Israel Overview
Israel is the world's largest benefactor of US military aid. With Israel being the world's fourth strongest military power, with additionally many nuclear and other chemical and biological weapons, one might ask why this aid is neccessary. In particular, I would like to pose the following two questions:

1. What does the US gain through helping Israel?

Is it really in US interests to help Israel? Israel, in deceiving America into some of its foreign policy failures (i.e. in Libya and in the bombing of the marine barracks in Lebanon) hardly presents a grateful customer.

2. Does the US support of Israel help solve the situation?

Is the vetoing of some 50-odd UN resolutions the best way to peace? Or the increasing of military aid to Israel immediately following such acts as its illegal invasion of Lebanon? Does the US approach represent the best way towards a peaceful solution, or is the US simply aiding in Israel's repressive occupation of Palestine?

Seeds of Conflict View comments     
1917 Background Brief ( cached )
       Lord Balfour writes the Balfour declaration, committing Britain to 'facilitate' the 'establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people' on the condition that 'nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine ...'.           
1919 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       President Wilson's King-Crane Commission reports that 'the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine' and estimated that the latter - 'nearly nine-tenths of the whole' - are 'emphatically against the entire Zionist programme'.

The Commission warns that the Zionist programme 'would be a gross violation of the principle [of self-determination], and of the people's rights, though it kept within the forms of law'. The Commission, while expressing 'a deep sense of sympathy for the Jewish cause', recommends limitation of Jewish immigration and abandonment of the goal of a Jewish state.

It also warns that 'No British officer, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist Program could be carried out except by force of arms ... That of itself is evidence of a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist program ... The initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a 'right' to Palestine based on occupation of two thousand years ago, can barely be seriously considered.' The commission's conclusions are ignored.
1919 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 
       Lord Balfour writes 'The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the independent nation of Palestine than in that of the independent nation of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the forum of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country, though the American [King-Crane] Commission has been going through the form of asking what they are. The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.'.           
BBC in-depth ( cached )
       The Palestinians resist as expected, often resorting to terrorist violence against Jews, the worse case being in August 1929 when 133 Jews area killed by Palestinians and 110 Palestinians die at the hands of the British police.           
1938 Collection of Quotes ( cached )
       Mahatma Ghandi comments on the Palestine conflict - 'Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French ... What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct ... If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs ... As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard as an unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.'           
1940 Article ( cached )
       The noted Zionist Yossef Weitz, Director of the Jewish National Fund affiliated to the World Zionist Organization, writes that 'It should be clear for us that there is not room for two peoples in this country. If the Arabs leave it, there will be enough for us ... There is nothing else to do but to remove them all; we mustn't leave a single village, a single tribe ... We must explain to Roosevelt and all the heads of friendly states that the land of Israel isn't too small if all the Arabs leave and if the borders are pushed back a little to the north, as far as the Litani, and to the east, on the Golan Heights.'           
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Lebanon Invasion in 1978 View comments     
1954 Article ( cached )
       Ben-Gurion proposes that Israel support the establishment in part of Lebanon of a Maronite-dominated Christian ministate that would ally itself with Israel.           
1970 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       The PLO is expelled from Jordan, and sets up its major base of operations in southern Lebanon, from which it attacks northern Israel.           
1975 Lonely Planet guide ( cached )
       Civil war breaks out between a predominantly Muslim leftist coalition and Christian right-wing militias.           
Article ( cached )
       During the two years of civil war, Israel reportedly invests US$150 million in equipping and training the Maronite Phalange Party's militia.           
April 1976 ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Syria intervenes at the request of the Lebanese president to force an uneasy peace, however the cease-fire proves unstable and hostilities resume full scale in '77.           
1978 Article ( cached )
       Israel launches a full-scale invasion of Lebanon with 20,000 troops, supposedly in response to Palestinian guerilla activity, however later studies show the invasion (Operation Litani) had been planned two years prior to this.           
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Lebanon Invasion in 1982 View comments     
July 1981 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Israel attacks civilian targets in Lebanon. Palestinian retaliation then elicits heavy Israeli bombing. Some 450 Arabs - nearly all Lebanese civilians - are reported killed, along with six Jews. Following this, the US mediates a new ceasefire.           
Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       The PLO observes the ceasefire except in two retalatory cases, only one of which results in any damage. In contrast, Israel violates the terms daily.           
February 1982 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Israel's Major General Yehoshua Saguym, Chief of Israel's Intelligence, meets with Pentagon officials and Secretary of Defense Haig to outline Israel's plans for a major invasion of Lebanon. Following this meeting Israel takes delivery of $217,695,000 worth of military equipment from the US.           
April 1982 Timeline ( cached )
       The US and Soviet Ambassadors to Lebanon meet separately with Lebanon's President Elias Sarkis, who asks both for help from their countries in staving off a feared Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Begin assures them 'that the Israeli cabinet has taken no decision to go into Lebanon in any way, shape or form.'           
June 5, 1982 BBC timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 
       An attempt is made to assassinate Shlomo Argov, Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom.           
Guardian article ( cached )
       Although the attempt was not made by the PLO, rather a group opposed to the PLO (allegedly hoping to provoke an Israeli assault on the PLO), Israel finds in this a sufficient excuse to execute their planned invasion.           
June 5, 1982
       Mr Ghassan Tueni, a Christian, and the official representative of the Government of Lebanon at the UN, informs the UN of Israeli aggression and requests that the Security Council act 'to stop the aggression against Lebanon'.           
June 5, 1982 UN Resolution 508 ( cached )
       In response to Lebanon's pleas, the Security Council unanimously passes a Resolution calling for a cease-fire.           
June 6, 1982  See also: 1 
       Israel responds by invading Lebanon. Initially the declared aim of the invasion is to create a 40km wide PLO-free zone north of Israel, however the invasion quickly proceeds in accordance with the earlier made plans - the Israeli forces head straight to Beirut.           
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Reactions to Israel's '82 'liberation' of Lebanon View comments     
       Israel's invasion of Lebanon is often reported in the American Press as a humanitarian 'liberation'. To consider whether the Lebanese really felt liberated, we need only consider the expressed reactions of the three populations in Lebanon - the Christians, the Shi'ite Muslims, and the Palestinians. I also examine here the worldwide (i.e. UN) reaction, to highlight the uniqueness and also importance of the US support of Israel in the invasion.           
June 6, 1982 UN Resolution 509 ( cached )
       The UN passes a further resolution, which 'Demands that Israel withdraw its military forces forthwith and unconditionally to the internationally recognized borders of Lebanon'.           
June 8, 1982 US Vetoes timeline ( cached )
       The US gives its official blessing to the invasion, vetoing a Secutiy Council resolution that 'Condemns the non-compliance' of Israel with the earlier resolution, calling for immediate cessation of hostilities and withdarwal of Israeli forces.           
June 22 Naom Chomsky - Fateful Triangle ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Mr Ghassan Tueni, a Christian Lebanese, and the official representative of the Government of Lebanon at the UN, calls for the 'immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon' citing UN Resolution 509, deploring the fact that the UN peacekeeping forces were unable 'to defend [Lebanon] against aggression'.           
Naom Chomsky - Fateful Triangle ( cached )
       He also later comments on the name given to the Israeli invasion: 'Peace for Galilee' - 'To occupy almost half of a country, destory its capital, disrupt its economy, ferciously kill its civilian population by the thousands - for the sake of 'Peace for Galilee' - is indeed a very strange notion of peace!'           
Naom Chomsky - Fateful Triangle ( cached )
       The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Shafik Wazzan, a Muslim, also condemned the invasion. At one point, referring to the unremitting Israeli attacks on Beruit, he complains 'Every time we reach some kind of understanding, we run into a new escalation as if designed to pressure us. You can quote me: this is an international conspiracy against Lebanon and the Lebanese. You want me to remain silent while Philip Habib watches the bombardment of residential areas? As if we were rats in this country! Shafik Wazzan cannot accept this'.           
Naom Chomsky - Fateful Triangle ( cached )
       The former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saeb Salam, also a Muslim, condemned the merciless attacks on the civilian population, and demanded that Israel pay reparations, blaming the US for 'backing Israel blindly'.           
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The Aftermath of the '82 invasion of Lebanon View comments     
Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       An estimated 18,000 Lebanese and Palestinians were killed, 30,000 injured and 500,000-800,000 made homeless in the invasion.           
August 1982 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       A US-mediated ceasefire is brokered, by which the PLO guerillas will leave Beirut and US troops will oversee the evacuation and protect the now defenceless citizens of Beirut.           
August 23, 1982 Timeline ( cached )
       After a heavily rigged election Christian Phalange leader Bashir Gemayel becomes president of Lebanon.           
September 10, 1982 Article ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Having overseen the evacuation of the PLO guerillas, the US troops also leave, thus breaking the terms of the agreement and leaving the citizens defenseless.           
September 14, 1982 Timeline ( cached ) See also: 1 
       Following the assassination of President-elect, Bashir al-Jumayyil, Israel breaks the cease-fire and ignoring UN and US protest occupies West Beirut, encircling the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.           
Sept 1982 BBC article ( cached )
       Israeli forces send Lebanese Christian militiamen, known for their history of atrocities and hatred of the Palestinians, into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, and watch as they massacre an estimated 2000 unarmed civilians.           
       Israel's original justification for the breaking of the cease-fire was to prevent the Lebanese Christian militiamen from undertaking such an atrocity. This justification was later retracted, however it indicates foreknowledge that such a massacre was likely if they were to let such militiamen into an undefended refugee camp.           
       A later justification was that the camp was full of 'terrorists'. However, in massacring 2000 men, women and children, only two Lebanese were killed, hardly indicitave of armed terrorist resistance. The PLO had of course already withdrawn, as part of the ceasefire agreement which Israel broke.           
Feb 1983 Kahan Commission report ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 5 
       An Israeli government inquiry absolves itself of any blame except 'indirect responsibility for the massacre since the I.D.F. held the area'. It recommends Ariel Sharon (now prime minister) resign from his post as defense minister for failing to act to prevent the massacre.           
April 1983 BBC article ( cached )
       The US embassy in Beruit is partially destroyed by a bomb, killing 50 people.           
October 1983 CNN article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       241 US Marines are killed by a truck bomb in Beruit.           
Article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 4 
       Ex-Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky, in his book By Way of Deception, writes that the Mossad knew of the bombing in advance, however only gave the US the usual general notice that they had reason to believe someone might be planning an operation against them. He says the Mossad hoped the attacks would poison American-Arab relations, with the general attitude about the Americans being: 'Hey, they wanted to stick their noses into this Lebanon thing, let them pay the price.'           
2001 BBC article ( cached )
       A year following Israel's withdrawl from Lebanon, the Lebanese government considers suing Israel for compensation over its 22-year occupation, estimating the damage from the Israeli occupation at about $1bn.           
June 2003 BBC article ( cached ) See also: 1 2 3 
       A Belgian court rules that a case for crimes against humanity by survivors of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres brought against an Israeli general by can go ahead. A trial against Sharon however will have to wait as he is currently Prime Minister of Israel.           
HRW article ( cached )
       To date, not a single individual has been brought to justice for the massacre.           
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