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Emet m'Tsiyon

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ignoramus Western Journalists and Commentators View Hizbullah Romantically as the "Real" Lebanon

Western observers both living inside and outside of Lebanon often delight in seeing Hizbullah as the real, the authentic, the truly Third Worldish Lebanon, a land of austerity, hatred of the West, incorruptible hatred of Israel and Jews, swift and sure punishment of religious backsliders, enemies of bourgeois Western civilization, etc. This Authentic Lebanon is contrasted with the Lebanon of bourgeois prosperity & luxury, adoption of features of Western culture, insufficient hatred of Israel, free market economy, and the like. Michael Young perceptively complains about the wilful blindness about Lebanon so often compulsively demonstrated and deployed by Western observers, journalists, commentators, diplomats, policy analysts, politicians, etc.
Hizbullah also benefits from the underlying contempt among many Westerners for the baroque Lebanese system itself, all nods and winks and clandestine compromises. Here is a party that can build institutions, that means what it says and says what it means, and that in many respects defines itself against the duplicity of the traditional politicians. More interestingly, it speaks for a once marginalized community, so that it presents several ingredients to spur Western sympathy and appreciation: a social cause, methodicalness in the pursuit of its objectives, an institutional structure transcending the narrow retail politics of most Lebanese leaders, rhetorical precision, and purported honesty.

And then there is authenticity. Hizbullah is widely seen as representing a truer Lebanon than the Lebanon of confused identities lying outside the party's realm. Remember how the media in 2005 translated the emancipation movement against Syria. For three weeks after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the story was that of a liberal Lebanon revolting against an illiberal Syria and its Lebanese peons, a rare occasion during the post-Civil War period when that narrative dominated. However, its fragility was highlighted on March 8, when Hizbullah organized its mass demonstration at Riad al-Solh square. Suddenly, interpretations shifted. The "real Lebanon" had spoken, observers said, and it had spoken with verve, so that the anti-Syrian demonstrators of the weeks before, with their Occidental pretensions and designer clothes, were now dismissed as creations of the Western media. Then March 14 came, confusing the observers further and resurrecting the liberal plot line, if not for very long.

The irony is that the very attributes that make many Westerners so belittle the
Lebanese political and social order in Hizbullah's favor are actually present in Hizbullah in more concentrated ways. The Lebanese system is archaic, undemocratic and sectarian? Well then what do you call a Shiite Leninist organization, led by a leader who will probably remain in office for life, that calls itself the Party of God? And what reaction do one's Western liberal instincts provoke when that centralized religious party glorifies violent self-sacrifice and makes permanent armed struggle a centerpiece of its ideological mindset, mainly on behalf of an autocratic clerical regime in Iran, its Lebanese authenticity notwithstanding? As for corruption, those who see Hizbullah as spotless should learn a trifle more about the party's illicit networks, or those of individuals close to the party. In that regard, we can say that Hizbullah is as Lebanese as anyone else.
[Beirut Daily Star, 4-16 -2009].
Of course, the notion of Hizbullah as being opposed to Western policy is false and always has been. The Hizb was set up by the Khomeini regime in Iran which was helped to take power precisely by the US Carter Administration of cursed memory זכרונו לקללה . It must be said that "leftist" politicians in the West are usually the readiest to praise and sympathize with the Hizb. But essentially, "leftists" like Massimo d'Alema do not necessarily oppose the mainstream policy of the UK, US, & EU regarding Lebanon --or that regarding Iran for that matter [on d'Alema (former Communist foreign minister of Italy under Prodi), vedere qui & qui] .

Consider that if reports on Lebanon are falsified, whether out of prejudice which cannot or does not want to understand or perceive the reality of the country, or out of conscious lying in order to suit a newspaper's or magazine's or TV network's or government's political prejudices, then reports about Israel can be falsified for the same reasons. And even more so --a fortiori-- on account of traditional Western Judeophobia.

Just by the way, all this loving misunderstanding of Hizbullah is adding up to Western recognition of the Hizb's rightful rule over Lebanon. Who would have thought?
Lebanon: The West is ready to deal and negotiate with Hizbullah, in case it wins the parliamentary elections in June, according to the Hizbullah number 2, Shaykh Na`im Kassem. Hassan Nasrallah's right hand man stated that "the Western countries are falling all over each other to talk to us and will do it more so in the future." He insisted that his party did not fear being boycotted by the international community as was the case with Hamas in 2006.[GuysenNews 4-16-2009]

Liban : l'Occident est prêt à traiter avec le Hezbollah, en cas de victoire aux législatives de juin, selon son n°2, le cheikh Naïm Kassem. Le bras droit de Hassan Nasrallah a déclaré que ''les pays occidentaux se bousculent pour nous parler et le feront davantage à l'avenir''. Il a insisté sur le fait que son parti ne craignait pas d'être
boycotté par la communauté internationale comme ce fut le cas avec le Hamas en 2006. [GuysenNews 4-16-2009]
Now isn't this just heartwarming news? The Western powers are going to be oh so liberal, kind, democratic, generous and peace-loving as to work with the Hizbullah IslamoNazis!! It seems that they have come a long way since their 1938 negotiations with Hitler that brought about World War 2 only because Hitler had misunderstood his peace accord with that nice Mr Chamberlain!!

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