HYPOCRISY

By Boris Shusteff

On October 16, 1998, during an extremely brave operation, British police arrested former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet in a London hospital. The 83­year old general, recuperating from back surgery, was arrested on a Spanish warrant alleging that he ordered "murders, kidnaping and torture during his 17­year rule." An official Chilean government report says that 3,197 people were killed or disappeared at the hands of his secret police ­ including some Spaniards. The Associated Press reported on January 21 that "new allegations by Spain say [that] Pinochet also began ordering torture in the months before his September 11, 1973 coup." "It is clearly established international law and has been for many decades that torture is a crime ... and all states enjoy jurisdiction over it," Christopher Greenwood, a lawyer for Britain and Spain, told Britain's highest court. "It is simply not tenable to say today that torture falls within the internal rights of a country."

Watching the tireless efforts of Amnesty International to prove Pinochet's guilt, following a hearing by the British highest court (that includes seven judges instead of the usual five) that will decide whether to uphold the extradition warrant, and witnessing the demonstrations of protesters that keep vigil in London, one should be stunned by the unprecedented hypocrisy of all these "warriors" for justice. How is it possible to run an extensive campaign in favor of prosecuting Pinochet and at the same time elevate a well known murderer and criminal Yasser Arafat to the status of an honorable political leader? How is it possible that instead of arresting Arafat and putting him on trial for the countless atrocities committed by the PLO under his rule, the civilized world community awards him millions of dollars and demands of Israel that she grant him the heartland of the Jewish people the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza?

If the international community "suddenly" recalled what happened in the seventies in Chile it would not hurt to remind it of Arafat's role in the destruction of Lebanon. Yes, Pinochet bears the guilt for the crimes perpetuated in Chile; however, during his rule a backward country was transformed into a strong state. At the same time, Lebanon the Switzerland of the Middle East was destroyed as a sovereign state through the activity of Yasser Arafat and the PLO. It was the PLO that lead all of the "revolutionary" factions in Lebanon. "It was the PLO which gave them their opportunity, their pretext, their military means; and it was the PLO which gave them their orders" (113).

"Out of a population of 3.2 million, some 40,000 or more people had been killed, 100,000 wounded, 5,000 permanently maimed and 500,000 displaced from their homes. About 300,000 Lebanese fled to other land."(136). Arafat and the PLO plunged Lebanon into "massacres, orgies of rape and mutilation, rampages of looting and wrecking, invasion and partition" (116). The Amnesty International attorney Ian Brownlie, who on January 21, 1999 presented the House of Lords with the severity of the charges facing Pinochet, said that "Britains 1978 State Immunity Act provides amnesty only for acts recognized as a part of a leader's official duties. Torture, murder and kidnaping could never fit into that definition." He also contended that "international law specifically removes immunity from anyone even current or former head of state accused of international crimes such as torture or the taking of hostages."

Apparently the previous definition does not apply to a future head of state. This is exactly the mantle that Arafat is preparing to try on after the "Middle­East peace­hungry" international community tears away from Israel the land that gave the Jewish people its name. Or maybe the events perpetrated by the PLO in Lebanon are not considered as falling into the category of murder and torture? Just few examples representing a minuscule portion of the PLOs murderous activities in Lebanon will be enough to answer this question.

In January of 1976, the destruction of Damour, a town of some 25,000 was completed by the PLO within two weeks. "The priest of Damour, Father Mansour Labaky desperately trying to save people of the town telephoned Kamal Jumblat [one of the Lebanese leaders], in whose parliamentary constituency Damour lay. 'Father, Jumblat said, 'I can do nothing for you, because it depends on Yasser Arafat' " (122). All efforts were useless. In the morning following the first night of invasion, when more than fifty people were massacred, Father Labaky "despite the shelling managed to get to the one house, to bring out some corpses. An entire family had been killed, the Canan family, four children all dead, and the mother, the father, and the grandfather. The mother was still hugging one of the children. And she was pregnant.

The eyes of the children were gone and their limbs were cut off. No legs and no arms" (123). In total, 582 people were massacred in the storming of Damour. Father Labaky went with the Red Cross to bury them. "Many of the bodies had been dismembered, so they had to count the heads to number the dead. Three of the men they found had had their genitals cut off and stuffed in their mouths" (126).

Azmi Zrayir, the PLO hero, an organizer of the terrorist attack in March, 1975 on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in which seven people were killed and eleven wounded, was remembered in Lebanon as "a thief, a murderer, a rapist and a torturer." Being a PLO headquarter commander in Tyre, "he formed a football team into which he conscripted teenage children. The players were forced to gratify Zrayir's sexual appetites. He debauched both girls and boys. At least one child who defied him was shot dead" (144).

Arafat was ruthless not only with the Lebanese citizens but with the Palestinian Arabs too. In January, 1976 during the Christians' attack on Tall al­Za'tar refugee camp the PLO tried to prevent the people in the camp from leaving. "Conditions within the camp became critical, with acute shortages of food and water, as bombardment continued day after day. The ideal of self­sacrifice, imposed on the civilians by a leadership which itself took no risks, was never known to be the choice of the unhappy people themselves. And not all of the fighters who fell with their guns in their hands were cut down by the fire of the Christians. Some who tried to surrender or escape from the camp were shot in the back by their own comrades" (133). The high command in the PLO headquarters in West Beirut "not only refused to let the Palestinians leave the camp, or let the fighters surrender in order to save them all from hell, but insisted that the entire population, including the children, were to be sacrificed" (133).

Knowing the atrocities perpetrated against their Arab "brethren" one can only imagine the fate of those who were considered by the PLO to be "spies" or "traitors." "While searching a citizen in Sydon, the PLO found on him Israeli money and a pair of shoes made in Israel His hands and legs were chained to the fenders of four vehicles. When a Fatah officer signaled with his pistol, the four cars raced away, tearing his body apart while horrified spectators screamed. The cars raced through the streets with the bloody limbs dangling" (268).

"Nada al­Murr the daughter of Alfred al­Murr, a well known Lebanese civil engineer and industrialist, and May al­Murr, a poet and historian saw a man torn apart by two vehicles" (147). If one wonders where the PLO bandits learned their barbaric skills one should be advised to look into a book by Jhon Laffin. He wrote in "The PLO Connections," how the PLO trained their youth. "An instructor gave an order and a boy reached into basket and pulled out a chicken. Then he wrung its neck and dropped the dead bird. "No, no, no!" Arafat said reprovingly. He too reached into the basket and dragged out a chicken. And without wringing its neck he pulled the thing apart."

The Lebanese crimes are only a short page in Arafat's criminal biography. Torture, murder and the kidnaping of innocent people was Arafat's and the PLO's signature wherever they were present. Thousands of people perished in Jordan in September of 1970 when Arafat tried to wrest power from King Hussein. More than a thousand Palestinian Arabs accused of "collaboration" with Israel were brutally killed by Arafat's cronies during the "intifada." During the thirty five years of the PLO's existence thousands of Jews have been maimed and murdered in bombings, drive­by shootings, stabbings, etc.

The terror unleashed by the PLO all over the world has destroyed and ruined lives of countless people in countless countries. The PLO leaders proudly declared that Arafat bears full responsibility for everything done by the PLO. Ahmed Tibi, Abu­Mazen, and Mohammed Dahlan have repeatedly said that it was "Arafatwho sent [the "fighters"] out on their operations." Is it possible to imagine a greater hypocrisy than the arrest of a half­conscious 83­year old former Chilean dictator in a hospital, and the embrace of Arafat by the leaders of almost all countries in the world?


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