One evening shortly after the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, my good friend’s mother - a Palestinian from Gaza then studying at the American University of Beirut (AUB) - was walking with a companion on Beirut’s seaside promenade.
The pair was spotted by a group of fellow students, who, given the tenseness of the situation, encouraged them to jump the fence separating the promenade from a parcel of AUB-owned land abutting the sea. There, in what was perceived to be relative safety, they struck up a conversation.
It was soon revealed that the students were adherents to the right-wing Phalange party, founded by Pierre Gemayel following an inspirational trip to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, during which he was wowed by Nazi discipline. Unaware of my friend’s mother’s provenance, the group began expressing its thoughts on Palestinians.
The consensus was that the Palestinians had brought nothing but trouble to Lebanon, and that the Israelis should have simply killed them all.
Seven years later, Phalangist militiamen would do their part to assist the Israelis in such genocidal fantasies. Over a period of three days in September of 1982, up to several thousand refugees were massacred in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.