Written by Soraya Misleh, PSTU
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:21
Sharon was not controversial. He was the embodiment of the Zionist project of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people to create, in their lands, a homogeneous state, exclusively Jewish.
One of the major executioners of the Palestinian people and those responsible for crimes against humanity, Ariel Sharon died on January 11 aged 85, after remaining in a coma for eight years. His death was followed by tributes from Zionist leaders such as the Israeli President Shimon Peres. As reported in the media, he said that Sharon “will remain a unique leader, who brought victory and offered hope” for the Israeli people.
The mainstream media presented Sharon as controversial. A qualification that is an enticement to cover up the true adjectives that would fit the man who was nicknamed the “Butcher of Beirut” by the responsibility for the massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Sabra and Shatila, and whose crimes against humanity are numerous.
Sharon was not controversial. He was the embodiment of the Zionist project of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people to create, in their lands, an exclusively Jewish state. So, he is honored by Israeli leaders. Son of immigrants from Belarus, he was born in 1928 in a Palestine still under a British Mandate, which lasted until the creation of Israel in May 15, 1948 – the date remembered in the Arab collective memory as nakba, or catastrophe, because of the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians from their land and property and the destruction of about 500 villages.
Sharon, whose original surname was Sheinerman, joined the Zionist paramilitary group Haganah at age 14. Ahead of the Alexandroni Brigade, whose massacres of Palestinians are proven in official documents searched by Arab scholars and the new Israeli historiography. In 1953 he founded the commando Unit 101, to which are assigned exemplary atrocities. He was responsible for the Operation Shoshana, that promoted the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian village of Qibya, 30 kilometers northwest of Ramallah, in the West Bank, in October 1953.
That year, there were less than 1,500 inhabitants in the village, which was entirely destroyed. The balance was 77 killed, including women and children. In an article published in Euronews about the death of the executioner and the reaction of the inhabitants of the region, one of the survivors, Ghetan Hamed reveals the feelings of the oppressed: “this is the inevitable end of all and any tyrant.” The Unit 101 was scrapped due to the repercussion of this massacre, but Sharon was never tried for this and other crimes. The village still bears the marks of destruction and the names of those killed.
The career of the “Butcher of Beirut”, built on the blood of Palestinians, gained a new chapter during the attack on the Egyptian Sinai, the military occupation of this area, the Syrian Golan and the Palestinian territories in 1967 and the siege of the army of that Arab country that led Israel to victory in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. For “services rendered” to consolidate the Zionist colonization, the Israelis began to call him “The King of Israel” and “The Lion of God”. The various political positions in the Israeli government throughout his career shows his consistency with a project founded on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
Sabra and Shatila
One of the best known of his atrocities was the license given to the Lebanese Phalangist go into the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut, between 16 and 18 September 1982. That year, Israel invaded Lebanon to try to get rid of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO), which organized the Palestinian resistance at the time, and occupied the country. The Sabra and Shatila massacre was engineered by Sharon, then Israel’s defense minister, at a meeting on September 15 with leaders of the Christian Phalangist militia linked to the Lebanese president, Bashir Gemayel, assassinated the day before.
The journalist Samia Gabriela Teixeira, in her own article, reveals: “The Arab historian Fawwaz Traboulsi describes in his book Modern History of Lebanon the interests before the death of President Bashir, who planned to put in place a ‘radical solution’ to balance demographically Lebanon, ‘causing a general exodus of the Palestinian population’ which, he said, was ‘a people in excess’ in the region. Along with the liability intended to Ariel Sharon and the Christian Lebanese government, the American state also had its share for the withdraw of all its peacekeepers, responsible for overseeing the departure of the PLO, and for withdrawing its military detachments from the region and pressing indirectly the withdrawal of French and Italian forces in place. ( … ) The massacre left about 4000 people, including women, children and the elderly, killed. Many of them decapitated, mutilated or disfigured.” In the same article, the journalist also points the alliance with the Syrian government, under the dynasty of the Assad family.
Faced with massive demonstrations around the world, including Brazil, the attacks on Sabra and Shatila were considered serious violations to the International Criminal Court. Sharon was formally accused by an Israeli commission, but was not arrested or removed from government. He resigned as defense minister, but, again, he was never tried for this new crime against humanity. Instead, he returned to politics as a major architect of the colonization of the Palestinian territories militarily occupied in 1967.
More crimes against humanity
Among his adventures, is entering the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in September 2000, seen by Palestinians as highly provocative; which was considered by many analysts the trigger for the second intifada. In 2001, during the uprising, he was elected Israeli prime minister with the banner of “strong man” who would ensure the security of his constituents – imprisoned by the “culture of fear” powered by Zionists. Another item of his macabre curriculum is the construction of the apartheid wall, under the security pretext, which in fact annexed more land, separates Palestinian families and prevents them from coming and going. One step towards the establishment of the apartheid regime to which is subjected the population living under occupation.
Another step was taken when Sharon decided to dismantle the illegal Israeli settlements in Gaza Strip in 2005. Under the lie that it would be a relaxation from the “hard line” attitude of the “butcher”, this action was exhibited by the traditional media as a sign of good will for peace. There were 8000 settlers, compared to over half a million in the West Bank today, and Israel’s military spending did not make up for their permanence. Indeed, the withdrawal of settlers from Gaza turned it into the largest open-air concentration camp today. Israeli attacks in the region inhabited by 1.5 million people – who live with an inhuman blockade since 2007 – are permanent.
With the vast experience of “services” to the State of Israel, no one should be surprised by the Zionists and world leaders’ tributes to the “Butcher of Beirut”. It is up to people of conscience to disassemble the farce about who was Sharon. And in addition to regret the omission before the crimes against humanity committed by him, we must denounce that he is not alone. The project of ethnic cleansing continues to be put into effect nowadays. International pressure is decisive for the freedom of Palestinians, and the trial and international condemnation of their executioners, so that the media is no longer able to spread tributes to a butcher. In Brazil, one way is to strengthen the campaign to boycott Israeli apartheid (BDS campaign) and demand that the government immediately break the military agreements with the occupying power.