George's Bumper Sticker Mythology
By Ahmed Amr
May 27, 2004
If George Bush genuinely believes he gets calls from God, who are we to say that God dialed the wrong number. America is still a free country and a man is free to believe what he wants to believe. Bush is entitled to his vision of the future, including Armageddon. But he is not entitled to have a peculiar vision of the past. As the great economist Galbraith would put it "the past is fixed cost". Even God does not change history. Such tasks are left to historians and journalists.
Which brings me to the most troubling part of a recent speech
the president made to AIPAC, one of the most lethal weapons in the arsenal of the Israeli lobby. Bush chose the occasion of Sharon's murderous assault on Rafah to deliver his warm praise for the Jewish State to the annual AIPAC conference. One of the lines in his sermon revealed his take on the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict. "The Israeli people have always had enemies at their borders and terrorists close at hand." Coming from a man who doesn't read newspapers, it indicates that he also doesn't read history books.
So, here is a little summary for our historically challenged chief executive of planet earth. Israel has four neighbors. Egypt long ago dispensed with Arab nationalism and the Palestinian cause and cut a separate peace deal that it has scrupulously honored. It was Israel that attacked Egypt in 1956 and 1967. The October war was fought on Egyptian soil to liberate Sinai from Israeli occupation. The Egyptian Army hasn't fired a single shot at Israeli forces since 1973. Once the Sinai was in Egyptian hands, Egypt fought no more forever. As for 1948, Egypt and the other Arab armies joined the fray only after the Israeli army had already ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Not a single Egyptian soldier has ever set foot beyond the armistice line of 1949.
Jordan also has a peace treaty with Israel. In fact, while Israel was slaughtering Palestinians in Rafah, the Jordanian government saw fit to sign a new trade agreement with Israel. After 1948, the 1967 war of expansion against the Arabs was the only war that Jordan ever fought against Israel. The Jordanian army did not even participate in the 1973 war. Rumor has it that King Hussein actually passed on intelligence to Golda Meir warning Tel Aviv that Egypt and Syria were about to launch a war to liberate their occupied territory.
Israel invaded Syria's Golan Heights in 1967. The Syrians made attempts to get it back in 1973. Since then, Syria has also abided by a cease fire agreement with Israel, despite repeated provocations by the Jewish state and despite the fact that Israel continues to occupy Syrian territory.
Lebanon never once fielded an army against Israel. But Israel spent a decade bombing Beirut and other Lebanese cities and invaded that country in 1978 and 1982. The IDF occupied the south of Lebanon for eighteen years until finally withdrawing after tenacious native resistance to the vicious occupation regime.
Since 1949, no regular Arab army has ever made an incursion against the boundaries recognized as Israeli land. Israel has never exactly delineated its borders because it still insists on its manifest right to acquire more Lebensraum. It is such ambitions that explain why Israel has invaded every one of its neighbors and has attempted to expand its borders by war and by planting settlements in Egypt's Sinai, the Gaza strip, the West Bank and Syria's Golan Heights.
Even George Bush knows that Israel is the only state in the Middle East that actually possesses nuclear weapons. Since it was founded on the rubble of the Palestinian homeland, Israel has always enjoyed military superiority against any combination of Arab armies. In the last three decades, that advantage has widened. In relative strength, Israel's neighbors pose no greater security threat to Israel than Mexico does to the United States. There is good reason why the surrounding Arab states have spent nearly four decades watching their Palestinian brethren suffer under Israeli guns. There is precious little they can do about it other than issue proclamations from the Arab League. Of late, they even seem to be having trouble publishing new declarations.
The 1967 war was a real estate acquisition operation as evidenced by the immediate rise of illegal Jewish settlements. Even in densely populated areas like the Gaza strip, a third of the land area was confiscated to accommodate a few thousand Jewish zealots. Policies were instituted to encourage Palestinians to leave their lands and to prevent them from ever returning. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the occupied territories joined the ranks of the refugees from the 1948 war. Land was confiscated for exclusive Jewish settlement, water resources stolen, homes demolished, building permits denied and draconian collective punishment enforced as the rule of law.
A maze of suffocating military checkpoints and the systematic destruction of basic infrastructure has suffocated the local population. Most recently, an Apartheid wall has been constructed to further restrict Palestinian movement and divide the West Bank into separate walled internment camps. Because of their size, these enclaves don't even qualify as Bantustans. The local economies have been deliberately sabotaged and even the education system has been targeted by lengthy forced shut downs of universities. Israeli occupation soldiers and border policemen routinely insult, beat and humiliate the native people. Arbitrary detention without trial is legal. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed, tortured and thrown into Israeli military prisons without trial.
Every one of these oppressive measures was directly financed by eight successive American administrations. The occupation is now in its 37th year. It is sobering to remember that most of the 3000 Palestinians killed in the latest Palestinian uprising lived and died under Israeli occupation without experiencing a single day of liberty in their short lives. We are now witnessing the resistance of a second generation of Palestinian rebels agitating for freedom against an Israeli Army that thinks nothing of strafing peaceful demonstrators with missiles. It is an Army that includes highly trained snipers who deliberately target children to demoralize the Palestinian resistance. While many in the United States disparage the Palestinian struggle for liberty, the rest of the world is in awe of the resilience of a Palestinian spirit that refuses to bow before one of the world's most formidable military machines.
Now here is one little chapter of the history of this conflict that even George should be very familiar with. Perhaps his idle mind can trot back a couple of years to the Beirut conference where the Arab leaders unanimously offered Israel not only peace but full recognition and normalized relations in exchange for an end to the subjugation of the Palestinians. Bush publicly pressured the rulers of his oil colonies to arrange for it. The Saudis obliged. Even Saddam went along. But Sharon continued to indulge his appetite for tormenting the Palestinians in the eternal Zionist hope that they would just vanish.
The notion that the Palestinians ever posed a serious military threat to Israel is not something that any rational mind would seriously consider. In the current Palestinian uprising for independence, the Israelis have killed and maimed Palestinians on a daily basis. It is a rare Palestinian family that does not suffer a scar inflicted by Israel. A significant percentage of Palestinian casualties are innocent civilians, including hundreds of women, children and male noncombatants.
The Palestinians have resorted to asymmetrical resistance as a deterrent against a ruthless earth scorching occupation army that operates at the leisure of one Ariel Sharon, a compulsive serial war criminal. It appears that Sharon, with the approval of most American Jews and the vote of most Israeli adults, has converted the IDF into a giant replica of unit 101. That was the name of the terrorist squad that Sharon commanded when he annihilated the village of Qibya in 1953. Rafah is but his latest war crime. This, after all, is the same Sharon of Sabra and Shatila infamy. It is the same Sharon who conducted the slaughter in Jenin and Nablus and Bethlehem and Gaza. It is the same Sharon that Bush has embraced as a 'man of peace'.
So, before George opens his big trap and pontificates on his vision of a 'Greater Middle East', he should consider buying a few books to brush up on the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I am sure it would please God to see George read a book. The President can begin by raiding the White House petty cash account and purchasing a little biography of Ariel Sharon. Otherwise he will continue embarrassing himself by mouthing the bumper sticker Zionist mythology that portrays the Israelis as victims and the Palestinians as aggressors.
Ahmed Amr is the editor of NileMedia.com. This article was written as an exclusive for www.axisoflogic.com. It can be reproduced with their permission.
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