The Lesson of Lebanon Lost, Once Free and Prosperous (and 54% Christian) – EurArabia Next?

The country of Lebanon was formed from part of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the Middle-East for four centuries prior to World War I; after that, it was part of the Mandate Area set aside by England and France for settlement of Jews and Muslims – it was established as an independent country after World War II. Once predominantly Christian (54% to 44% Muslim), in the mid-sixties it became prosperous despite the lack of oil resources, bustling with activity, construction of apartments, hotels and tourism – boasting the highest living standards of any Arab country in the world. Its capital, Beirut, grew from 450 thousand to 1.25 million persons (about 50% of Lebanon’s population); the country was proud of Beirup being called “Paris” of the Mid-East.

Then came the disastrous consequences of a country that forgot its purpose for being – to protect its citizenry – a country out of control, official incompetence and corruption; religious and political factions contesting authority everywhere, revenging grudges: political-religious-extremist groups running amok, funded by external Arab regimes; the Lebanese militia destroying five UNRWA camps, breeding grounds of resentment and hatred, putting down rebellion (leaving 11 camps from the original 16 UN camps with their hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees); the “Identity-Infidel killing raids” of Lebanese Christians by Lebanese Muslim extremists (identity cards divulging one’s religion) – then flights to safety by those Christians able to flee, or going into hiding; the influx of thousands of terrorists into Lebanon from Jordan, after its Black September, killing thousands of the PLO; similar forced dumped-evictions of extremists from Syria; then rocket attacks from Lebanon’s borders onto Israel by PLO and Hezbollah terrorist groups – with eventual IDF (Israel Defense Forces) retaliation raids to root them out – then IDF equipping and training a Lebanese Christian Force to defend its Christians, and to create a border buffer zone against future rocket attacks upon Israel – then a “revenge” by the Lebanese Christian Forces against Lebanese Muslims, killing hundreds at camps Sabra and Shatilla (Israel, uninvolved in the inter-religious chaos and killings of tens of thousands above, is faulted by the world for not restraining the Lebanese Christians).

The life of Ms. Brigitte Gabrielle, now an American citizen, author and speaker (on Islamic terrorism and Lebanon) – from her age ten to teens – was witness to the end of Lebanon’s Christian life. Her statements tell the story:

  • She grew up hearing talk about religion and politics. discussion was anti-Israeli, equating Israel and Jews with the devil. She attended a private Christian school.
  • She describes Palestinian atrocities against Christians. She says that the Palestinians would park their tanks and cannons in front of their bomb shelters and launch rockets at Israel, then drive away, knowing that Israel would fire back and hit the Christian bomb shelters.
  • She says, “My home in Lebanon was destroyed by shelling; I lived in an 8 X 10-foot bomb shelter for seven years between the ages of 10 and 17; I ate grass to live, drank dirty water from a nearby spring and spent evenings in candlelight, covering my ears from the sound of the bombs exploding around me.”
  • She says, “Once, at age 13, I went to bed dressed in my Sunday best because I wanted to look pretty for burial if I was killed by the Muslims. My only crime was that I was a Christian in what was once the only predominantly Christian country in the Middle East – before Islamic Jihad took hold and turned it into a terrorist haven.”
  • That night her life was saved by the Israeli invasion to the Litani river. She lived four years “protected” by the presence of the IDF.
  • She says, “The Israelis came into Lebanon to liberate them in 1982, because Hezbollah had joined with the Palestinians.” Her mother was wounded in the shelling, taken to a hospital in the village tended by an Israeli doctor and two Israeli nurses, then taken in an Israeli ambulance to Israel for medical treatment. (She was then a teenager.)
  • At the hospital, IDF helicopters brought in Israeli casualties – she expected an angry reaction against her and her mother – but an Israeli nurse took her around, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of your mother”. She cried, tells herself, “These are people of compassion I want to live with.”
  • Relating the experience of kindness at the Israeli hospital, she says that she broke down sobbing because she had “experienced civilization for the first time in my life.” After 22 days at the Israeli hospital, Gabriel and her mother return to Lebanon.
  • Gabriel moved to Israel in 1985, got a job as a news anchor at Middle East News, speaks fluent English, French, Arabic and Hebrew. She now lives in America.

Today, Ms. Gabrielle’s message is for the “politically correct” in America and Europe, who seem not to comprehend the happenings to Lebanon and their causes:

  • She says, “Why didn’t the US media show more of the beheadings of Daniel Pearle and others – so people would understand what truly gratuitous cruelty is.”
  • Her memories are even more horrible: a Christian mother with her young son tied to her lap – forced to cut off his h–d; perhaps even worse, a Christian father and mother, each leg of their baby strapped to their waists – then they are pulled apart!
  • She says, “We are constantly told that Islam is a religion of peace, that only a small percentage of Muslims are killers. Where is the proof? Perhaps they can’t speak out in Arab countries, but here in America they can – where is assurance from moderate Muslims that Islam will let us live in peace in our own Christian countries?”
  • She says, “The 1988 Hamas charter to destroy Infidels teaches, from their Mosques, how Muslims can demand rights, then take over countries – protected by democratic principles of Christian-majority countries.
  • She says, “Osama bin Ladin was one of 53 children, he himself had 27 children. Where is any concern in the ‘politically correct’ Western democracies about such birth rates – as we open our country’s gates?”
  • She says, “Where are the Islamic voices of sanity – for peaceful co-existence of our culture and religion with Islam? Are there any? And if not – her message is – wake up Europe and America, see what happened to Christian Lebanon”!

Note: To complete the history of Lebanon regarding its majority religion, present information is that its Muslim population is now at 60%, increased from 44% only several decades ago, thus the Christian percentage has dropped from 54% to 38%.

Aaron Kolom qualifies as a “rocket scientist” with over 50 years aerospace engineering: Stress Analyst to Chief of Structural Sciences on numerous military aircraft, to Corp. Director Structures and Materials, Asst. Chief Engineer Space Shuttle Program through first three flights (awarded NASA Public Service Medal), Rockwell International Corp.; Program Manager Concorde SST, VP Engineering TRE Corp.; Aerospace Consultant.