"If we thought that instead of 200 dead there, that 2000 dead would end
this whole issue and that at once everything would end, then we would use
much more force." Barak, Prime Minister of Israel Washington Post Nov 17,
"They should be expelled; their homes destroyed."
Sharon (Yediot, 7/3/88), speaking of Israeli Arabs
Infuriated that Barak had not killed enough Palestinians, the Israelis
have seen fit to intensify their brutal military occupation of the West
Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Once again, they have elected another war
criminal to the office of Prime Minister. Their partners in crime, the
Israeli Lobby has already rolled out a marketing plan for selling Sharon.
After all, they have a track record of successfully selling Begin and Shamir,
men who came to office with their own long list of felonies.
Given the increasing clout of Rupert Murdoch, there is every cause for
the Israeli propagandists to believe that Sharon can be sanitized enough
for public display. The Fox network has been pitching him as an ex-Defense
Minister and war hero. Murdochs Daily Post recently arranged a major
reception for Sharon in New York. While the New York Times is repackaging
him as the next De Gaulle, a grandfatherly type who romps through bucolic
fields of clover with his grand kids. It should also be noted that a number
of American media consultants have played a crucial part in reincarnating
Sharon as a potential rival to Mother Theresa.
The Israelis and their career apologists may once again win these public
relations wars. The media instruments they have in hand can be tuned to
play at a very high decibel, one that can drown out any resistance to their
message. As I write this, the rumor is that Murdoch is teaming up with
Bill Gates to form a global mega media empire. That should be quite useful
in glossing over Sharons blood stained history at Qibya and Sabra
and Shatila. Then there is the old reliable Ted Turner, the new owner of
the United Nations, whose ex-wife Jane Fonda was vile enough to entertain
Sharons troops while they slaughtered Palestinians and Lebanese in
1982. Hanoi Jane finally made it up to the guys in khaki, albeit in another
countrys occupation army.
After securing the American and Israeli market, the Israelis dont
give a rats ass about world public opinion. They covet Palestinian
real estate not beauty prizes.
The only problem is that Sharons "new and improved"
image stands a zero chance of finding buyers on the Arab Street. This is
a market that could not even stomach the excessive brutality of Barak and
Shimon Peres. Long after Israelis rebrand Sharon as "an old soldier
transformed into a messiah of peace", those who have been the victims
of his criminality will not forget or forgive. Indeed, a whole generation
of Israelis will be left to explain how they came to elect this notorious
war criminal in a free and fair election. Of six million Israelis, who
all posed as "peace partners", they chose this dangerous "serial
arsonist". The obvious intent is to abandon the now defunct Oslo peace
process and move to an aggressive Sharon style pacification program. The
restless natives in the colonies will be made to bow to the iron
fist of the thugs in the Israeli army.
The difference between a pacification program and a peace process is
not immediately apparent to American "journalists". Every Israeli
apologist can sell either strategy as a "peace offering". The
American media will sooner or later have to calibrate their equipment to
sanitize Sharons future crimes, while simultaneously burying his
old record of atrocities.
Despite the reach of Rupert Murdochs News Corps and Bill Gates
Microsoft, the attempts to sanitize Sharon will not be easily digested
in Western Europe or the broader Islamic world. Scenes from the four day
massacre at Sabra and Shatila and accounts of the slaughter at Qibya will
be played endlessly to a very wired world. And every Arab will internalize
the sight of joyous Israelis dancing over the memories of Sharons
victims. Whatever small inroads the Israelis have made with the mainstream
of the Arab road have been washed away without a trace. After the election
of Sharon, every Israeli is a "Sabra and Shatila" Israeli. One
out of two Israelis had no problems with electing this cruel and reckless
murderer of men, women and children. What a country! What a people! What
unrestrained and unabashed bigotry! Forget about explaining it to the Arabs,
Israelis will first need to explain it to their kids. They should remember
that Hitler was also voted into power. This was not a referendum on peace.
This was a referendum on the level of Zionist racism that still beats within
the bosom of almost every Israeli, including many of the "peaceniks"
on the left.
The Israelis, in their characteristic national chauvinism, have gone
from the million who marched to protest Sharons murderous invasion
of Lebanon to dancing over the graves of the Palestinians and Lebanese
who were mercilessly eradicated during the "Peace for Galilee"
campaign. One can only hope that Sharon will be treated as a pariah in
the West. To do otherwise would send a clear message to the vast majority
in the Middle East and Islamic world that Americans and Europeans share
Israels callous indifference to the events that took place at Sabra
and Shatila and Qibya.
Sharon should be treated like Pinochet, Haider, Waldheim, Milosovic,
Qaddafi and Saddam. The international community must move swiftly to contain
his expansionist plans and provide immediate physical protection to the
Palestinians living under occupation. It is also time for Yasser Arafat
and those around him to make room for a more robust and legitimate Palestinian
leadership that can confront a more belligerent Israel under the rule of
Sharon. Arafat is a pathetic loser who has left his people vulnerable to
Sharons vulture tactics. For him to extend a hand to Sharon is to
dishonor the memory of all the Palestinians, who have been killed, maimed
and brutalized by Sharon and his army.
The election of Sharon is George Bush and General Powells first
foreign policy blunder. They should have alerted the Israeli public to
the consequences of electing a notorious war criminal. The fact that they
are mouthing the old tired platitudes about Israel as a "strategic
ally and friend" should sound the alarm bells in the Middle East.
Let no one in the Middle East mistake the amount of racism and religious
bias that is casually thrown into the mix when cooking up American foreign
policy. Consider this little clue about the extent of Israeli Lobby influence
in tailoring American policy to Israeli ambitions; Dennis Ross, the "American
mediator", has just gone back to his old digs at the AIPAC-affiliated
Washington Institute for Near East Policy. No doubt his position at State
will be filled by a "Republican" AIPAC affiliated Zionist operative.
Since the Gulf War, the Arab leaders appear to be in a state of permanent
stupor. They have a been rolled over too many times by the slick boys at
the State Department. At a minimum, they should request that all future
American envoys be screened for any actions in their past that hint of
racism, religious bigotry or adherence to Zionist ideology.
If the Israelis can demand an get an American ambassador on loan from
AIPAC, every Arab country should demand an Arab-American envoy.
The problem is that there is no welcome mat for Arab-Americans at the
State Department, certainly not those who have been active in promoting
Palestinian rights. The Jewish lobby has completely infiltrated the ranks
of the State Department. It is an open secret that trained professionals
at the State Department have constantly been shoved aside in favor of political
appointees from the Israeli Lobby. When an Arab leader bows to an American
envoys arm-twisting; he is bowing down to Barak, Sharon and the Jewish
Lobby. Want to know why Turkey values its relationship with Israel so much?
Just to have access to the State Department and Congress through the good
offices of the Jewish Lobby.
If the Arab leaders do not have the fortitude to stand up to Americas
indifference to Sharons Israel, they will be manipulated like fools
for the duration of this Administration, and lose whatever legitimacy they
retain. If they dont play hardball, they can be certain the Israeli
Lobby will spare no efforts to promote Sharons agenda with the new
administration. The New York Times has already put Powell on notice about
the potential trouble that can emerge from the AOL/TIME/WARNER scandal.
The General was on the board of AOL and his son was on the FCC commission
that approved the merger. It was old news, made new, for future leverage
on Israels behalf. No doubt, General Powell took notice of that warning
from Sulzberger. They have a nice little file on the General, all ready
to go. Powell knows it. The New York Times knows it. They will pull it
out when Sharon needs it.
George Bush is inclined to be a domestic president who cuts taxes, hands
out school vouchers and promotes faith-based soup kitchens. He is desperate
for Murdochs boys at FOX to continue agitating for his domestic agenda.
That also explains why there will be no FCC investigation of Murdochs
deals with the Chinese government to manipulate content in exchange for
access to Chinas huge market.
In unison, all the different players that make up the Israeli Lobby
are selling the line that America should disengage from the Middle East
and let Sharon have his way with the Palestinians. Instead of the peace
of the brave, the Palestinians will be offered the peace of the grave.
They argue that the Palestinians deserve harsher treatment because they
dared to hold onto their precious right to return. If the Palestinians
dont like the level of violence inflicted by the Baraks thugs,
let them get a taste of Sharons thugs. No more "generous"
offers for the Palestinians. If the Palestinians turned down Baraks
miserly offerings, Sharon will not even make an offer. That will teach
The American press is in a truly ugly mood, what with all the cutbacks
at CNN. When it comes to the Palestinians, the uglier their mood, the heftier
the paycheck that Murdoch and Turner will sign. It also makes for secure
employment. They will "spin" this story till the American audience
cant differentiate between Sharon the war criminal and Sharon the
warrior king decimating Palestinian "criminals and terrorists".
They will parse it out in confusing 30-second "news" segments
and clever sound bites. And they will make appeals to the lowest instincts
of Americans by serving them an ample portion of inciteful anti-Arab bigotry.
Get ready for a blizzard of a snow job to sanitize Sharon by demonizing
The only possible savior for the Palestinians is a robust Arab and European
repudiation of Sharon and his criminal past. America will need to be roped
to the bandwagon when there is no other recourse. All that song and dance
about how Sharon has changed is of no consequence. He is a war criminal
and he should be treated as one. The endless years of willful denial about
Milosovics crimes should serve as a recent reminder that appeasement
of Israeli intransigence will only serve to prolong the agony of their
It will be very instructive to watch the Jewish lobby and the media
titans as they go about the task of sanitizing Sharon the war criminal,
canonizing Barak the assassin and demonizing their Palestinian victims.
They must be having a few bitter cups of coffee in the cafes of Vienna
and wandering why every Austrian was made to pay a price for the xenophobic
antics of Haider and Waldheims war time service in Nazi occupied
Greece. Pinochets lawyers must be reworking the defense strategy
with a new "what about Sharon?" twist. In Belgrade, Milosovic,
currently under house arrest, must be pleading with Kostunica to also use
a "Sharon" alibi instead of handing him over to the Hague. Every
war criminal in the world must be sleeping easy, knowing that Sharons
election sets a legal and political precedent that overturns all the gains
made in the last decade at delivering justice to war criminals.