Hezbollah theme park: an attraction designed with terror in mind

Are you always searching for a roller coaster that will make your hair stand on end? Well, if you really want to scare yourself, skip the traditional amusement park rides and catch a flight out to Beirut. There’s a “theme park” in town that will open your eyes wide and keep you looking over your shoulder.

Hezbollah has gotten into the Disney business.

Identified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, Hezbollah’s new endeavor isn’t doing a thing to change that perception. Called “Landmark for the Resistance,” the theme park celebrates the group’s military efforts against Israel. Enter the park, and you can wander among implements of mayhem and destruction, from tanks to machine guns … and you can even get some photo ops of the kids with their fingers on the trigger!

Designed and built by Hezbollah, Landmark for the Resistance cost a mere $4 million, a pittance compared to what it would cost to get an attraction up here in the United States. So far, the park’s been a success, one of the few in a country that has had trouble attracting tourists because of … well … Hezbollah.

Buoyed by the strong response, especially the smiling children, I suspect, Hezbollah has already committed to expansion plans. Look for a cable car wandering around the guns ‘n’ ammo soon – and a hotel and a restaurant.

Israel: Passengers must be seated half an hour before landing

Israel is tightening its security again, because of the fears following the recent death of a Hezbollah terror mastermind Imad Mugniyah, UPI reports. Passengers on all domestic and international flights landing in Israel must now be seated 30 minutes before landing. The prior security arrangements required only 15 minutes.

The Transport Ministry said it is giving the flight crew more time to spot suspicious passengers and to make it harder for passenger to hijack a plane.

I would think that “more time to notice suspicious passengers” should happen in the beginning of a flight, rather than at the end, but what do I know about airline security.

Tel Aviv Still Okay to Visit

Despite the reassuring sound of this Washington Post piece, I doubt many people will be booking flights into Tel Aviv. While Israel’s northerners trapped in the grizzly realities of war between their country and Lebanon’s Hizbollah may head down for a nice relaxing time on the beach to escape the daily rocket attacks, for foreigners it would still fall too close for comfort. According to the article business has been great in Tel Aviv and the entertainment and commercial capital of Israel continues to thrive during the dispute.

Tel Aviv is located 130 miles (220 km) from Lebanon and hasn’t been struck by missiles since the Gulf War in 1991. The city houses some 235 public bomb shelters that have recently been prepared with equipment, stretchers, and water. Israel’s on my list and most certainly Tel Aviv, but I’d wait this one out.

Stuck In Lebanon

This wasn’t exactly the kind of piece I was looking for when I searched for Lebanon blogs, but it will certainly suffice. What I wanted was real Americans blogging about the events at hand, about being stranded and what the feeling is like when there are little to no exits out of the country. I admit, it’s pretty lame of me to think I’d discover a blog from an average, innocent American citizen just wanting to get to safety (as if blogging is first priority) and that is why I am taking in the words of this Kevin Sites, No Exit piece as an acceptable trade off.

Sites blogs about the Chahines, a family from Dearborn, MI stuck in the war madness between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israel. What was a typical annual family vacation to the area became a nightmare. They shuffled from house to house each night trying to escape the violence. The clothing Mr. Chahine left in the truck of a car burned when an Israeli missile struck the parked vehicle. He has been wearing the same clothing seven days in a row. Madness.

If you are looking for pieces on Americans traveling in Lebanon and stranded this is a good one to check out. Just gives you an idea of what it could be like if things went down the wrong way on your own travels. How do you prepare? Can you?