The Coastal Post - March 2000

Lebanon, Israel's Killing Fields

By Edward W. Miller

"The soil of Lebanon will burn if the Hezbulla dares to fire rockets into northern Israel." - David Levy, Israel's Foreign Minister, February 9

* * *

"The threats we heard are not new. They represent Israel's terrorism, which Lebanon has been subjected to, beginning with the occupation and ending with bombardment and murder. In making those threats [Levy] reminds us of the genocide mentality that characterized Nazism in Hitler's time." - Salim Hoss, Lebanon's Prime Minister, Los Angeles Times, February

* * *

Though the media would have us believe Israel's recent bombing raids in Lebanon, which destroyed electric power plants, leaving Beirut and other areas of the country in darkness, were simply a response to Hezbulla and those Katysuka rockets and the death of a few Israeli soldiers, this is but smoke and mirrors. As Robert Fisk, reporter for the London Independent noted February 14, Hezbulla had adhered to the 1996 cease-fire agreement with Israel by keeping her rocket and sniper fire well within Israel's so-called "security zone" where over 1000 Israeli soldiers are stationed. Despite all those TV shots of Israeli families hunkered down in their bunkers, no Israeli citizens were at risk. It was the Israel military that broke the 1996 treaty by bombing three Lebanese power stations outside that zone. Fisk went on to note that "Israel was losing the military struggle with the Hezbulla, but wining the propaganda war."

All of Israel's military incursions into Lebanon have had two objectives: to maintain control of Lebanon's Litani River for precious irrigation waters, and to destroy Lebanon's economic underpinnings lest she compete too strongly against Israel in the 2000 Mideast market. As early as the 1948 war with the Arabs, Israel occupied the Litani River valley in what is now her so-called "security zone," but was quickly forced out under international pressure. Later, at a 1954 meeting on water resources, Israel threatened President Eisenhower's envoy, Eric Johnson, to again militarily seize those Litani River waters, but our president stood firm.

Israel's next ruse as reported in the diary of Moshe Sharett, Israel's Prime Minister, was to destabilize Lebanon by bribing and training officers in the Catholic Maronite militia to attack the Muslim Druse forces and the PLO. Israel would then invade southern Lebanon to "keep the peace." Using these uprisings as an excuse, Israel launched devastating air and ground attacks against Lebanon in 1967. In 1969, her Air Force destroyed Beirut's new international airport with its fleet of 13 just-purchased passenger planes which were burned on the tarmac. In 1978, Israel invaded with 20,000 troops and seized Lebanese land, including the Litani River valley, declaring it a "security zone." She is still there. The UN has repeatedly demanded Israel withdraw (Resolution 425).

In 1982, with Reagan's covert OK, Israel launched her genocidal invasion to kill off those Palestinians who had escaped into Lebanon in the 1948 war. In 67 days, Israel, using ground and air forces as well as anti-personnel shells, butchered over 30,000 civilians and chased 500,000 out of Beirut, destroying that city.

Offshore with Reagan's OK, our USS New Jersey shelled Beirut's suburbs, killing those fleeing the city. Three hundred U.S. Marines later paid with their lives for Reagan's bombing, plus those U.S.-labeled "cluster bombs," used by Israel against Beirut civilians.

In the post-war negotiations, PLO officials were given safe transport to Tunis, whereupon Israel's Lebanese militia butchered some 1,000 of their wives and children in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. In 1993, Israel devastated southern Lebanon again, bombing villages and forcing over 300,000 to flee their homes. The 1996, brutal "retaliation" was a repetition of 1993, but with more damage to Lebanon's infrastructure. Every President since Eisenhower, threatened by the Zionist lobby, has excused or acquiesced to Israel's brutality.

What political coin Prime Minister Peres hoped to gain from his 1996 destruction of Lebanon was cancelled by worldwide outrage over the Qana killings. The New York Times reported, May 4, 1996: "UN observers stated Israel 'deliberately shelled the [Qana] refugee camp.' Netherlands Major General Frank van Kappen, who headed the UN investigators, reported that a pilotless Israel arterial spotter had transmitted TV images to Israel's gunners before and during the 15-minute barrage. Shells fired into the Camp, supplied by the Clinton Administration, were M-732 proximity-fuse rounds, designed for "amputation wounds." The 110 massively-injured corpses including several headless child's bodies.

After the Qana massacre the words of Art Shavit, Israeli columnist for the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz were copied in the Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1996. I quote:

"All we knew was that a large-scale killing of civilians was inseparable from the futuristic combat style the Israel Defense Forces have chosen... It could be assumed that the operation would kill 100 civilians, give or take a few.... It was important for us to kill them, because the yawning gap between the unlimited sacrosanct importance we attribute to our own lives and the very limited sacred character we attribute to the lives of others allows us to kill them. We killed them out of a certain naive hubris, believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own. Believing we really had the right to instruct 400,000 people to leave their homes within eight hours... and treat their homes as military targets...and drop 16,000 shells on their villages and small towns...and we have the right to kill without being guilty.... It was very important to us that the victims stay faceless, nameless people. People who are quite unreal."

As for the Hezbulla, an organization much-maligned in our media, they are a voluntary militia of Lebanese citizens organized in 1982 to drive Israeli forces from their country, and they have support throughout the Muslim world, including Syria and Iran.

During our own Revolutionary War against England's King George III , our volunteer militia were supported by cash and arms from France. The Geneva Convention, which Israel also signed, permits such a militia to expel an occupying army [Israel's] "by any means at their disposal." Hezbulla will disperse only after Israel leaves their country. That $100 million Clinton promised Israel back in 1996 for "terrorism control" should have gone to the Lebanonse to help pay for Israel's repeated and inexcusable terrorism.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who campaigned on promises to "withdraw from southern Lebanon" has been fighting a rear-guard battle with the Orthodox Jewish Rightists whom he had to include in his cabinet, and who are resisting any return of "land for peace." Barak, like Netanyhu before him, has been found unable to keep promises made at the negotiating table with the Palestinians. Arafat will never forget that Barak, when serving with a commando unit in the Israeli Army in the '70s, took advantage of his baby face to dress as a woman and murder two Palestinian officials in their beds in Lebanon.

Despite all this, the political will for withdrawal is growing amongst the Israeli population. Last week in the Jewish paper Yedioth Aharovom, columnist David Grossman wrote: "Israel should evacuate the outposts, bring the soldiers home...learn to live with the insult, swallow the empty pride, stop feeding the fire of our lingering, pitiful arrogance with more and more of our young soldiers. We have lost. It's OK to say it aloud. No one dies from saying it."

Coastal Post Home Page