Ariel “Arik” Sharon, Israeli Warhorse and Terrorist 1928-2014

BBSNews 2014-01-11 By Michael Hess. Ariel Sharon, architect of the illegal colonies and colonist movement in the Palestinian Occupied Territories is dead today at 85. Beloved by some he was reviled by many others for early Jewish terrorism during pre-state Israel and probably best known around the world for his role in the Sabra-Shatilla massacre in Lebanon in 1982.

Sharon started his involvement in Jewish terrorism at the age of fourteen after WW II when he joined the terrorist organization the Haganah [which later became the IDF] to fight the British who administered Palestine at the time. Haganah blew up bridges in Trans-Jordan and Syria in a bid to force Britain at the time to allow 100,000 Jews into Palestine.

bush_sharon_2004_04_14With the British facing increasing violence they turned the administration of Palestine over to the nascent United Nations. In 1953 Sharon formed “Commando Unit 101”. It was this unit that helped establish the routine of excessive civilian casualties, terrorism of the Bedouin and soon enough Sharon’s infamous action in Qibya, meant to be a “lesson”, it surely was when Arab homes were blown up with the civilians in them and more than fifty died.

Sharon was promoted and given a larger command this time called “Unit 202” the forerunner of the paratrooper’s brigade. It was around this time, with numerous reports of Sharon’s brutality and penchant for killing Arab civilians in particular Arab Palestinians, that David Ben-Gurion really took a shine to the man that would become known as the Butcher of Sabra and Shatilla.

In 1967, Sharon was a major instigator of the attack by Israel on Egypt, and even though it could have been resolved diplomatically, Israel opted for a war footing. With the “6-day war” over, suddenly Israel found itself occupying land and along with it a whole lot of Arab Palestinians.

According to Baruch Kimmerling in “Politicide” this is where Israeli colonial policy began. After the war Sharon was promoted to “General Commander of Military Training Schools and Bases” and contrary to what the higher-ups had originally envisioned Sharon promptly moved “the entire system of military training bases to the recently occupied West Bank. By establishing a huge military presence on these territories, Sharon built the necessary infrastructure (roads, electricity, and thousands of Israeli soldiers) for the colonization of the occupied territories.

By 1982 Ariel Sharon was Defense Minister of Israel during one of the most infamous operations that Sharon was ever involved in: The Sabra and Shatilla Massacres. According to a press release from Human Rights Watch (HRW) just after Sharon’s death “In February 1983, the Kahan Commission, Israel’s official commission of inquiry investigating the events, found that the ‘serious consideration… that the Phalangists were liable to commit atrocities… did not concern [Sharon] in the least.’ Sharon’s ‘disregard of the danger of a massacre’ was ‘impossible to justify,’ the commission found, and recommended his dismissal as defense minister. He remained in the Israeli cabinet as a minister without portfolio and later became prime minister in 2001, serving until his stroke in January 2006.

Israeli justice authorities never conducted a criminal investigation to determine whether Sharon and other Israeli military officials bore criminal responsibility.”

Other sources maintain that a full investigation was never undertaken because it almost assuredly would have resulted in War Crimes charges. HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director, Sarah Leah Whitson was not reticent in expressing what she thought about Sharon’s conduct:

“It’s a shame that Sharon has gone to his grave without facing justice for his role in Sabra and Shatilla and other abuses. His passing is another grim reminder that years of virtual impunity for rights abuses have done nothing to bring Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer.”

Perhaps John Kerry should tone down the effusive praise for this infamous Israeli terrorist.

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Michael Hess

Michael Hess

I started writing and editing BBSNews in 1990. Before the 'web, back in the Bulletin Board System (BBS) days. My pursuit of factual and reality based information informs my worldview. The ever evolving BBSNews contains New Mexico news, national and international news, politics, space, foreign policy and in particular; news and facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. See our About Us page for more details.