Of all the atrocities that took place during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, and of all the atrocities that have been blamed on the Israeli Defense Forces, or on American meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, over the past several decades, what happened in the Sabra neighborhood of west Beirut and the neighboring Shatila refugee camp between September 16 and September 18, 1982, stands out among the very worst. We’ve already talked about the June 6 start of the so-called Lebanon War, the 1982-1985 phase of the civil war that saw Israel invade southern Lebanon. Israel was ostensibly retaliating for the attempted assassination of the Israeli ambassador to the UK by the Abu Nidal organization and the killing of an IDF soldier in southern Lebanon. But in reality Israeli defense minister (and later prime minister) Ariel Sharon had already been planning an invasion of southern Lebanon and was simply waiting for a justification.
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