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News :: Human Rights
The Israeli Slaughter at Sabra and Shatila
by Steven Argue
30 Dec 2004
The Sabra and Shatila massacre is still worth talking about since the current crimes are only a continuation of the past. Likewise, Sharon’s guilt in the Sabra Shatila massacre is worth mentioning.
Radical Zionist and Dafka (Hebrew for “in your face”) member Becky Johnson wrote:
Steve, so you have to go all the way back to 1982 to find a massacre to pin on the Israelis. And you have to fudge the facts to make even THAT work. They were not "innocent Palestinians" since a day or two before a group of them went into a Lebanese camp and murdered 65 men, women, and children. When the Lebanese Phalanx came up the road to the camp where the murderers were hiding, Ariel Sharon let them through. It was the Lebanese army that killed the Palestinians. Not a single IDF soldier killed anyone. Sharon was later disciplined by his own govt. who ruled that he should have known what the Lebanese were about to do and he should have tried to stop them.
Steven Argue responds on responds On Sabra and Shatila
Becky Johnson seems to think that the Sabra and Shatila massacre is not worth discussing because 1982 is supposedly ancient history. 1982 is hardly beyond the statute of limitations for crimes against humanity. I’m sure you don’t have the same attitude towards Nazi butchers of the Third Reich. While I could, and have, written about the most recent crimes of the Israeli government in Jenin and elsewhere, the Sabra and Shatila massacre is still worth talking about since the current crimes are only a continuation of the past. Likewise, Sharon’s guilt in the Sabra Shatila massacre is worth mentioning.
Becky Johnson shows here extreme ignorance by claiming that this massacre was carried out by the Lebanese government. The Lebanese government had nothing to do with it. The massacre was carried out both by the Israeli military under the command of Sharon and by Israel's allies in Lebanon, the Christian Phalangists.
With the testimony Mrs. Sersawi in the Belgium appeals court on the Israeli government’s war crimes, which I’ve posted twice, I've provided Becky Johnson with clear evidence of the involvement of both the Israeli government and Lebanese Christian Phalangists in this mass murder of unarmed civilians, many that had been slaughtered after being taken prisoner by Israel. Among the dead was Mrs. Sersawi’s husband. Yet you Becky have chosen to ignore this evidence I have provided you to absurdly claim that this mass murder was only the killing of combatants and that it was the work of the Lebanese government.
I will post Mrs. Sersawi’s testimony here once again at the end of this writing.
Prior to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon both Ariel Sharon and Bashir Gemayel had declared that they would create a panic amongst Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon that would reduce the numbers living there from 500,000 to 50,000. The Sabra and Shatila massacre was part of this stated goal of ethnic cleansing.
Ha’aretz reported on September 26, 1982: “A long-term objective aimed at the expulsion of the whole Palestinian population of Lebanon beginning with Beirut. The purpose was to create a panic to convince [sic] all the Palestinians of Lebanon that they were no longer safe in that country.”
As such the people of Sabra and Shatila facing the Zionist slaughter of innocents, were to meet the same fate as the Palestinian towns of Dueima, Kibya, Kfar Qasim, and Deir Yassin from 1947 to 1950.
As Time Magazine admitted on October 4th, 1982, “On several occasions Gemayel told Israeli officials he would raze the camps and flatten them into tennis courts. This fits in with Israeli thinking. The Christian militia forces that were known to have gone into the camps were trained by the Israelis.”
Major Saqr of the Phalangist Militia bragged after the massacre, “The only way you will find out how many Palestinians we killed is if they ever build a subway under Beirut ... A good massacre or two will drive the Palestinians out of Beirut and Lebanon once and for all.” (Jonathan Randal of the Washington Post).
Yet the massacre was not just carried out by these murderous Phalangist militia trained and allied with Israel, Israeli forces were also directly involved.
On February 14, 1983 Der Spiegel carried an interview with one of the killers at Sabra and Shatila, who described direct Israeli participation along side his own. The article, entitled “Each of You Is An Avenger”, is a first person account of crimes against humanity:
“We met in the Schahrur wadi, in the valley of the nightingales Southeast of Beirut. It was Wednesday, the fifteenth of September ... We were approximately three hundred men from East Beirut, South Lebanon and the Akkar Mountains in the north ... I belonged to the Tiger Militia of ex-President Camile Chamoun.
“Phalange officers summoned us and brought us to the meeting place. They told us that they needed us for a “special action” ... “You are the agents of good,” the officers told us repeatedly. “Each of you is an avenger.” ...
“Then a good dozen Israelis in green uniforms without indication of rank came along. They had playing cards with them and spoke Arabic well, except that like all Jews they pronounced the hard “h” as “ch.” They were talking about the Palestinian camps Sabra and Shatila ... it was clear to us what we were to do, and we were looking forward to it.
“We had to swear an oath never to divulge anything about our action. At about 10 p.m. we climbed into an American army truck that the Israelis had given over to us. We parked the vehicle near the airport tower. There, immediately next to the Israeli positions, several such trucks were already parked.
“Some Israelis in Phalange uniforms were with the Party. “The Israeli friends who accompany you,” our officers told us “... will make your work easier.” They directed us not to make use of our firearms, if at all possible. “Everything must proceed noiselessly.” ... We saw other comrades. They had to do their work with bayonets and knives. Bloody corpses were lying in the alleys. The half-asleep women and children who cried out for help put our whole plan in danger, alarming the entire camp.
“Now I saw once again the Israelis who had been at our secret meeting. One signaled us to move back to areas of the camp entrance. The Israelis opened up with all their guns. The Israelis helped us with floodlights.
“There were shocking scenes that showed what the Palestinians were good for. A few, including women, had taken shelter in a small alley, behind some donkeys. Unfortunately we had to shoot down these poor animals to finish off the Palestinians behind them. It got to me when the animals cried out in pain. It was gruesome.
“A comrade entered a house full of women and children. The Palestinians screamed and threw their gas stoves on the ground. We sent the hard-hearted rabble to hell.
“At about four in the morning my squad went back to the truck. When there was morning light we went back into the camp. We went past bodies, stumbled over bodies, shot and stabbed all eyewitnesses. Killing others was easy once you have done it a few times.
“Now came the Israeli Army bulldozers. “Plow everything under the ground. Don’t let any witnesses stay alive.” But despite our efforts, the area was still teeming with people. They ran about and caused awful confusion. The order to “plow them under” demanded too much.
“It became clear that the pretty plan had failed. Thousands had escaped us. Far too many Palestinians are still alive. Everywhere now people are talking about a massacre and feeling sorry for the Palestinians. Who appreciates the hardships that we took upon ourselves ... Just think. I fought for twenty-four hours in Shatila without food or drink.”
Many of the mass graves were never opened, but over 3,000 people were murdered at Sabra and Shatila.
In addition to the scenes described above, Palestinians were also rounded up and systematically slaughtered in the thousands by Israeli troops in a Lebanese stadium.
As survivor Mrs. Sersawi testified in a Belgium appeals court on the Israeli governments war crimes, "The Lebanese forces militia [Phalangists] had taken us from our homes and marched us up to the entrance of the camp where a large hole had been dug in the earth. The men were told to get into it. Then the militiamen shot a Palestinian. The women and children climbed over bodies to get to this spot, but we were truly shocked by seeing this man killed in front of us and there was a roar of shouting and screams from the women. That's when we heard the Israelis on a loudspeaker shouting, 'give us your men.' We thought, 'thank God, they will save us.'
"We were told to walk up the road to the Kuwaiti Embassy, the women and children in front, the men behind. We had been separated. There were Phalangist Militiamen and Israeli soldiers walking alongside us. I could still see Hassan (her husband with whom she was 3 months pregnant) and Faraj (her brother-in-law). It was like a parade. There were several hundred of us. When we got to Cite Sportif, the Israelis put us women in a big concrete room and the men were taken to another side of the stadium. There were a lot of men from the camp and I could no longer see my husband. The Israelis went around saying 'Sit, sit.' It was 11 AM. An hour later we were told to leave. But we stood outside amid the Israeli soldiers, waiting for our men.
"Some men came out, none of them younger than 40, and they told us to be patient, that hundreds of men were still inside. Then about 4 PM an Israeli officer came out. He was wearing dark glasses and said in Arabic: 'What are you waiting for?' He said there was nobody left, that everyone had gone. There were Israeli trucks moving out with tarpaulin over them. We couldn't see inside. And there were jeeps and tanks and a bulldozer making a lot of noise. We stayed there as it got dark and the Israelis appeared to be leaving and we were very nervous. But when the Israelis had moved away, we went inside. And there was no one there. Nobody. I had been only three years married. I never saw my husband again."
Dafka Member Lee Kaplan, Zionist Stooge For War
By Steven Argue
In his pro-war and anti-Arab diatribes Dafka leader Lee Kaplan claims, “And as for the guy [Steven Argue] suggesting America is just in Iraq for profit, get a life. We can buy the oil cheaper than the cost of waging war.”
The obvious point that Kaplan doesn’t want us to see here is that the billions spent on war and occupation do not come out of the pockets of those that profit off of it. The war is being paid for by us taxpayers, not Halliburton and the others. As such it is not just those American capitalists that are looting and privatizing the Iraqi economy that are gaining big profits, but also those who sell the hardware to the U.S. military.
Agent Kaplan claims, “Israel is a Jewish state, yes, but also a secular democracy ranked as democratic as the US and the UK.”
Who gives such rankings? The United States with its violations of the 1965 voting rights act, rigged elections, and political prisoners is far from democratic. Israel is much worse.
Palestinians do not have the right to freely travel. Reminiscent of chattel slavery, Palestinian families are often separated by Israeli officials who commonly do not grant necessary permits for
Palestinians to enter neighborhoods or towns where wives, husbands, or children live. In contrast the Hebrew population has full rights to travel.
Palestinians often do not have the right to keep their own homes, which are often confiscated or bulldozed. The bulldozing of houses is a common punishment of families whose children are accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. Recently in Jenin houses were bulldozed
with people inside, an act that besides killing people also made an estimated 4,000 people homeless.
Palestinians do not have the right to freedom of speech and regularly face arrest, torture, and execution for their political views. Even Hebrew speakers who support rights for Palestinians or an end to Israeli wars have, at times, had their press shut down by the Israeli government or had their demonstrations attacked and beaten by Israeli soldiers.
Although the Israeli government claims that Palestinians have the right to own property, this is a lie. Ever since 1948 Palestinians in Israel do not have the right to own land, because their land is often confiscated by force for Hebrew settlement and agriculture. Water rights have been systematically cut off and diverted away from Palestinian lands and given to stolen Hebrew owned lands. Palestinian laborers are then denied by law the right to work the Hebrew owned
agricultural lands, although they are sometimes illegally employed as cheap labor with no labor rights.
The humiliating conditions of the Palestinian people were recently observed by former anti-Apartheid fighter Archbishop Desmond Tutu who wrote: "I have been very deeply distressed by my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in
South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young police officers prevented us from moving about.
"On my visit to the Holy Land I drove to a church with the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem. I could hear tears in his voice as he pointed to Jewish settlements. I thought of the desire of Israelis for security. But what of the Palestinians who have lost their land and homes?
"I have experienced Palestinians pointing to what were their homes, now occupied by Jewish Israelis. I was walking with Canon Naim Ateek (the head of the Sabeel Ecumenical Centre) in Jerusalem. He pointed and said: 'Our home was over there. We were driven out of our home;
it is now occupied by Israeli Jews.'
"My heart aches. I say why are our memories so short. Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment
In the 1940s Jews were only one third of the population of Palestine. The Arab majority had not yet been driven from their land. After independence from the Britain in 1948 the Zionist state began a massive expropriation of Palestinian land that has not ended. Becky Johnson's claim that, "the Arabs and Muslims who did not flee in 1948, but stayed in Israel have full citizenship, have freedom to practice their religion, own property, vote, have representation in the Knesset, and compose 18% of the population" is so utterly untrue as to defy common sense. Besides defying all facts, I ask why most of an entire people would voluntarily flee the land in which they had built flourishing towns, a rich agriculture, and a vibrant cultural life with nowhere else to go? The short answer is that they did not flee voluntarily. They had met the "Jewish bayonets" of Zionist Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall". To deny this fact comes in on the same level as those who deny the Holocaust of Europe.
Lee Kaplan, Dafka Exposed
Photographic evidence of Israeli Justice at Sabra & Shatila. Zionists want everyone to know about the Holocaust that befell the Jews by the Nazi's and to pay homage to its victims, while at the same time they want to sweep under the rug of history, the attrocities that the Zionists committed against the Palestinian's.
Someone once said that a photo beats a thousand words. Well....here is photographic evidence of Israeli Justice at Sabra & Shatila.
This work is in the public domain
Re: the PLO in Lebanon
(No verified email address)
02 Jan 2005
the PLO in Lebanon
For Arab residents of south Lebanon, PLO rule was a nightmare. After the PLO was expelled from Jordan by King Hussein in 1970, many of its cadres went to Lebanon. The PLO seized whole areas of the country, where it brutalized the population and usurped Lebanese government authority.
On October 14, 1976, Lebanese Ambassador Edward Ghorra told the UN General Assembly the PLO was bringing ruin upon his country: “Palestinian elements belonging to various splinter organizations resorted to kidnaping Lebanese, and sometimes foreigners, holding them prisoners, questioning them, and even sometimes killing them.”6a
Columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, not known for being sympathetic toward Israel, declared after touring south Lebanon and Beirut that the facts "tend to support Israel's claim that the PLO has become permeated by thugs and adventurers."6b
The columnists talked to a doctor whose farm had been taken over without compensation by the PLO, and turned into a military depot. "You ask how do we like the Israelis," he said. "Compared to the hell we have had in Lebanon, the Israelis are brothers." Other Lebanese — Christian and Muslim alike — gave similar accounts.
Countless Lebanese told harrowing tales of rape, mutilation and murders committed by PLO forces. The PLO "killed people and threw their corpses in the courtyards. Some of them were mutilated and their limbs were cut off. We did not go out for fear that we might end up like them," said two Arab women from Sidon. "We did not dare go to the beach, because they molested us, weapons in hand." The women spoke of an incident, which occurred shortly before the Israeli invasion, in which PLO men raped and murdered a woman, dumping her body near a famous statue. A picture of the victim's mangled corpse had been printed in a local newspaper.7
Dr. Khalil Torbey, a distinguished Lebanese surgeon, told an American journalist that he was "frequently called in the middle of the night to attend victims of PLO torture. I treated men whose testicles had been cut off in torture sessions. The victims, more often than not, were...Muslims. I saw men — live men — dragged through the streets by fast-moving cars to which they were tied by their feet."8
New York Times correspondent David Shipler visited Damour, a Christian village near Beirut, which had been occupied by the PLO since 1976, when Palestinians and Lebanese leftists sacked the city and massacred hundreds of its inhabitants. The PLO, Shipler wrote, had turned the town into a military base, "using its churches as strongholds and armories" (New York Times, June 21, 1982).
When the IDF drove the PLO out of Damour in June 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin announced that the town's Christian residents could come home and rebuild. Returning villagers found their former homes littered with spray-painted Palestinian nationalist slogans, Fatah literature and posters of Yasser Arafat. They told Shipler how happy they were that Israel had liberated them.9
It was the Lebanese
by Wolf Saturday, Jan. 01, 2005 at 1:12 PM
The Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia was responsible for the massacres that occurred at the two Beirut-area refugee camps on September 16-17, 1982. Israeli troops allowed the Phalangists to enter Sabra and Shatila to root out terrorist cells believed located there. It had been estimated that there may have been up to 200 armed men in the camps working out of the countless bunkers built by the PLO over the years, and stocked with generous reserves of ammunition.15
When Israeli soldiers ordered the Phalangists out, they found hundreds dead (estimates range from 460 according to the Lebanese police, to 700-800 calculated by Israeli intelligence). The dead, according to the Lebanese account, included 35 women and children. The rest were men: Palestinians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Iranians, Syrians and Algerians.16 The killings were perpetrated to avenge the murders of Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel and 25 of his followers, killed in a bomb attack earlier that week.17
Israel had allowed the Phalange to enter the camps as part of a plan to transfer authority to the Lebanese, and accepted responsibility for that decision. The Kahan Commission of Inquiry, formed by the Israeli government in response to public outrage and grief, found that Israel was indirectly responsible for not anticipating the possibility of Phalangist violence. Israel instituted the panel's recommendations, including the dismissal of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and Gen. Raful Eitan, the Army Chief of Staff.
The Kahan Commission, declared former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, was "a great tribute to Israeli democracy....There are very few governments in the world that one can imagine making such a public investigation of such a difficult and shameful episode."18
Recently, efforts have been made in Belgium to try Sharon for his role in what happened in Lebanon. The appellate court there, however, threw out the case.[fn Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty, (June 26, 2002).] The European campaign appears designed to smear Israel in general, and Sharon in particular, and is particularly odious given that Israel's own democratic judicial institutions already dealt with this tragedy.
Ironically, while 300,000 Israelis demonstrated in Israel to protest the killings, little or no reaction occurred in the Arab world. Outside the Middle East, a major international outcry against Israel erupted over the massacres. The Phalangists, who perpetrated the crime, were spared the brunt of the condemnations for it.
By contrast, few voices were raised in May 1985, when Muslim militiamen attacked the Shatila and Burj-el Barajneh Palestinian refugee camps. According to UN officials, 635 were killed and 2,500 wounded. During a two-year battle between the Syrian-backed Shiite Amal militia and the PLO, more than 2,000 people, including many civilians, were reportedly killed. No outcry was directed at the PLO or the Syrians and their allies over the slaughter. International reaction was also muted in October 1990 when Syrian forces overran Christian-controlled areas of Lebanon. In the eight-hour clash, 700 Christians were killed — the worst single battle of Lebanon's Civil War.19 These killings came on top of an estimated 95,000 deaths that had occurred during the civil war in Lebanon from 1975-1982.19a