Cross-Cultural Understanding

Opinion Editorials, September  2007



Opinion Editorials


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Sabra and Shatila Massacre: 25 Years on 

By Khalid Amayreh

PIC, September 19, 2007


On 17 September, 1982 , the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps near Beirut were the theatre of a horrible massacre, or series of massacres, carried out on Israel’s behalf by the Israeli-armed “Christian” Phalangist forces.

For close to 48 hours, the cannibalistic beasts scoured the camps, house by house and shack by shack, murdering and maiming and raping.

Nobody knows the exact number of the victims, but according to various accounts, the number ranged between 2000 and 3500.

The utter Nazi-like nature of the atrocities was as numbing as it was conspicuous. Human corpses were in every corner, every street, every home, everywhere. Blackened bodies smelling of roasted flesh from the electricity shocks that had convulsed their bodies, with the electric cables still tied around their lifeless limbs. Body parts ripped from their small torsos scattered here and there. Women horribly raped, with their legs shamelessly ripped apart, even without a cover of clothing to preserve their dignity at the moment of death.

Many women were gunned down while cooking in their kitchens. A headless baby-boy in diapers was lying next to two murdered women. Slaughtered babies piled, their bodies blackened as they began to decompose, children with their throats slashed, and mounds of rotting corpses bloated in the heat. Entire families executed or axed to death, with their blood splashed on the walls of their homes. It was Auschwitz re-enacted, with helpless Palestinian as victims, and insolent Jews as victimizers.

The mass slaughter was being done with Israel’s consent and blessing. After all, it was the Israeli army that armed the murderers, allowed them access to the camps and oversaw the slaughter minute by minute and hour by hour. At night, the army “helped” the killers locate more and more victims by shooting flares over the two camps.

And when some distraught refugees tried to escape, appealing to whatever shred of humanity they thought the Israeli occupation army might have had, they were turned back at gunpoint to face ultimate brutal death at the hands of Israel’s dogs.

In Tel Aviv, the Israeli government, aided by the Jewish-controlled media in North America, sought to evade responsibility and deflect blame. Then Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin, the “hero” of Dair Yassin massacre, remarked rather confidently that “it was Arabs killing Arabs, what do we Jews have to do with what happened?”

I was studying for my Master degree at the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale when the massacres occurred. And from watching the American media, I noticed that the way the massacre was treated by so-called “agenda-setters” gave the impression that the real story was not the massacre itself and the brutal murder of thousands of helpless refugees, but rather “the anti-Semitic” onslaught against Israel and the Jews.

Begin, whom a morally decadent world awarded the Nobel Prize for peace despite his Nazi-like record, actually went as far as comparing criticisms of Israel for enabling the perpetration of the massacre to the medieval canard of the blood libel against Jews. (An Israeli-Italian historian recently claimed that some European Jews did murder Christian kids and used their blood for therapeutic purposes).

The massacres of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatila were not a thunder on clear day. They were meticulously planned and supervised by the Israeli army, especially Ariel Sharon, who probably was the main mastermind of the massacre. Other Israeli officers, like Amos Yaron, also played key roles in effecting the massacre. Sharon is now in a deep comma for nearly two years. Maybe God is punishing him for the tens of thousands of innocent lives he killed in the name of fulfilling Jewish nationalism. Eli Hobeika, the Phalangist commander who directly supervised the brutal slaughter, in league with Sharon and Yaron, was assassinated a few years ago in Beirut. But Yaron and many other war criminals remain outside the reach of justice. May they all rot in hell.

The massacres carried one and the same message to the helpless Palestinians, namely that Zionism is after them and that they had to choose between total submission and total annihilation.

Israel wanted then as it does now to tell the Palestinians that it would not hesitate to outmatch and outperform the Gestapo, SS and wehrmacht in order to achieve its goals of ethnic cleansing and territorial aggrandizement.

Indeed, Israel’s behaviors and crimes before and after the Beirut massacres are a clarion testimony to the Zionist state’s Nazi identity. Needless to say, this also meant that Israeli political and military leaders, past and present, are wicked war criminals of the ilk of Adolph Hitler and his cohorts.

The enormity of the massacres at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps lied mainly in the butchering of so many innocent and helpless people in one place and in a short period of time not exceeding 48 hours.

However, it is imperative to remind ourselves that Israel has ever since murdered and maimed thousands upon thousands of other innocent Palestinians, including hundreds of children and minors. And the nefarious killers remain at large, outside the reach of justice.

I know it is naïve to expect justice from a world overwhelmed by criminal hypocrisy and political correctness.

However, it is always important to make it abundantly clear that evading justice doesn’t mean the absence of guilt. Hence, as far as the human conscience is concerned, the murderers of innocent lives at Sabra and Shatila, Gaza and the West Bank , will remain vile murderers that should be hounded and pursued to the last day of their lives.

And a word to the Palestinian people. Don’t take your physical survival for granted. The world that kept silent and did nothing to save the screaming women and children from the Nazis of our time will not hasten to save you when the next slaughter-time approaches. Rely on yourselves and don’t trust the criminal American government and mendacious Europe . Didn’t the Regan administration promise to protect the refugees following the negotiated withdrawal of PLO forces from Beirut ?

Nor should you rely on official Arab regimes. They are America’s cheap slaves.




Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent