Editorial Note: Brenda Heard, Director of Friends of Lebanon deftly debunks an article published in the Jewish Chronicle in which the JC fabricates a justification for Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Another important matter which is outside of Heard's purview is JC's motive for digging up this issue on the decades-old war on Lebanon. Now that over 40,000 people have been slaughtered and the people terrorized in the current US-backed war against the legitimate government in Syria, we have been witnessing a gradual but steady drumbeat in the western media and that of Israel to link Syria and Lebanon for destabilization and eventual overthrow of both governments and especially Hizbollah for the expansion of Israel and control of the entire Middle East. JC's false justifications of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon attempts to lay a foundation for continuing hostility and eventually a full scale war in Lebanon as in Syria. The justification for such a war in Lebanon will be another fabrication, most likely claiming that Lebanon/Hizbollah is supporting another web of lies - that the government of Bashar Al-Assad is killing civilians in Syria.
- Les Blough, Editor
Shifting responsibility: the propaganda of The Jewish Chronicle
By Brenda Heard
Friends of Lebanon (in the UK)
Are they STILL pushing this absurd line? The Jewish Chronicle is propagandising again.1 In its recent article “Britain’s anger with Israel over 1982 Lebanon War,” the JC states the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador to the UK in June 1982 “provided the spark for Ariel Sharon to spearhead Israel’s incursion into Lebanon.” The JC states that the ambassador was “shot in the head by Palestinian terrorists,” and that the “invasion of southern Lebanon” demonstrated “Israel’s determination to stamp out terrorism from its northern border.” NOT BY A LONG SHOT, GUYS.
In case you missed it, the ambassador was shot by a Jordanian who was working within the Abu Nidal Organisation—which in turn was run by a Palestinian who had been based in Jordan, Syria, Sudan and Iraq . . . but not in Lebanon. The ANO was characterised by its international, mercenary approach. The Jordanian gunman was accompanied by a cousin of Abu Nidal. . . and an Iraqi intelligence operative.
At best, the JC is being disingenuous. The 1982 military invasion of Lebanon was simply an escalation of Israeli aggression dating back decades—the aim of which was to eradicate the Palestinian resistance. The 82 invasion targeted the PLO, with whom the ANO were enemies. Thus the attempted assassination has long been widely acknowledged to have been a thin pretext. Yet the JC laments that, when the ambassador was shot, Israel had had to defend itself by running over Lebanon—a tired and feeble excuse.
As stated at the 7th emergency special session of the UN General Assembly (16 August 1982):
“For more than two months now the international community, as a whole, has focused its attention on Lebanon, where one of the most lethal wars of aggression the Middle East has ever known throughout its history is going on. The capital of a member nation of the United Nations [Beirut] has been besieged by the armed forces of a neighbor State[Israel].
This premeditated operation, which has already resulted in thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilian victims, was planned well in advance, designed to bring about a final solution to the Palestinian problem. At the same time, acts of intimidation and terrorism towards the Palestinians on the West Bank of the Jordan and in the Gaza Strip are increasing, leaving the victims convinced that the only way, to survive is to submit to domination.
Thus the military operations conducted by Israel in Lebanon replicate the political war against the PLO . . . . the Israeli leaders continue to flout the fundamental principles contained in the Charter and to violate numerous resolutions of the United Nations which, however, presided over the creation of the State of Israel. The most recent and most flagrant example of this attitude was Israel’s rejection of resolutions 508 (1982), 509 (1982), 512 (1982), 513 (1932) and 516 (1982) of the Security Council, and resolution ES-7/5 of the General Assembly, which all required Israel to put an end to the hostilities and to withdraw its forces behind the internationally recognized frontiers of Lebanon. The diplomatic efforts which have been undertaken here and there have always been met by the same Israeli reaction. That is, an escalation of violence.”2
The platitudes of the JC are routine. This article does serve, however, to draw attention to one disheartening reality. The attitude of far too many—not just Israelis, but also Americans, Arabs and Europeans—has been to view the Palestinians as nothing more a problem. Send them here, send them there, blast them into oblivion, just sort it. But the Palestinians are not a problem, they are a people. They deserve neither scorn nor pity; they deserve simple human equality. Was Britain “angry” with Israel for stampeding Lebanon in its attempt to eliminate the Palestinian “problem” and to pave the way toward a greater Israel? In retrospect, it seems they were not angry enough.
- For further reading, the British National Archives documents referred to in the JC article: (08 July 1982); CAB 128/74/5 (24 June 1982)
- Massamba Sarre (Senegal) Chairman, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People: UNGA A/ES-7/PV.25 (16 August 1982) . See also further international statements UNGA A/ES-7/PV.27 (17 August 1982).