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Archbishop George Khodr: This Terrible War!
 
This Terrible War
By Archbishop George Khodr
Orthodox Christian Metropolitan of Mount Lebanon


I beseeched God, since the beginning of this distress, to overshadow
Lebanon under His generous mercy. His mercy shall stop this war waged by
Israel spitefully. An absurd death, evil, and terrible is falling upon us
besides the annihilation, the tearing apart, and ripping to pieces of the
country. This enemy is delighted in our death—the death of our innocent
nation in its overall constituting sects and groups—no matter what we may
consider of the wisdom of this or that of these sects.

I am not surprised by Israel’s action; this is present in the literature
of its fathers who ordered the annihilation of the Canaanites that is our
people. This is ancient and is prior to the founding texts of Zionism which
endeavors the founding of a racially prejudiced Jewish state. This excluding
principle is opposed to the principle of founding of modern nations. This
does not shock me, but what shocks me is the lineup of the Americans and
Europeans in general, behind the Jewish state, and the position of the
United States in stating that Israel has the right to defend itself! Who
attacked it? If what Mr. Bush intended is the kidnapping of the two
soldiers, does that verify all the massacres, destruction, terror, and
starvation waged upon the Lebanese people? Is it necessary to burn Lebanon
in order to return these two soldiers? There is no relation of causality
between the abduction and this open war. Then, who can believe that such a
military operation of this scale is a mere reaction; shouldn’t have taken
months of preparation in the scope of a huge action against Lebanon—as a
part of an international political plan—aiming at greatly shaking the whole
region? The great hypocrisy is that the Americans, after their great failure
in Iraq, do see Lebanon fit to become a model of a free democratic state
amongst the Arabs: whilst they bless, or do not stop, the aggression against
it. Is democracy feasible in an incapable country? Subsequent to the policy
of “burned ground” which the Israelis are eager to enforce; who can possibly
attain a democratic and civilized state capable of inspiring freedom to the
Arab world? Those who think that the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers
was an act of foolishness on the part of Hezbollah (I don’t say he’s
acquitted) use it as the direct reason to impede the ongoing national
dialogue which was closing to a form of an agreement between it and the
other parties. Either disclosed or silent disagreement with Hezbollah at the
present time can only serve and support Israel and the nations behind it.
Whatever it turns to be, I see that this war shall strengthen the Lebanese
character of Hezbollah once it discovers that its foreign allies or those
who supported it financially shall not consult Hezbollah when they shall try
to negotiate an agreement with the Americans. The victory of the National
Resistance in this war shall strengthen Lebanon and shall bring this
Resistance closer to other national groups and confirm its pure Lebanese
belonging.

***

I wrote this article past Monday and maybe a cease-fire will be in place
before it is published. What the Lebanese shall recognize is that they have
to seek after power sources and reform for their government; a great
mobilization of our resources can free us of our fragility. In times of
truce or peace, we must identify, not only our enemy who is killing us
today, but also to identify those who are halfhearted or just don’t care
about us, and wow then to him who didn't realize that our true national
unity rests upon our complete and unconditional loyalty to our nation alone.
The nations, who affirmed their support to our sovereignty after the
withdrawal of the Syrian armies from Lebanon, have demonstrated that their
sole unconditional support is for Israel. Are we able to prove to these
nations that Lebanon is an absolute issue too, and that no one has the right
to watch over its fires like Nero who observed the fire of Rome accusing the
Christians of what he did? Under the shadow of death we taste today, we have
the right to feel wrath, and to refuse to be exclusively dependent on others
for our existence. We’re not a resented nation but don’t we have the right
to feel anger?

We shall descend in total death if we, after the end of the
present distress, surrender to silly sectarian tensions. We shall
congratulate who made victory possible because it is our victory all.
History shall thus pass, but wow to all Arabs if Israel defeats us because
it shall then enslave them all.

Western nations did not yet realize that the peace of the region
will not be the American peace but the Israeli. America did not understand
that it is Israel which is using it; and that Israel—in its deep
psychology—has no ally, despite its strategic alliance with the United
States. This is a juridical alliance not a psychological one. And I wish if
the world Christians could comprehend that the Jewish supremacy brought in
by the Israeli victory is, in its first degree, endangering their own
existence because the real clash is, on the religious doctrinal level,
between the Church and Judaism. The yielding of the Christians of the West
in front of Jews and Judaism, manifest in the Judainization of Christian
theology since the past ninety years, did not yet influence eastern churches
here, Orthodox and Unorthodox, and may reach us here causing us to fall in
the heresy of Zionist Christianity. Beyond Israeli arrogance there shines a
clear Jewish arrogance; they hate Christ personally, and especially, hate
the Apostle Paul who prevailed over Judaism. All of this is prevailing in
Jewish literature, but who is reading?

Lebanese Christians may not have today great weight in the
politics of their country. But I boldly declare to them that Israel doesn’t
prefer their existence over Islamic existence, because Lebanese Christians
don’t have what to offer to win the hearts of Jews, meanwhile Muslims have
oil. We coexisted with Arab Muslims for a long period, and mostly it was a
peaceful coexistence. We found here in Lebanon a coexistence principle which
granted us the greatest possible freedom and we won’t enjoy greater freedom
under a Jewish peace.

***

And after the pain, creativity must rein; forgiveness must rein
over the whole Lebanese mosaic. But this requires from us not to hold any
religious sect responsible of this war. For this we shall work together for
the prosperity of Lebanon but with great sacrifices enabling us to build a
great nation.

We shall endure pain, especially if the crisis prolongs, because
we know that our solidarity is the condition of our permanence as a free
country able to become a model to all Arabs teaching them the fullness of
freedom for their nations; and then we may become a model to the whole world
as well. Let us not be afraid from death, because death is the freedom of
the living, this can be true, if we understood that the individual and the
community are strengthened by sanctity, and that this sanctity is what makes
a country strong and honest.

What remains, is that our hearts are with the displaced
scattered everywhere and are in need for us all and for our prayers. I hope
the Lord God shall inspire us to help them directly or through charitable
organizations and through the Higher Commission of Relief, especially taking
care of baby food and medications for chronic diseases. But most
importantly, is that the neighbors of these organizations where the
displaced took refuge to, do make all the possible to let them feel the
solidarity of the Lebanese people in the midst of the distress.

We implore the Lord God to grant an end to the fight, that we
may all return to our homes and for our country to prosper in rest and
peace.

Published Saturday July 22, 2006 in the © An-Nahar, Lebanese news paper.

Translated from Arabic.