Differing perceptions of Hezbollah

Leila Buck’s first article on Electronic Intifada (“From Damascus”, 19 July 2006) was subtitled “I have so many things to say and share I don’t know where to start.” I feel the same way. Leila feels helpless facing US/Israeli propaganda about brutal war crimes against Arabs.

In her good anger she goes to an extreme to support her argument. One cannot say 90 percent of Lebanese do not support Hezbollah. That is wrong. The rich, much of the middle class indeed do not support Hezbollah. They are not even a majority.

Those who are the real victims see Hezbollah as savior, admirable, honest, well organized, something to be proud of — their only defense in the face of Israeli aggression.

I think residents of the southern Lebanon, of Palestine, and Iraq, especially the poorer ones and the working class are tired — way, way beyong feeling that this is ‘unfair’. We have suffered US/Israel behavior since way before 1948. Hezbollah is resistance to this historic attack.

What should the intended victims do? Should they wait for the mercy of the UN and die of democracy like Iraq? Should they wait till after the end for the UN to effect some of its resolutions? Should they appeal to the “Christian West” so they could lose it all like Palestine?

Hezbollah is hope and organization for those who are far more frustrated than you are Leila — blood-and-tears-and-homelessness sick, grieving-over-their-dead sick, grieving over the loss of family, nation, and identity sick, watching their children stunted due to malnutrition sick, watching Israelis hunt their children sick, watching US/Israel assassinate all good leaders sick.

All this and not to mention US/Israeli destruction of all that is vibrant and cultural in Arab life. To all these Hezbollah is a shining light.

I think Israel has lost its moral right to exist. Israel should be dismantled and its people and its victims set free.

Samia A. Halaby
New York, NY

Samia A. Halaby is a Palestinian artist and activist, born in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), a great Arab city stolen by US/Israel. She now lives in exile in New York. Halaby is a lover of Lebanon, and remembers well that Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians, and Jordanians are one population divided by the “west.”