Friday, July 21, 2006

How to assist Lebanon's Gay and Lesbian community and people with HIV

In Lebanon there are already a number of displaced gays and lesbians and people with HIV. Where can they go? What country will take them in? How will they get access to medical treatment?

Much discussion has gone on about World Pride in Jerusalem long before the current crisis started. I wouldn't even begin to form an opinion on whether or not it ought to still take place. It has always been my firm belief that gays and lesbians will be at the front lines of humanitarian efforts ready to assist others less fortunate than they. As I understand it, the Israeli GLBT community has been present in the demonstrations against the war that have taken place in Israel. Given that, yes, we are everywhere, gays and lesbians will be on both sides of this issue, and among both the victims and the perpetrators of this tragedy.

Click on the header above to be connected to Helem, the gay and lesbian organization in the Middle East assisting refugees.

When the dust and smoke has settled, and the region can get back to the business of working for peace and a resolution to this tragedy, I believe that we will be among those who worked for a solution and alleviated the suffering.

I don't want to be glued to my television, watching any more bodies of children being pulled out of rubble.

Israel says that Iran, through Syria, is behind this crisis. Okay then, let's get the international community on Iran and Syria. Now. I read on line where the Russian Federation rushed weapons and materiel to Iran in advance of an international embargo -- they wanted to make sure they got paid, apparently. Russia must own up for it's part in this human tragedy.

Great Britain, too, apparently sold weaponry to both sides of the conflict in the past.

I read also where the American military aid to Israel curiously ended up in the hands of drug dealers in Colombia. So the trail of blood reaches all around the table of the G 8 summit.
It's easy to excuse yourself from culpability when you make deals with the cultured gentlemen in suits and silk shirts, and don't have to be seen dealing directly with the end results of your actions.

Let's see what it takes for the so-called civilized nations of the world to own up to their responsibility in this tragedy, and participate in the recovery. There are no winners here. There is, however, enough blame to go around.

In the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles of July 21, Rachel Ben-Dor quotes Avot d'Rabbi Nathan 23: "Who is the greatest of heroes? He who converts his enemy into his friend."

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