Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85

Philip Weiss on January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon, who became prime minister of Israel despi te a findin that he bore responsibility for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian ci!ilians two decades before, has died at "# after bein in a coma for ei ht years$ Sharon made a name for himself in 1%#& by leadin a massacre of Palestinian ci!ilians in Jordan and in 1%"2, he was Israel's (efense )inister and led the in!asion of *ebanon, durin which Israeli soldiers allowed +hristian militias to enter two Palestinian refu ee camps, Sabra and Shatilla, and massacre hundreds of ci!ilians, includin many women and children$ Some reports put the death toll at 2,000,&,000$ -he -imes timeline for Ariel Sharon doesn't include the words Sabra and Shatilla$ -he -imes obit for Sharon by .than /ronner mentions the massacre in the 10th para raph, but doesn't detail Sabra and Shatilla till para raph 1&$ 2o3 doesn't mention the massacre$

2ormer Israeli prime minister and storied eneral Ariel Sharon, who was at the hei ht of his power when he suffered a stro4e in 2001 and fell into an irre!ersible coma5 6arriet Sherwood in the 7uardian is also respectful$ Para raph 08 Amon Palestinians and leftwin Israelis, he will be remembered as a powerful and re!iled champion of Israel's colonial settlement pro9ect, and the political force behind the construction of the !ast concrete and steel separation barrier that sna4es throu h the West /an4$ )any will not for i!e his role in the 4illin of hundreds of Palestinians in refu ee camps in /eirut in the 1%"0s$ :euters ma4es no mention of the /eirut massacre in its short obit of ;the trailbla<in former Israeli eneral and prime minister$= +arlos *atuff's headline is that the ;war criminal dies, unpunished,= with a cartoon at the lin4 of a 9ud e at the 6a ue e3pressin disappointment at the empty seat for the defendant$ And he offers this !isual summary of Sharon's record8

The Butcher of Sabra & Shatila dies

(imi :eider at >%02 has a ood lead8 A eneral, politician, statesman, and to many a notorious war criminal, Ariel Sharon was 4nown to combine do ed personal ambition with strate ic acumen and ruthlessness, which to ether shaped one of the most contro!ersial and remar4able careers in Israeli political history$ 6is second para raph deals with Sharon's ser!ice in a unit Israeli P) (a!id /en 7urion launched to deal with Palestinian refu ee militias in the 1%#0s$ Includin the ?ibya massacre in Jordan8 As often as not, the attac4s were a ainst ci!ilian tar ets, includin refu ee camps and !illa es in the . yptian,occupied 7a<a Strip and Jordanian, occupied West /an4$ @ne such raid, on the !illa e of ?ibya in 1%#&, culminated in a massacre of 1% ci!ilians who were unned down as they tried to escape their homes or were buried under the rubble of detonated buildin s$ -he public outcry was so se!ere that /en,7urion initially lied to the Israeli public5 When :eider ets to Sabra and Shatilla, he uses the fi ure &000 for the dead and points out that the massacres had no real effect on Sharon's political career8 Sharon was found by the Aahan +ommission to be responsible for the Sabra and Shatila )assacre of o!er &,000 Palestinian refu ees by Israel's *ebanese allies, the Phalan es, and was made to resi n B althou h he remained in the cabinet as minister without portfolio$ Attempts to brin him to trial in international courts o!er the massacre went to no a!ail$ -wo years later, in 1%"4, Sharon came close to winnin the leadership of the *i4ud, and returned to his ministerial career, first as minister for trade and industry and then as housin and construction minister$ In the latter role, Sharon o!ersaw the construction of more than 144,000 housin units for Israeli settlers in the West /an4 and 7a<a$ CP: had a ood obit this mornin describin Sabra and Shatilla and Sharon's responsibility for spar4in the second intifada with his pro!ocati!e !isit to the -emple )ount in 2000$ +CC is also upfront about the massacre$ )any in the Arab world called Sharon ;the /utcher of /eirut= after he o!ersaw Israel's 1%"2 in!asion of *ebanon while ser!in as defense

minister5 (urin the *ebanon war in 1%"2, Sharon, a former army eneral then ser!in as Israeli defense minister, was held indirectly responsible by an Israeli inDuiry in 1%"& for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refu ee camps$ 6e was forced to resi n$ Al Ja<eera ets to the butchery in para raphs &, 4, and # of the ;di!isi!e= and ;contro!ersial= leader's obit8 -he Arab world re!iled Sharon for mastermindin the 1%"2 in!asion of *ebanon, durin which Israel's *ebanese +hristian allies massacred Palestinians in two refu ee camps$ Sharon was forced to resi n as defence minister after an Israeli inDuiry found him indirectly responsible for failin to pre!ent the 4illin s$ 6is pro!ocati!e !isit to Islam's third holiest site, al,6aram al,Sharif E-he Coble SanctuaryF, while opposition leader, was said to ha!e spar4ed the second Palestinian intifada Euprisin F in September 2000$ Abdeen Jabara, former head of the American,Arab Anti,(iscrimination +ommittee, offers this remembrance of the massacres8 Just after it occurred I went to /eirut to find in9ured sur!i!ors of the massacre of whom there were !ery few$ I went with a nurse to a section of /eirut at ni ht that had no electricity and with flashli hts went thru some medical records which I too4 and copied to send to A(+ headDuarters so that we could et emer ency medical !isas for the !ictims$ Gltimately some 1# youn Palestinians and a few *ebanese in need of prosthetic de!ices, etc$ came to the G$S for treatment$ While in /eirut I found a pamphlet written by an Israeli, Amnon Aapeliou4, that was published in 2rench that put responsibility for the massacre sDuarely on the shoulders of the Israelis$ -he commander of Israeli forces in West /eirut at the time was a person who was remo!ed with Sharon after the InDuiry and later made )ilitary Attache to Washin ton$ I was head of A(+ when that happened$ We led a bi campai n to ha!e him

declared persona non rata and also had a lawsuit filed a ainst him by sur!i!ors$ -he lawsuit was dismissed on the rounds that he had diplomatic immunity$ -he )ilitary Attache was Duietly withdrawn and ultimately appointed to be the head of the Army$ I recall our oin to a hotel in ($+$ when Sharon came to !isit$ I ot within a couple of feet of him in the hotel lobby and almost wanted to !omit$ We had a protest but he was welcomed by official Washin ton with open arms$ -hat military attache was Amos Haron$ -his report says that Sabra and Shatilla had 2000 deaths$ *arry (erfner praises Sharon's 200# 7a<a withdrawal as the sin le reatest act of leadership he's e!er witnessed EIF but .mily 6auser says the 7a<a withdrawal was underhanded$ -he withdrawal from 7a<a was a unilateral act intended to free<e out the Palestinian leadership and put the peace process itself on ice, so that Israel could deepen its hold on the West /an4$ And uess whatJ It wor4ed$ -he -imes, on the ?ibya raid in the West /an4, occupied by Jordan, in 1%#&8 in @ctober, when )r$ Sharon led a reprisal raid into a Jordanian town said to be harborin militants after an Israeli woman and her two children were 4illed in the town of Hehud$ Si3ty,nine people, more than half of them women and children, were 4illed in the raid$ (eep in his story, /ronner offers a thorou h account of Sabra and Shatilla8 -he Israelis decided to secure se!eral West /eirut nei hborhoods, includin Sabra and Shatila, Palestinian refu ee camps where the Palestine *iberation @r ani<ation had residual bases and arms and thousands of fi hters$ /ut rather than mo!e in themsel!es, the Israelis sent in the Phalan ists, who 4illed hundreds of ci!ilians$ -he massacre pro!o4ed international outra e, and many Israelis, already despondent that the ;4",hour= *ebanon incursion had turned into a len thy military and eopolitical ad!enture, were outra ed$ -here were furious calls for )r$ Sharon's resi nation$ )r$ Sharon and )r$ /e in said this was intolerable slander$ As )r$ /e in said, usin the 6ebrew word for non,Jews, ;7oyim 4ill oyim, and they blame the Jews$= Conetheless, e!en )r$ /e in started to distance himself

from )r$ Sharon, whose political demise be an to seem ine!itable$ -he o!ernment established an official in!esti ation of the massacre, led by Israel's chief 9ustice, Hit<ha4 Aahan$ -he in!esti atin committee absol!ed )r$ Sharon of direct responsibility, but said he should ha!e anticipated that sendin enra ed militiamen of the Phalan e into Palestinian nei hborhoods ri ht after the assassination of the roup's leader amounted to an in!itation to carna e$ -he committeerecommended his resi nation$ -ime ma a<ine reported that )r$ Sharon had actually ur ed the 7emayel family to ha!e its troops ta4e re!en e on the Palestinians for the death of )r$ 7emayel$ -he ma a<ine said )r$ Sharon made this point durin his condolence !isit to the family$ It claimed further that a secret appendi3 to the Aahan +ommission report made this clear$ )r$ Sharon sued -ime for libel and won a partial !ictory in 2ederal (istrict +ourt in Cew Hor4 +ity$ -he court found that the secret appendi3, which contained names of Israeli intelli ence officers, included no assertion by )r$ Sharon of the need for Phalan ist re!en e$ /ut it ruled that )r$ Sharon had not been libeled because he could not pro!e ;malice= on the part of the ma a<ine$ -han4s to Annie :obbins and Ira 7lunts for help puttin this to ether$ -his story initially put ?ibya in Jordan$ -han4s to a reader for correctin me$