Saturday, August 05, 2006

Personalized Propaganda

The Israeli propaganda effort is a reliable source of amusement amidst the incalculable violence and destruction. They drops pamphlets, which inform the Lebanese that "Hezbollah is destroying your country and homes," followed by a barrage of American-made bombs that level entire villages. They interrupt radio- and TV broadcasts. Sometimes the images are just scrambled. While watching the news on Al Jazeera, the weather reporter morphs into Hillary Clinton-- a grave injustice to say the least. During a re-run of Hassan Nasrallah's latest televised address, I gleaned valuable information from a banner obscuring his face that read, "I am a member of Hezbollah". But they also individualize their efforts by bombarding cellphones with pre-recorded messages.

Yesterday, a young man named Hassan walked in to Cafe Younes, while I was discussing the shortcomings of Israeli propaganda with the owner of the cafe. Hassan told us of the phone calls he has been receiving from the Israelis, repeatedly between the hours of 4 and 6am. The first time they called, a voice said, "Hassan!" to which this coincidental namesake of the Hezbollah leader responded groggily, "Yes. What is it?" The message continued, "...the coward, is destroying this country." After the third or fourth call, Hassan recognized the number and stopped answering.

There are approximately 34,000 persons named Hassan in Lebanon, according to Information International.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ha HA Ha so funny.People are dying all over and you try to please your western friends with little stories .shame on you .I am sure you are not muslim . this is not a game . stop bieng so over clever.

ed_b_teez_koon said...

Anonymous i think whether she is muslim or not shouldnt matter she is Lebanese, this should be uniting the entire country. By the way i love the way she writes.

CAFE YOUNES said...

Mr or Ms Anonymous,

My guess is that you haven't understood a single world of the article you are commenting on (I am using the verb commenting to be nice). And the fact that the author is or isn't Muslim shouldn't account for her sincere love to the country (a fact that I, a Muslim, testify for). So please stop commenting for the sake of Lebanon and reduce your limited skills to reading, or not.

ed_b_teez_koon said...

Anony you really didnt understand the post did you? thats ok we can put down to the bombs rattling your brain.

Make hommus not war

Anonymous said...

edb is my daily anti-depression dose.

ohcanada said...

EDB puts a human face on what would otherwise just be another 30 second clip of war coverage on our western tvs. Do you, anonymous, realize how few people care when they haven't friends or family directly involved? I am ever so grateful for this, and other blogs like it. Humour is a universal trait that humanizes us. And recognizing that humanity in all of us is essential for compassion.

Grand Street said...

With this new (Israeli) US/French proposal Beirut maybe even more dangerous than before. The Israeli's will take a leaf from the Kissinger play book and may repeat the Christmas bombing of Hanoi. That was the shameless and brutal bombing in the midst of negotiations -- a Kissinger negotiating ploy.

EDB said...

Anonymous the first,
"I am sure you are not muslim". Are you saying that Muslims don't have a sense of humor? That puts you in the same camp as the Islamophobics in Europe and the US. Thought so.

Get over yourself. Your insipid moralism and petty selfrighteousness isn't saving lives. Or is it?

If you don't like it, don't read it.

Anonymous said...

I'm worried about Jamal again. No post in two days. Can you please veriiy that he is safe? Thank you.

EDB said...

Jamal is fine, as far as I know. You can e-mail him by clicking on "Profile" on his blog and personally relay your concerns for his safety.

Anonymous said...

You missed the point. This is war and all tactics are used. Look at the success of the Danes who managed to get muslim arabs to kill their own neighbors and burn their own property because they heard about a caricature. So why shouldn't the Israelis try to do the same with actual caricatures? Never seen that kind of behaviour in Lebanon have we?

Anonymous said...

The Israelis have never been good at selling their cause, even when the world's left was all for them (until 1967). I guess it has to do with a muddled view of themselves and their (military and non-military) target groups. Their ignorance of whom they are peppering with leaflets from the air is bizarre. Sad to say, the conceitedness towards their Arab neighbours and co-Israelis goes right back to 1948. I know first-hand. - I have some Israeli friends. None of them went into politics, regrettably. One is at least in journalism. But most just want to lead normal lives and have delegated their civic responsibilities to some political personnel whose quality seems to be decreasing with each generation change. - TR

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why beng a muslim would make any difference or why it is important at all . I tend to agree that your writing is superficial.maybe thats what he was trying to say. It does not soound like you share the pain of your fellow countrymen

'G' said...

I dont get what being muslim got to do with being lebanese. Comming to think of it aint it the muslim nasrallah that brought this plauge on lebanon...?
laters
g

waleed said...

hey,
can i know what the phone number that sent that voice message was please.
i received it at home, but never knew what the number was.

Anonymous said...

R u american who reside in Beirut?
well written and funny.

Bash said...

Lebanon is much more than a banana republic.. it's more like a fruit cocktail republic..

tribalecho said...

Greetings all. From Atlanta Georgia, USA. I'm eternally grateful to The Angry Arab for linking to you're blog EDB. Sorta like finding a less sheltered, smart-ass Riverbend. Love your stuff, except the war part of course. See you tomorrow.

tribalecho said...

Oh. And Anonymous. Her "little stories" will help me do what little I can to break the stupid stereotypes and propaganda digested here in the West. When condemning the coming, then happening war in Iraq to anyone who couldn't get away, Riverbend was my most effective weapon in making the so-called enemy, human. I know some of those stories are remembered by some who finally started questioning US designs in the region. Of course, gas prices helped too.

Anyway, even when you're not talking about tragic events it's obvious you're one of those people that enjoys being a grouch. And, that's ok. Many good people have assumed such a persona.

Mahmoud Itani said...

Brilliant! The name Hassan is causing such a confusion in this war! I refer the anonymous grouch to a series of collected articles by the late martyr Ghassan Kanafani (Fares Fares). In one of these articles the PFLP hero explains how wonderful it is that the Palestinians had such a sharp sense of humour and made fun of their selves in the middle of combat, while Israeli humour was really more like watching Bonanza. It is horrible not to have a sense of humour. Mind you, i'm not saying go dance on tables while people are dying...

Last, being a Muslim has nothing to do with it.

gabrielf said...

my name is not hassan but when i heard the call on the phone I naivly said:nomra ghalat... :)

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever watch the rather silly movie "Mars Attacks"? It's a movie of invading Martians who run around with a recorded voice proclaiming repeatedly "Don't. Run. We. Are. Your. Friends," all the while blowing up things indiscriminately. Sounds like the Israelis, "we had to destroy the country in order to save it."

Akabilk said...

Peace comes at the price of killing everybody.

The last man standing will please shoot himself.