Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hezbollah's Vendetta Against Syrian Refugees and the Non-Muslim World

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                             

Besides the bombing of neighborhoods as well as the recent slaughter by chemicals, a Syrian  can be kidnapped at any time by Hezbollah or other terrorist group, or even the soldiers of Assad for any reason and be held for ransom.  That's how precarious  life is for the Syrians who have remained in Syria.   Hezbollah operates in Lebanon and Syria.   Their ideology is that of Shi'i radicalism.  They are a terrorist group who had formed with the help of Ayatollah Khomeini's followers in the early 1980's in order to spread their Islamic revolution.  They follow the Islamic Shi'a ideology of the Islamic Jurists, something developed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who was the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Israel had occupied southern Lebanon for 18 years, necessary to fight against Palestinian terrorism of the PLO which was coming from there. Jordan had fought against the PLO in their Black September battle where the Palestinians tried to take over Jordan.  This led to the Israel-Lebanon 1982 War where Israel occupied Lebanon and had taken Beirut.  That's when the Shi'a in southern Lebanon rebelled.

Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister of Israel,  had commented about it in 2006.  It was Menachem Begin who had been Prime Minister in 1982.   "When we entered Lebanon, there was no Hezbollah.  We were accepted with perfumed rice and flowers by the Shi'a in the south.  It was our presence there that created Hezbollah.  Hezbollah terrorists were the first to use suicide bombers, assassinations and capturing foreign soldiers.  They became a  paramilitary by using missiles, Katusha's and other rocket launchers as well as explosive charges instead of the usual terrorist acts of capturing, murdering and hijacking.  Lebanon's Civil War ended in 1990.  Syria allowed Hezbollah to keep their arsenal and let them control the Shi'ite areas along the border with Israel.  Gone evidently was Major Hadad and his Christian soldiers who used to patrol the area for Israel when I lived there from 1980 to 1985.

Syria used to occupy Lebanon for decades but were forced to withdraw in 2005.  Now Hezbollah has stepped in and has offered Assad lots of support.  The fear of Lebanese leaders is that if the Sunnis dominate a new Syrian regime without Assad, they would be caught between Damascus and Lebanon's Sunni community

Lebanon's government  had been the Christian minority, but with the  assassination of the Christian president, that was ended.  Palestinians had made camp in Lebanon and had done a good job of taking over until Sharon allowed Major Hadad of the Christian militia and his men to rid themselves of that problem by committing the Sabra and Shatilla massacres.  Sharon was blamed who was  the responsible party at the time who could not imagine what his friends were doing in the camp.  That was in 1982.  Thus, Major Hadad and many Christians were forced to flee.

The original aim of Hezbollah was to transform Lebanon into a formal Faqihi Islamic republic, but this had been abandoned, or perhaps not?

With the civil war in Syria, 1,220,000 Syrians have fled into their next door neighbor's land, Lebanon.  It's like going from Oregon to Washington.  Syria's population  with 90% Sunni/Shi'as had been 22,505,000.  Lebanon, a very small country, had only 4,196,453 with a 60% Sunni/ Shi'a population.  Out of these Syrian refugees, many are un-registerd and about 500,000 were migrants.  Lebanon is the land of cedars as told in  our Bible in which King Solomon was able to buy the trees to build part of the temple.  The land covers only about 5% of Oregon's land area.  At this time, Lebanon has no sitting government but has a prime minister designate who is struggling to form a cabinet.

Hezbollah controls the southern suburbs of the capital and the northern city of Tripoli.  There are many car bombs killing dozens and wounding hundreds in this area.  Gun battles on Saturday between a Sunni Shiyyah family killed 4 in the Baalbek area.  Hezbollah was the killer.

Neighborhoods have been turned into battlefields.  Grenades today are rocket-propelled and the shooting lasts during the daylight hours from dawn to dusk.  Lebanese army members try to restore calm.  The Lebanese government does not want Assad's regime to collapse because they foresee a conflict in Lebanon following it.

Jordan has created refugee camps for the fleeing Syrians, but Lebanon is opposed to that.  They do not want to cause these refugees to stay longer than they have to.  They are only living there temporarily.  It turns out that most of the refugee children are trying to get menial jobs.  They are being exploited and abused, but the schools teach in English and French, and these Syrian children only speak Arabic.  There are 100,000 school aged Syrian children but only 30,000 enrolled in schools.

Syrians are looking for apartments to rent and of course the demand has caused the prices to be sky high.  Many have to live in makeshift tents or shacks made of plastic and cardboard in farmers' fields.  There is a lot of tension between the two peoples.  More than 2/3 of the Lebanese people want the UN to establish Syrian refugee camps.  Violence has increased by the fact that they are Sunnis living in the Hezbollah- controlled   Bekaa Valley, which in turn is threatening the minority Christians.

The USA's assistance to Syria has been in  the amount of $1.4 billion since the Civil War started.  Obama is sending them another $74 million for host communities in Lebanon and for the refugees themselves.  The Lebanese had had their own 15 year Civil War which ended in 1990 and have found ways to survive, with many of these ways being underhanded.  One way is to become an entrepreneur with a generator and have the nearby residents paying monthly for its use when electricity fails in the city during blackouts.

Resource:http://blog.oregonlive.com/today/print.html?entry=/2013/09/syrian_refugees_their_impact , from Oregonian newspaper online, 10/1/13  Syrian refugees:  Their impact hits Lebanon hardest, jeopardizing a delicate balance.... by Richard Read  rread@oregonian.com

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