I am a trustee of President Clinton´s foundation. Since last year the foundation organizes the Clinton Global Initiative. This conference, other than being one of the most important conferences in the world in terms of attendees, has one feature that makes it stand out from all the other gatherings of global leaders. At the Clinton Global Initiative conference participants are asked to make committments with the objective to address specific problems of the world.
For this year conference I am thinking of presenting an initiative that I call Jews for Lebanon (I registered the domain www.jewsforlebanon.org). The idea here is that I believe that there are probably many other Jewish people out there who believe –like myself– Israel made a mistake attacking and seriously damaging all of Lebanon when its real target was Hezbollah. Yes, it is clear to me that Hezbollah hides among the general population and that it is hard to go after this militia, which is fighting a proxy war on behalf of Iran and Syria. Nevertheless, most of the Lebanese are not members of Hezbollah nor their supporters, and the large numbers of civilian deaths and infrastructure destruction that affects all Lebanese is in my view both sad and unlikely to make it less likely for Hezbollah to recruit members for future attacks on Israel.
As a result I personally felt I wanted to donate funds for the reconstruction of Lebanon as one of the many different causes I donate funds for, but then I thought that it would be important if many Jews acted in unison and donated as a group for this objective. This is why I thought of creating Jews for Lebanon but, before actually doing so, I decided to blog this idea as there may be other views that I may not have considered. The plan here is to either allow people to donate to specific NGO´s operating in Lebanon directly through the site or to collect a fund and appoint a board that then chooses the best NGOs to work with. My blog is frequently a good source of common sense and I appreciate both the people who write directly to me or the relevant comments in the blog. Depending on the feedback I get I will either just donate directly to NGOs participating in Lebanon´s reconstruction or create www.jewsforlebanon.org.
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