Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Articles on Palestine - Sharon Trial, etc|
|06/25/01 at 11:08:37|
|Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah|
Sharon's Role in Lebanon Massacre Returns to Haunt Him 20 Years Later
Published Thursday June 21, 2001
By Tanya Willmer
JERUSALEM, June 2001 (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's dark past returned to haunt him this week as a controversial British documentary revisited his role in the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon two decades ago and a survivor sought to bring war crime charges against him.
In a courtroom thousands of miles away from the scene of her ordeal, Suad Srur el-Marai relived her terror when Lebanese Christian militiamen went on the rampage in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.
El Marai, who was raped and left paralysed in the attack on her family, is one of a group of survivors seeking to press charges in a Brussels court against Sharon for crimes against humanity.
"We heard someone knock at the door. My father asked 'Who is it?' And they said, 'We're Israelis and we want to search the house.' My father opened the door and there were 13 armed soldiers," Srur said in a statement to reporters at the court.
"Afterwards they started firing at us. My little sister was shot in the head, and my father was hit in the chest but he was still alive ... But me, I was paralysed right away and I could no longer move," she continued.
"They raped me, one after the other, right in front of my father. They shot at me -- I was hit on the left hand -- and then they left.
"They came back later that night and were furious to see I was still alive ... they shot me twice more," said Srur, now 36, who walks with two canes and still has nightmares about the incident.
The complaint hinges on a 1993 law that makes it possible for Belgian courts to try cases of genocide and other crimes against humanity that took place in foreign countries.
Sharon, a hawkish former general known as the "Bulldozer," was declared unfit to be defence minister after an Israeli commission of inquiry in 1983 found him indirectly responsible for the killings during the invasion he orchestrated.
His career was blighted for years by the scandal, and his landslide win in the February election in Israel over Labour prime minister Ehud Barak had seemed all but impossible only weeks beforehand.
But Sharon has never apologised for his role. And his government slammed a BBC "Panorama" documentary, which ran Sunday, for suggesting Sharon should be indicted for the massacre.
"Israel takes a grave view of the slanted and unfair nature of the Panorama programme," the foreign ministry said in a statement. "The timing of the programme, 19 years after the events ... constitutes an attempt to sully the name of Israel and its leader by any means."
On the programme, former International War Crimes Tribunal chief prosecutor Judge Richard Goldstone said Sharon, now 73, should be held responsible for the massacre.
"In the case of Sabra and Shatilla, clearly the Kahan Commission found that very serious crimes had been committed and I have no doubt that any decent person would regret the fact that not a single criminal prosecution followed," Goldstone told the BBC programme, entitled "The Accused".
Richard Falk, professor of international law at Princeton University, said of Sharon: "There is no question in my mind that he is indictable for the knowledge he had or should have had."
In a statement, the BBC said it stood by the story, which it called "a legitimate analysis of a human rights issue."
In January, just a month before his election, Sharon expressed his regrets for what he said was a "terrible tragedy," but refused to apologise.
"To apologise for what?" Sharon told Arab Israeli weekly newspaper Kul-al-Arab.
|Re: Articles on Palestine - Christian Leaders Condemn Isreali Govt.|
|06/25/01 at 11:09:51|
|US Christian Leaders Condemn Israeli Government |
Published Friday June 22, 2001
By Ramzy Baroud
On the heels of meetings with Christian groups and other faith-based organizations in the past eight months, US Secretary of State Colin Powell met with a delegation of leading Christian figures on the current crisis in the Middle East.
Delegates also hand delivered a letter signed by nearly 20 church leaders, lashing out at the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.
In their letter, the delegation described the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as “a cancer that threatens the health of the whole region, U.S. relations with Arab and Muslim countries, and interfaith relations worldwide.”
They called on the US government to take a “higher profile” in advocating peace in the region.
“Few things have done more to destroy the hope and pursuit of peace through negotiations than Israel's unrelenting settlement activity,” the group said in the letter to Powell.
The delegation included Rev. Frank T. Griswold Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, Bishop Vicken Aykazian Diocesan Legate and Ecumenical Officer from the Armenian Orthodox Church, and Rev. Brother Stephen Michael Glodek, S.M. President Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Mens' Institutes.
“Over these recent years, we have heard from our Palestinian Christian partners, and seen for ourselves, the destructive impact of Israel's settlement policy -- separating village from village, confiscating more and more Palestinian land, creating friction with its military checkpoints,” they said.
Delegates lamented that while past administrations came out strong against further settlement expansion, nothing was done to halt Israel’s disregard for international law and human rights.
“It is time for the United States to do what it must to bring Israel's settlement activity to an end,” the letter stated, demanding “an immediate freezing by Israel of its settlement activity”.
The Christian delegates urged Powell to exercise “considerable diplomatic pressure, and possibly economic pressure as well, to convince the government of Israel to recognize that this is a major policy concern of the United States”.
Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September of last year, many Christian groups in the United States have strongly opposed the Israeli military policy in the occupied territories.
While some groups were seen working jointly with Muslim organizations in the United States advocating justice for Palestinians, others such as the umbrella group Churches for Middle East Peace mobilized its efforts toward educating the American public on the often misunderstood realities of the warring region.
Nearly a month after the outbreak of violence in the region, a group of church leaders traveled to the occupied territories to witness the devastation inflicted by the Israeli army.
The delegation also demanded that the United States suspend the current sales of attack helicopters to Israel, pending an investigation of their use against civilian targets as well as assurances that they will be used in conformity with United States law.
Individual posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Jannah.org, Islam, or all Muslims. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.The rest © Jannah.Org