Global, Israel, Politics

Help Lebanon Before Hezbollah Does

Among the responses to our call to provide joint-relief to both Israelis and Lebanese ill-effected by the war up north, one included the forwarding of an article in today’s NY Times, “Hezbollah Leads Work to Rebuild, Gaining Stature.”

As stunned Lebanese returned Tuesday over broken roads to shattered apartments in the south, it increasingly seemed that the beneficiary of the destruction was most likely to be Hezbollah.
A major reason — in addition to its hard-won reputation as the only Arab force that fought Israel to a standstill — is that it is already dominating the efforts to rebuild with a torrent of money from oil-rich Iran.
[…] “Completing the victory,” said [Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah], “can come with reconstruction.”

Though I will not speak for my friends with whom I am leading this project, I, for one, am not deterred from my wish to provide support to Lebanese civilians. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Though my compassion for those suffering in Lebanon, Israel, and elsewhere, is my primary motivation in this cause, as a resident of Israel it must be noted that, by failing to take a visible, leading role in the reconstruction of Lebanon, Israel and its supporters are delivering a post-war victory to Hezbollah by leaving Hezbollah itself to lead reconstruction efforts, thus placing the Lebanese further in its debt.
Whereas Hezbollah, as a minority faction in Lebanon, was a perceptibly manageable threat, Israel and its supporters must act now before Hezbollah ascends higher than has already been caused by this war, and Israel finds itself bordered by a popular regime wholly committed to its destruction.
Cut Hezbollah off at the pass — support alternative relief efforts in Lebanon now!

21 thoughts on “Help Lebanon Before Hezbollah Does

  1. Mob, I gotta hand it to you, you’ve found yourself a good dealer and s/he knows how to grow potent stuff. Or you’re just really good at spin. Have you been listening the news? The arab/muslim world is gushing. They’ve watched and will prepare for the next war with Israel. And Hezbollah and their supporters (a great deal of Lebanese civilians) have shown the world that dead civilians works even better than a well armed military. Guilt and guerilla tactics will do us in unless we get Hama on their ass.
    All comments made by shtreimel are nourished by a belief that the Arab/Muslim world is still waiting for another dose doe with their Zionist enemy.

  2. Learn a lesson from your boy Adnan Hajj at Reuters — this war from the get-go was PR-intensive, and it’s going to be PR that stops the next war from happening.

  3. Like Meir Kahane said over and over again. You can not buy the arabs mobius. They are not whores. Show some respect for them.

  4. Okay, Mobious, why not link up with a Lebanese non-profit doing the same?
    You mean there isn’t something like that on their side of the border?
    Halachicly you are obligated to help the misfortunate in your community before you send your money out of town. That means rebuilding Israeli Druze and Israeli Arab homes, before helping out Hezb’allah supporters.

  5. Call me idealistic, but in some ways this is an investment for the future. It cuts off Hezbollah’s popularity and will show the Lebanese that there are people out there–in this case, Jews–who actually care about them and don’t just regard them as human shields. Cut off Hezbollah’s popularity, show that Jews aren’t so bad after all, and you save lives in Israel. I hope that this works, Mobius. Best of luck in finding a way to pull this off.

  6. We offer compassion and tzedekah to Lebanese because it embodies who WE ARE or COULD BE not because of who THEY ARE. I’m in favor of Mob’s action, but not his spin. The best argument for helping to rebuilt homes flattened by Jewish bombs is that it’s the right thing to be doing now.

  7. I think that Mobius’ (our) spin re: the Hizbollah rebuilding effort is not mutually exclusive with Abu-Ester’s wonderfully and simply stated attitude of compassion. The compassion angle is why we started this. As Jews began pouring in the insulting emails (you’re an embarrassment, shame on you, you love terror) and then this big news about Hizbollah’s amazing change of role came out, we realized that we were in a tighter situation than before, when we could mo’ better argue that we were not getting involved with Hizbollah. Compassion is the primary goal, but the secondary goals of PR, spin, showing that we are decent people– you can’t avoid that stuff in this world, as Y-Love said.
    As far as formermuslim– i don’t see how offering aid and brotherhood even in trying times is treating them like whores, unless you assume that we are fool enough to assume that our several hundred dollars of food and supplies will turn the tide of Middle East politics single-handedly, and dishonestly. Silly. We want to show that, even in the midst of bi-directional spewing of hate and name-calling, WE respect their humanity enough to want to reach out— EVEN if they really do hate us.
    And anyhow, contradicting myself a little, do you think that groups like HIzbollah and Hamas win solely because every Arab is seething, eagerly waiting to help with the new Shoah? ugh. It’s because these groups are far more effective in CARING FOR THE BASIC HUMAN NEEDS of their people that they get support– the governments are useless shmucks–why is Hezbollah already deep in to efforts to help rebuild, when the UN and Lebanon are still bureaucratizing?

  8. Misplaced compassion kills.
    Misplaced compassion got us to the sorry state we are in – doubting the authenticity of our own presence in our ancestral homeland, and hemmed in by politically correct concern for those who wish to kill every Jewish man, woman, or child.
    The glorious pronouncements of AbuEsther and others evaporate on contact with the schoolyard reality of geopolitics – and they have NO connection whatsoever to true Jewish thought. “Love your enemies” is a Christian doctrine with no parallel in Judaism’s laws of warfare – and this nice-sounding platitude is not practiced by ANY Christian country, because the real world doesn’t work that way.
    America rebuilt Germany and Japan – only AFTER decimating them, and achieving total submission and victory. That’s not the current situation.
    We have been through this before – for decades we were urged to “understand” Palestinian “pain” – all our misplaced mercies got us was more attacks by a more emboldened enemy.
    Enough. The notion that things will work out different in Lebanon if we just get them to *like* us is craven, adolescent, and requires a total suspension of the reality on the ground.
    There are plenty of shattered lives and homes in Israel – including those of non-Jewish citizens – who deserve our money. We all know they won’t receive a penny of international aid – unlike the shadow militiamen in Lebanon.
    If you’re so wrapped up in PC moral confusion that you think you owe anything to our attackers, or that appeasing them will do anything – please don’t grandstand about how Judaism demands it. It does not – in fact it teaches the exact opposite.

  9. Abu-Esther :”We offer compassion and tzedekah to Lebanese because it embodies who WE ARE or COULD BE”
    The money can be better spent on your own people in northern Israel. The lebanese don’t want your money and if you gave it anyway they would interpret it, correctly in my opinion, as trying to “buy” them.
    In understand everyones eagerness to go beyond the letter of the Torah. I doubt however the spirit of the Torah calls for giving financial assistance to your enemies.
    And in case anyone wants to make the point that it will prevent islamic extremism. Wrong, islamic extremism causes poverty not the other way around. Just look at Lebanon the past 30 years:
    Shiites when poor: peaceful
    Shiites when wealthy: hezbollah
    shiites now: poor again
    See the pattern? It repeates in every islamic state.

  10. Ben-David, what about ‘love they neighbor’? I don’t think that the Jesus message of loving your enemies is ‘un-Jewish’, but rather a precurser to nonviolence theory, and definitely in line with the Jewish prophetic vision.
    As someone who has spent serious time in the OT, with Palestinians of all stripes (even a supporter of the PFLP-GC! Very rare!), I have to say that compassion and a willingness to soften our hearts before our enemies could have a marvelous effect on our national security. It isn’t enough; but the Arab masses are not a solid mass of seething hate. They are people like us, they can be reached, and one of the best ways to do so is with people to people diplomacy.
    The hard core of unreachable enemies is greater than we’d like, but less than you imagine.

  11. Uh, Esther, I don’t know how to break this to you, but… people who try their best to kill as many Jews as possible – and those who cheer them on – are not our “neighbors”. It’s quite telling that the Torah uses the word “Re’acha” – which translates as “companion” – rather than the more general “sh’cheinecha” – which means “neighbor” in the geographical sense.
    I’m sure you’d like to find Jewish support for your pet “non-violence” theory – but there is none. Each lion-n-lamb passage of the prophets can be countered with other passages describing the Messiah as a king engaged in military conquest and bloody defense of Israel from its enemies.
    Lion-n-lamb pacifism comes after (if at all) – and is predicated upon the Jews’ ability to mount a vigorous self defense. And “all nations come to Jerusalem” after being whupped in battle – and those nations that don’t come to Jerusalem die out by G-d’s own hand, through drought and pestilence (see the famous Haftorah of Sukkot).
    So G-d doesn’t sound like much of a pacifist either…
    Esther – you write:
    compassion and a willingness to soften our hearts before our enemies could have a marvelous effect on our national security.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Events – not just of the past month, but of the past 2 decades of Oslo – have disproved your assertion – forcefully. We are now fighting for our very lives here in Israel, because we pursued this wishful, yet unrealistic, approach.
    You now must choose – like many idealists of the Left – between admitting your theories do not match reality, or spinning away from reality to keep your ideological bubble intact. Unfortunately all too many have chosen to detach from reality to preserve their ideology – and to preserve their sense of intellectual superiority.
    Like many Israelis, I have less and less sympathy for “progressive” Jews who cannot clearly distinguish between friend and foe.
    I feel less and less kinship with people who claim to represent our “prophetic tradition” – yet whose morality is so clouded by relativism and multicultural self-abnegation that they cannot wholeheartedly stand with Israel – or clearly condemn its attackers.
    I have less and less patience with “progressives” who refuse to admit the factual failure of their theories – who refuse to see that decades of ‘understanding’ and aiding the Palestinians has invited further attack and undercut our own authentic claim to our homeland… and refusing to see, urge yet another round of pie-in-the-sky “dialogue” and “understanding” upon us.

  12. equally ben david, my patience is running abundantly thin with people so blinded by hatred and self-righteousness that they completely ignore reality and opt instead for distorted interpretations of history which fit the political agendas of the fear-mongers they champion.
    how many of your friends spend day-in and day-out working with palestinians in the occupied territories ben david? i have literally dozens. how many of your friends have had jewish weddings in palestinian villages? 3 of mine have so far. how many of your friends are engaged in joint struggle with palestinians and who have developed vast amounts of friendship and mutual respect with them? how much do you really know about what palestinians think and what palestinians want — from frequent, first hand conversations with palestinians — versus what the shithead likudniks who wrote your talking points spew or present out of context?
    you are cheerleading an all-out war between islam and the west that the west cannot possibly win. you are helping drive the world towards a war of apocalyptic proportions and you don’t even recognize the oil interests that are underlying this entire propaganda war and the racism both sides employ to mobilize the troops. you are completely and totally oblivious to the reality of the complexities within arab and muslim society, the positive aspects of the jewish people’s historic relationship with islam, and the historic crimes committed by the very same people in the white house today driving the world to war (iran contra anyone? s&l scandal? iraq war 1? iraq war 2? amnesty is only months away from releasing a report showing the still ongoing arms dealing between israel and iran!)
    you ignore the fundamental reality that neoconservative notions of regime change have failed to extraordinarily that the men who helped create them, including frank fukuyama himself, have distanced himself from the philosophy and pronounced it a failure. and you are ignoring the very fact that the ayatollah himself accepted the arab league’s peace deal with israel which israel refuses to even negotiate.
    so please… just save your bullshit. i am so so so sick of hearing it. your racism, your fundamentalism, and your thick headedness make me sick to the pit of my stomach.
    ADONAI ECHUD sir. everything. everyone. all that is. ONE. until you recognize the one in all and stop with your inane divisiveness — until you have compassion and show the arab world that we are honest and decent people and not the puppets or the puppeteers of corrupt and evil men, willing to kill as many civilians as it takes to prevent having to actually negotiate a real peace settlement, until you love and serve god with all your heart and mind and stop worshipping the false idol of medinat yisrael, peace will forever be beyond our reach.

  13. “and you don’t even recognize the oil interests that are underlying this entire propaganda war..”
    Could be for lack of evidence. Why not take this opportunity to explain this statement? WHICH oil interests (individuals, entities, etc.)? WHAT are thet doing? WHY?
    I liked the “friends” argument. Apparently having certain friends confers an expertise so absolute it can’t be rebutted. Suicide bombers murder Jews? Palestinian children taught to hate and kill Jews (textbooks filled with anti-Semitism)? Polls showing Palestinian hatred toward Jews in above- 90 percentages? All nonsense, because a few dozen friends work with Palestinians. After all, first-hand conversations are the only evidence – no chance that these Palestinians could be sugar-coating their beliefs for their audience.
    “until you have compassion and show the arab world that we are honest and decent people and not the puppets or the puppeteers of corrupt and evil men, willing to kill as many civilians as it takes to prevent having to actually negotiate a real peace settlement,”
    I’m sure the Arab world would be very impressed. If only Jews had always shown their enemies how wonderful the Jews were, I’m sure all of the catastrophies of Jewish history could have been avoided. But those Jews, though…they bring it on themselves.

  14. “I’m sure the Arab world would be very impressed. If only Jews had always shown their enemies how wonderful the Jews were, I’m sure all of the catastrophies of Jewish history could have been avoided. But those Jews, though…they bring it on themselves.”
    But the point of Zionism is that once again the Jews are responsible for their own lives. No more “everybody hates us” arguments. Everything is in our hands now. Even the shit.

  15. Hmm. Still waiting for the “oil interests” explanation (lack of belief in which apparently can make you a racist, divider and otherwise no good).
    Amit seems to have gotten the Zionism thing confused. Before Zionism, it was “Everybody hates us. What can we do? We’ll just have to suffer.” With Zionism, it’s supposed to be “They hated us. But now they don’t, because we killed them.” Not exactly what you had in mind, is it, Amit?

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