Perspectives on Lebanon

Maybe you’ve been preoccupied with the Boston tunnel collapses or the Mumbai train bombings, but if not, you might have noticed that the long-standing animosity between Israel and Lebanon has heated up, thanks to perpetual troublemaker Hizbullah.

A friend of mine is doing aid work in Lebanon this summer and writes to tell me just how bad the situation is: her office is closed, so she’s reduced to paying for Wi-Fi at Starbucks.

That is, she’s not near the recent fighting (if you haven’t been paying attention, Hizbullah kidnapped some Israeli soldiers, so Israel dropped some bombs on southern Lebanon, where there is a strong Hizbullah presence. Hizbullah has started firing rockets back into Israel, and threatens to bomb Haifa if Israel bombs Beiruit. For background, see the Reuters chronology of Israeli/Lebanese conflict going back to 1968).

She reports that, at least for now, Beiruit seems safer than certain parts of Chicago.