The articles below record or reflect on significant events in the history of Palestine.
The Sabra and Shatila massacre is personal
These last few days, as they do every year, weigh heavy on every Palestinian’s heart. For me, and my family, the heaviness is also personal.
Every Palestinian carries around two hearts. One is similar to that which all others carry; it keeps us alive, active, working, loving, moving, singing, playing, and hopeful that tomorrow will bring a better day. The second is very difficult to explain; it is the one that carries within it dark and heavy memories of our existence. Every Palestinian carries this dark heart, albeit the number of chambers in each varies; for far too many, new chambers are added daily, yet others are calcified but fully preserved.
These days bring to the forefront one of those chambers present in all of our black hearts. This week, 33 years ago, in full coordination with the Israeli military which had invaded South Lebanon a few months prior, a group of “Christian” Phalangist fundamentalists, entered two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila, and slaughtered over 3000 Palestinian civilians. Most were murdered assassination style, using hatchets, striking mostly to the head. Several victims were beheaded. Children, women, men, young and old, no one was safe. September 16 and 17 were the days when the bulk of the cold-blooded rampage took place. On September 18th journalists finally made their way into the camp and the horrific scenes became known to all. Later, in 1983, the Israeli government appointed the Kahan Commission to investigate the incident. The Commission deemed Israel indirectly responsible, and Ariel Sharon, then Israel's Defense Minister, personally responsible, forcing him to resign, deeming him unfit to serve as Defense Minister. Sharon later went on to become a popular Israeli Prime Minister. Read more... ~ Sam Bahour is a Palestinian American living in his ancestral home in Al-Bireh, Palestine, eating from the same fig, almond and olive trees that his father and Grandmother Badia ate from before leaving Palestine.
The Balfour Project is pleased to announce the release of the film ‘Britain in Palestine 1917-1948’
In the next few years we are going to live through the centenaries of some key moments when Britain intervened in Palestine 100 years ago. Interest will grow in this subject, and questions will be asked. Yet this is a topic most of us never did at school. This is why we in the Balfour Project decided to make this film, to provide an educational resource that would allow audiences to reach their own conclusions about the rights and wrongs of this emotive subject. We have tried to set out the facts as objectively as we could, and simply answer these questions:
– What did Britain do in Palestine and why? – What were the consequences?
There have been painful consequences of Britain’s history in Palestine. How will our country respond? That is the question posed by this film.
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