Lebanon

Lebanon uncovers more Israeli 'spies'

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

The capture of another group of alleged "Israeli spies" in Lebanon indicates the depth of Israel's penetration into the country's infrastructure and upper echelons.

Last week Charbel Qazzi, a senior executive at the Alfa mobile phone company, in charge of transmissions and broadcasting, was arrested on suspicion that he had helped Israeli intelligence plant listening devices at the heart of Lebanon's telecommunications infrastructure. The detention is causing shockwaves that are reverberating throughout the country's business, political and security circles.

More..

Lebanese concert promoter: musical boycotts 'ridiculous'

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

A Lebanese concert organiser has called boycotts against musicians that have performed in Israel “ridiculous”.

Entertainment tycoon Jihad al-Murr spoke in the wake of demands by Lebanese protesters that the British rock band Placebo should pull out of an upcoming Beirut concert after also playing in Tel Aviv.

Campaigners had said the group was unwelcome in Lebanon after launching Israel Pic.Nic festival, but Mr al-Murr said it would be foolish to “boycott every minister, official or artist that has ever visited Israel”.

More..

Chomsky meets Hizbollah in Lebanon

By Jessica Elgot, May 28, 2010

US academic Noam Chomsky, who was barred from entering Israel last week has met Hizbollah’s spiritual leader in Lebanon, telling him Israel has a “persecution complex.”

Professor Chomsky, who has been an outspoken critic of Israel, met Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah in Lebanon, where he told the Hizbollah leader he did not expect Israel to attack Lebanon except out of a “mentality of madness”.

More..

David Miliband: UK should talk to Hizbollah

By Jessica Elgot, December 3, 2009

Foreign Secretary David Miliband says that Britain should reopen dialogue with Hizbollah, according to an interview in a Lebanese newspaper.

But the Foreign Office said there was no change in any policy towards Hizbollah and that Mr Miliband's words had been "completely misrepresented".

Beirut newspaper the Daily Star reported that Mr Miliband said he believed "carefully considered contact with Hizbollah's politicians, including its MPs, will best advance our objective of the group rejecting violence to play a constructive role in Lebanese politics.

More..

Hizbollah given right to arm against Israel

By Josie Ensor, November 26, 2009

Lebanon’s new cabinet has agreed on a policy statement that recognises Hizbollah’s right to use arms against Israel, despite reservations from the Western-backed ruling majority.

The cabinet had already met eight times in an attempt to iron out the clause which refers to the party’s substantial arsenal, with some ministers arguing it undermines the authority of the state.

The clause in question states the right of “Lebanon, its government, its people, its army and its resistance” to liberate all Lebanese territory.

More..

Body of journalist Alec Collett found in Lebanon

By Josie Ensor, Beirut, November 24, 2009

The body of British journalist Alec Collett who was executed by Palestinian militants has been found this week in Lebanon after a 24-year hunt.

The search for the 64-year-old’s remains, organised by the British embassy in Lebanon, began last week in the eastern region of Bekaa after the excavation team received a tip-off.

Both the British Foreign Office and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) confirmed the DNA results Monday.

More..

Lebanon school bans 'Zionist' Anne Frank

By Josie Ensor, Beirut, November 13, 2009

A Beirut school has removed a textbook containing excerpts of The Diary of Anne Frankfrom its syllabus after Hizbollah claimed it promotes Zionism.

“The book focuses on the persecution of Jews during the war, but even more dangerous is the theatrical and dramatic method employed to narrate the diaries in an emotional way,” MP Hussein Hajj Hassan said on Hizbollah’s TV station, Al-Manar. “These respected, established schools are teaching the so-called tragedy this girl lived — how long will Lebanon remain an open arena for this Zionism?”

More..

Can Beirut's last synagogue still be saved?

By Josie Ensor, October 29, 2009

A scheme to renovate Beirut’s last standing shul is running out of money.

Maghen Abraham Synagogue, located in the former Jewish quarter of the Lebanese capital, was destroyed by Israeli shelling in 1982. It has been abandoned ever since, leaving Lebanese Jews without a synagogue building.

More..

Hizbollah 'rearming against Israel'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2009

More..

Restoration for Lebanon's oldest synagogue

By Jessica Elgot, August 7, 2009

Beirut's oldest synagogue, Magen Abraham, was devastated during the Lebanese civil war, but work has finally begun to give it a new lease of life.

Magen Abraham, which was built in 1926 in the traditionally Jewish neighbourhood of Wadi Abou Jmil, fell on the Muslim side of Beirut during the war which lasted from 1975 to 1990.

Two other synagogues still remain in Lebanon, in mountain towns east of Beirut, but they have been closed since the war.

More..