«حذار من الدول الصغيرة»، جملة كتبها الثوري الروسي ميخائيل باكونين عن أوروبا القرن التاسع عشر: إنهم ضحايا الدول الكبرى، لكنهم أيضاً مصدر خطر لها. لبنان - دولة صغيرة بعدد سكانها ومساحتها - باتت هي كذلك، أرض معارك دول المنطقة. تاريخ لبنان هذا بقلم الصحافي العريق، دافيد هيرست، هو أيضاً تاريخ الشرق الأوسط وخاصة الصراع العربي-الإسرائيلي الذي ابتليت به المنطقة منذ قرن تقريباً.
هيرست جريء ولا يخاف الجدل... حذار من الدول الصغيرة دقيق جداً ولكنه استفزازي... يجب قراءته لفهم جذور حتمية حدوث الحريق الهائل المقبل. كاي بيرد، واشنطن بوست
عدد نادر جداً من الكتّاب هم مؤهلون كدافيد هيرست لكتابة هذا الكتاب فواز جرجس، غارديان
Beware of Small States
Lebanon - a country no bigger than Wales, crossroads of East and West - has become the battleground on which the region's greater states pursue their conflicts. This history of Lebanon by David Hirst is also the history of the whole Middle East, and above all, of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
‘As anyone who follows the news will know, there is no happy ending to this story.' - FINANCIAL TIMES
هيرست جريء ولا يخاف الجدل... حذار من الدول الصغيرة دقيق جداً ولكنه استفزازي... يجب قراءته لفهم جذور حتمية حدوث الحريق الهائل المقبل. كاي بيرد. - واشنطن بوست
عدد نادر جداً من الكتّاب هم مؤهلون كدافيد هيرست لكتابة هذا الكتاب. - فواز جرجس، غارديان
لا يكتب تاريخ لبنان فحسب، بل هو أيضاً تاريخ الشرق الأوسط، خصوصاً الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي الذي ابتليت به المنطقة منذ قرن تقريباً. - صحيفة الجريدة
كتاب يقرأ لبنان كـ«ساحة معارك الشرق الأوسط». والعنوان تعبيرٌ لميخائيل باكونين، اعتبر أن الدول الصغيرة «ضحايا» الدول الكبيرة، وهذا ينطبق على لبنان. - صحيفة السفير
Middle East - Lebanon
الفصل الأول: بذور الصراع 1860 - 1923 الفصل الثاني: صهاينة وموارنة: علاقة مرفوضة: 1923 - 1948 الفصل الثالث: إرجاء الحساب: لبنان ينجو من عواقب الكارثة: 1948 - 1967 الفصل الرابع: لبنان والفلسطينيون: الطريق إلى الحرب الأهلية: 1967 - 1975 الفصل الخامس: الحرب الأهلية في لبنان: حرب بالوكالة عن كلٍّ احدٍ آخر: 1975 - 1976 الفصل السادس: الغطرسة الإمبراطورية: إسرائيل تشنُّ «حربا مُخْتاَرة » في لبنان 1977 - 1982 الفصل السابع: مجزرة صبرا وشاتيلا: آلهة الانتقام الإمبراطورية في إسرائيل: 1982 - 1985 الفصل الثامن: الخميني والإسلاميون وانتفاضة الشيعة: 1979 - 1985 الفصل التاسع: الحرب الأهلية تحطُّ أوزارها: صعود حزب الله: 1985 - 1992 الفصل العاشر: انتصار الشيخ - المحارب: حسن نصر الله يذلُّ صهيون: 1992 - 2000 الفصل الحادي عشر: إعادة رسم خارطة الشرق الأوسط: 2001 - 2006 الفصل الثاني عشر: إخراج سوريا من لبنان: 2004 - 2006 الفصل الثالث عشر: الحرب السادسة: 2006 الفصل الرابع عشر: من الذي ربح؟: 2006 - 2008 الفصل الخامس عشر: غزّة: 2009 خاتمة: سلام أوباما - أم حربٌ سابعة؟
بعد ثلاثة أعوام على صدوره بالإنكليزية، بات يُمكن للمهتم قراءة الترجمة العربية (ثائر ديب، منشورات الرمال) لكتاب يقرأ لبنان كـ«...
ASSAFIR - ديفيد هيرست: «حذار من الدول الصغيرة»
August 03, 2013
بعد ثلاثة أعوام على صدوره بالإنكليزية، بات يُمكن للمهتم قراءة الترجمة العربية (ثائر ديب، منشورات الرمال) لكتاب يقرأ لبنان كـ«...
ALJARIDA - حذار من الدول الصغيرة لديفيد هيرست... لبنان ساحة معارك الشرق الأوسط
August 03, 2013
FT - Beware of Small States
April 26, 2010
Beware of small states," the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin warned a friend in 1870. In an age when small-state nationalism shook the politics of Europe from Belgium to the Balkans to the Baltic, Bakunin noted how countries seemingly vulnerable to larger, more powerful neighbours...
An immensely absorbing and thoroughly researched book
Joseph (goodreads) November 12, 2013
Beware of Small States is an immensely absorbing and thoroughly researched book on Lebanon's critically turbulent history which unavoidably evolves into the history of Middle East's Arab - Israeli conflict. The author David Hirst, explains how Lebanon endured seemingly endless turmoil since its independence from France in 1943 and played an unwilling role since then, for the unrest in that part of the world. The book is not an easy ready by any means. This is history with all its ugly truth and some more.
Hirst's perspective is based on actual geo-political facts and the events that sowed the seeds of imminent conflict that caused the six Israel - Arab wars to date, the rise of Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), how Ayatollah Khomeini's militant group, Hizbullah got involved from Iran, Syria's so called big brother protection of Lebanon and interfering into its politics, other Arab leader's non-reaction when the need to do so was at hand and of course, Israel's relentless pursuit of aggression to disable any form of unity that would threaten its own existence - the root cause for this whole mess to start with.
For those as ignorant as I was on the conflicts that plagued Middle East especially after World War II was born from the Palestine - Israel issue. This one underlying thorn caused Lebanon more than 40 years of turbulent existence which it had nothing to do from the outset. Like the author put it, Lebanon became the 'battleground of other people's wars'. Alas, being geographically poised to offer such a ground for two warring parties, unwittingly and inevitably Lebanon got drawn into the 'Arab - Israeli struggle' on Lebanon's land.
And so, this whole Lebanon being the place where proxy wars are waged grew into a regional and international quagmire that has lasted till the Obama's administration with no resolution in sight. In conclusion David Hirst does say that he was inspired to write this side of Lebanon's history where he has lived and made his home for half a century but at every turn, the Arab-Israeli struggle kept intruding as an intrinsic part of the country's life. He needed and wanted to tell the world how this small nation became the pawn that other powerful hands used to maneuver and ultimately destroyed for their gain sake. He couldn't have written a better book. I now have a totally different view on Israel but one must seek knowledge from all angles before a personal conclusion can be made. David Hirst has made his opinion well and true. It's up to us now who have read 'Beware of Small States' to seek more facts from opposite sides if any; to make up our own minds. However, I think David Hirst has got the truth spot on.
Lebanese history is grisly, convoluted and political as hell
Mayee (goodreads) August 15, 2013
Lebanese history is grisly, convoluted and political as hell. Hirst's broader argument is that the politics and conflicts of the small sectarian nation of Lebanon are consumed by broader power dynamics between its neighbouring states and their Western allies, and that Lebanese conflicts are emblematic of the political complexities of the entire region. He does a great job in unfolding an intelligible sweeping narrative which tracks down the plethora of shifting political alliances and betrayals over a century and a half that ends with an analysis of events surrounding the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2009. A lot of blame is explicitly attributed to the application of belligerent, aggressive Zionist Israeli military strategy in encouraging the civil war and inflicting subsequent military violence upon civilians (for e.g., siding with the Phalangists on numerous occasions, especially in the case of the Sabra and Shatila camp massacres), and Hirst clearly admires Hizbullah as a non-state state-like organisation for their provision of social services and their effective discipline as a guerilla force. Yet the work never comes across as too polemic, for Hirst's analyses of the interconnectedness of relationships between the other players such as Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the already-fraught internal politics of Lebanese factions provide a pretty nuanced account of the fragile Lebanese state, and a convincing explanation of the aggregation of problems that form the conditions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Beware of Neighbouring States
S Wood (amazon) August 06, 2013
The Guardians former Middle East correspondent and long term resident of Beirut (kidnapped twice) has penned a fine book telling the story of Lebanons role (putting the occupied territories to one side) as the main battleground of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The book begins with an overview of the period from 1860 to 1923, from the Ottoman period to the point where an enlarged Lebanon was carved out of Greater Syria by the French, this after the Arab provinces of the now deceased Ottoman Empire had been divided between the French and the British, with Palestine being simultaneously pledged to the Arabs and the Zionists. This was a crucial point in the regions history that set the context within which conflict was to flourish for the rest of the century and beyond.
Hirst paints a picture of Lebanon, its social-economic and ethnic-religious divisions and its sectarian democracy, before inevitably having to cross borders and examine events in neighbouring states: the rise of Arab Nationalism, the Zionist projects endevours in Mandatory Palestine and the Arab resistance to this (culminating in the Arab Revolt of 1936-39), the breakdown of British rule in Palestine and the subsequent conflict between the Zionists and the Arabs that brought Israel into existance, and a large number of Palestinian refugees into Lebanon upsetting the finely balanced ethnic and religious demography. This is followed by war after war after war including the decade and a half of civil war within Lebanon itself which its two neighbours, Syria and Israel extensively participated in, the former "invited" the latter invading first in the 1970's, then catastrophically in 1982 after which they occupied areas of the country until finally driven out by Hizbullah in 2000.
This is all competently done, written clearly and marshalling the facts in a comprehensible manner. Despite this I couldn't help thinking that this had been done before and done better in Robert Fisks monumental Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War. It wasnt until its last third, the period taking the reader from the end of the Civil War 1990 to the point of publication in 2010, that "Beware of Small States" really impressed me.
The focus is then turned on Hizbullah (The Party of God). Hirst covers its development from an offshoot of the broadly secular but Shiite Amal movement to being the largest militia (and political party) in Lebanon. Its links with the Iranians and Syrians are also examined, though Hirst (along with many other commentators) regards them as being essentially indigenous to Lebanon, particularly the amongst poor Shiite of the rural South and Beruit. Both areas and their inhabitants have been on the recieving end of the violence Israel continually dispenses in order to attain its political goals (aka Terrorism).
Hirst's acccount of Hizbullahs growing ability to resist the Israeli occupation of 1982-2000 is excellent, and one is hard pressed not to feel a degree of admiration for the fighters of Hizbullah who eventually drove the Israelis out. After the freeing of South Lebanon the story branches out to deal with Hizbullahs post-liberation dilemas and developments, Syrias increasingly contested role in Lebanon including the assassination of Rafiq Hariri and the so-called "Cedar" Revolution, the presence of outside powers (never really absent throughout the story) including Iran, France and the United States further complicate matters. All this culminates in the brutal Israeli attack on Lebanon (after a Hizbullah raid over the border into Israel resulted in the deaths of Israeli soldiers and the capture of two others) in 2006 which Hirst ably deals with, accounting for the actions of the various participants, directly and indirectly, in order to render a full and comprehensible account.
"Beware of Small States" is a welcome addition to an already crowded field. Within its 400 pages it provides a well written and straightforward account of the Arab-Israeli conflict as it effected Lebanon. Developments in the Middle East as a whole (particularly occupied Palestine, Syria and Israel) and beyond are never absent, and keep the reader informed, far more than ought to be practical in a book focussed on Lebanon, of the conflict in its entirety. Other books that might be of interest are Hirsts own The Gun and the Olive Branch which is a general history of the conflict up until its last revision in 2003; and Robert Fisks exemplary work Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War that details Lebanons ordeal up to the end of the Civil War in 1990, with additional chapters in the 2001 edition bringing the story up to the Israeli withdrawl of 2000.
ترجمة كتاب هيرست للعربية
A Reader August 03, 2013
بشرى سارة ترجمة كتاب هيرست للعربية , فهذا كتاب جد هام لصحفي عريق يعرف لبنان والمنطقة جيدا. شكرا لابلاغنا.
the ULTIMATE history of the Middle East from Ottoman transition to present!
Desertwriter (amazon) July 23, 2013
At first I was unsure how Hirst could top his heroic Gun and Olive Branch:Roots of Violence in the Middle East...thinking that for 3 decades, with updates and a long desired comprehensive collection of all three editions in one, published in 2003, with a new 50,000 word forward, which brought the reader from the late 1980s (2nd edition) to the present decade-- the period leading up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, including insight into evangelistic Christian Zionism and their enmeshment --(concept of Zion and return for Jews)....the exclusion of the narrative of indigenous amended ...and events which led up to the British (who were in a "partitioning state of mind" across their Empire at that point in time)....Partitioning of Syria-Palestine-Transjordan-Levant along with the French as 'spoils" from their defeat (which would never have been possible in all likelihood, except for the unified power of the Arab clans from Hijaz and across the Arab world at the time )...conniving and treachery dealt via betrayal against the Arabs who longed for independence.rnHere, in Hirst's latest opus...he picks up from that period...carefully documented presenting the reader with events and players within the Levant prior to 1919 Paris Peace conference --replete with Weizmann quotes and forward.rnIt must be read... an absolutely essential comprehensive "BIG PICTURE" epic history, in the same way that David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" did. .the era & series of events and schemes and epic historical narrative that will open minds & rip veils from the eyes of those who remain uninformed --whether as a result of inadequate public education in north america as well as the infinitely well oiled & funded propaganda machines that have driven North American ignorance for more than a century..rnThere is no question that this author is the "Laureate of M/E history"....not merely the Dean, as Hirst has long been considered. Put aside all current readings on the region...clear the decks...and desks, kindles, laptops but make time for this retrospective historical accounting, as no other will enrich, inform, educate and awaken. Brilliantly researched using regional archives and beyond. READ THIS BOOK...give it as a gift to family, associates and friends....Many Blessings to David Hirst for providing readers with blue print and text to finally arrive at this comprehensive beautifully written book, which hands Obama administration an unsparing review of what could lie ahead without the strictest adherence to the lessons of the past... & to Nation Press for publishing this stunner. Bravo!!
amazing overview of a very compicated country!,
ron July 22, 2013
the best historical review of a country and a region that there is in print-a must read for those who want to know more about Lebanon
One of the best books ever written about the Middle East
William Podmore (amazon UK) July 12, 2013
This is one of the best books ever written about the Middle East, along with Hirst's previous book, The gun and the olive branch: the roots of violence in the Middle East, (Faber and Faber, 3rd edition, 2003).
The US state is trying to impose a new order on the Middle East. The USA, allied with the Israeli state, is scheming to defeat, break up and weaken Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. This is in line with Norman Podhoretz's advice urging Israel and the USA to wage `World War Four' against `militant Islam'.
Frontal assaults by the USA on Iraq and by Israel on Lebanon (1982 and 2006) failed, so the USA and Israel have turned to using subversion against Libya and Syria, hiring fundamentalists to attack these relatively secular states. Israel is also using terrorism against Iran.
In October 2008, General Eisenkot, commander of Israel's northern front, called for the army to use `disproportionate power' for `harming the population', openly proclaiming the intent to commit war crimes. On 4 November 2008, Israeli forces carried out a raid on Gaza, killing six people, provoking a Hamas response. Israel then attacked Gaza, killing 1,330 people, including 410 children, for the loss of only 13 Israeli soldiers.
Peace Now, including Amos Oz, backed Israel's wars against Lebanon and Gaza. The Knesset voted to ban Israel's three Arab parties from general elections.
All the Middle East's problems are linked to Palestine. Only the two-state solution will bring peace to the Middle East. Palestine means peace.
Philip Nolan (goodreads) June 23, 2013
Good book...a lot clearer on who is who in the madness
Jake B (goodreads) June 19, 2013
Amazing book. So informed and concise. As well as covering the history and politics or Lebanon it goes into great detail about countries such as Syria, Iran and of course, Israel, in regards to the conflicts that have plagued the Middle East.
A compelling writer
Lyndon (goodreads) June 03, 2013
First, Hirst is a compelling writer. The narrative of mayhem, false prophets, wars and rumors of wars, moves along as a pleasing pace. Not that the content is all that pleasing; but if you're going to tell a such a tale of woe, there is little point in making it a dirge.
So, second, the story itself is bothersome. The 'Middle East' has rarely seemed coherent, and Hirst complicates matters further through detailing the exploits of all the players in and around the 'small state' of Lebanon. There is no 'straight line' in this story. There is just a mixture of people, powers and pundits who struggle to tell the 'real' story of the whys and wherefores of a strip of land no larger than an average US state. And what a story.
Finally, Hirst has no intention of leaving the reader in anything but a state of annoyance. There's just so much to be annoyed about when it comes to the relations within and between Lebanon. Hirst places a great deal of responsibility on Israel, yet he doesn't hold back from critiquing the misadventures of Syria, Iran, and the para-military/para-political groups (most especially, Hezbollah) whose own narratives shape the contours of life in Lebanon and the region in a way unimaginable to most Western readers. Yet despite this critique, it is exactly groups like Hezbollah who come out in the story as the closest thing to a just organization.
I am certain Hirst has his opposite number out there writing a completely different tale. Nevertheless, Hirst is worth reading and minding, especially for those of us in the West who look to the 'Middle East' often with disbelief.
Great history lesson
Geir Ruud (goodreads) April 12, 2013
Great history lesson about the most fantastic, fascinating and fucked up little country along the Mediterranean.
Hirst is not the most objective observer on Middle Eastern politics, but he is open about his perspective and stands up for Lebanon while the rest of the world speaks for the bigger and stronger players in the region. Impressive in the details.
JPeter Scott-Hansen (amazon) April 07, 2013
Although I had a small part in researching this book by translating one of the source books, I had no idea how amazing the final book would become. This is a must-read for anyone who really is interested in understanding the background to the mess which continues to haunt us. There is plenty of blame to go around, but we here in the US seldom get enough of the real picture to make sound judgements--this goes for our various governments of all shadings. Thanks, David Hirst, for this valuable contribution.