Monday, July 17, 2006

Letter from Lebanon: LEBANON IS KIDNAPPED!

I received this letter from a U.S citizen married to a Lebanese, and living in Lebanon. With her permission of course, I am publishing her letter on urban-memories.
z.

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July 16, 3006

Dear Family and Friends,

Ha! I think I am becoming a reporter now! First, we are still safe, but hardly anyone sleeps. The bombing has been continuous, day and night with no reprieve. We are in the mountains and we are awakened by the sound of the explosions. And it’s not as if you can just fall back asleep after hearing a bomb land. You can imagine what it is like if you are in Beirut. The situation is extremely serious.

I want to reiterate that we need your help in disseminating this information and hopefully getting it to the press. The news you are receiving is skewed. This is a well orchestrated war that Israel is carrying out. This is not a reaction to Hizbullah’s apprehending two of its soldiers. It becomes clearer by the day that there is a master plan that Israel is executing. Israel has literally kidnapped the entire country. One by one they are destroying every single road that leads out of the country. Just this evening around 8:00 p.m. we heard Israeli planes flying overhead only to hear a few minutes later on the radio that they destroyed a mountain road that leads to the Bekaa valley. This road is further up the mountain from where we live, in a primarily Christian village.

On the news earlier we heard that of the 93 Lebanese killed, only 3 were soldiers. As of 8:30 p.m. more than 120 Lebanese are dead and over 500 wounded.

Yesterday they bombed a small port in Amchit, a Christian village about one hour north of Beirut. Why? The Israelis got wind that a French ship carrying medical supplies was arriving. Damaging the port they prevented these critical medical supplies from reaching their destination.

Yesterday, my niece was attending a wedding—poor couple—could they really delay their wedding after months of planning? The wedding was held not too far from Jounieh, a major port about 25 minutes north of Beirut, a Christian town (and definitely not a Hizbullah stronghold). Everyone was on the terrace celebrating when Israel repeatedly attacked the Jounieh port. My niece said that everyone ran into the church and prayed. The bride was crying. The groom was crying. My niece left the wedding flying down the main highway while bombs whistled by. Nice memories for the newlyweds.

This afternoon, the Israelis decimated a small Christian village, Ain Ebel in the south of Lebanon. The mayor was pleading with the UN for a cessation of the Israeli bombing so they could evacuate women and children, and eventually to get food and medical supplies. Again, Ain Ebel is far from being a Hizbullah basis.

In the southern suburb of Beirut, Israelis knocked out all telecommunications—both land and mobile.

They just struck the airport again, as I have been writing this. This must be the sixth or seventh time, I lost count!

Over 1 million Lebanese, that’s nearly one third of the entire population has been displaced! Hotels, homes in the mountains are packed to the brim trying to accommodate these people made refugees in their own country.

Are you still convinced that Israel is attacking only Hizbullah targets? Are you still convinced that Israel has a right to defend itself—and if so, in this way?

Even during the 15 years of war, never ever were all roads, ports, and airports simultaneously blocked. When I was in Saudi, we would fly to Cyprus then take the boat to Jounieh to visit my husband’s family. Now there is no way out. Israel has kidnapped and trapped the entire country. There are more than 17, 000 French citizens, more than 10, 000 English, more than 25, 000 Americans and many more other foreign nationals trapped because Israel has blown up all major roads, bridges, airports and ports. Their actions are barbaric. The British Ambassador made a public announcement on television telling his compatriots that the roads are not safe enough to travel on for an evacuation and urged them to just remain at home. How reassuring! You hear news of evacuations, but we are all wondering how anyone can get out when roads, bridges and ports have been damaged so severely.

Now, to end with a little story. A news item that I am sure did not make big news in the American press:

On June 21, 2006, about three weeks ago, The Daily Star, the local English newspaper published an article about Lebanon expecting complete support from the UN Security Council about a complaint the Lebanese government was presenting to them. The Lebanese were following proper international protocol. What was discovered? The Mossad, the Israeli secret service (like the U.S.’s CIA), has a network in Lebanon and has assassinated at least 3 Lebanese citizens which the Israelis believed to be “terrorists.” I ask you: What is worse? Hizbullah’s kidnapping two Israeli soldiers or Israeli agents coming onto Lebanese territory and assassinating its citizens? It’s like having a North Korean secret service cell in the U.S. killing American citizens. Would the U.S. sit back and do nothing? It’s an outrage. Yet, Israel destroys Lebanon with impunity and no one pays attention to the infractions that Israel does. And what right does Lebanon have to defend itself? If Lebanon, dared to do what Israel is doing to it now, it would be labeled “terrorist.”

I once again plead with you to get this news out. Israel is destroying Lebanon while the United States puts its head in the sand! These atrocities must stop!

10:10 p.m. The bombs are exploding. Another sleepless night ahead….

Rosie.

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