Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Dusty Comeback

A Dusty Comeback

Yes, it’s true I have not been blogging for over a year, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been kept quiet at all. Blogging in times of war is easy, and since everyone seems to be foretelling another war between “Israel” – (so called), and Hezbollah (henceforth HA) – I thought I might as well get a head start, and a include a brief update of what I have been doing from time to time.

Well, one day the dialogue with Ephraim will become a book, to explain how two minds on opposite sides of the border, and who call each other enemies, thought and attempted a dialogue. Needless to say, it failed, and I don’t have his email, otherwise we could have been email pals exchanging historic facts when we were not “enemies.” No hurry there, when it’s time to fight, HA will get to it, but until then, there is no reason why I cannot behave like a civilized non-violent person.

On the other hand, as if God was testing my, I stumbled upon an article in a Lebanese Daily on a certain website by Lebanese Jews. Turns out the website was constructed by “Aaron” – aka Haron- a Lebanese Muslim Expat from southern Lebanon - about Lebanese Jews. Religious affiliation is not the intention here, it is the concept I’m trying to relay, got it? I became a fan of the site. http://www.thejewsoflebanon.org/

I live in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon – and I decided I should do my part in relaying and documenting the heritage of the Jewish Lebanese compatriots, and exercise to myself more than anyone else that religion – or lack of it , ethnicity, is not what brings me and “Ephraim” apart, it is political conviction: He is a Zionist, I am not, he is racist, I am not, he is bloodthirsty and a war monger, and I am not. So, until he resolves his differences, I decided I should celeberate mine! I should make peace with yet another part of my Lebanese Identity, the wandering Jewish community that had to leave Lebanon during the 1975-1990 war. The house with many mansions that is Lebanon would serve as a model for humankind, differences should be what brings us together.

For more information on the history and heritage of the Lebanese Jewish community, please visit this page http://www.thejewsoflebanon.org/

For avoidance of any doubt, I just wish to clarify that I am involved in this beautiful project out of love and respect for our country, and our Jewish compatriots, the least we can do to preserve our country’s true spirit and identity. By compatriots I mean the Lebanese Jews who were forced into Diaspora. These are our brothers and sisters, and our society owes them an apology (God knows our society owes an apology to all of us). The minute they wish to return home, they will certainly NOT be coming back as tourists. The second objective is, I need to break the taboo inside me, and to finally put into action what I have been brought up to believe, our fight is not with the Jews, it is with the Zionists. Thirdly, to excercise my refounded conviction that peace is the best way to win a war.

How did it start, hmmm...? Yes, I snuck into the Jewish Cemetery in Sidon. It got a bit more complicated. I wrote an article and posted it and then I got a comment that Isaac recognized the grave of his father...

I intentionally want to repost the story in sequence on my blog; the intention is to shed more light on the fight for the plurality of Lebanon. We Lebanese do not forget our brothers and sisters, we might from time to time suffer a relapse, but what ties us together is blood and heritage, blood in our veins, not spilled blood on the streets.

Our country has been harsh on us, it has pushed us away, every morning it puts us to trial, but it is love that keeps us going, who can NOT love this place?

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