What’s Real in the Middle East?
BY MICHAEL COREN
August 27-September 2, 2006 Issue | Posted 8/28/06 at 9:00 AM
It’s impossible to remain completely calm when a Katusha rocket lands in front of you.
And it’s the one you don’t see that is dangerous.
I watched from across the
Suddenly, there was no black line. No sound either. Because the deafening punch of 500 pounds of metal filled to bursting with explosives and ball bearings is seen a fraction of a moment before it is heard. Doors and walls thundered and trembled, sirens screamed their mournful song; people shouted and ran.
I ran, and quickly realized that only an underground shelter would give me any safety. So I drove. Fast. Always with that knowledge that at any moment I could be a victim in Hezbollah’s jihad to destroy the Jewish state.
This was the middle of my two
weeks in an
This is the same Syria that, along with Iran, has armed Hezbollah and now claims to be a compassionate nation accepting refugees and wanting only peace and co-existence.
As for Hezbollah, they are not the
“freedom fighters” that some of their friends in
They took Danny Haran and his 4-year-old son Anat to the beach, where they bashed the little boy’s brains out on the rocks while his father watched. They then shot the man to death. Smadar Haran, the mother, hid in a loft with the couple’s 2-year-old daughter. But in holding her mouth over terrified little Yael’s mouth in an attempt to save her, Smadar tragically smothered her daughter to death.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has called Samir Kuntar a hero and demanded
that he be the first prisoner released by
The Palestinians, of course, have
been largely forgotten during these weeks of war. Unlike Hezbollah, the Jews of
Israel and the Muslims and Christians of Palestine have compelling arguments on
their side. Part of the problem is that the Palestinians have been treated
badly by everybody in the region, particularly the Arab states. Leaders in
Thus they suffer. Just days ago, I
stood waiting at a West Bank checkpoint between
Then there was a cacophony of explanations in Arabic and Hebrew, and Israeli soldiers told the boy to keep still and raise his arms away from his body. The boy obeyed, and it then became clear that this was no suicide bomber, but a poor child who had to wear a colostomy bag.
His permit had expired, but he was
taken to the
I tell this story because it is
more typical of the mess — the tragedy but also the co-existence of Israelis
and Palestinians — than most of the propaganda currently poured out over the
The answer is somewhere in the
middle. There were certainly doctored photographs of Israeli attacks on
the innocent will die again. The peace is fragile and neither side is
satisfied. Islam is increasingly extreme, Christians flee the region in
ever-greater numbers and
Michael Coren is a Canadian
journalist and broadcaster.
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