Lebanon

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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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Hizbollah 'rearming against Israel'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 14, 2009

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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.

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Why Israel fears a Lebanon flare-up

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 30, 2009

At a rare press conference on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi tried to play down the reports of tension on the Israel-Lebanon border.

“We have no signs that the peace is about to be broken,” he said.

A few minutes earlier, though, while meeting new recruits bound for one of the IDF’s infantry brigades, he told them that “the chance we will have to act in the near future is large. So make the most of your training, you could well be put to the test.”

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UK-Hizbollah talks spark Israeli ire

By Leon Symons, June 25, 2009

The first official meeting between a senior British diplomat and a representative of Hizbollah has taken place in Lebanon, drawing a sharp rebuke from Israel.

Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon, Frances Guy, met Lebanese MP Mohammed Raad in Beirut last Thursday.

British foreign policy allows cautious contact with people Britain considers to be in the political wing of the organisation and not involved in violence.

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