With thanks : Eliyahu
With hardly any Jews left in Lebanon and even fewer prepared to worship openly, this blog has always warned that the renovation of the Beirut synagogue would be exploited for its PR value.
But Hezbollah to be held up as a paragon of interfaith tolerance? And not by the Lebanese, but in the USA - by CNN, no less? By erstwhile Newsweek editor Fareed Zekariah, of all people, whom many thought once held quite sensible views on Islamism and the causes of 9/11?
Come on, pull the other leg.
Sadly, this expert analysis by the media watchdog CAMERA suggests that Zakaria has lost the plot. Not only does this CNN clip use the Beirut synagogue to score points against the US for its purported lack of tolerance towards the planned Ground Zero Mosque in Manhattan, but Zakaria shows that he does not really understand the bigotry and anti-Jewish hatred that makes Hezbollah tick.
Read this extract from Zakaria's comments on the CNN programme, Last Look, and weep:
" With all the talk about places of worship and where they do and don't belong, I wanted you to see this. This is the Magen Abraham synagogue. It's not in Miami. It's not in Tel Aviv. It's in Beirut. That's right, Beirut, Lebanon.
The synagogue is just now emerging from a painstaking restoration project. When the repairs began over a year ago, the temple was literally a shell of its former self. So why did this nation, often teetering on the brink of religious hostilities and hostilities with Israel, restore a Jewish house of worship? To show that Lebanon is an open and tolerant country.
And indeed, the project is said to have found support in many parts of the community, not just from the few remaining Jews there, but also Christians and Muslims and Hezbollah. Yes, Hezbollah -- the one that the United States has designated a foreign terrorist organization.
Hezbollah's view on the renovation goes like this. "We respect divine religions, including the Jewish religion. The problem is with Israel's occupation of Arab lands ... not with the Jews." Food for thought."