CNN yesterday ended the 20-year career of Octavia Nasr, its Atlanta-based Senior Middle East News Editor, because of a now-deleted tweet she wrote on Sunday upon learning of the death of one of the Shiite world’s most beloved religious figures.
And Nasr herself wrote a moving explanation after the controversy over her tweet erupted, explaining that the respect she expressed for Fadlallah had nothing to do with some of his uglier views about the justifiability of civilian attacks on Israel or Holocaust disparagement.
Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah (Registration required.)
I say that America, in its policy that aspires to impose hegemony on the world is an evil with no good in it.
Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah (Registration required.)
[Israel’s 60th anniversary] is what led German Chancellor Merkel to visit that plundering country, which extorted and continues to extort Germany, using as a pretext the German Hitlerist-Nazi past, and the placing of the Jews in a holocaust. Zionism has inflated the number of victims in this holocaust beyond imagination. They say there were six million Jews – not six million, not three million, or anything like that… But the world accepted this [figure], and it does not allow anyone to discuss this.
My honorable Lebanese ladies, mothers and sisters… the people of Gaza do not need food or clothes. What they need is love, peace, reason, realism, reconciliation, national unity, and tolerance. They need to heal their wounds, transcend petty [arguments], and take a sober look at the supreme interests of the [Palestinian] public…
Take the safe land route [instead of the dangerous sea route]. Approach the Hamas officials in Beirut and Damascus, and persuade them that national reconciliation and unity are the best way to break the siege [on Gaza]. Tell them – since [as Lebanese], you [yourselves] have been singed by the flames of civil war and political and sectarian division – that what they have done and are still doing in Gaza is a crime. I would have you know that the decision-makers in Hamas bear [responsibility for the death of] 700 Fatah members, and for the thousands of victims of the Cast Lead attack [i.e., the 2009 Gaza war]. They deliberately subjected themselves to this crazy war, just so that Hamas’ name would be mentioned in the news broadcasts on the satellite channels, and thus become a household name. [Hamas] political bureau head [Khaled] Mash’al gambled with the blood and the body-parts of children and the elderly in Gaza…
Honorable ladies, I know that you only want what’s good for us, but good [things] will not come from the sea. I [really] wish you would appeal to Khaled Mash’al. The road from Beirut to Damascus is open. If you pour some of your mother[ly love] onto the stone of his heart, perhaps he will relent. If you tell him about the horrors of [internal] division, perhaps he will be persuaded. For he was only a teenager when Lebanese bodies were torn asunder by the daggers of [civil] war, [so] he never learned [what harm can be caused] by placing the homeland’s assets and supreme interests in the hands of foreign forces, and the scenes of Lebanese bloodshed could not persuade him to avoid political escapades whose failure is known in advance. We [older people, on the other hand,] shared in the pain of your disaster, and the losses [suffered by] our Lebanese brothers sharpened our political and national awareness. Your blood-soaked experience taught us that nationality is meaningless unless one believes in peace with himself and with others…
Hamas presents itself as a movement of resistance and heroism, though it is [quite] unclear where its heroism [lies]. Is it heroism to starve the masses and create a situation where filling their stomach is their top priority? Is it heroism to open the Rafah [border] crossing, as well as new crossings on the Egyptian [border], while closing the crossings [between Gaza] and the 1948 territories? Is it heroism to annex the Strip to Egypt? And before all that, is it heroism [to perpetuate the] division and transform the struggle from a battle against the occupation into an internal battle? The cost to the people, the land and the future – do they count as heroism [too]?… “Hamas wants the blockade to be lifted not for the sake of the [Palestinian] people but in order to preserve its own existence. As long as it exists, nothing else matters: people can starve, the country can die, and the Palestinian future can go to hell… The Palestinians are proceeding confidently and inevitably towards the realization of the Zionist plan to annihilate what is still left of the West Bank and establish a state [only] in the Gaza Strip.