Note to Helen: Tell Them to go home

Helen Thomas, has long been considered the quirky darling of the Left for her strong anti-Bush stance and remarks that she would shoot herself if he were reelected.

What is all the more ironic and galling is that this woman of Lebanese-Christian ancestry is apparently distantly related to comedian Danny Thomas, who played in several lead roles including Al Jolson in a modern remake of the Jazz Singer. A generous philanthropist, humanitarian and great American, Thomas founded the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962.The hospital has treated thousands of children for childhood cancers.

The plight of the thousands of Lebanese driven from their homes in the South of the country by the PLO and the atrocious massacres perpetrated (see Damour -an event almost entirely neglected by the media) whose victims were mostly helpless civilian Christians, Shi'ites and Druze, never was nor is of any concern to Helen Thomas. It is the PLO she should have told to go home.

The Damour Massacre occurred on Jan. 20, 1976 as part of a series of events during the Lebanese Civil War, in which Palestinians joined the Muslim forces, in the context of the Christian-Muslim conflict. Subsequently, Beirut was divided along the infamous Green Line, with Christian enclaves to the east and Muslims to the west.

At Damour, PLO guerrillas locked in the women and children before lighting the church on fire. The attackers destroyed the buildings in the seaside village systematically and then took revenge on the remaining Christian inhabitants. The Christian cemetery was destroyed, coffins dug up, the dead robbed, vaults opened, and bodies and skeletons thrown across the graveyard. The church was burnt and an outside wall was covered with a mural of Fatah guerrillas holding AK47 rifles. A portrait of Yasser Arafat was placed at one end.

Twenty Phalangist militiamen were executed and then civilians were lined up against a wall and sprayed with machinegun fire. None of the remaining inhabitants survived. Estimate of the civilian dead is 584.

According to N. Y. Times correspondent, Thomas Friedman, it was the Phalangist Damouri Brigade which carried out the Sabra and Shatila massacres during the 1982 Israeli incursion sought revenge not only for the assassination of President Bashir Gemayel, but also for what he describes as past tribal killings of their own people by Palestinians including those at Damour.

The indigenous population of South Lebanon including Muslims supported Israel against the PLO and was mobilized in the South Lebanon Army (SLA). The SLA was abandoned to its fate by Israeli "peaceniks" in May, 2000,  convinced that by fully withdrawing from Southern Lebanon, they would find the central Lebanese government more ready, willing and able to prevent the border from being used as a staging ground for attacks against Israel. This was a vain hope.

Of those who initially fled to Israel, some SLA members and their families accepted Israel's offer of full citizenship and a financial package similar to that granted to new immigrants, and settled permanently in Israel.
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