Whenever the Beirut synagogue of Maghen Avraham is in the news, it is taken as 'Gospel truth' (if you'll forgive the mixed religious metaphor) that it was bombed by Israel after 1982. The assertion is commonly found all over the internet, and was repeated most recently in this Jewish Chronicle piece on the proposed restoration of the synagogue.
But the week after the article appeared, the newspaper published this letter from Joe Millis :
In an otherwise excellent piece about the Beirut synagogue (JC October 30) Josie Ensor stated that Israeli shelling in 1982 destroyed the synagogue. It did not. This was a claim made by Robert Fisk in his book, Pity the Nation. But the Shi'a group Amal occupied Wadi Abu Jamil, the former Jewish quarter, in 1982. At the time, Amal was very anti-Palestinian/anti-Syrian because its founder, Moussa Sadr, had been abducted by Palestinians on instruction from Damascus and was never seen again.
Now, of course, Amal, led by Nabih Beri is very pro-Syrian and works in the shadow of Hezbollah. But in 1982, the Israelis would not have shelled an area held by their then allies, Amal.
The question is, then: whodunnit?
Postscript: the debate is continuing on this anti-Zionist site. One commenter has produced 'evidence' of Israeli guilt: the 1982 report of the incident in the New York Times.
The newpaper quotes 'neighborhood residents, including Jewish families' said.." Well they would say that, wouldn't they? The residents have reverted to their cost-free default position of 'blame Israel.' For the Jewish residents, their lives probably depended on it.