Declassified protocols show then-defense minister saying report finds Israel responsibile, makes massacre seem like genocide.
ed note–there are several things worth noting here.
The ‘phalangists’ mentioned in this story that were directly responsible for the deaths of almost 4,000 civilians in the Sabra/Shatilla Camps were UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ISRAEL. Israel provided them with weapons, ammo, logisitical support, air cover, etc, going so far as to keep the camps well lit at night so that the killers could go in and find women and children who were hiding for their lives. Those who seek to blame the Lebanese for this are the Jews themselves, who simply used their Gentile subjects to do the dirty work so that Israel would not get the blame.
2nd, Sharon was in command of this operation.
3rd, Sharon’s protest that the report makes it sound like ‘genocide’ took place is based upon the fact that in his eyes, as a Jew, Gentiles are not people, and therefore when 100, or 1,000, or 10,000 or even a million of them die, it is not ‘genocide’ per se, as they are not considered human beings under Jewish religious law.
Ariel Sharon, the defense minister who oversaw Israel’s 1982 operation in Lebanon to oust the PLO, was vehemently opposed to the adoption of findings from a report into a massacre at the two Palestinian refugee camps by Israel’s Lebanese allies, newly declassified documents show.
Members of the Christian Phalangist militia entered the camps of Sabra and Shatilla in Beirut on September 16, 1982, carrying out an assault that led to the slaughter of between 762 and 3,500 people. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.
“If we adopt this report, those who seek our destruction might claim that what happened at the camps [Sabra and Shatilla] was genocide,” then-defense minister Sharon said at a cabinet meeting on February 10, 1983 to discuss whether or not to adopt the Kahan Commission conclusions.
After the assassination of Lebanese President Bashir Gemayal, a Maronite, Israel reacted by quickly occupying West Beirut, in order to prevent militia attacks against the Palestinian civilians. Israel had initially hoped that Gemayal would turn Lebanon into a Christian-ruled ally and neighbor, but with the growing presence of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Israel felt compelled to intervene.
The commission of inquiry, headed by Judge Yitzhak Kahan, recommended that Sharon resign. But Sharon, who refused to do so, told the cabinet meeting that the report’s conclusions “would leave the Mark of Cain on our foreheads forever.”
Sharon asserted that only selected sections of the report should be adopted: “The report determines that the State of Israel, and not just the Israeli government or the IDF, are responsible. The commission determines that the chance that this massacre could happen not only existed, but was known to government officials and they ignored it, meaning knowingly,” Sharon said. “That includes all of us, that includes you, prime minister.”
Sharon resigned as defense minister only after a grenade thrown into a Peace Now protest calling for his resignation killed one person and wounded ten others. In 2001, Sharon became prime minister for the first time.
Gabriella Tzvia Weiniger contributed to this