Brigitte Gabrielle & The SLA
Brigitte Gabriel the only child of a successful Lebanese businessman and Government administrator cut her teeth in the world of anti-Islam propaganda rather fittingly in 1984 in Israel. According to her bio she was the host of “World News” on the Middle East Television (METV) Network. METV and it’s sister radio station “The Voice of Hope” were establised by right-wing Christian Evangelist George Otis and the TV wing was later passed onto the Christian-Zionist leader Pat Robertson.
Both channels were hosted in territory controlled by Israel’s proxy militia the South Lebanon Army (SLA) who operated out of South Lebanon which was under the command of Saad Haddad who took to the airwaves at the “Voice of Hope” — which was to become known as “Voice of Death” by Hadadd’s victims — to terrorize those in his firing line that there homes were about to be shelled
The SLA were Lebanese mercenaries who collaborated with their occupier, Israel, to provide a buffer inside Lebanese territory between Israel and Lebanon. According to eye-witnesses they were involved in many atrocities including in Sabra and Shatila and ran a notorious torture-prison in Khiam.
Thomas Friedman the New York Times Foreign correspondent reported from the scene of the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refuguees:
But there is ample circumstantial evidence that members of the Israeli-armed and trained militia of Maj. Saad Haddad and members of the Christian Phalangist militia – also known as the Lebanese Forces -were in the camps. Whether or not they were there under orders from Major Haddad or the Phalangist militiary and political leadership is not clear. The possibility of breakaway elements being involved cannot be ruled out at this point.
METV and Voice of Hope
The Ministry’s founder George Otis describes it’s founding:
In the mid 70’s, High Adventure Ministries’ founder, George Otis, had the opportunity to meet with many of the top political and military leaders in and around Israel. One unusual meeting involved Major Saad Haddad, the “George Washington” of southern Lebanon. While discussing ways he could help the Major in his ongoing battle against the vicious attacks from the PLO, a vision was birthed in George’s heart. The Major was wishing for a small radio transmitter to enable him to communicate with his beleaguered people to bring them hope… in the midst of all the devastation and death. Here is part of that conversation between George Otis and Major Haddad:
“Yes, I see what you mean. A little radio station could certainly be a great help to your people. But tell me Major, if we could somehow get the money together to do this, would you object if it weren’t a little radio station, but maybe a real big one?
The Major looked puzzled, “Why? What do you have in mind?”
“Well, how far is it from here to Jerusalem?”
“About a hundred miles.”
“Less than thirty miles over that mountain, Mount Hermon.”
“What about Beirut?”
“Maybe thirty-four miles,” he paused. “I think I am beginning to understand your thinking.”
“Major Haddad, your people are not the only ones here in the Middle East who are discouraged and troubled by the wars that seem to rage so endlessly in their midst. I’m thinking we could do something to give hope to your people, and, at the same time, convey a message – a Christian message – to all the people of this region… to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and to Israel. How about it?”
With that came the first little hint of a smile of gladness across Saad Haddad’s theretofore solemn face.
It was that divine meeting, and momentous handshake, that started the vision for a revolutionary new Christian radio station on the border of Israel and Lebanon. It was the birth of the Voice of Hope to so many who desperately needed it, in the war-torn Middle East.
Hezbollah liberated South Lebanon in 2000 leaving their mercenaries in the SLA to fend for themselves. Some fled to Israel, Hadadd’s daughter is now a scientist in Israel, METV now broadcast from Cyprus while Brigitte Gabriel ended up in the United States.