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Secrets From Israel’s Archives

How did Menachem Begin’s Cabinet handle the truth about the Sabra and Shatila massacre? Here are the transcripts.

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Menachem Begin (lower left) raises his hand as votes are counted Feb. 14, 1983, as the Knesset endorses removal of Ariel Sharon (center) as defense minister. (Photoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photo AFP/Getty Images; text Israel State Archive)

A year and a half ago, I took over as Israel’s state archivist—and thus came to administer hundreds of millions of documents that tell the story of the Jewish state’s history and the actions of its governments. Our primary goal has been to digitize and bring to light as many of these documents as possible. Putting entire warehouses of documents online will take years. But in the meantime, we’ve begun to upload specific documents of great interest so as to enliven Israel’s public discourse and strengthen its democracy.

What follows is one such example: the transcripts of the top-secret Cabinet deliberations of February 1983, in which Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s Cabinet grappled with the truth about the massacre at Sabra and Shatila—and the tragic death of a left-wing protester at the hands of another Jewish Israeli outside the prime minister’s office during the deliberations. Now that the government-mandated 30-year cooling period has passed, we are able to share this fascinating, troubling, historical document with the public and know, at last, what the ministers said. (The full 250-page trove can be found here, and we’ll be posting translated segments of the documents here over the next few days.)

***

First, a bit of historical background. In June 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon, determined to end a campaign of terrorist attacks carried out by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was, for all intents and purposes, controlling the south of that country. The PLO decision to recognize Israel’s existence still lay five years in the future, and the initial stages of the campaign enjoyed widespread support by Israelis. Yet as the hostilities drew out over the summer and the battles moved from the hills north of Galilee to the outskirts of Beirut, the national consensus weakened. As IDF troops poised to attack positions in the heart of West Beirut, it shattered: The goal of forcing the PLO away from the border had already been achieved, and many Israelis feared that Israel was overreaching.

In September, Lebanese President-Elect Bachir Gemayel, leader of the Christian Phalange forces that were supported by Israel, was assassinated by Syrian proxies. Israeli forces stationed in Christian East Beirut moved into Muslim West Beirut and allowed Phalange forces into the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. On Sept. 16-17, 1982, the Phalangists massacred hundreds of civilians in the camps. The question that hung over the massacre was whether Israel had a hand in the murders—or, at the very least, knowingly turned a blind eye while their allies slaughtered innocents.

With the news of the massacre, the tension in Israel about the war exploded into political fury. Begin and his government vehemently rejected responsibility for the murders. The opposition held a gigantic rally in Tel Aviv demanding a commission of inquiry, and on Sept. 28, the government appointed a commission, headed by Israel’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Yitzhak Kahan.

The Kahan Commission submitted its findings and recommendations on Feb. 7, 1983. It exonerated Israel of immediate responsibility for the massacres but found it indirectly responsible for failing to foresee the danger of allowing the Phalangists into the camps. Begin, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, and Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan were censured, while the commission recommended that then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, as well as two generals—the head of military intelligence and the commander of the division stationed in Beirut—be relieved of their posts.

Then the agonizing wait began: Would the government accept the recommendations of the Kahan Commission? Would it reject them? Or would the coalition collapse and new elections be declared?

***

Israelis love to argue about politics and generally do so with an intensity that often startles foreigners. Their body language, tone, and vocabulary would be unacceptable almost anywhere else. Yet with a small number of exceptions—memorable precisely because they’re so unusual—the arguments rarely descend into violence. But since the public debate about accepting reparations from Germany in the early 1950s, there hadn’t been such fraught political tension between the camp of the political left, vehement in its indignation at the government for having sullied Israel’s name; and the camp of the political right, furious at the left and the world for its damnation of a government engaged in just war with its sworn enemies.

On the evening of Feb. 8, the Cabinet convened at the prime minister’s office, but despite deliberating for hours, they made no decision about the Kahan Commission’s recommendations. Likewise on Feb. 9. Meantime, as the nation waited, strangers screamed at each other on street corners, and an atmosphere of dread—or was it doom?—permeated every corner of the public sphere.

On the afternoon of Feb. 10, a column of Peace Now demonstrators marched from Jerusalem’s city center to the prime minister’s office, demanding that the Cabinet adopt the Kahan Commision’s recommendations. They were jeered, jostled, and threatened by the government’s supporters. At 9 p.m., as the Cabinet was deliberating for its third consecutive evening and the crowds howled at each other, a right-wing defender of the Begin government named Yona Avrushmi hurled a grenade into the crowd. Emil Grunzweig, a 35-year-old peace activist, was killed, and nine of his comrades were wounded. They included Avraham Burg, future speaker of the Knesset from the Labor Party, and Yuval Steinitz, future minister of finance in a Likud government.

You would think the Cabinet would have adjourned in the face of this violence. But no. It continued to deliberate for more than an hour after Grunzweig was killed. Were its members agonizing? Were they seeking a way to reject the recommendations? Were they horrified by the torn state of the nation and dismayed by the violence taking place outside their window? What were they waiting for? Didn’t they see what was happening? When, later that night, they finally voted 16 to 1 to accept the commission’s recommendations, was it the blood on the sidewalk that ended their indecisiveness?

***

The simple explanation for the prolonged deliberations, which can be found in the transcripts, is banal: technicalities. At the first meeting, on Feb. 8, most of the speakers agreed that having appointed the commission in September, there was no way the government could turn around and reject its findings. Indeed, as the meeting wound down, the Cabinet members asked Begin if it wasn’t time to vote. Begin wanted them to think one more day but justified the delay on the absence of Shamir, who was scheduled to return next morning from abroad. By the end of the second evening, with Shamir now in the room, some of the ministers were wavering, and they put off the moment of decision by noting that the two generals whom the commission recommended to be replaced, Yehoshua Sagie and Amos Yaron, deserved an opportunity to present their case before the group.

It was only at the end of the third day that Begin finally presented his position: that the recommendations of the commission were essentially a command. “We can only accept the recommendations,” he said. “That’s the rule. We accepted the recommendations when we appointed the commission. Those are the rules. To the best of my understanding, there is no other way.” When he called the vote, everyone except Sharon lined up with him. According to the transcript, no one said anything. They simply voted and adjourned.

The most important insight these documents provide is that the ministers—Begin included—didn’t really recognize the severity of the crisis in Israeli society. They knew they hadn’t authorized the Phalangists to massacre civilians and certainly hadn’t intended that outcome. The Kahan Commission had exonerated them in that it, too, had found no Israeli intention, and no direct Israeli involvement. This exoneration—and their future political fortune—was their main concern.

The transcripts reveal that the commotion outside the prime minister’s office walls either mystified or angered the politicians inside. Since their behavior had been reasonable and the Phalangists were the criminals, what was all the fuss about? It must be demagoguery and cynicism by their political rivals in Israel, and anti-Semitism by the rest of the world. As Minister of the Interior Dr. Josef Burg put it the first evening: “The anti-Semites are having a festival.” The next evening, Burg talked about the potential for a putsch. Yitzhak Shamir told the group that “European media” were using the Kahan Commission findings against Israel, writing that even an Israeli commission had determined that Israel “was to blame for the massacres.”

They were aware, of course, that the public was severely roiled. Sharon came late to one of the meetings because a large demonstration at his ranch near Sderot delayed him. On the third evening, Minister of Health Eliezer Shostak expressed his fear that “Peace Now demonstrators are preparing to attack Cabinet ministers in their homes.” Yet there was no soul searching, no self-questioning, and no attempt to genuinely understand why the protesters were so passionate. In all the hours of their meetings, there was but one moment when the term soul-searching—heshbon nefesh—was even mentioned. Zvulun Hamer of the National Religious Party approvingly quoted Zorach Wahrhaftig, a retired minister from his party, who had expressed understanding for the public’s anger:

Much of the public believes that our security problems are more important than considerations of injustice against others. We, in their opinion, live under permanent threat of terror here and abroad, and in these conditions, when our enemies are devoid of any moral considerations, why do we need to be so careful and sensitive if they then kill each other even if we’re partially in control? Yet another significant part of the public, and I among them, believe there’s a difference and there must be a difference between the behavior of our enemies and our own. More is expected of us, and we should demand more of ourselves.

Hamer didn’t take this point any further. He made no comment as to whether Israel had lived up to the expectations, and none of the other ministers ever related to his point. It simply wasn’t a part of the discussion.

***

Sharon, who was the only Cabinet member whose head was on the block, and who, as defense minister, had been the architect of the war in Lebanon, was a central figure in the deliberations. But he came and went, and other ministers sometimes complained that he wasn’t in the room when they had their say. On the first evening, he hardly spoke, though he did say he accepted the findings of the commission. The second evening he was late, but when he spoke it was mostly to complain that soldiers were to be sanctioned despite decades of national service. On the third evening, he expressed a dramatic change of heart about the commission’s findings, explaining that in the interval he had had time to study the report carefully. He now rejected the Kahan Commission’s central thesis—that Israel’s leaders and generals should have foreseen the danger of allowing the Phalangists into the camps, and by failing to do so they bore indirect responsibility for the murders. The findings must be rejected, Sharon argued:

More than 20 witnesses told the commission they hadn’t foreseen the criminal actions of the Phalangists: The Prime Minster testified that we didn’t foresee the atrocities; the Foreign Minister testified; I testified; the Chief of Staff testified—he even went further and said that had we foreseen what happened he wouldn’t have let them in. … All of the officers who testified said the same. We all testified under oath. Yet the commission writes that we all should have foreseen the consequences. … So what did we do? We must have told untruths, perhaps we even lied. … So you’ll understand, my colleagues of the cabinet, why we must reject this section of the report. … What’s the most serious thing they say about me? Not that I joined the Phalangists, or that I personally killed anyone. Mr. Prime Minister. I don’t think I did anything wrong. I wished to protect the lives of our troops [by not sending them into the crowded camps]. That had to be my main consideration. … None of us expected the result, and had we done so we wouldn’t have sent anyone into the camps; but to say that I shouldn’t have considered the safety of our troops? That had to be our main consideration. With all due respect, Mr. Prime Minister, I don’t think that’s an offense I need to resign over.

Throughout the three-day series of meetings, the country had been wracked by demonstrations and counter-demonstrations. As the third evening of deliberations advanced, word began seeping in of violence outside the window. Right around 9 p.m., an aide announced that there had been an attack. A bit later, he updated the Cabinet and said that people had been wounded. Finally, he came in and announced one demonstrator had been killed and several had been injured.

This third announcement came as Burg was speaking; no one knew at the time that his own son was among the wounded. He paused and then announced he would continue. When Burg finished, Begin stopped the proceedings: “Someone has been killed! A dead Jew! How can we continue with the meeting?”

But tellingly, when he concluded the meeting, Begin focused not on the result of the decisions made by his government, not on the hundreds of Muslim victims, not on the dead Jewish demonstrator, but on his own misfortune:

Simply, none of us ever imagined! I’m saying this for the protocol; I’m not going to repeat any of my statement to the press. It didn’t occur to anyone. A calamity befell us, a tragedy happened to us. As calamities can fall upon people so they can on governments too, and this one stalked us and found us. And now we’ve got these recommendations and they’re very painful.

Yet painful as it was for him, Begin insisted that the government had no choice but to accept the findings. And so he called a vote, and the Cabinet, save Ariel Sharon, adopted the commission’s recommendations in their entirety.

***

Maybe there’s nothing surprising in this transcription: A group of politicians, securely surrounded by like-minded politicians, reassure themselves that their understanding of the world is sound and intact and that there’s no need for doubt or self-examination. They explain away the passion of their detractors as misguided at best, or devious and machinating at worst. Their motivation for accepting the report wasn’t justice or that they thought they were wrong, but political considerations. Maybe their reaction is merely standard political thinking, remarkable only for the unusually stark context.

***

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Poupic says:

As usual Begin was the one with the highest moral standards. I will never forget listening to him campaigning. He was one of a kind. Of course Sharon’s explanation is the truth.

It should be pointed out that the leader of the forces who actually carried out the massacre (Elie Hobeika) served in the Lebanese Parliament for many years after the massacre and was never prosecuted. For some reason the world saw fit to condemn Israel for (indirect) responsibility, but no one said a word about the actual killers. Another example of the world caring about the Palestinians only when they can be used as a club to attack Israel.

What a sad piece. Burg senior was absolutely right- the world was out to get Israel, and all of this self-flagellation meant nothing, as they blamed Israel all the same. If Israel had stood firm, maybe things would have been a bit better, but they wouldn’t have been worse. Instead, the inmates (Burg Jr., Steinitz [!], et al.) ended up running the asylum, and a supposedly neutral state employee can write a biased piece like this. Sad.

Binyamin says:

From the account of an IDF tank gunner sitting just outside the camp:

After the [IDF} bulldozer choofed off [after opening an entrance in the camp wall] all the Phalangists lined up in threes for yet another series of drills. Then they entered the camp. We stayed in the tanks. Their commander asked our commander to fire flares over the camp because it was getting dark. Through the back door we started hearing gunshots and lots of screams, especially women’s, the crying of children, and in general lots of screaming.

Throughout the night, about every quarter of an hour, the APC next to us fired flares over the camp. The descended slowly in a blinding light, being slowed down by a small parachute. They put out a huge amount of light. When went out they fired the next one.

….

In the morning we woke up and went outside. there was screaming coming in from all directions. We climbed on top of the tank and saw beyond the wall. At the doorways to their homes there were all sorts of bodies lying at odd angles. Other soldiers began to yell and we talked among ourselves that they are killing everyone there and what are we meant to do.

Our company commander, a pilot course dropout who was totally immersed in daydreams, had no clue as to was happening around him. He went to talk to the commanders situated on the fifth floor [of a building overlooking the camp]. He came back and said that they can see it all and it’s not our role to interfere. It’s a local conflict between the Phalangists and the Palestinians. And in any case they have been reporting what they saw to the senior officers. And at that point there no instruction to take action. So we so we are to sit tight until we get an order.

t lunch I heard my friend Oren. He stood on his tank and peered over the fence and yelled at the fifth floor, “It’s a massacre. They are killing everyone there.”

Still we received no instructions.

Then a young man escaped through a hole in the wall. He was about twenty years old, he seemed slightly older than me – I was 19. He was followed by a Phalangist replete with a new Galil and a new vest. The fellow stood behind me and grabbed me by the shoulders. He was barefoot, wearing shorts and an old torn singlet. He smelt of fear, a smell which was really repulsive and nauseating, something like a combination of vomit and stale sweat. He spoke to me and wept that the Phalangist wants to kill him and asked me for help. He yelled in English HELP HELP, and in Arabic, he murmured that the Phalangist has killed them all and now he wants to kill him and I should save him. I embarrassingly looked at the commander and asked him what to do. He smiled and winked at me and said, “Let them do the dirty work,” and signalled the Phalangist that he can drag the crying Palestinian from behind me. He grabbed the fellow by the scuff of his neck and took him for three-four steps. The youth continued to plead and looked at me and the Phalangist and begged us to take pity on him. The Phalangist shot him in the knee. The Palestinian began to scream in pain and dropped to his knees and screamed at us for help. The Phalangist shot another bullet in his abdomen and when he collapsed in front of him on the ground, his head almost touching the Phalangist’s shoes, he fired m another shot in his head and then everything went quiet.

I looked at it in shock. This was the first time I saw death so close-up. The Phalangist disappeared over the wall and back into the refugee camp.

Mercedes cars with press credentials began to arrive. Our commander declared that the area was a closed military zone and it is not open to anyone. I heard them arguing in Hebrew. It was a reporter for Time magazine. He said that they have gathered them all, children, the elderly and women, in a soccer field and were shooting them row by row and we ought to do something.

A commander from the fifth floor came down and started yelling at the reporter not to tell him what to do and it’s a military zone and that he should not be here. The reporter yelled back at him, that he has come over just now from the other side of the camp and on the other side let them come in, and everything was covered in blood and it was just horrible what was happening there.

We also began to uneasily ask uneasily what are we to do and what is going on and who are we waiting for. He said it was a holiday now and that the Chief of Staff, Rafael Eitan, with in contact with Prime Minister Begin by phone. And perhaps because of the New year holy day he didn’t to talk to Begin by phone so for time being there is no ruling and no instructions.

Again someone came in a Red Cross car and complained to the commander from the fifth floor that the Phalangists were shooting at everyone and not letting the Red Cross take care of the wounded. The commander said he had passes the information on and once a decision has been arrived at we would receive an order to move in. In the meantime it’s a Lebanese internal conflict.

It was like a scene from Babi Yar.

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/it-was-like-pictures-of-babi-yar-an-israeli-witness-to-sabra-and-shatila-speaks-because-of-the-stain-on-his-soul.html

Jacob Arnon says:

Binyamin or whatever your damn name is. STOP SPAMMING.

Your conclusion is insane:

“It was like a scene from Babi Yar”

It was nothing like Babi Yar. You know nothing about Babi Yar, you piece of horse manure. No wonder you would quote a fellow Jew hater like MONDONAZIweiSS.

Binyamin says:

Here’s the quote:

We entered and in every doorway there were bodies, with dripping blood on the stairways. There was a terrible stench of corpses and fermenting blood. We went up to the first floor. The doors were open and every room there were bodies. There were bodies on the beds, on the floor and down the hallways. The corpses were on their back with bullet holes. Women with children and babies leaning on the doors. Every single one of them was dead. Some of the bodies seemed as if they were stabbed with a knife like a sword. Women bereft of clothing or with their dresses half torn, lying on the back with a bullet in the head.

….

The smell was unbearable, and everywhere there were journalists and radio reporters speaking into their microphone. They sent us to the soccer field. There were rows upon rows of bodies wrapped and covered with blankets and rags. An army tractor dug a trench, shoved the bodies into it and covered them with dirt.

It reminded me of pictures of the Babi Yar massacre at Yad Vashem.

[His words, not mine.]

Jacob Arnon says:

What is this quote supposed to prove? Everyone from the Israeli government to the media to ordinary Israelis condemned the massacre. Yes, the Generals in Charge then like Ariel Sharon were indirectly responsible, and many, though not Sharon agreed.

I am no supporter of the Herut and will not here nor anywhere else defend Begin, however to compare this horrible massacre to Babi Yar is both ignorant an disgusting. It’s also antisemitic.

Go post on WeiSS website, that’s where you belong, so called “Binyamin.”

Binyamin says:

“Let them do the dirty work.”

Jacob Arnon says:

Tizz al Nabi is right when he says: “It should be pointed out that the leader of the forces who actually
carried out the massacre (Elie Hobeika) served in the Lebanese
Parliament for many years after the massacre and was never prosecuted.
For some reason the world saw fit to condemn Israel for (indirect)
responsibility, but no one said a word about the actual killers. Another
example of the world caring about the Palestinians only when they can
be used as a club to attack Israel.”

All “Binyamin” has to offer are warmed over antisemitic cliches.

JeffreyME says:

You are one sad motherfucker, Jacob.

Jacob Arnon says:

The Murder of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila was a crime, but as is usual when Arabs kill Arabs no one is prosecuted and the world doesn’t care it only cares when Jews are involved.

How many Arabs are being killed in Syria and in Iraq not to mention the half million killed in Algeria in the 1990′s. More than died in all the Arab Israeli wars combined ten times more. But malicious Jew hating Jews like Binyamin and his buddy WeiSS doesn’t write about that because he doesn’t care about Arabs, He is a bigot who only cares about condemning Jews.

Jacob Arnon says:

You are another, antisemitic JeffreyME. Don’t like me telling the truth about you and your kind, do you. You don’t give a fuck about Arabs killed unless it’s Jews who are doing the killing (most often in self defense).

Jeffrey is another bigot arrayed in the army of WeiSS and Nazi company..

Jacob Arnon says:

Not them , binymain, you! You are doing Nazi WeiSS dirty work.

Rich Ross says:

Those killed were arabs who would have gladly participated in or given their support to the massacre of the entire Jewish Israeli population. Any reduction in the number of Jew-hating moslems, as is happening in Syria, is a good thing. Any reduction in those whose minds and souls have been captured by the fascist death-cult known as Islam is a good thing for man-kind.

JacobArnon says:

The articles title is incorrect. These are classified and not secret documents. Every country has classified documents which kept out of the citizens hands for a period of time.

Some countries classify documents for fifty years or more. Most Arab counties never declassify their documents. Other countries have certain documents dealing with events they are not proud keep these out of sight for a very long time.

Turkey has still to declassify documents dealing with the massacre of Armenians. Over a million people were killed by the Turks.

….over at mondoscheiss they are comparing it to the nazi’s.
It is interesting that hundreds of victims of inner Arab violence which can somehow be tied to Israel receive never ending attention for decades. Yet the 20.000-40.000 murdered in Aleppo shortly thereafter under Assad receive nothing.
The current 90.000 dead in Syria seem to taken in stride by the Western Left and mondoscheiss.
I won’t bore you with the 45.000 dead Kurds in Turkey and the systematic rape by the Turkish fascists for decades. EU-Turkey anyone? Boycott’s anyone? I did not think so.
Mursi’s creeping Caliphat ?
Knifed vagina’s on Taharir Square ?
Mali ?
200.000 dead in Darfur ?
Or talk to an IDF soldier about what he see’s through his high powered optics when the Egyptian Border Guard lay there hands on defenseless Sudanese refugee’s trying to cross into Israel from Sinai. “It was a scene like Sabra and Shatila.”
The more the inner Arab slaughter rolls on, the more the Left will loose all legitimacy commenting on what goes on in Israel.

Binyamin says:

As an American citizen, I do not pay for the bullets used by the murderer Assad. And my nation does not have a “special relationship” with the Arab criminal regimes.

Every bullet that hit a child in Sabra and Shatilla, I helped pay for.

I do not believe America should pay for any more.

Binyamin says:

Rich Ross: Your statement is genocidal incitement. Fewer than one in ten of the 1000 people killed in the massacre were military aged males. What did those children do to deserve their death?

But I appreciate your candor. Many Israelis and Israel supporters feel as you do, but lack the courage to say so.

Rich Ross says:

Binyamin, the only genocidal incitement is that which arabs and some of their moslem coreligionists have voiced and unleashed against Jews since Islam first appeared. Little Jew-hating arabs grow up to be teenage and adult genocidal arabs who gladly become homicide bombers or terrorists. Which is exactly the rationale arabs have always used for their numerous murders of Jewish infants and children, ‘little Jews’ grow up to become ‘big Jews.’ Unfortunately, I cannot say I ‘appreciate’ the delusional and onesided mentality you bring to this topic.

Jacob Arnon says:

No one is asking you to pay for anything. I doubt you pay enough taxes to cover even one bullet or one meal. In any case, the murders you are talking about were Lebanese and not Israelis and we don’t pay for their bullets.

Also is it true that you don’t pay for Syrians killing Syrians. (To put in your over dramatic terms.) The US supports the opposition in Syria and I’d be surprised if they haven’t given some of them arms.

Now Benjy, I don’t believe that that is your real name and I am not sure that you are an American. A majority of US citizens support Israel.

Jacob Arnon says:

“Many Israelis and Israel supporters feel as you do, but lack the courage to say so”

Most Israelis and Israeli supporters condemned the massacres of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilah and Rich did not incite anyone to commit genocide. all he said was that many Arabs incite their coreligionist to kill Jews. This is true Muslim Brotherhood, founded in the 1920′s before there was an Israel and it’s true of the Iranian Mullahs some of whom were influenced by Nazi ideology regrading Jews. You don’t know what you are talking about, Benjy.

Binyamin says:

Read the account: They were killed with Galil assault rifles. Who paid for them?

Israel’s lobby here in the U.S. requires us to pay $4 billion a year (and that’s only what’s in the unclassified budget).

Binyamin says:

So let me get this straight. “The Arabs” (not some Arabs), raise their children to become genocidal Arabs. Therefore, Israel had the right to make possible the killings at Sabra and Shatilla.

Not only does your statement violate American values, it violates Jewish values. Judaism sanctifies life, especially the life of a child, even if the child is Arab, and even if that Arab child’s parents are genocidal Jew-haters (and for sure, there are some Arab genocidal Jew-haters).

Jacob Arnon says:

Oh, I see if the Lebanese used Israeli weapons therefore Jews are to blame, but if Arabs kill Jewish women and children with Russian weapons the Russians are not to blame.

You will say that we don’t give aid to Russia, etc etc.

This is a foolish argument because you don’t know how Israel spends the aid given the US which closely monitored by the US, btw.

Israel has it’s own industries and is a modern State which could live without aid if it comes to that because their economy is strong. The reason the US gives aid to Israel is because that country is under attack by is Arab neighbors and now by Turkey and Iran: two countries whose human rights violations make the violations by the US or Israel look like kindergarten playground affairs.

If you don’t want Israel to exist as an independent Jewish State say so. Don’t come up ;with a stupid argument about who pays for bullets.

btw: I don’t have time to look into what weapons were used in the massacre and I am taking your word for now that they were Galil rifles.

In any case, Israel did take responsibility for indirectly being responsible. Did any Arab state take responsibility for the terror committed in their name by Arab terrorists?

You are out of your depth here, Benjy.

Rich Ross says:

My statement reflects standard, sane logic used by warring entities since time began. When confronted by an enemy who seeks your demise, you destroy him and everything associated with him. Only in the past few hundred years with the rise of the ‘Humanist’ ideology have we seen the reluctance to fully destroy an enemy with the result that we have today wars which continue interminably, on and on with no end in sight because the aggressors are not allowed to ‘lose’ in the fullest sense of that word. A situation which all the great ancient and advanced civilizations of antiquity, including the Kings of ancient Israel, which have thought the height of insanity.

JacobArnon says:

It is obvious that Beny does not care when Arabs kill Arab. It’only when Jews deend themselves that he cares. His “care” is only a men’s to delegitimize the “Jewish” State.

And yet Benjy presents himself as a humanist. God save us from hypocritical humanists like Benjy.

Jacob Arnon says:

Typical Yevka antisemitic claptrap.

Jacob Arnon says:

“Institute to shed light on Islamic anti-Semitism

Why one scholar insists we are ignoring rampant anti-Semitism, especially in the Muslim world, at our peril”

By Haviv Rettig Gur

http://www.timesofisrael.com/institute-to-shed-light-on-islamic-anti-semitism/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=b4e22ae09f-2013_01_27&utm_medium=email

Jacob Arnon says:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/study-shows-growth-in-european-anti-semitism/

“Study shows growth in European anti-Semitism”

Soon they will be killing Jews again in Europe. Benjy wouldn’t care since “he didn’t pay for the bullets.” I suppose Benjy doesn’t care about the Jews who were gassed by the Nazis since he didn’t pay for the gas.

What a creep Benjy is.

Jacob Arnon says:

This is for Benjy, Jeffrey and every other antisemitic antiZionist:

“Oxford Blues: On the Proposed OUSU Israel Boycott”

Guest Post, February 22nd 2013, 10:00 am

This is a guest post by Alex S

http://hurryupharry.org/2013/02/22/oxford-blues-on-the-proposed-ousu-israel-boycott/

andrew r says:

“When confronted by an enemy who seeks your demise, you destroy him and everything associated with him.”

This is a very good case for destroying the early Zionist settlements, since they eventually became garrisons from which the Haganah/Palmach expelled most Palestinians during 1948-50 and demolished their villages. As anyone who really studies the history of Zionism would know, had it faced no violent opposition whatsoever, there would at least have been attempts to pay off the Arabs to leave. And the JNF and JCA plantations were founded on land from which the native peasants had been evicted. So it is clear that from the late 19th/early 20th century on the Zionist movement had the long-term plan of wresting Palestine from the Arabs. It’s only in 1948 that the authority vacuum and military power were available to physically evict most of them and keep them out.

It’s not that the Zionists have to destroy a threat to their racist state; it’s that they have to destroy, period, to build that state.

Jacob Arnon says:

Typical of antisemitic web sites like MondoWeiSS to accuse the Jewish State of being like the Nazis.

These comparisons go back to the Communists in Russia and their fellow travelers who while they were killing millions of people accused Jews of being like Nazis.

Let’s not forger that it was Communist Russia that made a pact with Hitler to dismember Poland and other countries.

The hypocrisy of these madman never stops.

Jacob Arnon says:

I said earlier that this report was not “secret.” It was a declassified document. Here is an example o a secret report:

“Internal Documents Portray BBC as Dysfunctional”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/world/europe/bbc-portrayed-as-top-heavy-bickering-and-dysfunctional.html?_r=0

The BBC is more than dysfunctional. It is a hypocritical organization that always blamed the Jewish State for whatever happened in the region.

Natan79 says:

More than that: Elie Hobeika was government minister for 8 years. During that time he regularly visited Western Europe countries in his official capacities.

Natan79 says:

You Binyamin also pay for MORE money given to Egypt and Pakistan. Not only are they demented anti-Semites, just like yourself, but they also kill americans. So you, as US patriot, should tell us why exactly you support killers of Americans.

Natan79 says:

Binyamin only cares when Israeli Jews are killed. He likes it then. It will be a cold day in hell when he admits the right of Jews to defend themselves. That’s because Binyamin actively supports those who murder Jews.

Natan79 says:

I also appreciate your candor. Everyone of your posts shows there’s only thing that excites you: murder of Jews. Who the hell are you Binyamin, you al-Qaeda rat?

Natan79 says:

Binyamin, not once do you mention the real killers, Elie Hobeika and his evil companion!s No no no, just the Jooz on the sidelines bother you Binyamin! I bet you actively support terrorism against Jews. May the FBI find you, savage anti-Semite, before you bring a bomb to a Jewish place. Your potential for doing and enabling murdering Jews is Anwar Al-Awlaki-style.

Natan79 says:

I said earlier you want to murder jews. Quoting from mondoweiss,a Nazi wesbite on par with StormFront, abundantly proves it. The only thing that resembles Babi Yar in this story, is yourself. You would be a murderer, and quite possibly are already. I’d love to know your identity, so as to pass onto the FBI. While they missed the bombers of World Trade Center in 2001, maybe they won’t miss you Binyamin.

Natan79 says:

You are one sad dog’s bastard, JeffreyME.

Binyamin says:

What the eyewitness account shows, is that Israeli leaders in a position to stop the massacre (e.g. the IDF Chief of Staff) knew a massacre was underway and did nothing to stop it.

Combine this with the central finding of Turkel Commission, that it was foreseeable that the Phalangists would carry out a massacre, and it is reasonable to conclude that not only was it foreseeable, but also it was desirable.

But for Israeli assistance, there would have been no massacre.

Begin’s and Sharon’s cover story, that they had no idea a massacre was possible, is fatuous. They knew they had an excellent opportunity to deal the Palestinians a massive blow behind the cover of the Phalange, and they did not hesitate to take it.

Israel must use collective punishment to maintain the subjugation of the Palestinians. I fear there will be additional Sabra and Shatillas, and next time, the Israelis will have to do the dirty work themselves.

He wants to murder Jews? You declare this based on what he reads? Sinat Chanim…

Jacob Arnon says:

“Combine this with the central finding of Turkel Commission, that it was
foreseeable that the Phalangists would carry out a massacre, and it is
reasonable to conclude that not only was it foreseeable, but, from the
Israeli point of view, it was desirable.”

This is more bullshit, Benjy.

Took a week or more of obsessing over Israel’s existence and you come up with such nonsense.

What the Israeli commission says is that Israel wanted to know what happened. if they already knew what happened why should they bother instituting a report and then the country leaders voted to accept that report.

Had they known or wanted the massacre to happen they would not have gone to all that trouble.

As much as I disliked Begin i give him credit for wanting to know the truth. Even Sharon voted to accept the report.

Does anyone think that any Arab country would have gone to the trouble to set up an official inquiry. Did Lebanon? On the contrary one of the massacres leaders sits in Parliament there.

People should read the first comment above:

“It should be pointed out that the leader of the forces who actually
carried out the massacre (Elie Hobeika) served in the Lebanese
Parliament for many years after the massacre and was never prosecuted.
For some reason the world saw fit to condemn Israel for (indirect)
responsibility, but no one said a word about the actual killers. Another
example of the world caring about the Palestinians only when they can be used as a club to attack Israel.”

Jacob Arnon says:

This is for Benjy’s benefit though I doubt it will do much good:

http://hurryupharry.org/2013/02/25/killing-jews-is-simple/

“Killing Jews is Simple”

Cross-Post, February 25th 2013, 12:00 pm

“This is a cross post from Stand for Peace”

Jacob Arnon says:

For those who think that hating Jewish State is the moral thing to do:

http://hurryupharry.org/2013/02/25/killing-jews-is-simple/

“Killing Jews is Simple”

Cross-Post, February 25th 2013, 12:00 pm

“This is a cross post from Stand for Peace”

Binyamin says:

The Turkel commission was a good, old-fashioned coverup. Do you really believe Israeli intelligence “had no idea” what the Phalange intended to do?

Jacob Arnon says:

What proof do you have that Israeli intelligence knew what was going to happen?

When all else fails Benjy resorts to “conspiracy theories.’ This is what antisemites and Marxists always do.

The Communists were always accusing their enemies of resorting to “cover ups” yet it was they who participated in one of the worst coverups in human history: the murder of millions of people (bourgeois) in Russia, in China and elsewhere.

Benjy pines for the good old days when Marxists held a monopoly on “truth.”

Jacob Arnon says:

Benjy is all for blaming Jews when they defend themselves, but when others kill Palestinians or Arabs he doesn’t give a fart, the hypocrite:

“Killing Jews is Simple”

http://hurryupharry.org/2013/02/25/killing-jews-is-simple/

JacobArnon says:

Andrew is as usual justifying Je hatred and genocide. He is th typical antisemitic anti Zionist.

So Andrew thevArabs were justified in killing Jews. Where do you live? Whose land did your family steal? Whom are oppressing now?

Every Jewhater here repeats what every other anti Semite says. There’s no originality in anything racist Andrew or Benjamin says.

andrew r says:

Rich Ross justified a mass killing of Muslims, but you seem to have no problem with that. In fact, he said this: “Any reduction in those whose minds and souls have been captured by the
fascist death-cult known as Islam is a good thing for man-kind.” And you played clueless above by saying, “Rich did not incite anyone to commit genocide”. Well, the last statement of his first post here certainly appears to be as much.

It’s very clear that you think there’s a different set of rules for Jews vs. everyone else. Simply pointing out the details of how Zionism succeeded in Palestine is an incitement to genocide, but actually calling for genocide against Muslims is only pointing out that many Muslims want to kill Jews.

Not to mention that my argument above is not that killing Jews is justified. My argument is that in Zionism’s own logic, regardless of what anybody does, it is justified to remove anyone from Palestine by any means necessary if they are an obstacle to the demographic majority that makes it possible to call Israel a “Jewish state”. If you extrapolate anything from that, it’s probably because you know what that entails and are trying to defend the means by making it all about Jews getting killed. The Zionists did a lot of killing to make Palestine a Jewish state, whether you like hearing about it or not. Israeli academics like Benny Morris can tell you as much.

Binyamin says:

Funny you should mention Hobeika. Surely he was the Phalangist militia leader who carried out the massacre. It is undisputed he and Sharon were in almost hourly contact in the days leading up to the massacre. Initially Hobeika denied he perpetrated the massacre with Israel’s cooperation and encouragement. In later years he broke with his Israeli patrons and had a change of heart. Then in 2002, he said he would testify at a war crimes lawsuit underway in Belgium, in which victims of the massacre had sued Sharon.

A few days after announcing he would testify, a car bomb killed him (along with some innocent bystanders) outside his house in Beirut.

Jerzy Kaltenberg says:

Ah, but the Sabra & Shatilla events were Arab on Arab violence. There is no rational way to link these to the American taxpayer, unless you claim you subsidized the falangists…and if you did, then you can hardly blame Israel. Write your local representative and complain. Hell, start a petition drive …..

Your nation does indeed have special relationships with a number of smelly, murderous, criminal regimes, its the price of doing business. Please try keep your hypocrisy consistent.

Just look at logistics support US provided the islamists in Lybia, the direct aid to Saudi Arabia, Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan or the ‘special’ realtionshiop with Pakistan which has cost you, and continues to cost you American lives beyond and above the logistics, materials and political collateral costs.

Yechiel Gordon says:

Thank you for adding a sensible voice to the largely hysterical ones I typically see here.

Depending on how old you are, you’ve also been paying, of course, for the Israeli colonies (“settlements” is the preferred Hasbarah euphemism), Galil assault rifles to El Salvadoran and Nicaraguan death squads, the continued occupation of Palestine, etc.

Yechiel Gordon says:

Correct. The US government does not ask its citizens to pay for covert operations, and did not ask in advance for permission to pay Israel to create the staging areas needed for the fascist Falange groups in Lebanon to carry out their murders. Grants to Israel are sent as block grants, so as to render their (frequently illegal) uses less transparent.

Yechiel Gordon says:

Israel kills Americans, too. See Attack on the US Liberty for an example of an intentional massacre of American civilians carried out by Israel.

Yechiel Gordon says:

Thanks for countering the Tablet trend and employing facts and a bit of compassion.

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