For those who don’t understand the importance of a National Unity Government in Israel, the Belgium Supreme Court provided the explanation.
Belgium does not know that approximately 10 years after Sabra and Shatila a massacre took place at the Suchmor Village in Southern Lebanon. Dozens of men, women and children were murdered there by the Southern Lebanese army in retaliation for a horrendous terror attack that people of the village committed against them. Israel’s responsibility for the massacre at the Suchmor village is much greater than its responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila massacre, because as opposed to the Christian Phalanges,who committed the massacre in Sabra and Shatila, the SLA was an army force equipped and operated directly by Israel and was completely under its authority. Indeed Israel did relate to the massacre by dismissing a few of the SLA commanders and with that the case was closed.
Belguim does not know about the Suchmor massacre, Israel does not remember it, and also the Arabs have long forgotten it. The reason for this is simple: At the time of the Suchmor massacre, Israel’s prime minister was the late Yitzhak Rabin, and Israel’s Foreign Minister was Shimon Peres. Therefore no Israeli leftist took to the streets calling them “murderers” and demanding an Inquiry Committee. What made the Sabra and Shatila a huge international story, did not happen in the outskirts of Lebanon but at the “Kings of Israel Square” – Kikar Malchei Yisrael – which today is called: “Rabin’s Square” – Kikar Rabin. Belgium also doesn’t know that the Sabra and Shatila massacre was an act of revenge on the part of the Christian Lebanese for more than 10 years of terrible Palestinian abuse against them.
In the early 70’s, the PLO took control over Southern Lebanon after they were expelled from Jordan, and ruled over the local Christian population; a reign of sickening cruelty, which included plundering, rape, murder and endless acts of humiliation. And why was the PLO expelled from Jordan? Because prior to that, the PLO abused the Jordanian Kingdom and its population in the same manner. At the last minute, right before the PLO would have taken control over Jordan, King Hussein took matters into his hands and by forceful and unmerciful military action, expelled the PLO from his kingdom.
Within peace-seeking and civil rights Western circles, King Hussein is considered an original “Tzadik” – a righteous person – but the massacre that his soldiers committed against the PLO that September (called “Black September by the PLO and another excuse for violent demonstrations)was a hundredfold bigger than the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Hussein’s motives were similar to that of the SLA: to take revenge on the PLO savages, holders of the untraceable klatchnikovs, and to be rid of them before they turn the Jordanian Kingdom into mayhem. Luckily for us, Sharon was not prime minister at the time, otherwise somehow we would have been blamed for that massacre too.
In Belguim these facts are not known, and there is no way to explain it to them. But the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem is aware of two facts: We do not take revenge but we too are at our last minute, and it is time to remove the manudacturers of mayhem also from here, like they were kicked out of every other country that wished to survive. Secondly, at a time like this we need to keep the square empty. Those “good guys” – the ones who only wish to voice their protest and demonstrate the “beautiful Israeli”, while turning us into war criminals in the eyes of the world – do not fill the square when the left is in power. The writer was the director of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s office, 1996-1999.
This article ran on February 14, 2003 in Yediot Aharonot.