Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Francesc-Marc Alvaro describes a conversation with one of our local enlightened and illustrated intellectuals in today's La Vanguardia:

My friend is thrilled with Zapatero's latest diplomatic adventures and with
the PSOE's official position on the crisis between Israel and Hezbollah. My
friend attended last Thursday's demonstration in Barcelona's Plaza Sant Jaume in
order to protest against "Israeli genocide in Lebanon," to put it in his own
words. My friend thinks that Jose Blanco did not go far enough, and recites an
article written by a University of Barcelona professor and retired military
officer which declares that Israel "has responded to every terrorist action with
military reprisals against the Arab civilian population." My friend assures me
that the war is the fault of the Israelis and "their expansionist and
colonialist desires," to put it in his own words.

I try to tell my friend that Hezbollah is a political party and an armed
organization which, moved by Teheran's interests and encrusted inside the
Lebanese state, dedicates itself to imposing through terrorism the same
totalitarian and fundamentalist ideology that the Iranians are suffering from
today. I also remind him that it was no accident that the first attack by
these guerrillas on Israeli soil was on July 12, when the deadline set for the
Iranian government to respond officially about its nuclear program ran out.

My friend, who exclusively watches the TV3 news, insists that Israel
"is killing children, women, and old people," and that "it's all a plan drawn up
by the neocons to expand the empire." A little tired by now, I remind him that
the fanatical cleric that runs Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrala, has stated publicly,
"We love martyrdom," which fits in perfectly with these guerrillas' practice of
camouflaging arms and military bases in the middle of houses and civilian
buildings, using the defenseless population as human shields. Nasrala, who is
totalitarian but not an imbecile, generously promotes the martyrdom of Lebanese
civilians while he and his lieutenants hide away. I cite a recent article by the
Israeli author Amos Oz, a well-known pacifist, denouncing the false symmetry in
placing a democratic state like Israel at the same level as a totalitarian
terrorist organization like Hezbollah.

My friend isn't listening to me any more. It does me no good to remind him
that Hezbollah's attacks occurred exactly when Israel has pulled out of Gaza and
was planning a pullout from the West Bank. Isn't it suspicious that
fundamentalists sponsored by Iran and supported by Syria provoke Israel as soon
as some hope appears? My friend enthusiastically praises Zapatero and talks
about his Alliance of Civilizations. He feels superior and his conscience is
very calm.

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