|Monday, 18 September 2006|
July 19, 2006
Dear WLCU members, friends, and supporters in the Greater Boston area:
In light of the ongoing crisis in Lebanon and out of its grave concern over the safety of our people and the sovereignty of our mother country, the WLCU Boston Chapter hosted back-to-back meetings on Sunday, July 16, 2006 at its offices in Boston. The meetings brought together several Boston area Lebanese community organizations, in order to discuss possible ways of responding to the crisis. Present at these meetings, in addition to the WLCU were the American Lebanese Engineering Society (ALES), the Lebanese Forces in New England (LF), the Lebanese Club at MIT (LCM), the International Network of Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Technologist (INLET), and other Lebanese-American individuals and supporters.
The discussions proceeded on two tracks, launching a humanitarian relief effort, and the possibility of organizing joint grassroots protests or sit-ins around a unified political statement. While a consensus was reached on the first objective, no consensus could be achieved on the second.
Here, therefore, is the position of the WLCU Boston Chapter vis-à-vis the situation in Lebanon.
The WLCU Boston Chapter full-heartedly endorses the following statement capturing the sentiments of those present at the July 16 meetings and providing practical steps to lend our people in Lebanon a helping hand while asserting our support for the sovereignty of the country:
“The Lebanese-American Community of the Greater Boston area, represented by a diverse group of its organizations, along with other Lebanese-American individuals, friends and supporters, being gravely concerned with the crisis in Lebanon and distressed over the bloodshed and the scale of human suffering of the Lebanese people and the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure, and demanding that this suffering be alleviated immediately and replaced by a rapid recovery operation aided by the international community, and re-stressing their support for Lebanon’s freedom, independence, sovereignty, and national unity,
Hereby, call on all Lebanese and all other concerned friends and organizations around the world, to participate immediately in supporting much-needed humanitarian relief efforts in Lebanon by donating whatever funds they can afford to donate through the special website created for this purpose http://www.relieflebanon.org/ in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) and UNICEF.”
End of statement
During the period of July 16 – 18, 2006, the WLCU Boston Chapter engaged the organizers of a protest / sit-in planned to take place in Boston on the evening of July 19, in order to find common ground on which the WLCU can endorse the protest. Unfortunately, the one-sided message adopted by the organizers, and unacceptable to the WLCU, did not allow us to participate. And, regretfully, the practical suggestions provided by the WLCU to modify the protest message to one we can endorse, were turned down.
The WLCU insists that any resolution to the current crisis must stem from a complete respect for Lebanese sovereignty by all parties involved, internal and external. Our dismay with the widespread, heavy-handed Israeli approach of hitting the Lebanese infrastructure, Lebanese army bases, and some civilian installations and neighborhoods, does not take away our dismay of Hezbollah’s unilateral actions that have plunged the country in this disastrous situation, and its continued determination not to surrender its military affairs to the Lebanese Government and abide by the Taef Accord and relevant UN resolutions.
The WLCU Boston Chapter endorses the official statement released by the WLCU on July 12, 2006, condemning all the parties who have violated Lebanon’s sovereignty, and calling for the immediate implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559. Please find a copy of the statement attached.
The WLCU Boston Chapter, continually and prominently present on the Boston scene since 1963, all along enjoying strong membership and wide community support, hereby calls on all organizations in the Boston area to carefully weigh their statements and to refrain from lightly making claims in the name of the Boston Lebanese-American community when such claims may be overreaching at best.
We invite our members, friends and supporters to frequently access these websites,
We call on you, once more, to donate generously through the special website created in coordination with the ICRC and UNICEF, and to stand with us in our unwavering support for Lebanon’s independence, freedom, sovereignty, and national unity.
Long Live Lebanon.
The WLCU Boston Chapter
Board of Directors
David Abichaker Michel Hajjar
Ibrahim Dagher Mike Halal
John Hajjar Henriette Kassis
Walid Mobarak (could not sign, currently in Lebanon)
Following on the next page is the WLCU statement
Office of the world President
550 South Hill Street, Suite 715A – Los Angeles, CA 90013 – USA
Office: 1-800-700-WLCU or 213-629-9282 – Cell 909-630-2575 Fax 213-629-2130
Email: [email protected]
July 12th 2006
Once again, Lebanon embarks on a new wave of violence at the beginning of the tourism season. Yesterday Hezbollah elements attacked Israeli border patrol across the green line, killing eight soldiers and holding two others captives. This action triggered a massive Israeli reprisal. A military campaign by air, land and sea has left 31 Lebanese civilians killed, nine bridges destroyed, three runways at Beirut international airport bombed and rendered unusable.
The World Lebanese Cultural Union considers that the sovereignty of Lebanon has been violated by all parties involved. Hezbollah is getting its military and financial support from Iran while serving its regional political agenda and some local maneuvers dictated by Syria. On the other hand, Israel is missing the target by punishing the Lebanese people instead of the real instigators.
We reiterate our calls to the United Nations to enforce the implementation of the UNSC Resolution 1559 immediately, as we call upon all our chapters organizations around the world to intervene with the governments of the host countries to campaign with the World body for the said Resolution.
We urge all the Arab countries who have been enjoying peace and stability to spare Lebanon from a prolonged agony as it is trying to recover from the thirty-year war. This little country is no longer willing or able to carry the burden of all the Middle East problems while the others prosper and thrive.
Israel claims that Beirut airport served as a central hub for the transfer of weapons and supplies to Hezbollah. If this claim is true, the Lebanese Government might also face accountability before its own people and the World body.
The so-called “Lebanese resistance” must come to an end. The whole Lebanese population is suffering the consequences for the exclusive right of one faction to practice “resistance“. Our stability, economy and infrastructures are at stake, and above all the sovereignty of the land and the dignity of the people.
Anise Garabet George Abi Raad
World President World Secretary General