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Hitler Comes to Life in Ariel Sharon
By Karamatullah K. Ghori
|Toronto: Ariel Sharon’s savage war on hapless Palestinians is making a mockery of the civilised world and international law. His tanks, hundreds of them, American-supplied Apache gunships and F-16s are wreaking horrendous terror on the ground and from the air on a people with only stones and brickbats to throw at Sharon’s marauding army. The Israeli ‘leader’ has gone totally berserk and taken leave of all his senses to perpetrate the kind of state terror that the world had not seen since Nazi Germany.
Sharon’s blood-soaked career as a failed soldier and mad politician has always been mired in vengeful blood-letting of the Palestinians. A psychopath killer and mass murderer, Sharon first shot to ‘prominence’ in October 1953 when, as a young major in the Israeli army, he led the raid on the Jordanian village of Qibya, demolished 45 houses and slaughtered 69 civilians. He repeated that performance at a much larger scale as Defence Minister in 1982 in Lebanon which he invaded to drive PLO out of there. He personally directed the butchering of more than 5 hundred Palestinian refugees in one night alone in Sabra and Shatila camps, earning the sobriquet of the “ Butcher of Beirut.”
But what Sharon is doing currently in the West Bank as Prime Minister pales all his previous ‘achievements’ against the Palestinians into insignificance. He is putting Hitler to shame by his cold-blooded savagery.
Sharon is a zionist to his bone marrow. He came to power to dismantle both the Oslo accord and the Palestinian Authority of Yasser Arafat because both stood opposed to his lunatic dream of a Greater Israel from River Jordan to the sea, at the very least, if not spanning both banks of Jordan. He created a situation to foment unrest and agitation that would catapult him to power by brazenly setting his dirty feet on the sacred grounds of Al Quds Al Sharif on September 28, 2000 which unleashed the second—current—Palestinian Intifada in protest. In so doing, Sharon borrowed a leaf from his role-model Hitler who had the German Parliament Building, the Reichstag, torched in 1933 to create an alibi to impose his dictatorship on Germany.
Sharon came to power within a month of George W. Bush entering the White House. The two have a lot in common with each other, especially in their inveterate hatred of the Arabs in particular and the Muslims in general. The Junior Bush gave Sharon an early green light to put teeth into his plans of hounding Arafat and his Palestinians. September 11 came as the biggest bonanza in Sharon’s vile career. He acquired a weapon against the Palestinians closest to his heart and that of Bush, too. He made the fullest use of it to brand the Palestinian struggle for emancipation from Israeli yoke as a terrorist campaign, in cahoots with Bush’s own open-ended ‘war against terrorism.’ Since that day, Sharon has not looked back, nor paused in his ruthless and relentless persecution of the Palestinians.
Why is Sharon so single-mindedly bent on destroying the Palestinian presence on the west bank is no secret. There is no place for them in Sharon’s Biblical vision of a Greater Israel. Therefore, he wants to uproot the Palestinian systematically by creating facts on the ground that may be hard to reverse.
The first reality for Sharon is the permanence of Jewish settlements on lands expropriated from the Palestinians. His Likud party was the proponent of settlements and he, as Housing Minister in the early 90s in Ishaq Shamir’s government, became the principal architect of their enormous expansion. His opposition to the Oslo process is steeped as much in his determination to preserve these illegal settlements, as in his abhorrence to any role for PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians, and Arafat its leader.
Yasser Arafat is Sharon’s old nemesis whom he tried to destroy, and failed, in the botched Lebanese invasion of 1982. Arafat not only survived Sharon’s onslaught but became stronger and more popular as a result of it. Hence Sharon’s blind rage to destroy Arafat and his Palestinian Authority( PA) in the current operation. Sharon thinks that by finishing off Arafat he will snuff out PA. That, in his myopia, should drive the bulk of Palestinian population from the occupied lands, leaving only those who would be meekly content to accept whatever little patches of land he throws at them as small, and disjointed, Bantustans. His settlements would make sure that the Palestinians never pose a problem to an aggrandizing Israel.
No wonder Sharon and his vandals in the army are using barbarity that puts even the Gestapo to shame.
Yasser Arafat has been made a prisoner in a windowless office. Every vestige of his PA is being decimated with unprecedented vengeance and savagery. Ramallah, Qalqiliya, Tulkaram, Nablus, Hebron—all major centres of Palestinian urbanity on the west bank have been attacked, laid siege to, and put under curfew indefinitely, to terrorise the civilians and duck-shoot the freedom fighters. It is not a concern of Sharon or his lieutenants if these harrowed civilians starve to death without food and water. And yet Sharon claims that he and his people are descendants of those who survived the Holocaust. The holocaust he is unleashing on his quarries is no concern of his.
Hospitals have been shelled and assaulted by gun fire and rockets. Ambulances have been torched. The wounded have been forced to bleed to death while ambulances and paramedics routinely denied access to them. Even pregnant women have been prevented, at gun point, from being taken to maternity homes to deliver their babies.
Mosques and churches have been profaned and desecrated by inebriated Israeli soldiers who see themselves as soldiers of David. But they are, in reality, behaving like soldiers of Goliath. Even the sacred Church of Nativity, the birth place of Jesus Christ, has not been spared; one of its portals was blown to pieces by Israeli shells. Priests and other church people, venerated by Palestinians of all shades, have been rudely shoved and kicked by arrogant soldiers of Sharon.
Neta Golan is an Israeli peace activist and one of those courageous 40 humanists who have thrown a human shield around Arafat to protect him in his inhumane and uncivilised incarceration at the hands of Sharon. She encapsulated the situation most succinctly. Lamenting the apathy of the civilised world at Sharon’s brutality she posed a direct question : how many more violations of international law and civilised conduct by Sharon would it take for the world to come to its senses and stop this horrible reincarnation of Hitler.
But Sharon could not care less for all the chest-beating or caviling by inconsequential humanists or peace activist as long as he has the unqualified support of his “ committed friend “ ( as per Bush’s own admission ) continually upholding him to ‘ fight terrorism in self-defence.’ Sharon has been buoyed and galvanized in his brutality against the Palestinians because to him and his mentor in the White House the Palestinians are all terrorists, and thus worthy of being treated the way Bush has meted out ‘ justice’ to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
It is an incontrovertible fact of history that between the three of them—the father ( Bush Sr.), the son ( Bush Jr.) and the unholy ghost ( Sharon )—they have shed more Muslim and Arab blood in the past 20 years than in all the centuries since the Crusades. More than a million Iraqis alone have been killed like insects by history’s most oppressive sanctions to which Iraq is still being subjected, continually for the 12th year, at the insistence of US.
But just as in the case of Iraq, where the American propagandists insist the Iraqis are dying because of Saddam Hussein, here too Bush is adamant that Yasser Arafat has invited Sharon’s wrath upon himself and his people. This is justice, Bush style; justice that he would like the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims all over the world to accept without demur, or else they would be branded terrorists and become fair game.
In his belated call demanding an end to Sharon’s blind fury against the Palestinian cities and civilians, Bush has characteristically berated Arafat for failing to halt his people’s ‘terrorism’ against ‘ innocent Israelis.’ He still expected a cornered, humiliated and wantonly persecuted Arafat to rein in his uprooted and hounded people. But not a word of condemnation from Bush for his friend Sharon; all that the latter is doing is kosher and ‘legitimate’ in ‘ self-defence.’
Such an unabashed partisanship and camaraderie for Sharon does not augur well for Colin Powell’s trouble-shooting mission.
First, it has come too late. And yet its pace is being kept deliberately sluggish in order to afford all the time to Sharon to finish the task he set out to achieve, i.e. scorching the Palestinian lands and slaughtering as many Palestinians as possible.
Second, Powell has nothing to offer the Palestinians as an incentive. His mission is only to arrange a cease-fire so that Sharon may pull his army out of the Palestinian cities in triumph without having offered any concessions to the Palestinians. This will neither halt suicidal bombings nor keep Sharon’s colonial ambitions in check.
For Bush the catalyst to jog him into belated action, and show some concern for the Palestinians, is still his diabolical plan to torch Iraq in the second phase of his war on terrorism. While his friend Sharon continues to make hell on earth for the oppressed Palestinians, Bush would be getting together at his Texas ranch with his buddy, Tony Blair of Britain, who is his sole European mate to share his macabre fixation on Iraq. The Texas meeting is still expected to plot a joint Anglo-American strategy to unleash terror against Iraq, as soon as possible—perhaps as early as summer this year.
And yet despite all that sophistication and wizardry that Israel, US and Britain may have in weapons and hi-tech gadgetry, their leaders do not know how to combat the phenomenon of suicidal bombing. The supine establishment journalists and columnists in US, who take a special delight in robustly baiting the Muslims and the Arabs, are describing these ‘human bombs’ as the latest threat of terrorism against their western civilisation. And Israel is, indeed, an extension of their western civilisation. Hence their mounting concern and angst that Israel does not have, and will not have, an answer to, or defence against, these ‘human bombs.’ The phenomenon has already raised the price of occupation of Palestinian lands for the Israelis; 125 of them were killed in March alone in suicidal bombings.
One is equally at a loss to explain the continuing and appalling apathy of Arab rulers and leaders to the daily and hourly spectacle of Sharon’s brutal carnage of innocent Palestinians. And yet the desensitised Arab leaders would not go an inch beyond issuing only hackneyed and stereotyped condemnation of Israel; that too under intense pressure from their people. The Arab rulers’ galling inaction is like the proverbial silence of the lambs. What a shame it is that Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab countries to have signed peace treaties with Israel and entered into formal diplomatic relations with it, are still adamant that they will not sever links with Israel despite Sharon thumbing his nose at them. History will most certainly exact a heavy price from them for being such imbeciles. But their own people may do that before history does. Patience on the Arab street is quickly wearing thin. It could easily lead to political turmoil in any number of Arab countries and spiral out of their rulers’ control. Do they have a road map to thwart such a development ? Only time will tell.
For the moment it is the Palestinians, alone and defenceless, who are valiantly braving the heaviest odds in history against them. History should honour them for their courage. q