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Remembering Janet Lee Stevens, a Martyr for Palestinian Refugees

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Major-General Amir Drori, Chief of Israel's Northern Command: found not to have done enough to stop the massacre, a "breach of duty", recently was named as head of the Israeli Antiquities Commission.

Brigadier-General Amos Yaron, the divisional commander whose troops sealed the camps to prevent victims from escaping and helped direct the operation along with Sharon and Eitan was found to have" committed a breach of duty". He was immediately promoted Major-General and made head of Manpower in the army, served as Director-General of the Israeli Defense Ministry and Military Attaches at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. He is currently working for various Israeli lobby groups as a scholar in "think thanks'.

Elie Hobeika, the Chief of Lebanese Forces Intelligence, who along with Sharon master-minded the actual massacre, fell out with the Phalange in 1980s under suspicion that he was involved in killing their leader, Bachir Gemayal.
He defected to the Syrians, acquired three Ministerial posts in post-civil war Lebanon Governments, including Minister of the Displaced (many thought he know a lot about this subject) of Electricity and Water, and in 1996, Social Affairs.

On January 24, 2002, twenty years after his involvement at Sabra-Shatila he was blown up in a car bomb attack in East Beirut. Two of his associates who were also rumored to be planning to "come clean' regarding Sharon's role were assassinated in separate incidents. A few days before Hobeika's death he stated that he might reveal more about the massacre and those responsible and according to Beirut's Daily Star staff who interviewed him, Hobeika told them that his lawyers had copies of his files implicating Sharon in much more than had become public. These files are now is the possession of his son who, following Sharon's death, may release the files.

They still remember you in Burj al Barajneh camp. A few weeks ago, one old man told me: "Janet Stevens? No, I didn't know her. He paused and then said, Oh!..you mean Miss Janet! She spoke Arabic"I think she was American. Of course I remember her! We called her the little drummer girl. She had so much energy. She cared about the Palestinians. That was so long ago. She stopped coming to visit us. I don't know why. How is she?"

And so, Dearest Janet, I will be waiting for you at Sabra-Shatila , at Martyrs Square, on Saturday, September 15, 2007.

You will find me patting and mumbling to that old yellow dog. He and I have become friends and we will pay our respects to the dead and I will reflect on these past 25 years and we will watch for and wait for you. You will find us behind the straggly rose bushes on the right as you enter.

Come to us, Janet. We need you. The camp residents need you, one of their brightest lights, on this 25th anniversary of one of their darkest hours. You were always their mediator and advocate"and until today you are their majorette for Justice and Return to their sacred Palestine.

Forever, Franklin

Janet Lee Stevens was born in 1951 and died on April 17, 1983, at the age of 32, at the instant of the explosion which destroyed the American Embassy in Beirut.

Twenty minutes before the blast, Janet had arrived at the Embassy to meet with US A.I.D. official Bill McIntyre because she wanted to advocate for more aid to the Shia of South Lebanon and for the Palestinians at Shatila and Burj al Burajneh camps, stemming from Israel's 1982 invasion and the September 15-18 massacre.

As they sat at a table in the cafeteria, where she had planned to ask why the US government has never even lodged a protest following the Israeli invasion or the Massacre, a van stolen from the Embassy the previous June arrived and parked just in front of the Embassy, almost directly in front of the cafeteria.

It contained 2,000 pounds of explosives. It was detonated by remote control and tons of concrete pancaked on top of Janet and Bill, killing 63 and wounding 120.

Janet worked with Amnesty International until the time of her death.
She moved to Lebanon two years before her death from Tunisia and her passion was to become a successful investigative journalist. She worked in Lebanon at "Monday Morning" magazine and she left the magazine following the June 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. She also worked during this periods as a free lance reporter and as an assistant to Japanese journalist "Arata", a reporter for "Asahi" magazine in Beirut. During this same period she wrote reports for the news agency "Al Quds Press" as well as European and American journals.

Janet was hired by "Al Kifah Al Arabi" magazine to write in depth reports a few days before she died. The magazine describes her as very faithful to the Arab cause and especially the Palestinian struggle as is clearly evidenced in her reports published in the German and American media. Janet became the inspiration for John Le Carre's lead character in the book and later movie, "The Little Drummer Girl."

Remains of Janet's body were found two days following the Embassy explosion, unidentified in the basement morgue of the American University of Beirut Hospital by the author. She was pregnant with our son, Clyde Chester Lamb III. Had he lived he would be 24 years old. Hopefully taking after his mother he would, no doubt, be a prince of a young man.

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Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)
 

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