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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Children of SLA members doing national service in Israel

YNet had a story over the weekend about how the children of former SLA members are doing national service in Israel, where they now live. For those who have forgotten the SLA was the South Lebanese Army, and they were Israel's allies that helped it to maintain the 'security zone' in southern Lebanon between 1978 and 2000. Unfortunately, when Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to flee southern Lebanon, many SLA members were abandoned to the 'tender mercies' Hezbullah. Still, some members were resettled here in Israel.
Jessica Hashem, an 18-year-old resident of Ma’alot, and daughter of two former SLA members, has been volunteering in the pediatric unit of a Nahariya hospital for the past month. “It is very gratifying,” Hashem said of her service.

“At first I thought of enlisting in the IDF, but my parents refused. My father said it was bad enough that the country stabbed them in the back, and he didn’t want the same thing happening to me.

“I decided that with the motivation I had, I had to do something, so I decided to volunteer in something close to my heart; children and medicine. I was received very well at the unit.,” Hashem explained.

“I don’t feel like I have much to give back to the country, since I see my parents suffering,” she added, “But on the other hand, why should I pass up the opportunity to contribute and help children? If I happen to get recognition from the state while I’m at it, then why not?”
What's more curious is that Lebanese blogger Mustapha at Beirut Spring posted this story without comment and invited comments. Some of what he got back is fascinating:
  1. Hussein Says:

    I see nothing wrong in what she is doing, except for her contemplation of joining an army designed to kill. Helping children is gallant, regardless of where they are. If I live somewhere, I would like to contribute to the community I live within.

    Israeli people are no less human than Lebanese are, and being able to see them as such, while hoping that it would be reciprocated, is the only way forward.

    If you call me an idealist, then you are just coming up with an excuse for your instinctive hatred and prejudices, an excuse for the laziness to break away from all the preconceived ideas and feelings instilled in you.

  1. Pazuzu Says:

    Well I don’t see the point of such a question, she belongs there, after all As many have mentioned before me, Israel is a country with humans in it. And no the Israeli army is not an army to kill… At least not more than other armies are, that’s the nature of armies. Take the silliest most simplistic comparison: Lebanese people living, working and fulfilling their military obligations in Syria, are they traitors? No

    Ask yourself: what is Lebanon for this woman? the country where she was thrown out off under the threat to be persecuted? the country that calls her father a traitor? The country to which she can never come back?

    That sounds more like an enemy rather than a home. And I hope no one will dare say that she “can” come back… None of the SLA members who came back or who never left led a normal life, they either had to flee to europe or the US or they were harassed.

  2. Hazbani Says:

    Some body mentioned to me. Palestinians work in Israeli Hospitals. For a long time Shiaa from South Lebanon worked in Saffad hospital. Arab MDs from several countries work for short or long periods in Israeli hospitals. Palestinian and other Arabs who need hospitals use at times Israeli hospitals. Shell I go on?


At 10:57 AM, Blogger Scott Kohlhaas said...

Oh, great. Israel has enslaved these young people. Did the SLA use conscription for men and women?

Would you be willing to spread the word about www.draftresistance.org? It's a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts!

Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.


Scott Kohlhaas

PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


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