Thursday, 20 March 2008

Hariri's new crime

Dr. Joseph Hitti is furious at the demolition of the last Jewish homes near the wonderful Magen-Abraham Synagogue in the Wadi Abu-Jamil distirct of Beirut—on the orders of Saad Hariri.

Hariri has committed a great crime. These buildings survived the ravages of civil war, Israeli bombings and the elements.

The Synagogue was used as a first aid station during the civil war, and despite all the anger and hatred, was treated with some respect.

Myself and a Jewish friend were shown round the building a few years ago by activists from the Communist Students. We were both taken aback when we found the Star of Davids untouched.

I would like to take this opportunity to appologise on behalf of the country for this act of vandalism and spite.

What a shame they have gone. These were not just buildings, but a symbol of Lebanon's history, and future reconciliation.

Here are Hitti's words:

"Saad Hariri, the much flaunted US ally in the Lebanese corrupt political and financial establishment, has finally laid his hands on the last architectural gems of pre-war Beirut. Not to preserve them, turn them into a Museum, and definitely not to return them to their rightful owners.

"But to demolish them and turn them into yet another disgusting skyscraper in which to house more corrupt businesses beholden to the Hariri empire and its company Solidere.

"In one of the most egregious crimes against Beirut's historic legacy, Saad Hariri just tore down the last three standing Jewish buildings in Beirut's old Wadi Abu-Jmil district, gems of Beirut's 19th century architecture."

Picture is of the Synagogue


salim said...

I certainly agree with you on the issue, but the tone of Hitti's article is sectarian. A few phrases made me suspect he was a bigot and I googled him. it turns out he is an extreme right winger who writes for zionist rag Front page magazine.

I love your blog, but you have to beware of who you deal with in this country. Our enemies's enemy is not necessarily our friend. You could have mentionned the issue without linking to Hitti's article.

Anonymous said...

Salim's comment is utterly disingenuous since he is missing the message for the messenger. How obtuse of him to suggest that I am an "extreme right winger" because Front Page carried a couple of my writings. He should read more broadly and, if I may suggest, with a more open-mind than what his Communist vintage intellect (which is otherwise defunct beyond repair) seems to suggest.

I am by the way an atheist and a devout believer in evolution. I can't stand the religious structure of Lebanon's politics, and I keep my mind at an equally remote distance from Judaism, Islam and Christianity and all the other religions of this world.

Does that still make me a right winger?

Joseph Hitti

Lebanese socialist said...

I welcome your comments... but let's keep all discussion in good humour.

I certainly agree that the tone of Joseph's original article could be perceived as sectarian, but nevertheless I share his sentiments over this issue.

... and of course Sursock always seeks to credit the source of its stories.

many regards