Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Urgent Appeal



Relief Center – Sanayeh


The Israeli offensive against Lebanon is an act of aggression against the whole Lebanese people. The IDF claims to be attacking an "infrastructure of terror", but the attacks on bridges, roads, airports and ships are cutting the country into pieces, threatening to create a disastrous situation by impeding the transportation of food and medicines, and terrorizing everyone. Besides the hundreds killed and injured, thousands of people are fleeing the country, and thousands of people are fleeing from the areas where the bombing is heaviest into central Beirut. Even here in the "safe" parts of the city we can hear the bombs throughout the day and night, and electrical and water supplies are tenuous.

Political and civil society organizations here are organizing to help people deal with the effects of the invasion, but there is only so much we can do on our own. We are calling on our brothers and sisters in the rest of the world to do two things to help us.

First we call on you to protest at Israeli embassies and consulates, as we hear some groups are already doing. The Israeli government must be held accountable for its criminal and terroristic actions here and in Palestine. We also ask you to send us information about any such protests you carry out.

Second, we are asking you to help us with our work with displaced people here in Beirut. The group we are part of, the Relief Center - Spears, is working in 32 displacement centers in the central areas of Beirut, which were housing more than 6,000 people as of the night of July 16th (we don't know how many thousands more are in other areas). People there are sleeping 10 or 15 to a room without enough mattresses, and they are only receiving food and water irregularly from the government. Many are children or elderly.

Besides the humanitarian aspect of the situation, helping displaced people is crucial to the reconstruction of Lebanon after this crisis ends. One aspect of the Israeli offensive is an attempt to foment tensions between different cultural groups in Lebanon. This is the only way they can hope to achieve their goals without an all-out war, but in the end it would do more damage to Lebanese society than any amount of physical destruction. A broad relief effort is an essential part of avoiding such a disaster.

We urgently need money to buy the supplies we need to help the internally displaced population here. We ask everyone who can to send donations, however small, the Relief Center – Spears in the care of the following two people by bank transfer. Please contact your bank to find out how to do this.

c/o Georges Azzi:

- Bank Name: Credit Libanais SAL Beirut – Agence Sassine

- Swift Code: CLIBLBBX

- Client Name: M. Al Azzi Georges Chaker

- Account Number:

c/o Bassem Chit:

- Bank Name: Sociأ©tأ© Gأ©nأ©rale de Banque au Liban – Hamra Branch

- Swift Code: SGLILBBX

- Client Name: Bassem Chit

- Account Number: 007004362092875014 or 007004367092875014

These are difficult days for everyone in Lebanon, but we are confident that with your support we can overcome this situation as we have others before.

For more information, please contact: +961 3 647 605, +961 3 670 783, sanayeh.center@gmail.com