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Could Any Country Other Than Israel Murder 20,000 People And Call It "Operation Peace"?

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A ‘cosmic stink’: Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, 40 years on

Forty years after the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, Israel persists with its lunatic urges to kill in Palestine and beyond.

Lebanon was already seven years into its bloody civil war of 1975-90, but the Israeli invasion took it all to another level of savagery. The Israeli siege of “West Beirut” – the reductionist wartime label assigned to the so-called “Muslim” half of the Lebanese capital, where AUB is located – lasted from June to August of 1982, leaving residents without food, water, electricity, or fuel. The term “West Beirut”, the Yearbook Committee noted, had “become a by-word for the disastrous”.

And yet even “disastrous” was an understatement, as is clear from the 16 pages of photos of air strikes, collapsed buildings, rubble, vehicles on fire, babies with bandaged heads, an elderly woman in a hospital bed, and a single hand lying on the ground detached from its body. The United States, naturally, had green-lighted the invasion.

I came across the 1982 yearbook the other day at the house of a friend of mine, an AUB alumnus, here in Beirut – where I unwittingly arrived just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Israeli invasion. Prior to the pandemic, I had been a regular visitor to the country since 2006 – incidentally the year of another Israeli invasion, when the Israeli army had similarly mocked the idea that people in Lebanon should “have life and have it more abundantly”.

The 1982 affair, which the Israeli government marketed as “Operation Peace for Galilee”, supposedly took place in retaliation for the attempted assassination of Shlomo Argov, Israel’s ambassador to Britain. Years later, the Guardian would dramatically observe: “Not since the slaying of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 has a hit team made war such a likely outcome”, providing as it did a “pretext” to Israel’s then-defence minister Ariel Sharon for his “long-planned campaign to eliminate” the PLO – the Palestine Liberation Organization headquartered in Beirut.

Never mind that the PLO condemned the assassination attempt – or that there never would have been a PLO in the first place had Israel not slaughtered 10,000 Palestinians and turned three-quarters of a million more into refugees in 1948.

In her Lebanese civil war memoir Beirut Fragments, Jean Said Makdisi – a Beirut-based Palestinian writer and scholar and the sister of the late Edward Said – recalls that, in the early days of “Peace for Galilee”, much was heard about Argov, the appointed casus belli. But such talk was ultimately short lived: “After a while nobody mentioned the ambassador anymore, until – several tens of thousands dead later; several hundred thousand refugees later; after large parts of Tyre, Sidon, Damour, and Beirut, not to mention dozens of other towns and villages had been destroyed – there was a small item in the newspaper that he had survived and been discharged from the hospital”.

At one point, Said Makdisi wonders if it is even possible to convey in words the horror of the siege, as she describes “the sky orange with the unnatural light of exploding phosphorus bombs; the whizzing screams of jets darting for the kill”. On August 4, her son whispers to her: “Mummy, we’re going to die today; for sure, we’re going to die”.

The horrors go on. Families unable to reach the cemetery on account of heavy shelling are forced to dump loved ones’ bodies into the sea, and the AUB hospital crematorium is unable to keep up with demand. The Beirut debut of the vacuum bomb sees an eight-storey building in the Sanayeh neighbourhood pulverised along with everyone in it. On August 12 – the day of the ceasefire, following successful negotiations for the PLO’s impending evacuation from Beirut – Said Makdisi stands on her balcony as the Israeli military continues its bombardment: “It was as though the Israelis had … achieved a paroxysm of violent hatred; a lunatic, destructive urge to kill, to blot out every living thing, to leave nothing standing, to eradicate the city”.


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  • BarnardotBarnardot 334 Pts   -  
    @Nomenclature So you see what I mean because what exstream thinking people do is that what they say is nothing because all they do is quote from extreme sites and even then they take extreme stuff out of context and make it more extreme. I wonder what would happen if girlie boy Adolf extremist wanna bees couldn't copy and paste any more and had to actually think about what they say then say what they say in there own words because I reckon they would be totally be lost for words and they couldn't make any more conspiracy baloney stories except realize that there moms conspired against them when they were babies and didn't give them any moms milk which is what makes them become Exstream in the gray matter in the end.
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 1154 Pts   -   edited February 8

    I'm having difficulty understanding your English, but if you're suggesting that al Jazeera is an "extreme site" then you're way off the mark. Al Jazeera is one of the most reliable and balanced sources of fact-based news in Asia. It has won countless awards for its journalism. Granted, I've linked an opinion piece rather than mainstream news, but you'll find the same sort of rhetoric in western publications like the Guardian and the Independent. In fact, you'll even find it in Israeli left wing publications like Haaretz. 

    As regards your thoughts about "conspiracy baloney stories" then I'm going to put that down to the fact that you have a low IQ and don't understand that conspiracies actually happen. The United States is a new type of totalitarian state, where people are controlled with manufactured propaganda rather than a bludgeon. If you understood the history of your country, you'd realise that the people who run it see you as one of a bewildered herd whose opinions need to be engineered and controlled for your own good.
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