ON THE opposite page today, we publish an article prepared on the eve of his assumption of the Lebanese presidency by Amin Gemayel. One part of it requires, we believe, comment.
Mr. Gemayel, in the course of deploring the weekend massacre of Palestinian civilians, says that neither his Kataeb (Phalangist) party nor its members had any involvement or association with it. Nothing so far is on the public record to indicate that Mr. Gemayel or other competent Phalangist leaders had any role in what went on. Eyewitnesses have reported, however, that among the gunmen were militiamen in the familiar Phalange uniforms. In other contexts, Mr. Gemayel is reported to have acknowledged some participation by Phalangists and to have attributed it to individuals acting without orders or discipline. This explanation has been widely accepted by the Lebanese political community, which is, thankfully, eager to move on into a healing phase.
In offering this comment, we do not mean to pick a quarrel with Mr. Gemayel, who wrote this article at our request and who in any event is assuming a tremendous burden today. But at a moment when the kinds and degrees of responsibility for the tragedy at Sabra and Shatila camps are a matter of intense public debate, it seems only right to note that especially on this particular point of Mr. Gemayel's, there is more than one view.