The trial of Ariel Sharon for the Sabra and Shatilla massacre would be an important initiative. However, the current campaign by some survivors is not receiving sufficient world support. Apart from a few human rights organizations, nobody is supporting them. The most important thing is that massacres in Palestine are still ongoing. In Palestine, hundreds of innocent Palestinians are being forced out of their homes and exiled from their land. Bulldozers run over their homes. Again a defenceless father is killed, together with the child in his arms. Israeli troops carry out new killings and attacks every day. And the man giving the orders is Ariel Sharon. Even if someone else replaces him, the massacres will continue, for Israeli violence is based upon such a deep-rooted ideology that just bringing Sharon to trial will not expunge it. And until Israel abandons its Zionist ideology, it will continue to bring death and blood to the Middle East. Of course getting past massacres onto the agenda is an important initiative. But for this to be a statement of sincerity, the commitment displayed must continue until the cruelty ends. Therefore, all sincere people need to pursue wide-scale international legal sanctions (for instance an embargo) and a policy of isolation to force an end to the killings committed by the Zionists in the name of their ideology. 1- Benny Morris, The Righteous Victims, New York, A. Knopf, 1999, p. 540 2- Schiff & Ya'ari, Israel's Lebanon War, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1984, p. 251 3- A. Sharon, Warrior: An Autobiography, Simon and Schuster, Ney York, 1989, p. 498 4- Sharon à la Knesset, Annexe au rapport de la Commission Kahan, The Beirut Massacre, The Complete Kahan Commission Report, Princeton, Karz Cohl, 1983, p. 124. (Ci-après, Kahan Commission Report). 5- Kahan Report, p. 125: "mopping-up" 6- Amnon Kapeliouk, Sabra et Chatila: Enquête Sur un Massacre, Paris, Seuil, 1982, p. 37 What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of God - for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say: "Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!"? (Qur'an, 4:75) ZAMAN-Turkish Daily, 5.08.01 IMAGE BUILDING IN THE PRESS The first green light for Israel, as it seeks to improve its image, came from the BBC's decision not to refer to the killings of Palestinians as murders. YENI SAFAK-Turkish Daily, 5.08.01 ISRAELI CENSORSHIP AT THE BBC MILLI GAZETE-Turkish Daily, 5.08.01 THE BBC BOWS TO ISRAEL In a message sent to its reporters in Britain and the Middle East by the BBC management, Israeli officials demanded that the deaths of Palestinians be referred to as the identification and elimination of targets instead of as killings. Western media outlets usually report on Middle Eastern events in a biased way. Those who do otherwise incur the wrath of the Israeli government, and generally have to retreat. England's famous broadcast center, BBC, is just one of the media outlets that has succumbed to Israeli pressure and been forced to toe the line. There are journalists like Robert Fisk all over the world, however, who have the courage to tell the truth and who bring the real events in Palestine to the world agenda at every opportunity. In his article "BBC staff told not to call Israeli killings 'assassinations'," Fisk criticizes Israel's influence on the media. Are the Witnesses Against Sharon Being Eliminated? While the issue of Sharon's facing trial before the Belgian courts over the Sabra and Shatila massacres was still on the agenda, interesting reports began to come in from different parts of the world. Those individuals who played a personal role in the 1982 massacre were,g their lives in mysterious circumstances. Although the Belgian court has not decided whether Sharon should face charges or not, the lawyers for the survivors keep producing new evidence. However, the most important new evidence is the memories of those who witnessed and even took part in this savagery. For some reason, some of these participants have been killed in recent months, thus eliminating the most important witnesses.
First of all, Jean Ghanem, the closest friend of Elia Hobeika, the leader of the Phalange groups that carried out the attack in 1982, lost his life in an odd traffic accident. His car drove into a clearly visible tree on New Year's Eve, resulting in his death after two weeks in a coma. Elia Hobeika, known as one of the bloodiest and most ruthless leaders in Lebanese history, was killed by a bomb placed in his car. One reason why all eyes turned toward the Israeli forces immediately after this event was that approximately 24 hours before his death, he had announced that he would give evidence against Sharon in Belgium. At a press conference, Hobeika even said: "And I have evidence of what actually happened at Sabra and Shatila which will throw a completely new light on the Kahan commission report." a Such evidence clearly would make things very difficult for Sharon. Hobeika had been trained by the Israeli security forces in Israeli camps during the 1980s, and became leader of the Phalangists who carried out the Sabra and Shatila massacre at Sharon's direction. In fact, the Kahan Commission, charged with investigating the massacre in Israel gave Hobeika's name and stated that he and the then Defence Minister Ariel Sharon were responsible for the massacre in the first degree. b In short, the civilians who lost their lives in the Sabra and Shatila camps were the victims of Hobeika's Phalangists, who were operating under Israeli protection. One of the best known anecdotes about him comes from while the attack was going on, when one Phalangist officer asked him what should be done about the Palestian civilian prisoners. Smiling, Hobeika gave the order for all of them to be killed, saying: "Don't ask me such a stupid question again." c Michael Nassar, one of the late Hobeika's former assistants, sold arms left over from the Lebanese civil war to the Croatian militia during the conflict in the Balkans. With the money he obtained, he emigrated to Brazil. Nassar was shot in his car, together with his wife. Although it may be suggested that he was killed by the Brazilian mafia, the fact that these murders followed one another in close succession offers an important clue as to what really happened. 1- The Independent, 25 Ocak 2002 2- The Independent, 25 Ocak 2002 3- The Independent, 25 Ocak 2002 SABAH-Turkish Daily, 25.1.02 BLOWN TO PIECES WITH HIS SECRETS Hobeika, former leader of the Lebanese Christian militia, has been killed. HURRIYET-Turkish Daily, 25.1.02 ASSASSINATION OF IMPORTANT EYE WITNESS TO THE SABRA AND SHATILLA MASSACRES. MILLIYET-Turkish Daily, 25.1.02 A WITNESS IS SILENCED A Lebanese witness preparing to give evidence against Sharon regarding the Sabra and Shatilla massacres has been killed. REFUGEE CAMPS Israeli attacks left Palestinians no choice but to leave the places where they had been born and raised. In 1948, with the recognition of UN Resolution 181, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians instantly found themselves stateless in their own land. According to this resolution, Palestine was to be partitioned as follows: 55% of the land, including the greater part of the valuable coastal area, went to the Israelis, while the remaining 45%, including the narrow coastal strip of Gaza, half of Galilee, the Judaean and Samarian uplands, and a bit of the Negev, went to the Palestinians. Once the British pulled out of the region compl