A Terrorist Theme Park

Oct 1 2012 @ 9:54am

Tom Freston took his grown sons to Hezbollah’s new Tourist Landmark of the Resistance, in Mleeta, Lebanon:

It’s a multi-million-dollar complex that memorializes resistance to the Israeli occupation (1982–2000) with something of a Six Flags spin. To that segment of the Lebanese who refer to Hezbollah as "the Hez" the attraction is known as "Hezbollahland." Israel—known to many locals as "the Zionist Entity"—refers to the same place as "a Disneyland for terrorists." … Hezbollahland has already had more than 1.2 million visitors, according to a staff member.

Freston opted not to purchase an AK47 squirt gun from the gift shop. His takeaway:

Hezbollah has long supported terrorism—this is the organization that blew up our embassy and the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in the early 80s, with enormous loss of life. Full stop. Even so, it’s hard not to have some understanding for why Hezbollah has gained respect among the local population for its role in ending the 18-year occupation. Now Hezbollah has built an effective attraction to communicate its narrative to the young.