07 November 2010

The village of Ghajar: torn apart by politics and apathy

JP and Haaretz provided a dry factual report on the unenviable situation of Ghajar, the village which fate is to be divided in two by the international border between Israel and Lebanon.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to inform United Nations Secretary General Ban-ki Moon of Israel's intent withdraw from a disputed village on the border with Lebanon, a government official told Haaretz on Saturday.
Only Ynet decided to add a human angle to the story.
Last year some 1,800 residents of Ghajar protested against the plan to divide the village and hand over its northern section to UNIFIL control. The demonstrators marched through both sections of the village in protest of the plan. Council and residents spokesman, Najib Hatib, told Ynet that the residents are determined to prevent the division of their village and UN entry into the village. "We are prepared to die, but this division will not come to be," he said.
Strangely or not, the reasons for the timing of this decision by Bibi are not made public. Of course, the twisting roads of international politics may require a decision of the kind - who knows? But common sense says that in absence of any visible peace negotiations with Lebanon, Hezbollah's aggressive stance* and accumulation of weaponry and, the last but not the least, our general bitter experience with unilateral acts of withdrawal, there simply isn't any such reason. Not to mention the security nightmare that the divided Ghajar will necessarily become after IDF withdrawal and Hezbollah infiltration...

Whatever the politics of the decision, it is educational to read the comments, especially in the JP article. Commentators generally focus on the politics, esp. on the act of giving back another piece of Israel (which village of Ghajar is patently not) to the enemy, while hardly a commentator mentions the villagers.

Anyone who studies a bit the difficult and unhappy history of  Ghajar, gets the sense that the villagers of Ghajar don't deserve this additional bad karma. They have suffered too much. From a tiny Syrian village to one straddling a troublesome border between two unfriendly states, with one of them being permanently on the brink of civil war is getting to be too much indeed.

Maybe the withdrawal will give our government some brief respite from unending pressures or some leverage in another political domain, on the face of it unconnected with Lebanese border. Villagers of Ghajar are certainly not looking forward to this victory of international "law and order".

(*) Hezbollah are already celebrating another of their famous military victories:
"If the withdrawal happens, it (Israel) won't be doing it for free but because of fear of the resistance and Lebanon's strength through the resistance," Hezbollah legislator Nawar Saheli told The Associated Press in Beirut.

Update: Apparently the whole move has Lieberman's blessing. Bound to end in tears.


Dvar Dea said...

<span>Sadly true, all true.</span>
<span>We would like to help but there nothing we can do about it. Frustration is a very bad feeling<span></span><span><span></span> </span>especially when human life are concerned. <span> </span><span> </span></span>

SnoopyTheGoon said...

What could we do? Not to withdraw would be the first idea. Or withdraw from the whole village, leaving it all to Lebanon.

Unless you mean something else by "we".

Dvar Dea said...

<p><span>I mean those who are not in power.</span></p>

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I see.