By Brenda Heard
A sadistic traitor to the Lebanese people, Antoine Lahad died of a heart attack on 10 September 2015.
The Israeli media is offering endearing tributes, calling him a “comrade in arms.”
But as head of the so-called South Lebanon Army, Lahad, with the help of his Israeli patrons, brutalized the Lebanese people for many years. He fled to Israel after the Liberation Victory of May 2000 and was later convicted of treason by Lebanese courts. Both human rights agencies and UNIFIL have documented the treacherous conduct of Lahad’s mercenary force, which worked together with the IDF: sniping, house demolitions, expulsions, abductions, arrests, torture, murder, enforced recruitment into the SLA, unprovoked and indiscriminate shelling and artillery fire.
Amnesty International, in October 1998, captures Lahad’s character succinctly:
“Since the late 1970s the Israeli Defence Forces [IDF] and the South Lebanon Army [SLA], a Lebanese militia armed and supported by Israel, have controlled an area of south Lebanon. Since 1984, after the death of its founder, Saad Haddad, the SLA has been led by Antoine Lahad.
Since 1985, Khiam Detention Centre has succeeded Ansar detention camp in southern Lebanon as the main interrogation and detention centre of the SLA in south Lebanon. Almost immediately afterwards, Amnesty International began to receive reports of systematic patterns of torture in Khiam, including the use of electric shocks and beatings with electric cables, often after detainees were soaked with water.”
Another AI report in 1999 describes the experience of a Lebanese national who was abducted by the SLA three years prior as having been
“punched and with clubs all over his body, including his testicles; being dropped several times onto a vertical stick, causing terrible pain to his lower body; interrogated while on a 10 centimetre high chair and forced to look into a bright light; being semi-starved and threatened with the death of his family or being branded a collaborator.”
Like the Israeli forces, however, Lahad lived on with impunity. This fact alone decries the failure of Lebanese—and indeed international—systems of law and justice.
The Jerusalem Post’s article on Lahad’s death concludes with a glowing commendation of Lahad from former IDF Northern Command Major General Yossi Peled. He states that “Israel owes him a tremendous moral debt due to his years-long contribution to the security of the residents of south Lebanon and northern Israel.”
Such warm camaraderie is a nauseating reminder of why the Resistance flourishes.
The box shown in the image above is one that was used at Khiam Prison, 1985—2000. Those being held by the SLA were forced to crouch in the box, sometimes for days. Guards would then bang on the metal box with clubs so as to impose a deafening noise on their victims.