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Facebook users outraged as Israel army spokesman posts Fairuz video

Oct. 27, 2013 7:33 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 21, 2013 2:22 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces Arabic public relations Spokesman Avichay Adraee posted a video by Lebanese singer Fairuz on his Facebook page Saturday, leading to a wave of angry and mocking comments by users in Arabic.

Adraee posted a link to the video for the song, "I loved you in summer," to mark the end of summer daylight savings time, and added, "with this wonderful and ingenious video, we say, until we meet again, oh summer!"

Fairuz is one of the most famous Lebanese singers of all time, and throughout her life had been a dedicated advocate of the Palestinian cause. She has devoted numerous songs and performances to Palestinian issues, a stance sharpened after Israel commenced a series of invasions in the 1970s that resulted in a nearly 20-year-long occupation of large portions of Lebanon.

Facebook users responded in anger to Adraee's decision to post the video.

Hamza Zbiedat commented that "Fairuz is an Arab who sings for the world the most beautiful songs of art, love and peace, but you are the representative of death, war, destruction, and killing."

Khalid al-Faisal, meanwhile, wrote that "Fairuz is the creator of the song 'Flower of the Cities,' which stresses the unity of Muslims and Christians," referring to a song lamenting the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.

In the song Fairuz sings, "For Jerusalem is ours, and the house is ours, with our own hands we shall restore the glory of Jerusalem," and calls for the footprints of the "barbarians" to be erased.

Abdullah Alsaidi commented, "You even steal songs!" while Ahmed Fouad added, "If Fairuz knew you listened to her music she would commit suicide."

Some Facebook users were even less forgiving, as Fadi Arouri commented, "Bring me a pair of shoes," presumably to throw at Adraee's face.

Adraee's Facebook page has more than 88,000 likes, and both his posts as well as user comments are almost exclusively in Arabic. The page is part of the Israeli military's public relations strategy, or "hasbara," in the Arab world.

Although Adraee generally writes about Israel and the Israeli military, he rarely posts music videos from the countries Israel invades or occupies.

Israel invaded Lebanon in 1978 and again in 1982, during which it laid siege to Beirut. By Lebanese government estimates, around 18,000 Lebanese and Palestinians died in the second invasion, the vast majority civilians. Israel also occupied southern Lebanon until 2000, and launched another war on Lebanon in 2006, killing around 1,200 people.

There are an estimated 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Around 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 ethnic cleansing that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and today their descendants number around five million, spread across the world.
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