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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Real reporting from Ghajar

Israelinurse shows that she is a better reporter than most people who get paid to do so with a great dispatch from the Israel/Lebanese/Syrian town of Ghajar.

Israel said it would cut the town in half in order to make the UN happy - which makes the residents quite unhappy:

Najib Khatib, the spokesman for Ghajar’s local council, was unable to hide his discontent at the fact that no official representative has visited the village to ask what the 2,200 residents want or inform them of decisions which will affect their future.
“We only find out what is going on by way of the media” he said.
Since Israel withdrew from Lebanon, the residents have consistently opposed the division of the village as stipulated by the UN. Najib explained that there are not two halves to the village; it is one community and every resident of it has family members in both the artificially created parts.
“Why put up another Berlin Wall here?”  he asked rhetorically, and indeed when one sees where the proposed border would lie, one understands the full absurdity of the UN stipulation.
Most of the agricultural land belonging to the village is situated in the southerly area which means that should the division plan go ahead, the people living today in the northerly part would, according to Najib, find themselves stateless refugees in Lebanon and bereft of their lands. He calls it a “Judgement of Solomon”: a demand to divide something which cannot be divided.
Najib then explained that the village never had any connections with Lebanon, from which it is separated by the natural border of the River Hatzbani. All the old deeds they have for their lands are Syrian and were issued in the Golan Heights town of Kuneitra. The UN mapmakers who drew up the border or “Blue Line” in 2000 relied upon old maps from 1923 created as a result of the Sykes-Picot agreement. As he wryly pointed out, “Those maps were made by the British and the French. There were no Israelis, Lebanese or Syrians then.
Read the whole thing at CiFWatch, including lots of photographs.