NEW YORK (Aug. 4)
A Jerusalem-based Christian author and lecturer who recently returned from a four of south Lebanon which included discussions with Lebanese Christians and Moslems in the region, reported that an overwhelming majority of the population welcomed the Israeli military operation to rid south Lebanon of the occupation of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
While asserting that the PLO, in accordance with an agreement set forth in 1973, was to operate only a political office in Beirut with a small military presence in Lebanon, Lance Lambert said in a recent interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” program that the PLO had “literally taken over” south Lebanon. He would describe only as “horror stories” the atrocities by the PLO related to him by persons living in south Lebanon.
“When the Israelis went into Lebanon, they found 500 tanks–T-62s, T-55s–these are not the most obsolete (Soviet-made) tanks” he declared on the broadcast program which is syndicated to 150 stations nationwide. “What was a terrorist organization or a political organization doing with 500 tanks?”
According to Lambert, who is the author of three books and is based at the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, the huge arm caches found by the Israel Defense Force were capable of arming some 200,000 fighters. Lambert said that the PLO was in the process of organizing by the fall of this year a “volunteer army” to join the Palestinian army with recruits from North Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Iran and elsewhere. “The invasion…has just saved Israel in time,” he declared.
SAYS PLO ‘USED’ CIVILIANS
The author and lecturer claimed, as have Israeli officials since the “Peace for Galilee” campaign began June 6, that the PLO had carefully placed their military armaments inside civilian centers, including the basements of mosques, hospitals, schools and medical clinics, “endangering the civilian population of Lebanon…In fact, they have used the civilians, including the Palestinian people, as hostages,” he said.
Lebanon and its capital, Beirut, Lombert claimed, “was the world center for KGB training for terrorist subversion.” He said that camps run under the auspices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were terrorist training centers for groups like the Bader-Meinhof gang, the Japanese Red Army, the Italian Red Brigade and anti-Basque terrorists.
These charges have also been made by experts studying the international terrorist network and by Israeli officials who have provided evidence to this effect. Lambert charged that the UNRWA “knowingly” acceded to the fact that Palestinian refugee camps were being used as terrorist centers.
According to Lambert, he did not find many Lebanese–Druze, Moslem and Christians–who did not welcome the Israeli military operation. While he did point out that not everyone was over-joyed that Israel was occupying Lebanon, fearing that the Israelis may remain longer than anticipated, Lambert said the majority of people he spoke with felt relieved that the PLO was out of south Lebanon. He said that some even suggested Israel “finish the job,” referring to a possible invasion by Israel of west Beirut to wipe out the PLO remnant trapped in the capital.
On the issue of a destination for the Palestinian terrorists trapped in west Beirut, Lambert said it appears, for good reasons, that many countries may not welcome their presence. He charged that the PLO “are not just freedom fighters….they are prepared to kill, and rope and assault and steal…” He asked rhetorically; “Why do not the Western nations that are doing so much to try to save them, why don’t they offer asylum to them?”
ASSAULTS DOUBLE STANDARD AT UN
Lambert also noted the double standard that prevails at the United Nations. He pointed out that when Syrian President Hafez Assad ordered the the bombardment of Syria’s third largest city, Hamma, where anti-Assad forces had taken over, there never was a resolution in the UN condemning the 10-day action or a discussion of civilian casualties. The bombardment, he recalled, took the lives of 30,000 people, including children.
“It seems only when Israel does anything is there enormous discussion and resolution after resolution,” he said, adding: “It is a very strange thing.”
The Christian Broadcasting Network, a Virginia Beach-based operation, has outlets to 3,200 cable systems in the U.S. and the international 700 Club is broadcast on radio and television in some 20 countries, according to a network spokesperson.