Lessons from History: Israeli 1982 Invasion of Lebanon


Eqbal Ahmed's speech on the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon
16 Minutes
From the Pacifica Radio Archives.

Eqbal Ahmed on Israeli 1982 Invasion of Lebanon.

In June 1982, Israeli forces attacked southern Lebanon apparently in retaliation for an assassination attempt against the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Shlomo Argov and artillery attacks launched by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Operation Peace for Galilee would become the longest and most controversial military action in Israel's history. Today we are seeing another Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which many are observing is even more devastating than 1982. 

Weeks after the 1982 invasion began, a teach-in on the Middle East was held at a town hall in New York City. That teach-in featured Eqbal Ahmed on the Israeli aggression in Lebanon. Preserved over the years with public donations, and played for the first time since August 1982, presented here is an excerpt of Eqbal Ahmed's speech.


Eqbal Ahmad was born in Bihar, India in 1933. After the 1947 Indian partition he migrated to Pakistan. From 1960 to 1963, Ahmad lived in North Africa, working primarily in Algeria, where he joined the National Liberation Front and worked with Frantz Fanon. He was a member of the Algerian delegation to peace talks at Evian. When he returned to the United States, Ahmad taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Cornell University. It was during these years, that he became known as "one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of American policies in Vietnam and Cambodia". In 1971, Ahmad was indicted with the anti-war Catholic priests, Daniel and Phillip Berrigan, along with four other Catholic pacifists, on charges of conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kissinger.

A prolific writer and journalist, Eqbal Ahmad was widely consulted by revolutionaries, journalists, activist leaders and policymakers around the world. He was an editor of the journal Race and Class, contributing editor of Middle East Report and L'Economiste du Tiers Monde, co-founder of Pakistan Forum, and an editorial board member of Arab Studies Quarterly. According to Edward Said, Eqbal Ahmad was "that rare thing, an intellectual unintimidated by power or authority, a companion in arms to such diverse figures as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Richard Falk, Fred Jameson, Alexander Cockburn and Daniel Berrigan."

After retiring in 1997, he settled permanently in Pakistan, where he continued to write a weekly column, for Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English language newspaper. Eqbal died in Islamabad on May 11, 1999, of heart failure following surgery for colon cancer, diagnosed just one week before.

Source: Uprising - a daily radio program, produced at KPFK, Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles. It airs weekdays from 8-9 am PST at 90.7 fm Los Angeles and 98.7 fm Santa Barbara, California.


  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Conflicts And War, Eqbal Ahmad, Occupation, Pakistan
Views: 3351

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