In reply to the letter written by Leeor Kronik (“Israel not to blame,” April 18), Israel is all to blame.
How would he feel if he were at home, sitting at the dinner table with his family when, all of a sudden, soldiers walked in, pushed his mom to the side and pulled his father to the other side of the room?
And when he asked the soldiers for an explanation of what his father had done, they told him nothing! And then, before he knew it, the next thing he saw was a bullet shot through his father’s head. How humane is that?
The Sabra and Chatilla massacres were an outcome of the alliance between Israel and the Lebanese Phalangists. Israel found an ally in the Lebanese Phalangists. Despite the fact Israel was itself responsible for the Palestinian exodus, the common feelings of hostility of Israel and the Phalangists to the Palestinians led to a secret alliance between them.
In execution of this alliance, Israel supplied the Phalangists with money, arms and equipment to fight the PLO in Lebanon. As for the decision to the entry of the Lebanese militiamen into the Sabra and Chatilla camps, it appears from the testimony of Rafael Eitan, Israel’s chief of staff, before the Israeli Commission of Inquiry that it was taken by him and by Sharon on Sept. 14, 1982.
This was followed by meetings between those two military chiefs and the Phalangist commanders to coordinate the operation of the militiamen’s entry into the camps. The decision to allow the militiamen’s entry into the camps was approved by the Israeli Cabinet on Sept. 16 after it began to be put into execution.
Kapeliouk points out that to the number of bodies found after the massacre, one should add three categories of victims: those buried in mass graves whose number cannot be ascertained because the Lebanese authorities forbade their opening; those who were buried under the ruins of houses; and those who were taken alive to an unknown destination but never returned.
The bodies of some of them were found by the side of the roads leading to the south. Kapeliouk asserts the number of victims may be 3,000 to 3,500, one-quarter of whom were Lebanese, while the remainder were Palestinians.
You cannot compare a war in which both parties are using similar weapons and one in which one side is senselessly butchering the other side in what can only be called ethnic cleansing.
What is happening in Palestine now is immoral and unjust. Just as you cannot call the stones Palestinian children throw “weapons,” neither can you blame them for throwing them in an effort to defend themselves and their homes.
Any human caught in the situation of seeing their parents, brothers, sisters, or friends shot for no other reason than that they were in the “wrong place at the wrong time” understands the terror and frustration that leads to anger – causing one to care for nothing but to defend what is rightfully theirs.
Kronik should think twice before he speaks about this issue. Maybe he should start to look at both sides and check references, because I am sure there is a lot more neither he nor I know. However, at least I have had a chance to live on both sides, and have seen much of what has gone on.
Therefore, if Israel is not to blame, who is? At least 2,000 kids under the age of 14 have been killed in the past year, and more than 24,000 have been injured. We are talking about kids neither trained in the art of war nor with any weapons or means of protecting themselves – just innocent children caught in the crossfire. I will let you do the math.
Wessam Sonbol is recent graduate of the computer science department. Send comments to [email protected]