Following are excerpts from a TV debate with Lebanese journalists ‘Uqab Saqr and May Chidiac. May Chidiac, the moderator of the debate, survived an attempt on her life in 2005, which left her severely disabled. The debate aired on LBC TV on January 8, 2009.
‘Uqab Saqr: Arab mentality has been accustomed to defeats with many casualties. Today, Hamas and Hizbullah suffer tremendous casualties, but no defeats. This leads Arab mentality to a sense of exhilaration. The West – and most of us – do not understand this. How can all this destruction and blood cause exhilaration?
May Chidiac: Personally, I don’t understand how they can show body parts and bits of flesh on TV. Some may view this as a victory, but I consider it to be sacrificing our children.
‘Uqab Saqr: Of course. You, me, and the whole world ask how this can be described as a victory. The resistance movement views things differently. It believes that its survival as a resistance movement, and its maintaining of its regional confrontation plan, are more important than avoiding the death of some martyrs, because in its view, there is a cause that is more important than the human factor, while others believe that the human factor is the central issue in our countries.
May Chidiac: Are our children worth less than [Israeli] children?
‘Uqab Saqr: The question is why their blood is worth more than ours, and the answer, to be frank, is that they value human life more than we do. We have no respect for human life in our society – you see this in our jails, in the crimes we commit against one another. Look back a little, and see what happened between Fatah and Hamas. The Israeli newspapers wrote that there were massacres, and some Fatah members fled to Israel for fear of Hamas.
Osama Hamdan said Israeli Arabs should shake the foundations of Israel from within. The Jews and Israeli citizens in America serve Israel 24 hours a day, but we have never heard any Israeli official telling them to shake the foundations of anything in the service of Israel. On the contrary, they say to them: Assimilate in U.S. society, and serve the Israeli cause.