Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Shi'ite voice

Been spending some time last night and today as well, reading blogs by Lebanese writers. I was also reading the many, many comments on some of the more popular ones. Ignoring the racist hatemongers (from both sides), I generally saw the following -
Lebanese (Christian or Suni I think) lamenting the destruction of their country, criticizing Hezbulla for starting all of this, explaining how weak and powerless their goverment is and complaining about what they perceive as Israel's heavy handed and unbalanced response.
Israelis saying again and again how they don't hate Lebanon, wish the Lebanese people nothing but peace and prosperity, reminding everyone that Israel had been attacked and explaining that there is no other way for us to retalliate other than that.

The Shi'ite voice, the voice of actual Hezbulla supporters is a lot harder to track down. Naturally, I guess by now most of them don't have internet access, and even when they did, I wonder how many tend to go online... but I did find one, and his words, directed at the Lebanese posters, not even at Israelis are very telling -

As far 'peace' and 'prosperity', this is a meaningless concept if there is no justice or honour. What's sociopathic is not me but the idea that Israel and the idiot moderate Arabs leaders think that any self-respecting human being would rather choose the Club Med, lame European 'peace' life after all the crimes and injustices committed in the name of 'peace' in the decades since the creation of Israel. Far from self-inflicted
racism this is called self-respect. People who have maintained a little bit of their humanity (unlike animals in human form like you) actually fight injustices like a foreign occupation or corrupt, lying, stealing governments. That's the difference between a 'sociopath' like me and 'civilized' person like you.The thing that really f***s with the Israelis, you and all the assorted pro-Western Lebanese is that the Shia and Hizbullah changed Lebanese identity after the civil war. It's about the definition of Lebanon, and the thing f***s with you is that you can no longer alone decide what Lebanon is. You still can't get over it that Lebanon is no longer that bullshit phantasy of pre-1975. That 'not bad place in the context of the Arab world' was a horrible place for the majority of Shia and thank God it's gone forever. Take your 'peace' and 'prosperity' and stick it where the sun don't shine.
Posted by Katyusha as a comment to this post

I really do think this sums it up. When people think peace and prosperity and living a good life should be despised, when the moral values that rule their world are respect and honour and they are happy to kill and die for them, then we end up with a brutal bloody war. How sad, sigh. So, what do we do next? I am asking the sane Lebanese this question. The ones that prefer to bring peace and prosperity back into the sun. Know what, I don't even expect us to be great friends, just for both countries to live side by side, with its inhabitants enjoying prosperity and a peaceful life. How do we achieve that? In light of what the Shi'ite are saying and doing, what would you suggest as a solution at this stage?

16 comments:

Mark said...

Just a short note to say I really like your blog. I'll follow up with a detail with more comments.

As for your point, my only reservaton would be calling that "The Shi'ite Voice". That certainly represents the view of many Lebanese Shi'ite, but far from all of them.

IsrealiMom said...

Thank you Mark, and I hope you are in the right. Nothing would make me happier than to find out a sane and sensible voice among the Shi'ite, one that praises life, peace and prosperity over imaginary honor issues.

Jean said...

Hello,

I thank you for writing your point of view in my blog.
I'll be keeping an eye on your's, and interfering to give the lebanese point of view of the events.

I invite all the israelis here to go read the posts of their counterparts on my blog, and my replies as well.
I must admit I was happily surprised to see some (very) moderate israelis, and even some who seemed to "like" lebanese christians for example.

My blog is:
http://jeansouc.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-lebanese-are-seen-by-israelis.html

or the general post:
http://jeansouc.blogspot.com/

I expect of you to be honest in your posts.

Regards, and stay safe,
Jean
--

Jean said...

Hello,

I thank you for writing your point of view in my blog.
I'll be keeping an eye on your's, and interfering to give the lebanese point of view of the events.

I invite all the israelis here to go read the posts of their counterparts on my blog, and my replies as well.
I must admit I was happily surprised to see some (very) moderate israelis, and even some who seemed to "like" lebanese christians for example.

My blog is:
http://jeansouc.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-lebanese-are-seen-by-israelis.html

or the general post:
http://jeansouc.blogspot.com/

I expect of you to be honest in your posts.

Regards, and stay safe,
Jean
--

steve said...

Annette, your voice is consistently soft and yet honest. How refreshing to encounter someone formulating the questions that really do need to be asked. All are lessened and all are hurt by war and the talk of war. There are always restless souls like the Hezbollah poster there who feel themselves destined for great warrior achievements in the name of some God or another...history is full of them. Proudly ascetic, righting wrongs caused centuries ago by equally possessed fools and scoundrels, it forms their 'raison d' etre'. Meanwhile, 99% of the rest of the world goes about the business of generations forming, being raised in the right way amid the destruction and ruin brought about by uncompromising and selfish assholes like this guy. I have always wondered how much of the investments made in the souls of these people is strictly a personal need for attention and meaning. That people such as this may possess a very spiritual side could even be the problem, rather than the solution. If God, or Allah, really cared about his cause, donl't you think a bit of progress might have been made over the last 1,000 years they complain so loudly about. Hey, dude, maybe Allah doesn't care. I know if I am Allah or, say, God, and I read what you wrote, calling people pigs and scum, acting haughty and all-knowingly superior, I would yawn and roll over. "Oh, hell, it's him again."

R said...

Israel Mom,

While I admit that a majority of the Shiites in Lebanon support Hizballa (HA) to some extent, the reason why you had a hard time finding a shiite opinion online is because a lot of shiites dont differ from the rest of the lebanese. Their middle class and upper class are mostly educated, enlightened, secular and progressive. A large number of the poorer people are also no big fans of HA. Their rhetoric is the same as that of many Lebanese of the "March 14" flavor.
Just wanted to clear that up.

R said...

One more thing. The reason that a majority of shiites support HA is not necessarily because of the honour and dignity argument, its mostly because HA provide the social infrastructure, in terms of healthcare, schooling and even welfare to a lot of Shiites. THe solution to extremesit movements that result from poverty and a feeling of opression is thus alleviating those root causes. We all have our work cut out for us...

Jad Aoun said...

One major problem with finding the "Shiite Voice" is that there is no organized Shiite opposition to Hezbollah. All the other sects have a number of representative parties that dont see eye-to-eye, either they are Christians, Sunnis or Druze. Shiites unfortunately only have Hezbollah. I know a great number of Lebanese Shiites that do not support Hezbollah but they are not organized into an opposition group.

IsrealiMom said...

Fascinating comments by our Lebanese friends. Thank you for that. I am happy to hear that there are sane Shi'ite, and I hurt even more knowing that those people are paying the price of the Hezbulla's foolishness :(

I wonder, in you assessment, what percentage of the Shi'ite population is hardcore Hezbulla supporters, identifying with Nasseralla's ideology, how many just follow him because of the social/economical infrastructure provided by the Hezbulla, and how many actually object to Hezbulla?

Macdara said...

Hi,

I have to say the shiite voice you quoted is certainly not the voice of the Shiite's I know in Lebanon. while there are definetly people that want to see the destruction of Israel most i believe want to live in peace and dignity. My fear is that the current bombbardment of Lebanon and its entire civilain population is building up a hatered of not only Hezballah 's actions but also of Israel.

Surely it would be better to sit down and try to negotiate for peace.

MacDara

Jad Aoun said...

How many Shiites are actually hardcore supports of Hezbollah is really hard to determine. You basically hit the nail on the head - Hezbollah provides the Shiite population (the majority of which are poor) with social services that the central government has failed to provide. And that is their actual source of grassroot support - not three Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails or a 20km2 piece of land.

Prior to the kidnapping, the Christians were asking questions that would not have been possible before the Syrian withdrawl. What gives a political party representing one (of the 18) sects in Lebanon the right to choose between peace and war? That question is high on the agenda of the anti-Hezbollah block.

Jean said...

Like I said on my blog, I would say 70 to 75% of the shiites support HA.
But a large majority of those support HA because, simply put, HA provides the bread they put on their table, and in their children's mouths...

I would say, once the lebanese government takes over the healthcare, the social infrastructure and all that goes with it, many of this apparent solid majority will refrain from supporting HA.
Problem: HA has more money than the lebanese government.

R said...

Hi Israelimom,

There was a poll recently in lebanon (not highly publicized), by which it turns out that about 65% of Lebanese Shiites support HA to some extent. That answers one part of your question. As to the second part, the one pertaining to how many of them support HA because of the social infrastructure, and how many actually support their ideology, this is a much harder question to answer. I would bet on 50/50 tho...

IsrealiMom said...

I certainly learned a lot here. Thank you all, that was most educating :)

steve said...

IsrealiMom said...
I certainly learned a lot here. Thank you all, that was most educating :)

I agree. Those were incredibly informative posts. I also thank the well-spoken, thoughtful group who are helping uinderstand another part of the puzzle. If dialogue like this can occur here, there is hope. Thanks.

steve said...

What gives a political party representing one (of the 18) sects in Lebanon the right to choose between peace and war? That question is high on the agenda of the anti-Hezbollah block.

My ignorance is pretty huge towards your part of the world and I regret it. Seeing how Lebanon gained political strength over the last years, it is sad that this all has to occur. The question you mention is pretty damned fundamental. Excellent.