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No To Apologists For The Mass Murder Of Civilians

No To Apologists For The Mass Murder Of Civilians


By Sol Salbe

The February-March issue of the ADC Online contains a number of examples of pretty serious antisemitism. This is something the ADC generally does very well. It also fits the cover description: “ Presenting news and analysis by the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission Inc. of racist, extremist and anti-Jewish activity in Australia and elsewhere.” Most of these examples come from the hard-Right segment of the political spectrum. The one or two exception are highlighted by an item concerning an article by Michael Shaik in Green Left Weekly.

The example chosen by ADC Online is quite straightforward. [Full text is below.] Referring to Ariel Sharon addressing a gathering on the meaning of the Holocaust, Shaik wrote: “ Throughout the carefully scripted ceremony, not one journalist dared to ask those assembled whether they felt comfortable being instructed on the meaning of mass murder by a mass murderer who orchestrated the massacre of more than 2000 Palestinians in Beirut in 1982.” The ADC seems to regard Sharon being described as a mass murderer as an instance of antisemitism. As an avid reader of the Hebrew media I read such comments regularly but of course the ADC compilers are entitled to their opinion. Anyhow Shaik is articulate enough and the ADC and he should be able to sort their own differences. I have no wish to comment further on this aspect.

But what concerns me is the next bit where the ADC Online seeks to excuse the mass murder that did take place in Sabra and Shatila. “The Phalange brutality should be viewed as part of the internecine warfare that had plagued Lebanon. The killings were in retaliation for the assassination of Maronite Christian leader President Bashir Gemeyal and 25 of his followers two days earlier.” So massacring innocent women and children is alright then if it is the context of internecine warfare? Those on trial in The Hague for the Rwanda massacre would love to use that excuse. As an Israeli I thoroughly object to providing Palestinian suicide bombers with an excuse to kill innocent diners in a restaurant. Talk about apologists for terrorism. Hanadi Jaradat who killed 19 other people in a restaurant in Haifa could be excused because she could say that she was retaliating for the killing of her brother and her cousin in front of her eyes. Is that what we want?

To make things worse the publication add “According to Israeli intelligence calculations, between 700-800 Palestinians lost their lives, not the figure of 2,000 dead as quoted by Shaik.” So now we start diminishing the suffering by arguing about statistics? How would we like it, if in discussing the Kishinev pogrom, Moldovan authorities will start arguing that we Jews are exaggerating and less than half the number was killed?

Whether the ADC compilers want to tackle Shaik for calling Sharon a mass murderer is a matter for them to decide. But providing excuses for the murder of innocent civilians goes totally against their charter. It also goes against the grain of any human decency. That part ought to be withdrawn.

- Sol Salbe, Maidstone

*************

DISTORTION OF HISTORY

Green Left Weekly (25/01/06) featured an article “Israel: Sharon’s Legacy” by

Michael Shaik, a member of Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine. It stated that in March 2005, a host of foreign ministers, senior diplomats and international dignitaries converged on Jerusalem to attend the opening of the city’s second Holocaust History Museum, where they were lectured by Sharon on the meaning of the Holocaust. “Throughout the carefully scripted ceremony, not one journalist dared to ask those assembled whether they felt comfortable being instructed on the meaning of mass murder by a mass murderer who orchestrated the massacre of more than 2000 Palestinians in Beirut in 1982,” lamented Shaik.

He was referring to the Sabra and Shatila camp massacres committed by the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia, and not the Israelis. The Kahan Commission of Inquiry found that Sharon was “indirectly responsible” and concluded that given the well-known Phalangist hatred of the Palestinians; he should have anticipated that they “were likely to commit atrocities.” The Phalange brutality should be viewed as part of the internecine warfare that had plagued Lebanon. The killings were in retaliation for the assassination of Maronite Christian leader President Bashir Gemeyal and 25 of his followers two days earlier. (According to Israeli intelligence calculations, between 700-800 Palestinians lost their lives, not the figure of 2,000 dead as quoted by Shaik.)

ENDS

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