Hizbullah criticism closes Lebanon's Voices Web site

Al-Manar calls organizers of site sharing war stories "collaborators with Israel."

website 88 (photo credit: )
website 88
(photo credit: )
A Lebanese Web site sharing stories from the nation's people during the war and criticisms of Hizbullah will shut down in the next few days. Lebanon's Voices will close due to its organizers' fear of possible future threats, according to Seth Eisenberg who has been in contact with them. Eisenberg was a key member in establishing Israel Voice's, a Web site sharing stories from citizens in the North to the rest of the world. When an article appeared about the site, he was contacted by an interested Lebanese man in the US. "He wanted to know if we were affiliated with the government," Eisenberg said. "I told him we are simply sharing stories with no political agenda. They wanted to get a site up on their own." The site has written, audio and video accounts from Lebanese in the areas affected by the war. The welcoming paragraph describing the site's purpose reads: "Held hostage in their own nation against their will. A state within a state dictating its terms on a sovereign government unwilling and unable to protect its own citizens." One of the accounts tells how a man and his family had packed to flee Tyre once the war started. As they prepared to leave, local Hizbullah members told them to unpack and stay. The man had a gun pointed at him and was ordered to return home. He wrote he wants Hizbullah to leave and if not, to fight in another city. Hizbullah's television station Al-Manar ran a series of stories on the Web site calling its organizers "collaborators with Israel." Eisenberg said in a conversation with one of the founders he was told the site hadn't had any problems until the series started running and they were told their criticism of Hizbullah and cooperation with Israeli media crossed a line. "They felt compelled to close the site to avoid any threats to their families or themselves," he said. The site currently states it is under construction and will have more information available shortly.