June 12th, 2004

shatila

With the recent assassinations of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin e.o., Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has once again dropped his mask and shows us the face of a war criminal, which qualification without any doubt also applies to Yasser Arafat, both deserve each other.

Yasser Arafat, the revolutionary who failed as a leader the Palestinian people during the Camp David Summit in July 2000 as a result more discontent, confrontation and continued occupation since the Oslo accords.

The provocative visit to the Table Mount on September 28, 2000 by Sharon as leader of the Israeli opposition was unwise and a further step towards escalation by both sides. Arafat’s refusal to restrain Palestinian militants was irresponsible as was Ariel Sharon heavy-handed response as Prime Minister since 2001 which caused thousands of casualties.

History will be unkind to both men when looking at them.

But having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that with this form of state terrorism, targeted killing of opponents, Prime Minister Sharon will inherit the wind of his policies. But in the future others will follow suit and used targeted killing of opponents as an instrument or suppression.

The more terrorism is stimulated, the more it becomes a never-ending cycle of violence. It also shows the complete failure of the Middle East policy of the Bush administration.

It is an illusion to think that the Israeli army can stop the resistance against the more then 35-year occupation which has become permanent. It’s an illusion to think as Avi Pazner, the Israeli spokesmen, claimed after the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin that these terrorist acts by Israel will benefit the stability in the Middle East and give moderates in Hamas a chance. Nothing will be achieved by turning to more massive violence, by turning to targeted killings, which is a form of and the start of State terrorism.

The slogan of Sharon “to root out terror is a vain illusion as is his so called victory elusive, only diplomatic negotiations like the “Geneva accords” can bring a solution.

It is obvious that the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has corrupted Israel and is no less flagrant a violation of the Security Council than the war in Iraq is, showing the double standard of the Bush administration.

George W Bush famously called Ariel Sharon “this man of peace” but he is nothing of this sort. There is a  consistent thread in Sharon’s career both as a soldier and as a politician to use brute force, not just against the regular armies of the Arab states, but also against Palestinian civilians.

Sharon committed his first war crime as a young major in 1953 as commander of Unit 101 responsible for the massacre of Qibya, a small village in Jordan, where 69 people were slaughtered; of which 50 were women and children. But it was not the last war crime for which he was never held fully responsible.

The same Ariel Sharon who in 1982 as defence minister  in Menachem Bergin’s government and  architect of the invasion of Lebanon was after a four-month in 1983 held personally responsible by the “Kahan” Commission for failing to prevent the massacre 16-18 September 1982 by the anti-Palestinian Phalangists in the refugee camps camps of Sabra and Shalita.

The Israeli forces enabled the atrocities while guarding and watching the camps and firing flares to aid the attacks at night.  The massacre took three days and when the militias finally left the camp leaving the camps there were 1,700 dead, although the “Kahan” report said the mission turned out to be indiscriminate massacre of about 700-800 children, women and elderly innocent Palestinians who inhibited the camps.”

It’s remarkable that the guilty avoided responsibility and although Ariel Sharon was deemed unfit as minister of defence and forced to resign he became later Prime Minister of Israel. This testifies to the fact that Israel has corrupted itself morally.

It has always been Sharon his quest to end the Palestine / Israeli peace process in order to facilitate a “greater Israel” strategy, according to  some the “Promised Land” extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.”

During the last three years of the intifada we see war atrocities taken place in the occupied territories under his responsibility. But this is hardly surprising if we look at the history of Sharon, what has been happening over the last years is only a confirmation Sharon is a man of war, who uses diplomacy to achieve his military goals.

There can be only one conclusion, “Israel has the right to exist within its own borders, defend itself, but the Palestinian people have suffered long enough under Israeli occupation, and they deserve their own Palestinian State.”

 WJJH

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