Rampurple, a Lebanese woman, writes of her fears for Lebanon. She (herself Lebanese) lists her worries, beginning with
“I really am scared for the future of the region.
1. Hizballah has notified Lebanese prime minister Fouad Siniora that the only concession he is willing to make with regard to the Hizballah presence in South Lebanon is to avoid exhibiting his fighters’ weapons in a demonstrative fashion…..” (read more)
She writes more on Hizballah, Assad, Iran and the Lebanese government. Read, learn and comment.
It is 11 o’clock, 4 am GMT. The cease fire officially begins in one hour. May peace descend on Lebanon and Israel and may all know peace and safety.
UPDATE: How does Israel plan to implement the cease fire? Take a look at a YNet article in English.
CNN has the time of the ceasefire wrong. They correctly state that it is at 5:00 GMT, but incorrectly say that equals 1:00 am ET and 8:00 Israel Time. Bagdad is 3 hours ahead of GMT, but Israel is only 2 hours ahead of GMT. Pretty silly mistake. (You can find a world clock here.)
Update 3: It seems that I was wrong. An article in Haartez said the cease fire began at 7 am local time in Israel and everyone else in the US seems to be reporting 8 am. (Unless, shockingly (sarcasm) Israeli press knows more about what is happening in Israel than the American press.)
A (relatively) new blog is seeking Jews of Lebanon. Their mission statement begins,
It is the intent of this blog to reestablish a connection between Lebanese of the Jewish faith around the world with their country of Lebanon. The message of coexistence and genuine national unity is not applicable so as long as a fragment from Lebanon’s mosaic of minorities is missing. If religious coexistence fails in Lebanon it will ultimately fail throughout the world.
Read the entire mission statement or go to the Jews of Lebanon blog.
A few days ago Nizar Abdel-Kader published an online article “ Out of the Quagmire” on a Middle-East roundtalbe website called Bitter Lemons. In the middle of the article he writes,
To circumscribe the Lebanese disaster, now is the opportune moment for the five permanent members of the Security Council and Israel to alter their views and positions in dealing with this highly complicated and multi-dimensional crisis. Left alone, the Lebanese government may be devoured by the intricacies of domestic differences and destabilized by the pressures exercised by Iran and Syria. The longer the current crisis continues, the higher the risk that events will descend into a vicious downward spiral, reminiscent of the multi-national force deployed in Lebanon in 1982 and the failure of the May 17 agreement. Olmert must not repeat the same mistakes committed after the 1982 invasion. The greatest risk remains an attempt by Syria and Iran to use their proxies in Lebanon to oppose the deployment of a peacekeeping force.
Read the rest of his words here.
Mr. Nizar Abdel-Kader is a political analyst and columnist at ad-Diyar newspaper, Beirut
Friday was filled with news of the UN discussion on the current conflict/war between Israel and Hizbollah/Iran. (I name the conflict this way because although the fighting is occurring in Israel and Lebanon, the people of Lebanon are more victim than aggressor. It seems to me that those who are not part of Hizbollah are victims of Hizbollah and Israel.) Late Friday, Saturday day it seems that a final agreement was reached. The resolution is number 1701.
You can read UN Secretary General Kofi Anan’s words on the passing of the resolution. In it he states his sadness that such an agreement wasn’t reached earlier. He lists the casualties in Lebanon – killed, injured, and displaced. The numbers are far too great. My heart breaks and grieves for the innocent of Lebanon. However, he uses underestimated and diminished numbers (he says 41 deaths when today’s total is up to at least 123) the statement about those killed, injured and displaced in Israel. His biases are showing. Apparently to him the only deaths, injuries and displacements that matter are those of the Lebanese. And he wonders why Israel doesn’t trust the UN (not even going into the Hizbollah kidnapping of 3 Israeli soldiers in 2000 within just a few months of Israel fully withdrawing from Lebanon. A UN “peacekeeper” witnessed and videotapped the kidnapping and likely even knew where they were taken, but he denied it and the soldiers died.)
Anan announced that the cease fire will go into effect on Monday, August 14, 2006 at 7 am Israel time (5 am GMT).
I pray that the cease-fire works and that Hizbollah will stop firing rockets at Israel and Israel is able to withdraw from Lebanon. I hope and pray that the UNIFIL forces fulfilling this resolution will be more successful than the current ineffective one.
May G-d spread peace, safety and security soon.
I woke up this morning to the news of the foiled terror plot in London. Frightening stuff that once again gives us the choice between letting terror and terrorists keep us from living our lives or choosing to add in additional security measures and keep going. I am glad that for the most part people chose the later.
For coverage of today’s arrests and the full story go to any or all of the following links: BBC, NYTimes (story), NYTimes (updated banned item list), Jerusalem Post and Al-Jezeera. I include Al-Jezeera because I think it is important to understand things from different perspectives.
One story today.
The other and deeper sadness is the continued violence and war in Northern Israel and Lebanon. It seems to me that this struggle with Hizbollah/Iran is just getting deeper. People suffer and die on both sides, life is completely disrupted, children are traumatized from witnessing the violence, spending all their time in shelters, worrying about playing outside and being close enough to a shelter and seeing and hearing their family members going off to war. I pray that a peaceful solution that is good for the people of Lebanon, recognizes Israel’s right to exist and puts Hizbollah in its place comes soon. Please G-d, please.
David Lisboa has an interesting blog on the war – Israel-Hezbollah Blog, writing from Haifa. He posts include numbers of katushas fallen and deep, critical analysis of the situation, reality and getting out of this mess.
Yesterday, a post titled The Accidental War concluded with these words,
What is needed now is a way for both sides to climb down. Israel must get its soldiers back, Hizbullah’s departure from the border area and an undertaking that Hizbullah will not attack again. The Lebanese army or a neutral force should then man the border. Hizbullah needs to be given a way to consent to these changes without losing face. Squaring this will take time, ingenuity and the full engagement of the United States. It will not bring peace to the Middle East but it might silence a dangerous new front. America should start its work at once.
Read, comment and discuss.
May the Holy One bring all – Jew, Muslim, Christian, Druze – to peace and safety.
[Hat tip to Israelity.]
The Jerusalem Post writes that
Lebanese children and adults wounded in the Hizbullah-Israeli crossfire in Lebanon have been invited to receive free treatment at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. The cost will be paid by Jewish and non-Jewish donors in Israel and abroad, hospital director-general Prof. Zev Rothstein said on Sunday.
“We are not to blame for this war. We don’t ask who is to blame,” said Rothstein. “We have an open Jewish heart. Our aim is to save lives and reduce misery. We don’t hate like the terrorists,” he added.
Free medical care to those who need it, regardless of race, religion, nationality or ethnicity. This is a high expression of Jewish values.
Thanks to Israelity who got it from Jewschool.