A new struggle for life after war

Tyre enjoys a reputation as a laid back summer resort with a “liberal” lifestyle in the heart of south Lebanon — with its striking Roman ruins, ancient Christian fishing harbor, and bustling beachfront. But during the off-season — and compounded by the negative impact of the summer 2006 conflict with Israel, the ongoing political crises in Beirut and skyrocketing prices nationwide — the town’s family-owned retail shops and businesses, farmers and fishermen barely make a living. Rebecca Murray writes from the southern Lebanon city. 

Fear and Defiance in South Lebanon

It is true that Israel’s military campaign flip-flopped often and its goals kept changing, but the assault on civilians, particularly of the south, was relentless. I arrived in Tyre on the tenth day of the war just as the remaining inhabitants of the south were beginning to realize that Israel would spare no one. They all tell us that this assault is different from what they’ve seen from Israel in previous attacks. (Israel has invaded Lebanon twice before in 1978 and 1982, occupied various portions of the country for over 25 years, and launched massive military assaults focusing on civilians and their infrastructure in 1992 and 1996.) People who’ve never left their village were now leaving.