Orange County's diaspora of ethnicities is finally coming together against a common foe: whitey.
On Saturday, Anaheim's Little Gaza played host to a protest against the ongoing Israeli destruction of Lebanon, as well as US support for Israel's efforts. Some went so far as call the Israelis baby-killers, hearkening back to the rabble-rousing protests surrounding the Vietnam War and such massacres as My-Lai.
A couple of extremely good points raised by protesters:
- "It is not kidnapping; it is capturing. Hezbollah did not attack Israel. They did not attack civilians." -Kamal Shamas, 50, Los Angeles, LA Times
- "Why are they killing civilians? If they want to get Hezbollah out, then go after them." -Ahmad Alam, 53, Fountain Valley, OC Register
Hezbollah is like a militia, and Lebanon is not a huge country. From Israel's point of view, if a known Hezbollah fighter lives in an apartment building of 100 people, either s/he is a dickweed for endangering those people or those people are idiots for not knowing the personal details of everyone in their apartment complex. Usually it's both. Either way, any Hezbollah presence is justification for an Israeli airstrike, with complimentary phosphorus exfoliation and cluster-bomb massage. This is a similar strategy that the U.S. uses when it bombs Iraq; we're not targeting civilians, they just happen to live above, below and around the so-called terrorists we are targeting.
The Anaheim protest got coverage in the Register and the LA Times, but only the Timespointed out the diversity of support for the protest: Orange County's majority of minorities are concerned about tax dollars going to rebuild Lebanon when their own neighborhoods and infrastructure are falling into disrepair.
Latino, black and Asian American activists said they were alarmed at the civilian killings but also said they did not want to use their tax dollars to support the Israeli military or the rebuilding of Lebanon when social services in their own communities are being cut.
In addition to Lebanese and Muslim groups, the action reportedly received support from "Latinos, African Americans, and Jews." Yes, that's right, some Jews are opposed to the conflict. Not all Red Sea Pedestrians are fanatical Zionists who'll support any Israeli offensive, no matter how inhumane or unjustified. It's a case of simple, basic logic. Take a look at a recent press release on the Jewish Federation of Orange County website. According to the JFOC:
Israelis are being injured and killed Israeli soldiers have been kidnapped by Hezbollah Homes and businesses have been destroyed Families are displaced and living in bomb shelters Resources have been stretched thin The situation continues to worsen by the day
Let's examine Sunday's tally. Militants fired 134 rockets at Israel, injuring 48 people (one seriously), according to CNN. Meanwhile, an Israeli airstrike on Qana destroyed a building full of refugees. Initial reports claim 60 were killed, 37 of whom were children. The savagery was enough to force the Israelis to acknowledge the indiscriminate nature of their offensive and agree to a 48-hour cease-fire, not to mention validating the Anaheim protesters who were foresightful enough to carry signs that read "BABY KILLERS".
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Anyway, point is, the JFOC's pleas for Israeli support make the need for Lebanese support all the more desperate. Israelis are being injured while Lebanese children are dying by the dozens. Hezbollah fighters' corpses are being held by an Israeli military desperate to prove its efficacy. Lebanese bomb-shelters are being bombed. I'm not saying the Israelis don't need help as well; I'm saying the Lebanese clearly need MORE.
HOW TO HELP LEBANON
Iman Azzi is an American journalist working in Beirut. She recently covered current humanitarian efforts in Beirut (as well as Israeli efforts to impede such aid) for the city's English-language paper, the Daily Star. According to Azzi, donations should be sent to either the Lebanese Red Cross or the Hariri Foundation:
The Lebanese Red Cross is accepting donations as follows: Lebanese Red Cross, Audi Bank, Bab Idriss, Account No.: 841500, Swift: AUDBLBBX Contact info in Lebanon (05) 924017 / 8 / 20 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hariri Foundation-USA has established an emergency relief fund to aid the victims. Donations to the Lebanon Relief Fund will be used for emergency medical services, food, water, shelter, clothing, and refugee relocation. Questions regarding the Lebanon Relief Fund may be directed to the Hariri Foundation by phone at 301-656-1666 or e-mail at Haririmail@aol.com or at email@example.com. Make checks payable to the "Hariri Foundation - Lebanon Relief Fund"