As an indication of just how dangerous and how off-track the "Arab Spring" pro-democracy movements throughout the region have become, a prominent Lebanese activist is urgently seeking asylum in Sweden following an attempt on his life.
Mostafa Geha was an outspoken Lebanese author who boldly opposed Syrian and Iranian intervention in his country and the machinations of violent Islamist groups during the 1970s and 1980s. He was mercilessly gunned down by pro-Syrian terrorists in 1992.
Mostafa Geha, Jr. has continued his father's work through the Lebanese Sovereignty Movement, and, if he is not granted protection in the West, may face a similar fate.
Geha sent a press release to journalists in Israel and elsewhere recounting a recent attempt on his life after an April political meeting in Beirut to discuss the revolution in Syria and Hizballah's activity in Lebanon.
According to Geha, while driving home from that meeting, a black car blocked his way and a gunman fired four shots at his vehicle. Three bullets entered the front windshield, but failed to hit Geha.
Geha is seeking asylum in Sweden, as the attacks on both his father and himself demonstrate that he cannot safely pursue his work in Lebanon. But Geha remains dedicated to freedom for Lebanon, which he hopes will include future warm ties with Israel.
"We must build good relations with Israel," Geha told Israel Today.
Geha believes it will be the job of Lebanese and Israeli intellectuals to lay the groundwork for those future relations.
"Fundamentalists from Iran to Hamas to Hizballah to Al Qaeda, as well as dictators in countries like Syria, have implanted dark ideas in the minds of the people," explained Geha. "They use the Palestinians and Islam itself to create hostility toward Israel."
Geha hopes and believes that those intellectuals who can be truthful with themselves and with the facts can begin to turn the tide, and cause the people to no longer see Israel as a monster.
"I want to see our children playing and studying together in friendship," said Geha. "We don't need a green light from anyone else to make peace with Israel. Lebanon and Israel are neighbors."