Friday, July 28, 2006

Beneath the Cedars of Lebanon

"Justus ut palma florebit ut cedrus in Libano multiplicabitur." - Psalmus XCI: 13

"The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, like the cedar of Lebanon shall he grow." - Psalm 91(92): 13

The Arab American Institute Foundation took out an ad in the paper today, with a group of actors and other celebs of Arab extraction calling for a cease-fire in Lebanon. (Interesting when you consider that Lebanese generally do not consider themselves to be Arabs. At least not the ones I know.)

In reference to the maxim, "All politics is local," Stephen Schwartz reports for TCS Daily -- okay, so he's Jewish, so what? -- with an analysis of the political landscape from within the embattled nation:

"The country is ruled under a constitutional arrangement based on a census taken in 1932. At that time, Lebanon was 55 percent Christian. In the political share-out based on that count, it was decreed the country would always have a Maronite Christian president, a Sunni Muslim prime minister, and a Shia president of the National Assembly. The parliament was based on a 6 to 5 ratio of Christians to Muslims. Political reforms introduced with Saudi backing, in the Arabian Peninsula city of Ta'if in 1989, promised proportional representation for Lebanese religious groups, which was never put into effect..."

This posting does not necessarily constitute an endorsement; it's just what comes across my desk these days. You got a problem with that?


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