On his visit to Lebanon this week, Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may or may not throw a “symbolic stone” over the northern border to express his hatred of Israel. Reports on whether the stone-throwing will actually take place are unclear, but one thing that is clear is that Ahmadinejad will be greeted by a volley of blue and white balloons – 2,000 of them – courtesy of Likud MK Ayoub Kara.
The balloons represent the fact that the Jewish people have come home after 2,000 years of exile, and they are not going anywhere.
“We are planning to fly 2,000 balloons across the northern border to Lebanon when Ahmadinejad comes for a visit Wednesday,” Kara told Voice of Israel radio. “The balloons represent the fact that the Jewish people have come home after 2,000 years of exile, and they are not going anywhere.” Kara, who is himself not Jewish, said that he appreciated Israel's freedom and democracy – and that were it not for the Jewish people, the entire Middle East would look like Iran.
“It was my idea to organize the event, and I am hoping that thousands will come,” Kara said of the rally, set for 11 a.m. Wednesday in the northern border town of Metulla. “Several MKs, including Nissim Ze'ev, Michael Ben-Ari, and Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich told me they would join as well."
In his first state visit to Lebanon, Ahmadinejad will meet with President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and other officials. He also plans on meeting with Hizbullah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah – although the location of that meeting is secret. Nasrallah remains in hiding, fearful that the IDF will eliminate him.
Ahmadinejad will also tour southern Lebanon and visit several villages that Iranian money has helped rebuild since the 2006 war. Roads, homes, and public buildings throughout south Lebanon have been festooned with Iranian flags and portraits of Ahmadinejad. Israel has so far made no official comment on the visit, although the U.S. advised its citizens to exercise “caution” while the Iranian leader was in town.
But even though the government, for its own reasons, has chosen not to say anything, “we cannot remain silent while this evil dictator knocks on our door,” Kara said. “This rally is an absolute necessity. Ahmadinejad must see that we will not allow his hatred and threats to pass unnoticed.”
Kara has attempted to communicate his feelings to Ahmadinejad several times. “I even sent him a letter, in Persian, addressed to the Presidential Palace in Tehran,” in which he expressed the Israeli nation's desire for peace, and its willingness to defend itself. “He hasn't answered yet,” said Kara. “Maybe he's still thinking about what I wrote.”