Thirty years ago, a massacre occurred in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The following declassified documents reveal conversations between high-level American and Israeli officials before, during and after the event. These English-language documents were released by the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem earlier this year.
ON the night of Sept. 16, 1982, the Israeli military allowed a right-wing Lebanese militia to enter two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. In the ensuing three-day rampage, the militia, linked to the Maronite Christian Phalange Party, raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 civilians, while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.
Thirty years later, the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila camps is remembered as a notorious chapter in modern Middle Eastern history, clouding the tortured relationships among Israel, the United States,Lebanon and the Palestinians. In 1983, an Israeli investigative commission concluded that Israeli leaders were “indirectly responsible” for the killings and that Ariel Sharon, then the defense minister and later prime minister, bore “personal responsibility” for failing to prevent them.
While Israel’s role in the massacre has been closely examined, America’s actions have never been fully understood. This summer, at the Israel State Archives, I found recently declassified documents that chronicle key conversations between American and Israeli officials before and during the 1982 massacre. The verbatim transcripts reveal that the Israelis misled American diplomats about events in Beirut and bullied them into accepting the spurious claim that thousands of “terrorists” were in the camps. Most troubling, when the United States was in a position to exert strong diplomatic pressure on Israel that could have ended the atrocities, it failed to do so. As a result, Phalange militiamen were able to murder Palestinian civilians, whom America had pledged to protect just weeks earlier.
Israel’s involvement in the Lebanese civil war began in June 1982, when it invaded its northern neighbor. Its goal was to root out the Palestine Liberation Organization, which had set up a state within a state, and to transform Lebanon into a Christian-ruled ally. The Israel Defense Forces soon besieged P.L.O.-controlled areas in the western part of Beirut. Intense Israeli bombardments led to heavy civilian casualties and tested even President Ronald Reagan, who initially backed Israel. In mid-August, as America was negotiating the P.L.O.’s withdrawal from Lebanon, Reagan told Prime Minister Menachem Begin that the bombings “had to stop or our entire future relationship was endangered,” Reagan wrote in his diaries.
The United States agreed to deploy Marines to Lebanon as part of a multinational force to supervise the P.L.O.’s departure, and by Sept. 1, thousands of its fighters — including Yasir Arafat — had left Beirut for various Arab countries. After America negotiated a cease-fire that included written guarantees to protect the Palestinian civilians remaining in the camps from vengeful Lebanese Christians, the Marines departed Beirut, on Sept. 10.
Israel hoped that Lebanon’s newly elected president, Bashir Gemayel, a Maronite, would support an Israeli-Christian alliance. But on Sept. 14, Gemayel was assassinated. Israel reacted by violating the cease-fire agreement. It quickly occupied West Beirut — ostensibly to prevent militia attacks against the Palestinian civilians. “The main order of the day is to keep the peace,” Begin told the American envoy to the Middle East, Morris Draper, on Sept. 15. “Otherwise, there could be pogroms.”
By Sept. 16, the I.D.F. was fully in control of West Beirut, including Sabra and Shatila. In Washington that same day, Under Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger told the Israeli ambassador, Moshe Arens, that “Israel’s credibility has been severely damaged” and that “we appear to some to be the victim of deliberate deception by Israel.” He demanded that Israel withdraw from West Beirut immediately.
In Tel Aviv, Mr. Draper and the American ambassador, Samuel W. Lewis, met with top Israeli officials. Contrary to Prime Minister Begin’s earlier assurances, Defense Minister Sharon said the occupation of West Beirut was justified because there were “2,000 to 3,000 terrorists who remained there.” Mr. Draper disputed this claim; having coordinated the August evacuation, he knew the number was minuscule. Mr. Draper said he was horrified to hear that Mr. Sharon was considering allowing the Phalange militia into West Beirut. Even the I.D.F. chief of staff, Rafael Eitan, acknowledged to the Americans that he feared “a relentless slaughter.”
On the evening of Sept. 16, the Israeli cabinet met and was informed that Phalange fighters were entering the Palestinian camps. Deputy Prime Minister David Levy worried aloud: “I know what the meaning of revenge is for them, what kind of slaughter. Then no one will believe we went in to create order there, and we will bear the blame.” That evening, word of civilian deaths began to filter out to Israeli military officials, politicians and journalists.
At 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir hosted a meeting with Mr. Draper, Mr. Sharon and several Israeli intelligence chiefs. Mr. Shamir, having reportedly heard of a “slaughter” in the camps that morning, did not mention it.
The transcript of the Sept. 17 meeting reveals that the Americans were browbeaten by Mr. Sharon’s false insistence that “terrorists” needed “mopping up.” It also shows how Israel’s refusal to relinquish areas under its control, and its delays in coordinating with the Lebanese National Army, which the Americans wanted to step in, prolonged the slaughter.
Mr. Draper opened the meeting by demanding that the I.D.F. pull back right away. Mr. Sharon exploded, “I just don’t understand, what are you looking for? Do you want the terrorists to stay? Are you afraid that somebody will think that you were in collusion with us? Deny it. We denied it.” Mr. Draper, unmoved, kept pushing for definitive signs of a withdrawal. Mr. Sharon, who knew Phalange forces had already entered the camps, cynically told him, “Nothing will happen. Maybe some more terrorists will be killed. That will be to the benefit of all of us.” Mr. Shamir and Mr. Sharon finally agreed to gradually withdraw once the Lebanese Army started entering the city — but they insisted on waiting 48 hours (until the end of Rosh Hashana, which started that evening).
Continuing his plea for some sign of an Israeli withdrawal, Mr. Draper warned that critics would say, “Sure, the I.D.F. is going to stay in West Beirut and they will let the Lebanese go and kill the Palestinians in the camps.”
Mr. Sharon replied: “So, we’ll kill them. They will not be left there. You are not going to save them. You are not going to save these groups of the international terrorism.”
Mr. Draper responded: “We are not interested in saving any of these people.” Mr. Sharon declared: “If you don’t want the Lebanese to kill them, we will kill them.”
Mr. Draper then caught himself, and backtracked. He reminded the Israelis that the United States had painstakingly facilitated the P.L.O. exit from Beirut “so it wouldn’t be necessary for you to come in.” He added, “You should have stayed out.”
Mr. Sharon exploded again: “When it comes to our security, we have never asked. We will never ask. When it comes to existence and security, it is our own responsibility and we will never give it to anybody to decide for us.” The meeting ended with an agreement to coordinate withdrawal plans after Rosh Hashana.
By allowing the argument to proceed on Mr. Sharon’s terms, Mr. Draper effectively gave Israel cover to let the Phalange fighters remain in the camps. Fuller details of the massacre began to emerge on Sept. 18, when a young American diplomat, Ryan C. Crocker, visited the gruesome scene and reported back to Washington.
Years later, Mr. Draper called the massacre “obscene.” And in an oral history recorded a few years before his death in 2005, he remembered telling Mr. Sharon: “You should be ashamed. The situation is absolutely appalling. They’re killing children! You have the field completely under your control and are therefore responsible for that area.”
On Sept. 18, Reagan pronounced his “outrage and revulsion over the murders.” He said the United States had opposed Israel’s invasion of Beirut, both because “we believed it wrong in principle and for fear that it would provoke further fighting.” Secretary of State George P. Shultz later admitted that “we are partially responsible” because “we took the Israelis and the Lebanese at their word.” He summoned Ambassador Arens. “When you take military control over a city, you’re responsible for what happens,” he told him. “Now we have a massacre.”
But the belated expression of shock and dismay belies the Americans’ failed diplomatic effort during the massacre. The transcript of Mr. Draper’s meeting with the Israelis demonstrates how the United States was unwittingly complicit in the tragedy of Sabra and Shatila.
Ambassador Lewis, now retired, told me that the massacre would have been hard to prevent “unless Reagan had picked up the phone and called Begin and read him the riot act even more clearly than he already did in August — that might have stopped it temporarily.” But “Sharon would have found some other way” for the militiamen to take action, Mr. Lewis added.
Nicholas A. Veliotes, then the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, agreed. “Vintage Sharon,” he said, after I read the transcript to him. “It is his way or the highway.”
The Sabra and Shatila massacre severely undercut America’s influence in the Middle East, and its moral authority plummeted. In the aftermath of the massacre, the United States felt compelled by “guilt” to redeploy the Marines, who ended up without a clear mission, in the midst of a brutal civil war.
On Oct. 23, 1983, the Marine barracks in Beirut were bombed and 241 Marines were killed. The attack led to open warfare with Syrian-backed forces and, soon after, the rapid withdrawal of the Marines to their ships. As Mr. Lewis told me, America left Lebanon “with our tail between our legs.”
The archival record reveals the magnitude of a deception that undermined American efforts to avoid bloodshed. Working with only partial knowledge of the reality on the ground, the United States feebly yielded to false arguments and stalling tactics that allowed a massacre in progress to proceed.
The lesson of the Sabra and Shatila tragedy is clear. Sometimes close allies act contrary to American interests and values. Failing to exert American power to uphold those interests and values can have disastrous consequences: for our allies, for our moral standing and most important, for the innocent people who pay the highest price of all.
(17.09.12 / www.nytimes.com / 27.10.2012)
Mr. Neumann admitted that he took part in displacing Palestinians from their villages.
Dozens of Israeli army veterans have admitted their involvement in massacres against Palestinian civilians in 1948, and acknowledged that Zionism misled them and is a catastrophe for both Jews and Arabs. The details have been revealed by the Yazkern organisation, which was founded in 2001 and seeks to unveil the truth and spread the Palestinian narrative of the country’s history among Israelis and convince them of Zionism’s false account. The organisation believes in a one-state solution and in Palestinians’ right to return to their land and homes.
Israeli army veteran Amnon Neumann is 82 and from Haifa. He said that he was a member of the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yeshuv Jewish community during the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. Neumann joined the Palmach in 1946 after he came to Palestine from Poland at the age of 16.
He said that there were no real battles due to Palestinian poverty and lack of organisation, training and arms. The official Israeli account of that period claims that the displacement and killing of Palestinians was the normal result of a war.
Mr. Neumann admitted that he took part in displacing Palestinians from the villages of Simism, Najd, Kawkaba, Burayr and other places which were fully inhabited by their owners; this runs contrary to Zionist claims. Confessing to his participation in the massacre that was committed against the people of Burayr, Neumann noted that they had Czech-made guns which they used to expel the local inhabitants towards the Gaza Strip.
The Haganah forces were surrounding the village on three sides, he recalls, and firing in the air before entering and expelling its people forcefully. The houses were burnt down, as per the orders the armed forces had received. According to the veteran, he heard a confession by a Haganah officer after the occupation of Burayr that he had shot a Palestinian girl in the head after raping her. It was later revealed, said Neumann, that the girl had indeed been raped.
Another veteran, Arhamel Khnovitc, also 83 years old, now lives in the settlement of Daghania. He confessed that he took part in the massacre in the Dahmash Mosque in Al-Lydd in July 1948; he also took part in the ethnic cleansing of the villages of Jamzu and Dan’el.
“I headed to the mosque, as per an order from the command, and I kept my ears and eyes open after I quietly opened the door,” said Khnovitc. “Then I fired a Fiat missile, following orders. Many corpses flew and got stuck to the walls due to the severity of the blast.”
Benyamin Eisht, 85, who lives in Bilhaym, said that he saw the Palestinian survivors of Al-Lydd and Ramla after the massacre, walking in lines toward Ramallah, with dead bodies scattered on the sides of the road.
The testimony of 83-year-old Yitzhak Tishler, who lives in Mafsirt Tsyon, confirms the accounts provided by other veterans who spoke of looting houses and stores. He also said that he took part in the killing of dozens of villagers in the village of Al-Sheikh near Haifa in revenge for the Jewish workers who were killed in a quarrel near Rifyanry
(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 16.10.2012)
Israel’s Ofer Prison is located to the North of Jerusalem and to the West of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Housing over 1000 Palestinian political prisoners it has been the scene of weekly demonstrations throughout the year as Palestinian youth, including students from nearby Bir Zeit university took their solidarity with the hunger strikers directly to the occupation forces. Today, they were again protesting at Ofer for the prisoners, two of whom, Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawna are critically ill after months on hunger strike.
Today, however they are also protesting in commemoration of the 1953 massacre carried-out by the Israeli colonisers in the nearby village of Qibya. By doing so they are coming-up against one of the most brutal armies in the world and will be facing tear-gas (the canisters have killed demonstrators on several occasions), sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and probably live ammo not to mention the ever-present threat of them too being snatched out their beds and becoming political prisoners. With this in my mind it seems the bare minimum we can do is to tell our readers of a village called Qibya, that it was the scene of one in a long-line of Israeli massacres. It happened a long time ago in 1953 but the Palestinians do not forget and neither should we.
The Qibya Massacre
On the night of October 14-15, 1953, this village was the object of an Israeli attack which was carried out by units from the regular army and in which a variety of weapon types were used. On the evening of October 14, an Israeli military force estimated at about 600 soldiers moved toward the village. Upon arrival, it surrounded it and cordoned it off from all of the other Palestinian villages. The attack began with concentrated, indiscriminate artillery fire on the homes in the village. This continued until the main force reached the outskirts of the village. Meanwhile, other forces headed for nearby Palestinian towns such as Shuqba, Budrus and Ni’lin in order to distract them and prevent any aid from reaching the people in Qibya. They also planted mines on various roads so as to isolate the village completely. As units of the Israeli army were attacking the village residents, units of military engineers were placing explosives around some of the houses in the village and blowing them up with everyone in them. This attack continued until 4:00 A.M., October 15, 1953, at which time the Israeli forces withdrew to the bases from which they had begun.
This terrorist attack resulted in the destruction of 56 houses, the village Mosque, the village school and the water tank. Moreover, 67 citizens lost their lives, both men and women, with many others wounded.
Terrorist Ariel Sharon, the commander of the “101″ unit which undertook the terrorist aggression, stated that his leaders’ orders had been clear with regard to how the residents of the village were to be dealt with. He says, “The orders were utterly clear: Qibya was to be an example to everyone.”
The government of Israel claimed that the massacre was carried out by “civilian Jewish settlers”. But records showed that it was sanctioned by acting Prime Minister Moshe Sharrett, and was planned by Defence Minister Pin Has Lavon, the Chief of General Staff Mordacai Maklet, and Chief of Operations, General Moshe Dayan. On October 26, General Van Bennike testified before the UN Security Council. He gave irrefutable evidence that the attack on Qibya was undertaken by regular army units of Israel and not by irregulars as claimed by official Israeli sources (Palestine History).
Operation Shoshana, as the Israelis codenamed this blatantly calculated massacre, was carried-out in the context of attempting to crush any lingering resistance from Palestinians in the years immediately after the Nakba of 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their lands to make way for the newly declared Israeli State. Mainly, however, as Ariel Sharon says, it was done to serve as an example, a warning. Just like Deir Yassin, Al-Dawayma, Al-Tantoura and Eilaboun and the many other massacres carried out during the 1948 Nakba (BADIL) served as warnings and as examples as to what would happen to any Palestinian communities who resisted this massive project of ethnic cleansing, so too would Qibya. Despite that fact a condition of Israel being recognised as a State by the United Nations (to their great shame) was Israel adhering to and facilitating UN resolution 194. (the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees expelled in 1948) it was not only refusing to do this but shooting dead any Palestinians who dared attempt to return home. Around 5000 unarmed Palestinians were killed in this way for simply attempting to return home, in the Orwellian Zionist terminology they were ‘infiltrators’ killed, of course, by ‘the most moral army in the world’.
So this is the context in which the people in Qibya died, ‘the most moral army in the world’ was quite happy to use Palestinian blood to write its’ messages and the message sent from that village called Qibya was very clear; Resistance, whether armed or by way of simply attempting to return home will be met with Zionist brutality, that was the warning in the message, Qibya was the example of that Zionist brutality.
That was 1953 and it is now 2012, evidence of the fact that although the message may have been received the warning it contained went unheeded. Fifty-nine years and many more Qibyas later the Palestinians are still resisting, they are still trying to return to their homes.
They do not ask us for charity, they certainly don’t want our pity, they ask only for our solidarity. That solidarity demands that we actively support them in the roles that they alone set-out for us and know that although tactics and strategies may vary, supporting the Palestinian resistance means ultimately one thing:
Resistance until Return.
(John Bennett / internationalsocialist.org.uk / 14.10.2012)
by Dr. Ben Alofs
I am a Dutch doctor, currently living in North-Wales. In the summer of 1982 I was working as a nurse in West-Beirut, which at the time was being besieged by the Israeli army.
The American negotiator Philip Habib had mediated an agreement, according to which the Israeli army would refrain from occupying West-Beirut, after the Palestinian fedayeen had left. A second fundamental aspect of the agreement was that the US would guarantee the security of the remaining Palestinian civilian population. The evacuation, supervised by an international peacekeeping force, went smoothly, and was completed on September 1st. Much earlier than September 26th, the date that had been agreed on, the international peacekeeping force left between September 10th and 13th. On September 3rd the first violation of the Habib-agreement took place, when Israeli forces occupied Bir Hassan, in the southern suburbs of Beirut. Before that, Sharon had stated he wanted the peacekeeping forces out of Beirut.
After the assassination of Bashir Gemayel, the charismatic and ruthless leader of the Phalangist allies of Israel, Ariel Sharon ordered the invasion of West-Beirut under the pretext of restoration of ‘law and order’. Contrary to this statement, West-Beirut was perfectly quiet at that moment. The invasion was a serious violation of the Habib agreement. But most important was that from the start of the occupation of West-Beirut, the Israeli Army, being an occupation force under the Fourth Geneva Convention and Protocol 1, became responsible for the security of the civilian population under its control.
The Israeli journalists Zeev Schiff and Ehud Ya’ari describe how Sharon insisted on sending Phalangist militiamen into the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila (see “Israel’s Lebanon War”). To accomplish this, Sharon had held meetings on September 15th with Elie Hobeika, Fadie Frem and Zahi Bustani (leaders of the militiamen) as well as with Amin and Pierre Gemayel, the political leaders of the Phalangist party. The leaders of the Israeli army, Sharon included, were very well aware of the mood of the Phalangists, shortly after the murder of their leader. Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of the feelings of the Phalangists towards the Palestinians knew what would happen if they were let into the refugee camps.
“Tell al-Zaater” is a well-known name in Lebanon as well as in Israel. This camp in East-Beirut, where I met Palestinian refugees for the first time in 1975, had been besieged for 53 days by the Phalangists and Maronite Tiger-militiamen during the summer of 1976. After the Palestinians surrendered, the International Red Cross, which was to give a ‘safe passage’ to the camp’s population, was unable to prevent the murder of over 1000 civilians.
Israeli army commanders Eitan, Drori and Yaron made comments on how obsessed the Phalangists were with revenge, talking about a ‘sea of blood’ and ‘kasach’ (Arabic for ‘slashing’ or ‘cutting’). As they made these observations Ariel Sharon gave the green light for the Phalangists to enter Sabra and Shatila. They did so as dusk fell on the 16th of September.
While the massacre was being committed, I was working in the Gaza hospital in Sabra. The situation was chaotic and confusing. Many wounded were carried into the hospital and our morgue was full within a short time. Most of the victims suffered bullet wounds, but a few were injured by shrapnel. On September 17th it became clear that the ‘Kataeb’ (Phalangists) and/or the militiamen of Saad Haddad (funded and armed by Israel) were slaughtering the civilian population. A 10-year old boy was carried into the hospital. He had been shot, but was alive. He had spent the whole night wounded, lying under the dead bodies of his parents, brothers and sisters. At night the murderers were assisted by Israeli flares.
I was working with a team of Scandinavian, British, American, Dutch and German doctors and nurses. We had insisted that the Palestinian hospital staff flee to the northern part of West-Beirut. On Saturday morning September 18th, we were arrested by the Phalangists/Haddad militiamen. They forced us to leave our patients behind and took us outside Sabra and Shatila via the main road. We passed by hundreds of women, children and men who had been rounded up. We saw bodies in the road and the small alleyways. The militiamen shouted at us and called us ‘Baader Meinhof’. A Palestinian nurse who thought he would be safe with us, was identified and taken away behind a wall. A moment later came the gunshots.
Just before we reached the exit of the camp I saw an image that will forever be in my mind: a large mound of red earth with arms and legs sticking out. Alongside the mound stood an army bulldozer with Hebrew markings. Just outside the camp we were ordered to take off our hospital clothing and we were lined up against a wall. It was at that moment that an Israeli army officer drove up in an army vehicle. He saved our lives, ordering the militiamen to hand us over to the Israelis. Alongside the southern and western borders of the camps we saw Israeli tanks and halftracks.
After interrogation in their military headquarters the Phalangists took us to the Israeli forward command post just 75 meters (250 feet) away. It was a 4 or 5 story building at the edge of Shatila. (Some weeks later I was on the top floor. It offered excellent views of the destruction in Shatila). The Israeli soldiers were clearly uncomfortable, being confronted with more than 20 Europeans and Americans. They asked us what we wanted. We told them we wanted to go back to Gaza hospital. Impossible, we were told, too dangerous. Finally, two of us were permitted to go back to the hospital with a laisser-passer in Hebrew and Arabic.
There certainly was coordination between the Israelis and the militiamen. The Israelis were largely in control. It was impossible for them to see exactly what was happening in the narrow alleyways of Sabra and Shatila. But soon after the massacre started, reports came in from individual Israeli soldiers about killings. Not once did the Israeli military command try to respond by putting an end to the slaughter. Groups of civilians, coming out of the camps with white flags, were being sent back.
Even on Saturday morning, September 18th, when we were taken out of the camps, we saw fresh groups of Phalangist militiamen entering the camps under Israeli supervision. About 20 minutes after we had passed the large group of women, children and elderly in the main road of Sabra, we heard an orgy of machinegun fire. Swee, an orthopedic doctor, told me that a Palestinian mother had tried to give her baby to Swee, as if she knew what was going to happen. The baby was pulled out of Swee’s hand and given back to her mother. On Sunday September 19th I went back to Sabra and Shatila together with two Danish and a Dutch journalist. The Lebanese army had surrounded the camp and tried to keep journalists out. We found a way in. All of us were deeply shocked by the extent of the destruction and the savagery of the murders. The Israelis had told the militiamen to leave the camps some time during Saturday. The latter had managed to cause an awful lot more of destruction and slaughter after we had been taken out of the camps on Saturday morning. The Lebanese Civil Defense had begun with the recovery of those bodies that had not been buried by the bulldozers. We will never know how many people were exactly butchered during those terrible days of September 16th, 17th and 18th in 1982. 1500 perhaps? 2000? Or even more?
When the autumn rains began to fall at the end of November, congested sewers flooded Sabra and Shatila. The congestion was caused in part by bodies that had been dumped in the sewers. The bodies that had been recovered by the Lebanese Civil Defense had been buries in a mass grave in Shatila. A large mass grave at a golf course nearby, and other mass graves were never to be opened. Prohibited by the Lebanese government and its new president Amin Gemayel, brother of Bashir. Prime minister Begin said: “Goyim kill goyim and they accuse the Jews”. Of course, Hobeika, Frem and their gangs were directly responsible for the massacre. But this could never have happened, if Sharon had not willingly and knowingly given the green light for the operation.
Sharon wanted to destroy the last remains of the PLO infrastructure in Lebanon at any cost. I was in Sabra and Shatila. There were no ‘2000-3000 terrorists’, as Sharon claimed. The only ‘terrorists’ left were a number of 10-12 year old boys who tried to protect their families with the tiny rifles used for bird hunting. If only one hundred Fedayeen had stayed behind, none of this would have happened.
When someone puts a venomous snake in a baby’s cradle and the baby dies, the responsibility lies directly with the person who put the snake in the cradle. Therefore Israeli commanders Eitan, Dori and Yaron are directly responsible, but Ariel Sharon above all. He was the boss. He could have prevented this tragedy, but he wanted to force the Palestinians out of Beirut into Jordan, which was the ‘Palestinian state’ according to Sharon. Deir Yassin revisited. ‘Two-legged animals’ is how Begin called the Palestinians in 1982. Eitan talked about ‘drugged cockroaches in a bottle’. This dehumanization of the Palestinians was and still is the cause of the callous disregard in the Israeli army for Palestinian life.
The 400.000 Israelis who demonstrated in Tel Aviv are to be commended. In Israel at least there was an enquiry into the massacre by the Kahane commission. The Lebanese investigative judge Germanos, to his shame, could not even determine the identity of the Lebanese perpetrators. The conclusions of the Kahane commission were fatally flawed and Sharon was merely deemed to be indirectly responsible and therefore not fit to be a minister of defense. But does this make him fit to be prime minister of Israel? How does the Israeli Supreme Court explain this? It is my opinion that in the light of what I described above, Ariel Sharon is a war criminal. Victims of war crimes cry out for justice. That’s why Augusto Pinochet should be on trial, Radovan Karadzjic, Ratko Mladic, and Slobodan Milosevic.
The murder of Intissar Ismail cries out for justice. Intissar was an attractive 19-year old Palestinian nurse, with whom I was working in Akka hospital in Shatila in the night of September 14th to 15th. It was quiet in our department and we were listening to the radio. The newsreader confirmed the death of Bashir Gemayel. I could see the fear on the face of Intissar. I tried to reassure her. The next morning at seven o’clock, I left the hospital and went to the main road of Shatila.
All of a sudden Israeli warplanes roared over the camps at low altitude. Outside of the camps I took a taxi to Ras Beirut.
At the street corners I saw young Lebanese men. They were armed and were looking towards the south. What were they waiting for? Six days later than planned, I returned to burnt-out Akka hospital. An ambulance driver told me that Intissar had been in the nurses’ residence in the underground department of the hospital when the Phalangists entered. She was gang-raped and then murdered. Her body was mutilated beyond recognition. Only by the rings on her fingers could her parents identify her.
Intissar cries out for justice. 2000 innocent people cry out for justice. It would give satisfaction, if Sharon –on a visit to Europe- would be arrested and transferred to Scheveningen prison. Am I being too cynical when I say that Europe is failing when it comes to putting Israeli war criminals on trial? And am I too pessimistic when I say that ‘Sabra and Shatila’ was neither the first, nor the last war crime committed by Ariel Sharon?
(www.mediamonitors.net / 16.09.2012)
Three women who lived through the 1982 massacre at Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon remember harrowing killings.
A Palestinian woman passes by a sign marking the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre in Beirut, Lebanon
|Shatila camp, Lebanon – The fighters began at sunset, meticulously working their way through the alleys and homes, bodies riddled with bullets and slashed with machetes left crumpled in their wake.
Between September 16-18, 1982, in the middle of Lebanon’s civil war and a few months after Israel’s invasion of the country, hundreds of members of the Phalange party – a Lebanese Christian militia – in collaboration with the Israeli army, slaughtered about 2,000 Palestinian refugees, mostly women, children, and the elderly, in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp located in Beirut.
The massacre came on the heels of the assassination of Bashir Gemayel, the leader of the Phalangists. The Phalangists wrongly blamed the Palestinians for the assassination, and executed the massacre as a reprisal attack with the Israeli army, who had invaded Lebanon to fight the Palestinians and supporters of the Palestinian cause.
Three survivors recounted their stories to Al Jazeera, 30 years after the massacre.
Siham Balqis, a resident of Shatila, was 26 years old when it happened. “We heard gunshots on Thursday night, but didn’t think anything of it, because it was the war and this was not an unusual sound for us,” she told Al Jazeera. Living at the Shatila end of the two camps, she said men began in Sabra and worked their way northwards. “They didn’t reach us until Saturday morning.”
At 7am, she was confronted by three Phalangists and an Israeli soldier who ordered them to leave their house.
“One of the Lebanese launched forward to attack me, but the Israeli pulled him off me, as if to show he was the better of the two,” she remembered.
In the commotion that ensued, a Lebanese neighbour of hers spoke to the fighters, saying she heard they were slaughtering people. The fighters dismissed these claims, so she asked them to help the Palestinians who were holed up in Gaza Hospital, located at the Sabra end of the camp.
After asking for directions, the fighters marched those they had rounded up, about 200 people, to the hospital.
Once there, they ordered the doctors and nurses out of the building, the majority of whom were foreign or Lebanese.
“I remember there was one Palestinian boy from the Salem family, in his early 20s, who donned a doctor’s coat to try and escape,” Balqis said. “The Lebanese caught him, realised he was Palestinian, and pumped his body full of bullets.”
Crawl and die
At one point, the fighters separated the group, putting the women to one side and the remaining men on the other.
“They would pick on the men at random and make them crawl on the floor. If they thought they crawled well, they assumed it was due to some sort of military training, so they took them behind a sand bank and killed them.”
The Lebanese fighters took those they had not killed and forced them to march over the dead bodies scattered on the streets toward the large sports stadium on the outskirts of the camp.
“We were made to walk over the dead bodies, and among cluster bombs,” Balqis said. “At one point I passed a tank, where the body of a baby only a few days old was stuck to the wheel.”
At the stadium, the command changed from Lebanese to Israeli.
“It was here the Israelis took my brother Salah, who was 30-years-old, for interrogation,” she said.
Inside the stadium the men were interrogated, tortured, and killed. Few were able to leave alive. The Israelis threatened them, saying, “If you don’t cooperate with us, we will hand you over to the Phalangists.”
Wadha Sabeq, 33-years-old at the time, was living in Bir Hassan, a predominantly Lebanese neighbourhood just outside the camps.
“On Friday morning, our neighbours told us we needed to get our IDs stamped next to the Kuwaiti embassy,” outside the Sabra entrance, she told Al Jazeera. “So we went.”
She brought her eight children, ranging from three years to 19-years-old.
As they walked past Shatila, they were stopped by the Phalangists. “They took us with others and separated the men from the women.” The fighters took away 15 men from her family, including her 19-year-old son Mohammad, her 15-year-old son Ali, and her 30-year-old brother.
“They lined the men up against the wall, and told the women to go to the sports stadium. They ordered us to walk in a single file, and to look neither left nor right.” Phalangist fighters walked next to them to ensure they followed the instructions.
This was the last time she saw her family.
Once at the stadium, they waited. “We still didn’t know what was going on, we still thought they wanted to check our IDs,” she said.
After spending the whole day at the stadium, the Israelis sent them home.
Covered in blood
The following morning Sabeq headed back to the stadium to ask about the men.
“A woman came down to the stadium screaming, telling us to go up to the camp to identify the slaughtered,” she said.
They ran up to the camp, and as she saw the bodies scattered on the ground, Sabeq fainted. “You couldn’t look at the faces of the bodies, they were covered in blood and disfigured,” she said. “You could only identify people by the clothes they were wearing.
“I couldn’t find my sons, none of my family,” Sabeq said. “We went to the Red Crescent, to the hospitals, every day, to ask about them. No one had answers.”
“We never found their bodies,” she said, tears running down her cheeks.
Jameel Khalifa was 16-years-old and newly engaged when the massacre took place.
“On Saturday morning, we saw them [fighters] climbing down the sand bank and heading for the houses,” she told Al Jazeera. “We saw the tanks coming in, on them were Israeli soldiers and Lebanese fighters, some in civilian clothes, some with masks on.”
As the fighters began pounding on the front door, most of her family escaped through the back into their neighbour’s shelter. On hearing the soldiers’ orders that they would not shoot if they surrendered, an elderly woman in the shelter ripped up her white scarf, handing each of them a strip to wave to stop them from being shot at.
“My dad was holding me, telling me not to leave the shelter, but I told him we should,” she said.
The women left the shelter first.
As her mother came out the shelter, a Lebanese fighter shoved his Kalashnikov in her stomach. “I’m going to kill you, you, b****!”
An Israeli soldier observing nearby told him in Hebrew to leave her alone.
“My father was coming out [of] the shelter behind my mother. As he stepped out, he was killed with a bullet to the head by an Israeli soldier,” Khalifa said.
No one believed us
Like everyone else, the group was forced to move by the fighters. On the way, Khalifa and a few other children managed to escape down a little alley toward one of the mosques located further inside the camp.
“We came across a group of elderly folk sitting outside the mosque, and told them the Israelis had come and were killing people. They didn’t believe us, called us liars, and told us to leave them alone,” she said.
Khalifa eventually found herself at the Gaza Hospital, where she was able to reunite with her family. Watching as people around them were executed, the group plotted to escape and managed to sneak out through one of the many tiny alleys that make up the camp.
“We were really scared to leave because we’d seen others try and get killed by snipers,” Khalifa remembered.
They managed to get out of the camp and found refuge in a school in the Lebanese neighbourhood of Corniche el Mazraa. They only returned to the camp once they received news the massacre was over.
“We went back to see dead bodies explode as they were being removed because the Phalangists and Israelis placed mines underneath them,” she said.
“I remember the smell. It was so strong, and it stayed for a week, even though they sprayed the camp to get rid of it.”
(www.aljazeera.com / 16.09.2012)
For anti-racist Jews and indeed all anti-racist humanitarians the core moral messages from the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead) are “zero tolerance for racism”, “bear witness”, “zero tolerance for lying” and “never again to anyone”, anyone including the Indigenous Palestinian victims of the racist Zionist Palestinian Genocide (Google “Palestinian Genocie” ) – 2 million dead since 1936, 0.1 million from violence, 1,9 million from war-, expulsion- and occupation-derived deprivation; 7 million refugees; 4.1 million Occupied Palestinians deprived of ALL the human rights listed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ; 6 million Palestinians forbidden to even live in the homeland continuously inhabited by their forbears to the very dawn of agrarian civilization; 800,000 Palestinians children confined without charge or trial to what the Catholic Church has described as Israel’s Gaza Concentration Camp for the asserted “crime” of being Indigenous Palestinians living in a tiny, remorselessly Zionist-bombed patch of Palestine .
Ed Miliband’s parents are anti-racist Jews who believe in justice for the 12 million Indigenous Palestinians of whom only the adults of the 1.6 million Palestinian Israelis (i.e. about 6.7%) can vote for the government ruling all of Palestine plus an ethnically cleansed slab of Syria. Ed Milliband as an elected politician in an ostensible democracy either believes in one man one vote NOW for everyone (including Palestinians) or he doesn’t – if he doesn’t he should be kicked out at the first opportunity by the Labor Party and the voters of Doncaster North.
Ed Miliband merely trots out the mantra “I support a two-state solution because I long for the peace that both Palestinians and Israelis need so badly” – yet if he had offered the same opinion about Apartheid Israel-supported Apartheid South Africa “I support a two-state solution involving 90% of the country for the Whites and 10% for the majority Non-Europeans in uneconomic Bantustans” his political career would have been finished.
Disraeli (a convert to “God is an Englishman” Anglicanism) was a mass murderer complicit in the Irish Famine (1 million starved to death, 1-2 million forced into exile), the butchery of 10 million Indians in the decade after the 1857 Indian Rebellion, and genocidal atrocities in all parts of the British Empire, not least in India where 500 million Indians died avoidably from British imposed deprivation under Queen Victoria alone (1837-1901) (read my books “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” and “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” now available for free perusal on the Web ).
From an extremely charitable anti-racist Jewish perspective Ed Miliband is at the very least “confused” and should seek moral guidance from a large body of outstanding anti-racist Jews from Arendt to Zinn (Google “Jews Against Racist Zionism”). As a refugee from both the anti-racist and anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish tradition and from the anti-racist, anti-Zionist secular Jewish tradition, Ed Miliband should also seek moral guidance from a large body of outstanding anti-racist non-Jews including the likes of Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Máiread Maguire and José Saramago who have unequivocally condemned the ongoing Palestinian Genocide by Apartheid Israel (Google “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”).
This site is a compendium of the authoritative views of outstanding anti-racist humanitarians bearing witness to the ongoing Palestinian Holocaust that is a Palestine Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention. Indeed this website provides an alphabetical listing of the documented views of numerous people and organizations referring to the Palestinian Genocide or to related terms such as Palestinian holocaust, Palestinian ethnic cleaning, Palestinian liquidation.
The situation in Palestine has been recently described as a Palestinian Holocaust by Palestinian scholar Dr Elias Akleh, exiled from his homeland and now living in the US (see: http://www.countercurrents.org/akleh040308.htm ). It has been frequently described by others as a Palestinian Genocide, a term that is amply justified in relation to the definitions of the UN Genocide Convention as outlined below.
Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (see: http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide/convention.html ) states:
“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”.
Using the latest available UN Agency data we can systematically analyze these UN Genocide Convention points thus.
“Intent to destroy in whole or in part” – sustained (and frequently asserted) intent over about 150 years of the Zionist colonial project; 0.75 million Palestinian refugees in 1948; currently 7 million Palestinian refugees, and 4.2 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UN in the Middle East; over 40 years of illegal Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza; 0.1 million 1948-2011 violent Palestinian deaths, post-1967 excess deaths 0.3 million; post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million; 3,600 under-5 year old Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) infants die avoidably EACH YEAR in the OPT “Prison” due to Apartheid Israeli war crimes.
a) Killing – about 5100,000 Palestinians killed since 1948; post-1967 excess deaths 0.3 million; post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million; 3,600 under-5 year old Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) infants die avoidably EACH YEAR in the OPT “Prison” due to Israeli ignoring of the Geneva Convention; 254 OPT Palestinians killed by the Israeli military in the LAST 2 MONTHS OF 2008 ALONE, 301 killed thus last year (latest UNRWA data; see above).
b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm – see (a) and the shocking UNICEF reports of the appalling conditions psychologically scarring OPT children: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/oPt.html .
(c) Conditions to cause destruction in whole or in part – see (a) and (b); Professor Noam Chomsky describes the OPT as a highly abusive “Prison”; others use the valid term “Concentration Camp” and make parallels with the Warsaw Ghetto; one has to turn to US-guarded Vietnamese hamlets and the Nazi era atrocities to see routine, horrendously violent and deadly military policing of civilian concentration camps.
(d) Measures intended to prevent births – see (a), (b), and (c) above; dozens of pregnant women dying at road blocks; other killing of pregnant Palestinian women; huge infant mortality in the OPT with the Occupier in gross violation of the Geneva Convention.
(e) Forcible transferring of children – irreversible transferring by killing of children – 0.2 million post-invasion infant deaths; 27 OPT children violently killed in the LAST WEEK ALONE; mass imprisonment of 2 million OPT children; hundreds of Palestinian children in abusive Israeli high-security prisons in Israel; forcible separation of families by racist Israeli Apartheid Laws, marriage laws and immigration laws.
For all anti-racist humanitarians – and anti-racist Jews in particular – the core moral messages from the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead) are “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness” and “zero tolerance for lying”.
However these sacred injunctions are grossly violated by the anti-Arab anti-Semitic racist Zionists running Apartheid Israel and their Western backers variously involved in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide and Afghan Genocide (post-invasion violent and non-violent excess deaths 0.3 million, 2.3 million and 3-7 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million, 0.6 million and 2.3 million, respectively; refugees totalling 7 million, 5-6 million and 3-4 million, respectively, plus a further 2.5 million NW Pakistan Pashtun refugees) (for details and documentation see “Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide”: ).
All decent, anti-racist, humanitarians must vigorously oppose and sideline those supporting racist Zionism, Apartheid Israel and racist Western wars and occupations who are currently complicit in 0.7 million non-violent excess deaths annually; continuing, racist perversion of human rights, humanitarian values and rational discourse in the Western democracies; ignoring of worsening climate genocide (that may kill 10 billion non-Europeans this century through unaddressed man-made climate change); and egregious anti-Jewish anti-Semitism through falsely identifying decent, anti-racist Jews with these appalling crimes.
This site is inspired by our obligation to the 30 million victims of the WW2 European Holocaust and indeed to the victims of all other holocaust and genocide atrocities such as the 35 million Chinese killed by the Japanese in WW2 and the 6-7 million Indians starved to death by the British in the 1943-1945 WW2 Bengal Famine (see Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ; Gideon Polya, “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ); Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008:http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/; and see recent BBC broadcast “Bengal Famine” involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and other scholars: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html ).
This site is also inspired by the words of outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Jared Diamond who in his best-selling book “Collapse” (Prologue, p10, Penguin edition) enunciated the “moral principle, namely that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate, or exterminate another people” – an injunction grossly violated by racist Zionist (RZ)-run Apartheid Israel and its racist, genocide-committing and genocide-ignoring US Alliance backers.
As perceived by UK writer Alan Hart in his recent book “Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews. Volume 1. The False Messiah”” (Clarity Press), racist Zionism represents an immense threat not just to the Arab and Muslim World but also to decent, anti-racist, humanitarian Jews throughout the World (see:
The Palestinian Genocide is part of the so-called US Alliance War on Terror that in horrible reality is a cowardly, racist US Alliance and racist Zionist War on Women and Children and a War on Palestinian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian, Somali, Iraqi, Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani, Arab, Muslim, Asian and non-European Women and Children.
As of mid-2009, in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories post-invasion non-violent excess deaths total 0.3 million, 1.0 million and 3.2 million, respectively; post-invasion violent deaths total about 11,000, 1.3 million and up to 4 million, respectively; post-invasion violent plus non-violent excess deaths total 0.3 million, 2.3 million and 3-7 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 0.2 million, 0.6 million and 2.3 million, respectively; and refugees total 7 million, 5-6 million and 3-4 million, respectively (plus a further 2.5 million Pashtun refugees in NW Pakistan). This constitutes a Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention; and egregious war crimes due in part to Occupier war criminal non-supply of life-sustaining food and medical requisites demanded unequivocally by Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War – thus the Gaza Concentration Camp has been under US-backed Israeli blockade for 2 years and according to WHO the “total annual per capita medical expenditure” permitted by the Occupiers in Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan is US$124 and US$29, respectively, as compared to US$6,714 for the US.”
As of 2011:
In 1880 there were about 0.5 million Indigenous Palestinians. Of the 25,000 Jews in Palestine half were immigrants (see: http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story559.html and http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm ). Palestinian casualties of war violence total about 80,000 since 1948 and about 100,000 since 1936 (see “Palestinian casualties of war”.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_casualties_of_war ). However one must also consider avoidable Palestinian deaths from war-, expulsion- and occupation-imposed deprivation that now total about 1.9 million since 1948. Palestinian refugees total about 7 million. This has been a Palestinian Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention.
According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry: “From 1920 through 1999, a total of 2,500 residents of Mandatory Palestine and, since 1948, the State of Israel fell victims to hostile enemy action; in most cases, terrorist attacks” (see: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Palestinian+terror+before+2000/ ) and “1,218 people have been killed by Palestinian violence and terrorism since September 2000” (see: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Palestinian+terror+since+2000/Victims+of+Palestinian+Violence+and+Terrorism+sinc.htm ).
The race-based, racist Zionist-run Apartheid State of Israel is a democracy by genocide. Of about 12 million Palestinians only the adults of 1.6 million Palestinian Israelis (21% of the Israeli population) can vote for the government ruling all of Palestine plus part of Lebanon and a near-completely ethnically cleansed part of Syria, albeit as third class citizens. 1.6 million Occupied Palestinians are abusively confined to the Gaza Concentration Camp and 2.7 million Occupied Palestinians live under highly abusive military rule in West Bank Bantustans. About 6 million Palestinians are forbidden to even live in Palestine. There are 5.9 million Jewish Israelis and 0.3 million non-Jewish and non-Arab Israelis.
Since 1936, the ongoing Palestinian Genocide has involved about 2.0 million war- and occupation-related Palestinian deaths, 0.1 million Palestinians killed violently (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_casualties_of_war ) , 1.9 million avoidable Palestinian deaths from war- , occupation- and expulsion-imposed deprivation, 7 million refugees. 3,000 Palestinian infants are passively murdered by Apartheid Israel each year, and 0.8 million Palestinian children are abusively confined to the Gaza Concentration Camp for the “crime” of being Indigenous Palestinians.
Each year Apartheid Israel passively kills about 3,000 Occupied Palestinian infants, passively murders about 5,600 Occupied Palestinians through deprivation and violently kills another circa 600 Occupied Palestinians. Decent anti-racists around the World must Boycott Apartheid Israel and its racist supporters just as it successfully boycotted Apartheid Israel-supported Apartheid South Africa after the Sharpeville Massacre (69 Africans killed) (see: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/ ). The racist Zionists and their supporters, notably the Neocon American and Zionist Imperialists (NAZIs), must be sidelined in public life as have been like racists such as the Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK (see “Palestinian Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ and the recent book “The Plight of the Palestinians”:http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ).
(sites.google.com / 05.08.2012)
Mumbai (July 26, 2012): A group of NGOs met in Mumbai on July 26 to assess and discuss the recent communal violence in Assam and Uttar Pradesh. The social and educational NGO leaders have strongly condemned the Assam violence in which Muslims have been subject to a planned ethnic cleansing. They urged the central government to immediately take strong and decisive action to control the burning of Muslim villages and killing of members of the community as the Gogoi-led state government is virtually failed to protect its innocent citizens. The community leaders have termed ‘tagging Indian citizens who have been living in Assam for centuries as “illegal immigrants or Bangladeshi settlers” most unfortunate’.
Maulana Mahmood Ahmad Khan Daryabadi, general secretary All India Ulama Council, Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, director Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre, Mr. Farid Shaikh, president Mumbai Aman Committee, Dr Azimuddin, president Movement for Human Welfare, Mr. Haroon Muzawala, Trustee Khair-e Ummat Trust and Maulana Ejaz Khashmiri have also said that the growing incidents of violence against Muslims in Bareilly, UP, Rajasthan and in other parts of the country are a cause of great concern for the minority community. They along with all present NGOs members unanimously expressed their deep sense of distress at the growing incidents of communal violence against Muslims and urged the government to take urgent steps to prevent such cases and book the culprits under the law.
The NGO heads have also decried the unbalanced reporting by some media houses in the Kokrajhar – Dhubri violence which are deliberately trying to show the Muslim victim as “illegal settlers”. They said some media reporting are far from the truth and biased. When Muslims were attacked, killed and driven away from their homes by the same Bodo tribal in 1993-94 Kokrajhar riots, they got to settle in other places with government permission – by the time they have built their villages. But later following the declaration of Bodo Territorial (Autonomous) Council (BTC) an outcry is raised that these Muslims are newcomers on the land and thus afresh ethnic cleansing is launched to avail maximum area for BTC.
The speakers pointed out that these riots are a recurrence of those that happened in 1982-83 at Nelli and 1993-94 in Kokrajhar. They urged the central and the state governments to take urgent steps to halt such communal flare ups which cause untold suffering to the local Assamese Muslims. Muslim NGOs have strongly demanded that the riot victims who have been ousted from their villages be rehabilitated in their original villages. It is time to find out a permanent amicable solution to the Assam’s citizenship problem sooner than later, argued the Muslim leader in their press statement.
(www.milligazette.com / 29.07.2012)
It is also regrettable that the recent visit of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Southeast Asia occupied the attention of most international media while neglecting and thus tolerating the casualties of grave crimes against humanity in Burma.
AIPMC is deeply troubled by the sectarian strife in Rakhine State and is concerned by the solution to the violence proposed by President Thein Sein.
The president’s proposed solution to decades of sectarian violence and unrest does not express a willingness to promote national reconciliation, which the president campaigned under as on part of his democratization agenda. Despite the flow of some of new migrants from Bangladesh, many people of the Rohingya minority have lived in areas of western Burma for more than three generations.
AIPMC therefore urges the government of Burma to find a fair and just solution to the current unrest, which includes a permanent solution for the hundreds of thousands stateless Rohingya that live in western Burma and in makeshift refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh.
The Rohingya who have lived in Burma for generations must be recognized and granted citizenship.
The Burmese government has a duty to protect and provide for these people; seeking to unload responsibility onto the United Nations is not an acceptable solution and its suggestion from the country’s president betrays the systematic persecution of Burma’s Rohingya population for generations.
AIPMC also urges Asean and the United Nations to urgently respond to this latest outbreak of the crisis and take immediate actions to protect people, including women and children, from violence and persecution and work to provide emergency assistance to thousands of refugees displaced from their homes by recent violence. ASEAN must work with the Burmese government to find a lasting solution to the problems of Rakhine State and stand up against any persecution of individuals due to ethnic and/or religious grounds, especially if it comes from state authorities.
AIPMC finds it difficult to accept the US government’s decision to ease economic sanctions in Burma due to supposed reforms in the ASEAN member state, while a blind eye is turned to the clear violations of international law in the persecution of the Rohingya people by neighbouring Arakanese as well as the Burmese government’s refusal to grant them citizenship on ethnic and religious grounds.
A serious and concerted effort is urgently needed to work to avert further violence and find a lasting solution to the problems faced by the Rohingya. A failure to of the international community to act is reprehensible and could threaten the long-term success of Burma’s nascent reform process. Immediate action is necessary to end the suffering of the Rohingya people.
Gaza,(Alresalah.ps)–A human disaster threatens kidney failure’s patients in Gaza hospitals due to the lack of necessary medicine. While patients expressed that their
problem is getting worse, the Ministry of Health confirmed that the number of deaths will double as a result of medicines’ shortage.
Abu Muhammad, a Palestinian man suffers kidney failure, lays next to the dialysis device in Al-Shifa Hospital in order to wash his kidney, a process that needs two hours a day.
Amidst the continuation of the siege, doctors reduced the time needed for the dialysis process due to the shortage of ‘sodium powder’, without which the device does not work.
Abu Muhammad, a 50-year-old man , complains of the shortage of (Alklsimur) medicine which is used to strengthen the status of mineral and chemical elements in the human body to improve the ability of walking and movement. He is forced to buy the medicine at his own expense, despite of its high price.Um Wael, a 62-year-old woman, lays next to another device and complains about the short time allowed for her to wash her kidney, the thing that resulted in her inability to move and caused her a severe anemia.
Although there is no income source for her family, she is forced to buy the medicine at 200 shekels a month.
Dr. Muhammad Shatat, Deputy Director of al-Shifa’s dialysis unit, explained that a real disaster will occur due to the severe lack of medicine.
He added that the amount of medicines available covers only 40% of patients’ need. “The number of blood lines the hospital has got is only 200, while it was about 2200 in the previous months”, he said. Dr. Shatat also warned that there will be a health disaster in dialysis unit if such a situation exceeds a week.
Dr. Munir AL-Bursh, Director General of Pharmacy Department at the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, said that only 50% of the needed medicines are allowed to enter The Gaza Strip. This led to consuming all of the stockpiles in the ministry’s
Regarding the smuggled medicines, Al-Bursh said, “there is an observation department for the borders to control medicines brought by tunnels, the ministry doesn’t allow using these medicines in any case
Dr. Muhammad Al-Zmaily, Director of medicine stores, mentioned that there are 124
unavailable types of medicine, and 75 more types are going to be run out by the next month.
Patients are still suffering from medicines’ shortage. They are struggling their painful chronic diseases, waiting for their medicines to be released, and putting in their minds that their lives may end in any moment struggling their painful chronic diseases, waiting for their medicines to be released, and putting in their minds that their lives may end in any moment !