Actualité L'événement


Hostages of the Culture of Death

[As the President of the French Association of International Solidarity (AFSI; (Association française de solidarité interna­tionale, located 9, rue de Dantzig, 75015 Paris), Marie-Sylvie Buisson has been living in Lebanon for 20 years. The following is an excerpt of her eyewitness testimonial about the people of South Lebanon.]


…Last week, the people of the southern [Lebanese] villages gathered in Remeish – roughly 25,000 people. Up until July 26, as they were caught in the crossfire, they could not evacuate their villages. In fact, there have been reports that the Israeli army had fired on civilian vehicles attempting to leave by way of the roads, covered with white sheets to signal their neutrality.  The Lebanese press has related the case of a car which was pursued on July 28 by a firing Israeli combat helicopter. The Christian family, including its children in the car, was burned alive.

On July 28, under a 72-hour truce obtained by the UN, a first convoy by the brave Red Cross ventured in to retrieve 600 Christians from the south to Beirut. They made it in Beirut, after 14 hours of an arduous journey and the foot-crossing of close to 30 destroyed bridges, completely exhausted. We welcomed them in the Maronite parish of St. Joseph in the Bourj-Hammoud neighborhood. The parish families are the ones who received them, sheltering them – sometimes at 4 families per apartment. I joined the relief effort, along with the entire staff of Radio MBS.


A young woman delivered a little baby girl upon her arrival, which she did in one corner of the parish hall. We brought her rags, water and baby clothes. The urgency is now to buy food, basic hygiene products and milk for the babies.


Before receiving the Christians from the south, we had welcomed Shiite refugees. My conversations with them taught me a number of interesting facts: Each woman, including little girls, receives per month from Iran – via Hezbollah – 250 dollars to wear a veil, and 500 dollars to wear the black “Abaya” [long garment] that covers the entire body. Each man receives 500 dollars per month to grown an Islamic beard, such that a “bearded” man with four wives and eight daughters therefore makes 3,500 dollars a month to disguise himself as an Iranian. This is not in any way the custom of the Lebanese Shiites. This is simply a strategy to “Iranize” the Lebanese landscape and to make people used to dress according to Islamic fashion. Moreover, a Hezbollah militant is paid 4,000 dollars a month, in a country where the minimum monthly wage is about 300 dollars.


Also, we learned that the arming of Hezbollah had been piling up for years. The Israeli army is discovering bunkers and underground tunnels, dug and built with North Korean materials and financed by Iran, which explains the difficulties the Israeli army is encountering on the ground. Hezbollah fighters take the advancing Israeli soldiers by surprise as they emerge from these underground bunkers.


In addition, it is reported that Jihadists from all places are converging on Lebanon: Afghanis, Palestinians, Iraqis, and other veterans of similar wars, including a few hoodlums from the French suburbs who are happy to come and “beat up Israelis” in the flesh! They, obviously, will all get killed, convinced that they will go straight to Heaven. This Culture of Death is disseminated by some officials who, literally, play with people’s lives.  In the Christian quarters [of the city], people are beginning to retrieve their weapons and organize watch groups to protect their lives and possessions.


Marie-Sylvie Buisson

 [Translated from the French magazine “Famille Chrétienne, No. 1490, August 5-11, 2006]