Iainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1116 times:
From the BBC
----------------------- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has begun to prepare a defence against potential war crimes charges in Belgium, according to reports on Israeli Army Radio.
Mr Sharon has hired a Belgian defence lawyer, on the advice of attorney-general Elyakim Rubinstein, in case the trial goes ahead, the radio reported.
Survivors of a 1982 massacre of Palestinian refugees in Beirut have begun proceedings against the Israeli leader, accusing him of overall responsibility for the deaths of up to 2,000 people at the hands of Christian militiamen allied to Israel.
Mr Sharon was Israeli Defence Minister at the time and his role in the massacre was criticised by an official Israeli panel set up after the events.
The 73-year-old leader says the case is a veiled attack against all Israelis and Jews.
"It's not a personal question - by attacking me personally they are looking to attack Israel and the Jewish people, but we will stop it," Mr Sharon told reporters on Thursday.
A Belgian judge is currently investigating the claim. Under Belgian law, persons may be charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity regardless of the nationality of the victims or the accused.
A spokesman for Mr Sharon refused to comment on the Army Radio report.
A statement from his office said: "Any decisions taken about the ongoing events in Belgium will be made by the Israeli judiciary in consultation with other experts."
BBC analyst Roger Hardy says that Mr Sharon had originally ignored the possibility that he might be summoned to appear before a Belgian court, but Israeli officials now fear that cases being brought in Europe may have opened a Pandora's box of litigation.
Army Radio said Israel has been told that cases are also being prepared against current Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz and air force commander Major General Dan Halutz for alleged human rights violations following recent military actions against Palestinians.
Legal threat to officials
The foreign ministry has meanwhile begun examining where else in Europe Israeli officials might face being arrested on charges of human rights abuses during their travels abroad.
A foreign ministry source quoted by Ha'aretz daily said "there may be problems in the future and those who are famous may be at risk".
Mr Sharon cancelled a planned visit to Belgium during a trip to Europe earlier in July for what his office called "calendar reasons".
However, a Belgian senator visiting Lebanon said on Wednesday that the Israeli leader did not go because of the risk of prosecution.
Denmark, on the other hand, says it will not carry out a threat to arrest Israel's ambassador-designate to the country on suspicion of human rights abuse.
Danish media reported Justice Minister Frank Jensen said on Wednesday Carmi Gillon, the former chief of Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet, could face immediate arrest when he takes up his post next month.
Mr Jensen said Mr Gillon could be prosecuted under the terms of a UN anti-torture convention after he admitted using "moderate physical pressure" on Palestinians arrested during the current conflict.
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told Israel Army Radio he had no intention of replacing Mr Gillon, adding: "If Denmark acts according to this method it cannot allow in any member of the PLO who at one time was involved in terrorism."
This problem is so much larger then we all realize. My can't we all get a long and be happy? No one disputes God wants us to be happy, and be peaceful so why does most of the hatred, and violence in the world come from his teachings?
Banco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 988 times:
I believe that it is individuals that have brought the case in Belgium, rather than the Belgian Government. I'm not sure how the mechanics work, but I believe that an individual can bring a case in any EU country under Human Rights legislation.
It's a bit of a minefield, witness the mess the British Government got itself into over the Pinochet case, but of course in this case the court has no authority to compel him to attend.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
EmiratesLover From Malta, joined Dec 2000, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 969 times:
I am truly looking forward to the day when that mass murderer and war criminal of an Ariel Sharon will be led into the dock and be made to answer for his crimes( too numerous to mention), so that the thousands of his victims will finally have a chance to rest in peace.He would obviously be stepping in the footsteps of the likes of Eichman and Milosevic, which would make us finally believe that justice is indeed universal and is the same for everyone irrespective who they are.Any outcome for Ariel Sharon which does not lead to him being arrested and fully exposed in a court of law would be nothing short of a travesty.
Avi From Israel, joined Sep 2001, 950 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 952 times:
EmiratesLover, do you know that those who actually did the massacre (and the Israeli army did not send them to the camps) lives in Lebanon without any fear that something will happen to them?
The survivors have problems with Israel (who wasn’t in the camps) but no problems with their neighbors, who did what they do.
Justice has nothing to do with what is going on in Belgium.
By the way, a judge in Belgium already ruled that Belgium doesn’t have the right to prosecute Sharon but the Belgium justice department decided to continue with the process.
Last week a group of Israelis filed a complaint against Arafat in Belgium.
LJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 953 times:
To clarify something. Sharon can be tried in Blegium because he's accused of crimes against humanity. If I'm correct according to Belgian law they can try every suspect of crimes against humanity regardless of the place where the crimes have been comitted. Ideally these people should be tried at the International Court of Justice in The Hague (The Netherlands). However, as it's under UN control it's impossible to get Sharon and Arafat before this court (at least as long they're head of state). Belgian courts don't care if you're a head of state or have diplomatic immunity.
Anyway the first "victim" of the Belgium route to convict war criminals was probably Pinochet.
BTW the reason why they try Sharon is that they accuse Sharon of not doing enough to prevent the massacre and knowingly allowing the Israeli allies to kill prisoners against the international rules for warfare (didn't know that they existed). Strangely a Israeli parlimentary enquiry at the time acknowledged to a certain degree these allegations, however they failed to do anything about it.
Prebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6699 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 929 times:
Belgium should certainly have a look at their own "merits" in Africa instead. There are very few countries with more blood on their hands than exactly Belgium.
Maybe all their fuzz during these days is a way to try to cover the darkest periods of their own history?
And Iainhol, your BBC report mentions a Danish minister of justice, Mr. Frank Jensen. It must be a rather old report, you have found, or maybe BBC works very slowly. Mr. Frank Jensen has not been a minister for a few weeks now. The case is dead in Denmark, but it helped Mr. Frank Jensen greatly getting rid of his job.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
EmiratesLover From Malta, joined Dec 2000, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 888 times:
Hey Everybody, take a look at this article about Sharon in Counterpunch,
of Ariel Sharon
Some incorrigible optimists have suggested that only a right-wing extremist of the notoriety of Likud leader Ariel Sharon will have the credentials to broker any sort of lasting settlement with the Palestinians. Maybe so. History is not devoid of such examples. But Sharon?
Sharon's history offers a monochromatic record of moral corruption, with a documented record of war crimes going back to the early 1950s. He was born in 1928 and as a young man joined the Haganah, the underground military organization of Israel in its pre-state days. In 1953 he
was given command of Unit 101, whose mission is often described as that of retaliation against Arab attacks on Jewish villages. In fact, as can be seen from two terrible onslaughts, one of them very well known, Unit 101's purpose was that of instilling terror by the infliction of discriminate, murderous violence not only on able bodied fighters but on the young, the old, the helpless.
Sharon's first documented sortie in this role was in August of 1953 on the refugee camp of El-Bureig, south of Gaza. An Israeli history of the 101 unit records 50 refugees as having been killed; other sources allege 15 or 20. Major-General Vagn Bennike, the UN commander, reported that "bombs were thrown" by Sharon's men "through the windows of huts in which the refugees were sleeping and, as they fled, they were attacked by small arms and automatic weapons".
In October of 1953 came the attack by Sharon's unit 101 on the Jordanian village of Qibya, whose "stain" Israel's foreign minister at the time, Moshe Sharett, confided to his diary "would stick to us and not be washed away for many years". He was wrong. Though even strongly pro-Israel commentators in the West compared it to Lidice, Qibya and Sharon's role are scarcely evoked in the West today, least of all by journalists such as Deborah Sontag of the New York Times who recently wrote a whitewash of Sharon, describing him as "feisty", or the
Washington Post's man in Jerusalem who fondly invoked him after his fateful excursion to the Holy Places in Jerusalem as "the portly old warrior".
Israeli historian Avi Shlaim describes the massacre thus: "Sharon's order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants. His success in carrying out the order surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what happened at Qibya was
revealed only during the morning after the attack. The village had been reduced to rubble: forty-five houses had been blown up, and sixty-nine civilians, two thirds of them women and children, had been killed. Sharon and his men claimed that they believed that all the inhabitants had run away and that they had no idea that anyone was hiding inside the houses."
The UN observer on the scene reached a different conclusion: "One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the body sprawled across the threshhold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were blown up over them." The slaughter in Qibya was described contemporaneously in a letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council dated 16 October 1953 (S/3113) from the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Jordan to the United States. On 14 October 1953 at 9:30 at night, he wrote, Israeli troops launched a battalion-scale attack on the village of Qibya in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (at the time the West Bank was annexed to Jordan).
According to the diplomat's account, Israeli forces had entered the village and systematically murdered all occupants of houses, using automatic weapons, grenades and incendiaries. On 14 October, the bodies of 42 Arab civilians had been recovered; several more bodies were still under the wreckage. Forty houses, the village school and a reservoir had been destroyed. Quantities of unused explosives, bearing Israel army markings in Hebrew, had been found in the village. At about 3 a.m., to cover their withdrawal, Israeli support troops had begun shelling the
neighbouring villages of Budrus and Shuqba from positions in Israel.
And what of Sharon's conduct when he was head of the Southern Command of Israel's Defense Forces in the early 1970s? The Gaza "clearances" were vividly described by Phil Reeves in a piece in The London Independent on January 21 of this year.
"Thirty years have elapsed since Ariel Sharon, favourite to win Israel's forthcoming election, was the head of the Israel Defence Forces' southern command, charged with the task of 'pacifying' the recalcitrant Gaza Strip after the 1967 war. But the old men still remember it well. Especially the old men on Wreckage Street. Until late 1970, Wreckage, or Had'd, Street wasn't a street, just one of scores of narrow, nameless alleys weaving through Gaza City's Beach Camp, a shantytown cluttered with low, two-roomed houses, built with UN aid for refugees from the 1948 war who then, as now, were waiting for the international community to settle their future. The street acquired its name after an unusually prolonged visit from Mr Sharon's soldiers. Their orders were to bulldoze hundreds of homes to carve a wide, straight street. This would allow Israeli troops and their heavy armored vehicles to move easily through the camp, to exert control and hunt down men from the Palestinian Liberation Army.
"'They came at night and began marking the houses they wanted to demolish with red paint,' said Ibrahim Ghanim, 70, a retired labourer. 'In the morning they came back, and ordered everyone to leave. I remember all the soldiers shouting at people, Yalla, yalla, yalla, yalla! They threw everyone's belongings into the street. Then Sharon brought in bulldozers and started flattening the street. He did the whole lot, almost in one day. And the soldiers would beat people, can you imagine? Soldiers with guns, beating little kids!' By the time the Israeli army's work was done, hundreds of homes were destroyed, not only on Wreckage Street but throughout the camp, as Sharon ploughed out a grid of wide security roads. Many of the refugees took shelter in schools, or squeezed into the already badly over-crowded homes of relatives. Other families, usually those with a Palestinian political activist, were loaded into trucks and taken to exile in a town in the heart of the Sinai Desert, then controlled by Israel."
As Reeves reported, the devastation of Beach Camp was far from the exception. "In August 1971 alone, troops under Mr Sharon's command destroyed some 2,000 homes in the Gaza Strip, uprooting 16,000 people for the second time in their lives. Hundreds of young Palestinian men were arrested and deported to Jordan and Lebanon. Six hundred relatives of suspected guerrillas were exiled to Sinai. In the second half of 1971, 104 guerrillas were assassinated. 'The policy at that time was not to arrest suspects, but to assassinate them', said Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza City".
Israeli complacency leading to their initial defeat by the Egyptians in the 1973 war was in part nurtured by the supposed impregnability of the "Bar Lev line" constructed by Sharon on the east bank of the Suez canal. The Egyptians pierced the line without undue difficulty.
In 1981 Sharon, then minister of defense, paid a visit to Israel's good friend, President Mobutu of Zaire. Lunching on Mobutu's yacht the Israeli party was asked by their host to use their good offices to get the US Congress to be more forthcoming with aid. This the Israelis managed to accomplish. As a quid pro quo Mobutu reestablished diplomatic relations with Israel. This was not Sharon's only contact with Africa. Among friends he relays fond memories of trips to Angola to observe and advise the South African forces then fighting in support of the murderous CIA stooge Jonas Savimbi.
As defense minister in Menachem Begin's second government, Sharon was the commander who led the full dress 1982 assault on Lebanon, with the express design of destroying the PLO, driving as many Palestinians as possible to Jordan and making Lebanon a client state of Israel. It was a war plan that cost untold suffering, around 20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese lives, and also the deaths of over one thousand Israeli soldiers. The Israelis bombed civilian populations at will. Sharon also oversaw the infamous massacres at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps. The Lebanese government counted 762 bodies recovered and a further 1,200 buried privately by relatives. However, the Middle East may have been spared worse, thanks to Menachem Begin. Just as the '82 war was getting under way, Sharon approached Begin, then Prime Minister, and suggested that Begin cede control over Israel's nuclear trigger to him. Begin had just enough sense to refuse.
The slaughter in the two contiguous camps at Sabra and Shatilla took place from 6:00 at night on September 16, 1982 until 8:00 in the morning on September 18, 1982, in an area under the control of the Israel Defense Forces. The perpetrators were members of the Phalange militia, the Lebanese force that was armed by and closely allied with Israel since the onset of Lebanon's civil war in 1975. The victims during the 62-hour rampage included infants, children, women (including pregnant women), and the elderly, some of whom were mutilated or disemboweled before or after they were killed.
An official Israeli commission of inquiry - chaired by Yitzhak Kahan, president of Israel's Supreme Court - investigated the massacre, and in February 1983 publicly released its findings (without Appendix B, which remains secret until now).
Amid desperate attempts to cover up the evidence of direct knowledge of what was going on by Israeli military personnel, the Kahan Commission found itself compelled to find that Ariel Sharon, among other Israelis, had responsibility for the massacre. The commission's report stated: "It is our view that responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for having disregarded ["entirely cognizant of" would have been a better choice of words] the danger of acts of vengeance and bloodshed by the Phalangists against the population of the refugee camps, and having failed [i.e."eagerly taken this into consideration"] to take this danger into account when he decided to have the Phalangists enter the camps. In addition, responsibility is to be imputed to the Minister of Defense for not ordering appropriate measures for preventing or reducing the danger of massacre as a condition for the Phalangists' entry into the camps. These blunders constitute the
non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defense Minister was charged". (For those who want to refresh their memories of Operation Peace for Galilee, of the massacres and the Kahan coverup we recommend Noam Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle.)
Sharon refused to resign. Finally, on February 14, 1983, he was relieved of his duties as defense minister, though he remained in the cabinet as minister without portfolio.
Sharon's career was in eclipse, but he continued to burnish his credentials as a Likud ultra. Sharon has always been against any sort of peace deal, unless on terms entirely impossible for Palestinians to accept. As Nehemia Strasler outlined in Ha'aretz on January 18 of this year, in 1979, as a member of Begin's cabinet, he voted against a peace treaty with Egypt. In 1985 he voted against the withdrawal of Israeli troops to the
so-called security zone in Southern Lebanon. In 1991 he opposed Israel's participation in the Madrid peace conference. In 1993 he voted No in the Knesset on the Oslo agreement. The following year he abstained in the Knesset on a vote over a peace treaty with Jordan. He voted against the Hebron agreement in 1997 and objected to the way in which the withdrawal from southern Lebanon was conducted.
As Begin's minister of agriculture in the late 1970s he established many of the West Bank settlements that are now a major obstruction to any peace deal. His present position? Not another square inch of land for Palestinians on the West Bank. He will agree to a Palestinian state on the existing areas presently under either total or partial Palestinian control, amounting to merely 42 per cent of the West Bank. Israel will retain control of the highways across the West Bank and the water sources. All settlements will stay in place with access by the IDF to them. Jerusalem will remain under Israeli sovereignty and he plans to continue building around the city. The Golan heights would remain under Israel's control.
It can be strongly argued that Sharon represents the long-term policy of all Israeli governments, without any obscuring fluff or verbal embroidery. For example: Ben-Gurion approved the terror missions of Unit 101. Every Israeli government has condoned settlements and
building around Jerusalem. It was Labor's Ehud Barak who okayed the military escort for Sharon on his provocative sortie that sparked the second Intifada and Barak who has overseen the lethal military repression of recent months. But that doesn't diminish Sharon's sinister shadow across the past half century. That shadow is better evoked by Palestinians and Lebanese grieving for the dead, the maimed, the displaced, or by
a young Israeli woman, Ilil Komey, 16, who confronted Sharon recently when he visited her agricultural high school outside Beersheva. "I think you sent my father into Lebanon", Ilil said. "Ariel Sharon, I accuse you of having made me suffer for 16 some odd years. I accuse you of having made my father suffer for over 16 years. I accuse you of a lot of things that made a lot of people suffer in this country. I don't think that you can now be elected as prime minister".
Ilil was wrong. He's there. And now the bloodbath will begin. CP
Avi From Israel, joined Sep 2001, 950 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (13 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 871 times:
I just want to remind you, Emirate, that in 1953 (actually until 1967), Israel was not in the Gaza strip and the west bank. So why did we need the retaliation operation?
Because Israel was attacked again and again from the west bank and Gaza even before the 67 war.
Another thing that you didn’t mention is that it was Sharon who saved Israel in 1973 when he was the commander of the Sohez canal crossing in the Yom Kipur war.
This crossing let us put siege on the Egyptian army in Sinai and to end this war before it will come to a point that no one wanted it to come.
In 1982 we didn’t enter Lebanon because we had nothing better to do on the 6/6 morning (read the first paragraph again).
Israel didn’t want to move the Palestinians from Lebanon to Jordan since it was Israel who stood behind Jordan when they “told” the Palestinians goodbye in 1970.
Why the quotes? The Jordanians didn’t tell the Palestinians to get out, they opened fire from 3 different direction and let them understand by themselves where to go.
10,000 Palestinians died in 3 days!!!
And one last thing, Sharon was not the prime minister when Arafat started the Intifada. There is only one man to be blamed and after too long time the entire world, including the Arab world, know who is that man.