Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Tom Clancy, Apr 27, 2010.
BBC News - Hezbollah armed with improved missiles - US
this is not good.
not good at all.
might be a blessing in disguise.
That would be the same Syria that Sheikh Hussein Obama wants to establish diplomatic relations with and, in fact, has reposted a US ambassador to Syria.
Beirut, March 25: The Magen Abraham synagogue, in the heart of downtown Beirut, is bustling with renovations. Workmen are busy returning this 80-year-old place of worship to its former splendour, although the local Jewish community has dwindled dramatically from over 22,000 prior to 1958 to less than 300 by the end of the 1975-90 civil war.
None of the political parties, not even Hezbollah, has objected to the reconstruction of the synagogue.
Why this sudden show of interest for a Jewish symbol, given the terms "Jew" and "Israeli" are often (mis)used interchangeably in Lebanon, and the country is still technically at war with Israel? Who is funding the reconstruction of the building? And what is the situation of the Jewish community in Lebanon?
Most Lebanese Jews left the country due to fear of reprisals from their Muslim and Christian compatriots after the Israeli invasion of 1982, yet the Jewish religion remains one of the 18 recognised confessions in the country.
The renovation of the synagogue comes as a sign of hope for Lebanons Jewish community. Some members contemplate not only a return of those Jews who left the country, but also a return to Jewish representation in Parliament. "It's only a start, but the Lebanese authorities seem to express renewed interest in our community," volunteered David, a 40-year-old French teacher in a private school in the capital, who prefers not to reveal his surname. David saw the bulk of his family take refuge in Europe to flee abuses of power during the war.
"The end of the war did not restore our rights. It is high time the Lebanese realise that a Jew is not necessarily Israeli," added David, echoing the sentiments of many other Lebanese Jews.
Synagogue in Lebanon rises from ashes | Siasat
'They don't understand Israel means nothing to us'
Judaism is recognized as one of the 18 religious confessions in Lebanon, although the Jewish community has dwindled over the years, in the face of violence and prejudice.
"Before the (1975-1990) civil war, there were about 22,000 of us. It was after the 1982 (Israeli) invasion of Lebanon that our presence became considerably diminished," said Samuel.
For Efraim, also a merchant and a member of the Jewish Council, the community's official authority, one of the annoyances of life in Lebanon is the way in which other Lebanese mix the terms "Jewish" and "Israeli".
Lebanon is technically in a state of war with Israel, which is commonly dubbed "the Zionist enemy".
"People still occasionally ask me if I am Israeli," said Efraim, also speaking under a pseudonym.
"They do not understand that Israel means nothing to us. We consider it an enemy country as do all the Lebanese," he said.
"There has not been a wave of persecutions, despite some incidents. Those (Jews who left) are like thousands of other Lebanese who fled the country in search of a better future," said Samuel.
Lebanon's Jewish community staring at oblivion - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews
"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
Time fot the best to get some passionate intensity.
Separate names with a comma.