We should not allow the Christmas story to be stripped of its humanity or cleansed of its muck and grime. Its power is in its reality that should serve to focus our attention on our responsibility to see in the birth of Jesus: the faces of the outcasts for whom there is no room in the inn; the wretched of the earth for whom there is no comfort; and the frightened exiles who seek only safety and refuge. It is only when we do not avert our glance from these reminders that we can understand the story and spirit of Christmas.
The bigger threat to Lebanese stability is the implosion of Syria, which long played a dominant, sometimes controlling, role in Lebanon. Hezbollah has directly intervened on the side of the Assad regime. The Shia movement's involvement risks bringing the conflict back to Lebanon, as did Hezbollah's costly 2006 war with Israel.
As rebel forces advance towards the mountainous Druze stronghold in Idlib province, Israel has to decide whether it should intervene in the Syrian civil war by arming the Druze while Saudi Arabia is faced with the choice between realpolitik and its religious doctrine which views the Druze as heretics.
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