Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Shimon Peres and a forgotten massacre

Shimon Peres and the Massacre of Palestinians at Tel al-Zaatar 

By Michael Hoffman

This is one of those footnotes to history that often get “lot in the shuffle” because we are referring to the history of holocausts (plural). The holocaust against the Palestinians, of which the massacre at Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp in Lebanon in 1976 is a part, is not regarded as worthy of memorialization as it would be if westerners or Zionists had been the victims; nor are the perpetrators hunted, prosecuted or branded war criminals. A case in point is Shimon Peres (1923-2016), now being eulogized in the mainstream media as an Israeli saint.

Tel al-Zaatar was established in northeast Beirut in 1949 on an area of only one square kilometer, after the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians known as the Nakba

In August 1976, while Shimon Peres was Israeli Minister of Defense, Tel al-Zaatar was overrun after a long siege. Thousands of Palestinians were massacred by right-wing Phalange forces using Israeli arms, Israeli armored personnel carriers and tanks, with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) markings. Furthermore, the IDF was operating regularly in southern Lebanon in conjunction with Phalange militia. 

In 1976 Peres made four trips to Lebanon between late May and August, during which time considerable transfers of tanks, vehicles, artillery, and other military equipment had been made by Peres to the Fascist Phalange, who were known to desire the mass murder of Palestinians. 

While in office Ariel Sharon hinted that under Peres, Israeli Army officers had helped to personally facilitate the Tel al-Zaatar atrocity. 

The camp was besieged for 52 consecutive days. Shells and bullets fired by Lebanese militias killed thousands of the refugees. The Palestine Information Center estimates that 4,280 died and thousands were injured in the mass killings, which ended on August 12, 1976. 

Later, bulldozers demolished the whole camp, burying every part of it, in order to blot out the memory of a massacre of the wretched of the earth.  The New York Times, in its fawning obituary for Mr. Peres written by Marilyn Berger, has not a word for the ghosts of Tel al-Zaatar.

Michael Hoffman is the author of The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians, soon to be available as an Amazon Kindle digital book.

More information on the war crimes of Peres is here

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