New England Americans for Lebanon - - NEAL
Press Release
Boston, Massachusetts, 22 January 2003 -  

Lebanese and Palestinian groups met last week in Beirut in support of Hezbollah and to denounce Canada's ban on the terrorist group. While not surprised, we continue to be alarmed by the steady flow of dangerous comments made by Lebanon's officials. We first saw Lebanonıs ambassador to Canada, Raymond Baaklini, tarnishing the reputation of his country and of the Lebanese Canadian community (see Now Lebanonıs Information Minister, Ghazi Aridi, is warning the world that Hezbollah still has a lot to accomplish, and that the May 2000 Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon has not eliminated the terrorist group's raison d'être. Listen to Mr. Aridi:

- "We think very differently from those in or outside Lebanon who believe that the battle with Israel has ended and that, as a result, the resistance has become unnecessary."..."We analyze facts differently, because we see the battle with this enemy as moving to a new stage."*

- "We cannot separate between Iraq and what is happening in Palestine and the threats against Lebanon."..."Resistance is a need, a duty and a right. We call for strengthening it."*

So for the Lebanese government, "resistance" goes beyond the liberation of the south. "Resistance" is ideological, and not patriotic as they lied to the Lebanese people during decades of PLO and Hezbollah's mayhem. Hezbollah will never subject itself to the pragmatism of the logic of peace, but will continue burning and sacrificing Lebanon and its people to fight the same delusional battles that the Arabs lost over more than six decades. Lebanon's government minister Ghazi Aridi is calling for the continuation of the lawlessness regime in the south that has existed since 1967, first under the PLO and now under Hezbollah, out of the control of the central government. The only thing that policy has accomplished is to destroy Lebanon and transform it into the burning pit of the Arab world. The Arab countries, with Syria in the lead, imposed this convenient situation on their smaller "brother" to avoid losing more battles against Israel. Egypt and Jordan have signed peace treaties with Israel. Since 1973, Syria faithfully votes with Israel at the UN for the renewal of the cease-fire agreement and the UN observer force mandate in the Golan. In contrast, Lebanon is destroyed, divided, occupied, its economy in shambles, and forced to fight an idiotic war that all the Arabs combined have lost against Israel for the past 60 years.

We extend our sincere condolences to the Lebanese people for todayıs latest victims of this futile war, 82-year old Dib Yassin, and 20-year old Samira Abu Qayss. We mourn with them for the moronic leadership that Syria imposes on Lebanon in the puppets that are Lahoud, Hariri, and Berry, and who lack the spine to stand up for the real interests of their country and the welfare of their people.

NEAL strongly condemns the comments of Mr. Aridi and sees in them a declaration of war by Syria and its cronies in Beirut against the US-led war on terrorism. Mr. Aridi is indeed advocating that Hezbollah retaliates against the US as the latter wages war on terrorism and against the Syrian dictatorshipıs alter ego in Baghdad, the regime of Saddam Hussein.

New England Americans for Lebanon
Long Live Free Lebanon
* From the Daily Star, 21 January 2003