26 Years on 1982 Invasion, Resistance Made the Change

June 6 is a day with a special characteristic. It’s a day that marked the beginning of a new era in the Arab-Israeli conflict and paved the way for strong resistance movements to rise and eventually make a change.

us embassy beirut


On this day, twenty-six years ago, Israeli occupation forces launched a massive military incursion into Lebanon in an operation dubbed “Peace for Galilee.” At first glance, the Israeli aggression seemed to be aimed at south Lebanon, but then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon pushed all the way to the capital Beirut.
“Peace for Galilee” for the Israelis is the “Israeli Invasion” for the Lebanese.  It began on 6 June, less than two months after Israel transformed its defeat in Sinai into a political victory in Camp David. Then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin got the impression that all Arab countries would follow Egypt and sign so-called peace deals with Israel.
 
Jordan gave its word to Israel that it would sign such treaty once Lebanon signs a similar one. The Kingdom did not want to get involved in any agreement that would put it at odds with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that had its leadership headquarters in Beirut.
Back then, Lebanon meant the fertile land for Palestinian resistance movements; thus dealing a blow to the PLO in Lebanon would crush the resistance once and for all and pave the way for signing a peace deal with Lebanon and then with Arab states. In doing this, Israel would extract the acknowledgment of Arabs in the so-called “state of Israel” and open the way for political and economic expansion in the Middle East region.
 
Menachem Begin found that the only way to achieve this “glory” for Israel was to invade Lebanon to crush the PLO, but under what pretext?
 
On July 24, 1981, US President Ronald Reagan’s special envoy Philip Habib arrived in Beirut with a controversial mission. Habib managed to broker a shaky nine-months ceasefire between Yasser Arafat and Israel. When the ceasefire took effect, Tel Aviv was like a beehive preparing politically and logistically for their “big time invasion.”  
Back in Beirut, Israeli and pro-Israeli bodies worked persistently on straining the internal front. Clashes between Lebanese and Palestinian forces expanded throughout south Lebanon. Both forces got weak and their chances of closing ranks to confront any Israeli military operation were zero.  
 
The element of direct military resistance was removed at a time some Arab regimes were at the Arab Summit in Fass preparing a formula to penetrate the Arab impregnability.
So everything was ready for the invasion. Israel just needed the pretext and it was not hard to find. On June 3, 1982, Israel’s ambassador in London Shlomo Argov escaped an assassination attempt.
The Israeli intelligence told Begin that the PLO was not involved in the attack, however he withheld this information from his cabinet. Rafael Eitan, who was then the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, responded to the aforementioned information in his famous saying “Abu Nidal, abu shmidal. We need to end PLO!”

Full article: http://www.insight-info.com/articles/item.aspx?i=1156

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