Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Another wrinkle to Israel's Gaza withdrawal

Tony at Across the Bay is a Ph.D candidate in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with focus on Semitic Linguistics, Ancient Levantine history, religion, and ethnicity studies.
Sunday's post points to some seemingly bright spots in the relationship between the post-Syrian Lebanese government and the Palestinian Authority.

From the Palestinian Authority point of view, it makes sense to locate Palestinian forces on what will become Palestinian soil, instead of camping out in Lebanon, which is no longer under the Syrian domination as it was before the "Cedar Revolution."
This is a fairly long piece, heavy with content not be ingested easily by the casual reader. But if you go slow, pay attention and follow the links as you read, you will come to the end very impressed.

General Michel Aoun of Lebanon has his hands full with Lebanese issues without getting into a pissing contest between Israel and the Palestinians.

The complexities of politics always intrigues me. In this case I think we are witnessing a cascade of events set in motion by the death of Yasser Arafat. If that is so, I marvel at how powerful one individual can be just by breathing. And how quickly that power evaporates when the breathing stops.

Aoun went on to say that "a serious dialogue with Hizbullah necessitates that they clarify some ambiguities regarding thier positions on the resistance. What are the resistance's ultimate goals, and how long will it go on? What interests me more than the elimination of Israel is the preservation of Lebanon. The current approach will lead to the elimination of Lebanon before Israel."

How better to say "take your fight somewhere else?

And as an aside..

...back to the Palestinians, the Haaretz story noted what I've seen repeated in various papers about the possibility of opening a Palestinian embassy in Lebanon. This will be a good move and will continue to normalize relations between Lebanon and the Palestinians, and help take that relationship away from the grip of Hizbullah (now that the Syrians are gone). It might also put more pressure on the Syrians to exchange embassies with Lebanon, something which they have refused to consider.

This piece is rich with detail. And it isn't all dry. The following is really funny if you have done your homework.

Addendum 2: Here's the funniest soundbyte from Lebanon's unrivaled joker, and Lahoud court jester, Karim Pakradouni:

We maintain that there is one occupation and one resistance. The occupation is Israel's occupation of Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. And there is one resistance in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. We consider resistance to be legitimate, in all its forms.

Rock on, Karim, with your crazy self.

1 comment:

Hoots said...

Note from another location for review later:
Martin Kramer on the Middle East
Judith Weiss reference to Kramer
June 2004 Martin Kramer alerts us to Across the Bay, a new academic blog by "one Tony Badran, said to be a Lebanese doctoral student at New York University." Across the Bay slaps Arab pundits around with great aplomb and precision, takes a swipe at Fisk, and - oh joy! - promises us regular fiskings of Juan Cole. (Not to be confused with John Cole.)