Ariel Sharon and the Legacy of US-Backed War Crimes

John Glaser, January 13, 2014
Palestinian corpses at Shatila

Palestinian corpses at Shatila

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died over the weekend. Much of the U.S. and Israeli media have whitewashed Sharon’s legacy, erasing from history the fact that he was a wretched war criminal who was devoted to a Greater Israel and to massacring any civilians he perceived as obstructing that goal.

Those who have at least mentioned some of his failings make note of the 1982 massacre of at least 800 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. Sharon, defense minister at the time, deceptively persuaded the Israeli cabinet that an invasion of Lebanon was necessary, the goals being to destroy the Palestinian Liberation Organization and to install the Maronite Christian Phalange Party into power in Beruit to serve as a client state of Israel.

The war of choice Israel waged in Lebanon killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians. Exact numbers are difficult to verify because of the “the haste with which bodies were buried in mass graves and the absence of impartial agencies.” The destruction of the war helped exacerbate a civil conflict in Lebanon that led to even more casualties. That alone is a legacy that should strip Sharon of his post-mortem label of “a man of peace.”

The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place when the Israeli-backed Lebanese Christian militia slaughtered men, women, and children in the Palestinian refugee camps, which were located in areas controlled by the Israeli military. Eye witnesses said the Lebanese militia fighters were in constant contact with the Israeli military over walkie-talkies.

Ariel_Sharon,_by_Jim_Wallace_(Smithsonian_Institution)Sharon was removed from office after an Israeli commission concluded that Israeli leaders were “indirectly responsible” for the massacres and that Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for failing to prevent them. But, as Human Rights Watch said on the day of Sharon’s death, “Ariel Sharon died without facing justice for his role in the massacres…[which] constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Not only was Israel responsible for the slaughter of innocents, but the U.S. was at least indirectly blameworthy. “Working with only partial knowledge of the reality on the ground,” wrote Seth Anziska in a 2012 New York Times op-ed that made use of declassified documents, ”the United States feebly yielded to false arguments and stalling tactics that allowed a massacre in progress to proceed.”

Anziska’s piece is worth quoting at length:

In Washington that same day, Under Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger told the Israeli ambassador, Moshe Arens, that “Israel’s credibility has been severely damaged” and that “we appear to some to be the victim of deliberate deception by Israel.” He demanded that Israel withdraw from West Beirut immediately.

In Tel Aviv, [American envoy to the Middle East, Morris] Draper and the American ambassador, Samuel W. Lewis, met with top Israeli officials. Contrary to Prime Minister Begin’s earlier assurances, Defense Minister Sharon said the occupation of West Beirut was justified because there were “2,000 to 3,000 terrorists who remained there.” Mr. Draper disputed this claim; having coordinated the August evacuation, he knew the number was minuscule. Mr. Draper said he was horrified to hear that Mr. Sharon was considering allowing the Phalange militia into West Beirut. Even the I.D.F. chief of staff, Rafael Eitan, acknowledged to the Americans that he feared “a relentless slaughter.”

…Mr. Draper opened the meeting by demanding that the I.D.F. pull back right away. Mr. Sharon exploded, “I just don’t understand, what are you looking for? Do you want the terrorists to stay? Are you afraid that somebody will think that you were in collusion with us? Deny it. We denied it.” Mr. Draper, unmoved, kept pushing for definitive signs of a withdrawal. Mr. Sharon, who knew Phalange forces had already entered the camps, cynically told him, “Nothing will happen. Maybe some more terrorists will be killed. That will be to the benefit of all of us.” Mr. Shamir and Mr. Sharon finally agreed to gradually withdraw once the Lebanese Army started entering the city — but they insisted on waiting 48 hours (until the end of Rosh Hashana, which started that evening).

Continuing his plea for some sign of an Israeli withdrawal, Mr. Draper warned that critics would say, “Sure, the I.D.F. is going to stay in West Beirut and they will let the Lebanese go and kill the Palestinians in the camps.”

Mr. Sharon replied: “So, we’ll kill them. They will not be left there. You are not going to save them. You are not going to save these groups of the international terrorism.”

Mr. Draper responded: “We are not interested in saving any of these people.” Mr. Sharon declared: “If you don’t want the Lebanese to kill them, we will kill them.”

Mr. Draper then caught himself, and backtracked. He reminded the Israelis that the United States had painstakingly facilitated the P.L.O. exit from Beirut “so it wouldn’t be necessary for you to come in.” He added, “You should have stayed out.”

Mr. Sharon exploded again: “When it comes to our security, we have never asked. We will never ask. When it comes to existence and security, it is our own responsibility and we will never give it to anybody to decide for us.” The meeting ended with an agreement to coordinate withdrawal plans after Rosh Hashana.

By allowing the argument to proceed on Mr. Sharon’s terms, Mr. Draper effectively gave Israel cover to let the Phalange fighters remain in the camps. Fuller details of the massacre began to emerge on Sept. 18, when a young American diplomat, Ryan C. Crocker, visited the gruesome scene and reported back to Washington.

Years later, Mr. Draper called the massacre “obscene.” And in an oral history recorded a few years before his death in 2005, he remembered telling Mr. Sharon: “You should be ashamed. The situation is absolutely appalling. They’re killing children! You have the field completely under your control and are therefore responsible for that area.”

On Sept. 18, Reagan pronounced his “outrage and revulsion over the murders.” He said the United States had opposed Israel’s invasion of Beirut, both because “we believed it wrong in principle and for fear that it would provoke further fighting.” Secretary of State George P. Shultz later admitted that “we are partially responsible” because “we took the Israelis and the Lebanese at their word.” He summoned Ambassador Arens. “When you take military control over a city, you’re responsible for what happens,” he told him. “Now we have a massacre.”

This case is worth reflecting on, not only because it is an illustration of how easily Israeli leaders like Ariel Sharon can get away with crimes against humanity, but because it is a microcosm of how the U.S.-Israeli relationship often works. The reality of Washington’s political and ideological commitment to Israel allows Israeli leaders to continuously deceive, pressure, and obligate the U.S. to be supportive of war crimes and to bankroll Israel’s strategic noncommittal to an actual peace deal with the Palestinians.

So it was in 1982. So it is today.




13 Responses to “Ariel Sharon and the Legacy of US-Backed War Crimes”

  1. Sharon is the 21c model: bu$h,Bibi,Blaierz,Banders & Xcorpz shall never stop their war on Qur'an until Isa UE ON.

  2. The rhetoric from The US is lies. They increased funding for Israel during and after its worst massacres. Clinton and Obama hove both done this. Obama did it after Israel broke ceasefires and invaded Gaza in 2009, then 2012, killing thousands of civilians. Rhetoric is to trick us. The actions reveal the true intents and characters.

  3. Sharon was just as much a man of war as Nutty Yahoo, Ehud Barack Obama, Anders Foggy Rasmussen, George Warmonger Bush, Nicholas Psychozy, Francois Hollande, Tony Blair Wich Project, David Cameron and Gordon Brown. Too bad Sharon wasn't in a coma in '82. The Beirut Massacre could still happen but Sharon wouldn't be able to let it happen.

  4. This is the reason that Israel is the most hated country in the world, second only to the USA.
    Israel is and always has been the main reason for the unrest in the Middle East. Until the USA stops supporting them and sets them free to deal with their own problems, it will continue.
    If Israel was not backed by the USA, it would cease to exist and finally there would be peace in the
    Middle East

  5. America has to fall first before this happens remember they and the settlers control the US "govt"

  6. And they vilify the Nazis.

  7. With the passing of Sharon the "Butcher," nothing on the ground will change, the US will continue to make sure expansion of settlements, and killings of Palestinians without just cause.

  8. Sharon was a degenerate Zionist war criminal. Of course, our AIPAC-owned-and-operated political hacks won't dare admit that.

    Piss on him. Good riddance.

  9. AIPAC, which is nothing more or less than a nest of foreign agents representing Israel, have bought and sold the allegiance of far to many of "our" representatives, in particular the 57 U.S. Senators who recently signed a bill that would sabotage our government's present negotiations seeking a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. Senator Kirk, one of the two U.S. Senators who co-sponsored this treasonous bill, received over $600,000.00 in campaign donations from AIPAC and a number of other AIPAC affiliated Israel-First groups, just in this past year alone.

    The death of Prime Minister Sharon, a murderous butcher and war criminal, has fortunately focused the attention of the entire world on the past and present criminal actions of the warmongering Zionist parasites and their treasonous accessories in our government. Hopefully, as more and more Americans finally realize the true horror that Israel represents, calls will mount to eliminate all American support for this terrorist state and to impose sanctions to isolate this cancer on the world.

    American support of the Zionists is the primary reason for the 9-11 attack and for the mounting hate of America that is found throughout the world. America, in supporting Israel, is enabling a regime that practices racism, commits war crimes and crimes against humanity on a daily basis and is a full blown apartheid nation. America condemned the white-only government in South Africa for the very conduct that Israel has engaged in since 1947. In Israel, only jews are allowed to vote, only jews are allowed to use certain road and all others, including Palestinians and Christians, are denied basic human rights such as the right to water, electricity, medical attention and even food.

    American patriots need to rise up and purge all Zionists from America along with their puppets in our government. Unless and until that happens, the Zionists will continue to control American foreign policy, our media, our banking system and even our entertainment industry. Each of the 57 U.S. Senators who have allegiance only to Israel should have their citizenship revoked, their assets seized and deported to Israel who will welcome them with open arms. Personally, I would prefer they be charged with treason, given a quick trial and then lined up against a wall to face a firing squad.

  10. Last I checked, there were nearly 200 comments on PressTV's article about this zionist POS that mirror yours and my sentiments.

  11. Jesus died for You You will go to Heaven

    WHAT IS PROPHECY?
    Prophecy is always a promise of God. God gives prophecy-promises of hope to His children. God also gives prophecy-promises of judgment to those who disagree wither are indifferent to Him. 

    CAN MEN GIVE PROPHECY?
    No! Genuine prophecy comes only from God. “No prophecy was ever an act of human will” (1 Peter 1:21)

    WHY IS PROPHECY (AGREAT GIFT FRM GOD), AVOIDED TODAY BY MANY? WHY DO LUTHERAN PASTORS OFTEN AVOID PREACHING ON PROPHECY?
    In recent years a small group of Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Dispensationalist preachers have predominated television preaching. These preachers claim that the key prophecies of God deal with the state of Israel. These misguided preachers have twisted God’s prophecies and removed Christ from the center of prophetic preaching. By doing this, they replace Jesus Christ with the geographical state of Israel. This misuse of prophecy has cause many Lutheran pastors to avoid teaching about prophecy altogether, thereby leaving their people in the dark and without the hope that God desires to give His people through Christ-centered prophetic preaching. 

    If you were to make a tree diagram of all Old Testament prophecies–with a branch or twig representing each specific prophecy–why would Genesis 3:15 be the root of this big “tree” of many old testament prophecies?
    There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Already in the third chapter of the first book, God gives His “root,” His “foundation block,” or His cornerstone prophecy. This cornerstone prophecy on which all other prophecies are built is Genesis 3:15. Every activity of the entire Old and New Testament is tied in some way to Genesis 3:15, just as every branch and smallest twig of a tree is in some way tied to the root. 

    WHY IS GOOD NEWS DEVOTING AN ENTIRE ISSUE TO PROPHECY?
    The primary purpose of GOOD NEWS is to give its readers hope. As You turn these pages and see specific prophecies explained, you will also experience the hope God desires to give you.

    HOW CAN YOU EASILY DETECT THE HERETICAL TEACHING OF TODAY’S TELEVISION PREACHERS AND DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE SOLID AND RELIABLE TEACHING THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH HAS ALWAYS USED REGARDING PROPHECY?
    Popular and heretical preachers of prophecy usually focus on the Bible books of Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel. These books are then used to explain current world politics, especially current events, and to guess when Jesus will return. The greatest condemnation of these charlatans is the clear teaching of Jesus: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36)

    WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS TO KNOW ABOUT THE TWISTED HERESY OF DISPENSATIONALISM?
    As already noted, the Dispensationalist teaching of prophecy takes Jesus from the center of all prophecy and replaces our blessed Lord with the state of Israel. In Luke 24:44, Jesus says, “All things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Dispensationalists, in effect, have recast this section of God’s Word to say, “All things written about the state of Israel in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Furthermore, as Luther points out, Israel, even in the Old Testament, has always referred to those who believed and followed God, not to a particular race of people or to a certain geographical area. 

    WHY IS IT ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL FOR CHRISTIANS TO KNOW WHAT THE WORD ‘ISRAEL” MEANS TODAY?
    Over the centuries, in its worship services, the Christian church has always used the Psalms. The Psalms regularly refer to Israel. When the Psalmist is referring to Israel, he is pointing to those whom God has promised to bless. In their false understanding of Scripture, the Dispensationalists have misled millions to believe that the Psalms are referring to God blessing the state of Israel, when, in fact, the Psalms refer to a blessing God wants to give to all who are worshiping him. In other words, the heretical Dispensationalist theology twists and redirects God’s promises of blessings from children who are His through Baptism to those they believe are His through geography.
    So, the bottom line is this. When people in your congregations are hoodwinked into believing Dispensationalist theology, they do not experience the blessings that God has to give them as His New Israel! (Romans 9:1-8)

    WHERE ARE THE CHIEF THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS THAT TEACH DISPENSATIONALISM?
    Among themselves Dispensationalists would agree that the leading schools teaching their interpretation of the Scriptures would be Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. One of the founders of Fuller Theological Seminary was also a major promoter of Dispensationalism.

    WHO HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE LEADING AND MOST POPULAR TEACHERS OF THE TWISTED THEOLOGY OF DISPENSATIONALISM?
    The most popular teacher of dispensationalism has been Hal Lindsey, the author of The Late Great Planet Earth which sold some 35 million copies and was translated into over 50 languages. In more recent years, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins authored the Left Behind series of books, which netted each author over fifty million dollars. These figures demonstrate how widely this 19th-century American heresy has been spread and the threat that it poses to Christ’s church. Jesus says, “Many will … mislead many” (Matthew 24:5). 

    WHY DO THESE RELIGIOUS FICTION BOOKS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT DEAL WITH PROPHECY, SELL SO WELL?
    All people, even those committed to secularism, are interested in getting a peek into the future. Thus, when a charlatan comes along who claims to be interpreting present and future events ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, there are many buyers! Even members of the U.S. Department of Defense were known to be reading The Late Great Planet Earth in the hope of seeing the future of world political and military movements. One author noted that reading The Late Great Planet Earth was like getting an advance copy of tomorrow’s newspaper!
    Finally, one could read many, many books explaining how the twisted theology of Dispensationalism has impacted politics in the United States and other parts of the world. But politics is not our mission at GOOD NEWS. While we have taken some space to point out the deadly menace of Dispensationalism, you can see that the greater percentage of this issue is devoted to the true and correct Biblical understanding of prophecy, a great blessing God wants you to have! 
    Dispensationalism is effectively exposed in volume XIII of Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics: Escatology by John R. Stephenson. p. 83-97, in the essay titled, “Fictitious Signs of His Coming: Sundry Dreams of the Dispensationalists” (Published by the Luther Academy, Fort Wayne, IN. 1993).

    For Bible Study questions about this page, turn to page 41 and use questions 43 through 45.

    43. The heresy of Dispensationalism has been promoted by many popular evangelical preachers on television and radio. Major schools of theology, such as the Moody Bible Institute, promote Dispeationalism. Bestselling books like The Late Great Planet Earth, and even the series, sow the tares of dispensational thinking in the minds of million of Christians (Matthew 13:24-30). Nevertheless, Dispensationalism is not a God-Pleasing doctrine. Jesus warns us: “Many will come in My name … and will mislead many” (Matthew 24:5).

    44. Jesus claims that the entire Old Testament speaks of Him (Luke 24:44). Dispensationalism removes Jesus from the center of Biblical prophecy and replaces Him with the modern state of Israel. Dispensationalists base their teaching on obscure passages while ignoring the Bible’s clear teachings, such as: “But of that day and hour no one knows” (Matthew 24:36). Finally, Dispensationalism robs God’s children of the comfort of their Baptism. By focus-ing on bringing back the political state of Israel, Dispensationalism denies God’s promise that, through Baptism, He has established the Christian church as His New Israel (Romans (:1-8)

    45. No matter how persuasive and exciting television preachers or popular books may be, always remember: Christ, not the state of Israel, is the center of all Scripture (Luke 18:31). When you hear novel interpretations drawn from books such as Revelation or Daniel, keep in mind: “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). Search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11), and compare the claims of Dispensational teachers to God’s clear testimonies, such as Matthew 24:36 and Romans 9:1-8. Fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), knowing that the entire OLd Testament speaks of Him (Luke 24:44). And bear in mind that all prophecy springs from the root of Genesis 3:15. When you are armed with these clear Biblical teachings, and refreshed by God’s forgiveness in Word and Sacrament, you will be able to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

    (Good News Magazine Prophecy Issue 35, Concordia Mission Society, P.O. box 8555 St Louis MO 63126)

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