August 2, 2006

A Hezbollah-Sponsored Trip to Haret Hreyk

A Hezbollah-Sponsored Trip to Haret Hreyk

Rasha Salti has been stringing for us ever since we found her on 3 Quarks Daily. It turns out, Hezbollah’s media team has been courting her, too.

Read Rasha’s previous dispatches here and here.

Hezbollah had organized a visit for journalists that day, as they had the day before. They provided security cover for the area for the international media cameras to document the destruction. There was a spokesperson greeting journalists. A small rotund man, dressed in a track suit, fancy sunglasses, a two-day old stubble carrying two state of the art cell phones. He spoke in concise soundbites and was affable. There was nothing menacing about his demeanor, in fact were it not for the destruction around him he looked more like he would be an assistant to Scolari (similar dress code and portend) than part of the media team of a “terrorist organization”.

The security apparatus of Hezbollah was also impressive, underscoring the identity of Hezbollah. They were all affable, welcoming, dressed casually and unarmed. They all held walkie-talkies, and when looming danger of another Israeli air strike seemed tangible, they all ushered the group of some 30 (and more) journalists to clear the area. They issued their warnings calmly and confidently.

One of the buildings was still burning. It had been shelled earlier that day at dawn. Clouds of smoke were exhaling from amidst the ravages. The rubble was very warm, as I stepped on concrete and metal, my feet felt the heat.

Rasha Salti, in an email to Open Source, July 21 2006.

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  • scribe5

    “We can’t bear pictures of the dead. Hezbollah want to see nothing else”

    David Aaronovitch

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2293538,00.html

    “Some clue as to how things have changed was offered on Sunday night’s Panorama. Though it was incidental to its story, what the programme showed is how organisations such as Hamas propagandise the children and adults in their care, exulting martyrdom and teaching them to embrace death. We saw schools that celebrate suicide bombers and school computers full of jihadoporn. Had you been watching the evening drama on al-Manar recently you could have seen a Syrian drama series on the Jewish plot to take over the world. One scene was set in a brothel where a Jewish prostitute thinks she is dying from some disease. “I implore you,â€? she tells the Madam, “send me only Christian clients. I don’t want any Jew to be infected by me.â€? It’s The Forsyte Saga as scripted by Heinrich Himmler.

    If that’s the cultural you can imagine the political. But just in case you can’t, let me help you. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah (thinks, how exactly did he become leader of Hezbollah?) is a prolific speaker, but is credited with meaning what he says. Nasrallah believes that the Jews “invented the legend of the Nazi atrocities�. That Israel “is a cancerous body in the region� that “must be uprooted�. More magnanimously: “

    Let us spare bloodshed. Let the Yemenite Jews return to Yemen, the Moroccan Jews to Morocco, the Ethiopian Jews to Ethiopia, the European Jews to Europe, and the American Jews to America.â€? Though even that is generous because: “Anyone who reads the Koran . . . sees what acts of madness and slaughter the Jews carried out throughout history . . . Anyone who reads these texts cannot think of co-existence with them, of peace with them, or about accepting their presence, not only in Palestine of 1948 but even in a small village in Palestine, because they are a cancer.â€? ”

    Read the whole article.

  • scribe5

    “Iranian President: Solution to Middle East crisis is to destroy Israel

    By The Associated Press

    PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, Iranian state media reported…..”

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746081.html

    “Blair: Ahmadinejad’s remark on Israel ‘astounding’

    JPost.com Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 3, 2006

    In a press conference early Thursday afternoon, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he finds it astounding that President Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” as a solution to the Middle East’s problems.

    “If someone else were to call for Iran or Syria to be wiped off the map, people would be tearing the house down!” he added.”

  • scribe5

    Here is the link to Blair’s counter remark:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154525799467&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

    “Blair: Ahmadinejad’s remark on Israel ‘astounding’

    JPost.com Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 3, 2006

    In a press conference early Thursday afternoon, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he finds it astounding that President Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map� as a solution to the Middle East’s problems.

    “If someone else were to call for Iran or Syria to be wiped off the map, people would be tearing the house down!� he added.�

    It will be interesting to see if Chris Laydon brings this up on the show tonight.

  • jdyer

    It’s pretty weird alright:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=QAKBCBCMX4K1LQFIQMGSFFOAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2006/08/03/umuslim.xml

    “Muslim leaders demand a part in a peacekeeping force

    Leaders from the world’s most influential Muslim nations have demanded an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon and a role for Muslims in a UN peacekeeping force, stressing that a slow end to the Israeli offensive would radicalize Muslims everywhere.

    Malaysian PM Badawi greets his Pakistani counterpart Shaukat Aziz

    Speaking from an emergency meeting of the 56-country Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Malaysia’s prime minister, said that a peacekeeping force could only be deployed in Lebanon once a full ceasefire was in place.

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s President, joined his colleagues in demanding a halt in Israel’s assault on Lebanon.

    In a speech, Mr Ahmadinejad said that the ultimate goal was the “elimination of the Zionist regime” but he said an immediate ceasefire was the first priority. He added that Britain and America, as the main supporters of Israel, should compensate Lebanon for its damages.

    In a video message to the OIC, Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, said Israel’s offensive against Hizbollah has left more than 900 Lebanese dead and wounded 3,000, with a third of the casualties children under 12. Mr Siniora said that a quarter of the population, or one million people, had been displaced by the violence.”

    So it’s “eliminate Israel, but let’s have a cease fire first and let us peace loving Muslims become part of the “peace force” which will then eliminate Israel.

    This is their idea of even handedness.

  • Old Nick

    I realize it’s been only a week, but, after all, Rasha’s in a war zone. So, I’m worried.

    Where is she? More to the point: how is she?

    I hope we hear from her soon.