local opinion about Israel: not so hot.

Folks over here do not take too kindly to Tony Blair or George Bush, to put it mildly. Local opinion–in the republican neck of the woods anyway–is naturally anti-imperialist and very anti-Israel. Take a look at the front cover of today’s Daily Ireland, posted here:Daily Ireland cover, 31 July 2006

You should be able to click on it to see a larger image.

Everyone that I have spoken to is absolutely horrified about yesterday’s attack on Qana, Lebanon, in which 56 people (mostly women and children) were slaughtered. The mainstream news over here makes the same boring comparisons between Hezbollah and the IRA as they did when Hamas won the Palestinian elections a short time ago. The mainstream media, of course, uses the comparison as a way of highlighting the fighters as terrorists in an effort to write-off their political motivations. Sarcastic mention is made of the expression, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” but of course no context is given to any of the struggles or the history that gave rise to the various groups.

No one that I’ve met is a fan of religious fundamentalism, but everyone seems to understand without question that Hezbollah is a resistance movement with the backing of their community. We were listening to the BBC yesterday, and someone was on the air saying that Hezbollah was using people as human shields! No one that I’ve met gives a second thought to the lies being spread by Israel’s excuse that Hezbollah is purposely hiding in civilian areas, so of course they have no choice but to kill civilians–perhaps because the same lies were told about their own community at the height of the war here. I’m bound to have many more conversations on this as my trip unfolds.

I recently spoke to a friend of mine who has just returned home from Lebanon. He was studying there for 6 months and visiting family until he was forced to evacuate. I just found out it was re-aired on WakeupCall in Brooklyn this morning! You can listen to the interview on the BlackBox Radio site.


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