I have followed discussions on this forum for several years and finally, finally, decided to become actively involved. I have become involved due to what I see as the incredible wasted potential of this forum; in fact, this forum, as I see it, does a good deal of harm. I have travelled all over the Mideast, Europe and the USA in my former capacity as a freelance journalist (under a pseudonym) and as a businessman (import/export). I have spent time as a tourist and completed business in most of the Mideastern countries including Lebanon (my home), Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Persia (if Iran can be considered part of the Mideast). Retired though I am, I did want to find a conduit where I could place my energies (and perhaps some of my funds). I may be at risk, at present, residing as I do in Lebanon and may return in time to the USA as a citizen. I and family members are at risk because of my severe condemnation of Hezbollah, a force which threatens to overrun our once dynamic country and set it back centuries. Not once, however, have I read anything on mepeace which even mentions Lebanon much less condemns this well organized group of thugs. Yes, "thugs", not heros, for they threaten to abolish what's left of our freedoms in what was once the most sophisticated and literate nation in the whole Mideast (pardon my bragging). Now, if a citizen disagrees with Hezbollah principles or activities, that person will be placed on its death list. These "accidents" have been occurring and continue to occur yet neither the western press (and certainly not the Lebanese media nor the good people of mepeace have ever made one allusion to what can be rightfully identified as multitudinous human rights abuses.
In fact, the only subject alluded to is Israel/Palestine, usually in condemnation of Israel. Nothing is written about Syria, the poverty of its inhabitants, its lack of freedoms, lack of educational opportunities and the killings perpetrated each day by the ruling powers. Nothing is said about Egypt, an impoverished and miserable nation whose "Arab Spring" appears to be diluted by the Muslim Brotherhood, a set of fundamentalists which wants to bring about Sharia Law and all its injustices against women, against enjoyment, entertainment, against opportunity and educational achievement (even Nobel Prize winning author Naguib Mafouz, one of Egypt's genuine shining lights, was placed in danger and threatened by members of the "Brotherhood"). Of course there is Iran, run by fanatic clerics, an opportunistic military and a ratlike man named Ahmadinejad, all in the name of a violent Islam while most of its citizens live in fear and trembling.
No, mepeace prefers to dwell on Israel and all the false, distorted and hyperbolic declarations against the mostly Jewish state. In fact, Israel is not the problem in the Mideast, it is the solution!
I hope this draws some of you mepeaceniks out into the open. I believe a site like this is too potentially good to fall apart for lack of fresh ideas and a lack of a nonpartisan approach. I am prepared to take part in a revitalization of mepeace and would even help fund worthy efforts if people would only come forward in a most honest, open and intelligent manner with a genuine view towards sharing. Otherwise, I will leave mepeace to experience its own slow death. Thank you.
In what ways do you think we should be more honest and open, and where is it that we are lacking in intelligence?
I was under the impression that we were very successful in sharing exactly what our thoughts are with each other – all of us, Jeff, Neri, Stewart, Basil, Eyal, everyone, even you Ghazi, who took the liberty of telling us our forum does a good deal of harm.
May I ask, who or what is it that is being ‘harmed’, by this forum?
Thanks Ghazi for your perspective.
The reason I don't say anything about Hezbollah, Syria, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood or the like is it is a given that there are serious human rights abuses being committed by these pseudo state actors and states.
Ghazi, your strength to mepeace is you bring a specific knowledge and experience of the challenges facing Lebanon and more broadly the Middle East.
Ghazi, I do not know of your experiences, but I do know that there are many in Lebanon who have been hurt by the Palestinian cause for liberation. Israel's invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon led to countless deaths and was premised on attacks by Palestinian groups into northern Israel. The Sabra and Chatila massacre was a clear response by certain members of Lebanese society who clearly felt violated by Palestinians.
Please, don't fall in the trap of thinking because person x does not say anything about subject y that they would not condemn it (if needst be). There are a zillion issues on this planet to be concerned about and the Middle East has hundreds of issues to be concerened about. All of us due to limited time, knowledge and interest will focus only on a minute part of the conflict. It is a massive web and each of us has a piece to add to the puzzle.
Yes, I could criticise the PLO, PA, Hamas and the like until eternity and ignore any wrong doing of Israel. But as a European Australian there is much that I see in common with European settlement and invasion of my home region. There are distinct difference in power play - there is an occupier and an occupied.
Ghazi again welcome to mepeace - I am sure your input will be beneficial.
My own perspective about mepeace - is it is not a place to convert people to idea a or b. That will not happen in the virtual world. Mepeace is a place that seeds may be sown, that is all. True conversion happens outside when people see into another's heart and see their pain or love.
Shalom Salam Peace
I agree with many of the things you write, and I aslo critisize some frineds, (Stewart is clearly a friend) with one sided view but I think we seek a system view, and 'll argure we need a system-developmental view.
The Human tissue of the middle east react to the "injection" of the jews population and that did created some crisis and problem but with that it also signal us a direction of development.
The change is not by convinsing everyone that your/my/his/her way is the true way. I guess (I use Stewart again) that Stewart world view see the gap between Israel and the arab communities and has tendancy to understand this gap as prof of abuse but really was this the reason? I guess not, but while Stewart world view has this interpertation it is hard to see Israel from the positive prespective, a state with strong economy and industry managed to strive within this region while so many existed communities, even complex and wise as the Lebanease fail to get the same level of life conditing in asspects of democracy, free life style, economy (and yes ... military wise as well)
Our goal is to support development, but the development is within what exists in the culture here and while we experience the development drive within the arab communities, their relatioship with Israel as "colonial" will continue to be complex and people like Sussan will spend hours and hours in effort to "protect palestine" by "attacking Israel". This is our reality, in mepeace.org and in the region.
Hi Tanya, I hope you don't leave because of that. There are various ways to interact on mepeace. None of us have enough time patience or energy to respond to various points of difference (or points of similarity). To protect yourself, choose those you dialogue with carefully. Stick to dialoguing with those seeking a constructive outcome that take an open approach that acknowledges the good and bad in all. All the best.
If anyone bothers you, please contact me, Basil or Eyal and we will work to solve the conflict. There is no place here for people who attack members and you are one that I personally appriciate and trust.