Friday, November 24, 2006

Unity or Solidarity in Lebanon?

Civilian Resistance in Lebanon assessing the damage in Markaba (Marcy Newman)

Dr. Marcy Newman writing from Beirut, Live from Lebanon, 23 November 2006
(Dr. Marcy Newman is Visiting Professor at the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut. She works with Civilian Resistance in Lebanon. You can follow her activities at her blog)

Electronic Lebanon

"It is not just the different focal points in peoples lives that seem to separate people from Beirut and South Lebanon. For all the calls of unity in the newspapers and streets today by the March 14th forces I wonder what type of unity they mean. Do they mean unity with people in South Lebanon? Do they mean helping people there rebuild their lives financially as well as emotionally, physically, mentally? Do they mean protecting people from the daily Israeli Occupation Forces violation of UN Resolution 1701 when it flies into Lebanese air space? Do they mean including Palestinians living in Lebanon into this fold of unity in the way that Armenians were included when they fled their nakba? While I respect those mourning the loss of Gemayel as well as the calls for unity it seems to me that such rhetoric is not entirely inclusive of all who live in the borders of Lebanon. Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop and instead of calling for unity an expression of that unity could be realized by people from the North and from Beirut making an effort to build solidarity with people in the South in a way that builds a long-term commitment across regional and sectarian borders as well as long-term human relationships."

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