History / Lebanon / Middle East Conflict / Palestinians / Radical Islam

Who knows the history of the Middle East?


Photo: Miriam Woelke

 “To Die in Beirut – Civil War in Lebanon 1975 – 1990” by Adam Arnon


Who knows the history of the Middle East today? Every day there is something new going on and today’s news will be forgotten by next week. People don’t even remember what happened ten years ago and, what is even more frightening, hardly anyone wants to remember. 
We all live our lives and everything has become “high speed”. The latest smartphone, the latest computer, the latest whatever. Not too many people actually sit back and start thinking about the real meaning of life. Whatever that may be …
Today, we can have any information we want because there is Google. But who does remember the summer 2000, when the former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was offering Yassir Arafat half of the Land of Israel? Arafat rejected the offer because he wanted all or nothing. This kind of policy hasn’t changed until today. Abu Mazen refuses to recognize a Jewish State of Israel. All he wants is a Muslim Palestine without Israel existing. In addition to that, Abu Mazen is a strong Holocaust denier. 
It was the PLO terrorist Yassir Arafat in the 1960s who invented the concept of a “Palestinian people”. A people which hadn’t existed until then. Under the British occupation (and even before) until the foundation of the State of Israel, the country was called PALESTINE. Muslims then living in Palestine were called ARABS and NOT Palestinians!
The word PALESTINE has it’s origin in the Roman occupation more than 2000 years ago. Before the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, everyone living in Palestine was called PALESTINAN. Jews and Muslims alike. However, when you asked a Muslim about his identity he would tell you that he is an ARAB. There has never ever been a Palestinian people in history until Yassir Arafat invented the idea in the 1960s. Him and his terror organization where then living in Lebanon. 
And it was in Lebanon where Arafat started various terror attacks. The biggest mistake of the Lebanese government was not to deport Arafat. Lebanon is basically divided between Muslims and Christians. There are some Druze and the Muslims are divided into Sunnis and Shiites. Not to mention all those different Muslim family clans and their hierarchies. Lebanon was founded in the 1940s. Before, the country was under French occupation. Until today, Muslims and Christians keep, more or less, separate. Each group has it’s own village or neighbourhood.  
Until 1969, it had been quiet at the border between Israel and Lebanon. Once again, it was Yassir Arafat who started the first terror attacks at the Israeli border. The PLO made various attempts to get a couple of villages located in southern Lebanon under their control. There was lots of bloodshed and the result was that Lebanese Muslims and Christians started to cooperate against the PLO.  
It is hard to believe but, until the Lebanese civil war started in 1975, the capital Beirut was referred to as the “Paris of the Middle East”. The economy was booming and Beirut just looked like Monaco or Saint Tropez (France). International bank branches, a Swiss – like bank account system where everything was kept secret and international hotel chains. The Lebanese capital had turned into a cosmopolitan city with plenty of visitors and money. The best customers of the local banks were Arab countries dealing in oil and weapons. Even the prostitution was booming because everything seemed to be allowed in western style Beirut. Many Muslims couldn’t care less about the Koran. They were too busy buying Rolex watches and cruising the coast in their multi-million dollar Yacht.  
At the moment, I am reading a great history book on the Lebanese civil war: “Lamut be’Beirut – To Die in Beirut” by Adam Arnon. As far as I saw, the book was only published in Hebrew. The author put all the historical facts and event together and I have learned a lot of history. If you are interested in history books concerning Israel and the Middle East, look for the Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman on Amazon.
It is very sad to see that radical Islam has ruined so many Arab countries and lives. ISIS, PLO, Hizbollah, Al Nusra, Hamas, Iran and other terrorist organizations. Arab countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, etc. could have a blossoming tourist industry and make to much money if they were a “normal” society. However, as soon as radical Islam comes along, economies and education systems are destroyed. There is no more rationalism or intelligence but only bombs and cutting people’s heads off.  
Although Beirut has discovered and the young generation is pretty modern, the population doesn’t stop looking at what is going on in Syria. ISIS is occupying the Syrian town of Raqqa and killing anyone they want. Event the Lebanese terror organization Hizbollah is afraid that ISIS could start attacking Lebanon and that Hizbollah may lose it’s power.
But, as I said: Who is interested in historical facts today?

2 thoughts on “Who knows the history of the Middle East?

  1. B”H

    Are you referring to UMAN (you wrote ULAM)?

    If not, please let me know. And if yes, UMAN is located in the Ukraine. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s grave is in Uman.

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