Thursday, August 17, 2006

Comment on terrorism to a reader

Carl

Good to hear from you and hope you are enjoying your summer. I hear you saying "US helping Israel, a democracy, is not like Iran and Syria helping Hezbollah, a terrorist organization".

Here is my response:

The definition of "terror" is subjective. It is not helpful to confuse Al Qaeda with national groups of resistance, such as Hezhbollah or Hamas. The occupation of Israel of Arab land and the displacement of millions of people have precipitated grass-roots resistance, albeit outside rules of traditional combat.

Since Arab armies have been silent for decades, the people are rising to launch unauthorized resistance. If you wish, you can consider this the start of a slow-motion Arab revolution that threatens existing Arab regimes and Israeli occupation.

For the US, to arm Israel to the teeth to maintain its illegal occupations in the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, Shiba Farm and East Jerusalem would make the US complicit in injustice and an external player like Iran and Syria. The comparison I made betweeen Iran's help to Hezbollah and US Help to Israel is subjective and not perfect. I also regret Hezbollah's resistance, the same way I regret Israel's occupation.

I appreciate Israel as a state with unlimited resources to help in rebuilding the Middle East. But so far Israel, regrettably, has followed a policy of solving political problems by force. It has relied too much on external support with no long term planning to build bridges with its neighbors.

If I were an Israeli, I would worry about the future of my people in a neighborhood of immense hostility. Many Israeli critics support my views. The way to reverse this situation Israel has to work hard and fast to withdraw from 1967 occupied land. History provides an opportunity for Israel in the near future for making peace. This opportunity will not last for ever.

I am also as critical of Lebanon as I am of Israel. Both countries add much to the diversity of the region.

The current US Administration has made a big mistake to ignore the Palestinian and syrian questions. It has also imprisoned itself in a moral framework of "Freedom vs. Terror". Politics is not only about freedom; it is equally about justice.

Cheers

Ghassan

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