civilian areas, especially cities, and thus are serious violations of the requirement of international humanitarian law that attackers distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians. Some of these rockets, Human Rights Watch found, are packed with thousands of metal ball-bearings, which spray more than 100 meters from the blast and compound the harm to civilians.

This report analyzes a selection of Israeli air and artillery attacks that together claimed at least 153 civilian lives, or over a third of the reported Lebanese deaths in the conflict’s first two weeks. Of the 153 civilian deaths documented in this report by name, sixty-three of the victims were children under the age of eighteen, and thirty-seven of them were under ten. Israeli air strikes also killed many dual nationals who were vacationing in Lebanon when the fighting began, including Brazilian, Canadian, German, Kuwaiti, and U.S. citizens. The full death toll is certainly higher because medical and recovery teams have been unable to retrieve many bodies due to ongoing fighting and the dire security situation in south Lebanon.

The report breaks civilian deaths into two categories: attacks on civilian homes and attacks on civilian vehicles. In both categories, victims and witnesses interviewed independently and repeatedly said that neither Hezbollah fighters nor Hezbollah weapons were present in the area during or just before the Israeli attack took place. While some individuals, out of fear or sympathy, may have been unwilling to speak about Hezbollah’s military activity, others were quite open about it. In totality, the consistency, detail, and credibility of testimony from a broad array of witnesses who did not speak to each other leave no doubt about the validity of the patterns described in this report. In many cases, witness testimony was corroborated by reports from international journalists and aid workers. During site visits conducted in Qana, Srifa, and Tyre, Human Rights Watch saw no evidence that there had been Hezbollah military activity around the areas targeted by the IDF during or just prior to the attack: no spent ammunition, abandoned weapons or military equipment, trenches, or dead or wounded fighters. Moreover, even if Hezbollah had been in a populated area at the time of an attack, Israel would still be legally obliged to take all feasible precautions to avoid or minimize civilian casualties resulting from its targeting of military objects or personnel. In the cases documented in this report, however, the IDF consistently tolerated a high level of civilian casualties for questionable military gain.

In one case, an Israeli air strike on July 13 destroyed the home of a cleric known to have sympathy for Hezbollah but who was not known to have taken any active part in hostilities. Even if the IDF considered him a legitimate target (and Human Rights Watch has no evidence that he was), the strike killed him, his wife, their ten children, and the family’s Sri Lankan maid.

On July 16, an Israeli airplane fired on a civilian home in the village of Aitaroun, killing eleven members of the al-Akhrass family, among them seven Canadian-Lebanese dual nationals who were vacationing in the village when the war began. Human Rights Watch independently interviewed three villagers who vigorously denied that the family had any connection to Hezbollah. Among the victims were children aged one, three, five, and seven.

Others civilians came under attack in their cars as they attempted to flee the fighting in the South. This report alone documents twenty-seven civilian deaths that resulted from such attacks. The number is surely higher, but at the time the report went to press, ongoing Israeli attacks on the roads made it impossible to retrieve all the bodies.

Starting around July 15, the IDF issued warnings to residents of southern villages to leave, followed by a general warning for all civilians south of the Litani River, which mostly runs about 25 kilometers north of the Israel-Lebanon border, to evacuate immediately. Tens of thousands of Lebanese fled their homes to the city of Tyre (itself south of the Litani and thus within the zone Israel ordered evacuated) or further north to Beirut, many waving white flags. As they left, Israeli forces fired on dozens of vehicles with warplanes and artillery.

Two Israeli air strikes are known to have hit humanitarian aid vehicles. On July 18 the IDF hit a convoy of the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates, destroying a vehicle with medicines, vegetable oil, sugar and rice, and killing the driver. On July 23, Israeli forces hit two clearly marked Red Cross ambulances in the village of Qana.

As of August 1, tens of thousands of civilians remained in villages south of the Litani River, despite the warnings to leave. Some chose to stay, but the vast majority, Human Rights Watch found, was unable to flee due to destroyed roads, a lack of gasoline, high taxi fares, sick relatives, or ongoing Israeli attacks. Many of the civilians who remained were elderly, sick, or poor.

Israel has justified its attacks on roads by citing the need to clear the transport routes of Hezbollah fighters moving arms. Again, none of the evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch, independent media sources, or Israeli official statements indicate that any of the attacks on vehicles documented in this report resulted in Hezbollah casualties or the destruction of weapons. Rather, the attacks killed and wounded civilians who were fleeing their homes, as the IDF had advised them to do.

In addition to strikes from airplanes, helicopters, and traditional artillery, Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions against populated areas, causing civilian casualties. One such attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed a sixty-year-old woman and wounded at least twelve civilians, including seven children. The wide dispersal pattern of cluster munitions and the high dud rate (ranging from 2 to 14 percent, depending on the type of cluster munition) make the weapons exceedingly dangerous for civilians and, when used in populated areas, a violation of international humanitarian law.

Statements from Israeli government officials and military leaders suggest that, at the very least, the IDF has blurred the distinction between civilian and combatant, and is willing to strike at targets it considers even vaguely connected to the latter. At worst, it considers all people in the area of hostilities open to attack.

On July 17, for example, after IDF strikes on Beirut, the commander of the Israeli Air Force, Eliezer Shkedi, said, “in the center of Beirut there is an area which only terrorists enter into.”1 The next day, the IDF deputy chief of staff, Moshe Kaplinski, when talking about the IDF’s destruction of Beirut’s Dahia neighborhood, said, “the hits were devastating, and this area, which was a Hezbollah symbol, became deserted rubble.”2

On July 27, Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that the Israeli air force should flatten villages before ground troops move in to prevent casualties among Israeli soldiers fighting Hezbollah. Israel had given civilians ample time to leave southern Lebanon, he claimed, and therefore anyone remaining should be considered a supporter of Hezbollah. “All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah,” he said.3

International humanitarian law requires effective advance warnings to the civilian population prior to an attack, when conditions permit. But those warnings do not way relieve Israel from its obligation at all times to distinguish between combatants and civilians and to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from harm. In other words, issuing warnings in no way entitles the Israeli military to treat those civilians who remain in southern Lebanon as combatants who are fair game for attack.

In addition to recommendations to the Israeli government and Hezbollah that they respect international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch calls on the U.S. government immediately to suspend transfer of all arms that have been documented or credibly alleged to have been used in violation of international humanitarian law in Lebanon, as well as funding or support for such materiel, pending an end to the violations. Human Rights Watch calls upon the Iranian and Syrian governments to do the same with regards to military assistance to Hezbollah.

This report does not address Israeli attacks on Lebanon’s infrastructure or Beirut’s southern suburbs, which is the subject of ongoing Human Rights Watch research. It also does not address Hezbollah’s indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, which have been reported on and denounced separately and continues to be the subject of ongoing Human Rights Watch investigations. In addition, Human Rights Watch continues to investigate allegations that Hezbollah is shielding its military personnel and materiel by locating them in civilian homes or areas, and it is deeply concerned by Hezbollah’s placement of certain troops and materiel near civilians, which endangers them and violates the duty to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties. Human Rights Watch uses the occasion of this report to reiterate Hezbollah’s legal duty never to deliberately use civilians to shield military objects and never to needlessly endanger civilians by conducting military operations, maintaining troops, or storing weapons in their vicinity.

The armed conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is governed by international treaties, as well as the rules of customary international humanitarian law. Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 sets forth minimum standards for all parties to a conflict between a state party such as Israel and a non-state party such as Hezbollah. Israel has also asserted that it considers itself to be responding to the actions of the sovereign state of Lebanon, not just to those of Hezbollah. Any hostilities between Israeli forces and the forces of Lebanon would fall within the full Geneva Conventions to which both Lebanon and Israel are parties. In either case, the rules governing bombing, shelling, and rocket attacks are effectively the same.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Amir Buchbut and Itamar Inbari, “IDF: Hezbollah Did Not Intercept an Israeli Aircraft,” available in Hebrew at http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/450/601.html, as of July 28, 2006.

[2] Hanan Greenberg, “Three Reserve Battalions Called Up," available in Hebrew at http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3277527,00.html, as of July 28, 2006.

[3] BBC News Online, “Israel says world backs offensive” July 27, 2006

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to understand the inhumane events happing in Lebanon and the occupied land.

I look up any of these vicious people who are ordering massacre of innocent defenseless children and women in Lebanon and Palestine, and I see that they do not belong to the occupied land of Palestinians. Could you or someone make a library of this and post it. I looked up the following 3,

Amir Peretz was born as Armand Peretz in the town of Boujad, Morocco. His father was head of the Jewish community in Boujad and owned a petrol station. The family emigrated to Israel in 1956.

solution: send Amir Peretz to his real home Morocco

Livnee zipi is the daughter of Eitan Livni, a Polish-born former ETZEL member and himself a Likud member of parliament.

solution: send Livnee zipi back to Poland


Olmert's father Mordechai, considered a pioneer of Israel's land settlement and a former member of the Second and Third Knessets, grew up in the Chinese city of Harbin where he led the local Betar youth movement. Olmert's grandfather, J.J. Olmert settled in Harbin after fleeing post World War-I Russia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehud_Olmert

solution: send Ehud Olmert back to Russia

if we solve the root of the problem (occupation of land) then peace will be achieved.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous must read said...

Noam Chomsky: U.S.-Backed Israeli Policies Pursuing "End of Palestine"; Hezbollah Capture of Israeli Soldiers "Very Irresponsible Act" That Could Lead To "Extreme Disaster"
Friday, July 14th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/14/146258
Israel has intensified its attacks on Lebanon as warplanes launched fresh strikes on Beirut airport, communication networks, Lebanese roads and a power plant. Meanwhile, the US has vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip. MIT professor Noam Chomsky says the US and Israel are punishing Palestinians for electing Hamas, and says Hezbollah's capture of Israeli soldiers subjects Lebanese "to terror and possible extreme disaster" from Israeli strikes. We also get comments from Middle East analyst Mouin Rabbani in Jerusalem. [includes rush transcript]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Israel has intensified its attacks on Lebanon as warplanes launched fresh strikes on Beirut airport, communication networks, Lebanese roads and a power plant.
More than 60 Lebanese civilians have been killed in the offensive which follows the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.

Israeli jets bombed the main highway linking Beirut to Damascus, tightening an air, sea and land blockade of Lebanon.

The Israeli army said Hezbollah fighters fired more than 100 rockets on northern Israel on Thursday, killing two people, wounding 92 others and hitting Haifa, Israel's third largest city. Hezbollah denied firing into Haifa, but Israel described the incident as a "major escalation" of the crisis. The Lebanese army also responded to the offensive with anti-aircraft fire.

Israel has warned that the south of Beirut could be targeted. Israeli jets dropped leaflets on Thursday warning people to stay away from Hezbollah offices. Some areas of the city are now without electricity following an attack on a power station. Israeli jets also struck a pro-Syrian Palestinian group in eastern Lebanon. No casualties were reported.

The escalation has sparked international calls for restraint. The European Union and Russia have criticized Israel's strikes in Lebanon as disproportionate. President Bush said Israel has the right to defend itself, but should not weaken the Lebanese government.

The UN Security Council is due to hold an emergency meeting later on Friday. Lebanon has urged it to adopt a resolution calling for a ceasefire. The US has already vetoed a council resolution demanding Israel end its military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Eight of the last nine vetoes have been cast by the United States. Seven of those were to do with the Israel-Palestinian conflict.


Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is author of dozens of books, including his latest "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy." In May he traveled to Beirut where he met, among others, Hezbollah leader Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah. He joins us on the line from Massachusetts.
Mouin Rabbani, senior Middle East analyst with the International Crisis Group and a contributing editor of Middle East report. He joins us on the line from Jerusalem.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RUSH TRANSCRIPT
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Donate - $25, $50, $100, more...

AMY GOODMAN: We're joined on the phone right now by Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of dozens of books. His latest is Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. In May, he traveled to Beirut, where he met, among others, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. He joins us on the phone from Masachusetts. We welcome you to Democracy Now!

NOAM CHOMSKY: Hi, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: It's good to have you with us. Well, can you talk about what is happening now, both in Lebanon and Gaza?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, of course, I have no inside information, other than what's available to you and listeners. What's happening in Gaza, to start with that -- well, basically the current stage of what's going on -- there's a lot more -- begins with the Hamas election, back the end of January. Israel and the United States at once announced that they were going to punish the people of Palestine for voting the wrong way in a free election. And the punishment has been severe.

At the same time, it's partly in Gaza, and sort of hidden in a way, but even more extreme in the West Bank, where Olmert announced his annexation program, what’s euphemistically called “convergence” and described here often as a “withdrawal,” but in fact it’s a formalization of the program of annexing the valuable lands, most of the resources, including water, of the West Bank and cantonizing the rest and imprisoning it, since he also announced that Israel would take over the Jordan Valley. Well, that proceeds without extreme violence or nothing much said about it.

Gaza, itself, the latest phase, began on June 24. It was when Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother. We don't know their names. You don’t know the names of victims. They were taken to Israel, presumably, and nobody knows their fate. The next day, something happened, which we do know about, a lot. Militants in Gaza, probably Islamic Jihad, abducted an Israeli soldier across the border. That’s Corporal Gilad Shalit. And that's well known; first abduction is not. Then followed the escalation of Israeli attacks on Gaza, which I don’t have to repeat. It’s reported on adequately.

The next stage was Hezbollah's abduction of two Israeli soldiers, they say on the border. Their official reason for this is that they are aiming for prisoner release. There are a few, nobody knows how many. Officially, there are three Lebanese prisoners in Israel. There's allegedly a couple hundred people missing. Who knows where they are?

But the real reason, I think it's generally agreed by analysts, is that -- I’ll read from the Financial Times, which happens to be right in front of me. “The timing and scale of its attack suggest it was partly intended to reduce the pressure on Palestinians by forcing Israel to fight on two fronts simultaneously.” David Hearst, who knows this area well, describes it, I think this morning, as a display of solidarity with suffering people, the clinching impulse.

It's a very -- mind you -- very irresponsible act. It subjects Lebanese to possible -- certainly to plenty of terror and possible extreme disaster. Whether it can achieve any result, either in the secondary question of freeing prisoners or the primary question of some form of solidarity with the people of Gaza, I hope so, but I wouldn't rank the probabilities very high.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Noam Chomsky, in the commercial press here the last day, a lot of the focus has been pointing toward Iran and Syria as basically the ones engineering much of what's going on now in terms of the upsurge of fighting in Lebanon. Your thoughts on these analyses that seem to sort of downplay the actual resistance movement going on there and trying to reduce this once again to pointing toward Iran?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the fact is that we have no information about that, and I doubt very much that the people who are writing it have any information. And frankly, I doubt that U.S. intelligence has any information. It's certainly plausible. I mean, there's no doubt that there are connections, probably strong connections, between Hezbollah and Syria and Iran, but whether those connections were instrumental in motivating these latest actions, I don't think we have the slightest idea. You can guess anything you’d like. It's a possibility. In fact, even a probability. But on the other hand, there's every reason to believe that Hezbollah has its own motivations, maybe the ones that Hearst and the Financial Times and others are pointing to. That seems plausible, too. Much more plausible, in fact.

AMY GOODMAN: There was even some reports yesterday that said that Hezbollah might try to send the Israeli soldiers that it had captured to Iran.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Israel actually claims that it has concrete evidence that that's what was going to happen. That's why it's attempting to blockade both the sea and bomb the airport.

NOAM CHOMSKY: They are claiming that. That's true. But I repeat, we don't have any evidence. Claims by a state that's carrying out the military attacks don't really amount to very much, in terms of credibility. If they have evidence, it would be interesting to see it. And in fact, it might happen. Even if it does happen, it won't prove much. If Hezbollah, wherever they have the prisoners, the soldiers, if they decide that they can't keep them in Lebanon because of the scale of Israeli attacks, they might send them somewhere else. I’m skeptical that Syria or Iran would accept them at this point, or even if they can get them there, but they might want to.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky , we have to break. When we come back, we'll ask you about the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations comments about Lebanon. We'll also be joined by Mouin Rabbani, speaking to us from Jerusalem, Middle East analyst with the International Crisis Group. Then Ron Suskind joins us, author of The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of its Enemies Since 9/11. Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest on the phone is Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His latest book is Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. I wanted to ask you about the comment of the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. He defended Israel's actions as a justified response. This is Dan Gillerman.

DAN GILLERMAN: As we sit here during these very difficult days, I urge you and I urge my colleagues to ask yourselves this question: What would do you if your countries found themselves under such attacks, if your neighbors infiltrated your borders to kidnap your people, and if hundreds of rockets were launched at your towns and villages? Would you just sit back and take it, or would you do exactly what Israel is doing at this very minute?

AMY GOODMAN: That was Dan Gillerman, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. Noam Chomsky, your response?

NOAM CHOMSKY: He was referring to Lebanon, rather than Gaza.

AMY GOODMAN: He was.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah. Well, he's correct that hundreds of rockets have been fired, and naturally that has to be stopped. But he didn't mention, or maybe at least in this comment, that the rockets were fired after the heavy Israeli attacks against Lebanon, which killed -- well, latest reports, maybe 60 or so people and destroyed a lot of infrastructure. As always, things have precedence, and you have to decide which was the inciting event. In my view, the inciting event in the present case, events, are those that I mentioned -- the constant intense repression; plenty of abductions; plenty of atrocities in Gaza; the steady takeover of the West Bank, which, in effect, if it continues, is just the murder of a nation, the end of Palestine; the abduction on June 24 of the two Gaza civilians; and then the reaction to the abduction of Corporal Shalit. And there's a difference, incidentally, between abduction of civilians and abduction of soldiers. Even international humanitarian law makes that distinction.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what that distinction is?

NOAM CHOMSKY: If there's a conflict going on, aside physical war, not in a military conflict going on, abduction -- if soldiers are captured, they are to be treated humanely. But it is not a crime at the level of capture of civilians and bringing them across the border into your own country. That's a serious crime. And that's the one that's not reported. And, in fact, remember that -- I mean, I don’t have to tell you that there are constant attacks going on in Gaza, which is basically a prison, huge prison, under constant attack all the time: economic strangulation, military attack, assassinations, and so on. In comparison with that, abduction of a soldier, whatever one thinks about it, doesn't rank high in the scale of atrocities.

JUAN GONZALEZ: We're also joined on the line by Mouin Rabbani, a senior Middle East analyst with the International Crisis Group and a contributing editor of Middle East Report. He joins us on the line from Jerusalem. Welcome to Democracy Now!

MOUIN RABBANI: Hi.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Could you tell us your perspective on this latest escalation of the conflict there and the possibility that Israel is going to be mired once again in war in Lebanon?

MOUIN RABBANI: Well, it's difficult to say. I couldn't hear Professor Chomsky's comments. I could just make out every sixth word. But I think that Israel is now basically, if you will, trying to rewrite the rules of the game and set new terms for its adversaries, basically saying, you know, that no attacks of any sort on Israeli forces or otherwise will be permitted, and any such attack will invite a severe response that basically puts the entire civilian infrastructure of the entire country or territory from which that attack emanates at risk. Judging by what we've seen so far, it more or less enjoys tacit to explicit international sanction. And I think the possibilities that this conflict could further expand into a regional one, perhaps involving Syria, is at this point quite real.

AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about the UN resolution, a vote in the draft resolution, 10-to-1, on Gaza with the U.S. voting no and for countries abstaining -- Britain, Denmark, Peru and Slovakia?

MOUIN RABBANI: Well, I think it would have been news if that resolution had actually passed. I think, you know, for the last decade, if not for much longer, it’s basically become a reality in the United Nations that it's an organization incapable of discharging any of its duties or responsibilities towards maintaining or restoring peace and security in the Middle East, primarily because of the U.S. power of veto on the Security Council. And I think we've now reached the point where even a rhetorical condemnation of Israeli action, such as we’ve seen in Gaza over the past several weeks, even a rhetorical condemnation without practical consequence has become largely unthinkable, again, primarily because of the U.S. veto within the Security Council.

AMY GOODMAN: Mouin, what do you think is going to happen right now, both in Gaza and in Lebanon?

MOUIN RABBANI: Well, I think it's probably going to get significantly worse. I mean, in Lebanon, it seems to be a case where Hezbollah has a more restricted agenda of compelling Israel to conduct prisoner exchange, whereas Israel has a broader agenda of seeking to compel the disarmament of Hezbollah or at least to push it back several dozen kilometers from the Israeli-Lebanese border. You know, the Israeli and Hezbollah perspectives on this are entirely incompatible, and that means that this conflict is probably going to continue escalating, until some kind of mediation begins.

In Gaza, it’s somewhat different. I think there Hamas has a broader agenda, of which effecting a prisoner exchange with Israel is only one, and I would argue, even a secondary part. I think there Hamas's main objective is to compel Israel to accept a mutual cessation of hostilities, Israeli-Palestinian, and I think, even more important, of ensuring their right to govern. And I think, at least as far as the Israeli-Palestinian part of this is concerned, Hamas's main objective has been to send a very clear message, not only to Israel, but to all its adversaries, whether Israeli, Palestinian or foreign, to remind the world that political integration and democratic politics for them are an experiment, that they have alternatives, and if they're not allowed to exercise their democratic mandate, that they will not hesitate, if necessary, to exercise those alternatives.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Noam Chomsky, right now industrial world leaders gathered in St. Petersburg for the G8 meeting. What role does the U.S. have in this?

NOAM CHOMSKY: In the G8 meeting?

AMY GOODMAN: No. What role -- they're just gathered together -- in this, certainly the issue of Lebanon, Gaza, the Middle East is going to dominate that discussion. But how significant is the U.S. in this?

NOAM CHOMSKY: I think it will probably be very much like the UN resolution that you mentioned, which is -- I’m sorry, I couldn't hear what Mouin Rabbani was saying. But the UN resolution was -- the veto of the UN resolution is standard. That goes back decades. The U.S. has virtually alone been blocking the possibility of diplomatic settlement, censure of Israeli crimes and atrocities. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, the UN vetoed several resolutions right away, calling for an end to the fighting and so on, and that was a hideous invasion. And this continues through every administration. So I presume it will continue at the G8 meetings.

The United States regards Israel as virtually a militarized offshoot, and it protects it from criticism or actions and supports passively and, in fact, overtly supports its expansion, its attacks on Palestinians, its progressive takeover of what remains of Palestinian territory, and its acts to, well, actually realize a comment that Moshe Dayan made back in the early ’70s when he was responsible for the Occupied Territories. He said to his cabinet colleagues that we should tell the Palestinians that we have no solution for you, that you will live like dogs, and whoever will leave will leave, and we'll see where that leads. That's basically the policy. And I presume the U.S. will continue to advance that policy in one or another fashion.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky , I want to thank you for being with us. His latest book is Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. And Mouin Rabbani, senior Middle East analyst with the International Crisis Group, joining us from Jerusalem. Thank you both.


www.democracynow.org

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

spare us the crap, now tell us the evils of hezbollah, of course you can't, they are devilish angels in your eyes. hezbollah is not about a bunch of male fighters, hezbollah is about woman and children too. tell me where all those rockets are coming from. unfortunately they get drawn in by a bunch of cowardly male chauvanist terrorist who hide behind them. the woman and children don't have a choice and they die as a result. What a sad situation. And you want Israelies to stand around and twiddle their thumbs while the scum of hezbollah shoot in rockets. who you trying to kid

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

will meet you in an international court and I would love to see your evidence that those innocent choldren and women were anywhere near rockets. I am not pro Helzbollah not pro any fucking religion, fuck you and those fundementalist christian (Bush and condoleezza rice), moslem (hezbollah) and jews (ehud olmert). look forward to a religious crap free world when all of you miniacs destroy each other, but I am afraid you assholes will destroy our planet as you have already started the process with depleted Uranium and oil spill,

do not bother responding as this is the last time I visit this
I am sorry Zena, this guy really pissed me off

4:20 PM  
Anonymous boikott israel NO 2 Israel said...

a peacful way of fighting israel

http://www.boikottisrael.no/
liste/index.html

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am sorry Zena, this guy really pissed me off"

Why? the truth hurts.

I*m sorry too Zena, but do not despair, blogs like yours help to bring out the truth, take heart.

3:42 AM  
Anonymous crimes of Israel said...

Human Rights Watch report:
http://hrw.org/reports/2006/
lebanon0806/2.htm#_Toc142299220

This report documents serious violations of international humanitarian law (the laws of war) by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Lebanon between July 12 and July 27, 2006, as well as the July 30 attack in Qana. During this period, the IDF killed an estimated 400 people, the vast majority of them civilians, and that number climbed to over 500 by the time this report went to print. The Israeli government claims it is taking all possible measures to minimize civilian harm, but the cases documented here reveal a systematic failure by the IDF to distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Since the start of the conflict, Israeli forces have consistently launched artillery and air attacks with limited or dubious military gain but excessive civilian cost. In dozens of attacks, Israeli forces struck an area with no apparent military target. In some cases, the timing and intensity of the attack, the absence of a military target, as well as return strikes on rescuers, suggest that Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians.

The Israeli government claims that it targets only Hezbollah, and that fighters from the group are using civilians as human shields, thereby placing them at risk. Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack. Hezbollah occasionally did store weapons in or near civilian homes and fighters placed rocket launchers within populated areas or near U.N. observers, which are serious violations of the laws of war because they violate the duty to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties. However, those cases do not justify the IDF’s extensive use of indiscriminate force which has cost so many civilian lives. In none of the cases of civilian deaths documented in this report is there evidence to suggest that Hezbollah forces or weapons were in or near the area that the IDF targeted during or just prior to the attack.

By consistently failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, Israel has violated one of the most fundamental tenets of the laws of war: the duty to carry out attacks on only military targets. The pattern of attacks during the Israeli offensive in Lebanon suggests that the failures cannot be explained or dismissed as mere accidents; the extent of the pattern and the seriousness of the consequences indicate the commission of war crimes.

This report is based on extensive on-the-ground research in Lebanon. Since the start of hostilities, Human Rights Watch has interviewed victims and witnesses of attacks in one-on-one settings, conducted on-site inspections (when security allowed), and collected information from hospitals, humanitarian groups, and government agencies. Human Rights Watch also conducted research in Israel, inspecting the IDF’s use of weapons and discussing the conduct of forces with IDF officials. The research was extensive, but given the ongoing war and the scope of the bombings, Human Rights Watch does not claim that the findings are comprehensive; further investigation is required to document the war’s complete impact on civilians and to assess the full scope of the IDF’s compliance with and disregard for international humanitarian law.

While not the focus of this report, Human Rights Watch has separately and simultaneously documented violations of international humanitarian law by Hezbollah, including a pattern of attacks that amount to war crimes. Between July 12, when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight, and July 27, the group launched a reported 1,300 rockets into predominantly civilian areas in Israel, killing 18 civilians and wounding more than 300. Without guidance systems for accurate targeting, the rockets are inherently indiscriminate when directed toward civilian areas, especially cities, and thus are serious violations of the requirement of international humanitarian law that attackers distinguish at all times between combatants and civilians. Some of these rockets, Human Rights Watch found, are packed with thousands of metal ball-bearings, which spray more than 100 meters from the blast and compound the harm to civilians.

This report analyzes a selection of Israeli air and artillery attacks that together claimed at least 153 civilian lives, or over a third of the reported Lebanese deaths in the conflict’s first two weeks. Of the 153 civilian deaths documented in this report by name, sixty-three of the victims were children under the age of eighteen, and thirty-seven of them were under ten. Israeli air strikes also killed many dual nationals who were vacationing in Lebanon when the fighting began, including Brazilian, Canadian, German, Kuwaiti, and U.S. citizens. The full death toll is certainly higher because medical and recovery teams have been unable to retrieve many bodies due to ongoing fighting and the dire security situation in south Lebanon.

The report breaks civilian deaths into two categories: attacks on civilian homes and attacks on civilian vehicles. In both categories, victims and witnesses interviewed independently and repeatedly said that neither Hezbollah fighters nor Hezbollah weapons were present in the area during or just before the Israeli attack took place. While some individuals, out of fear or sympathy, may have been unwilling to speak about Hezbollah’s military activity, others were quite open about it. In totality, the consistency, detail, and credibility of testimony from a broad array of witnesses who did not speak to each other leave no doubt about the validity of the patterns described in this report. In many cases, witness testimony was corroborated by reports from international journalists and aid workers. During site visits conducted in Qana, Srifa, and Tyre, Human Rights Watch saw no evidence that there had been Hezbollah military activity around the areas targeted by the IDF during or just prior to the attack: no spent ammunition, abandoned weapons or military equipment, trenches, or dead or wounded fighters. Moreover, even if Hezbollah had been in a populated area at the time of an attack, Israel would still be legally obliged to take all feasible precautions to avoid or minimize civilian casualties resulting from its targeting of military objects or personnel. In the cases documented in this report, however, the IDF consistently tolerated a high level of civilian casualties for questionable military gain.

In one case, an Israeli air strike on July 13 destroyed the home of a cleric known to have sympathy for Hezbollah but who was not known to have taken any active part in hostilities. Even if the IDF considered him a legitimate target (and Human Rights Watch has no evidence that he was), the strike killed him, his wife, their ten children, and the family’s Sri Lankan maid.

On July 16, an Israeli airplane fired on a civilian home in the village of Aitaroun, killing eleven members of the al-Akhrass family, among them seven Canadian-Lebanese dual nationals who were vacationing in the village when the war began. Human Rights Watch independently interviewed three villagers who vigorously denied that the family had any connection to Hezbollah. Among the victims were children aged one, three, five, and seven.

Others civilians came under attack in their cars as they attempted to flee the fighting in the South. This report alone documents twenty-seven civilian deaths that resulted from such attacks. The number is surely higher, but at the time the report went to press, ongoing Israeli attacks on the roads made it impossible to retrieve all the bodies.

Starting around July 15, the IDF issued warnings to residents of southern villages to leave, followed by a general warning for all civilians south of the Litani River, which mostly runs about 25 kilometers north of the Israel-Lebanon border, to evacuate immediately. Tens of thousands of Lebanese fled their homes to the city of Tyre (itself south of the Litani and thus within the zone Israel ordered evacuated) or further north to Beirut, many waving white flags. As they left, Israeli forces fired on dozens of vehicles with warplanes and artillery.

Two Israeli air strikes are known to have hit humanitarian aid vehicles. On July 18 the IDF hit a convoy of the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates, destroying a vehicle with medicines, vegetable oil, sugar and rice, and killing the driver. On July 23, Israeli forces hit two clearly marked Red Cross ambulances in the village of Qana.

As of August 1, tens of thousands of civilians remained in villages south of the Litani River, despite the warnings to leave. Some chose to stay, but the vast majority, Human Rights Watch found, was unable to flee due to destroyed roads, a lack of gasoline, high taxi fares, sick relatives, or ongoing Israeli attacks. Many of the civilians who remained were elderly, sick, or poor.

Israel has justified its attacks on roads by citing the need to clear the transport routes of Hezbollah fighters moving arms. Again, none of the evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch, independent media sources, or Israeli official statements indicate that any of the attacks on vehicles documented in this report resulted in Hezbollah casualties or the destruction of weapons. Rather, the attacks killed and wounded civilians who were fleeing their homes, as the IDF had advised them to do.

In addition to strikes from airplanes, helicopters, and traditional artillery, Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions against populated areas, causing civilian casualties. One such attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed a sixty-year-old woman and wounded at least twelve civilians, including seven children. The wide dispersal pattern of cluster munitions and the high dud rate (ranging from 2 to 14 percent, depending on the type of cluster munition) make the weapons exceedingly dangerous for civilians and, when used in populated areas, a violation of international humanitarian law.

Statements from Israeli government officials and military leaders suggest that, at the very least, the IDF has blurred the distinction between civilian and combatant, and is willing to strike at targets it considers even vaguely connected to the latter. At worst, it considers all people in the area of hostilities open to attack.

On July 17, for example, after IDF strikes on Beirut, the commander of the Israeli Air Force, Eliezer Shkedi, said, “in the center of Beirut there is an area which only terrorists enter into.”1 The next day, the IDF deputy chief of staff, Moshe Kaplinski, when talking about the IDF’s destruction of Beirut’s Dahia neighborhood, said, “the hits were devastating, and this area, which was a Hezbollah symbol, became deserted rubble.”2

On July 27, Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon said that the Israeli air force should flatten villages before ground troops move in to prevent casualties among Israeli soldiers fighting Hezbollah. Israel had given civilians ample time to leave southern Lebanon, he claimed, and therefore anyone remaining should be considered a supporter of Hezbollah. “All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah,” he said.3

International humanitarian law requires effective advance warnings to the civilian population prior to an attack, when conditions permit. But those warnings do not way relieve Israel from its obligation at all times to distinguish between combatants and civilians and to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from harm. In other words, issuing warnings in no way entitles the Israeli military to treat those civilians who remain in southern Lebanon as combatants who are fair game for attack.

In addition to recommendations to the Israeli government and Hezbollah that they respect international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch calls on the U.S. government immediately to suspend transfer of all arms that have been documented or credibly alleged to have been used in violation of international humanitarian law in Lebanon, as well as funding or support for such materiel, pending an end to the violations. Human Rights Watch calls upon the Iranian and Syrian governments to do the same with regards to military assistance to Hezbollah.

This report does not address Israeli attacks on Lebanon’s infrastructure or Beirut’s southern suburbs, which is the subject of ongoing Human Rights Watch research. It also does not address Hezbollah’s indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, which have been reported on and denounced separately and continues to be the subject of ongoing Human Rights Watch investigations. In addition, Human Rights Watch continues to investigate allegations that Hezbollah is shielding its military personnel and materiel by locating them in civilian homes or areas, and it is deeply concerned by Hezbollah’s placement of certain troops and materiel near civilians, which endangers them and violates the duty to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties. Human Rights Watch uses the occasion of this report to reiterate Hezbollah’s legal duty never to deliberately use civilians to shield military objects and never to needlessly endanger civilians by conducting military operations, maintaining troops, or storing weapons in their vicinity.

The armed conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is governed by international treaties, as well as the rules of customary international humanitarian law. Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 sets forth minimum standards for all parties to a conflict between a state party such as Israel and a non-state party such as Hezbollah. Israel has also asserted that it considers itself to be responding to the actions of the sovereign state of Lebanon, not just to those of Hezbollah. Any hostilities between Israeli forces and the forces of Lebanon would fall within the full Geneva Conventions to which both Lebanon and Israel are parties. In either case, the rules governing bombing, shelling, and rocket attacks are effectively the same.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Amir Buchbut and Itamar Inbari, “IDF: Hezbollah Did Not Intercept an Israeli Aircraft,” available in Hebrew at http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/450/601.html, as of July 28, 2006.

[2] Hanan Greenberg, “Three Reserve Battalions Called Up," available in Hebrew at http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3277527,00.html, as of July 28, 2006.

[3] BBC News Online, “Israel says world backs offensive” July 27, 2006

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

QUEEN NOOR: " ..... ...both sides have stories of tragedy, of fear, of generations that have built up a great deal of distrust and anger, and I think there is one example, which is, because I keep going back, as so many others do, to believing that the heart of this problem is the Arab, the larger Arab-Israeli conflict which started in 1948 with the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, as the state of Israel was created. Those refugees have never been addressed properly, nor the ones that were forced from their homes over the next several decades, '67. There are now six million outside. So the annexation of, the occupation and annexation of Arab lands by Israel, the refugee issue and the prisoners that are held in contravention of international law --

KING: You're therefore blaming Israel for this?

QUEEN NOOR: I'm saying that those are issues that lay, are the root cause and what the militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, who also have political roles, were elected in legitimate elections in their communities, in Palestinian territories and in Lebanon, what drives the militancy and what would sap all the energy and justification for this militancy, would be a resolution of those core issues, that are a driving force of the militants."

from
http://transcripts.cnn.com/
TRANSCRIPTS/lkl.html

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/lkl.html

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

QUEEN NOOR: I also believe that previous administrations, because of their direct engagement with and many of them attempted to be far more balanced in their approach to both sides of the story, because both sides have stories of tragedy, of fear, of generations that have built up a great deal of distrust and anger, and I think there is one example, which is, because I keep going back, as so many others do, to believing that the heart of this problem is the Arab, the larger Arab-Israeli conflict which started in 1948 with the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, as the state of Israel was created. Those refugees have never been addressed properly, nor the ones that were forced from their homes over the next several decades, '67. There are now six million outside. So the annexation of, the occupation and annexation of Arab lands by Israel, the refugee issue and the prisoners that are held in contravention of international law --

KING: You're therefore blaming Israel for this?

QUEEN NOOR: I'm saying that those are issues that lay, are the root cause and what the militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, who also have political roles, were elected in legitimate elections in their communities, in Palestinian territories and in Lebanon, what drives the militancy and what would sap all the energy and justification for this militancy, would be a resolution of those core issues, that are a driving force of the militants.



from http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/lkl.html

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you hear the cnn interview of the Israeli ambassador to the UN. The terrorist hezbollah has infested every aspect of Lebanese society, holding the lebanese hostage, and using their advantage to attack Israel. Now the Israelies are demolishing the hezbollah infrastructure and hopefully stop the attacks on their country while releasing the Lebanese fro the cluctchers of this evil group. Instead of being thankful, they support evil. I guess the lebanese deserve what they are getting.

As for Palastine, the Israelies have returned to their own land, the land which was taken over by the phrasiees(paleatinians), history tells you that. So keep the rhetoric to yourself.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous http://ecosyn.us/Bush-Hitler/ said...

http://ecosyn.us/Bush-Hitler/

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Israeli government claims that it targets only Hezbollah, and that fighters from the group are using civilians as human shields, thereby placing them at risk. Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hezbollah deliberately used civilians as shields"

Who you trying to kid?

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Sreejith K.N. said...

Take Care...

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israeli Defence Minister Peretz said "The people want victory".

Not peace.

9:33 AM  

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