Monday, May 25, 2009

In Lebanon, Ninth Anniversary of the Day of Liberation (يوم التحرير) from Israeli Occupation

PART OF THE RESEARCH NOTES FROM MY CURRENT PROJECT, "The Art of the Martyr & Mujahid," (All Materials Copyrighted) :

Israel occupied approximately 10% of Lebanon, in the south, which it called its "security zone." As Prof. Augustus R. Norton once wrote in an article, the swath of land became more like an "insecurity zone," as the Israeli military and its Lebanese collaborationist allies, the South Lebanon "Army" militia, came under frequent attack from guerillas belonging to a host of Lebanese parties during the seventeen years of their occupation (1982-May 24, 2000), including Hizbullah and AMAL, the country's largest Shi'i socio-political movements, but also including secular parties, such as the Lebanese Communist Party. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and hundreds of SLA gunmen were killed in these guerilla attacks, eventually turning Israeli public opinion against the occupation.

In 2000, then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak ordered Israeli occupation forces to leave southern Lebanon a full month before schedule, as Hizbullah and other Lebanese groups stepped up the pressure. On May 24, under cover of darkness, the Israelis retreated back across the border to the south, basically abandoning the SLA, though several highranking SLA officers, like Antoine Lahad, managed to flee with the Israeli military (he now owns a restaurant in Tel Aviv.) The very next day, to add to the humiliating nature of the withdrawal, Hizbullah guerillas and officials, including the head of the party, al-Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, came to the south where they were greeted as liberators, since it was their attacks on Israeli forces and their Lebanese lackeys which led to the end of Israeli occupation there. This day (May 25) is commemorated annually in Lebanon, particularly among the Shi'is in southern Lebanon who bore the brunt of the brutal Israeli and SLA occupation. Below is a selection of the visual media from this year's celebration of the "Day of Liberation" (يوم التحرير) from Hizbullah's official web sites and a collection of photographs from southern Lebanon following the Israeli retreat.

A mural celebrating the May 25, 2000, the first day that a huge swath of southern Lebanon was not occupied by Israeli and its SLA allies (SLA members cowered in fear, thinking they would be executed for treason...In the end, save for a handful of SLA leaders, militia members were pardoned.) The mural gives the date and the word "Freedom."

Mural painted onto the walls of Khiam Prison, a major detention center used by the Israeli occupation forces and the SLA. Mass arrests, imprisonment without charge, and brutal torture were routine practices. Although the Israelis denied that they participated in torture, a Human Rights Watch report, and reports from other non-aligned human rights organizations, dismantled their claims of innocence.

The text reads (not a literal translation), "Victory is from God, and [it] is near."

The Israelis destroyed the prison, as well as hundreds of other building and homes in Lebanon, during their summer 2006 war against Hizbullah and (third) major invasion of Lebanon.

SLA members flee southern Lebanon as their Israeli allies abandon them to their fate.

A banner on May 25 congratulates "the Resistance" (Hizbullah) and "its people" for forcing the Israelis and SLA to flee their former "security zone."

Shi'i religious scholars ('ulama) in southern Lebanon associated with Hizbullah celebrate on May 25, 2000, showing their defiance against their former occupiers.

"May 2000: Days of the Resistance and of Liberation"

Banner 1 currently being used on Hizbullah's official web site. The rest of the banner, which completes the text (Our Land is worth more than gold), is below.

Banner 2

Banner 3
The second part of the banner;
The text below reads, "The ninth annual celebration of Resistance and Liberation"

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