Middle East Conflict Has a Local Flavor in Detroit

July 15, 2006

Source: Editor and Publisher


On July 15, 2006 Editor and Publisher reported, "With a high concentration of Lebanese-Americans, Detroit and other Michigan cities are experiencing the current conflict in the Middle East as a kind of local issue. Protests and citizen gatherings have been held throughout the area. Not just Muslim but Christian groups have become involved, as there are many Christians in Lebanon... The Detroit Free Press opened an article Saturday morning: 'Hundreds of Arab-Americans and Muslims rallied in the streets and mosques of metro Detroit Friday to protest Israeli attacks and call upon the U.S. government to help American citizens trapped in Lebanon. And they planned for more local protests in upcoming days. In pouring rain, an estimated 500 protestors lined Warren Avenue -- the heart of east Dearborn's commercial district -- to demonstrate against Israel's push into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Stop Israeli Terrorism read one large banner held up by about 20 men, who gathered with others on Warren, near Schaefer road. Many waved Lebanese flags as drivers riding by honked their horns.' On Friday, the Free Press had reported: 'In Dearborn, 26-year-old resident Fatme Youssef mourned the loss of her mother, grandmother, two brothers and other family members -- killed, according to relatives in Dearborn, after Israeli warplanes struck the family's home Thursday morning in southern Lebanon. "They're killing kids; they're killing ladies; they're killing innocent people ... not terrorists," said her husband's uncle, Abbas Youssef, also of Dearborn. In metro Detroit's Jewish community, however, the fighting was defended as necessary to protect Israel from Hizballah, a group described by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization that has killed hundreds of Americans.'"