Mr. President: Bring Back our People from Israel
By: Elias Bejjani

August 11/09

On August 06/09, the Lebanese official National News Agency published on its website, the following slanderous and desecrating report: “The International Red Cross received today from within the occupied Palestinian territories and via the Naqoura gate, (check post on the Lebanese-Israeli borders) the body of the agent, (Amiel) Elias Joseph Agiel, 52 years old, who died in one of the hospitals in the occupied Palestinian territories. The deceased entered occupied Palestine (Israel) in the aftermath of the Israeli army defeat in year 2000.  The International Red Cross Committee handed over Agiel's body to his family in the town of Niha - Chouf district”.
It is worth mentioning that the Arabic term "Amiel" means a traitor and conspirator. 

For the record, the deceased was not neither a traitor, nor a conspirator, but a mere victim. In the aftermath of the Israeli army’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000, he was among more than 6,500 southern Lebanese men, along with members of their families that had no option but to leave their towns, villages and abandon all their properties and hastily run for their lives. While Israel was logistically preparing for the withdrawal, Hezbollah waged a merciless and savage media campaign against the southern Lebanese citizens. The campaign was aired publicly on all local and international TV channels and radio stations. The most frightening threats were uttered personally by Hezbollah's General Secretary, Sheik Nasrallah, who savagely said, “We will enter their bedrooms, pierce their stomachs, slaughter them and slice their throats.”  

It is sad, sickening and shameful that the official Lebanese National News Agency has resorted in its hostile, defaming, inhuman and defiling report to Hezbollah's jihadist lexicon and abided by its Iranian criteria of fundamentalism and terrorism for defining who is a traitor and who is a patriot.
The report did not respect or regard the fact that the deceased is a Lebanese citizen and a human being, and definitely not an agent or a traitor. By tagging him when he is dead as a traitor the news agency has openly and savagely annulled all the deeply rooted Lebanese cultural traditions that honor the sacredness of death. Meanwhile, it also violated all judicial laws that consider the accused innocent until found guilty by a court of law.
The question is:  who runs this news agency that supposedly is an official department that belongs to the Lebanese Ministry of Information?  Is it the Lebanese government or Hezbollah? There is no doubt that the journalist who worded the report and his superiors who approved it are all  without any normal human feelings or otherwise how could they viciously dare to defy the sanctity of death?

The wording of the report incites a great deal of moral, ethical and religious vilification. It not only dishonors the sanctity of death, but also presents a flagrant violation on the deceased’s rights and dignity,  as well as provoking blatant contempt, defamation, belittlement and threats on the deceased family, relatives and his hometown residents.

It would have been understandable if Hezbollah's, Al-Qaeda’s, or any of their jihadist proxy media facilities had worded and disseminated such a degrading and provocative report, because none of them recognize the UN Human Rights Charter or have  any respect for the dignity of the living or the dead and are not states or members of the UN, and openly advocate their doctrines through terrorism.  Meanwhile, too many questions need to be raised when the official Lebanese National News Agency adopts such a lexicon and such an approach!

It is worth mentioning that while for the past nine years, the Lebanese government on all levels has been abandoning its own citizens who took refuge in Israel, and unjustly insists on tagging them as agents and traitors, we find that Israel, the so- called enemy, is embracing them and doing its best to help them. In this context the Israeli cabinet appointed on August 02/09 Minister Yossi Peled as the responsible minister for the care of former South Lebanese Army members in Israel. Peled was assigned to head an inter-ministerial team that will address housing, employment, education, and citizenship needs of former SLA members living in Israel since 2000 when the IDF withdrew from Lebanon. Peled said, "The State of Israel has a moral obligation to the people of SLA, its allies, who fought alongside it shoulder to shoulder."

This notorious report  is by all standards a very serious atrocity and an alarming sign because it shows clearly the depth and extent of Hezbollah's infiltration and penetration to all the Lebanese state's institutions, not only through its well trained manpower, but most dangerously through its jihadist doctrine, Iranian mullah's lexicon, and the escalating manipulation of the government’s decision making process including the last word on war and peace.

What about the deterrent judicial role the Ministry of Justice is supposed to play in accordance with the country's constitution, and what measures is it going to take? And in case it tries to play its role, will Hezbollah allow that to happen? Definitely not, because the Lebanese state's institutions including this ministry are actually and practically fully dominated and controlled by Hezbollah.

One wonders also why the main Lebanese Christian parties in both March 14 March 8 coalitions are burying their heads in the sand, although the majority of the South Lebanese Army were from their members. Could it be that they have been hit by the contagious dhimmitude ailment and are doing what the well known Chinese proverb says: I don't see, I don't hear, I don't talk? It is time for these parties to get out of their self imposed coma and start to do their job.

The ongoing humanitarian suffering and dilemma of the Lebanese refugees in Israel make every official, clergyman, politician and intellectual in Lebanon accountable, and accordingly they all have an obligation to speak out  loudly and fairly for the preservation of their rights and dignity.

We strongly condemn the disgraceful and irresponsible conduct of the Lebanese government, the politicians and clergy are adopting with regard to the legitimate rights of our people in Israel. Justice is needed as well courage and conscience.
We loudly call on Lebanon's President, Mr. Michel Suleiman, who had promised publicly in his inauguration speech on May 25/08 to bring back our refugees from Israel:  "
And here comes the role of perseverance to liberate our prisoners and uncover the fate of the disappeared and bring back our sons who have sought refuge in Israel. The nation is wide enough for everybody.", to move on and fulfill his promise.
Meanwhile, his Excellency, the president needs to take into consideration that these victims were forced by Hezbollah's terrorism to take refuge in neighboring Israel since May 2000. Therefore, their return needs to be a priority, and it must be done with honor, dignity, respect and definitely without any kind of farce trials. These people are heroes and not traitors, and every Lebanese with faith and conscience is fully aware of this reality and substantially unshaken tangible fact.

Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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