Nasrallah: “No Plan for Sunni Conversions”

Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah's leader, responds to claims that Shiites are converting Sunnis to Shia Islam in his speech the day before Ashura, broadcast by al-Manar. Here is an extract from the translation provided by, January 31, 2007. (He claims it is cheaper for Shiites to make babies than convert Sunnis.)

Extracts of Nasrallah Speech:

"For example, it is said that Iran or the Shi'i Islamic movements throughout the Arab and Islamic world have a plan to turn Sunnis into Shi'is. It is also said that there are plans, studies centres, programmes, and huge sums of money geared towards this end. When you say this to any Sunni leader, Sunni scholar, Sunni movement, or young Sunni man, they will mobilize themselves against it. This is their natural right. This issue is now presented strongly and some news media are working on it. Some Arab leaders and senior men of religion spoke about this issue. Depicting this as a basic and major issue on which others are working will lead the nation to sedition whose end will not be known.

"Let us both Shi'is and Sunnis first make sure of this, cooperate, and investigate this together to know if there is really such a thing and if it exists. Let us find out if it really exists or if it is fabricated, drafted, written, organized, and presented by someone as top secret information to some leaders, men of religion, or quarters. Let us scrutinize things and make sure of this first to know if it exists or not.

"Within this context, something similar took place in Lebanon. This is why we sometimes talk about some political leaders. I know by name some Lebanese political leaders, who went to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, and other countries and told the leaders of these countries that Hezbollah, supported b y Iran, spends huge sums of money to turn Sunnis in Lebanon into Shi'is. We are talking about Lebanon. If we want to talk about Mauritania, neither I nor you will know what to say. Let us talk about the country in which we are living and the accusation levelled at us. Some of these leaders believed what they were told. Lebanon is an open country in which there are no secrets. Even when a security problem occurs, things will immediately be known. Take for example Thursday's incidents. New video tapes and new information continue to be daily received about what happened on that day. Nothing remains secret; everything becomes known.

"Hezbollah has been in Lebanon since 1982. We are now in 2007. The Lebanese – Muslims, Christians, Shi'is, Sunnis, and Druze – are living together. Tell me where this huge Hezbollah-financed and led campaign to convert Sunnis into Shi'is in Lebanon is. Although tonight is a night of grief and consolation, allow me to lighten the atmosphere a bit for you because the worst of calamities forces laughter as the popular saying goes. I said this to those who came to see me about this issue. I told them if Hezbollah wants to convert some Sunni youths in Lebanon into Shi'is, what will it do? You say it will spend huge sums of money rather than use ideology, conviction, evidence, and so forth although we do not use even these for this purpose. This is not our cause. It is well known since 1982 that this has not been our cause. It is not our policy to turn Sunnis into Shi'is or prevent the Shi'is from becoming Sunnis. Some Shi'is in Lebanon converted to Shiism but none raised clamour o ver the issue. They talk about funds spent. What will the purpose of turning 50, 100, or 200 young Sunnis into Shi'is be? Is it increasing the number of Shi'is by 200? First of all, this will cost us huge sums of money. Second, it will cause us a problem whose end will not be known. I told them this does not require us to do much. We in Hezbollah can issue a circular saying we this year want you to produce more. The number of Shi'is will then increase by 50,000 people in only one year. We will thus do it for free. Well, you continue to produce without needing such a recommendation, praise be to God.

"What they say is silly and is aimed at incitement. True, a very small number of Sunni youths in Lebanon might have been influenced by the general atmosphere and converted to Shiism. Likewise, and for the same reasons, some Shi'is might have turned into Sunnis. Let us count their number in Lebanon and see if there is a phenomenon to convert to Shiism or Sunnism. There is nothing of the sort. We are living together in the country. We are living in mixed neighbourhoods and areas and this cannot be concealed. Brothers and sisters – and I am speaking not only to you but to all those who hear me through the news media – this is meant to tell people: Where is your fervour for your religion; the Shi'is are spreading Shiism and are trying to turn Sunnis into Shi'is.

"I know that whole Shi'i families in Khuzestan in the Islamic Republic of Iran became Sunnis and even Wahhabis. Has anyone raised clamour over this issue and said there is an ideological invasion in Khuzestan? Nobody said anything. Limited things can eventually take place because the world is open to all. There are satellite channels, books, and the Internet. None can any longer prevent anyone else from hearing the opinion or knowing the doctrine and culture of others. People are eventually influenced by one another. But it is not true that someone has a plan and is boldly trying to implement it. Frankly speaking, the aim of saying such things is fomenting sedition.

"Therefore, I will not conceal the fact that two or three months ago I personally asked his excellency the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon to send to Lebanon a special investigation committee from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to investigate the truth about what is said. I renew this call. This is why you hear me these days speak much about an investigation com mi ttee. The reason is to know the truth. Why should we take positions, raise clamour, take sides, or form camps on the basis of illusions and false threats that do not exist? Why should we do so and at the same time ignore or neglect the true threats posed to us in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and the whole region? Why should we ignore the real threats and create imaginary threats and thus wage battles accordingly? This is very dangerous.

"With regard to the same file, I heard that some Arab leaders, some Arab news media, and some men of religion gave astronomical figures. In life there are things that can be believed and others that cannot be believed. Some key figures in Lebanon – and they know themselves – said in private meetings that 7 million Sunnis in Syria converted to Shiism. What sort of talk is this? Yes, and they build on this assumption, which leads to other consequences. They say a battle should be waged against converting people to Shiism, but none has plans to spread Shiism. Tonight is a night of truth and defence of the oppressed.

"I testify that the Islamic Republic of Iran and His Eminence Al-Sayyid Khemene'i, its leader and our leader and imam, may God protect him and prolong his life, has absolutely no such plans. If you go to Iran and find a man of religion, a cultural centre, or an Internet site working on this issue, you will find that all others have such a thing. But his eminence the leader, as well as the Islamic Republic and the Islamic revolution in Iran, have absolutely nothing to do with this. Such accusations are not fair. I say this because I know and we here have had a very close friendship with the brothers in Iran since 1982 and since the time of Imam Khomeyni, may God bless his soul, up to the time of His Eminence the leader, may God prolong his life. We know that this is not true and that this is not their policy, plan, or idea. But if there are cases of conversion from Sunnism to Shiism in this or that country, we will have to find out the truth and know who converted them before we draw conclusions and say this is done by a big and strong country called Iran or by movements like Hezbollah.

"Moreover, I discussed this issue with some leaders and told them that some said some converted because of Hezbollah's victory in Lebanon. What is my fault here? What is Hezbollah's fault if its victory made some people convert to Shiism? In the past and as a result of the performance of jihadist Sunni movements, Shi'is became Sunnis. Do we have to be defeated in order not to be held responsible?

Comments (54)

Atassi said:

EDITORIAL: Saudis do what administration won’t; hold talks with foe
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa
McClatchy-Tribune Business News
749 words
31 January 2007
Waterloo Courier (MCT)
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Jan. 31–The Bush administration may have concluded that utilizing the full-range of diplomatic overtures is not the way forward in the Middle East, but others — including traditional adversaries — have not.

The administration rejected the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group to talk with Iran and Syria, but U.S. ally Saudi Arabia and U.S. adversary Iran have decided talking is imperative, worried that tensions in Lebanon could further destabilize the region.

The Saudis are predominantly Sunni and Arab; the Iranians are predominantly Shiite and Persian.

In Lebanon, Iranian-backed Hezbollah is trying to overthrow the pro-Western and Saudi-supported government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora

The Saudis — and other Sunni nations such as Egypt and Jordan — are concerned Iran is becoming ascendant in the region as U.S. influence declines.

Iran, though, is having considerable problems at home.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s defiance of the United Nations in pursuit of a nuclear program has prompted U.N. sanctions and put him in conflict with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

After Ahmadinejad called the Security Council sanctions imposed Dec. 23 “a piece of torn paper,” the newspaper that serves as the Khamenei’s mouthpiece stated, “The resolution is certainly harmful for country,” that it was “too much to call it ‘a piece of torn paper.'”

Iran is suffering from high unemployment and inflation, both estimated at 30 percent. Ahmadinejad’s party was recently trounced in elections.

Yet Iran still had $150 million to provide Hezbollah to help in the rebuilding of Lebanon after Hezbollah’s cross-border raids into Israel provoked a devastating and unanticipated onslaught.

The outcome of the Saudi-Iranian talks may depend on Syria, another Hezbollah patron with a presence in Lebanon’s security services.

In that regard, former Secretary of State and Iraq Study Group co-chair James Baker recently told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the administration needs to talk to Syria.

“We could get them (Syria) to get Hamas (the Palestinian government) to recognize Israel’s right to exist,” he said. “It would be a huge step in the right direction.” He added, talks with Syria “could get them to stop arming Hezbollah.”

The Saudis’ decision to talk to Iran came only weeks after Prince Turki al-Faisal, its U.S. envoy (and a November guest at the University of Northern Iowa), resigned during a royal family rift on dealing with Tehran. Turki favored diplomacy, but his predecessor, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, now the national security minister, echoed the Bush administration’s hard-line approach.

The Saudis and Iranians remain at odds on Iraq, where the Saudis fear a Shiite-dominated government could inflict hardships on the minority Sunnis and do Iran’s bidding.

Indeed, the Iranians are actively trying to undermine the United States in Iraq, offering to train Iraqi fighters, assist in reconstruction, and opening the first foreign branch bank.

The Bush administration maintains that the Iranian presence is more sinister than benevolent, particularly in regard to U.S. forces, arming Shiite militias and conspiring in attacks against Americans.

The United States has detained Iranian operatives in Iraq in recent weeks.

“If somebody is trying to harm our troops and stop them from achieving our goal, or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, we will stop them,” President George W. Bush said Monday.

“The reason you keep hearing about Iran is we keep finding their stuff there,” said Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace.

The Iranian role in Iraq and its presumed nuclear ambitions have given rise to fears the administration is in a run-up mode for a possible invasion or strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

But Bush said Monday that he is wary of the intelligence on Iran.

“I’m like a lot of Americans that say, ‘Well, if it wasn’t right in Iraq, how do you know it’s right in Iran,'” the president said.

The best way to gauge an adversary may be to talk with them. The administration would do well to follow to the Saudis’ lead.

Instead, as Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who visited Syria last month to talk with President Bashar Assad, told the Council on Foreign Relations, “The administration has adopted the approach of an ostrich. And make no mistake. It is not working.”

January 31st, 2007, 9:37 pm


Innocent_Criminal said:


I will answer your question here and will keep it short and simple. Syria is the only state (note the word state not party) that is an ally to Iran. all other countries in the region are either incorporative or down right hostile to Iran. Now that doesn’t mean they are good and Iran is evil. It’s just a conflict of interests (May it be theirs or their masters). So once Syria’s strategic interest are met or compensated then they can exert pressure on their Persian allies to reform their attitude otherwise they will lose their only Arab ally. And this is where many here in the forum and in the international community might sight as Washington’s failure. I on the other hand am even more pessimistic. I believe the US and their allies are intent on being hostile and are NOT looking for a peaceful solution out this conflict.

January 31st, 2007, 9:39 pm


Bilal Nawaf said:

The thing that I cannot understand that all donations to Lebanon has to be given to the official government of Lebanon. How would Hassan Neserallah feel if the Saudi donation of 1.1 Billion was given to Saad Hariri and the 650 Million donated by France was given to Walid Jumblat and the 770 Million donated by the US to Samir Jaeja? why is Iran paying Neserallah and what is the return? We all know that nothing come free as we can see what Neserallah is doing to Lebanon.

January 31st, 2007, 10:34 pm


Gibran said:

Nasrallah only brought the sectarian subject in his speech because he is literally politically bankrupt. The man is finished and that’s all he can talk about. It is more like a monologue than a real speech substantiated by facts.

Anton Effendi has perhaps written the most accurate analysis of Nasrallah’s speech, herein reproduced courtesy of Anton:

Target: UNIFIL and the Tribunal
As per my previous post, Hezbollah has once again affirmed its (and Syria’s and Iran’s) targets: UNIFIL (and UNR 1701) and the tribunal.

The other day (1/29), I spotted this (my translation) in L’Orient-Le Jour (link expired):

According to the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc [Mohammad Raad], what is taking place today on the local scene is the conflict between two projects: the first, that of the opposition, seeks to preserve the country’s unity and independence. The second, that of the majority, wants to place Lebanon under foreign suzerainty. According to M. Raad, the instruments used by the proponents of the second projects are the disarmament of Hezbollah and the international tribunal, knowing full well that this tribunal will not uncover the assassins of Rafik Hariri. That is why, he said, we posed questions about the implication of the parties who are pushing for the international tribunal into this assassination.

Hezbollah, as had been noted by Bill Harris, has intentionally entangled the tribunal with the controversy over its armed state within the state, with all the sectarian implications of this.

If Hezbollah persists with this agenda, the repercussions on communal relations, as I noted in my previous post, will be disastrous.

Intimately tied to Hezbollah’s state within a state and its determination never to give up its weapons, or the idea of an open front in the south, is the matter of UNR 1701 and the UNIFIL.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Nasrallah and Hezbollah (echoing Syrian officials) have been sending consistent threats against UNIFIL. Nasrallah’s recent reference to the “multi-national forces” was an ominous hint at 1983 (first made by Walid Moallem. I was also told by an EU official of direct Syrian threats to the French).

But it probably won’t be done openly by Hezbollah. It would be done indirectly. Nasrallah recently gave a hint in an interview with the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa (1/15. Emphasis added):

Q: Deputy Sec. Gen. Sheikh Naim Qassem warned the UNIFIL against spying on Hezbollah in the south. Does this reflect your fears of additional tasks for the UNIFIL after the French reconnaissance planes were brought up? Moreover, what is the likelihood of a renewed Israeli aggression and under what circumstances?

A: … Of course the Sheikh wanted to send an open warning message so that it’s understood that this issue is known to us and it’s serious, and because there are popular remarks in the south, for what Hezbollah knows could be kept low profile and raised with the particular countries. But the people of the south observe and follow and see the movement of some of these forces which arouse suspicion or distrust. We also don’t want people to do uncalculated or unstudied acts to express their objection or rage against some of these movements by some of the forces, and not all the forces of UNIFIL. We’re working on dealing with this matter with the governments of these countries.

Certainly, some of these forces have overstepped all limits of responsibility. For example, they don’t have the right to enter a village and raid houses and search them. This is not the mandate of the UNIFIL, but some forces in UNIFIL have done this, once or twice. We raised these remarks with the government of these forces.

Now, for example, talk of French reconnaissance planes, which are said to be making flights, and this idea was proposed as an alternative to Israeli reconnaissance flights, this is a laughable and silly matter. It’s as if they’re telling the Israelis: “the information you need, and the pictures and films and visuals, we will offer them to you, so don’t bother.” In reality, we didn’t raise this issue in the media. We called the French embassy in Beirut and asked them, is this serious? Does France really want to do this? If it is serious, then this is a dangerous matter, and it will have dangerous repercussions. It would mean that the UNIFIL forces will become a spying airforce for Israel. They promised us to carry this to their government. A few days after our contacts, the French Foreign Ministry issued a statement denying France’s intention to use reconnaissance planes. But after a few days we heard this possibility on the lips of the French Defense Minister. At any rate, this issue has not been settled. And in any case, we say that the UNIFIL must abide by the set missions and not go beyond these missions at all. When these missions are transgressed, we seek to handle them through direct contacts. We do these contacts and also ask the leadership of the Lebanese Army and the concerned officials to do these contacts in order to end these violations.

We certainly don’t want any tension in the relation between Hezbollah, and the resistance in the south, and the UNIFIL forces. We seek the best relation. But at the same time, we are cautious that the UNIFIL act only within its pre-determined mandate.

The implicit threat is clear (the bizarre incident with the Spanish troops, immediately after the Nasrallah interview, and the spin it received in the pro-Syrian, pro-Hezbollah media, may have been related to this). But Nasrallah may have set the stage for potential attacks in his Ashoura speech on Tuesday. Mohammad Salam explains:

However, after saying it is “no secret” that Hizbullah fighters are no more in the confrontation zone of south Lebanon, Nasrallah made a call for the creation of a “sole” multi-faction national resistance movement to liberate the Shabaa Farms.

Nasrallah even went as far as saying that “whoever has been banned from liberating (the Farms) should step forward to liberate (the area) and we’ll be with him.”

The key note in this National Resistance call by Nasrallah is “we’ll be with him.”

So Nasrallah wants Hizbullah, which did not even allow the regular Lebanese army into south Lebanon during its monopoly era, to return to the confrontation zone with Israel, but this time with “partners” under the banner of a “national” resistance movement.

The next move would, almost certainly, be a declaration forming this “national” resistance outfit, which would group Syrian-backed factions that form Lebanon’s opposition.

The Arab Socialist Baath Party, Lebanon’s chapter of Syria’s regime, is expected to be part of the new resistance along with the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP) and Osama Saad’s Popular Nasserite Organization.

I would also add Fathi Yakan’s people. It may also be that Nasrallah still thinks he can sell this to the Sunnis, in an attempt to split them, maybe by appealing to the Jama’a Islamiya (which Hezbollah had tried to cajole but failed to get them to align with them). In other words, now that Hezbollah’s standing with the Sunnis is in the sewer, it may want to revive the strategy of the 90s, which was designed, and is being used today (and failing miserably), to sell Iran to the Sunnis, by presenting Hezbollah (and by extension Iran) as patrons of the Palestinian cause, and thus, true Arabists. Now that Hezbollah’s explicit Khomeinism is strongly back in the spotlight, it might want to recreate that fig leaf (whether it can work is an entirely different question, and it will not. That ship has sailed). The other possibility is that this is designed to counter the attack by Tufayli.

But what this means is that Nasrallah (and Syria and Iran) could be setting up front organizations (which of course they’ll try to sell as being “national”) through which they could return to action in the south, and more specifically, target the UNIFIL. As Salam put it:

First they would have to cross the 23-kilometer deep buffer south of the Litani river patrolled by the Lebanese army and troops of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Geographically, Nasrallah’s “liberation” road to Shabaa Farms goes through UNIFIL’s area of operations. This is a fact.

Was Nasrallah setting the stage for a “national” war on UNIFIL?

It could be argued that in many ways, this is a sign of weakness on the part of Hezbollah, which has hit a brick wall, and has had a “meltdown” in recent months, as Michael Young put it. But it’s also a very dangerous proposition if Salam’s analysis is accurate — and given the consistent threats, and Syria’s and Iran’s intent on doing away with UNR 1701, it’s well within reason.

Both strategies will be disastrous for Lebanon, and, as I said, for communal relations, which Hezbollah has already strained to the limit.

February 1st, 2007, 1:07 am


TAJUDDIN ABUJAWAD, Kuala Lumpur said:

Bilal Nawaf, the world known that only Islamic Republic of Iran come foward on the stage of Muslim World in donating and supporting oppressed Muslims in Occupied Palestine and the legal sovereinty of Hamas government in the democratic process. Most of Arab governments are remort control from Washington because without US support they are thrown in trash of history whom govern their countries without the democratic process of the Modern World. Who ia the behind of Fouad Sayonara illegal goverment. Without the US this cabinet will doom to perish in a matter of time.

February 1st, 2007, 1:09 am


Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh posts quotes from his favorite “freedom fighter”:

“Nasrallah: “No Plan for Sunni Conversions””

Of course my silly little response is why bother with conversions? Demographically, the Christians have been leaving the war-torn areas of Lebanon and Palestine for years.

Not everyone wants to be a martyr for these madmen.

February 1st, 2007, 1:46 am


Bilal Nawaf said:

TAJUDDIN ABUJAWAD, Iran is NOT supporting Lebanon. If it want to donate it HAS to donate to the government. Nasrallah is using Iranian money to finance his nonsense 2 months old stand off in downtown Beirut. Is this how the money should be spent? they estimate the daily cost of several Millions. Who said & why Saniora government is illegal. If Nasrallah say so it does not mean so. the base they are using for the illegality of his government is that all Shiites left. This does not mean that the government is illegal. Their argument is so weak & unconstitutional. If they had a case you would have seen Lahoud working on appointing a new PM but we all know, Nasrallah included, that Saniora government is as legal as it was a year ago or as any other government. To be fair, these aids that came from Paris III should be spent on project to support all of Lebanon except the areas of Nasrallah since he is not sharing with the other Lebanese what he is getting.
Anyway, it was proven without any doubt that Nasrallah is just a tool in Bashar’s hand. Can you tell me what the July war and what is going on since 2 months is doing to Lebanon? It has cost the country more than 5 Billions, killed tourism and the economy and further dividing the population and for what? To protect Bashar from the tribunal. Nasrallah is paying a very high price for such actions. He has lost a major part of his follower in the Arab World. I am sorry to lose him as I was one of his strongest supporters until I realized that he is just another politician that obey orders.
It is unfortunate to lose such a hero and for what?

February 1st, 2007, 2:41 am


ausamaa said:

Advice to Arab Leaders when Defeatism turnes WHITE into BLACK:

DO not WIN wars against Israel, else, you will suffer the consequences of such victories at the hands of your OWN PEOPLE, not at the hands of Israel, your enemy.

Funny times….

February 1st, 2007, 10:40 am


Akbar Palace said:

Ausamma –

What victory are you referring to?

Israel is still there.

If you want my advice, focus on fixing you own home instead of trying to erradicate someone else’s.

February 1st, 2007, 11:49 am


ashami said:

nasrallah is the hand of the iranian regime in lebanon ,as servant of his iranian master ,it’s normal for him to speak like that and to act as the evil’s advocate in the name of this relation.

February 1st, 2007, 12:58 pm


simohurtta said:

If you want my advice, focus on fixing you own home instead of trying to erradicate someone else’s.

If you want my advice Akbar, focus on fixing on your “races” religious “base” instead of eradicating the native Palestinians, who lived there for thousands of years. You could Abkrar also focus on your tribes misbehaviour instead of giving fanciful reasons for land grabbing and aggressions. Help in making your tribes Apartheid state to a normal democratic country.

What victory are you referring to?

Even if extreme Jews do not accept the past summers battle as a victory to Hizbollah, most of the Israelis and the world see it so. Actually Israel’s military performance after the sneak attack victories in 1956 and 1967 has not been very successful. Ruling occupied areas in SS style seems not increasing IDF’s fighting skills. Fighting against trained men is more difficult than beating women and shooting children.

February 1st, 2007, 1:17 pm


ausamaa said:

“What Victory ..?”

A Damnend Good Question!

Ask Dan Halutz, maybe he can shed light on the subject. Or ask the two Israeli POWs (in whose name Israel claimed to have fought the war) who are in still in Hizbullah’s hand.

The Victory that practically ruined the whole plan for the Greater Middle or the New Middle East or Clean Break or whatever the neocon gameplane is called. Actually, the victory that transformed the IDF from a regional Super Power to a mere another Middle Eastern Army. It now talks like one and acts like one. The Middle East is contagious..

February 1st, 2007, 2:52 pm



Bilal Nawaf, The problems of Middle East are The Corrupted Leaders and they are in the pocket of Washington. It is up to Hezbollah to use the money coz Iran donate the money to them. Do you think Saudi, Egypt and Jordan want to donate to Hezbollah? Of course not coz they take orders from Washington. Washington legally to protect Tel Aviv coz Zionist is command Washington. Who is backing Saniyora cabinet? CondiBush and the gang is backing Saniyora coz she takes command from Tel Aviv. So by the command of Tel Aviv, Washington cannot stop Tel Aviv from the war UNTIL ON THE LAST DAY OF WAR AT WHICH ZIONIST WAS POURING SOUTHERN LEBANON WITH CLUSTER BOMS MADE IN USA… The command was to eliminate Hezbollah. With the blessings from Almighty, Hezbollah won the war with the higher price and Arab Oppressed Lebanese can stand tall on the stage of Arab World. The history told us that Arab had been humiliated by Zionizt in 1967 war. I SALUTE TO NASRALLAH !

February 1st, 2007, 4:24 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Simhourtta said:

“If you want my advice Akbar, focus on fixing on your “races” religious “base” instead of eradicating the native Palestinians, who lived there for thousands of years.”

Not sure what you mean. No one is “eradicating” Palestinians; their population is only increasing.

Although, it would be nice if they stopped terrorizing Israelis and their own political opponents. But, I guess, that’s asking for too much..

The “Apartheid State” is a terrible place for Arabs, I know. The Knesset doesn’t pay as well as private enterprise, and the new Arab cabinet member won’t be able to take Katyushas into cabinet meetings. It’s all so degrading.

My race and religion is fine, thank you.

“Even if extreme Jews do not accept the past summers battle as a victory to Hizbollah, most of the Israelis and the world see it so.”

Yes, the Israelis have high standards. If they don’t crush the aggressor like they did in ’67, in a few weeks time, they consider it a loss.

I think extreme Jews (those that believe in self-defence) shouldn’t be so hard on themselves.

Meantime, victory in the mind of some Arab leaders is quite different. Our hero Saddam Hussein was claiming victory before and after the “Mother of All Battles” (after being kicked out of Kuwait), Arafat was waving his “Victory Sign” while being evacuated from Beirut, and now Hassan and his Hezbollah thugs are “telling” the poor, battered Lebanese people that 1200 dead and $7 to $15 billion dollars of damage is a victory.

Imagine that.

Who knows, Hassan may try for another such “victory”. I hope his hiding place is as good as his first.

February 1st, 2007, 5:24 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

if USA and Isreal,both or either ,attack iranian facilities,is it wrong to blame Iran,if Iran retaliates by attacking Isreal,directly,or through HA?

February 1st, 2007, 10:22 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Majedkhaldoun asks:

“if USA and Isreal,both or either ,attack iranian facilities,is it wrong to blame Iran,if Iran retaliates by attacking Isreal,directly,or through HA?”

Why bother with hypotheticals?

Is it wrong to blame Iran, if Iran attacks Israel, directly, or through HA like they have been now?

February 1st, 2007, 10:54 pm


ugarit said:

AP said: “Is it wrong to blame Iran, if Iran attacks Israel, directly, or through HA like they have been now?”

Wrong. HA is attacking Israel because Israel has been attacking Lebanon for decades. Remember that HA did not exist until the last “official” invasion of Lebanon by Israel.

February 1st, 2007, 11:08 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

when did Iran attack Isreal? are you going to say things that are untrue ,then believe yourself,are you again fabricating history,again deceiving, do you by think that saying things that are untrue, do you think that anyone would believe you,you need to be honest,what you did is not honest.

February 1st, 2007, 11:22 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“when did Iran attack Isreal?”


You yourself said:

“…is it wrong to blame Iran,if Iran retaliates by attacking Isreal,directly,OR THROUGH HA?”

Who is HA? Hezbollah?

And yes, Hezbollah has been attacking Israel already, w/o “USA and Isreal,both or either ,attack iranian facilities”.

February 2nd, 2007, 3:41 am


Akbar Palace said:

Ugarit said:

“HA is attacking Israel because Israel has been attacking Lebanon for decades.”

Really? After Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, where has Israel attacked Lebanon?

February 2nd, 2007, 3:49 am


ghassan said:

I don’t understand how does Hizballah claim victory. If we compare numbers, Israel lost about 146 people vs. about 1300 Lebanese. Israel destroyed thousands of buildings, HA destroyed handful of buildings. Cost of destruction in Lebanon about $6 billions, in Israel about $500 millions. By the way, Israel has 2 or 3 additional HA prisoners.

February 2nd, 2007, 5:05 am


Zenobia said:

The ‘victory’ for Hezboallah… NOT in numbers or dollars….it is political. It was a political victory and a media victory and popularity victory.

February 2nd, 2007, 7:54 am


Akbar Palace said:

“It was a political victory and a media victory and popularity victory.”


I hope you’re enjoying your “victory”. How will you be celebrating?

February 2nd, 2007, 11:36 am


Akbar Palace said:

I know this question departs a little from the Nasrallah conversion and the Lebenese Victory threads, but I was wondering who the forum supports in the latest fighting in Palestine? Hamas or Fatah?

“GAZA (Reuters) – Fighting between rival Palestinian factions escalated across the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing at least five people as Hamas seized key security buildings and fired mortar bombs and rockets at President Mahmoud Abbas’s offices.”

February 2nd, 2007, 11:55 am


majedkhaldoun said:

you said Iran attacked Isreal already,that is where you are wrong,this is fabrication, lies,if you say Iran supplied HA with weapons, so is russia weapons are reaching HA,do you say Russia attacked Isreal?,USA supply Isreal, do you say Us attack lebanon?your logic does not make sense.
Also HA did not attack Isreal,they kidnapped Isreali soldiers,now remember Isreal has Lebanese prisoners,for years, Isreal refused to hand them over,or release them,are you saying that Isreal has the right to kidnap lebanese, but HA has no right to do so?,HA did not attack Isreal first, Isreal attacked Lebanon and cause huge destructions,that appalled the whole world,Isreal is the criminal side.
Isreal aggression lasted more than a month, and accomplished none of Isreal Goals, popularity of Nassrallah is way up,even his opposition hailed him,this is where the victory, he is now great hero.

February 2nd, 2007, 1:09 pm


ausamaa said:

Every time I reply to Akbar Palace I feel sorry afterwards. He will not change his opinion neither will I. It wont work. He continues to get on the nerves of some of us and we continue to unpset him. We do not seem to have a common alephabet even, and I do not think this site is where we should atempt to enlighten him, or him us. Instead of reading to learn and know, he is diverting our attention from more relevant matters. And this not where one scores point against the other. It is just a useless exercise as I think Alex tried to point out once. So I am making a promise of not replying to him anymore so at least I will have a more productive visit to this site. I hope others will do the same.

February 2nd, 2007, 5:27 pm


Bilal Nawaf said:

TAJUDDIN ABUJAWAD, I do not know how you put an illusion in your head and then it become a fact. Seniora is much more independant in his decisions than your Hassan Nessrallah. No I do not expect any country to pay Nessrallah. I am surprised that the Iranian are and I told you it is not for free. We see what he is doing for them. As we all know that Nessrallah is no longer the Savior we were all waiting for. He proved himself to be a puppet for Iran & Syria against the interest of his own country. I will let you figure what it means.
Khameini has clearly said we will defeat the US in Lebanon. what kind of nonsense is this?

February 2nd, 2007, 10:27 pm


Alex said:


Indeed I believe Akbar started here with one mission … to prove to everyone here that we are anti semitic, but he later realize that Syrians are not.

Akbar, I hope you noted that we got all of Ahed’s comments removed. No one else made anti-jews remarks. Pro-terrorism maybe 🙂 but not anti jews.

But I have to say that your answer to my question last week was very posititve. You said that you approve more or less what Barak offered the Palestinians in 2000, which is less that what most of us here think is fair, but it is indeed a very reasonable position from you, since everyone has the impression that you are a “Zionist extremist”.

So, I agree with Ausamaa that is it a total waste of time and energy to keep trying to prove to the Syrians here that Arabs are not angels, and to get them to reply back with examples of Israeli violence …etc

Why not drop the old arguments and switch to giving the Israeli perspective on the news stories and opinions of the day? Since you are not that far from the center, we can really have much more pleasant and productive discussions.

February 2nd, 2007, 11:49 pm


Atassi said:

I don’t like “Zionist extremist”. So Tell AP to get lost…I Just despise Zionism.

February 3rd, 2007, 12:57 am


Gibran said:

I think your comments are needed more than ever on this blog in order to keep a balanced perspective about ME issues. Please keep posting otherwise it will all be Baathist propaganda nonsense. When will these Baathists realize they have no constituency whatsoever in the Middle East? Like Nasrallah, they have become accustomed to empty monologues where they keep digesting and re-digesting their irrelevance!

February 3rd, 2007, 1:46 am


norman said:

Let us put a question to AP , How do you solve the Midleast problem , what is the perfect solution that Israel will axcept and if you are an Arab will see fair , I am sure Alex and Ausama will give us their own vision then we can have a talk and find a midle ground.

February 3rd, 2007, 2:03 am


majedkhaldoun said:

any one who understand Islam, read Quran carefully ,will not convert from Sunni to shiite
for they say that Ali,is wali of God, in Quran,in suret al bakarah,#165, and in suret Zummer,#3,God refer to them that they will not come out of hell,even the prophet Muhammad is not wali of God, in Islam God has no son or daughter, has no equal or wali,the word wali means that he has super power,divine power,or protector of God,there is nowhere in Quran or hadith that say that Ali is wali of God,Also Ali was visited by people who said to him that they will say Ali is Wali of God, he got mad of them cursed them and kicked them out of his house and told them never to show in front of him ever again.

February 3rd, 2007, 4:26 am


Gibran said:

I agree with you. The Shia who are following Iran, such as Nasrallah and Co. (which also includes Bashar and Co.) will never come out of hell and for very obvious reasons aside from those you mentioned. Good try on your part I must say.

February 3rd, 2007, 5:09 am


habib said:

Futility is me…I’m addressing ideologues.

Gibran is pathologically Lebanese. Akbar is pathologically Hebrew. And for what. If Gibran understood Lebanese history, he would award himself a prize for adhering to a single viewpoint. If Akbar understood Israeli history, he would award himself a ribbon for adhering to a multifaceted viewpoint.

Hilarity is delusion. Lebanon will never be united and free of foreign influence, because its parts are foreign and separate by nature. Israel will never be all accepting because it rests on the basis of a uniquely Jewish state. These realities are Antithetical sirs and madams.

You are a polarized few fashioned on nationalism. If Arabism does not exist then by definition Judaic nationalism, and Lebanese identity are without worth.

Ah yes, no peace with Syria. Think of no peace with Lebanon and Israel. Extend your reach. A scholar is able to fashion thought from both or many viewpoints.

Delusion is you. Chew on that.

February 3rd, 2007, 6:16 am


habib said:

p.s. any thoughts below mine in number are effectively “lower” in intellectual worth.

February 3rd, 2007, 6:19 am


ausamaa said:

Norman, that is a nice question: How do you solve the Middle East proble?

The answer is simple, the way to go about it is a different matter! The TRUE answer, and let us not kid ourselves, will have to address the simple question: Does Israel want, and is it capable and allowed by the West to exist in the area as a peaceful entity?? The reason I am saying this, is my beliefe that Israel was PLACED here to serve Western Intersts in the area. No more, no less. And let us not think that the powers that might be supported the creation of Israel for the sake of the poor Jews only. This is rubbish (a very good fresh example is the current refusal by the Bush administration to permit the Israelies of talking to the willing Syrians). Those intersts coeincided with the Intersts of the Zionist movement; and there you are, Israel was created. Intended by the powers that helped its creation to be a tool in their designs. At the expense of both Jews and Arabs, whome I should add, lived fine for hundreds of years before then.

Fine, Israel is here now. Five million people live in ocupied Palestine or Israel. They are human beings that are now part of the picture, and any just solution can not overlook that fact. Same as any just solution can overlook the need to remedy the injustice that was done to the Arabs. So what do we do.

So,we go back to the basics. We look at the actors behind the creation of Israel: The West and the Zionist movement.Would the West really accept such a solution? And would the Zionists acept to a solution that will preserve Israel as a nation that will live in peace in the area?
And we also look at the other side. The Arabs and the Palestinans in particular. Would they forget and forgive and really accept to live in peace with Israel?

As an Arab, I say yes. As an Arab, I really believe that we are ready for that. Now we can argue the Arab’s intention for years to come, but let us accept for the moment that the Arabs including the Palestinans do accept to live in peace with Israel, and that Israel is willing, eager and capable of making that choice, so what do we do?

We move to the second step, and we attempt to address this issue with the hope of “really” reaching a solution to it. So, one would start by “accepting and agreeing” to the principle that Arabs and Israelies are willing to live peacefully in the area within secure borders within a framework of a just and comprehensive settlement.

What does the Arabs really want? Peace, an “aceptable degree” of justice, and assurance of security in the future.

What does Israel really want? One assumes peace, security and the most land it can get without the risk of being floded by returning Palestinans.

Can the Arabs deliver what Israel want. I think so. Withdrawl to the 1967 boarders (and this a crucial Issue), and a “fair” solution to the displaced Palestinians. “Fair”, mind you, not “just”.

Can Israel deliver???

I hope so, knowing that dreams die hard, and Geoploitical interests do not. Once you are in the game, it is hard to get out. And nobody would go out of his way to help little poor Israel.What is in it for them?

Unless. Unless the Israelies decide to do that. Actually, they seem to be trying. Faced with fact that you either opt for a real peace, or seriously risk the disintegration of the satat at some point in the future, I think a good segment of the Israeli elite seem to know and understand the situation.

How fast can this segment grow is a matter of guess work at this point.

that is a simple way of addressing how this conflict can end peacefully. The mechanics involved are actually ones of “redemption”, rather than “negotiations”, where one goes to the table with an open mind and heart, and not with a list of demands and an opportunistic negotiation agenda.

But do we really think that whoever created the problem, have an interst in solving it now??

I really do not think so. What I know is that Jews and Arabs are forced into paying the price. Eventually, the Arabs can absorb such a price, but can Israel? And apparently, they will continue to, untill they decide to say: enough is enouhg.

February 3rd, 2007, 8:58 am


youngSyria said:

some Israelis would argue that Arabs want peace for now, but the real intention is to have a “beak” for a while till they are able to confront
Israel effectively. so, that will not secure Israel existence, actually it would make it even shorter.

For the people who believe in the mentioned above, some of them don’t what peace at all, and some others want much-less-compromising-peace for relatively the same reason as the Arabs.

I think if A just peace is reached -as mentioned by ausamaa-, Arabs (and even Israelis) will be released from the deadlock. radicals from both sides will wake up in new reality, where the other side is no more your enemy to some degree. establishing economic and cultural connections would enhance the openness to the other side.

not forgetting that a comprehensive peace deal will change the political situation in the region. people mind set would change and they will no longer see there rulers from the same prospective, they will not see there lifes from the same, regimes in the region will react to this major social change, either they collapse like eastern Europe regimes or they adopt easier more successful form of dictatorship like some regimes in south-Asia.

With the deadlock solved ,economic and cultural cooperation and the political alternation , a higher standard of living is expected due to a much higher(faster) development rate to both institutes and people.

this will result in a middle-eastern who looks to the future with a much positive attitude, a person who is looking to future not the past, a person who hope to enhance his life , a person who wants to build not to destroy. that person would want to cooperate with the other side for his benefit. that person would look at Israel as a place that adds to him , he wouldn’t want to “wipe” that useful thing in his life.

so the politicians will reflect the average Arab(and Israelis) way of thinking and trust will emerge from both sides.

February 3rd, 2007, 12:11 pm


ausamaa said:

Radicals and what have you will always be there on both sides. Same as they are every where else. So are the spoilers.

What we should worry about is the main stream public opinion and the powers that are there.

February 3rd, 2007, 1:00 pm


Gibran said:

Habib looked into his crystal ball and saw disunity for Lebanon, continued foreign influence and prophesied it is composed of foreign and separate parts. The ball also foretold him with no Arabism (read Baathism) people of the Middle East are doomed, and without peace with his despotic Syria, then forget about peace between other parties (Lebanon and Israel in this case). His magic ball finally made him see himself with higher intellectual grounds based on sheer numbers!

To that, we can only say even astrology is a state controlled ‘enterprise’ in despotic, Baathist, Alawi Syria!

And just as a P.S.
We did promise you that we will bring all those Syrians who were responsible for crimes of political assassinations in Lebanon all the way to highest chain in front of the International Tribunal. We will keep the promise and drag the criminals from their noses despite our being few in number.

February 3rd, 2007, 3:53 pm


habib said:

Gibran, you can’t engage in chanting Lebanese slogans and be angered that others also sing with Syria. Can’t you sense this hypocrisy?

And on the Tribunal, how about you bring all foreign actors to bear for political assassinations over the years too. A knife cuts both ways.

I wonder if you’re getting what I’m saying…that if you follow a narrow viewpoint to a natural conclusion then you in essence prop up those ideas diametrically opposed.

February 3rd, 2007, 4:36 pm


Gibran said:

Habib says others are singing with Syria1 Surely you must have been in a state halucinating delusion when you came up with this. That’s indeed hilarious! But hilarity and delusion mean the same thing to you. Don’t they? Hope, you start working on your linguistic comprehension. Or else why don’t you stick to your outdated Baathist slogans and stop lecturing on what is clearly above your ability to do so?

February 3rd, 2007, 9:06 pm


habib said:

I can’t reason with you anymore. Have fun ripping the kool aid, you a bitter syncophant. You want me to be a Baathist, because these are the only people you know how to spew off to. It’s just like Akbar repeatedly referring to Syrians as terrorists. You can’t psychologically explore the reasons for your own indoctrination. Yalla, school is over for today. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you ‘shi nukte helwe’. I have a salty one about true justice for the martyrs.

February 3rd, 2007, 11:06 pm


simohurtta said:

To ausamaa’s thoughts about Israel.

The Holocaust in Europe offered a rare window of opportunity in history to create Israel. The Jews had a will to move to Palestine and fight for it. Without the Holocaust few Jews would have been ready to move or even fever would have been ready to fight for it. In that way Europe created Israel and let the its founding happen.

USA’s governments were in the beginning of Israel not so happy with it and its half socialist system and ideology. Only when in the 60’s several Arab countries slipped in the “Soviet camp”, USA began to use Israel as a tool to demolish Arab nationalism (= get back control of natural resources).

Since 1967 war Israel has been a useful tool in USA’s divide and rule “game”. They even call Israel their solid aircraft carrier in Middle East.

Europe (- GB)is not very happy with this “solid aircraft carrier” loaded with nukes and an extreme violent policy. Israel is presently the biggest source of instability and danger on EU’s borders.
It was no accident that Europe wanted to build a barrier between Israel and Lebanon with UN troops and put their spy ships on Israel’s coastal borders.

Israel on its behalf has been able to create based on USA’s support a political influence of that equal to normally to countries with over one hundred million people. Israel’s economical core is now based on the waters of occupied areas and the fast growing military block. Basically Israel needs “war” to keep to present living standard and economical trend on. Israel without “war” would soon be politically and economically as “interesting” as Finland. A small rather wealthy high tech country with a little over 5 million people. The big question is how long Israel’s citizens psyche can keep up and the world’s public opinion can tolerate its ever worsening Apartheid policy and ethnic cleansing.

So long Arab countries stay divided and politically passive, the obvious attempt to Balkanize Middle East in smaller countries might succeed. On the other hand a nuclear free Middle East with Israel having a bigger nuclear arsenal than China is a military and political “utopia”. No matter of which kind of regime there is in the big Arab, Turkish and Persian nations they have eventually to take countermeasures.

The best option would be to give Israel, with 1967 borders and no nukes, solid defence guaranties by Arab Nations, EU, USA, Nato etc. The only problem with this only rational solution is, that Israel doesn’t want to loose it aircraft carrier status and USA need this carrier in their global games.

Ausamaa I would not use the word “West”. Most of Europe’s countries are not happy with the present trend and only few western nations support US policy in Middle East and “like” that Israel to which it has developed. EU wants and needs a politically stable Middle East without a loose cannon constanly creating problems on our borders.
EU needs to do business with ME in compensation for oil and gas.

February 3rd, 2007, 11:10 pm


Charles G. Coutinho, Ph. D. said:

Well, well, well: I can see, that after almost a week’s absence, that all is as the Russians would say: ‘normalna’. The same old arguments between pretty much the same antagonists. Nominally of course, when Professor Landis is kind enough to post another article, the comment section will very temporarily discuss the same, but, will then very quickly revert to the old subject matters which individuals x y and z always discuss. Rather sad really.

Nota Bene: some intellectual street cleaning: contra to Mr. ‘Simohurtta’, there is absolutely no evidence that the Palestinians (read Arab speakers) have been living in the Levant for ‘thousands of years’. As per two of the best historians on the subject (Fergis Millar and Maurice Sartre) there is no evidence in either the Roman or early Byzantine period of Arab speakers in the Levant and its coastline proper.
Which is not to legitimize the Zionist project in any way. It just means that one should try, particular on a journal site, put out by such a distinguished historian as Professor Landis, to keep to historical accuracy as much as possible.

Finally, being too modest himself to mention it, Professor Landis has just recently co-authored, in CSIS’ house journal, the Washington Quarterly an article titled: “The Syrian Opposition”. In it, Professor Landis, argues that notwithstanding the negative aftershocks of the Iraqi and Lebanese debacle on the Syrian oppositional forces vis-`a-vis the Baathist regime, in the last few years, that: “Although the Syrian opposition is still no match for the Syrian government, it has made a number of advances over the last two years”. Which is a rather hopeful and optimistic assessment by the bye. Which all I think can endorse. The hope being that organic change, within Arab societies, are the only hope for positive development and change. And, not American, neo-conservative (with more than a soupcon of Israeli-Zionist objectives thrown in…) project of ‘regime change’, `a la Iraq, has not worked and will not work. Pur et simple.

February 3rd, 2007, 11:36 pm


annie said:

I totally agree with Aussama when he says about el Katan, afwan el Akbar
“Instead of reading to learn and know, he is diverting our attention from more relevant matters.”
That is why I do not read him.
His maussad mission is to un-focus us from the purpose of this blog.

February 4th, 2007, 12:45 am


Akbar Palace said:

“His maussad mission is to un-focus us from the purpose of this blog.”

Annie –

And what do you think the purpose of this blog is?

Atassi said to Alex –

“I don’t like “Zionist extremist”. So Tell AP to get lost…I Just despise Zionism.”


I’ll leave when Professor Josh says so (isn’t it his blog?).

Meanwhile, tell us more about Zionist extremists. When is the last time a Zionist extremist brought down 2 skyscrapers and 4 commercial airliners? When is the last time a Zionist extremist killed 200 rail passengers in Madrid? When is the last time a Zionist extremist killed 57 Brits in broad daylight? And when is the last time Zionist extremists continue killing their own countrymen everyday for the past 3 years as in Baghdad?

You “despise Zionism”? Good for you! You win the al-Queda award.

Gibran said:

I think your comments are needed more than ever on this blog in order to keep a balanced perspective about ME issues. Please keep posting otherwise it will all be Baathist propaganda nonsense.”

Thanks and shukran. I do have the impression the owners of this forum have a certain slant, nevertheless, I think those living in the ME deserve better. Years of violence, I think, does make people feel hopeless.

Norman said:

“Let us put a question to AP , How do you solve the Midleast problem , what is the perfect solution that Israel will axcept and if you are an Arab will see fair , I am sure Alex and Ausama will give us their own vision then we can have a talk and find a midle ground.”

Firstly, in order to solve the ME problem, each country needs a Constitution and real elections.

Secondly, the ME needs to get rid of the old leaders and thugs and let the people rule.

The perfect solution (for Israel) does not exist. There are no more Sadats. And there are no more Sinais. There are only sharks, snakes, and rats (figuratively speaking). Whatever Israel decides to do will depend a lot on the actions of her neighbors.

Charles G. Coutinho, Ph. D. (don’t forget the “PhD”) said (and spoken like a true university academic)::

“Which is not to legitimize the Zionist project in any way.”

Why would a self-professed academic want to “legitimize the Zionist Project”? It might cost him his tenure! q:op (What a sorry excuse for a Phd.)

Ausamma said:

“…he is diverting our attention from more relevant matters.”

Let’s see. Here are some relevant matters in order of importance:

1.) Keeping Assad in Power.

2.) Keeping Nasrallah in Power.

3.) Keeping Hamas in Power.

4.) Keeping Abbas in Power.

5.) Keeping Ahmadinejad in Power.

6.) Keeping Sinoria in Power.

7.) Keeping Mubarak in Power.

8.) Destroying the Zionist Project.

9.) Supporting the Palestinian “resistance”.

10.) Finding work.

February 4th, 2007, 4:04 am


majedkhaldoun said:

I agree with AP that old leaders and thugs has to go,we get rid of Sharon, next is OLmert ,natanyaho and akbar palace,also Gibran.

February 4th, 2007, 5:02 am


qunfuz said:

Mr Charles

What you say about the Palestinians is like saying there were no Syrians in Syria in Roman times, because the people then didnt speak Arabic. Arabic gradually became the dominant language after the arrival of Islam. Although there was immigration of southern tribes and intermarriage with them, the population of Syria and Palestine did not change significantly. It remained the same Semitic (canaananite/ Aramaic/ Phoenician) base that it had been for THOUSANDS OF YEARS. Anyway, it’s strange to see someone who thinks Iran and Persia are identical worrying about historical accuracy.

February 4th, 2007, 5:04 am


ashami said:

Dr Landis thank you for your concern for syria but most of the time your blog is more pro asad regime than pro syria,as you know,the interest of the syrian people are exactly the opposite of the asad family,so it will be more useful to speak more about Syria as people and culture instead of being an advocate for the mukhabarati mafia state.As you are a specialist of pre baath Syria ,you know that Syria deserve better;this regime has perverted Syria.

February 4th, 2007, 2:06 pm


ausamaa said:

Dear Simohurta,

You are right in what you say. However I just would like to point out that the Holocaust has definitely played a role in the creation of Israel, yet we should not overestimate the effect of Holocaust. The foundation of the Israeli State was laid down long before that. By the start of WW2, Palestine was already feeling the effect of the massive waves of Jewish immigration. Actually the biggest burst happened during the Great Depression in the US, when immigration to the US was restricted on account of the high rate of employment in the States. In other words, Jewish immigrants did not come to Israel because of the Holocaust; no sir, the vast majority was already there by then.

As to your comment about my using the word the “West” in general, you are right. It was an unintended crude generalization on my part.

February 4th, 2007, 7:10 pm


Joshua said:

Dear Ausamaa, The Holocaust, narrowly defined, was not the beginning of major Jewish migration to Palestine, but it was the rise of Nazism in Germany. Here are the immigration figures of Jews to Palestine in the inter-war years.

The depression did not send many Jews to Palestine – on the contrary, it is argued that at one point more Jews were leaving Palestine than going there because to the terrible consequences of the depression on the local economy. But when Hitler came to power in 1933, Jews began to leave Germany in large numbers. Because of the depression, most other countries had established very restrictive immigration laws, such as the US, leaving the Jews fleeing Germany with few easy options other than taking refuge in Palestine. Not until the 1939 White Paper did British authorities in Palestine begin to seriously clamp down on Jews coming into Palestine. A clamp down that was only reversed after the war due to pressure from President Truman, who campaigned for reversing British immigration policy and allowing the free flow of Jewish refugees from Europe into Palestine. This pressure led directly to Britain turning over its Mandate to the UN. Here are the numbers:

1927 3,034
1928 2,178
1929 5,249
1930 4,944
1931 4,075
1932 12,533
1933 37,337
1934 45,267
1935 66,472
1936 29,595
1937 10,629
1938 14,675
1939 31,195
1940 10,643
1941 4,592

February 4th, 2007, 8:32 pm


seeking the truth said:

To Charles Coutinho,

Do you mean to say that there’s no part of the present Arabic speaking populace, who is descendant of those who lived in the Levant a couple of thousands of years ago?

February 4th, 2007, 8:49 pm


norman said:

Well said Ausama , To the point.

February 5th, 2007, 1:51 am


will said:

Why Iran want to waste it money on converting lousy people like the Arabs; every body knows that they [Arabs] are, like their Semite cousins, aren’t trustworthy, cowards and can’t liberate jack without a foreign power like the US or other great power, let alone sustaining a stable state.

They would invested on converting Armenians, Russians or even Turks as they are much useful.

September 30th, 2007, 10:06 am


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