Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Israel and Lebanon: Where the Hope Really Lies

I, of course, have been watching intently as events have unfolded in Lebanon that frankly threatens the security of the entire world. But amidst all the turmoil a very interesting and hopeful story has arisen of communication between the Israelis and the Lebanese.  No, these are not backroom discussions between the two governments, but chat room discussions between their citizens.

The majority of the communication has been between the younger crowds, and it’s not just limited to chat rooms. Blogs and message boards have been springing up like crazy since the onset of the war, and pre-existing sites have experienced record traffic.  The communication provides a method to get opinions and news on the war without the burden of a filter from the media and the respective governments.
"It's important to note that this community existed for some time before the war broke out," said Lisa Goldman, who has used her blog,, to publicize Israeli-Lebanese blogging since the current crisis broke out. "We have tons of things in common. We come from two of the most liberal, educated countries in the Middle East. Many of us received a western education. We have talked, wrote, and dreamed about open borders between our countries."

A popular site is, where the politics message boards have been more than active.  It’s true that some of the messages are very hateful, but even more are honest, describing how the real people of Israel and Lebanon are reacting to the never-ending bombs being dropped in their back yards. Included in the messages are often pictures and even videos of the true devastation that gets filtered out either by the media or the respective governments.

Consistent readers of this blog know that I believe that I believe that it is the radical groups and governments in the Middle East that can’t get along, and that result in all the violence that we see today.  I believe sincerely that the difference between most of the people is small, and that most of the people in the Muslim countries want peace. The problem is that the people have never had a voice to speak to each other.

But now, in the midst of all this violence and all this turbulence, that voice is being heard, maybe not by the governments but by the people, by the future of these countries.  It is mainly a voice of the youth of these countries, and sometimes it is a voice of hatred, but it is also a voice of hope for a brighter tomorrow. Let’s hope the people with the power hear the voice, before it’s too late!

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Posted by Scottage at 3:50 PM / | |