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.

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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 think, Stewart, when you not only emphasize what you believe to be Israel's demerits but are consistent in this criticism to the exclusion of the demerits of Palestinian Arabs, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Fatah, to name a few parties involved in this struggle, then it is evident that you incorporate, behind the rationalizations you have created, a real need to blame one party and one party only.  I fail to understand how you do anything but set up walls and discourage dialogue.  There are several others on this website who do pretty much the same.  Expanding one's purview a few millimetres, incidentally, and you might consider the detrimental effects which Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and the current regime in Iran are having both in the region as a whole and on the delicate and specific situation which one might identify as the Israeli/Palestinian struggle.  I am trying to communicate in a very direct but non-insulting way.  The upshot of your posts, however, whatever merit they may truly contain, is to turn off if one does not see things wholly your way.  In other words, you bolster those who agree with you and turn away, creating walls, those who come from another perspective (as I do).  It's simply not good enough to make apologies for not viewing the Mideast as a whole.  Let me be specific:  In view of the continuing tyranny of Hezbollah in Lebanon, e.g., the use of peoples' homes as weapon storage depots in the south, the pressure to conform on non-Muslims and those Muslims who are not Salafasts, the most beautiful and, at one time, the most dynamic country in the Mideast is turning into a dangerous habitat for an uncreative, backwards and death-pedalling fundamentalist society.  Yes, I envy Israel and all that the Israeli people have achieved in such a short time.  I don't recall if Lebanon has ever had a Nobel prize winner whereas Israel, not including Peace Prize winners which are just political fictions anyway, has recently gained its sixth or seventh.  That's quite an achievement for a nation which has existed for a little over sixty years with such a small population, don't you agree?  As to its democratic features, if only you were to visit the Mideast for a sustained period of time, you would marvel at this little country with barely 3% of the population of the whole region and less than 1% of the geographical area.  Yes, it's flawed; even its most patriotic are quick to recognize its flaws but, as compared to Lebanon, forced to include Hezbollah into its government while Hezbollah maintains its own separate military, Israel is a godsend.  One of the reasons Israel is so hated by other Arab and Islamic governments is due to what it (Israel) represents, a comparatively open and dynamic society, very open and dynamic!  I am attempting to push you, Stewart, and other mepeace members, into gaining a larger and more balanced perspective.  Why?  Because without it you will continue to shout (metaphorically speaking) at your "partners for peace" without gaining the advantage of perspective nor the blessings which could come with it.

Dear Gahzi,


 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 and in the region. 



I haven't been on MEPEACE in a while because I had a lot of stuff to take care of, but I was thinking of leaving it the day someone decided to have a go at me when I said that Arabs are Semites. I'm beginning to think I should leave, too.

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.

Dear Tanya,


 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.


Dear Ghazi al-Galini,

mepeace has a lot of failures, as we all come from different background and different prespective. the structure enable small group of one-sided people to play on our discussion board, so the quality many of us wish not always available.

But mepeace is not just discussions, it is also the opertunity to connect, and once you connected with a person, it is not a must to have discussion in public, it is more valuable to find ways to work and create together activities that promote change.

For me, it is easy to recognize "Israel as a solution" in the way you say it, not as Zionist colonial victory but as human ideas of freadom and good governance that influence the region and contributed to the change Arabs are seeking now all over. Israel has some of the qualities we wish to have in any good state, it also has its own "failures" payed by paletinians and non jews but as a "human project" is has many elements that are positive.

For Hizbulla, I guess my view is more remote then what you experience, clearly to see the "thugs" elements in it but also it has some positive contribution to the Shea population of south Lebanon, and for that we need to find what are the needs of that population that Lebanon need to address for stabilizing the social/political unstability. After so many years of civil war, Lebanon need a new governance system, new social-political agreement and to get there Lebanon need to address the problems that pushed the Shea population into supporting this Hezbulla organization,



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