|The Pullout of Gaza will not make us forget Sabra and Shatila Mr Sharon|
|Saturday, 17 September 2005 00:00|
The Pullout of Gaza will not make us forget Sabra and Shatila Mr Sharon
September 17, 2005
September has a special meaning for the Palestinian people. The death of Edward Said, Black September and the beginning of the Second Intifada are surely reasons to remember these days.
The wall continued the same week that 33 Palestinians from Hebron were imprisoned, violent repression was used against a peaceful demonstration against the illegal Israeli Wall in the village of Bilin, a farm was destroyed outside Beit Jala, settlers occupied Palestinian houses in Hebron, the Israeli army invaded the village of Bardala, and also, the construction of new houses in the illegal West Bank settlements continued.
Was this a report on the events of a whole month? No, they are but a few examples of what happened between September 14 and 16. During those same days, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was applauded in United Nations for saying that, "Palestinians deserve a state".
Is this a bad joke? No, the Prime Minister of the country which has violated the most international resolutions during the last 50 years, gave a speech on the occasion of the anniversary of United Nations starting with the first words (which were a violation to international law itself), "I arrived here from Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people for over 3.000 years, and the undivided and eternal capital of the State of Israel".
As a Palestinian of Christian decent, I laugh anytime that I hear such proclamations from Israeli authorities. Without any empirical argument they continue justifying the Palestinian suffering by the way of biblical arguments. I don't know if I am a bad Christian or if Sharon is a prophet, but I don't think that accepting a massacre because they are the "people of the book" is the course I want to take.
The issue remains that the "biblical Sharon" didn't only say that he wanted a "Palestinian state", but that he did so in the same assembly that rejected his argument for the "separation fence." The United Nations rejected Sharon's demagogic claim that "the fence saves lives."
Did Sharon say something new? Nothing. The policy of the "Israeli goal of a Palestinian state” always was present, since the first Zionist papers about "Palestinian Jordan", with several members of the Israeli government calling the state to deport thousands of Palestinians beyond its boundaries.
They call on the Israeli government to do the same as the "heroes" of 1948, which means a new Nakba (catastrophe) for the Palestinian people. As a result of that catastrophe, 60% of the Palestinian people were forced to live abroad and the numerous refugee camps that were established were to become the great basis of the Palestinian national movement.
Since that moment, the existence of a large number of Palestinian refugees didn't much affect much Israeli policies towards the Palestinian people nor of course, the start of a Peace Process.
It did not bother the Zionist immigrants that arrived to Palestine that they were living not only on lands, but even in houses that were built by an exiled people. The Israeli government hated when Palestinians started to fill the international arena with their demands and detested even more when the world started to listen to the Palestinians' claims to the "right to return, freedom and self determination of the Palestinian people."
Anyone who has studied the Palestine-Israel conflict must note that the most horrible part were the refugee camps. Of the refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila remain to this day two of the most infamous names that humanity remembers when recalling brutal killing and barbaric actions.
The Israeli forces occupied Beirut in 1982 and after the dark assassination of Basheer Gemayel (a Pro-Israeli, Lebanese Falangist leader), they occupied the whole city of Beirut, reneging on previously signed agreements. After that moment, the Israeli army, led by Mr. Ariel Sharon, became responsible of civilian security under the rules of IV Geneva Convention.
However, the man that led the pullout from Gaza (and the Apartheid Wall in West Bank), did not abide by these rules. He insisted that inside Sabra and Shatila refugee camps there was still 2.000 Palestinian fighters and under those pretenses allowed Lebanese rightist soldiers to enter the camps
Lighting the dark sky each night between September 16 and September 18, 1982, the Lebanese falangist forces, headed by Elia Hobeika and Fouad Abu Nader and with the permission of Ariel Sharon, massacred thousands of Palestinians.
Who was responsible for this massacre? Sharon knew the intentions of the Lebanese Falange and he was the general in Lebanon, second only to Prime Minister Menahem Begin (also involved in the Dear Yassin Massacre, April 1948).
Soon the camps were fenced off by Israeli forces, who would not allow Palestinian civilian refugees to leave to escape from the massacre that the Lebanese Falange (Al Katayeb) with the help of Ariel Sharon were committing inside the camp. Most of the refugees were women, old people and children.
"On Wednesday, after Bashir Gemayel had been killed, we heard Israeli helicopters flying overhead at a low altitude, and on Wednesday night the Israelis started firing illumination flares, which lit up the camp as though it was day. Some of my friends went down into the shelter. On Thursday evening I went with my brother Maher to see some friends and tell them to come and sleep at our house; on the way the road was full of corpses. I went into the shelter but I didn't find anyone there, so we went back. Suddenly I saw our neighbour, who was injured and had been thrown on the ground. I asked him where our friends were, he replied that they had taken the girls and asked me to help him, but I couldn't rescue him and I went straight back home with my brother. Maher immediately told my father that there was a massacre ".
This act of genocide was headed by the same person that several leaders have celebrated as "courageous" for his smoke screen also known as the Gaza Pullout. The same man who can freely visit New York and go on with impunity despite the case that was opened in the Belgian tribunals for war crimes and genocide.
In 1982, the Argentinean singer Alberto Cortez wrote a song called “Sabra and Shatila”, where he asked the world, “Where is the voice of the lawyer, prosecutor of the reason and the justice? It is not that your rules were derogated in Sabra and Shatila?” The song is a direct call to implement the international law that after 23 years remains silent.
Mr. Sharon, your speech in front of the United Nations, the pullout from Gaza, the daily atrocities perpetuated against the Palestinians, the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank will not let us forget who is responsible for this blatant massacre, our Varsovia is still on our minds.
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