I’ve just done an Impromptus for tomorrow, but omitted an item — thought I might de-omit it here. The headline over this article caught my attention: “Hezbollah promotes itself through ‘jihadi tourism.’” Do tell. This should go over big in my dear hometown of Ann Arbor, and in similar locales. My days in Middle East Studies waft back to me!
The article opens, “The students clapped and cheered as a Hezbollah fighter perched on a rocket launcher paraded past. Later, they snapped photographs with guerrila fighters, getting a firsthand account of the group’s tactics against Israel on the battlefield.”
Why do people insist on misspelling “guerrilla”? Anyway, this is not a language item I’m doing, I promise. So, the field-trippers were led to “a spot that Hezbollah officials said was where Hadi Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, was killed while conducting a guerrilla raid on Israeli positions in 1997.” “Guerrilla,” that’s better. (Sorry.) “‘This is the spot where he was martyred,’ explained a Hezbollah tour guide, pointing to a blue prayer mat on a mound of earth hidden amid trees. The students mingled and snapped photographs with Hezbollah fighters, who asked that no pictures of their faces be taken.” This is so cool, I can hardly type.
And I really liked the following: “‘This is an excellent, very well-organized trip,’ said 19-year-old Rana Mhaydleh, a student of math and science at the university.” That would be the Lebanese American University. “‘I think it’s very important to get a firsthand look at Hezbollah because there are a lot of prejudices out there.’” Oh, tell it, sister. The Zionist press never sleeps.
There is a new Hezbollah war museum, by the way — a can’t-miss attraction. “In a nod to Hezbollah’s rivals, Nasrallah cited Israeli Holocaust museums to stress the importance of preserving history.” That’s an interesting word, “rivals.” In any case, here is Nasrallah: “Everywhere you go there is a Holocaust museum, regardless of [the Holocaust’s] authenticity, accuracy, or magnitude.” I know, annoying, that.
And who attended the opening of the Hezbollah war museum? Noam Chomsky, probably Europe’s favorite living American, now that Susan Sontag has gone on (although Michael Moore is right up there with him). These are loony times, yes, and dangerous ones, too.
By the way, a visit to the Lebanese American University’s website will give you a statement on “LAU Values.” We learn that the university “draws its fundamental inspiration from the devotion of its Presbyterian Founders to always seek the Truth, respect human dignity, promote gender equality, and be inclusive.” You know, that’s what I figured!