Sami Hermez

Boycott or censorship?

Critics of the movement for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel — including Israeli concert producer Shuki Weiss — have claimed that calling on artists to cancel performances in Israel is a form of censorship. Is the cultural boycott a form of censorship or McCarthyism? Sami Hermez comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Answering critics of the boycott movement

The list of successful boycott, divestment and sanctions actions has now become too long to list, yet, there are still many out there who do not believe in this movement and have reservations on a number of grounds, offering two main concerns that are rarely tackled, and when they are it is only cursory. The first is the criticism of why a boycott movement against Israel and not countries like China, Sudan or the US. The second concerns the argument that boycott is against dialogue. Sami Hermez comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Living, but in denial

I cannot remember a time, especially in the last three years, when the collective that comprises Lebanese social life was not anticipating some form of political violence, elevated at times to an outright expectation of civil war. Traversing through different parts of Lebanon the conversation is the same: will war break out? When? Who will start it? Who will fight? Sami Hermez comments for Electronic Lebanon. 

To be Palestinian in Lebanon is to be wished a thousand deaths

1 June 2007 — In the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, on 31 May, there was a single story that only reported the details of the deaths of Lebanese soldiers. The official number from the Lebanese army over last weekend was a resounding one civilian death. By denying Palestinian civilian deaths we effectively commit a double crime: The first is the indiscriminate death of the victim; the second is the denial of this original crime. I suppose the victim is meant to carry a camera and document her own death to truly confirm it in the public’s eyes. EI contributor Sami Hermez comments. 

Cheering to the beat of the Palestinians' misery

“In the first three days of the recent events involving the Lebanese army and Fateh el-Islam in the Nahr el-Bared camp, the Lebanese army committed what would amount to war crimes in a similar fashion to that of the Israeli army in Gaza and in Lebanon last summer, firing on a civilian population indiscriminately. When the Israelis do this, we scream at the injustice, but when the Lebanese army does it we applaud them. These are double standards.” Sami Hermez analyzes the Lebanese support for the siege of Nahr al-Bared camp for Electronic Lebanon. 

Judging Hassan Nasrallah

Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, General Secretary of Hizballah, is the leader of a movement claiming to fight for the right of self-determination, in the same way that Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were leaders of movements that claimed similar ends. However, Nasrallah will likely not be elevated to the status of a Gandhi, Mandela or other leaders of resistance movements of our time, nor will he be given the same revere and respect. Rather, he will be remembered as a violent man, a terrorist, appearing angry in pictures rather than with his innocent, almost childlike smile. 

Curfew and questions in Beirut

Today, January 25, 2007, violence broke out around 2:30pm at the Beirut Arab University, which is around the sports stadium close to the airport road. According to one report, it seems like the original conflagration occurred in the cafeteria and was then taken out into the streets. By now most people have seen images of the chaos that ensued. Many of us learnt about it when we first tried to use our phones and found all lines down. It is 11:30pm as I sit to write this; I am locked in my apartment along with the rest of the residents of Beirut. There is a military enforced curfew that went into affect at 8:30pm and will last until tomorrow morning at around 10:00 or 11:00am. 

Is a Military Government our only Choice?

On January 23, 2007, the Lebanese opposition shut down the entire country, pummeling heavy black smoke over its skies and sending the entire country into an economic standstill. It was and is a top-down “democratic” movement, nonviolent in its intent, but with empty demands; this primarily because of a fundamental flaw in the system that requires any opposition to build coalitions of national unity, thus forced to share power with former and current thieves and murderers, and making higher demands a form of political suicide. The day’s event leaves one with a feeling of the surreal and a sense of absurdity. And how does one begin to recount the surreal, the absurd? 

Sowing the seeds of tomorrow's violence

The atmosphere of the Lebanese opposition demonstrations, which began last Friday and were planned in large part by Hizballah, Amal, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and their allies, has been very calm and festive, betraying the underlying tensions and outbursts of political violence in the country. In many ways, they exude a similar spirit to last year’s months of demonstrating by the March 14 coalition, in which there was constant music interlaced with speeches, and people waving Lebanese flags and behaving as if they had just won a football game or were at a concert.