Ariel Sharon: the epitome of Zionist legacy
February 16, 2001
“Truth is a first casualty of every conflict in the global theater.”
Recently, there were two quite opposite editorials in the South Korean mainstream media on the Israeli election of Ariel Sharon for the Prime Minister: the Korea Times editorialized under the title “Worrisome Mideast Peace Situation” that the hawkish general’s ascent to power forebodes a serious threat to the peace process in the region.
On the other hand, the Korea Herald, a lapdog newspaper that overwhelmingly supports the overall policies of the South Korean government, has paint a picture of hopes under the banner of “New hopes for Mideast peace” that the former general may induce Palestinian concessions with the strong arm tactics.
However, both newspapers agreed on the prevailing assumption of the Western mainstream media that the defeated Prime Minister, Ehud Barak’s was too generous to Palestinians in his concessions on many issues that brought on his own demise and the Palestinian Authorities were so headstrong not to accept the generous Israeli offers that the peace talk has to start from zero point again.
Generally speaking, when people usually focus only on the political rhetoric that their political leaders proffer and news media parrot about it, the picture people get of the conflict is severely distorted and true fact sits in the backseat, becoming a first casualty.
Let us find out the truth that the media won’t or can’t tell the people.
1. Who is Ariel Sharon?
Under international law, Ariel Sharon could be indicted for crimes against humanity, as in the cases of General Pinochet of Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, General Chun and Roh in South Korea.
Just as Zionist news media in the West began practicing selective amnesia regarding Ariel Sharon’s past, the South Korean media tried to play down the historical records of the General’s horrible war crimes.
The first documented crime against humanity has occurred in August of 1953 when the Unit 101 of the underground military organization commanded by Sharon raided Qibya, a West Bank village, massacring more than 60 men, women and children in execution style and then dynamited all of houses, a school, and a mosque. According to Time magazine report, the cries of the dying could be heard amidst the explosions.
The second atrocity by Sharon took place during Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, when he was Defense Minister. Two Israeli reporters describing the seizure of Beirut by Israeli Defense Force offer evidence of Sharon’s direct responsibility: in June 1982, Sharon told officers that Palestinian neighborhoods in Beirut should be utterly destroyed even though they contained some 85,000 civilians. Sharon ordered to his officers that not a single terrorist neighborhood should be left standing.
The infamous massacres at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut was the third case that occurred on September 16 to 18 1982. The Falangists, an Israeli-allied Christian Lebanese militia were ordered by Sharon to mop up and destroy resistance in the Palestinian camps as Israeli forces stood guard surrounding the camps laughing and joking while the cries of 800 women and children filled the air.
During the Israeli occupation of Lebanon between 1982 to May 2000, Israelis have lost over 900 young men and women of its military forces and there were over 20,000 casualties among Lebanese and Palestinian civilians.
In February 1983, an Israeli commission of inquiry ruled that Sharon bore “indirect responsibility for the massacres
Sharon hobnobbed with many dictators around the world such as late President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and CIA stooge, Jonas Savimbi of Angola guerilla.
After he was relieved of Defense Minister position, he continued to oppose any negotiated settlement with Arabs: he voted against the withdrawal of Israeli troops to the so-called security zone in South Lebanon in 1985. He opposed Israeli participation in the Madrid peace conference in 1991. Again in 1993, he voted against on the Oslo agreement in the Knesset.
As Begin’s minister of agriculture in the late 1970s, he established many of the West Bank settlements that are now a major obstruction to any peace deal.
2. Was Ehud Barak too generous to the Palestinians?
Take just one of critical issues in the peace process, the city of Jerusalem.
If any right-minded person ever tries to study the maps that shows what Barak offered to the Palestinian a sovereign state—95 percent of the West Bank, dividing Jerusalem, he or she would quickly comes to the conclusion there is no way the Palestinians would be able to give a consent to the deal…Jerusalem is not just a city but a region that encompasses 40 percent of the West Bank including large Palestinian towns and villages—Ramalla, Bethlehem, and others.
It was being transformed from a city into a larger region by the Israeli government in order for Israelis to divide the northern part of the West Bank from the southern part isolating Jerusalem’s Palestinian’s population from their neighboring people and to create a corridor from Telaviv to Amman, Jordan.
All of this separation ensures Israeli control over any Palestinian state that emerges as Bandustan form of non-contiguous states.
One of the Israeli government plans called E1, a.k.a. Plan 420/4 Ma’aleh Adumim (the Israeli settlement in the West Bank), effectively cut the West Bank in half which will prevent the free movement of Palestinians. (When they pass through the Israeli army checkpoints, they are subject to showing their Israeli-issued ID cards because they are crossing Israeli corridors and encampments.
The E1 plan was approved by former Defense Minister Moshe Arens, who is now, as a Sharon’s emissary to Bush-fils, in Washington, and Israelis build 1500 exclusively Jewish housing units, an industrial park, offices, entertainment and sport centers, 10 hotels, health and academic facilities, and a regional cemetery.
There has been the folly of believing among many people that Ehud Barak, Rabin, or Peres would be more dovish and moderate in settling the matters with Palestinians than Begin, Shamir, Netanyahu, or Sharon.
It is the basic requirement in comprehension of the Mideast peace process that Sharon represents the long-term policy of all Israeli governments, without any obscuring fluff or verbal ambiguity.
Make no mistake to understand that every Israeli government has condoned the settlements in the occupied territories and building around Jerusalem.
Under Rabin and Barak government, the settlement population has doubled from 150,000 in 1993 to 200,000 in 2000 since the Oslo accords were signed.
Israel was established through a military struggle to expel the Palestinians from the Palestine, and the state of Israel is based on an assertion of the ethnic and religious interests of Jews over Muslims.
Zionism, the principle of Jewish state, would never be able to reconcile with the democratic principle of equal rights for all its people.
Israeli people elected Ariel Sharon over Ehud Barak, not because Barak was giving up too much concessions to the Palestinians, but Sharon clearly adheres to the logic of Zionism that the land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael, is the most sacred entity no one dares to trash in any circumstances.
3. Is Uncle Sam an unbiased mediator?
Few believe the United States mediate with the good faith of balanced adjustment in the Mideast peace process that has been going on for more than half a century, except some incorrigibly optimistic media gurus and columnists, like George Will, Larry King, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw.
The US pretense of neutrality collapses miserably when one examines how much money Uncle Sam has been giving out to support and sustain the Israeli statehood for half a century.
It is common knowledge that the United States gives Israel $3 billion per year, $1.2 billion in economic aid and $1.8 billion in military aid, and the true figure is estimated with as high as $5.5 billion per year, which is buried in the budgets of other government agencies, mostly the Department of Defense.
According to the report from Congressional Research Service in October last year, cumulative aid to Israel from 1949 through the fiscal year 2000 amounts to $81.38 billion, although it does not include hidden funds.
In addition, the Service reported that from 1994 to 1998, Israel received $29 billion in waived loans and all the loans to Israel are as generally same as grants.
The amount of U.S. government loan guarantees to Israel was not included in above calculations.
The current US contingent liability for Israel loans is about $10 billion.
Israel whose population is 0.1 percent of the total world population gets roughly one-third of all US foreign aid.
In addition to over $5 billion aid package per year, Israel enjoys the benefits of special gifts like the Arrow Missile and Levi Fighter, totaling $1.3 billion.
US taxpayers must also pay interest on money borrowed for Israel’s grants, about $500 million per year.
Private donations are tax-deductible and total about $1 billion annually.
This does not include the Israeli bonds sold in the US for $500 million each year.
Israel has spent hundreds of millions of US tax dollars importing Jews from across the world, confiscating Palestinian land and bulldozing their homes to make way for brand new settlements for the new arrivals, and these subsidized settlements are for poor working Israelis as an incentive for them to move into Palestinian areas.
These settlers are being used as pawns in peace negotiations.
Consider the fact that while the US Congress cut the welfare budget by $5.3 billions and school lunch programs were abandoned, the government gave out $5.2 billion for aid to Israel.
The US government had to use 90-something veto powers in the UN Security Council to support the Israeli government.
Patting Israel on the back while the rest of the world condemns Israel’s flagrant violations of human rights does not seem to bring any accolades from any countries but the terrorist’s attacks on US ships, embassies, personnel and properties.
Are there still some dimwits thinking that Uncle Sam is an honest mediator when their aids soaked with blood?
4. Does Sharon want a negotiated peace settlement?
It is widely perceived that Jewish people are the most contentious and argumentative ethnic group in the world regarding everything and anything except the sacred principle of Zionism.
There is an old joke about the Jew’s kvetchings related to the Yeshiva University rowing team…the team had a terrible record, and so they have dispatched a secret agent to Yale University to spy on their famous rowing team. On return, the agent said: you wouldn’t believe it! We’ve been doing it backwards! It’s supposed to be eight people rowing, and one shouting!
Israelis elected 120 members of 15 parties in the last parliamentary election, guaranteeing that no single party may be able to form the government.
As Ariel Sharon inherited a brittle body politics from Ehud Barak, it would be all but impossible for Sharon to remain in power without Labor’s (Barak and Peres) support, since Likud has just 19 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. (An elected Prime Minister has to form the government within 45 days after the winning of the position.)
Under the present political system, no elected PM from any single party is ever able to form a government without coalition between either fringe parties or opposition party and his own party.
Therefore, Ariel Sharon has no choice but to offer defeated Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres the positions of Defense Minister and Foreign Minister and formed a national-unity government, under the agreement that Sharon is not binding on the previous ideas that Barak raised with the Palestinian and he can start from zero point in the peace negotiation with them.
On the essential question of the settlements in the West Bank, they agreed on no new settlements but strengthen the existing one on the basis of natural growth.
On all other issues, they fudged, omitted, and agreed to drop any mention on the Jerusalem, sovereignty over the Temple Mount and Jordan Valley and a right of return for Palestinian refugees.
It is fascinating and amazing political maneuverings that the world politicians, including ever-quarrelling Arabs, wonder about the plausibility of forming a unity government among squabbling parties in Israel.
However, It is a cakewalk for Israeli politicians, since all of Israelis agree upon one thing: Peace through security and separation, us here, them over there, and in order to achieve their goal, they have eventually to either corral Arabs in the pig pens or expel them out to the Mediterranean.
Since the 1967 War, the Israeli politics are based on the defense of Zionist State, that was expanded with its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights, and every Israeli politician, Labor, Likud, or even left-leaning fringe party, has encouraged the Zionist settlers to take up residence on these occupied lands that become the social bedrock of contemporary ideology.
History testifies to the fact that David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Yitzhak Shamir, Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, and now Ariel Sharon, all of them have devoted themselves to achieve the same principle of Zionism.
The disputes among the Israeli politicians have always been of a tactical rather than a principled character…when Yitzhak Rabin had signed the 1993 Oslo Accords with Yasir Arafat, he was convinced that the future of Israel needs an eventual rapprochement with neighboring Arab world in order to gain access to regional and global market and make Israel a more attractive location for international investors.
These aims required some form of resolution to the Palestinian question, which allow the Palestinian a limited self-rule in the occupied territories that heavily relied economically upon and posed no military threat to Israel.
Oslo ‘land-for-peace’ accords collapsed because no Israelis wish to repudiate the exclusive and reactionary Zionism with its advocacy of a state based on ethnicity and religion and without any concern over the life support system of its neighboring people. .
Take Golan Heights issues for an examination…it is widely believed that Israel was willing to give it back to Syria if the security concerns were met. However, the fact of matter is that Israel refused to give back the final 10 yards that would restore Syrian access to the Sea of Tiberias (Israeli version of the Sea of Galilee), Israel’s largest fresh water reservoir.
Again, Israelis need settler encampments to watch over the Palestinian shoulder, not because they have no land to live.
It is apparent that Ariel Sharon’s ascent to power evidently bode ill for the peace negotiation in the Mideast, but of only tactical perspectives.
Since he does not want calling for a parliamentary election for some time (Bibi is waiting with a knife unsheathed), his Labor partners would make him to refrain from too radical and military approaches over the Palestinian issues.
For the Palestinians, there would be more frequent closure and ‘encirclement’, a new term to describe the siege laid on towns and villages in the territories. Closure prevents residents of Gaza and the West Bank from crossing into Israel, while encirclement keeps them from moving from one Arab village to another.
More Palestinian casualties and property damages would follow endlessly.
When new Prime Minister fails to crack down Palestinian Intifada, chances are Ariel Sharon would expand the conflict beyond the Golan Heights attacking Syria and Lebanon in order to show Israelis both his toughness and recklessness in preserving Zionism.