Vilifying Walid Phares

Sarah Stern writes in Israel Hayom:

History has a strange way of judging people. American history honors warriors of the past such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Douglas MacArthur and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who struggled and fought for America’s freedom and independence. However, the closer one gets to our current age of moral relativism, the more critical we are of those who are thrust into a state of conflict — those who have had to realize that their people’s survival sometimes depends on defeating an enemy.

Walid Phares was born in 1957 to a Maronite Christian family in Beirut. By the time Phares was in his 20s, Lebanon, which has always been more of a mosaic of various religions and communities than a unified nation, had plunged into a bloody civil war. Naturally, Phares supported his own Lebanese Maronite Christian community’s efforts to defend itself in this brutal, existential struggle against Syrian occupation on the one hand and Palestinian and Lebanese Sunni and Shiite terror on the other.

As a young man just graduating from law school, he published a book on pluralism, promoting a federal system in Lebanon as a way to halt the war and protect minorities. Always prolific, he published many books on history and politics, submitted hundreds of articles and was widely interviewed. He also published a weekly magazine promoting Middle East minorities. At last he formed a small political party, the Christian Social Democratic Party, in East Beirut. The young lawyer wasn’t involved in war but rather in campaigns to raise awareness about the suffering in his ancestral land. He traveled around the world to draw international attention to the conflict in Lebanon and to offer solutions.

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