Apologists for the constant Arab terrorism against Israelis rationalize it by claiming past injustices and by suggesting an outgunned movement can only fight back by attacking civilian targets.
Maybe those apologists for terror can start explaining why the same tactics by the same people are being employed against other Arabs in Lebanon.
It hasn’t received much attention in the international press. But there’s a war raging in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. It’s Lebanon’s own little intifada in the making.
Last week, a bomb went off in front of a shop in the Ain Helweh camp near the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon. The owner of the shop, Rafiq al-Bahti, who was unhurt, is not known to be associated with any political party or movement. Also last week, three members of Hamas were wounded in a shoot-out with another Islamist terrorist group, Asbat al-Ansar.
Earlier, a bomb exploded in front of the home of Khaled Shayeb, an official with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah terrorist organization. This guy does have a history. Two years ago, he was arrested by Lebanese intelligence services, which is to say, Syrian intelligence services. You see, Lebanon is occupied territory – in fact, the only truly occupied turf in the Mideast. Syria dominates the government, the police forces, the intelligence apparatus and the military of its once-free neighbor.
Earlier still, a hand grenade was lobbed at the house of Munir Maqdah, head of the Fatah movement in Ain el-Helweh.
What’s this all about? Various Palestinian factions have long been engaged in a struggle for control of the refugee camps. There is also an underlying tension with the Syrian forces who dominate the country. While security at the camps was previously left to the Palestinians to handle, recently Syrian-backed Lebanese authorities have attempted to assert control.
In July, for instance, Ain Helweh was encircled by troops searching for Lebanese Islamist Badih Jamade, accused of killing three military intelligence agents. He was ultimately handed over, leading to a military stand-down.
Ain Helweh is a kind of living hell, housing 70,000 perpetual second- and third-generation refugees. It is controlled by various factions – all violent, all terrorists, all the time. Shoot-outs, assassinations, bombings, etc. are a way of life.
What’s the point of the violence? It’s a way of life. What’s my point? There are no Israelis in Lebanon to blame for this terror. There are no Israelis to blame for Lebanon’s occupation. There are no Israelis to blame for the forced incarceration of these Arabic-speaking refugees.
This is Arab-on-Arab violence. This is Arab-on-Arab oppression. This is Arab-on-Arab apartheid.
It’s just another example of how Israel is not the cause of Mideast violence. Israel is not the issue in most of the bloodshed in the Mideast. Israel is not the reason the entire Arab world lives in a state of repression and under various forms of tyranny.
How bad is the situation for Palestinians in Lebanon? Let’s put it this way: Under Lebanese law, they cannot own property. They do not have the right to work in 74 forms of employment. It’s very difficult to leave the country and even harder to enter. Those who already have property do not have the right to pass it on to their children. Palestinians are confined to 12 camps with no medical, social or educational services from the government and are barred in some of those camps from building or even repairing homes.
Why are such laws in effect in an Arab country? Because the government – or perhaps I should say the Syrian government – wants to ensure that Palestinians are kept in a constant state of anxiety and restlessness to be used as a political wedge against Israel. Keep in mind, most of these refugees have never spent a day in Israel, the Palestinian territories or any other land associated with Palestinians.
But they have not been allowed to resettle because Arab leaders are determined to use them as pawns to fan the flames of hate with Israel so that they don’t turn their enmity toward their own corrupt and ruthless leaders and begin questioning the real reasons they are denied basic human rights.
The refugee camps of Lebanon are the breeding grounds of hate and violence. And there isn’t an Israeli or a Jew to be seen anywhere near them.