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The Arab world and its allies must move away from hatred

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I caught myself recently thinking about the day when former Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel was assassinated. It happened on September 14, 1982, but I didn’t hear about it until the next morning when I woke up and turned on the radio. I was devastated.

I was not a supporter of the party that Gemayel led nor of any of the parties involved in the civil war, but Gemayel promised peace, and he promised to unite the Lebanese people. After seven years of civil war, Lebanon looked like it was going to turn a corner under his leadership, making peace with Israel and making peace with itself. I hoped that he would deliver on his promises. His death ended all that.

Gemayel’s supporters responded by killing hundreds and maybe even thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites, most of them civilians. The worst of the massacres was the Sabra and Shatila massacre, which many Arabs cowardly blame on Israel instead of taking responsibility for the actions of Arabs: the murder of Bashir Gemayel and the revenge murder of civilians afterwards. The civil war went on for another eight years, but Lebanon has not recovered from that war yet. Today Lebanon is in a deep economic crisis, and its political system is paralyzed by the dominance of the criminal and terrorist organization Hezbollah.

The dominance of Hezbollah over Lebanon can be traced back to the Lebanese civil war which started with a conflict between Lebanese militias and Palestinian militias. If the Arab world, including Lebanon, had not rejected Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948 and attacked Israel, there would be no Palestinian militias in Lebanon. It is very likely that Lebanon’s situation would be much better than the........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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