Thursday, September 20, 2007

25th Anniversary of Beirut Bombing and Massacre

Twenty-five years ago, on June 4, 1982, the now-deceased “Nobel Peace Prize” winner—Menachem Begin—ordered Israeli jets to start bombing Beirut. Two days later, Begin ordered 60,000 Israeli troops and 500 Israeli tanks to invade Lebanon. By invading Lebanon 25 years ago, “Israel broke a ceasefire along its 63-mile Lebanese border that had been in effect since July 1981,” according to former Israeli intelligence agency employee Victor Ostrovsky’s book, By Way Of Deception. The same book also noted that “months before the Israeli invasion of Lebanon,” the now-deceased PLO leader Yasir Arafat had “ordered a halt to the bombardment of Israeli villages.” But, according to By Way Of Deception, “Israel used” the attempted assassination in London of Israel’s Ambassador to Britain, Shlomo Argove, “as an excuse to launch a full-scale war” and the Israeli government falsely blamed the shooting of Argove on PLO leader Arafat “even though he had nothing to do with it.”

As a result of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the bombing of Beirut, thousands of Arab civilians were killed in Lebanon during the next few years and 462 Israeli soldiers and 241 U.S. Marines were also killed in Lebanon. Around 3 ½ months after the beginning of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, a massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila was carried out by the Israeli military’s Lebanese allies.

The leader of the Lebanese right-wing force that slaughtered Palestinian civilians in the Shatila refugee camp, Elias Hobeika, was apparently connected to the Israeli intelligence apparatus; and the Israeli military passively watched the slaughter as it took place. According to By Way Of Deception, on Sept. 16, 1982:

“Israeli Major General Amir Drori, head of the Northern Command and several other top Israeli officers had guests at their command post: Lebanese Forces Chief of Staff Fady Frem, and their infamous intelligence chief, Elias Hobeika…For the Mossad [Israeli] intelligence agency…Hobeika had been an important contact. He had attended the Staff and Command College in Israel. He was the main leader of the force that went into the refugee camp and slaughtered the civilians…

“At 5 p.m. on September 16 [1982], Hobeika assembled his forces at Beirut International Airport and moved into the Shatila camp, with the help of flares and, later, tank and mortar fire from the Israeli Defense Force [IDF]…

“The next day, Hobeika received Israeli permission to bring two additional battalions into the camps. Israel knew the massacre was taking place. Israeli forces had even set up observation posts on top of several seven-story buildings at the Kuwaiti embassy traffic circle, giving them an unobstructed view of the carnage.”

(Downtown 6/10/92)

With regard to the Israeli government’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Israel in Lebanon stated the following:

“The Commission, having considered the evidence and the relevant rules of law, concludes:

“1. The Government of Israel has committed acts of aggression contrary to international law.

“2. The Israeli armed forces have made use of weapons or methods of warfare forbidden by international law, including the laws of war;

“3. Palestinian, Lebanese and prisoners of other nationalities have been subjected to treatment forbidden by international law, including inhuman and degrading treatment…

“4. There has been deliberate or indiscriminate or reckless bombardment of a civilian character, of hospitals, schools and other nonmilitary targets…

“5. There has been systematic bombardment and other destruction of towns, cities, villages and refugee camps.

“6. The acts of the Israeli armed forces have caused the dispersal, deportation and ill-treatment of populations, in violation of international law.

“7. The Government of Israel has no valid reasons under international law for its invasion of Lebanon, for the manner in which it conducted hostilities or for its actions as an occupying force.

“8. Israeli authorities or forces were involved, directly or indirectly, in the massacres and other killings that have been reported to have been carried out by Lebanese militiamen in the refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila in Beirut area between 16 and 18 September

A possible motive for the Israeli government’s “ethnic cleansing” activity in Lebanon was also indicated in the 1983 Israel In Lebanon report:

“The Commission received evidence that Israel harbored certain territorial aspirations towards Lebanon, the most significant of which may have been its intention to obtain access or possibly control over the waters of the Litani River, the major sweet water source in Lebanon. The commission’s attention was drawn to Israel’s urgent need for access to water as its needs cannot be met even after appropriating the water resources of the Occupied Territories…

“Israel, since 1978, has in effect established a `security zone’ in South Lebanon…”

(Downtown 9/1/93)

Next: The Israeli Government Lobby’s Media Connections