Peres: Obama ‘very impressed’ by Arab League peace plan; Sabra and Shatila ‘animated documentary’
Posted by uscsjp on November 18, 2008
“LONDON – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama proclaimed himself ‘very impressed’ with the Arab League’s peace plan when he discussed it with President Shimon Peres during a brief visit to Israel four months ago, Peres said Tuesday.
Peres, who had just arrived in London for an official visit, made the comment in interviews to be published in the British media. He was responding to questions about whether he thought Obama would advance the Middle East peace process in general and the Arab League’s plan in particular.
But he denied a Sunday Times report earlier this week which claimed that Obama had said Israel would be ‘crazy’ to reject the Arab initiative…”
—Anshel Pfeffer, Ha’aretz, November 19 2008
War, death and animation: Cartoon film stirs Israel’s conscience
“Until a matter of months ago, very few Israelis realised that their army fired flares to light up Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps while Lebanese Christian militiamen committed the notorious massacre of Palestinian civilians there in 1982.
But Ari Folman, who as a 19-year-old soldier fired some of the flares, makes their descent through the sky over Beirut’s beachfront one of the recurring images of Waltz With Bashir, his ‘animated documentary’ that premiers in Britain this week.
In Israel, the film has rekindled discussion about the divisive invasion of Lebanon that was initially billed by Ariel Sharon, who was defence minister at the time, as a limited push to halt PLO rocket attacks, and the extent of Israeli responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila massacre where the estimated number of victims ranged from 700 to more than 3,000. Folman has said he had no idea the massacre was being committed when he shot the flares.
The killings by Phalangist militiamen dispatched into the camps by Israel came after their leader, Bashir Gemayel, president-elect of Lebanon, was assassinated in a bombing wrongly blamed on Palestinians. An Israeli state commission of inquiry set up as a result of a tide of public protest in the massacre’s wake found that Mr Sharon, today comatose from a stroke nearly three years ago, bore ‘personal responsibility’ for not having foreseen the danger that the Phalangists would commit the slaughter. He was forced to give up the defence portfolio, something that did not prevent him from being elected as premier in 2001 and re-elected in 2003. Lebanon, for its part, has never seriously investigated the massacre…”
–Ben Lynfield, The Independent, November 17, 2008