Quarantine Wall news, and an intriguing human story

It seems the recently negotiated prisoner swap agreement between Israel and Hizbullah might start to be implemented as early as tomorrow, Sunday.
The Israeli political system is, perhaps understandably, too preoccupied with the woes of PM Olmert to pay much attention to the progress of either this emerging (or already completed) agreement with Hizbullah, which has been mediated by German government officials, or to the possibly close-to-completion ceasefire agreement with Hamas, mediated by Egypt.
Whatever the final timeline on completion and implementation of these two agreements, however, the fact that the Israeli government has been very seriously engaged in these negotiations has already seriously undercut the “Quarantine Wall” that the Bush administration has long tried to maintain, to prevent its allies around the world away from having any diplomatic dealings whatsoever with either Hamas or Hizbullah (or, come to that, Syria.)
So let’s just quickly review which US allies have been chipping very seriously away at different portions of the Quarantine Wall in the past weeks and months:

    Israel (Hamas, Hizb., and Syria)
    Qatar (all three)
    Turkey (Syria)
    Egypt (Hamas)
    Germany (Hizbullah)
    Fouad Siniora (Hizbullah… also of note: as I thought might happen, a politically reconfigured Siniora is back again as Lebanon’s PM-designate)

Anyway, within the stories of prisoner releases there are always numerous very gripping human stories.
In Israel, Miki Goldwasser, the mother of the Hizbullah-held IDF soldier Ehud Goldwasser recently expressed her frustration about the neglect to which her family has been subjected by Israeli officials over recent weeks. She said that no official has visited her, “and that no one has reported any kind of new developments on the issue to her family.”
Ms. Goldwasser also expressed her conviction that her son and the other IDF soldier captured by Hizbullah in July 2006 are both still alive, though there remains considerable doubt about that.
My very best wishes to Ms. Goldwasser and the mothers of all the other people in that region who have been captured by enemy forces and held to be quite cynically used as bargaining chips.
Meanwhile, from Al-Manar’s English-language website we can learn some intriguing details about the family background of Nissim Nisr who, according to the website, has been detained in Israel (I believe on charges of acting as a Hizbullah spy), but “will be released on Sunday” as a preliminary step in implementation of the Hizbullah-Israel prisoner swap.
The site says:

    Nassim Nisr was born in 1968 to an Israeli-Jewish mother and a Lebanese Muslim father and left Lebanon during the Israeli invasion in 1982 to join his mother’s family near Tel Aviv. Nisr’s mother Valentine, 70, now lives in the village of Bazouryeh in southern Lebanon, and said that she had [unlike Miki Goldwasser] been informed of her son’s imminent release.

If I were in Lebanon, I would head straight down to Bazouriyeh– hey isn’t that Nasrullah’s home village?–to get an interview with this intriguing Israeli-Jewish woman, Valentine Nisr.
Is she being held in any form of confinement in Bazouriyeh, I wonder, or is she there of her own volition? And what is the story of her, an Israeli-Jewish woman, having married a Lebanese Muslim father, presumably some time before 1968? I hope it’s a good romantic story. Tell us, please!
… So then, in the horrendous Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 (the same one that afterwards gave birth to Hizbullah), the 14-year-old Nissim, who had been living in Lebanon, left the country to go live with his mother’s family near Tel Aviv. What were his experiences like there at the time? Of course, with a Jewish mother, he too would have been considered Jewish and therefore immediately eligible for Israeli citizenship… Did his mom go with him or stay on in Lebanon, sending him to her relatives to gain some safety from the conflict raging all around?
Did he really later become a spy for Hizbullah? I’d love to hear more of that story, too.
But we may not hear the details of that one any time soon… It is the back-story of Valentine and her spouse’s romance, the boy’s childhood, and his abrupt displacement at age 14 to Israel that I’d love to hear right now.
Tangled webs, eh?

5 thoughts on “Quarantine Wall news, and an intriguing human story”

  1. At one time all those bufoons in the administration were behind Bush. Although I am not a fan of any of them I really believe that Bush will do what he wants regardless of advice by anyone. He has been anxious to go to war with Iran and the idea that he would even explore diplomacy is not within the realm of possibility.
    He needs something climatic at this point before he leaves office. I doubt Israel knowing the sentiment of most Americans would pre-emptively strike. The biggest battle in the Mid-east is one pointed out by someone I interviewed on my radio show Susmit Kumar The Modernization of Islam. He says the battle between secular and religious forces for control of governments is the dominant conflict. We just don’t seem to get it that we are in the way of a revolution. Yes, Israel is in the cross hairs because for most Arabs peace means justice and that means re-claiming Arab land. A great DVD is Farewell to Israel by Joel Gilbert. After interviewing him on my show I had a different perspective of what it is that the major forces in the Mid-East want. They hate us more because we are on their land than because of our culture.By the way, check out Dick Cheney’s interview on moveon.org in which he gives all the reasons why the US should not to war in Iraq. It was before the war obviously. No it will all be decided by the dictator himself because Americans have been loath to realize how dangerous the man really is.

  2. I doubt Israel knowing the sentiment of most Americans would pre-emptively strike.
    I doubt Israel cares a bit about the sentiment of most Americans!
    Israel is in the cross hairs because for most Arabs peace means justice and that means re-claiming Arab land.
    That implies that Israel is in the cross hairs in the sense that it is likely to be attacked. I think the likelihood of that is slim to none. The Arab and Muslim regimes are not suicidal, despite propaganda to the contrary. If you mean that Israel is in the cross hairs figuratively in that there would be a major push to obtain a withdrawal, then you could be right.
    They hate us more because we are on their land than because of our culture.
    They don’t hate you because of your culture at all. Western culture in general and American culture in particular are very much appreciated throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds. It is also not because you are “on their land”, really, unless you are talking about Israel specifically. It is your vicious and dangerous policies and actions that are causing you to be hated. It is your support of brutal dictatorships while claiming to want to spread democracy. It is your hypocritical reaction when people DO exercise democracy and it doesn’t go quite your way. It is your readiness to use deadly and destructive military violence to force countries to do your bidding. It is your insistence upon imposing your will and your interests on other countries and people despite what they might want or what might be best for them. It is the fact that you are the biggest bully the world has ever seen.

  3. Carole Nelson,
    Its very sad and appalling some one working with radio holding these I ca say fanatic views.
    Are you living this world? Or you live in your truthfulness bubble.
    When people get down from their horse and realised the reality what Meddle East is.
    Looks that most American if not the big portion believe of myths fom those who call themselves Christian Zionist lies and fanatics view of their world?
    Reading this telling how much Amrican know about ME and what they knowlage they have after mre than five years of invasion of Iraq:
    Hussein, who speaks Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish, said she hears a lot of myths about Iraq from her peers. Some think that Osama bin Laden is Iraqi and that Saddam Hussein carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, she said.
    “Everyone fears Iraqis. I don’t understand why. They stereotype us as terrorists and that’s not true,” said Hussein, an aspiring dentist who is still deciding her college plans.

    Oh yah OBL Iraqi like your total myths you write here isn’t Carole Nelson,?
    I like to see if Chinese come and invade your land torture you and your family do what Israelis in Palestine did or some what American did in Iraq then what your radio show will be.

  4. I was brought back with a start to just such evil-doers of my American screen childhood last week by a memoir from a once-upon-a-time insider of the Bush presidency. No, not former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, who swept into the headlines by accusing the President of using “propaganda” and the “complicit enablers” of the media to take the U.S. to war in 2002-2003. I’m thinking of another insider, former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez. He got next to no attention for a presidential outburst he recorded in his memoir, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story, so bloodthirsty and cartoonish that it should have caught the attention of the nation — and so eerily in character, given the last years of presidential behavior, that you know it has to be on the money.

    Let me briefly set the scene, as Sanchez tells it on pages 349-350 of Wiser in Battle. It’s April 6, 2004. L. Paul Bremer III, head of the occupation’s Coalition Provisional Authority, as well as the President’s colonial viceroy in Baghdad, and Gen. Sanchez were in Iraq in video teleconference with the President, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. (Assumedly, the event was recorded and so revisitable by a note-taking Sanchez.) The first full-scale American offensive against the resistant Sunni city of Fallujah was just being launched, while, in Iraq’s Shiite south, the U.S. military was preparing for a campaign against cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.

    According to Sanchez, Powell was talking tough that day: “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly,” the general reports him saying. “There has to be a total victory somewhere. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” (And indeed, by the end of April, parts of Fallujah would be in ruins, as, by August, would expanses of the oldest parts of the holy Shiite city of Najaf. Sadr himself would, however, escape to fight another day; and, in order to declare Powell’s “total victory,” the U.S. military would have to return to Fallujah that November, after the U.S. presidential election, and reduce three-quarters of it to virtual rubble.) Bush then turned to the subject of al-Sadr: “At the end of this campaign al-Sadr must be gone,” he insisted to his top advisors. “At a minimum, he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out.”

    Iraq: ‘We Are Going to Wipe Them out!’
    By Tom Engelhardt, Tomdispatch.com. June 1, 2008.

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