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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 18, 2003

Who Oppresses the Palestinians?

This article is full of great stuff.
Palestinians in Lebanon are barred from 72 different professions, from lawyer and doctor to engineer. As of last year, a new law prohibits them from owning property. They have no vote, no passport and little prospect for advancing in Lebanese society.

The more candid Lebanese officials acknowledge the Palestinians' plight but say their hands are tied. Assimilating the Palestinians into Lebanon would take the pressure off Israel, they say; it would also upset the demographic balance between the country's Christians and Muslims (a balance so delicate, in fact, that no official census has been permitted since 1932).

Similar laws are in place in nearly every country in the Middle East (except for the countries that purged themselves of Palestinians) except one. And, I think we all know which on that is. Where are the rallies and candlelight vigils? Where are the threats of International Justice Tribunals? Where is the French and EU sense of outrage?

all of the radical groups surveyed in Lebanon denounced bin Laden's al-Qaida as a phenomenon that had deeply hurt the Palestinian cause they value most. "We have nothing to do with Osama bin Laden," said Usamah Hamadi, Lebanese representative for Hamas. "We think that his actions were more harmful to Muslims than any action by anyone ever."

"No one likes al-Qaida here," said Souheil Natour, Beirut representative of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. "Here people have one criteria. If you are doing something against the Israeli occupation it will be accepted, even if it's terrorism. Al-Qaida is not supported because it has done nothing against Israel."

Lovely. All you have to do is kill some Israelis and they will all jump on board with you. And these are the people who marched on Saturday feel an affinity for. They understand and can feel their pain.

But it gets better. Proving the moral bankruptcy of Chirac. Even Hezbollah has taken a harder stand on Saddam than good ol' Jaques.
It is now urgently up to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, said Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, to avert a war that would be "among the greatest catastrophes in all of Arab history." Nasrallah called on Saddam to meet with Iraqi opposition leaders, to step down in favor of a government of reconciliation and to declare immediately to the United Nations whatever weapons of mass destruction he still has.

Sheikh Mohamed Kawtharami, one of the founders of Hezbollah and a senior member of its politburo, "We have no intention of becoming a pawn on Saddam Hussein's chessboard."

This is crossposted at Voice from the Commonwealth