Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Phalangists Clarify: We Weren't Even There!

During the cabinet meeting of September 28, 1982, at which it was decided to set up a commission of inquiry into the events of the massacre at Sabra and Shatila, there was a moment when the ministers wondered if perhaps the commission might want to hear testimony from some of the Phalangist officers who had actually been in the camps, and had actually done the killing. This line of inquiry was felt to be important so as to understand if the IDF could or should have foreseen the horrible consequences of allowing the Phalangists into the camps in the first place.

Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon quashed that hope:
That will be impossible. We have already received word from the Phalangists (and I suggest this not be leaked), that they weren't there at all. If there's anyone here who's naive enough to hope, even if only for one moment, that the commission will be able to investigate anyone except Israelis, well, I think he's wrong. [p.20]

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