[Marxism] Lebanon and Palestine: what should we do? [request fordiscussion]

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 6 11:54:47 MDT 2006

In support both of Lou's general point about relief and his specific recommendation, here's something I posted to antiwar lists yesterday:

Today's Post has an article on Lebanese refugees in Beirut, and
organizations helping them. I use the word helping advisedly. On 
the one hand, they mention Samidoun, a legit group, donations for
which have been solicited on antiwar lists (see below the Post
article). On the other hand, they also mention (see last part of 
article) an outfit funded by the NED, which is part of the State 
Department and used to back imperialism through fronts around the
globe. The politics of its Lebanese front are painfully apparent 
in the quotes below.

Families Find Refuge in Shade of a Beirut Park
As Thousands Flee Fighting in South Lebanon, City's Young Mobilize to
Provide Aid

By Nora Boustany
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, August 5, 2006; A14

...Krayyem is part of the group Samidoun -- meaning "steadfast" -- which
was created after a sit-in July 12, the day hostilities broke out. The
group of young Lebanese volunteers seeks to care for the displaced in

"After two days, we felt we had to do something," said Sandy Chamoun,
19, one of the volunteers.

....The children coming to the centers are in shock, and they and their
parents are in denial, said Selim Mawad, 34, the founder of the
Sustainable Democracy Center. "They still believe they will return home
in a week."

Khaled, a 7-year-old who lives in Sanayeh Garden, smiles, giggles and
speaks excitedly about his dreams. "They are recurring nightmares of
Israeli planes swooping over his house, hitting his village and
friends. He laughs as he tells and retells of his dreams, but he is
haunted by them," Mawad said.

When instructed to draw what first comes to mind, some boys sketch
helicopters, tanks, missiles and gunboats. "The Israelis are promoting
a new resistance. We don't want our kids to be drawn to unorganized
violence," said Mawad, whose nongovernmental organization receives
funding from the National Endowment for Democracy and European governments.

To compound the trauma, children and their parents are "brainwashed,"
he said. They talk of joining the resistance, he said, and when they
say they want to become doctors, their parents prompt: "for the
resistance." Mawad's 15 volunteers are working with children ages 3 to
17 to help them focus on environmental art projects and communal work

"After producing an individual painting, we ask them to come together
to complete one picture, and we tell them this is what the new Lebanon
will be about," Mawad said, referring to a project that encourages
children to paint the meaning of various clauses in the U.N.
Declaration for the Rights of the Child.

"The numbers are vast and the duration of this human tragedy is
unknown," said Roger Assaf, a theater director. "There is nothing 
war to bring out the mettle of a people. But now the problem outsizes
their potential."

Until recently, Assaf was developing plays that touched on war themes,
including "Maaaarch!," a play about soldiers going to war, not 
their enemy but determined to eliminate it. "Umwelt," or "Day of 
Insect," is about a woman whose husband disappeared during war. But to
her, he is always present, a big insect clinging to her back, her head
and her life. He is neither living nor dead, just missing.

Then there is "Sanayeh Garden," about a man who survived a militia
massacre during the Lebanese war and later is suspected of killing his
landlady. Innocent but mentally confused, he turns himself in. He is
hanged at Sanayeh Garden without a trial.
© 2006 The Washington Post Company

 [the legit appeal sent out on antiwar lists:]
    This is an urgeant appeal for donations from two aid organizations
in Lebanon:
1. Secours Populaire Libanais (Lebanese Popular Rescue)
Tel: 961-3-779041
Tel: 961-1-701944
Sociète Generale de Banque au Liban (SGBL)
Branch Mazraa – Beirut
Account No. : 362-182658
Name: Ali Selman
Sociète Generale de Banque au Liban (SGBL)
Branch Mazraa – Beirut
Account No. : 011-001-360-18178102-4
Name: Secours Populaire Liban ais

2. SAMIDOUN is a grassroots coalition that aims to work in a democratic
and participatory atmosphere. The coalition is multi-confessional and
diverse in terms of nationality. The coalition is also diverse in its
composition in terms of supporting organizations, from student groups,
to the gay and lesbian center, to arts and film production collectives,
to small political parties, to environmental groups.
For donations:
Account with institution: BKAWLBBE (this is the SWIFT code)
Bank of Kuwait and the Arab World s.a.l
Beirut - Lebanon
Beneficiary Name: Green Line Association
Beneficiary Account : 10USD4612006189003

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