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    Updated  September 10, 2001  
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  the galilee


"Peace For The Galilee"
Based on talks of the Rebbe during the war in Lebanon in the early eighties
I. Fulfillment of Mission,
II. Politics Vs. Security,
III. Travesty of Justice


III. Travesty of Justice

 

The sole purpose of the commission of inquiry established by Israel to investigate the killings in the Lebanese refugee camps is to determine the guilt of Jews in the matter. This is not only a travesty of justice, but reflects an abysmal lack of Jewish self-esteem.

 

The Israeli government has established a commission of inquiry to investigate the killings at the Sabra and Shatillah refugee camps in Lebanon. The facts are well known: There has been internal war between Christian Lebanese and Moslem Lebanese for some years. Each side has savagely killed the other. After the newly elected president of Lebanon — a Christian — was murdered, Christian Phalangists entered the refugee camps and killed many Moslems.

Investigate the Actual Killings

It would be a logical assumption that a commission of inquiry established to investigate these killings would start with the basics: Who exactly carried out the murders, and who ordered them to do so. These questions are surely at the heart of the matter.

But such is not the case. The commission of inquiry set up by Israel has devoted itself to one question entirely — and that, a side-issue: What blame do Jews bear in this affair. The Israel Defense Forces were present in Lebanon. Since it is possible they knew of the killings and did not stop them, the commission is investigating to determine their possible responsibility.

A strange state of affairs: Jews are investigating Jews why they did not risk their lives to stop a war between Christians and Moslems.

If blame is to be attached to Jews for not preventing the Phalangists from murdering, things should at least be placed in their right priorities. Any commission of inquiry should first determine who were the actual perpetrators, and who gave them orders. The whole world should be apprised who was responsible; and the guilty parties punished. Then, and only then, would it be proper to investigate who could have prevented the killings but did not do so — if indeed such an investigation is even called for.

Nothing of the sort has happened. There has been no mention in the media that the commission of inquiry has determined — or even plans to determine — who carried out the actual killings. The whole focus of the commission is solely on the "guilty" Jews — for not intervening in the affair!

For Fear of the Gentile

We are witness once again to the "golus mentality," that almost instinctive fear of the gentile. Israel fears to name the person who gave the orders to murder, and fears to name those who actually murdered. Better, it seems, to find Jews guilty of omission, than find gentiles guilty of commission.

The irony of it is that now there is no need to fear the gentile. The media has already reported that it was the President of Lebanon who ordered the Christian Phalangists — his own men — to enter the camps and carry out their vengeance for years of atrocities by Moslem terrorists. There has been no outcry of protest, no cries of condemnation and calls for punishment. The world is curiously silent. Indeed, the reverse is true. Not only are they not shunned as murderers, but they are accepted and feted in the capitals of the world. The reason is simple: the Christians merely exacted revenge against the Moslems, a tradition among the Arabs dating back for centuries. So ingrained is the idea of "an eye for an eye" among the Arabs that it is considered a duty.

Yet the commission of inquiry — set up by Jews — continues to shut its eyes to the actual perpetrators, and is interested only in investigating Jews. Since perhaps the Jews knew of the massacres; and perhaps they could have stopped it — then they should have risked their lives to prevent something which is accepted practice among the Arabs! Indeed, it has been reported that the President of Lebanon requested Israel not to interfere in the internal matters of his country. Yet Jews are guilty for abiding by the wishes of the President of Lebanon.

The ostensible reason Israel has not investigated the actual killings is that everyone already knows who the murderers are. But it is elementary judicial practice that to arrive at a true ruling, all the facts germane to the case be presented and investigated. Only once they have been established — and the blame apportioned — is it appropriate to investigate a side-issue: was anyone able to prevent the massacre. Anything else is a travesty of justice.

Set the Record Straight

It should be clearly understood and stated that Jews had absolutely no hand in the affair, and that it was solely an internal struggle between Christian and Moslem. It was not an isolated incident that just happened, but orders were given well in advance by the Lebanese President to his soldiers to ferret out those with whom they had accounts to settle — "an eye for an eye," the traditional Arab custom of revenge.

Only after all this has been recorded and publicized, together with the names of those responsible — would it be appropriate to investigate if Israeli soldiers could or should have intervened. It must be recorded and taken into account that Israel would have had to quarrel with the Lebanese President, and that international law forbids them to intervene into purely internal matters. With all these facts in mind, one could then consider if Jews should have laid their lives on the line to prevent what happened.

Lack of Jewish Self-Esteem

Non-Jews are amazed at how low Jewish self-esteem is. After everyone knows who the murderers are, Jews establish a commission with the sole purpose of investigating Jews to see if they could have prevented the killings — knowing that other nations not only have no intention of punishing or condemning the real murderers, but rather accord them respect!

And so we find newspaper after newspaper displaying headlines reporting the latest events in the "trial" of the Jews in the Sabra and Shatillah massacres — and not a word about who is really guilty. If Jews themselves are keeping quiet about the real perpetrators; if Jews themselves are inquiring about the "guilt" of other Jews; if Jews themselves are indicating that they consider themselves responsible — then why should the media not follow suit?

Besides the awesome lack of self-esteem such an inquiry shows, it contradicts almost everything Israel has been claiming in the United Nations. A common spectacle in the United Nations is countries condemning Israel for actions against terrorists. Israel’s retort has always been that such condemnations are one-sided. It is ridiculous to criticize Israel for her actions against the terrorists, Israel correctly claims, without mentioning the atrocities perpetrated by the terrorists against Israel.

Yet Jews are doing just that to themselves in the commission of inquiry. They refuse to mention the responsibility of gentiles in the massacre, and instead concentrate all their attention on the "responsibilities" of Jews.

We thought to curry favor with the gentile nations by holding such an inquiry; instead, we have only abased ourselves — in their eyes and our own.

It is time to stop bowing to any and all pressures brought to bear to do things contrary to our own interests. Time to raise ourselves from the "golus mentality" which produces such aberrations. Time to realize once and for all that although in exile, we can and must remain proud and firm in our identity.

It is time to start acting like Jews.

(10 Teves, 5743 [1983])

 

 
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