Sami Hermez

The correct moral position for Lebanon

The Lebanese people should not reject Hizballah, as their arms protect the country’s sovereignty, dignity, and rights. Hizballah is not the reason Israel has attempted to destroy Lebanon. Israel has attacked Lebanon, and has been an aggressor against many other Arab peoples, because this is the only way it can survive. It has used violence against Lebanon because it wants the people as a subjugated neighbor with no power and no ability to take any moral stand. Israel, along with the United States, would like the Lebanese people, and other Arabs alike, to be followers and consumers while Israel makes no retribution for the crimes it has committed against them or against the other 10 percent of the Lebanese population — the Palestinians who reside in camps. 


Breakdown. I had a momentary breakdown. Driving back to Beirut last night, alone in my car, paying attention to Music for the first time in a month, I began to comprehend all that I saw this last week in the South of Lebanon; I finally let out tears. How does one describe destruction giving it a unique touch, a local expression? I am beginning to think this is impossible because of the very nature of man made destruction. Villages in the South look like pictures I have seen of Hiroshima; they look like Berlin at the end of WWII, and they basically look like many other cities and villages destroyed in history; in a picture, frame per frame, it all looks the same. 

A prisoner in my own land

I was just released from prison. It has taken me a few days to sit down and calmly write about this experience as I have been slightly shocked and dazed. For safety purposes I am choosing to leave out the details of my arrest. It is enough to say that the reason for my detention was that I was “suspected of being a spy for Israel.” The ultimate crime: treason. And who but me to be a spy for Israel! I have been trying to tell my story, what I was doing, why I had been here or there, all of it, but every time I begin writing I feel like I am speaking, again, to my interrogators; I don’t like that feeling. 

Beyond all that remains

Remembering the aftermath of the 1975-1990 civil war and the garbage Lebanon was left with, I feel that today’s piling trash is a symbol of where this country is headed. Garbage in the streets is an emblem of active warfare. Driving through mountain roads, and from village to village I feel the effects of Israel’s invasion in the collapsing civil services of Lebanon. These are images of the long-term effects of a war that I remember. Garbage. And this is nothing to say of the heinous war crimes inflicted on the Southern part of this country. 

Palestine to Lebanon: So close, yet so far away

As I play back what I have seen and heard today in Ramallah, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and Lebanon, and as I see the Israelis unaffected and showing no mercy for the immorality of their state’s action, I can’t help think about what all this means.  Is it Lebanon’s fate to be the sacrifical lamb of the Middle East as the rest of the Arab leaders remain traitorous masters of rhetoric?  In all honesty, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Egypt should open their fronts.  But they won’t because they aren’t worth the dignity they claim as Arab.  If anything good comes out of this it is that no one should ever question the Arab identity of Lebanon.