Sabra / Shatila massacre 34th anniversary :: Other tragedy, bitterness in the hearts of Camp residents against Hezbollah

                                              Image:  Salem-News

It's been 34 years since the Israeli Army along with the Phalange party (the Christian Lebanese right-wing group) brutally massacred 3,500 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon within the camp complex over a three-day period of September 16 to 18, 1982. The bloodbath was unforgettable. Thousands of bodies of civilian men, women and children, raped, bludgeoned and dismembered were strewn across the entire area. Israeli forces surrounded the camp preventing the residents from fleeing while their allies, the Phalange terrorists, penetrated the camp and went on a vicious killing spree. Journalist Franklin Lamb who lives in Lebanon writes that the Phalange miliita were "partly drug fueled. The carnage was aided by Israeli forces that surrounded Shatila, lighted the night sky with flares turning the night into day, provided heavy equipment to bury and hide bodies .."

A crime of such magnitude was never investigated, no one was held accountable and the tragedy was forgotten soon after it happened. Ariel Sharon (aka Butcher of Lebanon), the mastermind of the Sabra/Shatila massacre on the Israeli side, became Israel's prime minister. The corrupt Lebanese political system granted amnesty to the Phalange murderers, some of whom today are senior politicians with plans to run for president.

Those Palestinian refugees who presently live in west Beirut still recall those horrific three days of September 1982. More than three decades of suffering alongside the rising sectarian culture with Al-Qaeda sleuths permeating into Palestinian camps for new recruits, have left the survivors and descendants of Sabra/Shatila victims disgruntled, bitter and detached from the reality around them. Presently, they are upset with Hezbollah whom they see as "playing the Palestinian card" but not protecting the Palestinians. They have no idea why a war has been raging in neighboring Syria other than the pathetic misinformation of "Hezbollah attacking Yarmouk and killing Palestinians." Shocking! They either don't know or don't want to know how stretched Hezbollah has been since the past five years and how dangerously close Syria continues to be on losing its independence. Every bit of agony and distress of neighboring Syria and Hezbollah has been stifled by their Palestinian neighbors in west Beirut with the spirit of sectarianism. It's the same 'disease' of a heartless sectarian spirit that hasn't allowed them to shed a single tear for their Yemeni brethren whose suffering is just as indescribable as their own.

When the Egyptians came out on the streets in 2011 to kick out Hosni Mubarak, many of them were angrily singing the same tune -- "why isn't the Resistance coming to help us?" Whoa! A country of 80 million with the largest army in North Africa demanding help from the smallest. Everyone in trouble expects Hezbollah to rescue them like a knight on a white charger steed! I thought suffering made us more considerate towards the hardship and endeavors of others. But some Palestinians are getting overly rancorous and ill-disposed toward their comrades, unable to understand that they are equally threatened by the same tyrannical forces as the Palestinians themselves.