Sunday, August 06, 2006

Beware fraudulent Lebanese website...

Found on a propaganda website called 'Uruknet: From occupied Iraq' (with thanks: Albert):

"From the Jews of Lebanon website:

Condemnation of the War in Lebanon
July 26, 2006

"We once again renew our appeal for people to differentiate between Zionism and Judaism and ultimately between our mission and the current crisis in our beloved Lebanon. Hundreds have been killed in the latest violence between Israel and Lebanon and we pray that this will open the door to a final and comprehensive peace agreement. Though we believe in the universal principal of the right to self-defense we condemn the indiscriminate and disproportionate response from the State of Israel. Ultimately, we condemn the violence wholeheartedly.

Our heartfelt condolences to the innocent lives that are lost in this conflict- whether Lebanese and Israeli."

There's only one problem with this statement: the Jews of Lebanon website is a hoax.* It purports to speak on behalf of Lebanese Jews, but no Lebanese Jews are known to be associated with it. The website exists to drive a wedge between 'Jews' and 'Zionists', but no such distinction exists: the vast majority of Jews from Arab countries support Israel.

Uruknet fabricates a tale of collaboration between Lebanese Jews and the PLO during the Lebanese civil war, and capitalises on statements extracted under duress from the Jews of Iran, or made by self-loathing communists in Morocco, to back its argument that most Middle Eastern Jews condemn Israel's actions in the current war with Hezbollah.

*Update: the webmaster, a Lebanese Shi'a, has since identified himself and made clear his honourable intentions of documenting the story of the Jews of Lebanon.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you prove that no Lebanese Jews are a part of that blog? No. Just because you don't agree with the content you shouldn't try to discredit it.

bataween said...

I can. I checked with Lebanese Jews who had recently been to a Lebanese Jewish conference in Paris. Not once was this blog mentioned. My Lebanese Jewish friends also circulated information about the blog among their friends. They confirm it is a fraud.

Lebanese Patriot said...

lol keep propagating your lies. The intent is clear on that blog, I can't speak on anyone's behlaf but you have no right to try to discredit anyone, you simply have NO proof and there are names clearly written on that blog, even the names of Lebanese Jews.

bataween said...

It is not a case of trying to discredit the blog because I may or may not agree with it. The blog owner may have good intentions (and I'm glad he has now ' come out') , but some of what he has posted is simply factually INCORRECT.
It is no good pretending that the Jews are really Lebanese of the Jewish faith, or indeed any other nationality, and are about to rebuild their community. The state of Israel is here to stay, it is no good trying to turn the clock back. The Arabs must make their peace with Zionism. Anything else is delusional.

Anonymous said...

Who said this has anything to do with Israel? If they were ashamed of being Lebanese they would have completely emigrated from Lebanon (not the case), they would have immigrated to Israel (not the case) and they wouldn’t name their Synagogues with Lebanese names (which IS the case). Keep propagating your lies and discrediting everyone who doesn’t fit into your agenda. I fail to see where Israel was mentioned or where any content on that blog insinuated they were anti-Israel existence.

bataween said...

You are wrong on all three counts. The Jews effectively all emigrated, save fewer than 100 Jews still in Lebanon today, mostly elderly. Jews DID go to Israel from Lebanon. They do not name their synagogues with Lebanese, but Hebrew names.
This comment by Ben on the JoL website sums things up nicely:

"the jewish people ARE israel and we can NEVER forget it

i am a JEW OF LEBANESE HERITAGE, my heritage is not lost, we keep our traditions and our customs, the land of lebanon we once lived in is one THAT DOES NOT EXIST.

THE JEWS OF THE WORLD ARE SICK AND TIRED OF BEING UNDER SCRUTINY

as a little known fact to all, a jew in lebanon was “accepted” politically but also knew that there was a fine line and that their security could be compromised at any moment, as is the case in history. one of the first groups to be targeted was the jews when the first civil war broke out even if they did not have a part in it

the current jews that do live in lebanon live in fear and oppression that something will happen, they are not allowed to exercise their jewishness in the open like the muslims and christains do. UNTIL THOSE JEWS ARE SAFE NO JEWISH LEB WILL FATHOM GOING BACK TO LEBANON LET ALONE VISIT"

Anonymous said...

To Bataween
I was so glad when I found the blog on Lebanese jews. But of course being a jew and a Lebanese young woman, living in Lebanon, I had to double check before writing anything on that blog. YES, information is circulated that it is a fraud.
I agree that being a jew cannot be dissociated with being Israel.
I think we are more than a hundred and that there is a few young jews, of jewish mothers still living in Lebanon. Unfortunately we live in fear and yes, we hide the fact of being jewish. The religion of a person is specified on the identity cards in Lebanon, and we are registered as Christians (mostly)
At the beginning of the war, we were targeted, I know that for a fact, because an aunt of mine was kidnapped and threatened of death. Her husband payed them. She left the country at her release.
A few of us keep the traditions. Well it is difficult without a rabbi etc. but in a few homes, candles are lit on Shabbat.
I really advise to any Lebanese jew, let alone any jew, NOT to visit Lebanon. We are not safe.
All this being said, I would really like to know more about the Lebanese jews who left the country. Isn’t there anything written about them? What happened to them? Are they living in Lebanese jewish communities? Who were they? What are their memories of Lebanon? Why don’t they meet, now that they are safe, just to share memories etc. what is this conference in Paris about?
it feels a bit lonely here :) it would be nice to have anything about our lost community.

bataween said...

Dear young Jewish woman still living in Lebanon,

I was very moved by your comment, and to learn that there are still Jews living in Lebanon. I am glad that your kidnapped aunt came to no harm. I wonder what keeps you in Lebanon, or whether you would like to leave.

There are Lebanese Jews living in France, In Britain, in Italy, in the US, in Brazil.As they are not that many of them, in my experience they do not keep separate, but associate with the Syrian Jewish community, or they blend in with other Sephardi communities. If you would like to be put in touch with Lebanese Jews living in the West, please email me and I will be happy to put you in touch with my contacts.Of course I will treat your details in the strictest confidence.